The greater Hollywood Hills area is customarily bisected into “East” and “West”, each incorporating a variety of neighborhoods. Adding to some of the most magnificent views you’ll find in Southern California are an endless maze of streets throughout providing residents with a sense of solitude and seclusion despite being only minutes away from the expansive city below. The most famous part of the Hollywood Hills is the area above the Sunset Strip being home to the highest concentration of celebrities in Los Angeles.
Aside from big-ticket homes and many celebrity inhabitants, it also has several recreational areas and a rich history as the home of many movers and shakers in the motion picture industry.
Home styles in the hills vary widely and include Spanish, California Mid-Century Modern, bungalows, and ultra modern with price tags ranging from several hundred thousand dollars to tens of millions of dollars. East to west, neighborhoods of the Hollywood Hills include Franklin Village, Beachwood Canyon and Hollywoodland, Hollywood Dell, Whitley Heights, Hollywood Heights, Outpost, Mount Olympus, Nichols Canyon and Sunset Hills.
The Hollywood Bowl, an unmistakable entertainment landmark sits nestled in the Hollywood Hills and seats nearly 18,000 concert-goers making it the largest natural amphitheater in the U.S. And a stone’s throw away across the freeway on the eastern wall of the Cahuenga Pass is the 1,200-seat John Anson Ford Amphitheater. An outdoor venue, the Ford was built in 1920 as a site for live theatre but also showcases concerts, dance, film and family events. Nearby Runyon Canyon is also a well-known attraction for locals. A 160-acre park right in the center of Los Angeles, it boasts a network of easily walkable trails. The park is a popular destination for hiking and dog-walking (off-leash is permitted) by local residents and is also a favorite location for outdoor yoga classes.
Otherwise known as “The Dell”, HOLLYWOOD DELL is an affluent hillside residential neighborhood located east of Cahuenga Boulevard, north of Franklin Avenue, west of Argyle Avenue, south of the Hollywood Reservoir and is close in proximity to the Hollywood Bowl. Step outside your home on a summer evening and you can hear the Los Angeles Philharmonic in the background or even catch the distant spangled light show of the Bowl’s fireworks on the Fourth of July.
The Hollywood Dell gets its name because it sits “in” hills that are just above commercial and tourist-popular Hollywood, rather than atop the hills. One must travel downhill to enter the dell, and uphill to exit it. Roads are hilly in nature and many residences are built on hillside lots. The neighborhood was established in the early 1920s and today, in harmony with its storied past, remains a mix of professionals, artists, families and celebrities. Typical residences in the area are single-family dwellings with a heavy architectural influence of Spanish Colonial and Mediterranean Revival styles. With roughly 1,000 residences, this community enjoys a “cozy” ambiance.
There is also an active homeowners association (Hollywood Dell Civic Association), with voluntary dues. Some of the Dell’s notable residents have included The Rolling Stones, Marilyn Manson, Goldie Hawn, Eva Longoria, Audrina Patridge and a host of others.
BEACHWOOD CANYON is a hilly, largely affluent neighborhood in the Hollywood Hills¸in the northern portion of Hollywood, most famous for its landmark, the Hollywood sign.
Formerly known in jumbo-sized white letters as “Hollywoodland,” it is home to over 22,000 residents, developed in the 1920s by a syndicate composed of General M.H. Sherman, the founder of West Hollywood, Los Angeles Times publisher, Harry Chandler and real estate mogul, Sidney Woodruff.
The views from Beachwood Canyon have always been a major attraction. Tremendous vistas of downtown Los Angeles all the way to the Pacific Ocean are found here. Looking up Beachwood Canyon Drive to the north, you have a front row seat and picturesque sight of the iconic Hollywood sign framed by majestic palm trees all along on the street.
Beachwood Canyon is the epitome of the relaxed California lifestyle, tucked high above the fast-paced city below. The unruffled energy of the neighborhood seems to be nostalgic of another era, of “old” Hollywood.
