Venice, Los Angeles
Venice is a residential and recreational beachfront neighborhood within Los Angeles, California. It is located within the urban region of western Los Angeles County known as the Westside. Venice was founded in 1905 as a seaside resort town, it was an independent city until 1926. Today, Venice is known for its canals and the circus-like Ocean Front Walk, a two-and-a-half-mile pedestrian promenade that features performers, mystics and vendors. In the half of the 2010s, the neighborhood has faced severe gentrification raising real-estate prices and thereby pushing out long-term inhabitants. In 1839, a region called La Ballona that included the southern parts of Venice, was granted by the Mexican government to Machados and Talamantes, giving them title to Rancho La Ballona; this became part of Port Ballona. Venice called "Venice of America," was founded by tobacco millionaire Abbot Kinney in 1905 as a beach resort town, 14 miles west of Los Angeles, he and his partner Francis Ryan had bought two miles of oceanfront property south of Santa Monica in 1891.
They built a resort town on the north end of the property, called Ocean Park, soon annexed to Santa Monica. After Ryan died and his new partners continued building south of Navy Street. After the partnership dissolved in 1904, who had won the marshy land on the south end of the property in a coin flip with his former partners, began to build a seaside resort like the namesake Italian city; when Venice of America opened on July 4, 1905, Kinney had dug several miles of canals to drain the marshes for his residential area, built a 1,200-foot -long pleasure pier with an auditorium, ship restaurant, dance hall, constructed a hot salt-water plunge, built a block-long arcaded business street with Venetian architecture. Kinney hired artist Felix Peano to design the columns of the buildings.:22 Included in the capitals are several faces, modeled after Kinney himself and a local girl named Nettie Bouck. Tourists arriving on the "Red Cars" of the Pacific Electric Railway from Los Angeles and Santa Monica rode the Venice Miniature Railway and gondolas to tour the town.
The biggest attraction was Venice's mile-long sloping beach. Cottages and housekeeping tents were available for rent; the population soon exceeded 10,000. Attractions on the Kinney Pier became more amusement-oriented by 1910, when a Venice Miniature Railway, Virginia Reel, Racing Derby, other rides and game booths were added. Since the business district was allotted only three one-block-long streets, the City Hall was more than a mile away, other competing business districts developed; this created a fractious political climate. Kinney, governed with an iron hand and kept things in check; when he died in November 1920, Venice became harder to govern. With the amusement pier burning six weeks in December 1920, Prohibition, the town's tax revenue was affected; the Kinney family rebuilt their amusement pier to compete with Ocean Park's Pickering Pleasure Pier and the new Sunset Pier. When it opened it had two roller coasters, a new Racing Derby, a Noah's Ark, a Mill Chutes, many other rides. By 1925 with the addition of a third coaster, a tall Dragon Slide, Fun House, Flying Circus aerial ride, it was the finest amusement pier on the West Coast.
Several hundred thousand tourists visited on weekends. In 1923 Charles Lick built the Lick Pier at Navy Street in Venice, adjacent to the Ocean Park Pier at Pier Avenue in Ocean Park. Another pier was planned for Venice in 1925 at Leona Street. For the amusement of the public, Kinney hired aviators to do aerial stunts over the beach. One of them, movie aviator and Venice airport owner B. H. DeLay, implemented the first lighted airport in the United States on DeLay Field, he initiated the first aerial police in the nation, after a marine rescue attempt was thwarted. DeLay performed many of the world's first aerial stunts for motion pictures in Venice. By 1925, Venice's politics had become unmanageable, its roads and sewage systems badly needed repair and expansion to keep up with its growing population. When it was proposed that Venice be annexed to Los Angeles, the board of trustees voted to hold an election. Annexation was approved in the election in November 1925, Venice was formally annexed to Los Angeles in 1926.
