More history will follow by the historians of the Overland Avenue Community, including what the original name was for Olympic Blvd, west of Beverly Glen, but the following, from the Los Angeles Times, April 4, 2004, will give you all a flavor for the beginnings of our little community:

 

Neighborly Advice

April 04, 2004|H. May Spitz | Special to The Times

 

Once an area dominated by beanfields, the neighborhood of Rancho Park was envisioned in the 1920s as a middle-class family development of starter homes. Tucked between the communities of Westwood and Cheviot Hills, this enclave draws young professionals and families and is home to residents working in a variety of occupations.

 

Beginnings

 Developed by the Janss Co. as part of Westwood Hills, the area has predominantly Spanish-style homes created in the 1920s and '30s for first-time buyers. Homes averaging less than 1,600 square feet on lots 50 feet by 135 feet were typical.

 

The original residential tract spanned an area between Santa Monica and Pico boulevards. At that time, Olympic Boulevard did not pass through Westwood Hills, instead ending at the westernmost border of Beverly Hills. The neighborhood changed dramatically in 1936 when Olympic Boulevard was carved through Westwood, splitting the neighborhood into two sections.

 

Identity crisis

 Feeling cut off from Westwood Hills, residents south of the newly extended Olympic Boulevard clamored for their own identity by the late '30s. "We thought it was time to have our own community and separate ourselves from Westwood," said Bob Hindall, longtime area resident. "Many names were suggested, but pioneer real estate broker Bill Heyler is credited with naming the area Rancho Park." Heyler is also credited with bringing in the Rancho Park Golf Course, which opened in 1947.

 

Situated roughly between Pico and Olympic boulevards and ending at Fox studios to the east, Rancho Park's western border is generally considered to be Sepulveda Boulevard. But some disagree about this western edge, according to area historian Greg Fisher. "There are no hard-and-fast boundaries for Rancho Park."

 

Drawing card

Level, tree-lined streets with tidy homes appeal to those looking for starter homes on the Westside. Near the 10 and 405 freeways, the area is convenient to Beverly Hills, Century City and UCLA.

 

Favorites

Playing a round at the Rancho Park Golf Course, with 18 holes plus putting green in front of the lushly landscaped clubhouse, is a popular pastime.

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Comment by Overland Avenue on March 14, 2011 at 2:17pm

We'll add a new blog on South of Pico history, but the short answer is no, it was not part of what is considered "Rancho Park" until after 1961.  What happened in 1961?  Tick tock, tick tock -- what opened in 1961?* 

 

Pretty much the same thing that happened when Louisiana was widened and became known as Olympic:  It split up a previously subdivided parcel of land.  North of Pico, the area now known as Rancho Park, was previously the first part of the Westwood Hills Janss development, with homes starting at $950.

 

* (This area's leg of the10 Freeway).  For more details, see new blog.

Comment by Orli Belman on March 13, 2011 at 9:26pm
Comment by Orli Belman on March 13, 2011 at 9:24pm

Here's how Wikipedia lists our boundaries. Does this sound right to everyone?

"The district's boundaries, while somewhat ill-defined, are generally considered to be the San Diego Freeway (I-405) on the west, Olympic Boulevard on the north, Manning Avenue (south of Pico Boulevard) and Beverly Glen Boulevard (north of Pico) on the east, and the Santa Monica Freeway (I-10) on the south."

 

Comment by Orli Belman on March 13, 2011 at 9:18pm

Wow. Great info. I think of Rancho Park as extending south of Pico, perhaps even to National. What do you think? I look forward to hearing from  your historians.

Thanks.

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