Residents can also enjoy hiking the winding hills and canyon, pick up groceries at the local market or stop by the local cafés and restaurants. Rent horses at Sunset Ranch Hollywood Stables for a ride in the nearby Griffith Park hills. You have easy access to a hike up to and around Lake Hollywood, Bronson Canyon and to the Bronson Caves if you want to escape the city. On the flip side, return home and have near-instant access to the city’s excitement on Hollywood Boulevard and the tourist district…it’s right below you! Downtown L.A. is a quick 10 minutes away by car.
Beachwood Canyon architecture and landscaping was formed from inspiration drawn from the southern regions of France, Italy and Spain. Many Spanish, Mediterranean and Normandy Revivals can be found in the area. In harmonic contrast to the vintage hideaway houses, bungalows, cottages, and estates of the 1920s and 1930s, many other unique architectural styles are prevalent in this neighborhood. Modern homes like the cantilevered cliffhangers and hillside homes supported on stilts began to crop up in the 1950s adding to the neighborhood’s visual allure.
Notable residents include or included: Kevin Bacon, Ned Beatty, Jack Black, Humphrey Bogart, Charlie Chaplin, George Furth, Heather Graham, Aldous Huxley, Anna Kendrick, Heath Ledger, Bela Lugosi, Madonna, Moby, Keanu Reeves, Axl Rose, Jack Webb, Jane Wiedlin, and Forest Whitaker.
An expressive enclave, best known as a multifarious gathering of creative hipsters, artists, musicians, writers, actors and fashion designers, FRANKLIN VILLAGE lies between Hollywood, the 101 freeway and the Hollywood Hills. It is a rarity in Los Angeles and well-known for its compact size and walk-ability. Unique shops, cafés, eclectic restaurants/bars, a deli, a used book store, a supermarket, and even a theatre.
This imaginative neighborhood is hometown and folksy by day and trendy and artsy by night—the closest to New York City as Los Angeles can get. There is even a subway station in close proximity. Residents can enjoy various amenities of business on the Franklin Strip, located on Franklin Avenue. Birds, Bourgeois Pig, or simply, “The Pig” and La Poubelle (French for “Trash”) are deep-rooted establishments on the strip. You can always find a collection of hipsters and aspiring actors sitting in the sidewalk seating areas of these establishments, there to see and be seen. It’s a prevailing hubbub of activity for that unique neighborhood experience.
HOLLYWOOD HEIGHTS is another affluent hillside neighborhood in the Hollywood Hills of Los Angeles bounded by Highland Avenue, Outpost Drive, Franklin Avenue, and the Hollywood Bowl. A stone’s throw from Hollywood Boulevard just below, the community is a secluded and private retreat tucked away from the clamor of city life.
This area has many historic homes and cultural landmarks, including the Frank Lloyd Wright’s Samuel Freeman House. Constructed in 1923, it is one of four textile block houses built by Frank Lloyd Wright in Los Angeles from 1922-1924, and has the world’s first glass-to-glass corner windows. The High Tower is a five-story, private elevator built circa 1920 in the style of a Bolognese campanile. It provides access to a Streamline Moderne fourplex known as High Tower Court, built circa 1937 (architect Carl Kay designed both). The High Tower was featured in the films The Long Goodbye, The High Window, and Dead Again. The Yamashiro Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and consists of nine buildings, including the Yamashiro restaurant. It was built between 1911 and 1914 as a residence by two brothers, Adolph and Eugene Bernheimer, and is said to be a replica of a 17th-century palace in Yamashiro Province. It has a 600-year-old pagoda imported from Japan. Many films and television shows have been filmed here, including Memoirs of a Geisha and Sayonara. Richard Pryor, Pernell Roberts, Joe Flynn, and Jerry Dunphy lived in apartments on the grounds. It hosts a farmers market between April and September. The Magic Castle is a private nightclub for magicians and magic enthusiasts. It is the premier venue for magic in the United States and is the clubhouse for the Academy of Magical Arts. Originally constructed in 1909 as a châteauesque mansion for banker, real estate developer, and philanthropist Rollin B. Lane, it is a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument. Highland-Camrose Bungalow Villageis on the National Register of Historic Places. The Eagles’ Don Henley and Bernie Leadon wrote “Witchy Woman” in a bungalow here shared by Linda Ronstadt and J. D. Souther.
