Right at the heart of LAX lies the abandoned city of Surfridge (15 HQ Photos)

Ever flown out of LAX and saw what appeared to be an abandoned city below? It is. Palisades del Rey (aka Surfridge) was a beachfront city developed in the early 1920's by the famed Dickinson & Gillespie Co. By the mid 1930's, the neighborhood became a beachfront paradise, home to director Cecil B. DeMille and movie stars like Charles Bickford. More than 470 acres of gently rolling hill sides-prime ocean-view land above Dockweiler State Beach was dotted with beautiful homes and a caring community.

After the commercialization of the jet-liner, LAX began buying up the land to make room for extended runways. By the 1970's, most of the houses had been demolished and the few that remained lost all value due to the 747's screaming overhead. For the residents of Surfridge, their paradise was lost.

Today, all that remains of Palisades del Rey is cracked streets with knee high weeds growing where houses once stood. The area has been cordoned off by Los Angeles County. For whatever reason, the lamp posts that line the abandoned streets still light up at night.

Lead photo via Eyetwist's Flickr.

  • boob_cuddle

    Life After people.

  • TC in playa

    I live right next to this place. LAX not only stole that area, if you look at the map they have taken homes all around them. LAX claimed homes to the East, West and North of the airport! There are several former neighborhoods like this. Our local golf course lost 2 holes to LAX so it only has 16!

  • C-spot

    This just in, half of Lower Michigan is like this, and will likely remain that way.

  • Joe

    I drove limos for several years back in the late '80s and early '90s. At that time you could still drive across a couple of the east-west streets to the beach. Looks like they are all closed now. Used to be a cool place to stop at the top of the hill, kick back between pick ups.

    • pdrrez

      yeah, they closed that street off immediately following 9/11. It was a great hill to sit on top of cuz you had the beach on one side and planes taking off on the other side, flying right over you. After 9/11 settled down and the military units left the area, that road was blocked off and has been since. I never see anyone walking on it. I assume they have security cameras set up and alert the cops if anyone is on it for fears they might be there to shoot down planes rather than enjoying the nice views…

  • its_forge

    Shit, man, spend a couple of million fixing it up and sell it as low-cost housing for deaf people. I mean duh?

  • FarmBoy

    #11 anyone else see a face?

  • N. Zieske

    Looks like this is where they filmed the scene in In Time where Cillian Murphy's character dies.

  • matt

    big fucking deal. When you live and breath LAX you wonder why they would even put a hood there in the first place.

  • KD's

    County should make it a supermoto park. Or a place for all the stunters to go ride around.

  • Sean

    We can take the jets right over surfridge mr. Lamarr. Surfridge surfridge, splendid. Where's gene wilder when u need him!

  • http://framework.latimes.com/2011/08/04/lax-the-hareport-chronicles/ SCH

    When my dad was a kid in the 1940's their house backed up to the LA Airport on the North side. They eventually got bought out for expansion. My dad swore my grandfather put a gate in the fence and would hunt rabbits at the airport in the evening. This is a great photo of the rabbits on the air field in those days.

  • Rationale

    What isn't mentioned is that this is also now the protected breeding grounds for the endangered El Segundo Blue Butterfly. This is a nice piece in today's Chive..thanks!

  • Buffalo

    Why did you guys not include a picture of what the area looks like at night???

  • Ryan

    What if someone bought it up and made a (or a few) massive paintball course…That would be spectacular

  • The Diesel

    Doesn't matter, had sex!

  • AlltheTacos

    Now why would you mention the street lights lighting up at night and not show a picture of that? Reminds me of that "glow in the dark" skatepark…

  • Frodo

    The effects of zoning laws…

  • bwaggger

    #12 thats after 90 years of neglect? Thats impressive. Here in China, some roads look like that after 10 years of use.

  • Joey

    Woah! An abandoned suburban neighborhood : ) looks like one of those fake neighborhoods they test nuclear bombs on.

  • Jb1844

    Seems like a good place to house some homeless

  • Anonymous

    Anybody else thinking about an airsoft game or some zombie survival?

  • Ish - Westchester

    These streets used to be opened to park on for the beach. After 9-11 the county fenced them off so terrorist couldn't use them as scouting and offensive locations against the airport. Live in that area for years and remember seeing a few abandoned buildings once and a while. I also used those streets back then to learn how to drive. Sad indeed.

  • heathclif

    I would buy a house there.

  • Euroranger

    Wait…lamp posts that still light up 40+ years later?

  • DeadGearHead

    home of the morlocks

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