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The Neighborhood Of West L.A.

West Los Angeles (often referred to as West L.A.) is a district in Los Angeles, within a larger region known as the "Westside." The district is bordered by Santa Monica on the west, Brentwood on the northwest, the unincorporated Sawtelle Veterans Administration grounds on the north, Westwood on the northeast, Rancho Park on the east and southeast, and Mar Vista on the south and southeast. Its general boundaries are the San Diego Freeway on the east, the Santa Monica Freeway on the south, the city limits of Santa Monica on the west, and Wilshire Boulevard on the north.

History

After the area's colonization by the Spanish, most of what is now West Los Angeles became part of the Rancho San Vicente y Santa Monica. With the arrival of Anglo settlers after the Mexican-American War, the original California landowners sold out, or were forced from their holdings, and by the beginning of the 20th century the area was mostly bean and wheat fields. Many Japanese immigrants settled in the district, establishing orchards and nurseries in the process. Some of these nurseries are still in business today, along the stretch of Sawtelle Boulevard between Olympic and Santa Monica Boulevards.

The core of what is now West Los Angeles, including the West Los Angeles government center at Santa Monica and Purdue, was incorporated as the City of Sawtelle. In the 1920s, West L.A. was annexed by the City of Los Angeles. On December 14, 1980, one of the worst crime sprees in the city's history occurred at Bob's Big Boy restaurant on La Cienga Blvd., in which 11 people were forced into a meat locker-freezer at gunpoint by robbers who shot four to death and left four others wounded. The ABC telefilm The Right of the People (1986) was said to have been based on this event.

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