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|Hollywoodland – Tycoons and visionaries created an iconic America neighborhood
By: Mary Mallory
One of the most popular tourist attractions in Hollywood, California isn’t a place, but a sign. The Hollywood Sign, created in 1923 to promote the new real estate development Hollywoodland, is the most visible representation of an elegant neighborhood now known as Beachwood Canyon.
Hollywoodland contains many special features and sophisticated homes that attract artists and celebrities, and has served as a filming location for movies and television shows. The neighborhood possesses a real history and beauty, resembling a charming European hillside town.
Early residents of what is now Beachwood Canyon raised crops in the 1880s. In 1905, streetcar tycoons and brothers-in-law Eli P. Clark and M. H. Sherman acquired 640 acres at the very top of the canyon.
In honor of William Shakespeare’s 300th birthday in April 1916, the community staged an outsized production of Julius Caesar in the center of Beachwood Canyon. Such actors as Douglas Fairbanks, DeWolf Hopper, Theodore Roberts, and Tully Marshall starred in the presentation, along with Hollywood High School’s football team and hundreds of others.
Clark and Sherman formed a partnership in 1923 with Harry Chandler, the publisher of the Los Angeles Times, and respected real estate developers Tracy E. Shoults and S. H. Woodruff, to create an exclusive hillside community, with Chandler providing free advertising through stories in the newspaper, and Shoults and Woodruff lending stellar reputations as developers of Los Angeles upscale Windsor and Marlborough Square tracts.
The partnership announced the opening of Hollywoodland in the March 31, 1923 edition of the Los Angeles Times, promoting it as the first themed hillside residential development in the United States. Advertisements claimed the neighborhood “the supreme achievement in community building,” and promoted its European atmosphere.
Car drives up Heather Drive below the Hollywood Sign. Courtesy of Bison Archives.
Developers Shoults and Woodruff planned special amenities to help lure buyers. Head architect John L. DeLario designed a small series of shops at Hollywoodland’s entrance that featured two markets, a cleaners, barbershop, and beauty salon.
In addition, two stone gates were constructed below 2690 W. Beachwood Drive. Granite quarried in the area was employed in constructing hillside and roadway retaining walls and neighborhood stairways.
At the top of Beachwood Drive, developers built Hollywoodland Stables, a place where residents could board or rent horses. Miles of bridle trails were constructed connecting to Griffith Park trails.
Putting green and tennis courts were built near the top of the area. To beautify the neighborhood, horticulturalist and landscape architect Theodore Payne was hired to plant wildflowers.
The partners also inaugurated a jitney service to ferry residents from their homes to Hollywoodland’s entrance, where they boarded buses that whisked them into Hollywood or downtown Los Angeles.
Billboards promoting real estate developments proliferated around Los Angeles, but Hollywoodland’s outshone them all. Advertising man John Roche designed letters 50 feet high and 30 feet wide spelling out the name Hollywoodland to dwarf any other sign in the area.
The Hollywoodland Sign was constructed of lightweight materials such as chicken wire, pipes, telephone poles, and sheet metal, and was completed in July 1923.
The Sign was lined by 4,000 20-watt light bulbs placed eight inches apart that spelled out “Holly,” “Wood,” “Land,” “Hollywoodland” continuously when lit at night. On clear nights, it was supposedly visible all the way to Catalina Island.
The Hollywoodland Sign became notorious on September 18, 1932, when actress Peg Entwistle committed suicide by jumping off of it.
Maintenance of the Sign ended in 1939, and it soon grew disheveled from peeling paint and missing sheet metal sections. The Los Angeles Parks and Recreation Department, owners of the land around the Hollywoodland Sign since 1945, wanted to demolish it in 1949. After outspoken public protests, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce acquired the Sign, removed the word “land,” and rechristened it the “Hollywood Sign.”
After Tracy Shoults early death in July 1923, S. H. Woodruff replaced him as lead developer of Hollywoodland. He allowed only four architectural styles on the development’s hillsides: French Normandy, English Tudor, Mediterranean, and Spanish. Lead architect DeLario designed the magnificent Castillo del Lago overlooking Lake Hollywoodland, and created Beachwood Village at the development’s entrance. He conceived a massive estate of seven levels to be built on the peak above the Hollywoodland Sign for comedy producer Mack Sennett, but which was never constructed because of Sennett’s financial problems.
Other respected architects also designed sophisticated homes, which added to the fairy tale atmosphere of the area. L. Milton Wolf built the large English Tudor Wolf’s Lair at the top of Flagmoor Place.
Renowned architect Richard Neutra created the Mosk House on Hollyridge Drive in 1934, and John Lautner designed additions to Wolf’s Lair, as well as a redesign of the Super Market exterior in the 1950s as well.
