We housesellers know that residents of Los Angeles place a lot of stock in the neighborhood they live in, whether it be on the Westside or Eastside, Downtown or nestled in the Hollywood Hills. LA is a huge, sprawling area with roughly 272 distinct neighborhoods so we were excited to come across some online sites recently that explained how many of them got their names. Below you will find a list of some of the ones we found most interesting.

  • Century City went from being a 20th Century Fox backlot before Fox sold it for $50 million to finance the making of 1963's Cleopatra. The project to make it a real city was so ambitious at the start that the joke around the name, which was derived from the studio’s, became that it would take a century to finish
  • Granada Hills is named after a province in Spain
  • Pacific Palisades, originally founded as a possible religious commune, is named after the cliffs that overlook the Hudson River in New York and New Jersey
  • The neighborhood of Wilshire is indeed named for the boulevard that runs through it, one of the major roads in Los Angeles, that is itself named after local farmer, Henry Wilshire
  • Tarzana was literally named after Tarzan
  • One of the early settlers of Hollywood, Harvey Henderson Wilcox, wanted to name his new land “Figwood,” but he was overruled by his wife, who picked up the name Hollywood from a Dutch woman she met on a train heading west
  • George Sunday, the son of famed evangelist Billy Sunday, came up with the name for Mar Vista, which is Spanish for "sea view"
  • We guess a few people certainly know this one, but Eagle Rock is named for a large rock near the neighborhood that—hey!—looks like an eagle
  • Palms earned its name when contractors rode in in 1886 and planted thousands of palm trees as a way of sprucing up the land they were about to sell
  • Echo Park was named after the constant echos that boomed during construction...and then were never heard again
  • Encino is simply Spanish for "Oak"
  • Pico Rivera takes its name from Pío Pico, the last Mexican governor of California before it transferred into the hands of the United States following the Mexican-American War

If you would like to learn about the meaning behind the names of many of our other neighborhoods, please click on this link.