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The Dirt On The Street

Posted by John Hathorn on July 31, 2019
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Street, Avenue, Boulevard, Drive, Court, Terrace, Place or Way. Ever wondered how civil engineers decide how to name streets or how our streets ended up being named after states?  Here’s the dirt on the streets of Santa Monica.

When it comes to types of streets, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all rule book and Santa Monica is all over the place (no pun intended) but there is enough consistency to give you an idea of what a street might look like before you ever drive through it.

Roads can be anything that connect two points. Ways are generally small side streets just off Roads. Streets tend to be public ways that have buildings on both sides and often run perpendicular to Avenues, as is the case in most of Santa Monica.

The orientation of these streets in terms of North, East, South or West are different from city to city. However, the perpendicular relationship between Streets and Avenues is common among many cities. These commonalities do not apply south of Pico Blvd in Santa Monica as there are Streets that are perpendicular to Streets. Seems a bit willy nilly. Our exciting coming soon new construction listing is at 1309 Pine Street is between 14th Street and Euclid Avenue.

Boulevards, as in Santa Monica Blvd, Pico Blvd, Wilshire Blvd, tend to be wide, large streets, sometimes with trees and or plant life on both sides and often include a median. Lanes are narrow roads, usually in rural areas. Drives are common near mountains or lakes and tend to be shaped by the environment, as is the case in the Palisades. Terraces are usually on top of slopes or hills. A Place is usually a dead end while a Court will often imply a cul-de-sac. (Not so fun fact: Fatalities are 270% more likely in Cul-de-sacs than in grid streets.   The reasoning seems to be that there is a false sense of security in cul-de-sacs.)

The history of the names of these streets is interesting as well. San Vicente Boulevard was named after the Northern Santa Monica lands known as Rancho San Vicente. There are two famous Saint Vincents that this land could have been named after.  The most likely is Saint Vincent of Saragossa who refused to burn a bible to stop his torture and eventual execution under persecution from a Roman emperor. He was among many Christian martyrs.

Rancho San Vicente was just north of the land known as Rancho Boca de Santa Monica. Saint Monica was also a 4th Century devout Christian who was famous for never giving up on converting her husband and son to Christianity.

The Spanish Mexican Sepulveda family owned these lands from 1839 to 1872, through the Mexican-American War and the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.

After two more sales it ended up in possession of Nevada Senator John P. Jones. Jones and Arcadia Baker. They eventually subdivided their holdings in 1875 and created the town of Santa Monica. It was originally bounded by Montana Avenue in the northwest, Colorado Avenue in the southeast and 26th Street on the Northeast. It was at this time that the Avenues were named after the new states & territories of the west and the streets as you knew were simply numbered. Can’t say why they chose to go with streets, but I’d say it’s likely a sense of national pride after acquiring several new territories.  The Los Angeles and Independent Railroad would eventually connect Santa Monica to the rest of Los Angeles.

In real estate news….

Four new listings in the last two weeks (two of which are already under contract):

218 Alta Avenue– Listed at $7,500,000. Take over the construction with plans and permits under the old building code. Estimated completion in 12-14 months for a 4,900 sqft Architectural home on a 8,764 sqft lot West of 7th. Lot was last sold in 2015 for 4,200,000.

430 7th Street– Listed at 2,695,000. Cute and clean Mid-Century Modern. Ready for updating with plenty of charm! Single level 2,150 sqft house on a 6,220 sqft lot. This one was listed last year at $2,995,000 but did not sell.

Four new escrows:

636 Adelaide Drive– Listed at $6,995,000 last week.  Charming Colonial style 3,100 sqft house on a 12,300 sqft lot on prime Adelaide. Gorgeous backyard with pool and guest house. Last sold in 2014 for $4,600,000.

248 24th Street– Listed at $3,650,000 last week. Priced as a lot value, the current house is 3,000 sqft on an 8690 sqft lot in Franklin School District. Last sold in 1999 for 1,250,000.

523 7th Street–  Lot value listed for $2,950,000.

633 12th Street– Listed at 4,750,000. Under contract after some major price adjustments. This one was originally listed in January for $5,490,000.

Two Sold:

342 12th Street– Sold for $5,800,000. Pence Hathorn Silver represented the Buyer. Originally listed for $5,999,000.

450 17th Street– Sold for $3,445,000. Originally listed for $3,495,000.

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