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Beachwood Canyon

article by Rose Ware

You can still recognize some remaining landmarks of the old Hollywoodland

You can still recognize some remaining landmarks of the old Hollywoodland – This picture from 1922 shows Hollywoodland developers celebrating the launch of their office

“Listen … the horses are stamping in the stalls – the sea breeze kisses the hilltops – while the birds weave melodies of happiness on the open trail… Your day begins in Hollywoodland, California” -excerpt from a Hollywoodland publicity brochure.

Of all the various neighborhoods and burroughs of Los Angeles, Hollywoodland is probably it’s most unique and architecturally intriguing.

Humphrey Bogart

Humphrey Bogart

The vision of developer S.H. Woodruff and L. A. Times publisher Harry Chandler to create a quiet hillside enclave of European style castles and estates perched high above Hollywood, was realized in 1926 as Hollywoodland, a perfect name for a place where reality is suspended, as in film. Hollywoodland is a dream-like town whose residents revere the imaginative and dramatic and the homes here are nothing if not theatrical. Of all the various neighborhoods and buroughs of Los Angeles, Hollywoodland is probably the most unique and architecturally intriguing. Architectural styles were restricted to French Normandy, Tudor English, Mediterranean and Spanish.

With possibly more turrets per square mile than even Lichenstein, Hollywoodland also boasts many walled and gated estates with mini moats. European stone masons were brought in to construct the stone walls, clock tower and connecting stairways with granite rock quarried from the nearby hills. With names like Castillo Del Lago and Wolf’s Lair you half expect to see royalty.

Early days in Hollywoodland, horses everywhere

Early days in Hollywoodland, horses everywhere

During the 1920s and ‘30s Hollywoodland became the home or hideaway of some of Hollywood’s most famous and infamous royalty. Really, the community was perfect for anyone attempting to guard their privacy through walled and gated mansions and a maze of winding streets. This was especially useful during prohibition.

hollywooland-1926

The scarcely inhabited Hollywoodland in 1926

One home on Woodhaven still has the fake bookshelves which conceal a secret storage space where no doubt a case of your favorite hooch could be stored. Some of these fairy tale like properties include the Rodgerton estate, where Humphrey Bogart lived for two years, a castle complete with bell towers on Mulholland.and Durand where Bugsy Siegal ran a speakeasy and gambling casino until it was shut down by the feds, and even a French Normandy estate on Beachwood with a 12 ft. high painted crest of a knight holding a sword and shield.

The scarcely inhabited Hollywoodland in 1926

Hollywoodland continues to be home to many celebrities and anyone else who enjoys the serenity of the hills, the lakeside views and trails and the varied architectural landscape of Modern and Mediterranean. In later years many post-modern designs were built. Some boldly on stilts and even a geodesic dome that was later dismantled due to excessive heat and water condensation that dripped on the furniture. It is quite fortunate that the neighborhood was developed in the ‘20s when there were no bulldozers or it might have resembled a housing tract in the Valley rather than the cozy scenic wooded canyon where wildlife still flourishes. A homeowner could build any size home he desired. What mattered was aesthetics not economics. As the brochure stated, “one does not need to have great wealth to enjoy the wonderful environment, scenic beauty and wholesome surroundings.” Peaceful and quiet, the neighborhood still lives up to the original brochure’s claim, but of course the glitz of Hollywood nightlife in never far away.

Testimonials

Chuck Ranberg and Bob Fisher – 3146 Arrowhead Dr.

Rose & Terry we are so grateful for everything you did to help us achieve our dream of our next move and selling our house at an amazing price!

Morgan and Luc Des Grosiellers – 4440 Sancola Av.

What more can I say except that Terry found our dream home. My wife and I had been looking to buy our first house, a daunting, stressful experience, made pleasant and exciting by Terry and her team. Communicative, patient, and accessible, there was no question she couldn't answer and was always available to speak on the phone, no matter the day or time. Now settled into our home, we count just how fortunate we were to choose Terry as our agent.

Zach Matheny - Durand Dr. and Lugano Pl.

Rose - Thanks for getting us this place! That makes two great places you've found us that we would have never known existed had you not found them for us. We really appreciate it and are very excited to move in. I loved this house from the minute I walked in. It is perfect for us (both location and architecturally) and we'll be very happy to be living in the neighborhood.

Paul and Joan Smith - 3266 Craig Dr.

Rose, Terry and their team were great to work with! Because of their knowledge and expertise, we were able to find the house we wanted in the Hollywood Hills. When Terry was waiting for an inspector, she saw a deer under the oak trees on the Universal property next door. We are still waiting to see that deer, but we did have the very rare sighting of a mountain lion the first week we moved in. Never a dull moment. You will be in good hands!

Arthur Iinuma - 6934 Cahuenga Park Trail

"I’m the worst sort of buyer. I don’t have a lot of money, never bought a house, and am terribly inquisitive about every detail. Nevertheless Terry and Rose responded to all my questions, and even when I ran out of them, called me daily to update me on the status of the transaction or simply to check-in. They were incredibly professional and responsive and I never got the sense that I was being blown-off. If you’re looking to buy in the Hollywood Hills, they know the area inside and out, and can tell you what to look out for and help advise on a good buying decision. They’re always careful to remain as objective as possible – something that few agents have mastered. I would definitely work with them again."

Shelley Rabin – 2481 Lindsay Ln.

“A few months ago I called Terry to help me find a home for my son. I expected her to run for the hills, (she knows I am very particular). On our first meeting I told Terry "no pressure, I need the perfect house in less than 3 months". Terry just smiled, and said, "let’s get started". Terry was relaxed, never lost her smile, and kept me positive when I was worried. The final result was outstanding. We found the perfect house in our 1st choice neighborhood. The deal went through so smoothly, I kept thinking something cannot be right. It was 100% right. Thanks Terry, you are a star!!!!!!"

Anne Marie Lardeau and Bruce Carpenter – 3440 Troy Dr.

“Terry and Rose did for us in 11 weeks what another broker couldn't accomplish in nine and a half months. They found the right buyer for our home and we sold it within 1% of our asking price. They used their considerable marketing skills and problem-solving experience to overcome any impediments that might slow down the process of selling our home. We have the highest respect for their professionalism, skills and integrity.”

John Willows – 3301 Ledgewood Dr.

“Rose, thank you so much for helping me, as executor, in selling my former neighbor’s house. Since I live 140 miles away, I had to rely on you to handle all the details that kept coming up in the escrow and your help was invaluable. Your able assistance came as no surprise since you helped me when I sold my house twelve years ago. When, as executor, I had to find a realtor to sell my neighbor’s house, I didn’t consider anyone other than you. I think that a return customer is the best compliment you can receive.”

Verity and Alex Rudzinski – 6350 Bryn Mawr Dr.

“Rose, we just want to say a huge thank you for all your help in selling our house and finding our dream home. It was such a pleasure working with you. You did such an amazing job. Hope to keep in touch.”

Kimberly & Joe Crowley –755 S. El Molino & 2205 N. Mar Vista Ave.

“Rose, we cannot thank you enough for all your work! Your persistence, dedication & professionalism paid off to our great benefit. We have learned the difference between an amateur and pro. Thanks Again.”

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