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.

Election Day at Hollywoodland Realty

November 6, 2012 § Leave a comment

Voting Today at Hollywoodland Realty/Hope Anderson Productions

Like many residents of Beachwood Canyon, I’m lucky to have Hollywoodland Realty as my polling place. Located just inside the Hollywoodland Gates, the Realty office fulfills a community function that goes well beyond the business of real estate. It’s where we go to vote and have our documents notarized. Tourists stop by for directions. And last December, in celebration of a major renovation, Hollywoodland Realty hosted a Christmas party for the neighborhood.

The first structure to be completed in Hollywoodland, it opened for business in early 1923. At first, Hollywoodland Realty sold lots to prospective home builders; afterwards, it sold and resold the houses that were built on them. For nearly 90 years, the Realty office has been the beating heart of the neighborhood, and the fact that it is our polling place helps to explain why.

The Hollywoodland Realty Office in 1923. The Developer S. H. Woodruff Stands At Center, Wearing Bow Tie/Courtesy Bruce Torence

Today just after noon, on a day of heavy voter turnout, the wait was about 3 minutes–probably the longest I’ve experienced in seven years of voting here. The fact that many of us work at home helps stagger the voting throughout the day, so that the only really busy times are the first and last hours. But even if the line had been longer, waiting would have been a pleasure: meeting and talking to neighbors at Hollywoodland Realty connects us, not only to one another but to Hollywoodland’s past.

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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