Hollywood Hills

About Hollywood Hills

Zip Code: 90068, 90046, 90069

The Hollywood Hills is an area of Los Angeles that is situated in the Santa Monica Mountains overlooking the city of Los Angeles and beyond, with views that stretch from Downtown to the Catalina Island. The greater Hollywood Hills area is customarily divided into east and west halves, each comprised of several neighborhoods. Besides the incomparable views, the endless maze of streets throughout the hills provides its residents with a sense of solitude and seclusion despite being only minutes away from the vast city below, brimming with light and life.

Neighborhoods

As with Los Angeles as a whole, the style of homes in the hills varies widely and includes Spanish, California Mid-Century Modern, bungalows, and ultra modern with price tags ranging from several hundred thousand dollars to tens of millions of dollars. East to west, neighborhoods of the Hollywood Hills East include Franklin Village, Beachwood Canyon and Hollywoodland, Hollywood Dell, Whitley Heights, Hollywood Heights, Outpost, Mount Olympus, Nichols Canyon and Sunset Hills. A short summary of each neighborhood follows below.

Beachwood Canyon and Hollywoodland

Beachwood Canyon runs from Franklin Avenue on the south, up into the hills running smack into the famous Hollywood sign. The upper portion of the canyon is the Hollywoodland area originally advertised in the 1920’s by the Hollywood sign, set aglow by four thousand 20-watt bulbs. In the center of the canyon is the village’s small and charming commercial area that includes a grocery market, coffee shop, florist, and cleaners. The Gothic-esque Hollywoodland Gates, situated on either side of Beachwood Drive, announce your entrance to this little commercial district. They also lend to the neighborhood’s sense of identity, as intended by the real estate developers of the area in the ‘20s.

Home to more than 22,000 residents, it was first developed in the 1920s by a syndicate composed of Gen. M. H. Sherman, the founder of West Hollywood; Los Angeles Times publisher, Harry Chandler, and real estate mogul Sidney Woodruff. Its architecture and landscaping drew inspiration from the southern regions of France, Italy and Spain.

Beachwood Canyon residents are zoned to the following schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District:
· Cheremoya Elementary
· Hollywood High

Franklin Village

Extending north and south along Franklin Ave. between Foothill Dr and Hollywood Blvd. in Hollywood, Franklin Village is the one of the smaller neighborhoods in Los Angeles, but with a load of appeal as evidenced by the number of people found outside the string of businesses at its center. Businesses in this small strip truly run the gamut and include magazine stand and gift shop, clothing boutique, record and bookstore, gourmet deli, supermarket, salon, natural foods, a comedy theatre, and pet supplies. Although this neighborhood has a fairly young history in terms of its popularity, the early 1920’s Hollywood apartment buildings and craftsman homes (many built originally as hunting lodges) that line its streets are evidence of its true age. If walk-ability is among your criteria for choosing a neighborhood, this village deserves a visit.

Franklin Village residents are zoned to the following LAUSD schools:
· Cheremoya Elementary
· Grant Elementary
· Le Conte Middle
· Hollywood High

Hollywood Dell

The Hollywood Dell is a small area of the hills that lies just east of the 101. Prior to the 101 being built, “the Dell” was part of Whitley Heights and considered part of the original Hollywood Hills. The generally accepted borders of the Dell are east of Cahuenga, north of Franklin, west of Argyle and south of the Hollywood Reservoir. Besides super quick freeway access, the Dell also offers residents convenient access to the Hollywood Bowl and the Sunday farmer’s market in Hollywood, easily one of L.A.’s largest and most popular street markets. Typical residences in the Hollywood Dell are single family homes with a heavy influence of Spanish Colonial Revival architecture. There’s also an active homeowners association, with voluntary dues, named the Hollywood Dell Civic Association.

