Mar Vista Celebrates 80 Years


The Mar Vista Historical Society is celebrating 80 years with a block party on Sunday. Did you know it used to be all lima beans all the time here on the westside? Mar Vista was part of the lima bean belt of the nation. Co-sponsoring the event (and celebrating its First Anniversary) is the Mar Vista Farmers Market. There will be over 100 booths with fresh produce (and hopefully LOTS of lima beans), arts and crafts, live music, business and community groups and lots of fun for the kids. There will also be an art exhibit of local artists — Hooray for local talent!

Sunday, August 5
9:00 am — 3:00 PM
Grand View Blvd. (between Venice and Mitchell)

Art Exhibit*
10:00 am — 3:00pm
Mar Vista Arts Temporary Gallery
3865 Grand View Blvd.
(Above Barry Pipe and Supply on the second floor)

Let’s talk more about Mar Vista after the break…

As always, click all images to make them bigger.

The first settlers in the greater westside area were the Gabrielino/Tongva Indians, long long before the Spanish showed up in 1542. LMU has a Memorial and Exhibit on their campus. It is a tribute the group, but also serves as a memorial for two archeological sites destroyed when building more onto their campus. (Oops.) UCLA also has a site with more info on the federal recognition process of the Gabrielino/Tongva Nation.

Here are a few choice morsels from the MS Historical Society timeline of Grand View Blvd.:
**Grand View Blvd., (between Venice Blvd. and Palms Blvd.) was the first gated community in Los Angeles County. A mammoth wrought iron gate spanning Grand View Blvd. at Venice Blvd., with “Ocean Park Heights” across the top was quite impressive.
**During WWII, on top of Mar Vista Hill at the end of Rose Ave., an Army anti-aircraft installation provided protection from Japanese bombers for the camouflaged Douglas Aircraft plant. In 1942, these guns were fired during the “Battle of Los Angeles”.
(By the way, have you ever heard of the “Battle of Los Angeles”? I never have and holy crap!)
**Because of its commanding ocean view, in the 1930’s, the Mormon Church considered building their Los Angeles Temple on top of Mar Vista Hill. The Mormons however, selected Route 66 in Westwood for their temple.

And let’s not forget the good old days of the Pacific Electric Railway in LA:
marvista.JPG.jpg (Photo from Tom Wetzel’s Venice Short Line Tour site.)
Mr. Wetzel’s caption for this photo: In the next shot (by Ira Swett) we see the afternoon four-car Venice High School school train, about to use the crossover east of Centinela Avenue to run west to Venice High to pick up a load of students. Lucky bastards.

For you LA architecture buffs, within Mar Vista is a City of LA Historic Preservation Overlay Zone to protect 52 houses designed by Gregory Ain. In 1948, $12,000 got you 1000 square feet of modern glory. Compare this area with a drive up Grand View and the Craftsman homes there. (I’m 99% sure they are Craftsman, forgive me, I’m not an expert.)
Check out the Mar Vista Tract site for much more about this historical area. They also have a history page, how to buy a Gregory Ain home and info on historical blueprints, paint colors and landscapes. (Photo below from their website.)
The area is mapped here:
(Zone map from Department of City Planning‘s website.)

This blogdocuments a Gregory Ain Model Home Redo & Add On project. (Of course they followed the strict rules for historic homes, don’t worry.)
Click here to see a Mar Vista/Gregory Ain home in Second life!

Check out Mar Vista on Sunday!

*The artists in the Mar Vista Art Exhibit include:
Stephen Boskin, James Carroll, Ione Citrin, Sharon Cummins, Ann Marie Ferreira,
Lynn Gadal, Ellen Grim, Jenny Hager, Hillar Kaplan-New, Natasha Kostan,
Marilyn Landau, Leah Lawrence, Nancy Lawrence, Matilde Lombard,
Catherine Manzella, Ken Marsh, Christine Miller, Julia Reeves,
Launa Romoff, Marc Ryan, Ofer Samra, Betzi Stein, Grace Swanson,
Christine Yoshihara and Gilbert Youngquest