Palos Verdes Estates Quick Facts City Government and Finances
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History of Palos Verdes Real Estate

in Palos Verdes Estates


The City of Palos Verdes Estates, incorporated December 20, 1939, is the oldest of the four cities on the Palos Verdes Peninsula.

The Palos Verdes Peninsula, which became known as Rancho de los Palos Verdes was part of a land grant deeded to Don Delores Sepulveda in 1822 in return for his support of the Mexican Revolution. In 1882, the land was deeded to Jotham Bixby who brought farming to the Peninsula. The Bixby family in turn, sold the land to New York City Financier Frank A. Vanderlip, Sr. in 1913. Vanderlip, then President of National City Bank in New York, covered every mile of his new acquisition on horseback and formed his vision of a magnificent community by the sea. To achieve these goals, Vanderlip called in the most talented experts and professionals of his day.

Deed restrictions were imposed on the land in 1923 when the Bank of America as trustee for Vanderlip’s Palos Verdes Project drafted a trust indenture and outlined provisions for development of the new community. The restrictions included specific items to “preserve the fine views of ocean, mountains and park,” and “increase with the years the wonderful natural beauty of the property”. The document established set back requirements, prohibited billboards and imposed a system of architectural review on builders administered by the Palos Verdes Homes Association and the Palos Verdes Art Jury.

Vanderlip's plans were slowed by World War I, but subdivision of the land and construction of the first Spanish style homes in what is today Palos Verdes Estates began in the early 1920's.

Hagarty Estate/Neighborhood Church.One of the more spectacular early buildings, an Italian villa, was built in 1928 by J.J. Haggarty of Haggarty's Department Store. Today the building houses the Neighborhood Church.


The new community was laid out and landscaped by the famous Olmsted Brothers, sons of Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr., who designed Central Park in New York City. Gently winding roadways, green hillsides, paths, stands of eucalyptus, pepper, and coral trees were established and a full 28% of the land area was dedicated to be permanent open space. This early planning and dedication of parklands gives the City its unique rural character and has resulted in its international reputation for scenic beauty.

Portugese Bend Circa 1927

Palos Verdes Estates first functioned as an unincorporated community and the Homes Association was liable for taxes on all parkland. After the economic crash in 1929, the Association owed parkland taxes to Los Angeles County and area residents were afraid that the parklands might be sold for payment. City incorporation was voted in 1939 and the parklands were deeded to the new City in 1940 by the Homes Association.



Points of Interest and Amenities


Palos Verdes Estates provides its residents with a number of opportunities for recreational and sporting activities. The City owns and maintains 382 acres of Parklands, 130 acres of shoreline preserve, a 3 mile equestrian trail, a 214 acre golf course, a tennis club, stable and beach and athletic club.

Golf Club

In 1923, plans began to construct a premier golf club in the city of Palos Verdes Estates. The Olmsted Brothers were selected for the landscape portion of the course while George C. Thomas Jr. and William Bell designed the course. In November of 1924, the Palos Verdes Golf course opened for play. Thomas and Bell went on to collaborate and build many of Southern California’s finest courses including Riviera Country Club, the North Course at Los Angeles Country Club and Bel-Air Country Club. The elegant Spanish style clubouse has been a center for Peninsula social life since the 1920's.

The Palos Verdes Golf Club was the second facility built in the Palos Verdes Project in 1924. It featured a 213 acre course- most with ocean views. Today the Golf and Country Club offer a challenging course and beautiful dining facilities.

A stunning renovation of the storied clubhouse was recently completed and is now considered one of the premium event locations in southern California. The Palos Verdes Golf and Country Club is located at 3301 Via Campesina. The land and facility belongs to the City and the Club is operated under a concession agreement with the City.

The clubhouse is open to the public for lunch 11:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Thursday night dining and Sunday morning brunch are also open to the public. Call for reservations (375-2533). City residents may apply for either a golf or social membership for a fee. The golf course is open to the public all day Mondays (except holidays) and specified hours throughout the week; call the pro-shop for availability (375-2759). It is open on weekends to guests of members.


