Founded in 1886, the Palms area was initially established to serve tourists on vacation and agricultural community. Prior to that, it had been part of Rancho La Ballona, a vast cattle and sheep farm run by the Machado family. After the completion of the transcontinental railroad, the first of many Los Angeles real estate booms took off as families flocked to the “California promised land”.
The name “Palms” is rooted in the efforts of 3 land developers who, in the mid-1880s, planted an 8 mile corridor of palm trees in what was then the central point for what would become the Red Car system. As residential growth continued throughout the start of the 20th century, the efforts of Los Angeles to annex the Palms area became intertwined with the battle for water rights just before World War I.
Today, the agricultural powerhouse that was the Palms area is now an affordable, high-density neighborhood providing young professionals and students at UCLA access to the greater Westside. The area will soon flourish with the build out of the Expo Rail Line and there is the strong potential to capitalize on the cultural diversity of the residents in the form of what could be a vibrant, eclectic corridor of restaurants and cafes similar to the downtown area of neighboring Culver City.
I love the palms neighborhood because it stands as the perfect example of the American “melting pot”. In one area, you have both the Iranian-American Muslim Association of North America and the International Society of Krishna Consciousness. It is the center of LA’s Brazilian community and home to numerous Pakistani and Indian restaurants.