Malaga Cove is the region along the North shoreline of Palos Verdes Estates from the Malaga Cove Triangle to Bluff Cove at the Margate border and inland from the ocean bluffs up the hill to the area near La Venta Inn and eastward to include the Palos Verdes Country Club. This was the first area developed in Palos Verdes Estates and includes the famous 'Malaga Cove Plaza' commercial district replete with a 2/3 scale replica of the circa 1563 'Neptune Fountain' sculpture (La Fontana del Nettuno) located in Bologna, Italy. The fountain was donated to the city by the 'Palos Verdes Project'. This marble masterpiece was was taken from a villa north of Venice, Italy when it was already over 100 years old. This original statue crumbled and was replaced in 1969 with a slightly smaller model, however a fig leaf was added. Due to a history of vandalism, the fountain is under continuous video surveillance transmitted to the police station.
The first building in Malaga Cove was the Gardner Building completed in 1925 at a cost of $57,500. La Venta Inn was the original hospitality building to promote lot sales in the city (La Venta means 'the sale').
Malaga Cove is a popular location for filming movie scenes and commercials. The Palos Verdes Police department, Library, city government offices, and county fire station are also located in Malaga Cove. The private Palos Verdes Pool and Athletic Club (formerly the site of the Roessler pool) is located on the ocean bluff by the Torrance beach. The former pool and clubhouse completed in 1930, has been totally rebuilt in Mediterranean motif and is located on the original site along the beach front next to the Neighborhood church.
Malaga Cove is also the site of the first school built in Palos Verdes, completed in 1926 on 7 acres next to the ocean bluff.
The Neighborhood church at one time was the Haggerty (department store magnate) estate with a pier, seaplane tether and a boat dock. The neighborhood church purchased the Haggerty estate in 1950 for $65,000, and is a very popular wedding site. La Venta Inn, completed in 1923, is a beautiful Mediterranean style event site (weddings, etc.) that was once a restaurant frequented by such notables as Charles Lindbergh, Tyrone Power, Cary Grant, and Gloria Swanson. It has a magnificent view of the 'queens necklace' coastline and an outdoor venue for ceremonies.
Local lore has it that a trolley terminus was once planned behind the city offices and a dirigible landing site was envisioned at the end of Via Tejon. An old dynamite bunker is visible on the hillside above Bluff Cove where the roadway was blasted through in 1923 to connect Malaga Cove with Margate/Lunada Bay, however a home is currently planned for this site. This was called the 'Douglas Cut' and required detonation of 60 tons of dynamite, an event reputed to have been observed by as many as 20,000 spectators.
The Olmsted brothers (their father designed New York's Central Park ) were responsible for much of the park like ambiance design of the city, especially the Malaga Cove Plaza area. Frank Olmsted Jr. built the first bluff top home in Palos Verdes, on Rosita Place. Wild peacocks roam the Malaga Cove and canyon areas.
The Palos Verdes Country Club, located on 213 acres at the East end of Malaga Cove is a semi-private championship golf course with a Mediterranean style clubhouse. The golf course was completed in 1925 at a cost of $40,000. Club membership is restricted to residents of Palos Verdes Estates. The clubhouse is also a popular wedding venue. An 18,000 square foot addition and remodeling is currently underway. A tennis club is also located at the country club.