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Neighborhood Guide - Hollywood Hills East

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The Hollywood Hills East

hollywood hills

The Hollywood Hills East is a collection of some of Los Angeles' oldest hillside communities. Many homes date to the pre-World War I era, however most homes were built in the years between the World Wars. Subsequent in-fill has added to the rich variety of the housing stock–"something for everyone" is the operative term here. Whether you're looking for an authentic Craftsman bungalow or a chateau, the Hollywood Hills East is a must-see.

For our purposes, the Hollywood Hills East extends north of Franklin Avenue to the crest of Mount Lee and from Canyon Drive on the east to Highland Avenue on the west. Though there are many small neighborhoods, here is a sampling:

Hollywood Hills East Neighborhoods:

Hollywoodland

Hollywoodland, located in the upper half of Beachwood Canyon, is one of the most famous and historic neighborhoods in all Los Angeles. The famed HOLLYWOOD sign is actually a remnant and reconstruction of the original HOLLYWOODLAND sign and "dot" which promoted the 1920s era subdivision of the same name. Hollywoodland's original developers, many of them the elite of Los Angeles' business community, planned a rustic collection of period revival middle- and upper-income homes. Original owners could choose designs such as French Normandy, English Tudor, Spanish or Mediterranean by noted architects such as John DeLario.

hollywood hills

Today the entrance to Hollywoodland is marked by the original stone gates, which, along with the stone walls and steps (one stairway boasts a recently restored fountain) are protected city monuments. Just inside the gates are a gourmet market, café and boutiques. They form a busy hub for the surrounding community. An outdoor plaza was recently added to the village center.

With its handy studio location, romantic villas and thrilling city vistas, Hollywoodland remains a favorite neighborhood among entertainment industry folks. The famous continue to be drawn to the Hollywoodland hills (more recently Madonna lived in the former Bugsy Siegel Spanish castle just below the HOLLYWOOD sign). There is an active voluntary homeowners association that is protective of the historic legacy of the area.

The Vine Hills

The Vine Hills is the area just to the west of Beachwood Canyon and Hollywoodland and extends to Cahuenga Boulevard. It has much of the same character of Beachwood Canyon: meandering hillside and canyon lanes with an ecclectic mix of pre- and post-World War II houses. Most houses have canyon and/or city views. The Vine Hills offers attractive opportunities for first-time home buyers, as well as for move-up buyers.

Whitley Heights

In the silent film era, Whitley Heights was one of the leading neighborhoods of Los Angeles. Its owners were a "Who's Who" of Hollywood. Among them were the likes of Gloria Swanson; Rudolph Valentino; Wallace Beery; Janet Gaynor and her husband, Gilbert Adrian: Beulah Bondi and many others. Today, Whitley Heights is a historic preservation overlay zone (HPOZ), which means that the ambiance of this early film colony will be protected from future “remuddling” which might dilute the neighborhood’s historic character. In addition, under the recently adopted Mills Act, homeowners can avail themselves of property tax relief plus additional benefits which may be passed on to subsequent owners. The cumulative effect of the HPOZ is to enhance property values.

Whitley Heights lies north of Franklin Avenue between Highland Avenue on the west and Cahuenga Boulevard on the east. The original inspiration for Whitley Heights was an Italian hilltop village. The neighborhood’s streets meander around the knoll and offer never-ending panoramas of ridgelines and the city below. The housing mix tends predominantly toward the Spanish and Mediterranean, but there are notable newer homes by architects such as Jock Peters and Paul Laszlo, among others.