Bel Air is an upscale neighborhood on the Westside region of Los Angeles in the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains.
The neighboring communities are Beverly Crest, Brentwood, Encino, Sherman Oaks and Westwood. Together with Beverly Hills and Holmby Hills, Bel Air forms the “Platinum Triangle” of Los Angeles neighborhoods.
Founded in 1923, Bel Air sits about 12 miles west of Downtown Los Angeles and directly across Sunset Blvd. from the UCLA campus. Bel Air is one of the least densely populated residential districts in Los Angeles with a generally older, well-educated population, and a large percentage of married people. The median yearly household income in 2008 dollars was $207,938.
There are two main entrances into Bel Air: the East Gate (pictured above), located at Beverly Glen & Sunset Boulevards and the West Gate at Bellagio Drive of UCLA and Sunset Boulevard. Bel Air is generally subdivided into three distinct neighborhoods: East Gate Old Bel Air, West Gate Bel Air, and Upper Bel Air.
East Gate Old Bel Air is made up of large, old estates developed mostly before World War II. Though many of the 128 lots that comprised the original Bel Air Residential Allotment have since been combined into single properties, this 1923 Bel Air allotment is what distinguishes East Gate Old Bel Air from the rest of present day Bel Air. A design committee exists to preserve the “architectural harmony” of the community.
Bel Air is recognized as the setting for numerous films and television shows (notably The Fresh Prince of Bel Air).