The Hollywood Hills area is located in the eastern section of the low traverse range of the Santa Monica Mountains. It forms the north barrier of the Los Angeles Basin and is bound by Crescent Heights on the West, Vermont Ave on the East, Mulholland Drive (Griffith Park) on the North, and Melrose Avenue to the south. There has been extensive residential development in the Hollywood Hills since the 1920s. The area now includes Mulholland Drive, Beachwood Canyon, Laurel Canyon, Nichols Canyon and Mount Olympus.
In the 1920s and 30s, banks, restaurants, clubs and movie palaces sprang up, catering to the demands of the burgeoning film industry. The architectural styles of the buildings were representative of those most popular between the World Wars. Banks were typically designed in the more formal Beaux Arts styles, but other buildings in
the community took on more playful personalities. The ornamental Spanish Colonial Revival style reflected Hollywood's self-conscious extravagance while the Art Deco and Modern styles fit the community's aspirations for glamour and sophistication.
In 1923 the first steam shovels moved along the slopes of the Hollywood Hills. The project: A subdivision of the 500-acre Sherman & Clark Ranch atop Beachwood Drive. The development was to be known as "Hollywoodland" and was announced in the Los Angeles Times as "one of the most attractive residential sections of the City of Los Angeles" with the Architecture and landscaping drawing its inspiration from the southern regions of France, Italy and Spain. Hollywoodland was marketed to wealthy winter visitors to Los Angeles from the East Coat. New Englanders could select their hillside lot and their architecturalstyle, then find their new home waiting for them the following season, fully built and landscaped by the developers.
Hollywoodland, located in Beachwood Canyon, enjoyed fame in the 1920s as a successful development and America’s first themed residential community. Much of the attention and press coverage was due to a huge sign reading “Hollywoodland”. Known today as “The Hollywood Sign,” it is recognized as one of the world’s best known landmarks. The sign was originally erected as a temporary advertisement for the developmentand was covered with 4,000 flashing electric light bulbs which could be seen as far as Long Beach harbor in the Los Angeles night sky.
Some of America’s foremost architects: John Delario, Richard Neutra and John Lautner, have designed homes in the hills and commercial buildings, many of which have been placed on the City of Los Angeles’ Cultural Affairs Department list of Historical and cultural monuments. Today the area has a strong sense of community. The original commercial center is still vibrant. Outside the popular Village Coffee Shop you will see a bulletin board featuring local activities, rooms for rent and various available services.