Community Spotlight — Our Mar Vista Pardee Picks
Mar Vista is a great family friendly and down to earth place with a small town feel in a big city. It has flourished into a bustling and hip neighbor of Venice with unique shops and local businesses. We love it for its close proximity to the beach, our friendly neighbors, great schools, and the walkability for residences in the area.
Community Highlights + Fun Facts
- The Oval District: Between Centinela Avenue and Inglewood Blvd is the quiet suburb of Oval Tract, also known as the “Beverly Hills of Mar Vista” due to the large lots bordering the wide, palm tree lined streets. Originally subdivided in 1912 by prominent landscape architect Wilber David Cook, Jr., it was thought to be an actual horse racetrack; however, it got that rumor from being a wide street that allowed horse drawn carriages to make u-turns.
- Gregory Ain Mar Vista Tract: Built by architect Gregory Ain and landscaped by Garrett Eckbo, in 1948, these midcentury modern homes were the first ‘modern’ homes of its kind. The building boom of the 1950’s saw several hundred tract homes being built in Los Angeles each week, however these ranch homes by Gregory Ain (located along Meier, Moore, and Beethoven Streets between Palms Blvd and Marco Place) are distinct as he was dedicated to building affordable housing for the working class.
- Ocean View Farms: Ocean View Farms @ 3304 S Centinela Ave is a nonprofit community farm in Mar Vista with the mission to promote and practice healthy organic gardening techniques and educate on recycling and composting to minimize our impact on the environment.
- The Mar Vista Farmers Market on 3826 Grand View Blvd runs every Sunday from 9am to 2pm and offers local produce, flowers, and delicious food vendors offering a range of cuisines. It also hosts six annual festivals throughout the year for the whole family to enjoy: Cinco de Mayo, Dia de los Muertos, Halloween Festival, Winter Festival, the Kids Valentine Party, and Birthdaypalooza.
- Mar Vista Recreation Center and Park: Great for all ages, this rec center includes a roller hockey rink, season swimming pool, baseball fields, an auditorium, and outdoor picnic and playground areas, and so much more.
- In the 1920’s most of Mar Vista was farmland and a very rich agricultural resource, particularly for lima beans. For this reason Mar Vista became known as the Lima Bean Belt of the Nation.
- The 1978 movie Grease was filmed at Venice High School as the set for Rydell High. The school was also used in other films such as Nightmare on Elm Street, American History X, and several music videos like Britney Spears’ hit “Baby One More Time”.
- Paul Trousdale, the developer of the famous Trousdale Estates neighborhood in Beverly Hills, also developed Westdale Trousdale here in Mar Vista in 1948. Westdale Trousdale represents an important part of Mar Vista’s development as it embodied the Southern California dream of “outdoor living”.
- Mar Vista Library – Prior to being a library the building was a bar before it moved to its permanent location in 1962. It also hosts various speak events and workshops, and every Wednesday at 11:00am is Toddler Storytime!
- The boom of Mar Vista is due to the Venice Short Line trolley in the 1920s, which initially shuttled passengers from downtown LA to Mar Vista’s rapidly developing neighbors Santa Monica and Venice Beach. This launched the first wave of housing tracts and in 1927; the farming community was rebranded to Mar Vista after a nearby trolley stop.
- Claude Busby’s Rexall Drug Store, located on the southwest corner of Venice and Grand View Blvd, was the first commercial building in Mar Vista!
- In the early 1860’s, Union Army troops used Mar Vista Hill to watch for an anticipated Confederate attack by the sea, from Catalina Island. Centinela Avenue comes from the Spanish word for “sentinel” or “lookout” for this reason.
- Moreton Bay Fig Tree on 11000 National Blvd, now an official Los Angeles landmark and considered Mar Vista’s cultural monument, was planted in 1875.
- Some of Mar Vista’s famous citizens include Nathan Pratt and Stacey Peralta, who were part of the Z-Boys of Dogtown and known for their skateboarding during the 1970s.
Why We Love This Neighborhood — Our Pardee Picks!