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In Place: Little Holmby

It’s easy to see what makes Little Holmby one of the most sought-after neighborhoods in LA. Tucked next to lavish Holmby Hills, the enclave is a mixture of softly rolling knolls; wide, tree-shaded streets; and beautiful architecture, from historic revival homes by Paul Williams to Modernist gems by Richard Neutra.


Among Little Holmby’s famous residents was the glamorous smoky-voiced, tuxedo-rocking film icon Marlene Dietrich, who hosted the most dazzling stars of her era in an elegantly romantic 1932 Spanish Colonial on Birchwood Drive. The L.G. Scherer-designed home overlooking the country club recently made one of its few appearances on the market in 85 years when we listed it for $6,495,000.


Little Holmby’s ideal location is a big part of its appeal. Set in northeast Westwood between Wilshire and Sunset, it’s minutes from Beverly Hills, Westwood Village, Century City and the UCLA campus.


It was created in response to an exciting moment in LA history: the move of the “Southern Branch” of the University of California from Vermont Avenue to a campus in the newly emerging Westwood. In 1924, developers laid out a separate Westwood residential sector called University Entrance Park. One early promotional ad for the development advised hesitant buyers to check out home prices around Berkeley and see how values near that UC had soared. Two years later, more than 10,000 people previewed an early model home. As the neighborhood became more prestigious, Realtors began calling it “Little Holmby.”


Its closeness to UCLA has always been a draw for generations of UCLA doctors and faculty members. Residents have also included attorneys, entertainment executives, actors, musicians, billionaire industrialists and entrepreneurs. Among its quality schools are Warner Avenue Elementary, one of the finest in the Los Angeles Public School system. The beautiful neighborhood in the perfect location continues to be one of LA’s favorite places to live.


See the video of 868 Birchwood Drive here. For more information, contact Aaroe Estates Director Jane Gavens.

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