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Palms, Los Angeles, California

From Academic Kids

Palms is a district in western Los Angeles, California. It should not be confused with the cities of Twentynine Palms, Palm Springs, and Palm Desert.

Contents

Geography

Palms is bordered by Culver City to the southeast, Rancho Park to the north, West Los Angeles to the northwest, and Mar Vista to the southwest. The district's boundaries are the Rosa Parks Freeway (I-10) on the north, Venice and Washington Boulevards on the southeast, and the San Diego Freeway on the southwest. Principal thoroughfares include National, Palms, Venice, and Sepulveda Boulevards and Overland and Motor Avenues.

The portion of Palms bounded by Overland, Sepulveda, National, and Charnock Road was developed just before World War II as Westside Village and is considered by its homeowners' group (the Westside Village Civic Assn.) to be a distinct neighborhood. Westside Village was made a part of the Mar Vista Community Council on the request of the homeowners association but that decision is being challenged.

History

The oldest community on the West Side of Los Angeles, Palms was founded in 1886 at a midpoint on an electric rail line (which later became part of the famous Pacific Electric "Red Car" system) between Los Angeles and Santa Monica. In 1915, during the short term of Los Angeles mayor Charles E. Sebastian, the residents of Palms voted to be annexed to Los Angeles.

The late 1990s and early 2000s saw a considerable upturn of Palms's fortunes, with the revival of adjacent Culver City adding new life to the area. Palms' growth will probably continue well into the 21st century with the arrival of a Metro light-rail line. Slated to open in 2009, the line will connect downtown Los Angeles to Culver City and eventually Santa Monica, passing through Palms on a portion of its route.

Housing

Originally dominated by bungalows and frame houses, the housing stock in historic Palms is now almost completely composed of apartment buildings (92% of the population there are renters). The upscale Westside Village district contains the only significant remaining concentration of single-family homes, almost all constructed by developer Fritz Burns in assembly-line style just before World War II, although some have been replaced in recent years by bigger, two-story dwellings. Even Westside Village has a large number of apartments, including UCLA family housing and two large complexes of cooperative units on Sepulveda Boulevard.

Demographics

Including Westside Village, Palms' population is upwards of 50,000 persons. The district is ethnically diverse, with its population divided among 53% Caucasians (including a large Middle Eastern population), 26% Hispanics/Latinos (white and non-white), 17% African-Americans, and 16% Asians/Pacific Islanders.

With an average annual household income of $45,000, Palms is generally considered the last working class, un-gentrified neighborhood on the West Side. However, this figure is deceptively low, as much of its population consists of students at nearby Santa Monica College, UCLA, and USC.

Landmarks and Attractions

Palms' diversity is reflected in its landmarks. Its major religious sites are the headquarters complexes of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness and the Iranian-American Muslim Association of North America (IMAN). The Lycée Français de Los Angeles, a French school that boasts actress Jodie Foster among its alumni, occupies several buildings in various parts of the neighborhood. Palms boasts a large number of Indian and Pakistani restaurants and businesses. In addition, it is also one of the centers of the Brazilian community in Los Angeles, with a number of Brazilian-oriented restaurants, shops, and nightclubs. The area is host to two unusual museums, the Museum of Jurassic Technology and the Center for Land Use Interpretation. Additionally, apartment 222 at the Diplomat is widely regarded as a point of historical interest due to its illicit uses by college students between the years of 2001 and 2003. It is rumored that this apartment is haunted due to the deaths of the occupants' hopes and dreams. May they forever rest in peace, amen.

External Links

Palms Neighborhood Council (http://www.palms-california.us)

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