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Woodland Hills

Zip Codes: 91364, 91367

Situated in the southwestern-most section the Valley, Woodland Hills is thriving economic center that has essentially become the “downtown LA”. With a central commercial hub that is anchored by the Warner Center, is comprised of a broad spectrum of neighborhoods fan out in all directions from this core. As for it’s proximity to adjacent areas, it’s located between Calabasas to the west and Tarzana to its east. On the north it is bordered by West Hills, Canoga Park and Winnetka. On the South, it’s bordered by the Santa Monica mountains.

History

In 1910 the largest ever land transaction in Los Angeles County occurred when a syndicate of wealthy investors, including Harry Chandler of the Los Angeles Times purchased the southern half of the valley and formed the Los Angeles Suburban Homes Company. In 1922 Victor Girard Kleinberger bought 2,866 acres in the valley from Chandler’s group and founded the town of Girard. Girard went to great lengths in attract residents and businesses to his new town, including planting 120,000 trees including eucalyptus, cypress, acacias, peppers, and Monterey pines. The town of Girard took off, but during the Great Depression the population dwindled. And in 1941 the community established a new Chamber of Commerce and officially changed its name to Woodland Hills - an appropriate name given the number of trees planted by Girard. These trees include 300 pepper trees planted along Canoga Ave, which, to this day, stand as a testament to his foresight. In fact, because of it’s history and beauty, this stretch of roadway between Ventura Boulevard and Saltillo Street was named Los Angeles Cultural Monument #93 in 1972.

Warner Center

Warner Center

Warner Center

Built upon land that The heartbeat and central nervous system of Woodland Hills is the Warner Center, a massive master-planned area, comprised of industrial (aerospace, healthcare, technology, financial services) buildings, shopping malls, condominiums and park space. And the near horizon includes a lot more to come with plans outlined in The Warner Center 2035 Plan, which calls for mixed-use and transit-oriented development, walkability, and sustainability. Among the more exciting things on the table are a 320,000 square foot entertainment arena.

Dine, Hang-Out, Shop & Stuff

The Village at Westfield

The Village & Westfield

Easily the best outdoor mall in the Valley, the Village is really more than your typical “mall”. It’s a family friendly destination with fountains and net-enclosed climbing structures for the kids, shaded walkways, fun and cozy outdoor seating, outdoor and yoga classes that enhance the typical shopping and dining experience of a mall. Beyond the anchors of Costco, Crate & Barrel and (my favorite outdoor store) REI, most of the shops in the center are more boutique than big-box, including Cava (fast delicious food), Bitter Root Pottery, Joey KItchen, Yogaworks, and XOC Tequila Grill, and Sur La Table. If you’d rather walk around an indoor mall, hop one of the free, old-style trollies that will shuttle you across Victory Boulevard to the Westfield Mall.

Hiking, Biking, Horseback

Along the western boundary of Woodland Hills is the large Upper Las Virgenes Canyon Open Space Preserve, which offers a network of trails for miles of hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. The trailhead and parking are at the very western end of Victory Boulevard in Woodland Hills. Scheduled walks and programs are offered.

The Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area offers various parks nearby to in the hills. The Top of Topanga Overlook gives panoramic views of the Woodland Hills neighborhoods as well as the expanse of the Valley.

The 15th Green at Woodland Hills Country Club

The Woodland Hills Recreation Center

Also knowns as Shoup Park, the recreation center is a 19-acre park featuring a small indoor gym without weights and, with a capacity of 300 people, it may also be used as an auditorium. The park also has lighted basketball courts, tennis courts, baseball diamond, football field, soccer field, a children's play area and picnic tables. It also offers an outdoor seasonal unheated swimming pool.

Woodland Hills Country Club

A private equity club, Woodland Hills Country Club boasts a course designed by the renowned William "Billy" Bell Sr. In 1925 at the height of the "Golden Age of Golf Course Architecture." Featuring a fun and challenging design, the course is known for quick rounds, fast greens, and majestic oak tree-lined fairways. WHCC also offers fine dining and entertainment options to all members.

Trejo’s Cantina

“Machete” makes some mean tacos. Yes, that Machete. Dan Trejo, of badass film fame. And by ‘mean’, I mean fantastic. Much more gourmet than your typical taco stand, it even the vegetarian options that are incredible. And the salsa is creamy goodness. Guacamole and chips feature guac sprinkled with pistachios and the chips are sprinkled with lime zest. Go once, and you’ll go back for more.

