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In 1911, film directorThomas Ince created his Western film factory, "Inceville", which at its peak employed nearly 600 people. A decade later, the Rev. Charles H. Scott and the Southern California Methodist Episcopal Church bought the land; in 1922, Scott founded Pacific Palisades, envisioning an elaborate religious-intellectual commune. Believers snapped up choice lots and lived in tents during construction. By 1925, the Palisades had 100 homes. In one subdivision, streets were named for Methodist missionaries. The tents eventually were replaced by cabins, then by bungalows, and ultimately by multimillion-dollar homes. The climate of the area was a big selling point. Temperatures are much cooler than inland Los Angeles during summer, but usually sunnier and less foggy than areas south along the coast (e.g. Santa Monica).
For many decades there was a virtual ban on drinking alcohol in the district, and a Chinese restaurant, House of Lee, held the only liquor license. The Methodist Church created a Chautauqua Conference Grounds in Temescal Canyon. The Presbyterian Synod purchased the property in 1943 and used it as a private retreat center until the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy purchased the property in 1994 to become Temescal Gateway Park.
The Via Bluffs and The Huntington Palisades are the neighborhoods that border the "village" proper to the south of Sunset Boulevard, overlooking the ocean. The Via Mesa is located between Temescal Canyon on the west and Potrero Canyon on the east; the Huntington Palisades is located between Potrero Canyon on the west and Chautauqua Boulevard on the east. Both of these neighborhoods are within walking distance to The Village and sit upon high bluffs that look out over the Pacific Ocean. This area is home to the largest park of the Palisades: the 117-acre Palisades Park which has four baseball diamonds, eight tennis courts, two indoor basketball courts, a hockey rink, dog parks, and a number of playgrounds.
The El Medio Bluffs is located south of Sunset Boulevard beginning about a quarter mile west of The Village, across Temescal Canyon - just past Palisades Charter High School. The El Medio Mesa extends for a long distance from Temescal Canyon all the way to where Sunset Boulevard meets the Pacific Coast Highway. As with The Via Bluffs and The Huntington Palisades, The El Medio Bluffs are located on a high ridge overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
Castellammare is located along Pacific Coast Highway on small bluffs much closer to sea-level, north of where Sunset Boulevard meets PCH. This is the home of the Getty Villa and the narrow, winding streets in this neighborhood have Italian names and ocean breezes.
Palisades Highlands is a community near the end of Sunset Blvd., bordering Topanga, about five minutes away from the center of Pacific Palisades (The Village). The Highlands could almost be considered its own separate community high up the hill overlooking the ocean, up Palisades Drive.[original research?]
Rustic Canyon is the neighborhood east of Chautauqua Boulevard that dips into Santa Monica Canyon and includes the Will Rogers State Historic Park. The neighborhood features post-war homes located on the former polo field of The Uplifters, the original site of The Uplifters clubhouse (now a city park), and "cabins" developed as second homes and weekend retreats. This area is also known as Uplifter's Ranch.
The Riviera is a Palisades neighborhood located approximately two miles east of the community's Village and features The Riviera Country Club, a country club, and streets named after various locations in the French and Italian Riviera. The neighborhood is divided into north and south sections by Sunset Boulevard. It borders Santa Monica and Brentwood. The Riviera Country Club hosts the Genesis Open on the PGA Tour in February (the tournament has been previously known as the Northern Trust Open and Nissan Open and was originally the "Los Angeles Open"). Riviera has hosted three major championships: the U.S. Open in 1948 and the PGA Championship in 1983 and 1995. Ben Hogan won three times in less than 18 months at the course (1947 and 1948 L.A. Open, 1948 U.S. Open), and it became known as "Hogan's Alley." The country club will also host golf during the 2028 Summer Olympics.
In 2009 the Los Angeles Times "Mapping L.A." project supplied these Pacific Palisades statistics: a population of 25,507 residents in the 22.84-square-mile neighborhood, giving a population density of 1,048 people per square mile, among the lowest for the city and the county.
The Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks operates several recreational facilities in Pacific Palisades.
Palisades Park, at 851 Alma Real Drive, has 117 acres (0.47 km2) of land. The Palisades Recreation Center, also at that address, has barbecue pits, four baseball diamonds (two lighted, two unlighted), lighted basketball courts (indoor and outdoor), a children's play area, a football field, an indoor gymnasium (no weights are offered), picnic tables, lighted tennis courts, and lighted volleyball courts. The facility also has a kitchen, a stage, a television area, and various scheduled athletic and non-athletic activities. The Pacific Palisades Tennis Court, also at that address, has eight courts.
Rustic Canyon Park is located along Rustic Canyon Road. The Rustic Canyon Pool is located at 601 Latimer Road. The Rustic Canyon Recreation Center, located at the same address, has a multipurpose with a capacity of 150 people that can be used as an auditorium, a gymnasium, or a volleyball court. The center also has barbecue pits, an unlighted baseball diamond, basketball courts (lighted indoor and unlighted outdoor), a children's play area, an indoor gymnasium (no weights are offered), picnic tables, and volleyball courts (lighted and unlighted).
