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Title: Tarzana  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Laraine Newman, Frederick Field (retailer), Sahaj (musician), Robert M. Wilkinson, Marvin Braude, John Coleman Burroughs, Columbia College Hollywood, Free Fallin', Jeremy Hotz, Meilen Tu
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Neighborhood of Los Angeles
Location within Los Angeles/San Fernando Valley

Coordinates: 34°10′24″N 118°33′11″W / 34.17333°N 118.55306°W / 34.17333; -118.55306

Country United States
State California
County Los Angeles
City Los Angeles
Time zone PST (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
Area code(s) ii

Tarzana /tɑrˈzænə/ is an affluent neighborhood in the San Fernando Valley region of the city of Los Angeles, California. Tarzana is a mostly residential community on the site of a former ranch owned by author Edgar Rice Burroughs. It is named after Burroughs' storybook jungle character hero, Tarzan.


The area now known as Tarzana was occupied in 1797 by Spanish settlers and missionaries who established the San Fernando Mission. Later absorbed by Mexico, the land was ceded to the United States in 1848 by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo following the Mexican-American War. Under US rule it evolved into a series of large cattle ranches owned by local elites. Investors took over in the 1870s, turning grazing into large-scale wheat farm operation.

The area was purchased in 1909 by the Los Angeles Suburban Homes Company. LA Times founder and publisher General Harrison Gray Otis invested in the company and also personally acquired 550 acres (2.2 km2) in the center of modern-day Tarzana.[1]

In 1915 or 1919, author of the popular Tarzan novels Edgar Rice Burroughs purchased Otis’s tract and established Tarzana Ranch. Burroughs subdivided and sold the land for residential development with neighboring small farms following suit. The subdivision was one of many all white planned communities started in the Los Angeles area around this time,[2] with racial segregation enforced by a restrictive covenant inserted in property deeds. It stated in part that "said premises or any part thereof shall not be leased, sold, or conveyed to, or occupied by any person not of the Caucasian race."[1] Burroughs marketed his new community using themes that evoked British imperialism and white supremacy.[3]

In 1927 or 1928, local residents renamed the town Tarzana in honor of Burroughs and his famous storybook character.



Tarzana, which measures 8.79 square miles, is bounded on the south by Topanga State Park, on the east by Encino, on the north by Reseda and on the west by Woodland Hills.[4][5]

Victory Boulevard marks the northern edge of the neighborhood, Lindley Avenue the eastern, Corbin Avenue, with a jog to Oakdale Avenue, the western, and Topanga State Park the southern.[5][6]

Nearby places

Places near Tarzana, not necessarily contiguous:[7]


The U.S. census counted 35,502 people living in Tarzana in 2000, and the city estimated its population at 37,778 in 2008. There were 4,038 people per square mile, among the lowest population densities in the city.[5]

According to the 2000 U.S. Census, the racial composition was predominantly white (70.7%), followed by Asian (5%), and black or African American (3.6%). The Los Angeles Times considered the area as "moderately diverse." Thirty-five percent of the population was foreign-born. Iran (24.2%) and Mexico (12.1%) were the most common foreign places of birth.[5]

The percentage of divorced men and women was among the county's highest. Some 9% of the residents were military veterans, considered high for the city of Los Angeles. The percentages of residents aged 50 and older were among the county's highest. The median age, 38, was old when compared to the rest of the city and the county. The median household income in 2008 dollars was considered high, at $73,195.[5]

Notable people


A total of 40.3% of Tarzana residents aged 25 and older have earned a four-year degree, which is considered a high figure for both the city and the county. Percentages of those residents with a bachelor's degree or with a master's degree are also high for the county.[5]

Elementary and middle schools

Schools within Tarzana are:[6][15]

  • Gaspar de Portola Middle School, LAUSD, 18720 Linnet Street
  • Sherman Oaks Center for Enriched Studies, LAUSD alternative, 18605 Erwin Street
  • Vanalden Avenue Elementary School, LAUSD, 19019 Delano Street
  • Tarzana Elementary School, LAUSD, 5726 Topeka Drive
  • CHIME Institute's Schwarzenegger Community School, LAUSD charter, 19722 Collier Street
  • Wilbur Charter for Enriched Academics, LAUSD K-5, 5213 Crebs Avenue[16]
  • Nestle Avenue Elementary School, LAUSD, 5060 Nestle Avenue

Postsecondary schools

Public libraries

The Los Angeles Public Library operates the Encino-Tarzana Branch on Ventura Boulevard in Tarzana.[17]

Parks and recreation

The Tarzana Recreation Center is in Tarzana. The center has a gymnasium that also is used as an auditorium; the building's capacity is 600. The park also has barbecue pits, a lighted baseball diamond, lighted outdoor basketball courts, a children's play area, a community room, an indoor gymnasium without weights, picnic tables, and lighted volleyball courts.[18]

Filming location

  • Tarzana Armenian Deli in Tarzana was used as a location for the HBO TV show Six Feet Under. David and Keith have coffee, sandwiches and frank conversation at the eatery.
  • Tarzana was the home of John Denver's character (Jerry Landers) in the 1977 film Oh, God!
  • Season 2 of The Bad Girls Club was filmed in Tarzana.
  • Some episodes of A&Es Intervention TV series featured Tarzana Treatment Centers.


External links

  • Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzana, California
  • Tarzana, California Community Profile
  • , Real Estate section, Neighborly Advice column: "[Tarzana:] A hilly haven in the jungles of the Valley" (29 Feb 2004)
  • [8] Comments about living in Tarzana
  • [9] Tarzana crime map and statistics

Coordinates: 34°10′24″N 118°33′11″W / 34.17333°N 118.55306°W / 34.17333; -118.55306

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