Los Angeles proceeded to remake Venice in its own image. It was felt that the town needed more streets—not canals—and most of them were paved in 1929 after a three-year court battle led by canal residents. Following their annexation to Los Angeles, its Parks and Recreation department intended to close Venice's three amusement piers, but had to wait until the first of the tidelands leases expired in 1946. In 1929, oil was discovered south of Washington Street on the Venice Peninsula, now known as the Marina Peninsula neighborhood of Los Angeles. Within two years, 450 oil wells covered the area, drilling waste clogged the remaining waterways, it was a short-lived boom that provided needed income to the community, which suffered during the Great Depression. The wells produced oil into the 1970s. Los Angeles had neglected Venice so long that, by the 1950s, it had become the "Slum by the Sea." With the exception of new police and fire stations in 1930, the city spent little on improvements after annexation.
The city did not pave Trolleyway until 1954 when state funds became available. Low rents for run-down bungalows attrac
Sawtelle, Los Angeles
Sawtelle is a district in the Westside of the city of Los Angeles, California within the West Los Angeles subregion, that may refer to a larger district, part of the city of Los Angeles, a smaller unincorporated area of the County of Los Angeles that by definition is not part of the municipality of Los Angeles, or a combination of these, sometimes known as the Sawtelle area. The name "Sawtelle" has been used to refer only to the Veterans Administration complex, including the modern hospital and north of Wilshire Boulevard, the former site of the historical Sawtelle Veterans Home and outbuildings; this area is on unincorporated land west of the Interstate 405 freeway. The entire Sawtelle area includes portions of zip codes 90049, 90064, 90025 and all of zip code 90073; the community was established in 1899 and named after a manager of the Pacific Land Company, responsible for its development and promotion. The incorporated area of Sawtelle, which lies to the south of the unincorporated area, includes the Sawtelle neighborhood, a 1.82-square-mile district of the city of Los Angeles.
This district was once an independent municipality, but was consolidated with Los Angeles in 1922. The area extends about 1.0 mi to either side of Santa Monica Boulevard, running westward about 1.3 miles from the California Interstate 405 freeway and Sawtelle Boulevard, toward the city of Santa Monica. Within this incorporated district lies a Japanese American community and business district along Sawtelle Boulevard, as well as the Japanese Institute of Sawtelle; the city put community signs Sawtelle Japantown for this area on April 1, 2015. The smaller unincorporated area of Sawtelle, about half the area of the incorporated area, consists of 576.5 acres, or 0.90 sq mi, it is surrounded by the city of Los Angeles. On the south, the unincorporated area abuts the Sawtelle city district, now a part of West Los Angeles and the greater city of Los Angeles. On the north, it is bordered by Westwood; this unincorporated area consists of six parcels near the intersection of the San Diego Freeway and Santa Monica Boulevard, owned either by the US government or the state of California.
A private utility company owns the seventh parcel. This area is under the zoning and governmental control of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors within the Third Supervisorial District; this unincorporated area contains the Wilshire Federal Building, the Los Angeles National Cemetery for veterans, the Wadsworth VA Hospital/West Los Angeles Medical Center, the site of a former major veterans home, many smaller federal office buildings. In 1896, the Pacific Land Company purchased a 225-acre tract, which lay just south of the veterans home, hired S. H. Taft to develop a new town named Barrett, after Andrew W. Barrett, local manager of the veterans home; when the Pacific Land Company attempted to secure a post office for the new town, the postal authorities objected to the name "Barrett" on account of its similarity to Bassett, California. In 1899, the name of the town was formally changed to Sawtelle; the Pacific Branch of the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers served as an attraction for both tourists and local real estate speculators.
In 1904, the Pacific Branch became a stop on the Los Angeles Pacific Railroad's “Balloon Route”, a popular tour of local attractions conducted by an entrepreneur who escorted tourists via a rented streetcar from downtown Los Angeles to the ocean and back. In 1905, residential lots and larger tracts in the new Westgate Subdivision, which joined “the beautiful Soldier’s Home”, which were owned and promoted by Jones and Baker’s Santa Monica Land and Water Company, were for sale; the new community of Sawtelle developed around the Pacific Branch when veterans’ families, as well as veterans themselves who were drawing relief, settled there. Most of Sawtelle thus grew up. Sawtelle existed as a separate city until 1922. According to the Los Angeles Times, the following events took place: In 1918, the voters of Sawtelle decided by a margin of three votes to merge their city with Los Angeles; the vote was 519-516. However, the Board of Trustees, equivalent to a city council, refused to accept the decision and "ordered a challenge in the courts."The city of Los Angeles, did not wait for a court decision but instead "rounded up a squad of policemen and'swooped' down upon the Sawtelle City Hall, as one account put it at the time."Sawtelle city officials were locked out of the City Hall, the city of Los Angeles took over all the municipal and school activities.
