The Monte Mar Vista Planning District is a 1920s-era subdivision that is generally bounded by Monte Mar Drive and Monte Mar Terrace to the north; McConnell Drive to the east; McConnell Place, Forrester Drive and Lorenzo Drive to the south; and Monte Mar Drive to the west. Nested within other 1920s subdivisions, this planning district is made up of 16 city blocks interlocked by curvilinear roads with a circular intersection at the heart of the subdivision and a triangular park at the southeastern point. Monte Mar sits on a hilly terrain and consists of a variety of architectural styles that include Tudor Revival, American Colonial Revival, and Spanish Colonial Revival. Varied in size and massing, the area's single-family residences include a mix of one-story, two-story, and split-level buildings. The area retains many original tract features such as moderate to large lot sizes, consistent setbacks, cast iron post streetlights, a thickly planted tree canopy of a wide variety of mature species, viewsheds, steep grades and open spaces, such as Irving Schacter Park and Club Circle Park. Homes on the northern edges have expansive views that overlook the Hillcrest Country Club and Rancho Park golf courses. The period of significance is 1926 to 1940.
Summary of Significance
The Monte Mar Vista Planning District is a good example of a single-family residential neighborhood developed during the early western expansion of Los Angeles associated with the automobile. Sales began in 1926, and several prominent area developers had a hand in subdividing, building, and promoting the district. These developers included W.R. McConnell, Fred W. Forrester, and John P. Hayes as well as Ole Hanson and the Frank Meline Company, which took over the development in 1928.
The neighborhood occupies hilly terrain adjacent to both the Rancho Park Golf course and the Hillcrest Country Club, a location that contributes to its original and continuing appeal. The topography was a major selling point for the district: "elevated on the highest and only graceful hilltop between the city and sea," according to one ad. Monte Mar Vista (originally called Mountain Sea View and then for a time spelled "Monte-Mar Vista" with a hyphen) was advertised as "the most perfectly improved property in the most ideal location that has ever been offered for sale." The single-family residential subdivision district is the core development among several subdivisions - including Monte Mar Vista, Country Club Highlands, and Cheviot Knolls-that were later combined to form the neighborhood collectively known today as Cheviot Hills.
Architectural styles represented in ads depict large houses in revival styles including Tudor, American Colonial, and Spanish Colonial Revival. Given the affluence of the area's residents who had the financial means to retain top architects to design their homes, known architects who designed properties in the area during the 1920s and 1930s include John L. DeLario, Roland E. Coates, and Eugene R. Ward. Developer Forrester designed his own house in the district in an elaborate Tudor Revival style. Despite the moderate to large lots, some of the houses are so expansive that they extend across several parcels.
Although many of the original houses in the Monte Mar Vista Planning District have been replaced and many remaining houses have been extensively altered, the district retains its original feeling of exclusivity in the variety of architectural styles and the large sizes of the houses and its proximity to the two remaining country clubs. Therefore, while the district does not appear to retain sufficient integrity or cohesion to be eligible for listing as a historic district, it may warrant special consideration in the local planning process.
External System References
External System References
No references recorded
Residential Development and Suburbanization, 1850-1980
Developers and the Development Process, 1888-1975
Community and Operative Builders, 1888-1940
Is associated with developer(s) important in suburb planning, design, and marketing
As a whole, retains the essential physical and character-defining features from the period of significance
Should retain integrity of Location, Feeling, Design and Association from the period of significance
Resource does not retain sufficient integrity to convey significance
A good example of a residential subdivision from the early 20th century. Represents residential patterns of development in West Los Angeles.
Periods of Significance
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