OUTPOST ESTATES is a compact, private and celebrity-studded canyon neighborhood in the heart of Old Hollywood in Hollywood Hills consisting of about 450 homes. It is located east of Runyon Canyon Park and centered around Outpost Drive, and one of the original 1920s Old Hollywood neighborhoods.
This neighborhood was developed by Charles E. Toberman, known as “Father of Hollywood,” as an original 1920s Hollywood luxury residential neighborhoods in the heart of Old Hollywood. Homes had to be designed in Spanish, Mediterranean or California modern style, have red tile roofs, plenty of patios for “outdoor living,” and be approved by architectural committee before being built. Most of the original houses have been preserved, and Lower Outpost looks much like it did in the 1920s. Toberman’s development was cutting edge for the times and was one of the first neighborhoods in the country to offer all-underground utilities.
The origin of the name “The Outpost” derives from the name of a clubhouse built for entertainment by General Harrison Grey Otis, the owner of the Los Angeles Times, who acquired the estate from Don Tomás through legal wrangling associated with California’s secession to the United States.
In the 1920s, in the hills above the development, a large sign spelled out “Outpost” in red neon letters 30 feet high. It was intended to compete with the Hollywoodland sign, (which later became the Hollywood sign). At the time, it was the largest neon sign in the country. The Outpost sign was dismantled during World War II, but the wreckage of the sign was left in place, buried in the weeds. Even the original foundation and electrical junction boxes survived and remain among the weeds and brush.
Many fine Mediterranean, Spanish and French Revival style estates are found in this area as well as contemporary architectural homes.
WHITLEY HEIGHTS is a quaint, historic neighborhood in the Hollywood Hills and rightfully registered as a U.S. National Historic Place in 1982. Sited just north of Hollywood Boulevard, above the tourist district, these grand vintage homes, with gorgeous mature trees was once a residence of many old Hollywood legends. Former residents included Rudolph Valentino, Barbara Stanwyck, W.C. Fields, Jean Harlow, Carole Lombard, William Powell, Tryone Power, Ellen Pompeo, Gloria Swanson, Rosalind Russell, Judy Garland, Marlene Dietrich and President Ronald Regan.
This legendary residential neighborhood in the Hollywood Hills was named after Hobart Johnstone “H.J.” Whitely, a real estate developer, who coined the name Hollywood. In 1918, Whitley commissioned architect A.S. Barnes to design Whitley Heights as a Mediterranean-style village, to become the first celebrity community.
In 1991, the City of Los Angeles issued a permit to the Whitley Heights Civic Association to allow the installation of gates that would turn the community into a private enclave. Construction, funded by Whitley Heights homeowners, began in January of that year and was nearly complete, at a cost of more than $350,000 when, in April 1992, construction was permanently halted. A group called “Citizens Against Gated Enclaves” successfully sued to prevent the closure of public roadways in Whitley Heights. The gates were acquired by and installed at entrances to the private Laughlin Park community in the Los Feliz district.
Whitley Heights is roughly bordered on the north and east by Cahuenga Boulevard, on the west by Highland Avenue, and on the south by Franklin Avenue. It overlooks the Hollywood tourist district, including the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, and the Hollywood Bowl amphitheater. The neighborhood was bisected and some landmark homes unfortunately destroyed when the Hollywood Freeway section of U.S. Route 101 was built after World War II.
The most notable architectural styles found in this area are Spanish Revival, Mediterranean & American Craftsman.
