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The Neighborhood of Century City

Century City is a 176-acre commercial and residential district on the Westside of the city of Los Angeles. It is bounded by Westwood on the west, Rancho Park on the southwest, Cheviot Hills and Beverlywood on the southeast, and the city of Beverly Hills on the northeast. Its major thoroughfares are Santa Monica, Olympic, and Pico Boulevards (its northern boundary, central artery, and southern boundary, respectively), as well as Avenue of the Stars and Century Park East and West.

Century City is an important business center, and many law firms and executives — particularly those with ties to the film, television, and music industries — have offices there.

Skyscrapers and other important landmarks

The high-rise buildings along Wilshire Boulevard in Westwood appear to blend in with those of Century City when seen at a distance, although they are separated by over three-quarters of a mile.

Its gleaming high-rises stand in stark contrast to the small apartment buildings and single-family detached homes in the lower-density neighborhoods surrounding it, and were some of the first skyscrapers built in Los Angeles after the lifting of earthquake-related height restrictions in the early 1960s.

For many years, it was home to the ABC Entertainment Center, which housed network operations for the ABC Television Network and the Shubert Theater, which hosted many famous Broadway musicals, such as Beauty and the Beast, Les Misérables, Cats, Annie, and Mamma Mia!. The Shubert was demolished in 2002 and became replaced by a modern glass building that houses the headquarters Creative Artists Agency affectionately known as the Death Star, which is part of the complex called Century Park. Another show that Century City can often be seen in is "Modern Family" due to its production from Fox Studios right next door.

Some of the most recognized buildings in Century City include:

History

Once a backlot of 20th Century Fox, which still has its headquarters just to the southwest, the Fox studio commissioned a master-plan development from Welton Becket Associates, which was unveiled at a major press event on the "western" backlot in 1957. In 1961, after Fox suffered a string of expensive flops, culminating in the box-office disaster Cleopatra, the film studio sold about 180 acres to developer William Zeckendorf and Aluminum Co. of America, also known as Alcoa. The new owners conceived Century City as "a city within a city." In 1963, the first building, Century City Gateway West, was complete, followed the next year by Minoru Yamasaki's Century Plaza Hotel.

It originally was planned to be served by the Beverly Hills Freeway (Santa Monica Boulevard to the north) and a rapid transit corridor. However, neither of these transportation improvements came to pass, and so Century City is a source of traffic irritation for the residents of Cheviot Hills to the south, since there is no direct freeway access to the center. It is likely that any westward extension of the Los Angeles MTA's Metro Purple Line subway will include a stop at Century City.

Much of the shopping center's architecture and style is shown off in numerous sequences in the 1967 Fox film, A Guide for the Married Man, and can also be seen in a sequence in another Fox film of the same year, Caprice. The way the plaza looked in 1972 can be viewed in several scenes of still another Fox film, Conquest of the Planet of the Apes.

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