It’s all in a Name: Hollywood Riviera’s Historical Street Name Meanings

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Hollywood Riviera – the name alone conjures up images of glamour and scenic beauty. Back in the 1920’s when Clifford Reid, the developer of the Hollywood Riviera, got to naming streets he decided on using Spanish names for the streets as an ode to the Mediterranean inspired style the neighborhood exudes.

Much of the architecture in the community is Mediterranean in style, especially the original homes which were built in the late 1920’s and early 1930’s. Most residents when asked why they were attracted to the Hollywood Riviera would usually say, ‘the views.’ Thus many of the street names allude to those views.

Calle Miramar – View of the Sea street
Vista Largo – Long View
Via del Valle – View of the Valley
Vista Montana – View of the Mountains
Vista del Parque – View of the Park
Vista del Sol – View of the Sun
Vista del Mar – View of the Sea
Via Linda Vista – Pretty View Way

Some residents will tell you that the serenity, natural beauty and quiet were the reasons they were attracted to the area. The Hollywood Riviera can be found nestled into the sloping foothills between Redondo Beach and the Palos Verdes Peninsula extending from the Torrance beach coastline inland for a little more than a mile. The community boasts about 3,500 homes. It is part of the city of Torrance, but like many of Torrance’s communities, the Riviera (as most residents call it) has a distinct feel that sets it apart from neighboring communities. Some street names indicative of its natural beauty and serenity include:

Via Estrellita – Little Star Way
Via La Soledad – Solitude Way
Camino de Encanto – Enchanted Road
Paseo de Gracia – Grace Drive
Paseo de las Tortugas – Turtle Drive
Via El Sereno – Serene Way
Paseo del Pavon – Walk of the Proud Peacock
Calle de Arboles – Trees Street

The name “Hollywood Riviera” was chosen by developer Clifford Reid, who in 1927 began building homes on the land tucked into the coastline just north of Palos Verdes. The area’s scenic beauty reminded him of the European Riviera, but felt that some Hollywood glamour was needed. Reid envisioned that his fledgling community would become a movie star playground.

However, no major thoroughfare linked Hollywood with the beach and the film industry did not flock to the Hollywood Riviera. Nevertheless, early visitors to Reid’s home – the first built in the Riviera and still magnificent to this day – included the likes of Clark Gable, Gary Cooper, Clara Bow, Marion Davies and John & Ethel Barrymore. The Great Depression halted most building in the community at that time.