Westlake, Central Los Angeles, California

Westlake is a high-density, youthful, and commercial neighborhood in Central Los Angeles, California. It was developed in the 1920s, it is known for its restaurants.

Westlake is flanked by Silver Lake to the north, Echo Park to the northeast and east, Downtown to the southeast, Pico-Union to the south and southwest and Koreatown to the west. Westlake touches East Hollywood on the northwest.
The street boundaries are the Hollywood Freeway on the north, Glendale Boulevard and Second Street on the east, Beaudry Avenue and the Harbor Freeway on the southeast, West Olympic Boulevard on the southeast and south, Westmoreland Avenue, Wilshire Place and Virgil Avenue on the west, and Temple Street and Hoover Street on the northwest.

The 2000 U.S. census counted 108,839 residents in the 2.72-square-mile neighborhood—an average of 38,214 people per square mile, the second-highest density of any community in Los Angeles County, after Koreatown. In 2008 the city estimated that the population had increased to 117,756. The median age for residents was 27, considered young for both the city and the county.

Westlake was considered “not especially diverse” ethnically. The breakdown was Latinos, 73.4%; Asians, 16.5%; whites, 4.5%; blacks, 3.9%, and others, 1.7%. Mexico (36.8%) and El Salvador (17.2%) were the most common places of birth for the 67.6% of the residents who were born abroad, a figure that was considered high compared to the city as a whole.

The median household income in 2008 dollars was $26,757, a low figure for Los Angeles, and a high percentage of households earned $20,000 or less. The average household size of three people was about the same as the rest of the city. But many of its elegant mansions have been turned into apartments, and many new multiple-occupancy buildings have been constructed. Renters occupied 94.9% of the housing units, and house- or apartment owners just 5.1%.
The percentages of never-married men and women, 47% and 36.4%, respectively, were among the county’s highest. The 2000 census found 5,325 families headed by single parents, a high rate for both the city and the county. There were 2,591 military veterans in 2000, or 3.5%, a low figure for Los Angeles.

One-eighth of Westlake residents aged 25 and older had a four-year degree in 2000, a low rate for both the city and the county. The percentage of residents with less than a high school diploma was high for the county.

Schools operating within the Westlake borders are:

  • New Village Charter High School, charter, 147 North Occidental Boulevard
  • Camino Nuevo Charter Academy, charter, 3500 West Temple Avenue
  • Soledad Enrichment Action Charter High School, charter, 222 North Virgil Avenue
  • Los Angeles School of Global Studies, LAUSD secondary, 322 Lucas Avenue
  • Harold McAlister High School, LAUSD, 611 South Carondelet Street
  • Los Angeles Academy of Arts & Enterprise Charter School, 600 South LaFayette Park Place
  • Pilgrim School, private K-12, 540 South Commonwealth Avenue
  • Metropolitan Skill Center, LAUSD adult education, 2801 West Sixth Street
  • Belmont Community Adult School, LAUSD, 1575 West Second Street
  • ROP Center, LAUSD occupational, 333 South Beaudry Avenue, 18th Floor
  • Harris Newmark Continuation School, LAUSDm 134 Witmer Street
  • Monsenor Oscar Romero Charter Middle School, charter, 2900 West Temple Street
  • John H. Liechty Middle School, LAUSD, 650 South Union Avenue
  • Sal Castro Middle School, LAUSD, 1575 West Second Street
  • Commonwealth Avenue Elementary School, LAUSD, 215 South Commonwealth Avenue
  • Rosemont Avenue Elementary School, LAUSD, 421 North Rosemont Avenue
  • Lake Street Primary School, LAUSD, 135 North Lake Street
  • Lafayette Park Primary Center, LAUSD, 310 LaFayette Park Place
  • Union Avenue Elementary School, LAUSD, 150 South Burlington Avenue
  • Equitas Academy Charter School, 631 South Commonwealth Avenue
  • MacArthur Park Primary Center, LAUSD elementary, 2300 West Seventh Street
  • Hoover Street Elementary School, LAUSD, 2726 Francis Avenue
  • Esperanza Elementary School, LAUSD, 680 Little Street
  • E. Manfred Evans Community Adult School, LAUSD, 717 North Figueroa Street
  • Immaculate Conception School, private elementary, 830 Green Avenue

In addition to MacArthur Park, Westlake plays host to a number of Los Angeles landmarks. In the 1980s, a former Pacific Electric tunnel near 1st Street, the Belmont Tunnel / Toluca Substation and Yard, became a famous canvas for graffiti artists, drawing visitors from around the world. The tunnel entrance and the yard around it have been demolished and a large apartment/condo complex called Belmont Station Apartments has been built at the site.