In the meantime, the ousted Sawtelle trustees continued their case in the courts, on September 15, 1921, the California Supreme Court decided the consolidation had indeed been illegal because the voters "had not been told on their ballots that they would have to pay a proportionate share of all Los Angeles debts for bonds.""Thirty-two days the city of Los Angeles moved out of Sawtelle as as it had moved in. Nine policemen left; the city of Sawtelle was back in operation. In 1922, another election was held, once again Sawtelle voters decided to join Los Angeles; this time the merger was permanent, the municipal district or neighborhood of Sawtelle was created. Sawtelle was the fourth city to be merged
Santa Monica, California
Santa Monica is a beachfront city in western Los Angeles County, United States. Situated on Santa Monica Bay, it is bordered on three sides by the city of Los Angeles – Pacific Palisades to the north, Brentwood on the northeast, West Los Angeles on the east, Mar Vista on the southeast, Venice on the south; the Census Bureau population for Santa Monica in 2010 was 89,736. Due in part to an agreeable climate, Santa Monica became a famed resort town by the early 20th century; the city has experienced a boom since the late 1980s through the revitalization of its downtown core, significant job growth and increased tourism. The Santa Monica Pier and Pacific Park remain popular destinations. Santa Monica was long inhabited by the Tongva people. Santa Monica was called Kecheek in the Tongva language; the first non-indigenous group to set foot in the area was the party of explorer Gaspar de Portolà, who camped near the present-day intersection of Barrington and Ohio Avenues on August 3, 1769. Named after the Christian saint Monica, there are two different accounts of how the city's name came to be.
One says it was named in honor of the feast day of Saint Monica, but her feast day is May 4. Another version says it was named by Juan Crespí on account of a pair of springs, the Kuruvungna Springs, that were reminiscent of the tears Saint Monica shed over her son's early impiety. In Los Angeles, several battles were fought by the Californios. Following the Mexican–American War, Mexico signed the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which gave Mexicans and Californios living in state certain unalienable rights. US government sovereignty in California began on February 2, 1848. In the 1870s the Los Angeles and Independence Railroad, connected Santa Monica with Los Angeles, a wharf out into the bay; the first town hall was a modest 1873 brick building a beer hall, now part of the Santa Monica Hostel. It is Santa Monica's oldest extant structure. By 1885, the town's first hotel was the Santa Monica Hotel. Amusement piers became enormously popular in the first decades of the 20th century and the extensive Pacific Electric Railroad brought people to the city's beaches from across the Greater Los Angeles Area.
Around the start of the 20th century, a growing population of Asian Americans lived in and around Santa Monica and Venice. A Japanese fishing village was near the Long Wharf while small numbers of Chinese lived or worked in Santa Monica and Venice; the two ethnic minorities were viewed differently by White Americans who were well-disposed towards the Japanese but condescending towards the Chinese. The Japanese village fishermen were an integral economic part of the Santa Monica Bay community. Donald Wills Douglas, Sr. built a plant in 1922 at Clover Field for the Douglas Aircraft Company. In 1924, four Douglas-built planes took off from Clover Field to attempt the first aerial circumnavigation of the world. Two planes returned after covering 27,553 miles in 175 days, were greeted on their return September 23, 1924, by a crowd of 200,000; the Douglas Company kept facilities in the city until the 1960s. The Great Depression hit Santa Monica deeply. One report gives citywide employment in 1933 of just 1,000.
