Westlake, Los Angeles City Guide

MacArthur Park in LA, Calif.
MacArthur Park in the Westlake District of LA, California. Photo by Eric Schwartzman.
Contents; TLDR

    Westlake District of Los Angeles

    Westlake is a densely populated neighborhood in central Los Angeles, California, within the boundaries of Wilshire Boulevard to the north, 6th Street to the south, Hoover Street to the west, and Alvarado Street to the east. 

    Google Map of Westlake, Los Angeles

    According to Google Maps, Westlake is bordered by the Hollywood Freeway to the north, the Harbor Freeway and Lucas Street to the east, the Santa Monica Freeway to the south, and Hoover Street to Wilshire Boulevard and Virgil Avenue to the Hollywood Freeway on the west. But this map of Westlake, California, by the Los Angeles Times cites slightly different boundaries.

    Boundaries of Westlake from the Mapping L.A. project of the Los Angeles Times. Westlake, Los Angeles. (2023, April 7). In Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westlake,_Los_Angeles

    The neighborhood is situated in a basin surrounded by hills and is relatively flat. It has a Mediterranean climate with mild, wet winters and warm, dry summers. The average temperature in Westlake is around 64 degrees Fahrenheit, and the area receives about 15 inches of rainfall per year. 

    The neighborhood has several parks, including MacArthur Park and Lafayette Park, providing residents with green spaces in urban areas.

    Table of Contents

      Historical Overview

      Westlake is a historic neighborhood in central Los Angeles, California. It was named after Westlake Park, donated by a Canadian physician named Henricus Wallace Westlake in 1888. The neighborhood saw significant residential development in the late 19th century and became home to a significant Jewish population. 

      Westlake was also a hub for the film industry in the 1920s and became a center for Latino culture in the mid-20th century. The area has a mix of Spanish Revival and Art Deco mansions and was once home to Los Angeles' early working-class Filipino population. Today, Westlake is a diverse and vibrant neighborhood known for its cultural events, historic landmarks, and urban setting.

      The Westlake Theatre in the western Westlake district, Los Angeles. A National Register of Historic Places site (January 7, 2010) and Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument (#546) located at 634-642 South Alvarado Street - Los Angeles. Designed by architect Richard M. Bates in the Spanish Colonial Revival style with Churrigueresque detailing on the exterior, and constructed by the West Coast Langley Theatres. The theater auditorium includes a striking, extant mural by nationally-acclaimed Dutch-born muralist, Anthony Heinsbergen, and another mural in the theater's mezzanine, also likely rendered by Heinsbergen. In 1935, portions of the exterior, the entrance, and interior foyer were updated by architect S. Charles Lee. The theater is also noted for its three-story-high rooftop neon sign that is a neighborhood marker for Westlake/MacArthur Park.
      Westlake Theatre building, 2014. CC 3.0.

      Culture and Economy

      Westlake, Los Angeles, has a complex economic and cultural history. In its early years, it was considered a desirable residential area for the city's wealthy, but over time it became a hub for street vendors and was infested with crime and gangs. 

      In recent years, the neighborhood has undergone gentrification with the rise in property values in nearby Koreatown and downtown LA. Artists and creatives have moved in, and swanky nightclubs, organic tamale co-ops, and art galleries have followed. 

      A city ordinance was passed to regulate street vendors, and the area is seeing increased business development. While sidewalk vending remains a common sight, there is an air of economic potential and growth in Westlake.

      Education and Schools

      In 2000, only one-eighth of Westlake residents aged 25 and older had a four-year degree, which is lower than the rate for the city and county. The percentage of residents with less than a high school diploma was high for the county. 

      Many schools are operating within Westlake's borders, including public and private schools, as well as charter schools and adult education centers. The schools range from primary to high schools and include institutions like New Village Charter High School, Los Angeles Academy of Arts & Enterprise Charter School, and Immaculate Conception Catholic School.


      These are two hotels in the Westlake district of Los Angeles, California.

      The Live Hotel

      1903 W. Olympic Blvd Los Angeles, California 90006, USA

      Located in Westlake, Los Angeles, The Live Hotel offers a range of room types, making it a convenient choice for accommodating business trips, couples getaways, or family and group travel. 

      Guests can enjoy the contemporary design of the rooms and the evening breeze. They can relax in the seating area and watch their favorite show or movie on the flatscreen TV with complimentary WiFi. 

      All guest rooms come with private bathrooms that include plush towels and complimentary toiletries.

      Driving Directions from The Live Hotel in Westlake to Schwartzman & Associates


      Holiday Inn Express South

      611 South Westlake Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90057, United States

      The Holiday Inn Express Los Angeles Downtown West is a new mid-scale hotel located in the heart of Westlake. The 100% non-smoking hotel offers spacious guest rooms with modern amenities, including luxurious bedding, high-speed internet, and a hot breakfast. 

      Guests can enjoy the fitness room, business center, meeting rooms, and newly designed Yoga area. The hotel is conveniently located near various local restaurants and shopping centers.

      Driving Directions from Holiday Inn Express in Westlake to Schwartzman & Associates


      Westlake has a long history of public transportation dating back to 1887 when two entrepreneurs proposed a cable railroad. 

      Today, there is a Westlake/MacArthur Park station for the Los Angeles County Metro Rail System, served by both B and D subway lines. 

      The station is also home to a sidewalk market on designated days, providing opportunities for vendors to sell their goods.