I grew up in Los Angeles and I love the city. Although I have spent a lot of time in other cities and States for educational purposes, I always envisioned myself coming back home. This is a short script of how I view our wonderful city.
Los Angeles is one of the most vibrant and popular cities in California. It is located in Southern California. It is about 792,000 square miles. It is the second most populous city in the United States after New York City. Los Angeles is one of the most diverse cities in United States.
Los Angeles was founded in 1781. It initially became part of Mexico. By the end of the Mexican and American war, Los Angles was purchased from Mexico. Los Angeles is part of the Los Angeles County, which is part of the Greater Los Angeles area, which contains approximately 12 millions inhabitants. Los Angeles is one of the leading centers for business, entertainment, culture, fashion, technology, and education. It is one of the richest cities in the world. It has been noted to be the fifth most powerful city and one of the top influential cities in terms of finance, fashion, and trade. This city itself ranks as the third largest economic center in the world. Known as being the entertainment capital of the world, Los Angeles has produced some of the most famous entertainers, actors, and movies. More influential people live in Los Angeles alone than in any countries.
Los Angeles and Culture
Los Angeles is one of the most diverse culture groups in the world. People from more than one hundred countries have made Los Angeles their home. Some of the most famous restaurants are located in Los Angeles. There are over thousands of restaurants from Korean, to Chinese, to Taiwanese, and to just American restaurants. From fast food to sit-down from now foods and trucks, Los Angeles caters to every person who wants to eat.
In summary, Los Angeles has one of the most powerful economies, most influential people, best restaurants, nightlife, culture, and diversity. No wonder everybody wants to live in Los Angeles.
Los Angeles is also home to some of the best Hair Restoration and Hair Transplant clinics. The Hair Transplant and Hair Restoration specialist Doctor Sean Behnam practices his love and art of permanent Hair Replacement in Santa Monica, which is on the west side of Los Angeles.
When Spanish explorers first entered the area now known as Hollywood, Native Americans were living in the canyons of the Santa Monica Mountains. Before long, the Indians had been moved to missions and the land which Hollywood now occupies was divided in two by the Spanish Government. Acreage to the west became part of Rancho La Brea and settlements to the East became Rancho Los Feliz.
By the 1870s an agricultural community flourished in the area and crops ranging from hay and grain to subtropical bananas and pineapples were thriving. During the 1880s, the Ranchos were sub-divided. In 1886, H. H. Wilcox bought an area of Rancho La Brea that his wife then christened “Hollywood.” Within a few years, Wilcox had devised a grid plan for his new community, paved Prospect Avenue (now Hollywood Boulevard) for his main street and was selling large residential lots to wealthy Midwesterners looking to build homes so they could “winter in California.”
Prospect Avenue soon became a prestigious residential street populated with large Queen Anne, Victorian, and Mission Revival houses. Mrs. Daeida Wilcox raised funds to build churches, schools and a libraryand Hollywood quickly became a complete and prosperous community. The community incorporated in 1903, but its independence was short-lived, as the lack of water forced annexation in 1910 to the city of Los Angeles, which had a surplus supply of water.
In 1911, the Nestor Company opened Hollywood’s first film studio in an old tavern on the corner of Sunset and Gower. Not long thereafter Cecil B. DeMille and D. W. Griffith began making movies in the areadrawn to the community for its open space and moderate climate.
The needs of this thriving new industry created radical changes in the community causing a clash between older and newer residents. Acres of agricultural land south of what-is-now Hollywood Boulevard were subdivided and developed as housing for the enormous numbers of workers that movie-making required.
High-rise commercial buildings began to spring up along Hollywood Boulevardthree competing real-estate interests caused concentrations of development at Highland, Cahuenga, and at Vine. It wasn’t long before nearly all the homes along the Boulevard were replaced by commercial buildings linking the three corners.
Banks, restaurants, clubs and movie palaces sprang up, catering to the demands of the burgeoning film industry during the 1920s and 1930s. The architectural styles of the buildings were representative of those most popular between the World Wars. Banks were typically designed in the more formal Beaux Arts styles, but other buildings in the community took on more playful personalities.
The ornamental Spanish Colonial Revival style reflected Hollywood’s self-conscious extravagance while the new Art Deco and Moderne styles fit the community’s aspirations for glamour and sophistication.
Hollywood has been anything but static, however, and after a few decades as the capital of film glamour, the neighborhood changed again. Although much of the studio work remained in Hollywood, many stars moved to Beverly Hills, and the elegant shops and restaurants left with them.
In the 1960s, music recording studios and offices began moving to Hollywoodan offshoot of the nightclubs further west on Sunset Boulevard. Other businesses, however, continued to migrate to different parts of the city. Hollywood today is a diverse, vital, and active community striving to preserve the elegant buildings from its past. Much of the movie industry remains in the area, although the neighborhood’s outward appearance has changed.
