The Westwood neighborhood encompasses the sprawling UCLA campus and the Westwood Village, a walkable historic commercial district with student-friendly restaurants and shops. The Village’s cultural attractions include the innovative Hammer Museum, the acclaimed Geffen Playhouse, and the Fox Theater, a landmark movie palace that regularly hosts well-attended premieres.
Westwood Village was created by the Janss Investment Company, ran by Harold and Edwin Janss and their father, Peter. Built in the late 1920s as a shopping district, it also served as headquarters of the Janss Company. The district’s growth was augmented by the expansion of University of California, Los Angeles into Westwood Hills in 1925. The Village quickly developed as the go-to shopping district for Westwood residents and the University.
Developers Harland Bartholomew and L. Deming Tilton created a master plan for the Village as a Mediterranean-style shopping area. Opening in 1929, the design was considered one of the nation’s most well-planned, beautiful commercial areas. Buildings at strategic points, including theaters, used towers to serve as beacons for drivers on Wilshire Boulevard. The Janss Company maintained control over the Village, determining businesses and their locations until 1955 when they sold to local real estate developers. The Village opened with 34 businesses in the 1920s and today the it hosts over 260 neighborhood-serving businesses, retail, and restaurants.
Check out this video that highlights some of the businesses that make Westwood Village a special place!