Midtown Santa Monica comprises most of the 90404 zip code and stretches from 14th Street to Centinela Avenue at its westernmost and easternmost extremities. It also stretches from Wilshire Boulevard to Olympic Boulevard at its northern and southern ends. Alternating between major thoroughfares and quiet residential lanes, Midtown is less congested with tourists than other parts of the city. Planned on a regular grid, Midtown Santa Monica was once home to many picturesque Craftsman houses and brightly painted Victorians, though only occasional examples of these can still be found. In the early 1940s, the first wave of suburbanization overtook this part of the city and many preexisting structures were razed and replaced with tiny square California Bungalows with green lawns and small, private backyards.
In the 1960s, many of these increasingly dilapidated structures were demolished in favor of 4- and 5-unit condominium complexes and apartments. The easternmost edge of Midtown Santa Monica, often referred to as the “college streets” where Princeton, Harvard, Yale, Stanford and Berkeley intersect with Wilshire Boulevard, represents one of the city’s primary gateways. Commemorating the spot where the cities of Santa Monica and Brentwood share a border is the “Wave,” a sculpture by Tony De Lap arching over Wilshire Boulevard near Franklin Avenue.
Today, there is a mix of single family homes, condominiums and apartment buildings, as well as an increased amount of office spaces. There are more planned or proposed developments for the near future in the area immediately surrounding the new light rail Expo Line, which began operation in May 2016 for the first time in 63 years and has drawn a lot of attention to this neighborhood.
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Last updated on June 24th, 2018 at 10:31am EDT