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Encino

Encino is a Los Angeles community situated at the base of the Santa Monica Mountains in the in the southwest San Fernando Valley. Originally established in 1845 as Rancho Los Encinos (Spanish for “Ranch of the Oak Trees”), Encino is believed to be named for its thousand-year oak tree, which once stood on Ventura Boulevard until it was destroyed by heavy storms in 1998. Encino is bordered to the north by Reseda and the Sepulveda Basin, to the south by Brentwood, to the west by Tarzana at Lindley Avenue, and to the east by Sherman Oaks at the 405 freeway. The area is home to approximately 45,000 residents covering about 9.5 square miles, making it one of the least densely populated areas of Los Angeles. This tranquility, along with its proximity to the 405 and 101 freeways, have made it a popular location for families and professionals seeking a more relaxed pace.

Dine, Hang-Out, Shop and Stuff

With an abundance of family-friendly local interests, residents of Encino don’t need to venture much farther than their backyard for fun activities.

Sepulveda Basin Recreation Area

Originally created as a flood control basin, as part of the nearby Sepulveda Dam project, the current Sepulveda Basin Recreation Area 2000-acre area with and endless variety of activity areas including the following:

  • Woodley Park - Includes a cricket complex, a dog park, and group picnic areas.

  • Japanese Garden - a 6.5 acres public garden located on the grounds of the Tillman Water Reclamation Plant, which is ranked 10th out of 300 public Japanese gardens in North America. It features lakes, waterfalls, stone lanterns, and abundant greenery.

  • Lake Balboa Park - an 80 acres park and water recreation facility with boat rentals and fishing, which includes the 27-acre Lake Balboa which is bordered by hundreds of cherry blossom trees and filled with water reclaimed from the Tillman Water Reclamation Plant. It also includes barbecue pits, children's play area, picnic tables, and covered picnic pavilions. 

  • Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve - which Haskell Creek flows through this ongoing habitat restoration project, which is home to over 200 species of birds, locally native trees and plants, and features a network of nature paths and hiking trails.

  • Sepulveda Dam Recreation Area Bike Path - This path is 9 miles of looping pathways, and also connects to the Orange Line path, which extends from North Hollywood on the east, to Woodland Hills and Canoga Park on the west.

  • Balboa Sports Complex - features lighted baseball diamonds, football and soccer fields, basketball, handball, tennis, handball, and volleyball courts, as well as a children's play area, community room, and an indoor gym.

  • Hjelte Sports Center with softball diamonds.

  • Sepulveda Garden Center - a 20-acre community garden with 800 garden plots and an activity center.

  • Sherman Oaks Castle Park, with miniature golf, an arcade, and a batting cages

  • Three 18-hole Golf Courses - Encino Golf Course, Balboa Golf Course, and Woodley Lakes Golf Course

  • Velodrome - for cycling and remote control car races.

  • Apollo XI Field for flying model planes

Encino Commons

On this pedestrian-friendly stretch of Ventura Boulevard, you’ll find a variety of shops, bars, and restaurants, as well as the nearby Encino Town Center, which is home to the Laemmle Town Center 5 movie theater. Every autumn, residents can also enjoy the Encino Family Festival, which has been held annually since 1988. With craft vendors, kids activities, food, and live entertainment, this event offers numerous attractions for people of all ages.      

Coral Tree

Coral Tree

With a super relaxing vibe that feels more a country general store, or maybe an oversized island hut, this is the perfect place to go when you really just want to relax while you eat, or have a coffee with a friend or colleague.

Mulberry Street Pizza

Great New York style pizza. ‘Nuff said.

Sabzee

The valley has countless mediterranean markets and within the confines of Encino this is a great one. Whether you’re looking for great produce, sangak straight out of the oven, imported items, or fresh cooked meals for take-out, you’ll find what you’re looking for here.

Lakeside Cafe

Lakeside Cafe

This family-friendly lakeside restaurant and lounge located in Los Encinos State Historic Park, offers California cuisine in a casual yet elegant setting. Enjoy the European feel of the garden, softly illuminated in the evening with vintage string lights and candles, or indulge in Lakeside’s covered patio overlooking the lake.


