Pacific Palisades History and Information

Pacific Palisades is a district within the U.S. city of Los Angeles, California, located between Brentwood to the east, Malibu to the west, Santa Monica to the southeast, the Santa Monica Bay to the southwest, and the Santa Monica Mountains to the north. The area currently has about 27,000 residents. It is an affluent and primarily residential area, with a mixture of large private homes, small (usually older) houses, condominiums, and apartments. It has a small central business district on Sunset Boulevard–consisting of restaurants, stores, banks, and offices–known as the “village.” It also includes some large parklands and many hiking trails.

History Of Pacific Palisades

Originally the home of the Inceville movie studio, the first of the many “movie ranches” used for making western films and housing a small number of mostly Latino fishermen, the area was first subdivided in the 1920s and settled by Methodists. One subdivision has streets named for Methodist missionaries. For many decades it had a virtual ban on local drinking, a Chinese restaurant famously holding the only liquor license in town. The Presbyterian Church formerly owned a conference center in Temescal Canyon before it was sold to become part of Topanga State Park. Will Rogers owned a large ranch adjoining the Palisades in Santa Monica Canyon, now also a state park, and helped to attract movie stars to the area. It has been the home to a number of intellectuals, such as Aldous Huxley.

During World War II a German exile community formed in the Palisades. It was centered at the Amalfi Drive home of Lion Feuchtwanger and included Palisades residents Thomas Mann, Emil Ludwig, and Vicki Baum, along with others in nearby areas, such as Bertolt Brecht. Charles Laughton and Elsa Lanchester were also known for their hospitality. Two California governors, Ronald Reagan and Arnold Schwarzenegger, each lived in the district for many years at different times.