Lodge Bread

Mmmm…. bread. Having a nearby bakery that makes good bread is a must for me. Thank goodness for the arrival of Lodge Bread at the Village Country Mart. Offering a selection of hand-sliced breads, homemade butter and mouthwatering pastries, toasts, sandwiches and flatbreads, Lodge Bread was the best thing to happen along Ventura Boulevard in 2019. still excellent menu of coffee, toasts, sandwiches, and flatbreads. And although you can get a fine cup of coffee there was well, just a couple doors down from them is Blue Bottle Coffee.

The Local Peasant

The Local Peasant is a local American gastropub with chef-driven comfort food and locally-sourced beer, wine, produce, and handcrafted cocktails made by expert bartenders. Located on Ventura Boulevard, the bar includes over 20+ tap beers, as well as an array of bottled micro brews.  The sort of place that offers an atmosphere where families and neighbors can feel comfortable to gather for a drink or stay for dinner.

Pickwick Pub

If you enjoy a fun British pub, and appreciate a broad menu, put this on your list. In addition that includes staples like fish and chips, bangers and mash, they also include a good selection of Indian dishes. And, of course a great selection on draft. Acoustic 80’s and trivia nights add to the fun. Speaking of trivia, Pickwick served as the filming location of Poor Richard’s Pub, the favorite hang-out of the Dunder Mifflin team of colleagues from The Office.

Blinkie’s Donut Emporium

Gotta get here early, or the shelves will be empty. That’s about as solid evidence one can offer to support the widespread opinion that these are the best donuts in the area.

Boething Treeland Farms

Boething Treeland Farms

For over six decades Boething Treeland Farms has been refining their collection of trees and plants and offering deeply knowledgable customer service to their customers. Their growers include certified professionals in all fields of plant science who have been educated both in the classroom and the field, bringing a variety of experience and knowledge to their team.

Blue Jam Cafe

At Blu Jam Café, they have no freezers. That’s right, they serve only the freshest food, locally sourced food. You won’t find anything with corn syrup or artificial flavors. As they say: “if we can’t pronounce it, we won’t serve it.”


Bowlero

This is not your drab old-school bowling alley. “Sunday Funday”, “Monday Mayhem”. The names offer a clue that this is an exciting, hang-out all night, party kind of bowling alley offering something for everyone, whether you go for a corporate outing, a kids party or a social event.

Anarbagh

With over 20 years of making delicious traditional dishes with recipes from the North and the South of India it’s not a surprise this family-owned restaurant has been recognized by theLA Times & Daily News as the best Indian restaurant in southern CA.

Neighborhoods

Woodland West

In 1958, the 1,100-acre Platt Ranch was annexed by the City of Los Angeles to make way for suburban development. In 1961, the land was developed by Don-Ja-Ran Construction Co., Inc. in collaboration with Peerless Building Co. to create a development called Woodland West, a tract encompassing the majority of the area west of Valley Circle Boulevard and north of Burbank Boulevard. The three- to five-bedroom homes were advertised as having multiple bathrooms and showers, a separate dressing room with built-in vanity adjoining the master bedroom suite, beamed ceilings and wall paneling, wall-to-wall carpet, and intercom and radio units. 

Kingswood Historic District

The Kingswood Historic District is an excellent in-tact collection of one-story, Contemporary Ranch style homes designed by Architect Charles Dubois on 1/3 to 1/4 acre lots. The homes were built between 1963-65 as part of the aforementioned Woodland West development, and it includes the curvilinear blocks of Wilhelmina Avenue between Valley Circle Boulevard and El Canon Avenue; El Canon Avenue between Valley Circle Boulevard and Hatteras Street; and properties on Hatteras Street just west of Valley Circle Boulevard. Common features of the homes are long, rectangular plans; low pitched gable roofs with deep set eaves; inset entryways with open exterior patios; and exteriors of board and batten, stucco, and natural stone.

Redwing-Henshaw

Redwing-Henshaw is an historic residential with a concentration of Traditional Ranch House architecture from 1954-57. The district retains its original massing, scale and the character defining features, including uniform, deep setbacks, that make up the architectural style. The tract was approved in 1955 and developed by Moss Realty and Investment Company, but had no formal tract name.  

