Brentwood, Los Angeles
Brentwood is a neighborhood in the Westside of Los Angeles, California. It is the location of seven private and two public schools.
Brentwood marker sign
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- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Demographics
- 4 Notable sights
- 5 Recreation
- 6 Economy and businesses
- 7 Government and infrastructure
- 8 Education
- 9 Notable people
- 10 See also
- 11 References
- 12 External links
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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.
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 fireEdit
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 trialEdit
Brentwood was the site of the 1994 stabbing deaths of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman, outside Simpson's Bundy Drive condominium townhouse. Nicole's ex-husband, football player and actor O.J. Simpson, was acquitted of the murders, but was later found liable for the deaths in a civil trial.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
- Brentwood Circle: gated community east of Barrington and north of Sunset
- Brentwood Glen: an area bounded by Sunset, the 405 Freeway, and the Veterans Administration
- Bundy Canyon: home to Mount St. Mary's College and the Getty Center (though the latter is accessible only from Sepulveda)
- Crestwood Hills: includes a cluster of architecturally significant mid-century modern residences located in the northern part of Kenter Canyon
- Kenter Canyon: the larger canyon containing Crestwood Hills, between Bundy Canyon and Mandeville Canyon
- Mandeville Canyon: westernmost part of Brentwood, north of Sunset; extends about three miles to the north
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 businessesEdit
Brent-Air Pharmacy, run by the founding Lassoff family from its inception 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.
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 infrastructureEdit
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:
The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) operates public schools.
Paul Revere Charter Middle School is Brentwood's middle school.
The following private schools are located in the Brentwood area:
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- Bea Arthur – Actress (1922–2009)
- Eli Broad - Billionaire, Philanthropist, Entrepreneur
- Dr. Dre - Rapper, record producer, and entrepreneur
- Tom Brady – National Football League quarterback
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- Mickey Cohen – Gangster (1913-1976)
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- 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
- Donna Mills – Actress and producer
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- David Baerwald – Musician.
- Faye Resnick – Reality TV personality
- Arnold Schoenberg – Composer
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- Maria Shriver – Journalist, author and former First Lady of California
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- O.J. Simpson – National Football League player, broadcaster and actor.
- Margaret Sullavan – Actress
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- Reese Witherspoon - Academy Award winning actress 
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