Hollywood Dell residents are zoned to the following LAUSD schools:

· Cheremoya Elementary
· Le Conte Middle
· Hollywood High

Whitley Heights

Whitley Heights is a residential neighborhood in the Hollywood district of Los Angeles. Named for Hobart Johnstone “HJ” Whitley, the “Father of Hollywood”, Whitley Heights was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. In 1918, HJ Whitley commissioned architect A.S. Barnes to design Whitley Heights as a Mediterranean style village on the steep hillsides above Hollywood Boulevard and it became the first celebrity community. Among its many famous residents have been Bette Davis, Charlie Chaplin, Rudooph Valentino, Barbara Stanwyck, W.C. Fields, Jean Harlow, Carole Lombard, William Powell, Tyrone Power, Gloria Swanson, Rosalind Russell, Judy Garland and Marlene Dietrich. One of the most desirable neighborhoods in Los Angles was forever changed when it was bisected by the 101 freeway’s construction after World War II, destroying some landmark homes in the process. But even with the march of progress, Whitley Heights remains a historic gem of a neighborhood thanks to its status as a Historic Preservation Overlay Zone (HPOZ) – only of twenty nine in LA, but the only one in the Hollywood Hills.

Today, Whitley Heights is roughly bordered on the north and east by Cahuenga Boulevard, on the west by Highland Avenue, and on the south by Franklin Avenue. It overlooks the tourist district of Hollywood, including the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, and the Hollywood Bowl amphitheater.

Whitley Heights residents are zoned to the following LAUSD schools:
· Cheremoya Elementary
· Selma Avenue Elementary
· Le Conte Middle
· Bancroft Middle
· Hollywood High

Hollywood Heights

Hollywood Heights is a small neighborhood in the hills that is just west of the 101 and is bounded the Highland Avenue, Outpost Drive, Franklin Avenue and the Hollywood Bowl.

In addition to all of the Hollywood amenities and attractions described for Whitley Heights above, Hollywood heights boasts a couple prized destinations of its own. One is the famous Yamashiro restaurant and the other is “the most unusual private club in the world”, the Magic Castle. Yamashiro, a replica of a palace in the Yamashiro mountains of Japan near Kyoto, has stood on a hill looking over Hollywood like a jewel in the crown since 1911 and was originally designed as a private residence to house an Asian art collection. The Magic Castle is a performance venue, restaurant and private club, whose lobby has no visible doors to the interior, and visitors must say a secret phrase to a sculpture of an owl to gain access, exposing the entrance to the club. The building is an authentic Chateau-esque mansion built in 1909 by banker, real estate developer and philanthropist, Rollin B. Lane.

Hollywood Heights residents are zoned to the following LAUSD schools:
· Selma Avenue Elementary
· Bancroft Middle
· Hollywood High

Outpost

Outpost Estates is a compact community of roughly 450 homes located directly east of Runyon Canyon Park and centered around Outpost Drive. Developed by Charles E. Toberman in the 1920’s to be “one of the most exclusive and beautiful residential parks in the world”. His homes of luxury were intended to appeal to the emerging elite of L.A. in the roaring twenties. Most of the original houses have been preserved, and Lower Outpost looks much like it did in the 1920s. Inspired, but not to be outdone by, the Hollywoodland sign, which was built in 1923 to advertise real estate, Toberman built a 30-feet tall, neon “Outpost” sign. Twisted metal wreckage from of this little-known sign still rests in the hillside to this day.

Today, Outpost Estates covers roughly 1 1/2 square miles and is bordered by Mulholland Drive to the north1, Franklin Canyon to the south, Runyon Canyon Park to the west and Cahuenga Boulevard to the east.

Outpost residents are zoned to the following LAUSD schools:

· Gardner Elementary
· Selma Avenue Elementary
· Valley View Elementary
· Bancroft Middle
· Burroughs Middle
· Hollywood High

Mount Olympus

Mount Olympus is a neighborhood in the Hollywood Hills that occupies a narrow north-south strip of land lying just east of Laurel Canyon. Specifically, it’s borders are Laurel Canyon Boulevard on the west, Nichols Canyon Road on the east, Willow Glen Road to the north, and Hollywood Boulevard on the south. The 300-acre development was founded in 1969 by developer Russ Vincent, who promised homes priced at $150,000. Today, a home in Mount Olympus typically sells for $2 million to $5 million. In 1983 the Mt. Olympus Property Owners Association (MOPOA) was established as a non-profit public benefit corporation to manage the community affairs of the local home owners.