Hotels and office building owners went bankrupt. In the 1930s, corruption infected Santa Monica; the federal Works Project Administration helped build several buildings, most notably City Hall. The main Post Office and Barnum Hall were among other WPA projects. Douglas's business grew astronomically with the onset of World War II, employing as many as 44,000 people in 1943. To defend against air attack, set designers from the Warner Brothers Studios prepared elaborate camouflage that disguised the factory and airfield; the RAND Corporation began as a project of the Douglas Company in 1945, spun off into an independent think tank on May 14, 1948. RAND acquired a 15-acre campus between the Civic Center and the pier entrance; the completion of the Santa Monica Freeway in 1966 brought the promise of new prosperity, though at the cost of decimating the Pico neighborhood, a leading African American enclave on the Westside. Beach volleyball is believed to have been developed by Duke Kahanamoku in Santa Monica during the 1920s.
The Santa Monica Looff Hippodrome is a National Historic Landmark. It sits on the Santa Monica Pier, built in 1909; the La Monica Ballroom on the pier was once the largest ballroom in the US and the source for many New Year's Eve national network broadcasts. The Santa Monica Civic Auditorium was an important music venue for several decades and hosted the Academy Awards in the 1960s. McCabe's Guitar Shop is a leading acoustic performance space as well as retail outlet. Bergamot Station is a city-owned art gallery compound; the city is home to the California Heritage Museum and the Angels Attic dollhouse and toy museum. The New West Symphony is the resident orchestra of Barnum Hall, they are resident orchestra of the Oxnard Performing Arts Center and the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza. Santa Monica has three main shopping districts: Montana Avenue on the north side, the Downtown District in the city's core, Main Street on the south end; each has personality. Montana Avenue is a stretch of luxury boutique stores and small offices that features more upscale shopping.
The Main Street district offers an eclectic mix of clothing and other specialty retail. The Downtown District is the home of the Third Street Promenade, a major outdoor pedestrian-on
Westchester, Los Angeles
Westchester is a neighborhood in Los Angeles and the Westside Region of Los Angeles County, California. It is home to Los Angeles International Airport, Loyola Marymount University, Otis College of Art and Design, Westchester Enriched Sciences Magnet Schools; the main part of Westchester is flanked by Playa Vista and Culver City on the north and Lennox on the east, Hawthorne on the southeast, Del Aire and El Segundo on the south and Playa del Rey on the west. It includes all of the Los Angeles International Airport. There is a two-block-wide shoestring district that runs from the intersection of Centinela Avenue and La Cienega Boulevard north to 63rd Street and east to Overhill Avenue, where it links with the Hyde Park neighborhood; the main neighborhood's boundary lines are on the east: north-south on La Cienega Boulevard or the Inglewood city line. Westchester began the 20th century as an agricultural area, growing a wide variety of crops in the dry, farming-friendly climate; the rapid development of the aerospace industry near Mines Field, the move of Loyola University to the area in 1928, population growth in Los Angeles as a whole, created a demand for housing in the area.
Westchester hosted the cross country part of the eventing equestrian event for the 1932 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. In the late 1930s, real estate magnate Fritz Burns and his partner Fred W. Marlow developed a tract of inexpensive prefabricated single-family homes on the site of a former hog farm at the intersection of Manchester and Sepulveda Boulevards; this community, dubbed "Westchester", grew by leaps and bounds as the aerospace industry boomed in World War II and afterward. A Los Angeles Times article in 1989 described the development as "a raw suburb", "created willy-nilly in the 1940s"; the area was predominantly residential. When the area had 30,000 residents, it was still lacking a police station, fire station, or hospital, it lacked a barber shop by 1949. The 1960s saw the introduction of airliners that could make trans-Pacific flights without refueling, causing a massive increase in air traffic at LAX; when the North Airfield Complex was constructed the increase in noise from jet takeoffs decreased the desirability of the residential areas adjoining LAX.
