Tarzana, a charming neighborhood in the San Fernando Valley, has a rich history that dates back to the early days of Los Angeles. Originally part of the Spanish land grants that were awarded in the late 1700s, the land that would later become Tarzana was once home to cattle ranches and farms.
In the early 1900s, as the movie industry began to take off, Hollywood was rapidly expanding and developers began looking for new areas to build homes for movie stars and other wealthy residents. Tarzana, with its beautiful countryside, easy accessibility, and proximity to the studios, quickly became a popular choice for those seeking a more secluded lifestyle.
Many Hollywood celebrities and other notable figures have called Tarzana home over the years, including actor Victor Mature, boxing legend Muhammad Ali, and billionaire Thomas Barrack Jr. Marilyn Monroe even lived in Tarzana briefly during her early modeling days, while a young Michael Jackson called the neighborhood home in the 1970s.
The origin of Tarzana’s name is also noteworthy. The neighborhood was named after Tarzan, the iconic character created by author Edgar Rice Burroughs. Burroughs, who lived in Tarzana for many years, developed the neighborhood and even donated land to build the first elementary school in the area.
Today, the neighborhood retains much of its natural beauty and charming character. The historic El Caballero Country Club, which dates back to 1957, still offers world-class golf courses and a thriving social scene. The sprawling Tarzana Ranch, once home to thousands of sheep and cattle, has been transformed into a beautiful park with hiking trails, picnic areas, and stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
In recent years, Tarzana has seen a surge in development and revitalization. The Tarzana Village Walk, a popular outdoor shopping and dining destination, was built in 2017 and has quickly become a neighborhood hotspot. The village walk features a variety of shops and restaurants, from local favorites like The Carving Board to national chains like Jersey Mike’s.
Perhaps most importantly, Tarzana has retained a strong sense of community over the years. The Tarzana Neighborhood Council, a group of local volunteers, works tirelessly to engage and connect neighbors through events, clean-up days, and community outreach. The Tarzana Improvement Association, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the neighborhood’s public spaces, has also been instrumental in preserving the neighborhood’s natural beauty and history.
Overall, Tarzana’s history is a fascinating tale of Hollywood glamour, natural beauty, and community spirit. From its early ranching days to its present-day revitalization, the neighborhood has undergone many changes over the years, but has remained a beloved enclave for those seeking a peaceful and scenic respite from city life.