Nichols Canyon

Nichols Canyon begins at Hollywood Blvd. on its south end and wends its way northward into the hills below Mulholland Drive. Nichols Canyon borders, and in some places overlaps, Runyon Canyon Park which lies to its east. Nichols Canyon is a favorite jogging and cycling road and is known for its natural, year-round, spring-fed creek and 100’ waterfall.

Nichols Canyon was named after John G. Nichols who served as mayor of Los Angeles between 1852 and 1853 and again from 1856 to 1859. He was a businessman and a builder who lived in the first brick house to be built in Los Angeles, and he was the first mayor to expand the city. Today, there are over 5000 homes Nichols Canyon and their typical price range is between $2 million and $5 millions.

Laurel Canyon

This canyon neighborhood was first developed in the 1910s, and became a part of the city of Los Angeles in 1923 (prior to then, it was an unincorporated part of Los Angeles County.

Much like Topanga Canyon, community life is focused on its central thoroughfare, Laurel Canyon Boulevard. Unlike other nearby canyon neighborhoods, Laurel Canyon has houses lining one side of the main street most of the way up to Mulholland Drive. There are many side roads that branch off the main canyon, but most of them are not through streets, reinforcing the self-contained nature of the neighborhood. Some of the main side streets are Mount Olympus, Kirkwood, Wonderland, Willow Glen, and Lookout Mountain Avenue. The zip code for a portion of the neighborhood is 90046.

Laurel Canyon is an important transit corridor between West Hollywood and the San Fernando Valley, specifically Studio City. The division between the two can roughly be defined by the intersection of Laurel Canyon and Mulholland Drive.

Sunset Hills

Sunset Hills is a small, affluent enclave bordered by Laurel Canyon Blvd. on the east, Sunset Plaza Drive on the west and Sunset Blvd on the south, which is also the City of Los Angeles’ border with the City of West Hollywood. Primary access roads are Kings Rd., Little Hollywood Blvd, Queens Rd. and Sunset Plaza Dr.

A neighborhood of expensive, multi-million dollar homes clinging to dramatically rising hills, Sunset Hills is home to such landmarks as the Chateau Marmont Hotel, built in the 1920s and the site of John Belushi’s overdose, and a famous Frank Lloyd Wright home on Little Hollywood Blvd., once the residence of producer Joel Silver. Now Sunset Hills boasts the largest concentration of celebrities residing in Los Angeles.

Residents enjoy seclusion and staggering views of the Los Angeles cityscape. Homes typically range from $3–5 million for small multi-level houses, with some larger homes exceeding $10 million.

Parks & Recreation

Hollywood Bowl

Another unmistakable Los Angeles icon is the Hollywood Bowl. With a seating capacity of almost 18,000 it’s the largest natural amphitheater in the United States. The bowl opened on July 11, 1922 and within its first 7 years it underwent three architectural updates, twice by Lloyd Wright and once by the Allied Architects whose work remained until 2003. Unfortunately each new design did not bring improved acoustics. The current shell was built in 2003 by Frank Gehry and after a series of subsequent modifications the bowl has its finest acoustics ever, plus large video screens. Concerts at the bowl are an enduring tradition and a must for all Angelenos. Pack a meal and listen to your favorite music live as the sun goes down and the stars rise.

Sunset Ranch and the Hollywood Sign

Sunset Ranch is a full-service horse ranch offering instruction and rentals for riding along the scenic trails of Griffith Park and Mt. Hollywood. The ranch is famous for its dinner, BBQ, and evening rides. Many are drawn to the ranch and its rides for its unique way of seeing the famous Hollywood sign.

Bronson Canyon Park

Bronson Canyon, or Bronson Caves, is a section of southwest portion Griffith Park which has become famous as a filming location for a many movies and TV shows, especially westerns and science fiction, from the early days of motion pictures to the present. Its craggy and remote-looking setting, but easily accessible location, has made it a prime choice for filmmakers, particularly of low-budget films, who want to place scenes in a lonely wilderness. Perhaps the most well known appearance of the tunnel entrance is its use as the entrance to the Bat Cave in the Batman television series of the 1960s.

