Holmby Hills in Los Angeles

Monday, 5 March 2018 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, Greater Los Angeles Area
Reading Time:  6 minutes

View of Holmby Park © Zigzig20s/cc-by-sa-3.0

View of Holmby Park © Zigzig20s/cc-by-sa-3.0

Holmby Hills is a neighborhood in the district of Westwood in western Los Angeles. The neighborhood was developed in the early twentieth century by the Janss Investment Company, which developed the rest of Westwood as well as other Los Angeles neighborhoods. With the expansion of Sunset Boulevard, Holmby Hills was split into two northern and southern sections, each lying within a different community plan area designated by the City of Los Angeles: The portion south of Sunset Boulevard is the area north of Wilshire Boulevard and east of both Beverly Glen Boulevard and Comstock Avenue, and west of the Los Angeles Country Club; it is located within the Westwood Community Plan Area. The portion north of Sunset is the area east of Beverly Glen Boulevard and west of the city limits of Beverly Hills, with Greendale Drive and Brooklawn Drive as its northernmost streets; it is located within the Bel AirBeverly Crest Community Plan Area, though it is historically distinct from the neighborhoods of both Bel Air and Beverly Crest.

Holmby Hills, Bel Air, and Beverly Hills form the “Platinum Triangle” of Los Angeles. It is bordered by the city of Beverly Hills on the east, Wilshire Boulevard on the south, Westwood on the west, and Bel Air on the north. The neighborhood is home to two parks: Holmby Park and De Neve Square Park. The former, Holmby Park, includes two playgrounds, a nine-hole putting green called the Armand Hammer Golf Course, and a classic lawn bowling, home to the Holmby Park Lawn Bowling Club started in 1927. It is located next to the Los Angeles Country Club. The Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation, an art gallery named after Frederick R. Weisman, is located on North Carolwood Street. It includes works by many noted artists, including impressionists, post impressionist, surrealist, and many more, up through today.

The first European on the land that present-day Holmby Hills, Bel Air, Westwood, and UCLA now occupy was the Spanish soldier Maximo Alanis, who was the grantee of the 4,438-acre (18 km²) Rancho San Jose de Buenos Ayres from a Mexican land grant issued by Alta California Governor Manuel Micheltorena in 1843. In 1858, he sold it to Benjamin Davis Wilson, of early Pasadena development, the second Mayor of Los Angeles, and namesake for Mount Wilson in the San Gabriel Mountains. In 1884, Wilson sold Rancho San Jose de Buenos Ayres, at 2,000 acres (8 km²), to the nephew of leading pioneer William Wolfskill, businessman John W. Wolfskill, son of Mathus (Mathius) Wolfskill, William’s younger brother. He paid $10 an acre and built a ranch house, near the present-day Mormon Los Angeles Temple.

Playboy Mansion © Toglenn/cc-by-sa-3.0 Spelling Manor, now owned by Petra Ecclestone © flickr.com - Atwater Village Newbie/cc-by-2.0 View of Holmby Park © Zigzig20s/cc-by-sa-3.0
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Spelling Manor, now owned by Petra Ecclestone © flickr.com - Atwater Village Newbie/cc-by-2.0
The development of Holmby Hills began when Arthur Letts, Sr., purchased 400 acres (1.6 km²) of the original Wolfskill ranch at $100 an acre. He called the development “Holmby Hills,” which was loosely derived from the name of his birthplace, a small hamlet in England called Holdenby, and it was also the name of his estate in Hollywood. Letts died suddenly in 1923, before he could realize his vision. His son-in-law, Harold Janss, took over the project. Zoning for the community, which straddles Sunset Boulevard, was designed to accommodate lot sizes up to 4 acres (16,000 m²). The streets were named after places in Great Britain: Devon Avenue after Devon, the county in southwestern England; Charing Cross Road after Charing Cross junction in London; Conway Avenue after Conwy in Wales, etc. In the 1920s, English-style streetlamps were added specifically for the neighborhood. After the Wall Street Crash of 1929, grand mansions were constructed. Arthur Letts lived in a mansion designed by architect Arthur Rolland Kelly located at 10236 Charing Cross Road. The residence became known as the Playboy Mansion when Hugh Hefner purchased it.

According to the Holmby Hills Homeowners Association website: “In the 1920’s, Sunset Boulevard was a two-lane country road, known as Beverly Boulevard. It was renamed when it was opened through to the Pacific Ocean. When Sunset Boulevard was expanded into a four-lane thoroughfare, Holmby Hills was, for all practical purposes, split into north and south sections.” The northern section is served by the Holmby Hills Homeowners Association, while the southern section is served by the Holmby Westwood Property Owners Association, which it shares with the rest of the northern Westwood area east of UCLA. However, “[i]n 2013, the Holmby Hills Homeowners Association Board has decided to reach out to the homeowners south of Sunset (and east of Beverly Glen) to grow the Association with new members also residing in Holmby Hills having similar interests.”

Read more on Wikipedia Holmby Hills (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.






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