Tennis Club


Located next to the Golf Club, the Tennis Club at 3303 Via Campesina, is also owned by the City and operated under a concession agreement with the City. There are 10 lighted and 2 unlighted courts and a clubhouse. Members have preference, but non-members may play for a fee when courts are available.


The Palos Verdes Tennis Club offers 12 courts, clubhouse and active social programs for adults and youth.


Palos Verdes Beach and Athletic Club


The Swim Club was completely refurbished in 1992 after the City, in 1988,had seriously considered demolishing the Club, which had fallen into disrepair. A group of citizens proposed selling memberships to raise capital to remodel the Club, and the Club was reopened in 1992 as the Palos Verdes Beach & Athletic Club. City residents may use the club for the payment of a daily fee.

Beach Club under construction in 1992

The Palos Verdes Swimming Club was opened in 1930, and later named Roessler Pool after the City’s first Mayor, HFB Roessler. The facility was completely refurbished in 1992 and re-opened as the Palos Verdes Beach and Athletic Club. It is located at 389 Paseo del Mar.


Palos Verdes Stable


The Palos Verdes Stable, located at 4057 Via Opata, is owned by the City and operated under a concession agreement with the City. Guided rides, lessons, horse rentals, boarding and horse camps are offered. Trail rides are available on weekends in the summer months; summer horse camp for children is held each summer.


 One of the amenities of the community is the Palos Verdes Stable.


Neptune Fountain


One of Palos Verdes Estates’ notable landmarks is Neptune Fountain, the City’s logo, in Malaga Cove Plaza. The elaborate two-thirds scale replica of a bronze statue and fountain erected in Bologna, Italy in 1563, was donated to Palos Verdes Estates in 1930 by the Palos Verdes Project. The statue is thought to have been over 100 years old before it was brought to the City and was obtained from a villa courtyard outside Venice.





Palos Verdes school students, prior to 1925, attended schools in Redondo Beach, which was then part of the Los Angeles City School District. A separate Palos Verdes school district was created in 1925, however it was only for grades K-8. The first school constructed, in 1926 in Malaga Cove, housed all school grades from elementary school through eighth grade,with high school students continuing to attend schools in Redondo Beach.

Malaga Cove School

During the construction of Malaga Cove School, students temporarily attended classes in the Gardiner Building in Malaga Cove Plaza. Palos Verdes High School was originally planned and constructed as a six year school for grades 7 through 12by the Los Angeles School District in 1960, but when the Palos Verdes Unified School District was formed to include high schools as well as grade school students, the partially completed campus of Palos Verdes High was converted to a high school in 1961 as the first high school of the Palos Verdes Unified School District. Rolling Hills High School opened in the fall of 1964 for grades nine through eleven. Seniors stayed at Palos Verdes High School. Miraleste High opened in 1968. In 1991, due to declining high school enrollment, the three high schools were consolidated on the campus of Rolling Hills High School, and renamed Palos Verdes Peninsula High School. Palos Verdes high school was again opened to accommodate increased demand. Today, Palos Verdes schools are continually ranked among the nations best.

Palos Verdes Estates is included in the Palos Verdes Peninsula school district and has the following schools located in various neighborhoods:

 Lunada Bay
 Palos Verdes High School - 600 Cloyden Road
 Lunada Bay Elementary - 520 Paseo Lunado
 Margate Intermediate - 2161 Via Olivera

 Montemalaga Elementary (1121 Via Nogales)
 Zurita school site is used as a youth baseball field.

Malaga Cove
Malaga Cove Intermediate (re-open plans in work) 300 Paseo del Mar

Valmonte Elementary - administration offices (3801 Via La Selva) - planned re-opening

School Links:

Palos Verdes Unified School District
Torrance Unified School District
Redondo Beach Unified School District
Manhattan Beach Unified School District
Los Angeles Unified School District
Rolling Hills Prep (Private)
Peninsula Heritage School (Private)
Montessori Schools (Private)
St. John Fisher (Private Catholic, K-8)
Marymount College
Chadwick Academy (private)