The Majestic Vistas from the Pacific Palisades

May 28, 2009 by Lisa Newton

During a recent early morning walk, I headed for the hills, literally–the hills of Pacific Palisades to be precise. The Pacific Palisades is home to about 27,000 people, demographically very affluent, and a veritable who’s who in the movie and film industry.

Founded by 1922 by Rev. Charles H. Scott, Pacific Palisades was initially envisioned to be an elaborate religious-intellectual commune. In fact, the world famous author, Aldous Huxley and his wife Maria, son Matthew, and friend Gerald Heard, called Pacific Palisades home.

With only 100 homes built by 1925, by today’s standards, it would have been a bargain compared to the current $1,329,856 median home price for a house in the Pacific Palisades.

Malibu Tiles Doorway

This building is directly influenced by the Spanish Colonial and Malibu Tile Pottery’s multi-colored hexagon tiles and wrought iron detailing. An obvious elaboration from The Adamson House’s Exquisite Detailing. Although the backlight wasn’t ideal for the background, if you look hard, you can see the Pacific Ocean right behind the door.

Castillo Del Mar

Hollywood Babylon–its stars, celebrities, and of course gossip, killings, and suicide, extended to all parts of the city, even the Palisades.

Even here, screen actress Thelma Todd was supposed to have died of carbon monoxide poisoning in the garage pictured above, but as with most things Hollywood, the truth is often shades of gray or worse. Above the center support column of the blue garage doors, the Castillo Del Mar sign, translated from Spanish, literally means the “Castle of the Sea.”

Pacific Coast Highway

I’ll leave you with a picture of the deep blue, aqua-tinted, and light breeze over the Pacific Ocean water, taken from a vista perched high above from the mountain top of Pacific Palisades. The cars at the bottom of the cliffs are traveling on Pacific Coast Highway, which continues north toward Malibu.

After an afternoon shoot and respite in the Pacific Palisades while Travelin’ Local, I don’t have to go to the movies to escape, I do every day as I frequent the most glamorous and interesting place in the world—Southern California and Los Angeles.

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Beach Towns, Culture, Pacific Palisades

12 Responses to “The Majestic Vistas from the Pacific Palisades”

  1. Kim says:

    Interesting post Lisa.. I love the garage shot.. not because of the history but because that would make a GREAT urban photo session location!!

    And that last shot.. SOOOO nice!

    Kim’s last blog post..Q & A – Why are my photos blurry?


  2. David says:

    Gorgeous pictures as well as a well documented history of Pacific Palisades.

    It’s a stone’s throw from the beach.


  3. FrugalNYC says:

    You always describe things in such a great way. It’s like you are taking us with you.

    Great photos as always. Thanks for sharing your walk and photos. My fav shot is the first with the C-curve :)

    FrugalNYC’s last blog post..Cataclysmic Climate Effects


  4. Patricia says:

    Oh my husband rode his bike from Seattle on the Pacific Coast highway to the Palisade. Lovely pictures and I liked the houses and their style
    Great post

    Patricia’s last blog post..Blogger Dad – Blame Tara Meme


  5. Mike Foster says:

    Ain’t living in California the best? We have some of the most amazing scenic spots, from beautiful seascapes to amazing mountains, mysterious deserts and unique downtowns. These shots made me smile.


    Mike Foster’s last blog post..Bits and Bites


  6. Paisley (Paisley Thoughts) says:

    I’m accustomed to extraordinary natural beauty and your Pacific Ocean photo is breathtaking. I like the Spanish influence especially the wrought iron gate and the name ‘Castle of the Sea’.

    Paisley (Paisley Thoughts)’s last blog post..Doodling My Way To Creativity


  7. Lance says:

    Hi Lisa,
    Awesome shots! The ocean shots you have here always make me smile – and today is no exception. There’s something about the ocean that is so connecting for me – and your pictures sure bring that out.

    Lance’s last blog post..This Is Funtertainment


  8. LisaNewton says:

    @Kim I loved the location. The next time I go, I have to take a few more shots of the “urban location.” The houses there are great.

    @David It’s great to be up in the hills so close to the beach.

    @FrugalNYC I’m glad you enjoyed walking with me. That shot was taken not long after the sun came up, hence, the golden cast. The next time I’m in NYC or if you ever come to LA, I’d love to take a walk together…………………:)

    @Patricia Wow, that’s something I’d would have loved to have done. What a way to see CA.

    @Mike Keep smilin’. CA has it all…………:)

    @Paisley There’s a lot of Spanish influence here, especially in the Palisades. It’s wonderful to see different cultures via the architecture.

    @Lance I too connect with the ocean. I’d love to get one of those little laptops and write while sitting on the beach.


  9. Kevin says:

    What a beautiful location, and excellent photography as well. In all the years I was living in the area I never managed to visit Pacific Palisades. It’s hard to believe that it’s so isolated from the surrounding Los Angeles area.

    Kevin’s last blog post..A busy spring in the islands!


  10. LisaNewton says:

    @Kevin Because no major road goes through the Palisades, why would you go there? It’s a community of small streets leading up the hills…………:)


  11. Marguerite says:

    Agree with all the positive comments made by others above. This area is a gem. I take visitors to the Palisades to show them that Los Angeles has small “Main Street USA” places and this one is the absolute best.

    For those of you who liked the Spanish influences in the architecture, or were interested in the Ranchos that preceded the founding of the Palisades as a Methodist Community (associated with the Chatauqua Movement) you might want to check out a non profit foundation hidden away in SM Canyon in a hacienda built by a Mexican opera star on the former Rancho land. The Historian for La Senora is the great grandson of Francisco Marquez and Ysidro Reyes, the 1839 Mexican Land Grantees.


    Lisa Newton Reply:

    @Marguerite, I don’t know if you saw it, but I did an article yesterday about Francisco Marquez and the Cemetery that bears his name:


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