Bel Air or Bel Air Estates is one of the wealthiest communities in the United States. Together with Beverly Hills and Holmby Hills, Bel Air forms the Platinum Triangle of Los Angeles. It was founded in 1923 by Alphonso Bell who bought a large ranch on what is now Bel Air Rd., subdivided and developed the property with large residential lots and built the Bel Air Beach Club in Santa Monica and the Bel Air Country Club in the heart of the community. His wife chose Italian names for the streets.
Located in the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains, Bel Air lies across Sunset Blvd. from the northern edge of the main campus of UCLA. Of several entrances, there are 2 main ones – the East Gate at Beverly Glen and Sunset Blvd. and the West Gate at Bellagio Drive and Sunset Blvd. Bel Air is generally subdivided into three distinct neighborhoods: East Gate Old Bel Air, West Gate Bel Air and Upper Bel Air, which, of the three, is the more recently developed – with smaller lots and homes – but also fantastic ocean and Stone Canyon Reservoir views from many properties. This area includes Casiano Estates and the guard-gated Bel Air Crest.
Roscomare Road Elementary in Upper Bel Air and Warner Avenue Elementary School in Westwood are the zoned elementary schools – both highly acclaimed public schools and reasons for living in Bel Air. Some of the best private schools in L.A. are also located in Bel Air – The Mirman School for Gifted Children, Westland School, John Thomas Dye School, Curtis School, Marymount High School, Stephen Wise Temple Elementary School/Milken High School and the Harvard Westlake Middle School.
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