Temescal Canyon Park is a non-staffed "pocket park" located along Temescal Canyon Drive from Pacific Coast Highway to Sunset Blvd. The park has barbecue pits, a children's play area, picnic tables, hiking trails, a native garden, and toilets.
Santa Ynez Canyon Park is located at Palisades Drive and Avenida de Santa Ynez.
Rivas Canyon Park is located at the east terminus of Oracle Place.
The California Department of Parks and Recreation also has locations in Pacific Palisades.
Will Rogers State Beach extends one and three-quarters mile along the shore. The beach features swimming and skin diving. Facilities include volleyball courts, playground and gymnastic equipment, as well as a bike path and walkway. A number of movies and TV shows have been filmed at this beach. The beach is located off the Pacific Coast Highway, near the intersection with Temescal Canyon Road. The beach is operated by the County of Los Angeles Department of Beaches & Harbors.
Will Rogers State Historic Park. While Will Rogers made Beverly Hills his home in the late 1920s, in 1922 he bought a large plot of almost 200 acres (0.81 km2) of land above Sunset Blvd. to build a weekend cottage. He built a polo field on the property in 1926, and in 1928 he and his family made it their home. In 1944, nine years after Rogers died, the ranch became a state park. In the interest of historical preservation, the home is maintained as it was including the furniture and fixtures. It is open to the public most days with the exception of major holidays, although admission is required. The top of the property's trail includes vistas of the ocean and city.
Temescal Gateway Park, located at 15601 Sunset Blvd., encompasses 141 acres of oak and sycamore canyons, ridgetop views, and access to miles of trails in Topanga State Park, Will Rogers State Historic Park, and the 20,000-acre "Big Wild."
Topanga State Park Located in the cliffs and canyons of the Santa Monica Mountains and headquartered in nearby Topanga Canyon, Topanga State Park features 36 miles of trails through open grassland, live oaks and views of the Pacific Ocean. The park is bound on the south by Pacific Palisades and Brentwood, on the west by Topanga Canyon, and on the east by Rustic Canyon. Numerous geologic formations can be found in the park, including earthquake faults, marine fossils, volcanic intrusions, and a wide variety of sedimentary formations. Trail heads into the park are located throughout Pacific Palisades, including Las Lions Drive, Palisades Highlands, Temescal Gateway Park and Will Rogers State Historic Park.
Government and infrastructure
The most important civic group within the Palisades is the Pacific Palisades Community Council. The Pacific Palisades Community Council usually meets twice each month to discuss a wide range of issues that affect its residents. The Council has rejected city offers to become an official part of the city, preferring its independent, non-aligned status. Among the main reasons that Council members cite is that the Council would not have the power to appeal decisions of City officials, commissions, and boards and the Council could not appear before Federal, State, and County authorities regarding local issues.
The Los Angeles Fire Department operates two fire stations serving Pacific Palisades. Station 69 at 15045 West Sunset Boulevard serves Pacific Palisades and the Pacific Coast. Station 23 at 17281 West Sunset Boulevard serves the Palisades Highlands, Castellammare, and the Pacific Coast.
Los Angeles Fire Department Stations 23 and 69 serve the area. Station 23 is located on Sunset Boulevard at the bottom of Los Liones Drive and Station 69 is located on Sunset Boulevard and Carey Street.
Some residents are assigned to Pacific Palisades Elementary School, some residents are assigned to Canyon Elementary School, and some are assigned to Marquez Elementary School. All residents are zoned to Paul Revere Charter Middle School and Palisades Charter High School.
Paul Revere Middle School first opened as Palisades-Brentwood Junior High School on September 12, 1955; it chose its current name during its first year of operation. It became an internal charter in 1994.
Palisades High School opened in 1961. Palisades received a charter in 1994.
The Palisadian-Post, founded in 1928, is the oldest newspaper to serve the Pacific Palisades community.
The Palisades News, first published in 2014, is a Palisades-based newspaper published twice monthly for the residents of Pacific Palisades.
Pali Production was a local low budget class at Palisades Charter High School that streamed sports events and school graduations. It unified the community and kept Palisadians up to date. There was also a show they ran called "The Current" that was facilitated by the students. It told the parents and kids of Pali High and the Palisades community what was happening and what had happened in the school and area. Pali Production folded in 2017 when longtime teacher Sean Passan left the school.
Jerry Lewis lived in Pacific Palisades on Amalfi Drive during the 1950s. He shot several Gar-Ron Productions home movies at that house with neighbors Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh. He became the honorary mayor of the Palisades in 1953.
The 1985 Jack Nicholson, Kathleen Turner film Prizzi's Honor was partly filmed at a private house located at 15025 Corona Del Mar, which was repainted for the occasion and then turned back to its original colours after the shooting. That house was demolished later and now only exists in film history. It belonged to Joyce R. Proctor.