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Brentwood, Los Angeles

Neighborhood of Los Angeles
Brentwood marker sign
Brentwood marker sign
Brentwood is located in Western Los Angeles
Location within Western Los Angeles
Country United States
State California
County Los Angeles
City Los Angeles
Time zone PST (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP Code 90049

Brentwood is an affluent neighborhood in the Westside of Los Angeles, California. It is the home of seven private and two public schools.

Originally part of a Mexican land grant, the neighborhood began its modern development in the 1880s and hosted part of the pentathlon in the 1932 Summer Olympics. It was the site of the 1994 O. J. Simpson murder case and of a disastrous fire in 1961.


  • History 1
    • 1961 Brentwood–Bel Air fire 1.1
    • O.J. Simpson trial 1.2
  • Geography 2
    • Environment 2.1
  • Demographics 3
  • Notable sights 4
  • Recreation 5
  • Economy and businesses 6
  • Government and infrastructure 7
    • City 7.1
    • County 7.2
    • State 7.3
    • Federal 7.4
  • Education 8
    • Public 8.1
    • Private 8.2
  • Notable residents 9
  • See also 10
  • References 11
  • External links 12


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.[1]

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.[2]

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.

O.J. Simpson trial

Brentwood was the site of the 1994 stabbing death of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman, outside Simpson's Bundy Drive condominium. Her ex-husband, football player and actor O.J. Simpson, was acquitted of a charge of killing her.


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.[3][4]


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.


The 2000 U.S. census counted 31,344 residents in the 15.22-square-mile Brentwood neighborhood—or 2,059 people per square mile, among the lowest population densities for the city and the county. In 2008, the city estimated that the population had increased to 33,312. In 2000 the median age for residents was 35, which was old for city and county neighborhoods. The percentages of residents aged 50 and older were among the county's highest.[5]

The neighborhood was considered not especially diverse ethnically[6] within Los Angeles, with a relatively high percentage of white people. The breakdown was 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.[5]

The median yearly household income in 2008 dollars was $112,927, considered high for the city and the county. Renters occupied 48.4% of the housing stock, and house- or apartment-owners held 51.6%. The average household size of two people was considered low for Los Angeles. The 5.7% of families headed by single parents was low for city and county neighborhoods.[5]

Notable sights

The Brentwood Presbyterian Church was the site of the wedding of actor Jimmy Stewart and Gloria H. McLean in 1949.
Los Angeles Times
St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church, 11967 Sunset Boulevard

San Vicente Boulevard is divided by a wide median on which stand many large coral trees. This green belt replaced a Pacific Electric trolley track, and the trees have been named a City of Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument.

Brentwood features a number of residential subdistricts:


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.[7] The 1.5-acre (0.61 ha) Barrington Dog Park is on the grounds of the recreation center.[8]

Economy and businesses

Brent-Air Pharmacy, run by the founding Lassoff family from its inception up until June 2007, has 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.

Government and infrastructure


The Los Angeles Fire Department Station 19 is in Brentwood.[9] The Los Angeles Police Department operates the West Los Angeles Community Police Station in West Los Angeles, serving Brentwood.[10]


The Los Angeles County Department of Health Services SPA 5 West Area Health Office serves Brentwood.[11]


Brentwood's representatives in the California State Assembly (Karen Bass, Michael Feuer and Fran Pavley) and U.S. House of Representatives (Henry Waxman) are noted for their socially liberal views. (Waxman scores 80 of 100 on the Americans for Democratic Action scorecard and 95 of 100 by the American Civil Liberties Union.)


The United States Postal Service operates the Barrington Post Office in Brentwood.[12]


Milken Community High School, 2008
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.[5]

Schools within the Brentwood borders are:[13]


The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) operates public schools.

The elementary schools in the area are Kenter Canyon Elementary School (a charter school) and Brentwood Science Magnet Elementary School (an alternative school).

Paul Revere Charter Middle School is Brentwood's middle school.[14]

The local public high schools are University High School in West Los Angeles, and Palisades Charter High School, in the nearby neighborhood of Pacific Palisades.[15]


The following private schools are located in the Brentwood area:

Notable residents

Past and present notable residents include:

James Garner - Actor ( 1928 -2014)

