Palos Verdes Estates is a city in Los Angeles County, California, USA on the Palos Verdes Peninsula. The city was master-planned by the noted American landscape architect and planner Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. The population was 13,438 at the 2010 census, up from 13,340 in the 2000 census. According to the 2000 US Census, Palos Verdes Estates is the 81st richest place in the United States with at least 1,000 households (based upon per capita income). The 90274 ZIP code (covering all communities within the Palos Verdes Peninsula) was ranked the 47th most expensive housing area among high property value U.S. ZIP codes in a 2007 study by Forbes.com.
The city is located along the Southern California coastline of the Pacific Ocean. There are several accessible beaches although most of the predominantly rocky shoreline is marked by high cliffs. Three noteworthy Palos Verdes Estates surfriding beaches exist among the estate homes along the coastline, and include: HaggertyÕs (the rock beach below the Neighborhood Church of Palos Verdes, site of the former Haggerty Manor estate), the Palos Verdes Bluff Cove Beach (around the point, south of HaggertyÕs, which includes ÒindicatorÓ, Òlittle reefÓ, ÒmiddleÓ, and ÒboneyardÓ surf breaks), and Lunada Bay (occasional large winter waves). Other significant features of the city are the scenic Palos Verdes Golf Club, a challenging 18-hole golf course and country club designed by George C. Thomas Jr and William ÒBillyÓ Bell in 1923, and the Palos Verdes Tennis Club. Both premier facilities are restricted for recreational use by city resident-members and guests, and are centrally located within the city. Another popular city landmark atop Palos Verdes Estates is the La Venta Inn. Built in 1923, La Venta Inn was the first known building structure on the Palos Verdes Peninsula. Architects Walter and Pierpont Davis designed the building and the famous landscape architects, the Olmstead brothers, designed its gardens. The La Venta Inn has views of the Southern California coastline.
At the time of the cityÕs incorporation in 1939, the business and shop area around Malaga Cove had most of the PeninsulaÕs earlier buildings. The Malaga Cove Plaza building of the Palos Verdes Public Library, designed by Pasadena architect Myron Hunt, was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1995. Palos Verdes Estates was one of the earliest master-planned communities in the United States.
Palos Verdes Estates is the only city on the Palos Verdes Peninsula to have its own police department (the other three peninsula cities contract with the Los Angeles County SheriffÕs Department, using the station in nearby Lomita). The department currently has 25 officers. These officers are assigned to different divisions such as traffic, patrol and detectives. The city also has its own dispatch center and jail. Both are staffed 24 hours a day. Fire prevention and EMT response services are provided by the Los Angeles County Fire Department with engine company firehouse facilities located within the city limits.
The city is served by the Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District. A previous The Washington Post study ranked the nearby Palos Verdes Peninsula High School (the ÒPanthersÓ; enrollment 2,400) as the #8 best among public and private high schools in the United States. U.S. News & World Report recently academically ranks it #89 among 18,500 U.S. high schools, and Newsweek ranks it #146. Palos Verdes Peninsula High School also annually honors the largest collection of National Merit Scholar commendments (usually 50-60) enrolled in a U.S. high school in any year. In any given year there is routinely a dozen-way or more tie for the Valedictorian (highest grade point average) honors in the graduating class. The smaller enrollment Palos Verdes High School (the ÒSea KingsÓ; enrollment 1,900) achieves the same quality education standards and is equally competitive academically. It just recently achieved the same API score as Palos Verdes Peninsula High School, an astounding 898. Both schoolsÕ students and faculties in science and computer science curricula are participants in national robotic engineering advancement, and have competed against universities (Caltech, Stanford, Princeton, Cornell) and defense contractor firms in government-sponsored robotic science application challenges (example: The Sea Kings competed in the 2005 DARPA Grand Challenge; the only U.S. high school to do so).
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