Los Feliz lies roughly north of Franklin Avenue to Griffith Park; and from Canyon Drive on the west to the Los Angeles River on the east Griffith Park is the world's largest city park and comprises the zoo, the Greek Theatre, the Museum Autry National Center of the American West and numerous recreational opportunities. Atop Griffith Park is its famous Observatory, which has been recently restored and expanded. The villas of Los Feliz spread out on the foothills below. To the south, lie dramatic vistas of downtown Los Angeles and the basin. To the east, homeowners can view the San Gabriel and San Bernardino Mountains, crowned by often-snow-capped, 10,064-foot Mt. Baldy. To the west are views of the Pacific Oocean and Santa Catalina Island, off the coast. Few neighborhoods in the world can claim such a dramatic site. Los Feliz is one of the last of the old, grand neighborhoods of Los Angeles that have always retained their integrity.
Los Feliz is one of the last of the old, grand neighborhoods of Los Angeles that have always retained their integrity. Los Feliz Boulevard, with its majestic deodar cedars and pines, which are protected city monuments, links Griffith Park's Fern Dell and the grand estates on the west with distinguished apartments and condominiums on the east. The restored Mulholland Fountain at the eastern entrance of Griffith Park is one of the few Moderne fountains in greater Los Angeles. Vermont and Hillhurst Avenues offer a wide variety of shopping and dining choices. Its trendy boutique shopping areas have gained wide popularity and notice. Freeway access is handy, as Los Feliz lies between the Hollywood and Golden State Freeways. Downtown Los Angeles is about a 15-minute drive away; the Westside is about 30 minutes away. The Los Feliz Improvement Association is one of the oldest and most influential volunteer associations in Los Angeles. The Los Feliz Business Association promotes the commercial areas. Ever-increasing crowds attend the annual street fair.
Over the years the collection of Laughlin Park homes has ranged from Craftsman-inspired bungalow (the oldest extant private residence in Los Feliz), Spanish, Italian, Mediterranean, French, English Gothic to comfortable Traditional plus Moderne (the Carole Lombard house by Lester Scherer) and fine Modern and Modernist homes. A cross-section of the elite of contemporary architects worked in "the Park" as it's known, including Roland Coate (the former Lily Pons/Andre Kostelanetz house), Gordon Kaufman (the former Chick Corea house), Julia Morgan (of San Simeon fame) and Lloyd Wright, who figured prominently in the design of more than five Laughlin Park homes. The streets are through-traffic free, i.e., kid-friendly, the views from downtown to Catalina Island and the ocean are thrilling and the ambiance is quiet and elegant. There is a separate voluntary homeowners association that maintains the gates and the private streets.
THE LOS FELIZ OAKS
Another leafy oasis in the city is the Los Feliz neighborhood known as The Oaks because of its "…Oak" street names. A favorite of families who want "a home in the hills with a view and a yard", The Oaks offers a lively mix of revival styles interspersed with prime architectural homes that provides something for almost everyone. Snuggled against Griffith Park, Oaks homes are known for dynamic city views. Also a favorite of vintage Hollywood, The Oaks was home to Ramon Navarro, Cary Grant and Randolph Scott, Vicky Baum (of Grand Hotel fame), and pioneer director Dorothy Arzner. Lately Brad Pitt, Nicholas Cage, Diane Keaton (who owned Ramon Navarro's home designed by Lloyd Wright) and Elvira have called The Oaks "home". Oaks homeowners often live in the same house for many years or move from one Oaks home to another Oaks home. Needless to say, neighborhood loyalty and pride of ownership are high are in The Oaks. There is a separate voluntary homeowners association.
THE LOS FELIZ ESTATES
"The Estates", as they are known, is one of the few newer (and premium) tracts in the area. Streets generally are on straight and level terraces that are "single-loaded", i.e., homes are on one side only. Most homes are one-story and have city views. Flat gardens with pools are not uncommon. Because the homes are newer than 1960, the floorplans tend to afford modern amenities such as family rooms; large, eat-in kitchens; three to four or more bedrooms, and garages with direct-access. The Estates boasts one of the lowest crime rates in the area thanks to its 24-hour security car. The CC&R's require homeowner association dues payment, which is about $2,000 per year.
Franklin Square is that rare commodity: the traditional homogeneous neighborhood with grid-pattern, tree-lined streets, sidewalks, and an adjacent commercial/service area. A short walk to the market, the school, the post office or for a meal is not an impossibility in Franklin Square. Most homes were built in the 1920s and ‘30s and are classic California bungalows with period revival influences. Franklin Square is an excellent starter home neighborhood, as most home prices are below below the median price of a home in Los Feliz.
Franklin Hills is not quite Los Feliz and not quite Silver Lake, but has some of the best amenities of both areas. A hilltop community ringed with panoramic city/downtown/mountain views, Franklin Hills offers a wide variety of home styles and sizes. The "Shakespeare Bridge" on Franklin Avenue is a local landmark revered by homeowners, who tend an adjacent median garden. Below the Shakespeare bridge is Lycee de Internationale Los Angeles. One of two active french school systems in Los Angeles. LILA has schooling from K-12 and is the only school in LA that provides the International Baccalaureate degree for international schooling. Also nearby is John Marshall High School, another local landmark (in the collegiate Gothic style) that was saved from demolition in the 1970s by active homeowner lobbying. Franklin Hills has an active volunteer homeowner association.
Atwater Village is a collection of "between the Wars" tracts of California bungalows. Streets tend to be tree-lined, flat and with sidewalks. Like Franklin Square, Atwater Village has commercial/service areas that are within walking distance. The bungalows show period revival influences. The most famous of these is the "fantasy bungalows" on Brunswick Avenue just north of Glendale Boulevard. Atwater Village, because of the homogeneity of the homes and that most have not been "remuddled", could qualify as a historic preservation area. Atwater Village is an excellent starter home neighborhood.
Atwater Village has some of the few homes in Los Angeles that are zoned for horses. The Los Angeles Police Department equestrian center, plus several riding clubs, is in Atwater Village. A nine-hole golf course, which is part of Griffith Park, adjoins Atwater Village. There is a voluntary homeowners association that holds regular open meetings. Freeway access and shopping in adjacent Glendale are handy.