Noteworthy Architecture

Gattman Residence - 4693 White Oak Ave 91316 Cliff Burlew 1959

Joby Lewis Residence - 17862 W Via Vallarta Benton, Park, Candreva 1972

Built for the owner/operator of the Cal-Neva Lodge in Lake Tahoe, this home has a very different feel than most homes of Benton and Park. Two rotundas connected by a glass-enclosed walkway, with the 2-story rotunda containing the bedrooms, and the living areas are in the other. Floor to ceiling windows in the rotundas provide for 250 degree views of the hills and valley.

Glazier House - 4422 N Grimes Pl. Richard Dorman 1958

This split-level Mid-Century home won a merit award from House and Home and Sunset magazines several years after its completion. The beauty of the post-and-beam features are amplified by the height of the home’s ceiling glass.

Residence - 5311 N Aldea Ave. Martin Gelber 1970

Excellent example of Mid-Century Modern residential architecture, designed by architect Martin Gelber. Conveys high quality of design.

Residence - 4300 N Clear Valley Dr. Barry Gittelson - 1969

A Contemporary home with Mid-Century influences. The front segment that’s attached at a 45-degree angle to the rest of the house is a great touch.

Liberace Residence - 15405 Valley Vista Blvd. 1953

Naturally, this is just one of several homes owned by Liberace in southern California. However, this one was designed by Liberace, himself, and famously features a large piano-shaped swimming pool.

Residence - 3954 N Ballina Dr. A. Quincy Jones & Frederic Emmons - 1960

This eye-catching post-and-beam custom home features hallmark Jones and Emmons elements including an overhanging flat roof, and extensive use of glass. A modest courtyard garden at the entry is enclosed by a glass wall, allowing in light while maintaining privacy.

Erman House - 16533 Oldham St. Richard Neutra 1961

Residence - 16131 W Clear Oak Dr. Rex Lotery 1966

A hilltop gem by Lotery, which has had the same owners since 1971.

Residence - 15928 W Skytop Rd. Alan Rosen and Louis Naidorf 1960

Residence - 17400 W Margate St. Leonard R. Brunswick 1962

Residence - 3960 Westfall Dr Warren F. Overpick 1960

Residence - 4821 N Encino Ter. Barry Gittelson 1968

Friend House - 4727 Louise Ave. Ray Kappe 1957

Residence - 17085 W Rancho St. 1912

According to Gebhard and Winter’s Architectural Guidebook to Los Angeles, this 6500 square foot Georgian Revival house was originally built in the area of L.A. now known as Koreatown and moved to its current location in 1912 making it one of the first residences in Encino. Sited on a 67,000 square foot lot, with a long elliptical driveway enclosing manicured landscaping and walkways, the overall property has the feel of grandeur of a bygone era. This is well-known as a former residence of Smokey Robinson.

Altschuler/Greenberg House - 3608 Crownridge Dr. Bernard Zimmerman 1960

later additions by Lawrence A. Robbins, FAIA, in 1992

Residence - 3531 Crownridge Dr. Richard Dorman 1958

Goldman Residence - 3970 N Archdale Rd. Richard Neutra 1951

Heesy Residence - 16409 Garvin Dr. Donald Park 1963

Residence - 5227 Andasol Ave Donald G. Park 1968

Chase Bank (Home Savings and Loan) - 17107 Ventura Blvd Millard Sheets 1976

As with all of the bank buildings by Sheets, this structure features beautiful mosaics designed by Millard himself. The images on these mosaicss feature men and women working in fields and animals. What I love about this particular bank, though, is that it includes many other design elements to appreciate including cast stone grilles, designed by his son, Tony Sheets, and sculptures of mountain lions by Betty Davenport Ford.

Premier Car Wash - 17438 W Ventura Blvd. 1966

A great example of Googie style car wash, which are found all over Los Angeles.

Tudor Revival Commercial Building - 17001 Encino Blvd. 1947

Post-World War II saw a lot of construction in L.A. that was influenced by styles popular in other parts of the world, in this case a Tudor. It’s nice to see this structure still in tact along a prominent corner of Ventura Boulevard 80 years later.

St. Nicholas Episcopal Church 17114 W Ventura Blvd. 1941

With the strong history of missions throughout southern California, it’s not surprising to a church designed in the Spanish Colonial Revival Style. This one, though, presents a modern take on the style with its asymmetric and staggered volumes and rooflines.