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Brentwood
Brentwood marker sign
Brentwood marker sign
Brentwood is located in Western Los Angeles
Brentwood
Brentwood
Location in Western Los Angeles
Country  United States
State  California
County Los Angeles
City Los Angeles
Elevation
96 m (315 ft)
Time zone UTC−8 (PST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−7 (PDT)
ZIP Code
90049
Area code(s) 310, 424

Brentwood is a suburban neighborhood in the Westside region of the City of Los Angeles.

History

Brentwood was part of the Rancho San Vicente y Santa Monica, a Mexican land-grant ranch sold off in pieces by the Sepúlveda family after the Mexican-American War.

Modern development began after the establishment of the 600-acre (2.4 km2) Pacific Branch of the National Home for Disabled Soldiers and Sailors in the 1880s. A small community sprang up outside that facility's west gate, taking on the name Westgate. Annexed by the City of Los Angeles on June 14, 1916, Westgate's 49 square miles (130 km2) included large parts of what is now the Pacific Palisades and a small portion of today's Bel-Air. Westgate Avenue is one of the last reminders of that namesake.

The Sunset Fields Golf Club, known as the Brentwood Country Club since 1941, hosted the running part of the modern pentathlon event in the 1932 Summer Olympics.

The preceding statement is incorrect and caused by a confusion of Olympic events & locations. Brentwood Country Club was known as Brentwood Country Club at the time of the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics. It appears as Brentwood Country Club at 590 Burlingame Avenue in the Los Angeles City Directory for 1933, which would have been compiled in 1932. A 1927 Los Angeles Times article describes the beginning of construction on Sunset Fields Golf Course near Crenshaw Boulevard between Vernon Avenue and Santa Barbara Avenue (now Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard). The book, Leimert Park, states, "The Sunset Fields Golf Course in Leimert Park was also the location of another official Olympic venue, the running portion of the modern pentathlon .... The close proximity of the Olympic games to the neighboring community of Leimert Park brought much attention to the development." The Xth Olympiad: Los Angeles, 1932 - Official Report says, "The Cross Country Run of the Modern Pentathlon was held at 9:00 A.M. on the course of Sunset Fields Golf Club of Los Angeles. The distance was 4000 metres, slightly less than two-thirds of which was laid on the fairways of the golf course, and over and through several of the natural washes and gullies to be found on the course. The remainder involved the climbing of a very steep hill, to the level of the Olympic Village, thence down a narrow draw by a winding path and across a wide ditch to the Golf Club property again. The start and finish were a short distance in front of the clubhouse." A map of the various Olympic venues and locations in the same report shows the Olympic Village as being located southwest of the intersection of Vernon Avenue and Crenshaw Boulevard, which lies exactly where Sunset Fields Golf Course was (an area now occupied by the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza).

The confusion may have arisen because part of the route of the Equestrian Cross Country portion of Modern Pentathlon may have crossed Brentwood Country Club. This event used the route of Phase D of the Cross Country portion of the Equestrian Three-Day Event competition. Riviera Country Club in Bel-Air, east of Brentwood, served as the headquarters of all Olympic Equestrian Events, A map in the Official Report shows the equestrian course briefly following Burlingame Avenue in Brentwood. As in 1932, the address of Brentwood Country Club of Los Angeles is still 590 South Burlingame Avenue.

Maypole in Brentwood, California
Archer School for Girls maypole tradition

Local traditions include the annual decoration of San Vicente Boulevard's coral trees with holiday lights and a Maypole erected each year on the lawn of the Archer School for Girls, carrying on that set by the Eastern Star Home previously housed there. This building was the exterior establishing shot for the "Mar Vista Rest Home" that provided a key scene in the 1974 film Chinatown.

1961 Brentwood–Bel Air fire

On November 6, 1961, a construction crew working in Sherman Oaks in the San Fernando Valley north of Brentwood on the far side of the Santa Monica Mountains noticed smoke and flames in a nearby pile of rubbish. Within minutes, Santa Ana winds gusting up to 60 mph (100 km/h) sent burning brush aloft and over the ridge into Brentwood.

