"Palos Verdes Resident since 1947"

Portuguese Bend Estates?

Huh?  Portuguese Bend Estates?  I’m guessing you’ve never heard of it or, if you have, it’s not where you think it is.  When I first heard the name I assumed it must be what is now the Portuguese Bend Club or the area behind the gates at Narcissa Drive and PV Drive South.  At the same time that the better-known early housing developments were going in on the Hill – Grandview, Rocky Point, etc – there was also one being built on the southeast corner of the Peninsula, across from what is now Trump National.  And it was known as Portuguese Bend Estates, with streets such as Exultant, Dauntless, Stalwart, Admirable, and others.  By now you’ve probably figured out that this is where you live, now known as Sea View.  I’ve lived in Palos Verdes for 72 years and have always known it as Sea View.  The development was built between 1956 and 1960 and is, of course, adjacent to the Portuguese Bend landslide, but just out of it on the south end.  I’m not sure if it was just dumb luck or someone knew something, because that landslide began in late 1955, and this development was in planning years before.  I have sold many houses in your neighborhood and the geologists tell me that the rock formations under it are completely different than those in the slide area, and that your neighborhood is in no danger.  But I’m not sure they knew that in 1956-1960, when the Portuguese Bend Landslide was the biggest news on the Peninsula.

As the President of the Palos Verdes Historical Society, I have come into possession of the brochure for the project.  There were either plans for a gated entry or there was a lot of artistic license.  And the map shows the extension of Crenshaw Blvd down to PV Drive South as a dotted line – still under construction, which was famously never completed.  It was determined at the time that excavation for that extension was what triggered the landslide, and it was abandoned about the time Portuguese Bend Estates was being built.  I also notice that Crest Road is shown as going all the way down to what is now Golden Cove, and Silver Spur goes down to PCH, don’tchya know.  This is long before Hawthorne was put in from Newton to PV Drive North (1964) – Hawthorne in those pre-1964 days was what is now called Via Valmonte.

The architect for the development was the now famous Paul Revere Williams, one of the first prominent black architects in the US.  Another well-known building he designed in that era, for example, is the iconic circular restaurant at LA International Airport.  I suppose it’s a measure of his anonymity at the time that there is no mention of him in the literature.

Comments are closed.