San Vicente Boulevard (Westside)

Los Angeles has two entirely separate San Vicente Boulevards. This entry concerns the older one, which runs between Brentwood and Santa Monica; for the one between Mid-City and WeHo, see San Vicente Boulevard (Central). Laid out in 1905 on the Westgate townsite, this San Vicente Blvd. refers to Rancho San Vicente y Santa Monica, the land grant deeded to Francisco Sepúlveda in 1839. (Much of present-day Santa Monica sits on this old rancho, whose boundaries had been disputed for years.) The first recorded instance of the name was twelve years earlier, when Sepúlveda applied for the grant. It’s not clear which particular “San Vicente” was honored by the rancho – possibly Saint Vincent of Saragossa, given his Spanish roots; less likely France’s Saint Vincent de Paul – or why he and Saint Monica were singled out as namesakes, but here we are. San Vicente Boulevard was originally designed to connect Santa Monica to Sawtelle and Soldiers’ Home (now the VA campus), with the tracks of the Los Angeles-Pacific Railroad – later the Pacific Electric – lining the median. Coral trees and grass replaced those tracks in 1950.