Artists, musicians, and actors have called Hollywoodland home over the years because of its sophisticated atmosphere and somewhat secluded location. Graphics designer Romain di Tirtoff, also known as Erte, was the first celebrity resident of the neighborhood. Actors as diverse as Bela Lugosi, Robert Montgomery, Gale Sondergaard, Ned Beatty, Spring Byington. Jon Cryer, and Kathy Bates have lived here. Such artists as writer James M. Cain, writer Aldous Huxley, screenwriter/director Herbert Biberman, film director Norman Z. McLeod, and composers Max Steiner and Miklos Rozsa have also called it home. Musicians like Benny Carter, Stan Kenton, Peter Tork, Madonna, and Moby have also resided in the area.
The area has also hosted numerous movie and television shoots over the years. Invasion of the Body Snatchers, It Conquered the World, House of the Damned, Down Three Dark Streets, Hollywood Boulevard, The Limey, Return From Witch Mountain, Mulholland Drive, and the upcoming feature The Artist have filmed in Hollywoodland. Television shows like Monk and The Closer have also filmed here. Throughout the years, many films have included quick shots of the Hollywood Sign in them as location signifiers or comic footnotes, including Hollywood Blvd., Earthquake, Superman, Mighty Joe Young, The Truman Show, The Day After Tomorrow, and this summer’s Friends With Benefits.
While opened for development in 1923, Hollywoodland continues to bewitch current Hollywood residents with its grace, elegance, and charm. DH
Mary Mallory is author of Arcadia Publishing’s “Hollywoodland” based on Hollywood Heritage’s S. H. Woodruff Collection. It documents the history of the neighborhood at the upper end of Beachwood Canyon, best known for its giant advertising billboard, now the Hollywood Sign. The book’s 180 photographs also include images from Bison Archives, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the author, and individuals. The 127 page book is available at the Hollywood Heritage Museum and other local bookstores and retails for $21.99. Ms. Mallory serves on the Hollywood Heritage Board of Directors and the Cultural Affairs Committee of the Studio City Neighborhood Council. She also writes theatre reviews for “The Tolucan Times” and occasional posts for The Daily Mirror.
LOS ANGELES : Carney’s Sunset Strip
Messagepar Olivier » 30 Avr 2009, 17:27
Vous allez à Los Angeles et vous souhaitez manger “Américain” un burger ou hot dog typique ? Oui mais vous désiré manger dans une ambiance atypique et dans un mythe ? Je vous propose alors de manger dans un wagon de train en plein sur…Sunset Boulevard.
Ce lieu est “Carneys” vous y trouverez bugers, hot dogs, salades…il y a même une terrasse devant le wagon qui offre une belle vue sur Sunset Boulevard.
Plus d’informations et photos ici : http://www.carneytrain.com/enter.html
Did anyone happen to record the car numbers of the former UP car placed at their Sunset Strip location in 1975, and the other former UP car placed at their Studio City location in 1981.
The Sunset Strip car would be a UP 500 class because it is a former UP streamlined heavyweight.
There are two cars at the Studio City location. One of them is former UP 620x, a Lounge car, likely UP 6205, Mojave River.
During an interview with the Italian newspaper Corriere Delle Sera on the occasion of her 80th birthday, she was asked if she was lonely. She said yes, a bit. “But I have no regrets,” she added. “I have loved, cried, been mad with happiness. I have won and I have lost.”
CENTURIES ago U celebrated the DAY u were conceived
happy conception JESUS
Xmas is a common abbreviation of the word Christmas. It is sometimes pronounced /ˈɛksməs/, but Xmas and variants such as Xtemass, originated as handwriting abbreviations for the typical pronunciation /ˈkrɪsməs/. The “-mas” part is from the Latin-derived Old English word for Mass, while the “X” comes from the Greek letter Chi, which is the first letter of the Greek word Χριστός which comes into English as “Christ“.
There is a common belief that the word Xmas stems from a secular attempt to remove the religious tradition from Christmas by taking the “Christ” out of “Christmas”, but its use dates back to the 16th century.
“we knocked the bastard off”http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2468638/
The mountaineers were accompanied by James Morris, the correspondent of The Times newspaper of London, and by 362 porters, so that the expedition in the end amounted to over four hundred men, including twenty Sherpa guides from Tibet and Nepal, with a total weight of ten thousand pounds of baggage. Morris later changed sex and became Jan Morris
I continued on, cutting steadily and surmounting bump after bump and cornice after cornice looking eagerly for the summit. It seemed impossible to pick it and time was running out. Finally I cut around the back of an extra large lump and then on a tight rope from Tenzing I climbed up a gentle snow ridge to its top. Immediately it was obvious that we had reached our objective. It was 11.30 a.m. and we were on top of Everest!
The 1953 British Mount Everest expedition was the ninth British mountaineering expedition to attempt the first ascent of Mount Everest, and the first confirmed to succeed. Led by Colonel John Hunt, it was organized and financed by the Joint Himalayan Committee. News of the expedition’s success on 29 May 1953 reached London in time to be released on the morning of Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation, 2 June.