Part of Los Angeles’ planning area that also includes Palms and Del Rey, Mar Vista is a desirable neighborhood on Los Angeles’ Westside with a lot to offer. Most of the homes in Mar Vista were built between the 1920s to 1950s, starting in 1927 when Los Angeles annexed the small community. Mar Vista was originally called Ocean Park Heights. The community dates back long enough that many streets are narrow because they were first laid out for horses and carriages. Within Mar Vista are Mar Vista Hill, with homes that include ocean and city views, and the 52-home Mar Vista Tract, which is a group of extremely well-preserved and maintained classic mid-century homes designed by noted L.A. architect Gregory Ain. Called “Modernique,” the homes have a great history and impeccable design and are the first post-WW2 modern historic district in Los Angeles.
In addition to Ain’s “Modernique” homes in their historic preservation overlay zone (HPOZ), Mar Vista has a number of neighborhoods including North Westdale, Westside Village, Westdale, Hilltop, and South and West Mar Vista. Many Mar Vista neighborhoods include tree-lined streets with quiet vibes and neighborly traditions. Westdale Trousdale was developed by Paul Trousdale, noted for Trousdale Estates in Beverly Hills. Mar Vista’s neighborhoods are primarily comprised of single-family homes of approximately 2 to 4-bedrooms, and also include some condominium and townhouse complexes.
Located east of the 405 freeway and south of the 10 freeway, Mar Vista is crossed by large north-south and east-west boulevards, including National, Centinela, Overland, Sepulveda, Washington Blvd. and Washington Place, and Venice Boulevard. The area also includes some high-performing elementary schools, including Mar Vista Elementary, Short Ave. Elementary, Grand View Boulevard, and Beethoven Street Elementary Schools. Daniel Webster and Mark Twain Middle Schools are located in Mar Vista, as is Venice High School.
Many areas of Mar Vista enjoy great retail shopping, restaurants, and local service businesses, but Venice Boulevard between Beethoven St. and Inglewood Blvd. was chosen as part of the city’s “Great Streets Initiative” in 2015. The street received revitalization support and the result is a thriving district that includes many holidays and community festivals. The local Farmer’s Market held on Sundays on Grand View and Venice is one of the most active, enjoyable Farmer’s Markets in the area. New construction may be found in Mar Vista, including distinctive newer architectural estate and executive homes. Much of Mar Vista’s charm lies in its older homes which show the vibrant creativity of Los Angeles’ mid-20th-century aerospace and entertainment industry boom, from Gregory Ain’s gorgeous and streamlined “Modernique” homes to Mission Revival mansions and Trousdale’s architectural legerdemain and mid-century chic.