Hollywood sign

The Hollywood sign is a must-see tourist attraction, although it didn’t start out that way. It was originally a clever electric billboard advertising an upscale suburban neighborhood called Hollywoodland in what is now the Hollywood Hills. The sign originally said, “Hollywoodland,” and was erected in 1923 by Los Angeles Times publisher and real estate developer Harry Chandler at a cost of $21,000. The sign was supposed to last just one and a half years; however, it became part of Hollywood’s culture and remained. The famous hillside Hollywood sign is perhaps the most iconic site in Hollywood. Rebuilt in 1978, it was changed to say simply “Hollywood” and soon became a recognized symbol of the city. You can catch a dead-on glimpse of the sign on Beachwood Drive. If you want to get even closer, go horseback riding at Sunset Ranch or lace up for a trek along the dirt road on Mt. Lee Drive to where you will be standing directly above the Hollywood Sign and can experience a total 360-degree view of the cityscape.

Runyon Canyon Park

Runyon Canyon Park is a 160-acre part right in the center of Los Angles and is managed by the L.A. Dept. of Recreation and Parks. A relatively young park, it was created in 1984. With a network of easily walkable trails, the park is a highly popular destination for hiking and dog-walking (off-leash is permitted) by local residents. The park is also a popular location for outdoor yoga classes. The highest point in the park at 1,320 ft (402 m) is known as Indian Rock.

There are five ways to enter Runyon Canyon: two gates at the bottom of the park in the south at Fuller and Vista Streets; a gate at the top of Runyon Canyon Road at Mulholland Drive, in the north; one at the northwest at Solar Drive; and a spine-ridge footpath from the top of Wattles Garden.

Noteworthy Architecture

With its history as one of the earliest Los Angeles suburbs, it stands to reason that the area contains some historically and architecturally significant homes. And it does.

The Stahl House, Case Study House #22 – 1635 Woods Drive 1958 Pierre Koenig
Perhaps the most photographed and filmed home in Los Angeles, made famous by photographer Julius Shulman, this mid-century masterpiece is set upon a parcel that was deemed to be unbuildable by many architects. Still owned by the Stahl family, this L-shaped, glass box looks like an airplane wing when viewed from across the canyon.

Garcia Residence, aka Rainbow House – 7436 Mulholland Drive 1962 John Lautner
Called the “Rainbow House” because of its parabola-shaped roof over stained glass windows and a curved ceiling that rises to 30 feet in height. The house has been described as one of the 10 most important residences from the midcentury period in Los Angeles. You may have seen this in Lethal Weapon 2 where Mel Gibson pulls out one of the foundation’s legs with a pickup truck, toppling it down the hill.

Malin House, aka “Chemosphere” – 7776 Torreyson Drive 1960 John Lautner
This iconic home looks like a flying saucer attached to the top of a pedestal placed on a steep hillside. The home has been featured in many films, most notably “Body Double”.

Ain House – 7964 Willow Glen Rd 1941 Gregory Ain
Flat, sleek design very typical of Ain. This home was built for the architect’s second wife, Ruth, is set close to the street and quite visible.

Hynes House – 7000 Macapa Drive 1975 Harry Gesner / Dean Larkin
Perched on a promontory that’s clearly visible from the 101 freeway, countless commuters spy this home every day on their jaunt between the LA basin and the Valley. Many homes in the Hollywood Hills appear to cling desperately to the turbulent land beneath them. The Hynes House, on the other hand, appears ready to take flight. It’s no surprise, then, that Gesner referred to this home as “The Wing”. Dean Larkin was brought in by the home’s second owners to perform updates, including the addition of a curved infinity pool and a garage.

Johnson Residence – 2530 Astral Dr. 1962 Buff and Hensman
One of Buff and Hensmans finest post-and-beam homes in L.A. One of the best ways to view this is from across the canyon on Nichols Canyon Rd.

Steve McQueen Residence – 2419 Solar Dr. 1958 Buff and Hensman
Wolff House – 8530 Hedges Place 1963 John Lautner
Very dramatic structure of concrete, stone, and glass in a assortment of jutting angles. Although the house is readily visible on Hedges, because most of the house is below street level, it’s best viewed from below on Miller Drive.

