Brookside was developed by Rimpau Estate Co. in 1920. It was originally called Wilshire Crest and built to lure wealthy families from the West Adams District. The homes, many of which were Colonial Revivals on deep lots, sold well, even through an economic downturn in 1921.
Over time, the area became known as Brookside. The name is not an anomaly. There is an actual natural stream — the Arroyo de los Jardines (Brook of the Gardens) — that runs underground from the Hollywood Hills, pops up through the backyards of several Brookside homes, then goes back underground beneath Baldwin Hills, before eventually flowing into Ballona Creek. The stream is home to koi, goldfish, crawfish, herons and the occasional family of ducks.
In addition to the uniqueness of the Arroyo, Brookside is also home to the famous Brookledge Theater, a private theater constructed in the 1930s in the backyard of a Brookside home, where magicians and other entertainers such as Orson Welles and Rita Hayworth would come to hang out and perform for each other. Performances still take place to this day.
Today, Brookside takes great pride in being an true community where neighbors know each other and socialize at activities that include an annual block party featuring incomparable bbq, music, a petting zoo and carnival-like games, an outdoor movie night at Memorial Park in the Fall where old b/w silent comedy shorts are projected on a big screen and accompanied by live piano, December holiday caroling with a horse-drawn wagon through the neighborhood streets, and an Easter egg hunt in the Spring. If Brookside were located anywhere other than in the heart of Los Angeles, you might mistake it for Mayberry!