More than 300 police officers helped evacuate 3,500 residents during the 12-hour fire, and some 2,500 firefighters battled the blaze, pumping water from neighborhood swimming pools to douse flames. Pockets of the fire smoldered for several days. Even as firefighters battled what was to become a Bel Air disaster, another fire erupted in Santa Ynez Canyon to the west. That blaze was contained the next day after consuming nearly 10,000 acres (40 km2) and nine structures and burning to within a mile of Bel Air and Brentwood.

The fires were the fifth-worst conflagration in the nation's history at the time, burning 16,090 acres (65 km2), destroying more than 484 homes and 190 other structures and causing an estimated $30 million in damage.

Geography

The district is located at the base of the Santa Monica Mountains, bounded by the San Diego Freeway on the east, Wilshire Boulevard on the south, the Santa Monica city limits on the southwest, the border of Topanga State Park on the west and Mulholland Drive along the ridgeline of the mountains on the north.

As a member of a group of nearby neighborhoods that are affluent, it is known as one of the "Three Bs", along with Beverly Hills and Bel Air.

Environment

Wilshire Boulevard in Brentwood
A view of Wilshire Boulevard westbound, toward the ocean. Brentwood begins on the right-hand side of the street.

Brentwood, like nearby Santa Monica, has a temperate climate influenced by marine breezes off the Pacific Ocean. Residents frequently wake to a "marine layer," a cover of clouds brought in at night which burns off by mid-morning. The topography is generally split into two characters, broadly divided by Sunset Boulevard: the area north of Sunset is defined by ridges and canyons of the Santa Monica Mountains; south of Sunset the area is hilly. The southern district features underground springs which bubble up into a small creek along "the Gully" near the Brentwood Country Club, and in the "Indian Springs" portion of the University High School campus, formerly the site of a Native American Tongva village.

Demographics

The 2000 U.S. census counted 31,344 residents in the 15.22-square-mile Brentwood neighborhood—or 2,059 people per square mile. In 2008, the city estimated that the population had increased to 33,312. Since 2010, the population has gradually shifted to younger families with children in local schools looking for single family homes north of San Vicente Blvd and executives seeking to live in higher-end, low maintenance condos within walking distance to the San Vicente commercial center.

The racial breakdown is whites, 84.2%; Asians, 6.5%; Latinos, 4.5%; blacks, 1.2%; and others, 3.6%. Iran (27.2%) and the United Kingdom (4.8%) were the most common places of birth for the 21.1% of the residents who were born abroad—which was a low percentage for Los Angeles as a whole.

Brentwood has made strong efforts to have inclusive housing stock, with 49% of residents living in single family homes and 51% living in dense zoning/multifamily residences. The median yearly household income in 2008 dollars was $112,927 and renters occupied 48.4% of the housing stock. As of June, 2020, 20% of Brentwood multifamily units qualified for Fannie Mae loans and the starting price of studio apartments and one bedrooms was within $100 of HUD vouchers in Los Angeles, allowing residents across a range of income levels to find housing in the community.