MOUNT OLYMPUS is a neighborhood in the Hollywood Hills that occupies a narrow north-south strip of land lying just east of Laurel Canyon. Specifically, it’s borders are Laurel Canyon Boulevard on the west, Nichols Canyon Road on the east, Willow Glen Road to the north, and Hollywood Boulevard on the south. The 300-acre development was founded in 1969 by developer Russ Vincent, who promised homes priced at $150,000 – a price point that, today, is but a distant memory. The 400 or so homes here typically sell for $1.5-$3 million. In 1983 the Mt. Olympus Property Owners Association (MOPOA) was established as a non-profit public benefit corporation to manage the community affairs of the local home owners.
NICHOLS CANYON begins at Hollywood Boulevard on its south end and winds its way northward into the hills below Mulholland Drive. This canyon neighborhood borders, and in some places overlaps, Runyon Canyon Park which lies to its east. Nichols is a favorite jogging and cycling road and is known for its natural, year-round, spring-fed creek and 100-foot waterfall.
Nichols Canyon was named after John G. Nichols who served as mayor of Los Angeles between 1852 and 1853 and again from 1856 to 1859. He was a businessman and a builder who lived in the first brick house to be built in Los Angeles, and he was the first mayor to expand the city. Today, there are over 5000 homes Nichols Canyon.
LAUREL CANYON was first developed in the 1910s, and became a part of the city of Los Angeles in 1923 (prior to then, it was an unincorporated part of Los Angeles County.
Much like Topanga Canyon, community life is focused on its central thoroughfare, Laurel Canyon Boulevard. Unlike other nearby canyon neighborhoods, Laurel Canyon has houses lining one side of the main street most of the way up to Mulholland Drive. There are many side roads that branch off the main canyon, but most of them are not through streets, reinforcing the self-contained nature of the neighborhood. Some of the main side streets are Mount Olympus, Kirkwood, Wonderland, Willow Glen, and Lookout Mountain Avenue.
Laurel Canyon is an important transit corridor between West Hollywood and the San Fernando Valley, specifically Studio City. The division between the two can roughly be defined by the intersection of Laurel Canyon and Mulholland Drive.
SUNSET HILLS is a small, affluent enclave bordered by Laurel Canyon Boulevard on the east, Sunset Plaza Drive on the west and Sunset Boulevard on the south, which is also the City of Los Angeles’ border with the City of West Hollywood. Primary avenues of access are Kings Road, Little Hollywood Boulevard, Queens Road and Sunset Plaza Drive.
A neighborhood of expensive, multi-million dollar homes clinging to dramatically rising hills, Sunset Hills is home to such storied landmarks as the Château Marmont Hotel, built in the 1920s (the site of John Belushi’s untimely death as a result of a drug overdose), and a famous Frank Lloyd Wright home on Little Hollywood Boulevard, once the residence of film producer Joel Silver. Today Sunset Hills boasts, most likely, the largest concentration of celebrities residing in Los Angeles.
Residents enjoy seclusion and staggering views of the Los Angeles cityscape. Homes typically range from $2-5 million for small multi-level houses, with some larger homes exceeding $10 million.
Hollywood Hills area schools are as follows:
6017 Franklin Avenue | 323-464-1722
K-6 | Los Angeles Unified School District
Valley View Elementary School
6921 Woodrow Wilson Drive | 323-851-0020
K-6 | Los Angeles Unified School District
The Oaks School
6817 Franklin Avenue | 323-850-3755
K-6 | CA Private Schools
Aviva High School
7120 Franklin Avenue | 323-876-0550
7-12 | CA Private Schools
Temple Israel of Hollywood Day
7300 Hollywood Boulevard | 323-876-8330
K-6 | CA Private Schools
7450 Hawthorn Avenue | 323-876-4710
K-6 | Los Angeles Unified School District
Selma Avenue Elementary School
6611 Selma Avenue | 323-461-9418
K-6 | Los Angeles Unified School District
Hubert Howe Bancroft Middle School
929 North Las Palmas Avenue | 323-993-3400
6-8 | Los Angeles Unified School District
Hollywood High School
1521 North Highland Avenue | 323-993-1700
9-12 | Los Angeles Unified School District
Immaculate Heart High School
5515 Franklin Avenue | 323-461-3651
6-12 | CA Private Schools