Today's MTA approval of the Wilshire Boulevard-to-the-VA option for the westward subway extension was covered earlier by Mark at LA Biz Observed. The idea even seems to be growing on him — and that's saying something. The board vote leaves out the West Hollywood detour and the politically sensitive Crenshaw station, leaves undecided the dicey political question of just where the tunnel will go under Century City and Beverly Hills, and should put to rest for now Mayor Villaraigosa's inoperative "subway to the sea" meme. The MTA action envisions and generally identifies the money for a subway to Westwood Village (not UCLA) and a little beyond to the VA medical center complex on the other side of the 405 freeway from Westwood. Not to Santa Monica, not now. Maybe never.
If you're geographically challenged about that part of the Westside, the VA campus is outside the city of Los Angeles (and thus ineligible to be considered Westwood.) It sits on unincorporated federal land encircled by the freeway, Brentwood, West Los Angeles, Westwood and the Sawtelle district. Dating to the 1880s arrival of Civil War veterans looking for a warm place to live out their years, it's got one of the more interesting backstories of any place in or around the city limits. Newspaper datelines used to refer to it as Soldier's Home, Calif. Outside the south gate was the wild city of Sawtelle, later annexed to Los Angeles as West L.A. The feds, for the record, now call the entire facility the West Los Angeles Medical Center. That whitewashed wooden chapel you see facing Wilshire Boulevard is the oldest building on the boulevard and rightly is on the National Register of Historic Places, though it's really being allowed to deteriorate.
Historical trivia: The Soldier's Home and Sawtelle both were served by trains or streetcars for much of their early existence. There even used to be a horse-drawn trolley down Wilshire to Santa Monica. If nothing hangs up the subway — and remember, mayoral candidate Rick Caruso and some parts of the Valley are cool to subway construction — there will once again be tracks to the VA campus.