Kun House #1- 7960 Fareholm Dr. 1935 Richard Neutra
Built for the publisher of the Los Angeles Examiner, this house, built in the International style, was honored for its design in 1936, and also launched the careers of Gregory Ain (a collaborator) and Julium Shulman, one of the preeminent architectural photographers of the 20th century. Fifteen years later, Kun commission Neutra to build a new house across the street. Over the years, this house was modified. But in 2007 it underwent a laborious, multi-year restoration earning a Los Angeles Conservancy Preservation award in 2015,

Kun House #2 – 7947 Fareholm Dr. 1950 Richard Neutra
Second International style house built for publisher Joseph Kun.

Storer House – 8161 Hollywood Blvd 1923 Frank Lloyd Wright
One of four Mayan Revival-inspired “textile-block” homes patterned with geometric shapes built by Wright in Southern California. With city and hillside views, the home includes an upstairs living room with a two-story high redwood ceiling, tall narrow windows and columns that face the street.

The Jones House & Studio #1 – 8661 Nash Dr. 1938 A. Quincy Jones & Ruth Schneider
Designed by the husband and wife team, while Jones was still an apprentice with architect Burton A. Schutt. Designed as a duplex, which later became their home and studio, it features 13-foot bi-folding glass doors and windows that open to expansive views of the hills and downtown L.A.

The Bailey House, Case Study #21 – 9038 Wonderland Park Ave 1956-58 Pierre Koenig
This 2 bedroom jewel box of a home, was built as part of the famous Koenig Case Study Program by the same architect as its more famous brother, the Stahl House. Constructed primarily out of glass and pre-fabricated steel, it’s surrounded with shallow reflective pools and can be seen very easily from the road.

Carling Residence – 7144 Hockeytrail – 1947-50 John Lautner
The Foster Carling House, which is perched on a hilltop above Mulholland with 360-degree views of the city and valley, is one of Lautner’s early works and incorporates innovative design elements that retain their “wow” factor to this day, including a pool that flows into the living room, with a retracting wall of glass that goes through the water, and a built-in seating area in the living room that, with a push of a button, rotates and becomes an outdoor poolside deck overlooking the city.

Harpel House – 7764 Torreyson Drive 1956 John Lautner
Over the years this home had been severely modified, including additions and a second level, leaving it barely recognizable as the home Lautner originally built. But after a 2-year restoration, this home is once again a sterling example of Lautner’s work. This one-level features stone and concrete and a wall of glass that looks out over the valley. It’s situated uphill and is not visible from the street.

Futuro – 7764 Torreyson Drive – Matti Suuronen
This UFO style, prefab house was conceived in the 1960’s is composed of fiberglass-reinforced polyester plastic and measures approximately 26’x13’. There are reportedly only 60 of these remaining in the world, two of which are in California.

Linn House – 7820 Mulholland 1961 Richard Neutra
Beautifully restored, this house is perched above Mulholland on an axis with the hillside’s contours giving its north-facing facade sweeping views of the valley.

Bell House – 7714 Woodrow Wilson Drive 1940 John Lautner
Set on a 151,000 square foot hilltop promontory, this home by Lautner is pretty much hidden from view from the road. As this is one of his early works, you won’t find any swooping concrete roofs, but it’s beautiful all the same.

Shulman House – 7875 Woodrow Wilson Drive 1950 Raphael Soriano
Situated at the base of Briar Summit Preserve, this former residence and studio of famed architectural photographer Julius Shulman is a City Of Los Angeles Historic/Cultural Landmark #325. The very private, heavily wooded lot, was landscaped by Shulman and includes a grove of redwood trees.

Fitzpatrick House – 8078 Woodrow Wilson Drive 1936 R.M. Schindler
This house can best be seen from Mulholland Drive on the opposite side of Laurel Canyon Blvd.

Hensman Residence, aka Domus Solaris – 7529 Mulholland Dr. 1975 Don Hensman
Donald Hensman, of Buff & Hensman architects, selected one of the highest perches along Mulholland Drive in the Hollywood Hills and built himself a bachelor pad cum laude. Named “Domus Solaris” (House of the Sun), a Modern masterpiece boasts style that will never go out of style and views that go on forever in every direction.

Hailey Residence – 3319 Tareco Dr. Richard Neutra 1959

Residence 3343 Adina Dr. 1957 Harry Greene

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