Notable people

  • James Arness – Actor (1923–2011)
  • Bea Arthur – Actress (1922–2009)
  • Eli Broad - Businessman, investor and philanthropist (1933-2021)
  • Dr. Dre - Rapper, record producer, and entrepreneur
  • Tom Brady – National Football League quarterback
  • Andrew Breitbart – Author, commentator and website publisher (1969–2012)
  • Gisele Bündchen – Model and entrepreneur
  • Dee Caruso – Screenwriter and producer
  • Mickey Cohen – Gangster (1913-1976)
  • Dabney Coleman – Actor
  • Bert Convy – Actor, game show host, singer and panelist (1933–1991)
  • Joan Crawford – Actress
  • Stephen W. Cunningham – UCLA graduate manager and Los Angeles City Council member
  • Don DeFore – Actor (1913–1993)
  • Dane Elkins (born 1999) – professional racquetball player
  • Glenn Frey – Musician, co-founder of the rock band Eagles (1948–2016)
  • Mark Harmon – Actor
  • Leland Hayward – Entertainment industry agent and producer
  • LeBron James – National Basketball Association player
  • Monica Lewinsky – activist, television personality, fashion designer, and former White House intern
  • Robert Loggia – Actor (1930–2015)
  • Lea Michele – Actress
  • Marilyn Monroe – Actress
  • Alanis Morissette – Musician
  • Former President and First Lady Richard Nixon and Pat Nixon
  • Conan O'Brien - Television talk show host, comedian
  • Gwyneth Paltrow -Actress, entrepreneur
  • Gregor Piatigorsky - Cellist (1903-1976)
  • David Baerwald – Musician
  • Faye Resnick – Reality TV personality
  • Arnold Schoenberg – Composer
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger – Actor, bodybuilder, former Governor of California
  • Maria Shriver – Journalist, author and former First Lady of California
  • Oliver Stone Director and screenwriter
  • O. J. Simpson – National Football League player, broadcaster and actor
  • Margaret Sullavan – Actress
  • Robert Taylor – Actor
  • Reese Witherspoon - Actress
  • Betty White - Actress (1922-2021)

Recreation

Getty Center patio
The Getty Center opened on the heights of Brentwood in 1997

Brentwood's Barrington Recreation Center has an indoor gymnasium which converts into a small auditorium with a capacity of 250. Outdoors is a lighted baseball diamond, an unlighted baseball diamond, lighted indoor basketball courts, lighted outdoor basketball courts, a children's play area, a community room, a lighted football field, picnic tables, a lighted soccer field, lighted tennis courts, and lighted volleyball courts. The 1.5-acre (0.61 ha) Barrington Dog Park is on the grounds of the recreation center.

Economy and businesses

The vast majority of office space in Brentwood is rented to professional services firms: accountants, lawyers, medical care.

There are three upscale commercial areas: Brentwood Country Mart, Barrington Plaza and the San Vicente Business District, which include restaurants, clothing stores, and other high-end retailers.

A few long time businesses should be noted: Brent-Air Pharmacy, run by the founding Lassoff family from its inception until June 2007, served Brentwood for more than 50 years. The drug store has been the scene of many famous scandals and, like its defunct West Hollywood cousin Schwab's, is known as the pharmacy to the stars, where many now-notable actors and actresses worked as delivery boys or "candy counter" girls.

The Brentwood Country Mart, near the corner of San Vicente Blvd and 26th Street next to the Santa Monica city limit, is a shopping and food center that first opened in 1948.

Vicente Foods is an independently owned and operated grocery market that has served Brentwood since 1948. Other local markets include Whole Foods and Ralphs.

A popular area for dining and coffee for local residents is located in Brentwood Village at the intersection of Barrington and Sunset. More than a dozen restaurants and coffee shops are located within a two-block stretch offering a wide variety of cuisine.

Dutton's Brentwood Books, a local landmark called by Sunset magazine "the last of the truly independent bookstores", closed its doors in April, 2008.

Education

Milken Community High School
Milken Community High School, 2008
Brentwood School
Brentwood School

Seventy percent of Brentwood residents aged 25 and older had earned a four-year degree by 2000, a high percentage for the city and the county. The percentages of residents in that age range with a bachelor's degree or greater were high for the county.

Schools within the Brentwood borders are:

Public

The elementary schools in the area are Kenter Canyon Elementary School (an LAUSD charter school) and Brentwood Science Magnet Elementary School (an LAUSD alternative school). Paul Revere Charter Middle School is Brentwood's middle school. University High School in West Los Angeles, and Palisades Charter High School, in the nearby neighborhood of Pacific Palisades.

Private

The following private schools are located in the Brentwood area:

  • Westland School, elementary
  • The Mirman School
  • Berkeley Hall School, elementary
  • Milken Community High School
  • Brentwood School, K–12
  • Archer School for Girls
  • Saint Martin of Tours School, elementary
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