The Hollywood Hills is one of the few places where all that glitter is gold.
In 1920, real estate mogul and developer Sydney Woodruff felt the time had come for greater expansion and decentralization of the Los Angeles metropolitan area. He proclaimed, “With Los Angeles destined to be a city of millions, Hollywoodland is so situated that home sites purchased today will be worth fortunes.” He was right.
Today, the hills have some remarkable and globally renowned architecture.
This iconic property in Los Angeles was the vision of Clarence “Buck” Stahl. In 1954, Stahl and his wife, Carlotta, purchased a vacant lot in the hills. At first, their search for an architect proved disheartening as the architect turned the project down, stating the site was un-buildable. Then, they met architect Pierre Koenig.
Young and ambitious, Koenig agreed to take on the project and worked it into the Arts and Architecture experiment called the Case Study House program.
The home, also known as Case Study House #22, uses steel framing to support the endless floor-to-ceiling walls of glass that capture the jaw-dropping panoramic views of Los Angeles’ metropolis. No wonder this home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Glass House By Ed Niles, AIA
I spent far too long in this house daydreaming. As I gazed out the walls of the floor-to-ceiling windows, I wondered what it would be like to see the sparkle of the city lights daily.
Cause while architect Ed Niles is a lesser-known modernist architect, he perfectly captures the essence of the mid-century modern aesthetic in his first home. And the view of the city steals the show.
Local Grub & Things To Do
From sightseeing, bar hopping, nightclubbing, and people watching, you’re never left thinking of what to do. Here are some local faves.
This is the best marketing campaign ever. While the sign is a landmark representing the iconic glitz and glam of show business, it was initially erected to promote the sale of new homes and real estate opportunities in the neighborhood.
Erected in 1923, the sign originally read Hollywoodland and measured 30 feet wide and approximately 43 feet tall. At night, it would light up like a beacon beckoning newcomers to the area.
It is one of the world’s largest natural amphitheaters. The original stage was a canvas-covered wooden platform, and the audience sat in moveable benches scattered across the hillside. The “First official Hollywood Bowl season ‘Symphonies Under the Stars’ began … on July 11th with Alfred Hertz conducting the Los Angeles Philharmonic.”
In 1926, local architects, including Frank Gehry and Lloyd Wright (Frank Lloyd Wright‘s son), stepped in to improve the acoustics and make much-needed structural changes.
Today, the stage of the 20,000-seat amphitheater has been graced by legendary performances from artists ranging from Frank Sinatra, Sade, Police, Santigold, and Coldplay to Jay Z, Kanye, and Grace Jones.
Behemoth-sized billboards line this mile-and-a-half stretch of Sunset Blvd. And below, life swirls around champagne brunches, power lunches, movie deals, tourists, paparazzi, people-watching, rooftop skinny dipping, heartache, and heartbreak.
You can cancel your gym membership.
This 160-acre park offers hiking trails to match your fitness level, free daily yoga classes, pull-up bars, and benches throughout the park. Your reward for succeeding in making it to the top of the hill is seeing the most unbelievable views of Los Angeles.
Franklin Village is a small pedestrian-filled stretch of Franklin Ave at the base of the Hollywood Hills. It’s where my friend and I often stroll to La Poubelle, a French restaurant with sidewalk seating, and share the best plate of crispy brussel leaves and a bottle of Malbec. This stretch is also home to a market, a dry cleaner, a theater, and a coffee shop, making daily chores easy for residents.
On The Map
The Hollywood Hills comprises two sections: East and West. The zip codes include 90068, 90046, and parts of 90069, 90028, and 91604. Hollywood Hills East is located near Los Feliz, while Hollywood Hills West borders Beverly Hills. To the north is Burbank, and Hollywood sits to the South.