Walnut Acres

As the name suggests, Walnut Acres an orchard where The Diamond Walnut Company grew their walnuts. Today, it’s an enclave of homes developed in the 1940s and 1950’s on agrarian-zoned parcels, averaging about 1-2 acres in size, allowing people to keep animals like chickens, goats and horses. The area has an irregularly shaped boundary, which falls roughly between Victory Boulevard, Burbank Boulevard, and the Arroyo Calabasas. Over the years most of the parcels have been subdivided, but they are still generous lots. There is a strong sense of pride in the community and its reflected in the property values.

Corbin Palms

Corbin Palms

Corbin Palm was a tract of 287 homes design by architects William Krisel and Dan Palmer and developed by the Alexander Construction company between 1953-1955. William Krisel, who designed the neighborhood with his partner Dan Palmer from 1953 to 1955. It’s one of the most intact examples of a mid-century modern neighborhood with homes featuring open beams and floor plans, deep overhangs, distinctive angular clerestory windows, parquet hardwood floors, and a carport separated from the house by a breezeway. The neighborhood had such a unique, and modern feel to it that Walt Disney included it his America the Beautiful movie shown at Disneyland’s Cyclorama. Today, two of the homes have been named as landmarks. Corbin Palms is located on the west side of Corbin Avenue, between Calvert and Hamlin streets. Victory Boulevard which bisects the neighborhood is marked by a remarkable array of palms in the center median.

Carlton Terrace

Occupying the hilly area between Pierce College and the 101, with Winnetka Avenue on the east and Se Soto Avenue on the West, Carlton Terrace is filled with cul-de-sacs, stunning views, and predominantly ranch style homes from the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. Given that most of the surrounding area north of the 101 being flat, it can be quite a surprise when driving through the neighborhood for the first time because the views from certain streets are quite spectacular.

Westchester County Estates

If gated communities filled with huge homes is your style, look no further than Westchester County Estates. (don’t become confused by the name - it’s still in Los Angeles County) Built in the 1980’s, the homes in this community are all built on large parcels and have living space that ranges from 4,000 to 10,000 square feet, and are built in a variety of architectural styles. If you want to stretch your legs a little further than the gates allow, Serrania Park is right next door and the Woodland Hills Country Club is also just a skip away.

East Woodland Estates

Another Historic District, the East Woodland Hills Estates is significant as a fine collection of mid-1950s Ranch style residential architecture. While these are not cookie cutter by any stretch, they do share common design elements and features, including fireplaces of brick or Palos Verdes stone and sliding picture windows to patio areas, which gives an overall unified appearance. Prior to World War II, citrus and walnut groves were abundant in Woodland Hills and a vestige of this is the many residences containing a large amount of citrus trees in front and rear yards many of which are in the regularly-spaced row arrangement of the citrus grove that occupied the landscape previously. Although not advertised as such, the citrus trees were a great selling point. Capitalizing on the romance of the area's citrus roots, homes were placed among the fruit trees on half-acre lots, giving homebuyers their own small grove, and giving the overall area the character of a citrus ranch rather than a suburban subdivision. 

Woodside

Another excellent intact collection of Contemporary Ranch style homes designed by architect Charles Dubois in the late 1950’s, the Woodside Historic District is bounded by Mulholland Drive to the north, Manson Avenue to the east, Ardwick Street to the south, and Greer Road to the west. It includes Brenford Street between Valmar Road and Manson Avenue and the cul-de-sacs: Deseret Drive, Leydon Avenue, Willens Avenue, Coloma Avenue, Lita Place, Bretton Place, and Darien Street. The development includes 164 homes, of which, approximately 84% are historic contributors. Like Woodland West described above, this subdivision was was developed by Don-Ja-Ran Construction Co. The homes have the same characteristic as those in Woodland West and Kingswood. And all the homes designed by Dubois, especially those that retain their architectural integrity, hold high relative market value.

Forest Hills

Deodar Lane in the Forest Hills Neighborhood

Once marketed as the Bel Air of the Valley”, this 1950’s tract feels like a bit of a secret, thanks to the heavy cover of mature trees estimated to be around 100 years old. There are essentially 3 streets comprising this enclave - Deodar Lane, Queen Florence Lane and Queen Victoria Road. The entrance to the tract is marked by pillars and mail boxes set into a stone wall. The stonework continues through the neighborhood, lining the cubs and and pillars marking the entrance to many of individual properties. As you drive along the streets, especially Deodar Lane, the forest is so lush it’s hard to believe you’re still in Los Angeles.