See also


  1. ^ 1932 Summer Olympics official report. p. 574.
  2. ^ "Eastern Star Home" entry, "Filming locations for Chinatown," Internet Movie Database website.
  3. ^ Bozorgmehr, Mehdi, Claudia Der-Martirosian, and Georges Sabagh. "Middle Easterners: A New Kind of Immigrant" (Chapter 12). In: Waldinger, Roger and Mehdi Bozorgmehr (editors). Ethnic Los Angeles. Russell Sage Foundation, December 5, 1996. Start page 345. ISBN 1610445473, 9781610445474. Cited: p. 347. "[...]in Beverly Hills, Bel Air, and Brentwood, known in local parlance as "the three Bs.""
  4. ^ Melton, Mary. "The Stars of Star Maps." Los Angeles Times. August 25, 1996. "Each map tends to cover the "three Bs": Brentwood, Bel-Air and Beverly Hills. A few toss in a Malibu sidebar."
  5. ^ a b c d [5] "Brentwood," Mapping L.A., Los Angeles Times
  6. ^ [6] Diversity "measures the probability that any two residents, chosen at random, would be of different ethnicities. If all residents are of the same ethnic group it's zero. If half are from one group and half from another it's .50." —Los Angeles Times
  7. ^ "Barrington Recreation Center." City of Los Angeles. Retrieved on March 22, 2010.
  8. ^ "Barrington Dog Park." City of Los Angeles. Retrieved on March 22, 2010.
  9. ^ "Station 19." Los Angeles Fire Department. Retrieved on March 17, 2010.
  10. ^ "West L.A. Community Police Station." Los Angeles Police Department. Retrieved on March 28, 2010.
  11. ^ "About Us." Los Angeles County Department of Health Services. Retrieved on March 18, 2010.
  12. ^ "Post Office Location – BARRINGTON." United States Postal Service. Retrieved on March 28, 2010.
  13. ^ [7] "Brentwood Schools," Mapping L.A., Los Angeles Times
  14. ^ "Brentwood : Math-Science Magnet Center." Los Angeles Times. April 22, 1993. Retrieved on March 23, 2014. "A new math-science magnet center for Paul Revere Middle School in Brentwood has been approved by the school board."
  15. ^ "Palisades Charter High School Attendance Zone." (Archive) Los Angeles Unified School District. Retrieved on March 23, 2014.
  16. ^  
  17. ^ Sherree R. Curry, "Rent Bea Arthur's Brentwood Home for $32,500," AOL Real Estate, March 25, 2011
  18. ^ Lewis, Andy (January 20, 2012). "Gisele Bundchen and Tom Brady Move Into $20 Million Brentwood Mega-Mansion". Hollywood Reporter. 
  19. ^ "Big Breitbart: Andrew Breitbart is messing with you. – By Christopher Beam – Slate Magazine". Archived from the original on March 22, 2010. Retrieved March 17, 2010. 
  20. ^ Alexander, Ella (2 June 2011). "Gisele The Billionaire". Retrieved 18 August 2011. 
  21. ^ "Comedy writer Dee Caruso dies, Penned 'Get Smart,' 'The Monkees' episodes".  
  22. ^ Palm Beach Post
  23. ^ Dabney Coleman, The Movieland Directory, 2010 
  24. ^ Considine, Shaun (1989). Bette and Joan: The Divine Feud. New York, E. P. Dutton, a division of Penguin Books. ISBN 0-525-24770-X
  25. ^ July 28, 1956, page B-1Los Angeles Times,"Stephen Cunningham, Ex-Councilman, Dies,"
  26. ^ [8] Internet Movie Data Base
  27. ^ "Actor Harmon Pulls 2 Youths From Burning Car".  
  28. ^ "Hedda Hopper's Hollywood," April 2, 1938, quoted in
  29. ^  
  30. ^ Wolfe, Donald H. The Last Days of Marilyn Monroe. (1998) ISBN 0-7871-1807-9
  31. ^ Crawford, Dorothy L. 2009. A Windfall of Musicians: Hitler's Émigrés and Exiles in Southern California. New Haven and London: Yale University Press. ISBN 9780300155488.
  32. ^ Schiffman, Betsy (June 27, 2003). "Next Stop – Governor's Mansion?". Forbes. Retrieved April 18, 2008. 
  33. ^ Lacayo, Richard (August 10, 2003). "The Mind Behind the Muscles".  
  34. ^ Mark Z. Barabak (May 9, 2011). "Arnold Schwarzenegger, Maria Shriver announce separation". Los Angeles Times. 
  35. ^ Hax, Carolyn (May 10, 2011). "Arnold Schwarzenegger and wife of 25 years, Maria Shriver, say they're separating". Washington Post. Associated Press. 
  36. ^ Dan Whitcomb (May 10, 2011). "Arnold Schwarzenegger, wife Maria Shriver separate". Reuters. 
  37. ^ a b Schindehette, Susan. "To Live and Die in L.A. - Murder, Nicole Brown Simpson". 
  38. ^ cited in InternetMovieDataBasArchitectural Digest,
  39. ^ Groves, Martha (November 12, 2012). "Actor Robert Taylor's former ranch is set to go on auction block". Retrieved January 22, 2013. 

External links

  • Brentwood Community Council
  • Brentwood Homeowners Association
  • Los Angeles City Brentwood-Palisades area map
  • San Vicente Blvd. Brentwood
  • Brentwood crime map and statistics

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