In response, the city of Los Angeles began a program of purchasing and condemning houses from noise-weary homeowners. In all, Westchester lost 14,000 residents; the 18-hole Westchester golf course became a 15-hole course. In 2007 Los Angeles World Airport proposed another move of the North runway into Westchester, local opposition to LAX expansion rose to fever pitch. In February 2010, a NASA panel should stay as it is; that same month, LAWA broke ground on a $1.5 billion expansion of the Bradley International Terminal. Home prices rose 25 percent in 2013-14 while most southern California communities were recovering much more slowly. A major factor has been the influx of technology companies in Playa Vista as the Silicon Beach phenomena in west Los Angeles has spread; the community experienced a boom in home additions or complete rehabilitation of traditional postwar Ranch-style house into larger two-story homes. The Howard Hughes Center was a significant addition to the neighborhood in 2001 next to the San Diego Freeway.
Development continued till by 2015 the complex had 1.3 million square feet of office space in high-rise buildings, 3,200 apartments, an updated, renovated shopping mall. A total of 39,480 people lived in Westchester's 10.81 square miles, according to the 2010 U. S. census, that figure included the uninhabited acreage of the Los Angeles International Airport—resulting in a density of 3,652 people per square mile, among the lowest population densities in the city of Los Angeles but about average for the county. The median age was 35.6, about average for Los Angeles city. The percentage of people from age 19 through 34 was among the county's highest. In 2010 whites made up 61.1% of the population, blacks were at 14.2%, Asians at 12.0%, Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 0.3%, others at 11.9%. Those who identified themselves as Hispanic or Latino were 18.2%. In 2010, the mean family income for the area was $135,026 and the median family income was $106,302, both numbers high for the city.
The percentages of families that earned more than $100,000 a year was 53.5%. Renters occupied 48.2% of the housing units, homeowners occupied the rest. The average household size was 2.3 people, considered low for the county. The percentages of divorced men and divorced women were among the county's highest; the 2000 census counted 3,055 military veterans, 9.2% of the population, considered a high percentage for the city of Los Angeles but about average for the county. Los Angeles Fire Department Station 5 is in Westchester. Los Angeles Police Department operates the Pacific Community Police Station at 12312 Culver Boulevard, 90066, serving the neighborhood. Los Angeles Public Library operates the Westchester-Loyola Village Library, at 7114 W. Manchester Avenue, 90045, is a community library offering free online access, programming & information for all ages. Los Angeles World Airports has its headquart
In law, an unincorporated area is a region of land, not governed by a local municipal corporation. Municipalities dissolve or disincorporate, which may happen if they become fiscally insolvent, services become the responsibility of a higher administration. Widespread unincorporated communities and areas are a distinguishing feature of the United States and Canada. In most other countries of the world, there are either no unincorporated areas at all, or these are rare. Unlike many other countries, Australia has only one level of local government beneath state and territorial governments. A local government area contains several towns and entire cities. Thus, aside from sparsely populated areas and a few other special cases all of Australia is part of an LGA. Unincorporated areas are in remote locations, cover vast areas or have small populations. Postal addresses in unincorporated areas, as in other parts of Australia use the suburb or locality names gazetted by the relevant state or territorial government.
Thus, there is any ambiguity regarding addresses in unincorporated areas. The Australian Capital Territory is in some sense an unincorporated area; the territorial government is directly responsible for matters carried out by local government. The far west and north of New South Wales constitutes the Unincorporated Far West Region, sparsely populated and warrants an elected council. A civil servant in the state capital manages such matters; the second unincorporated area of this state is Lord Howe Island. In the Northern Territory, 1.45% of the total area and 4.0% of the population are in unincorporated areas, including Unincorporated Top End Region, areas covered by the Darwin Rates Act—Nhulunbuy, Alyangula on Groote Eylandt in the northern region, Yulara in the southern region. In South Australia, 60% of the area is unincorporated and communities located within can receive municipal services provided by a state agency, the Outback Communities Authority. Victoria has 10 small unincorporated areas, which are either small islands directly administered by the state or ski resorts administered by state-appointed management boards.
