In order for the Hancock family to confirm the validity of their title to Rancho La Brea, they hired former U.S. Senator Cornelius Cole in the 1870’s, and paid him with 500 acres on the northeast portion of Rancho La Brea, which included the western part of our neighborhood. Cornelius Cole (1822-1924) and his family soon incorporated their acreage within their newly founded township of Colegrove, which was annexed by the City of Los Angeles in 1909. The land between Melrose and Beverly, and Rossmore and Gower, was sold off by the Cole family in 1906 in five-acre plots. Those plots and the former Gower Ranch were gradually subdivided, and during the housing boom associated with the growth of the film industry in the 1920’s, most of the houses in our neighborhood were constructed.
Larchmont Village History
The Larchmont Neighborhood is part of the alluvial flood plain between the Hollywood Hills and Baldwin Hills (the sediment from the hills formed our hard pan clay “soil” that needs topsoil for gardening). At the time Europeans arrived in the area, it was inhabited by bands of indigenous people called Tongva, hunter-gatherers who had come to the area from Nevada and spoke a language that combined elements of Ute and Aztec languages.
Before development, the land consisted of open grassland crossed by seasonal creeks and streams which made their way south to Ballona Creek. Old maps show that stream beds were located on Arden, Plymouth, and Bronson Boulevards. Our neighborhood was at the eastern end of the 5000-acre Mexican land grant called Rancho La Brea. The Rancho ended on what is now Gower Boulevard. Gower Boulevard was also the western boundary of a ranch owned by George T. Gower.
There was no single or predominant developer. The homes were built for the most part by individuals either for their own use, or to sell to the multitudes of people from the Midwest and East who were then emigrating to Los Angeles, transforming it into one of the country’s largest metropolitan areas. The homes in our neighborhood reflect the wide range of styles that were popular in the 1920s. As dense development leapfrogged around the Los Angeles Basin, Larchmont managed to retain its distinctive feeling as a suburban community, not so very different (except of course for the weather) from those communities in the Midwest and East from which so many of its new inhabitants had recently departed.
Larchmont Village Neighborhood Association
The LVNA is a volunteer neighborhood association founded in 1988. We are committed to promoting the quality of our residential lives within the larger Los Angeles community. We support neighborhood safety and beautification projects, such as tree planting, graffiti paint out, appropriate standards for safe street lighting, signage, and an active Neighborhood Watch program.
We encourage participation at our semi-annual public meetings, the Board of Directors, our Internet presence, and our dedicated team of block captains. The LVNA is in direct contact with local government, agencies, creating a network of information and advocacy on such issues as traffic, crime, parking, city planning and zoning, residential and commercial development.
Our success depends upon the support of the residents who participate in our events, contribute annual dues, and volunteer to work as block captains or with the LVNA Board of Directors. If you want to become more involved with the LVNA, click the contact link above.
Board of Directors:
Charlie D'Atri - President Vincent Cox - Vice President
Karen Gilman - Secretary Sandy Fleck - Treasurer
Keith Johnson - Block Captain Coordinator