Welcome to L.A. Street Names, the origin stories of street names across Los Angeles County, from the shortest cul-de-sacs to the longest boulevards. Mysteries solved, myths debunked, scandals exposed, history revealed. This is an ongoing project with more than 1,600 streets – and growing. See FAQ for more information.
George Andrew Neilson (1889-1954) was born in Pittsburgh, studied civil engineering at Carnegie Technical Schools (today’s Carnegie Mellon), then came to Santa Monica with his parents and sisters in 1907. After three years at SoCal Edison, Neilson established a new career as a banker and continued in that field until 1930, when he set up his own insurance agency. In 1915, Neilson married Ada Christian Clark (1897-1991), a Salt Lake City girl who wintered in Ocean Park with her parents. They had one daughter, Jane. Neilson served on the Santa Monica Board of Education in the 1920s and was elected to one term on City Council in 1947. In February 1955, eight months after his death, Santa Monica finished converting an abandoned Pacific Electric streetcar right-of-way into a four-lane “highway” and christened it Neilson Way. The road was extended into Venice but the City of L.A. chose not to honor Neilson, naming its portion Pacific Avenue instead.