Vintage Hollywood by Night, Part II

March 14, 2013 § 3 Comments

Hollywoodland and Lake Hollywood, Circa 1925/Courtesy Martijn Veltman

Hollywoodland and Lake Hollywood, Circa 1925/Courtesy Martjin Veltman


Hollywoodland resident Martijn Veltman sent me this photo after seeing Tommy Dangcil’s postcard in the previous post. He found it in a book on S. H. Woodruff, Hollywoodland’s developer, and we both agree it’s the same image, though heavily painted in the postcard version.

Vintage Hollywoodland by Night

March 12, 2013 § 4 Comments

Lake Hollywood and Hollywoodland/Courtesy Tommy Dangcil

Lake Hollywood and Hollywoodland, Circa 1925/Courtesy Tommy Dangcil

From Tommy Dangcil’s postcard collection comes this magnificent view of Hollywoodland and Lake Hollywood by night. Its date is obvious from the handful of houses sprinkling the hills: no later than 1925. At that point, Hollywoodland was just two years old, and what houses existed were newly built. In the coming decades, hundreds of new houses would spring up in Holllywoodland, but the contours of the land would remain the same. Also unchanged is Lake Hollywood, whose shape was determined by the canyon–Holly Canyon–that was flooded for its construction.

Beachwood Canyon from Above, Circa 1925

December 31, 2010 § Leave a comment

Courtesy Los Angeles Public Library, Security Pacific Collection

This aerial photograph shows Beachwood and the original Hollywood Sign, along with its searchlight–the dot below it. Taken around 1925, it shows a canyon in transition. While houses are plentiful in lower Beachwood, the Hollywoodland tract is still being built, with only a few houses visible. The roads have been cut and are the same roads we use today. Though not obvious, the network of retaining walls and steps are moving towards completion. Within four years, Southern California’s first hillside tract community will boast scores of new houses, its own country club and a distinct identity.

The biggest surprise in the photo is Burbank, stretching beyond Mt. Lee. Still largely farmland, it shows little sign of its future as a studio town and densely populated suburb.

The H to the left of the Hollywood Sign is not, as an English visitor assumed, a spare for the H in the Sign. It was placed on the hillside by Hollywood High School, and vanished long ago.

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