Hancock Park is filled with sprawling mansions. And that makes driving through these residential, tree-lined, streets a car slowing, jaw dropping, experience.
Modern Homes & Real Estate
The neighborhood owes its residential development to G. Allan Hancock.
According to the Office of Historic Resources, “outstanding architects of the era designed the palatial two-story, single family residences in various Period Revival styles (including Tudor Revival, English Revival, Spanish Colonial Revival, Mediterranean Revival, Monterey Revival, and American Colonial Revival) for influential members of Los Angeles society. The vast majority of the residences are set back 50 feet from the street, as insisted upon by G. Allan Hancock, and include side driveways generally leading though a porte cochere to a rear garage.”
One of those outstanding architects was Paul Revere Williams.
Architect Paul Revere Williams
Architect Paul Revere Williams was the man.
While a student at Polytechnic High School he was advised by one of his teachers to give up his dream of becoming an architect because “he would have difficulty attracting clients from the majority white community and the smaller black community could not provide enough work.”
He ignored this advice.
In 1921 Williams became a licensed architect. He opened his own firm in Los Angeles and was the first African American member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA).
He steadily built his practice over time and earned a reputation among the affluent crowd as the go to architect for glamour, charm, and historic flair. According to paulrwilliamsproject.org, “as his reputation grew, his practice expanded to include buildings now considered landmarks: MCA, Saks Fifth Avenue, Palm Springs Tennis Club and Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Building. The private residences he designed for leaders in business and entertainment became legendary: actor Bert Lehr, comedians Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, dancer Bill (Bojangles) Robinson, popular entertainer Frank Sinatra and the entrepreneurial Cord and Paley families.”
While the majority Williams’ residential work can be seen Beverly Hills and Hancock Park, there are quite a few in La Cañada Flintridge, Pasadena, Silver Lake, and Palos Verdes.
The Beckman House
In contrast to the stately sized residences lining the streets, architect Gregory Ain designed the Beckman House for pharmacist A.O. Beckman and his family.
Focused on modern architecture, Ain was instrumental in bringing this aesthetic to lower and medium-cost housing and became known as the architect for the working man.
Prior to being invited by John Entenza to participate in the Case Study House Program he worked on the Beckman House. A pin-wheel shape with clean lines, and views to the outdoors from every room the home embodies his modernist ideals.
The neighborhood is considered moderately diverse. 70.7% of the population are white. The other 29.3% of the population is made up of 13.1% Asians followed by 8.5% Latino. An unidentified group of 3.9% followed by 3.8% Black/African American make up the rest.
Local Grub & Things To Do
Located in the center of Los Angeles, this neighborhood is just a stroll away from restaurants, movie theaters, and museums. Here are a few local faves.
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art houses an impressive collection. Featuring over 100,000 pieces of art your visual senses are captivated by an array of paintings, sculptures and unique experimental art forms. The variety of art represents the diversity in LA. Collections from Asia, Latin America, India, Europe, and American art all sit under one roof. The museum is comprised of several buildings: the Ahmanson Building, Broad Contemporary Art Museum, Art of the Americas Building, the Hammer Building, the Pavilion for Japanese Art, and the Lynda and Stewart Resnick Exhibition Plaza.
LA Brea Tar Pits
The tar pits are a national natural landmark. It wasn’t until the early 1900s that scientists and geologists discovered bone deposits found in the asphalt as Ice age fossils. The museum displays over 750,000+ specimens of plants and animals that include saber-toothed cats, dire wolves and mammoths.
Make sure to check out the Fishbowl lab. It’s pure paleontology heaven. Located at the center of the museum you can witness how Ice Age fossils are cleaned, studied, and prepared for exhibit.
Peterson Automotive Museum
It’s only natural this car centric city has one of the world’s largest automotive museums. The Streetscape diorama, and the rotating exhibit spaces show off the museum’s collection of hot rods, classic rides, vintage vehicles, celebrity wheels, motorcycles, artwork, and sculptures.
This farmers market is open seven days a week. Located at the corner of Fairfax and 3rd Street the market features hundreds of food stalls, eateries, and food vendors.
When you are satiated from the delicious bites at the Farmers Market you can head on over to The Grove. This 575,000 square foot, open air, retail and entertainment complex is filled with department store favorites, J.Crew, and Barnes and Nobles.
On The Map
Hancock Park is located in Central Los Angeles. The surrounding areas include Fairfax, Hollywood, Larchmont, Mid-Wilshire and Windsor Square. The zip codes of the area include 90036, 90020, 90004, 90005 and 90019