College Acres

Named for its proximity to Pierce College, this neighborhood lies between Corbin Ave on the east, Winnetka Ave on the West, Calvert Street on the north and the 101 Freeway on the south. A 1950’s community of ranch style homes, most of which retain their original character. The large parcels, deep setbacks, and lack of sidewalks gives lends a bit of a rural feel to the area. To many Angelenos, the area is more well-known as Candy Cane Lane thanks to the spectacular lighting and decorations that are put up on the homes throughout the neighborhood each year during the Christmas season.

Woodland Crest

If you’re ideal home situation involves panoramic views, then you may want to check out this subdivision situated at the top of Topanga Canyon Boulevard at the southern edge of Woodland hills comprised of homes built in the 1970s, giving it a bit of a Brady Bunch vibe.

Schools

Elementary Schools:

  • Calabash Street Elementary School

  • Lockhurst Elementary School

  • Serrania Elementary School

  • Woodlake Avenue Elementary School

  • Woodland Hills Charter for Enriched Studies

  • Ivy Academia Entrepreneurial Charter School

  • Calvert Street Elementary School

Middle Schools:

  • Woodland Hills Charter Academy (formerly known as Parkman Middle School)

  • George Ellery Hale Charter Academy

High Schools:

Noteworthy Architecture

22550 Cass St. A. Quincy Jones 1960

One of my very favorite homes in Woodland Hills. This is classic A.Q. Jones with vaulted wood beam ceilings, walls of glass, and a stacked stone fireplace. Last sold in 2013. The current owners appear to have a deep appreciation for the architect and the period as evidenced by exterior fixtures and even the color selection.

Van Dekker House - 19950 W Collier St. R.M. Schindler 1940

More Avant Garde and angular than most Schindler homes, this large 3-level home does not look like it was built 80 years ago. Two fairly recent and successive owners completed, an extensive restoration and rehabilitation including original built-ins as well as the copper coating on the roof. The house was named a Los Angeles Historic Cultural Monument #974 in 2009.

Corbin Palms Tract - Palmer & Krisel 1953-56

See the description above for the Corbin Palms neighborhood, which was designed entirely by Dand Palmer & Willaim Krisel. Partnering with the Alexander Construction company, Palmer & Krisel ended up designing about 4,000 homes in the Valley, and thousands more in Palm Springs.

Residence - 21090 Rios St. Dale Bergerson 1965

This home turns heads. Both because of its beauty and its siting. A classic mid-century, post and beam is built on a knoll with expansive views of the golf course and valley beyond. One might initially think of Buff & Hensman or A. Quincy Jones driving by it. Interestingly, the architect, Dale Bergerson, was working with Jones on the Sunnylands estate at the time this was built. The home, which has been tastefully updated, still retains its classic elements, including walls of glass, clerestory windows, and beamed ceilings.

Charles Dubois

Charles Dubois is most well-known for his "Swiss Miss" A-frame building designs found in the neighborhood of Vista Las Palmas in Palm Springs, which became popular due to their resemblance to a Swiss chalet with Tiki detailing. Charles Dubois work is found in a few different tracts in Woodland Hills including Kingswood and Woodside and remains sought after.

Struckus House - Bruce Goff 4510 Saltillo Street 1983

Resembling a giant redwood tree with four huge, vertically aligned eyes, this home is unlike any other in Los Angeles. Goff, who’s work is organic in style, designed the house an engineer, woodworker, and art collector, which is perfectly appropriate given that the house itself is a great example of all three. Unfortunately, Struckus died shortly after construction began in spring 1982. Bart Prince completed of the design in collaboration with Struckus for the next decade, allowing his move-in in by the mid-1980s, though the project was not complete until 1994.

Dorr Residence 21015 W Mulholland Dr. Robert Dorr Jr. 1947

Also known as the “Sky House”, this totally unique Pueblo Revival style home on Mulholland Drive at the end of Rosario Road. Five cubic volumes are arranged like a capital “H” with one large central volume with the other four attached to each of its corners. The home has only been sold once since it served as Dorr’s own residence. Dorr was ahead of his time by not only designing furniture, dishes, and other household furnishings, but he had a keen sense of color palettes. The current owners still own the original furnishings by Dorr.