Western Australia is exceptional in two respects. Firstly, the only remote area, unincorporated is the Abrolhos Islands, uninhabited and controlled by the WA Department of Fisheries. Secondly, the other unincorporated areas are A-class reserves either in, or close to, the Perth metropolitan area, namely Rottnest Island and Kings Park. In Canada, depending on the province, an unincorporated settlement is one that does not have a municipal council that governs over the settlement, it is but not always, part of a larger municipal government. This can range from small hamlets to large urbanized areas that are similar in size to towns and cities. For example, the urban service areas of Fort McMurray and Sherwood Park, of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo and Strathcona County would be the fifth and sixth largest cities in Alberta if they were incorporated. In British Columbia, unincorporated settlements lie outside municipal boundaries and are administered directly by regional/county-level governments similar to the American system.
Unincorporated settlements with a population of between 100 and 1,000 residents may have the status of designated place in Canadian census data. In some provinces, large tracts of undeveloped wilderness or rural country are unorganized areas that fall directly under the provincial jurisdiction; some unincorporated settlements in such unorganized areas may have some types of municipal services provided to them by a quasi-governmental agency such as a local services board in Ontario. In New Brunswick where a significant population live in a Local Service District and services may come directly from the province; the entire area of the Czech Republic is divided into municipalities, with the only exception being 4 military areas. These are parts of the regions and do not form self-governing municipalities, but are rather governed by military offices, which are subordinate to the Ministry of Defense. † Brdy Military Area was abandoned by the Army in 2015 and converted into Landscape park, with its area being incorporated either into existing municipalities or municipalities newly established from the existing settlements.
The other four Military Areas were reduced in size in 2015 too. The decisions on whether the settlements join existing municipalities or form new ones are decided in plebiscites. Since Germany has no administrative level comparable to the townships of other countries, the vast majority of the country, close to 99%, is organized in municipalities consisting of multiple settlements which are not considered to be unincorporated; because these settlements lack a council of their own, there is an Ortsvorsteher / Ortsvorsteherin appointed by the municipal council, except in the smallest villages. In 2000, the number of unincorporated areas in Germany, called gemeindefreie Gebiete or singular gemeindefreies Gebiet, was 295 with a total area of 4,890.33 km² and around 1.4% of its territory. However
Sepulveda Pass is a low mountain pass through the Santa Monica Mountains in Los Angeles. It connects the Los Angeles Basin to the San Fernando Valley via the San Diego Freeway and Sepulveda Boulevard; the crossing experiences heavy traffic on a regular basis experiencing major traffic slowdowns lasting hours. I-405 was widened by the county's transportation authority; the project took three years to complete and concluded in December 2016. Additionally, funding has been secured to construct an expansion to Los Angeles's public transportation system through the Sepulveda Pass, but the plan has not been finalized; the Sepulveda Pass on Interstate 405 begins just south of Ventura Boulevard in the San Fernando Valley, climbing to just south of Mulholland Drive descending to just north of Sunset Boulevard, where I-405 and Sepulveda Boulevard enter the Brentwood and Westwood areas of West Los Angeles. Northbound I-405 has five lanes and a carpool lane, while southbound I-405 has four lanes plus a carpool lane.
Sepulveda Boulevard has two lanes in each direction and runs west of I-405 until the middle of the pass, where it crosses under and runs east of the freeway. Bel Air Presbyterian Church, founded in 1956, opened its church on Mulholland Drive in 1960. Beginning with The Westland School in 1965, a number of other educational and cultural institutions have located in the vicinity of Sepulveda Pass, creating an "institutional corridor" as an exception to the Mulholland Scenic Parkway Specific Plan's general prohibition of such development along the crest of the mountains; the institutions along Mulholland Drive now include Stephen S. Wise Temple, American Jewish University, the Skirball Cultural Center, Milken Community High School, The Mirman School, Berkeley Hall School, The Curtis School. To the south is the large campus of the Getty Center. Sepulveda Pass Transit Corridor
Los Angeles International Airport
Los Angeles International Airport, locally referred to as LAX, is the primary international airport serving Los Angeles, California. LAX is in the Westchester district of the city of Los Angeles, California, 18 miles southwest of Downtown Los Angeles, with the commercial and residential areas of Westchester to the north, the city of El Segundo to the south and the city of Inglewood to the east. Owned and operated by Los Angeles World Airports, an agency of the government of Los Angeles known as the Department of Airports, the airport has over 3,500 acres of land, LAX has four parallel runways. In 2018, LAX handled 87,534,384 passengers, making it the world's fourth busiest and the United States' second busiest airport following Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport; as the largest and busiest international airport on the U. S. West Coast, LAX is a major international gateway to the United States, serves a connection point for passengers traveling internationally; the airport holds the record for the world's busiest origin and destination airport, since relative to other airports, many more travelers begin or end their trips in Los Angeles than use it as a connection.
