National Boulevard

Perhaps the most surprising thing about National Boulevard is how old it is. It was named in 1889, back when the Westside consisted only of a sprinkling of farms, the infant town of The Palms, and “Soldiers’ Home”, where wounded Civil War vets lived out their golden years. In fact “National” is derived from the latter location’s formal name: the Pacific Branch of the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers (see Veteran Avenue), although the boulevard never led to the site itself. It was designed to connect Washington Boulevard (then “Street”) to Santa Monica, and went all the way to Santa Monica’s 17th Street before Clover Field landed on top of it in 1923.