Girard Model Home 21360 Rios St 1925

Significant as representing the earliest pattern of residential development in the area, associated with the early community of Girard. Even though this appears to be a late 19th century house, permit research confirms that it was constructed in 1923 by the Boulevard Land Company, which was headed by Victor Girard. Intact examples of residential development from this important early community are increasingly rare.

22051 W Martinez St. H.H. McCulloh 1923

Built by the Boulevard Land Company, this Queen Anne style home is a terrific relic from the days when Woodland Hills was known as the town Girard. associated with the early community of Girard. I can’t think of any other home in this style that’s still standing in the area.

Kuhns House   4359 Camello Road,   Richard Neutra  1964 

This modest, but typically elegant Neutra design with a flat roof and deep eaves and occupies a great site at the terminus of a hill overlooking the golf course below.

Griffith Ranch House - 4900 Dunman Ave  Lloyd Wright  1936

Built for silent era acting couple Raymond and Bertha Griffith, the house possesses design forms carried over from he and his father’s prairie style, but is also modernized with rounded stone walls and other curvilinear elements. Not at all visible from the street. Featured in June 1938 Architectural Forum. 

5055 N Hood Drive - Milton Black 1930

Gorgeous Spanish Revival home opening to a central courtyard on over a 1+ acre hilltop parcel with expansive views. The interior has been thoughtfully updated and the rest of the home retains its original character including wood beamed ceilings and steel framed windows.

Spanner Residence 4143 Cachalote St. Rex Lotery 1968

A fantastic property which has had only two owners since it was built, making it all the more special. What’s interesting about this house is the verticality. Mid-century modern homes so often employ a sleek, single level design. But with this home, Lotery opted to use the hillside parcel very efficiently by designing a 3-level structure. And even with the additional height, the home still possesses a profile that is undeniably sleek. Sassy, even.

Stilt Houses - 4950, 4962, 4968, 4972 N. Escobedo Dr. Joseph J. Railla - 1963

Railla built five hillside stilt houses on adjacent lots lining a curve of Escobedo. Four of the five retain their historic architectural integrity.

The Chateau 20501 Ventura Blvd. 1985

Whether driving past it along Ventura Boulevard or the 101, it’s impossible to not to notice this office building, which was inspired by a 1789 chateau Strasbourg, France, developer Danny Howard. Occupying a huge parcel of Chalk Hill adjacent to the freeway, this behemoth has its share of fans and detractors, perhaps because it feels a little out of character for the area. But, regardless which side of the fence you find yourself on, one can’t deny that it’s an imposing structure that captures the imagination with its huge arched windows, multistory Corinthian columns, balconies, lions and gargoyles.

St. Mel Catholic Church - 5200 N Serrania Ave.  J. Earl Trudeau 1958

A bold and dramatic Mid-Century Modern, A-frame style ecclesiastic structure at the corner of Serrania and Ventura. Trudeau designed no less than 15 churches in southern California. This one is quite the departure from Trudeau’s other work, which includes the beloved Spanish baroque St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in North Hollywood. The sleek and soaring bell tower is a study in restraint.

Baldwin Residence  6025 N Lubao Ave Richard Neutra 1962

One of only two homes by Neutra in Woodland HIlls. This one is sited atop a small rise, giving it panoramic treetop vistas.

Residence 22380 Cass Ave Joseph J. Railla 1958

A beautiful post-and-beam design, this 2,375 square foot home is easily enjoyed thanks to its siting right on the street.

Southland Residence 4910 Nomad Dr. Victor Gruen Associates 1963

Vaulted ceilings with huge, angular clerestory windows are highlights of this modern home by designed by Victor Gruen Associates, more commonly known for large commercial projects.

IAC Shepher Community Center 6550 Winnetka Ave. John Lautner 1979

This one of a kind design was originally built as the Crippled Children’s Society Rehabilitation Center. From a satellite view, this Late Modern/Expressionist is comprised of a circular series of variable sized wings, radiating in all directions. Each of the wings served a different department and has glass on three sides, facing landscaped areas that separated the wings and provided views, shading, and natural light. The main office was situated in the center, with an open view into each wing.