It is the only airport to rank among the top five U. S. airports for both passenger and cargo traffic. LAX serves as a hub or focus city for more passenger airlines than any other airport in the United States, it is the only airport that four U. S. legacy carriers have designated as a hub and is a focus city for Air New Zealand, Allegiant Air, Norwegian Air Shuttle, Southwest Airlines, Volaris. While LAX is the busiest airport in the Greater Los Angeles Area, several other airports, including Hollywood Burbank Airport, John Wayne Airport, Long Beach Airport, as well as Ontario International Airport serve the area. In 1928, the Los Angeles City Council selected 640 acres in the southern part of Westchester for a new airport; the fields of wheat and lima beans were converted into dirt landing strips without any terminal buildings. It was named Mines Field for the real estate agent who arranged the deal; the first structure, Hangar No. 1, is in the National Register of Historic Places. Mines Field opened as the airport of Los Angeles in 1930 and the city purchased it to be a municipal airfield in 1937.
The name became Los Angeles Airport in 1941 and Los Angeles International Airport in 1949. In the 1930s the main airline airports were Burbank Airport in Burbank and the Grand Central Airport in Glendale. Mines Field did not extend west of Sepulveda Boulevard. A tunnel was completed in 1953 allowing Sepulveda Boulevard to revert to straight and pass beneath the two runways. For the next few years the two runways were 8,500 feet long. Before the 1930s, existing airports used a two-letter abbreviation based on the weather stations at the airports. At that time, "LA" served as the designation for Los Angeles Airport, but with the rapid growth in the aviation industry the designations expanded to three letters c. 1947, "LA" became "LAX." The letter "X" has no specific meaning in this identifier. "LAX" is used for the Port of Los Angeles in San Pedro and by Amtrak for Union Station in downtown Los Angeles. The "Imperial Hill" area in El Segundo is a prime location for aircraft spotting for takeoffs. Part of the Imperial Hill area has been set aside as Clutter's Park.
Another popular spotting location sits under the final approach for runways 24 L&R on a lawn next to the Westchester In-N-Out Burger on Sepulveda Boulevard. This is one of the few remaining locations in Southern California from which spotters may watch such a wide variety of low-flying commercial airliners from directly underneath a flight path. At 12:51 p.m. on Friday, September 21, 2012, a Shuttle Carrier Aircraft carrying the Space Shuttle Endeavour landed at LAX on runway 25L. An estimated 10,000 people saw the shuttle land. Interstate 105 was backed up for miles at a standstill. Imperial Highway was shut down for spectators, it was taken off the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, a modified Boeing 747, was moved to a United Airlines hangar. The shuttle spent about a month in the hangar while it was prepared to be transported to the California Science Center; the distinctive white googie Theme Building, designed by Pereira & Luckman architect Paul Williams and constructed in 1961 by Robert E. McKee Construction Co. resembles a flying saucer that has landed on its four legs.
A restaurant with a sweeping view of the airport is suspended beneath two arches. The Los Angeles City Council designated the building a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument in 1992. A $4 million renovation, with retro-futuristic interior and electric lighting designed by Walt Disney Imagineering, was completed before the Encounter Restaurant opened there in 1997. Visitors are able to take the elevator up to the roof of the "Theme Building", which closed after the September 11, 2001 attacks for security reasons and reopened to the public on weekends beginning on July 10, 2010. Additionally, a memorial to the victims of the 9/11 attacks is located on the grounds, as three of the f