In 1985, the Hollywood Boulevard commercial and entertainment district was officially listed in the National Register of Historic Places protecting the neighborhood’s important buildings and seeing to it that the significance of Hollywood’s past would always be a part of its future.
Before it was home to celebrities and luxury brands, 432 Oakhurst’s hometown of Beverly Hills was a hotbed of natural resources, including oil, water and lima beans. Yes, before it grew celebrities and millionaires, Beverly Hills was a 4,500-acre ranch that grew, well, lima beans.
The land of luxury really got its start in 1900 when Burton Green and Henry Huntington bought the land from the lima bean ranchers to drill for oil. Not finding enough, they started a subdivision called “Beverly Hills” and began selling the land off in lots designed for large estates. Sales were modest until the construction of the Beverly Hills Hotel in 1912. Soon after, movie industry moguls and celebrities began to make this their home. The first star residents included Douglas Fairbanks, Charlie Chaplin, John Barrymore and Will Rogers. Thus began Beverly Hills’ long history of being an oasis of luxury, glamour and fame.
Shortly after World War II, the cache of Beverly Hills began to grow with additions of the world famous attractions such as Rodeo Drive. The town became a mecca for Hollywood’s elite as the likes of Fred Astaire, Frank Sinatra and Walt Disney gave the zip code 90210 the iconic reputation it enjoys today.
This history of Beverly Hills is just another American rags-to-riches tale. From a lima bean ranch to the ultimate address, today Beverly Hills is a beacon for those who have made their dreams come true. 432 Oakhurst is simply the newest address to call Beverly Hills home.
In 1900, the land was purchased by the Amalgamated Oil Company. They drilled several wells, only to have their drill bits gather dust above and below ground. And by 1906, the property passed into the hands of the Rodeo Land and Water Company, with Burton E. Green as head of the development company. Green and the new corporation hired a landscape architect, Wilbur D. Cook, who designed a town with large lots for homes and wide curving streets, to be lined with palm, eucalyptus, acacia and other variety of trees. Cook also created a three block long, eighty-feet wide greensward along the north side of Santa Monica Boulevard called Santa Monica Park. When trying to decide on a name for the town they were about to build, Burton Green happened to read a newspaper article that mentioned Beverly Farms, Massachusetts, and as he read, it struck him that Beverly was a pretty name. He suggested the name Beverly Hills to his associates and it was accepted.
The names of the streets, Crescent, Canon, Beverly, Rodeo, Camden, Bedford, Roxbury and Linden Drives, Carmelita, Elevado and Lomitas Avenues, and Burton Way, appeared on a map for the first time on January 23, 1907, when the subdivision of Beverly Hills was filed at the County Recorder’s Office. On November 15, two lots on Crescent Drive were sold to Henry C. Clarke and he built a home. During 1910, after the financial panic of 1907-1908 had blown over, land sales were in full bloom and houses began to dot the landscape.
The Beverly Hills Hotel was built in 1912 and immediately became the center of social life in the area. Church was held in the hotel on Sunday; all formal social affairs were conducted in the grand ballroom; brides had to be married in the hotel; and the only motion picture theater was located there. Mrs. Margaret Anderson, well known in Los Angeles hotel circles, was brought in from the Hollywood Hotel as manager. A streetcar line ran down the middle of Sunset Boulevard from Los Angeles through Hollywood. By late 1913, with a population of 550, there were fifty more residents than needed to incorporate.
On January 28, 1914, Beverly Hills was incorporated. 1915 saw the first land annexation to the city. Street lights and fire equipment were purchased and the tax rate was fixed at $1.00 for each $100.00 of assessed valuation.
In 1919, Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford bought land on Summit Drive and built Pickfair, the house that would remain Pickford’s home after she and Fairbanks divorced and for the rest of her life. Other wealthy movie people followed them and settled in Beverly Hills. Will Rogers, a wisecracking political humorist, wrote of the land boom in 1923, “Lots are sold so quickly and often out here that they put through escrow made out to the 12th owner… They couldn’t possibly make out a separate deed for each purchaser; besides, he wouldn’t have time to read it in the 10 minutes’ time he owned the land.” The movie colony was well entrenched by 1928 when Harold Lloyd built his mansion in Benedict Canyon, followed by John Barrymore, Robert Montgomery and Miriam Hopkins. Thus, Beverly Hills became famous for being home to the rich and socially elite and for the large, stylish mansions of famous movie stars.
The population in 1920 was 672; in 1924, it was 5,000; by 1930, it was 17,429. The issuance of building permits in 1918 totaled $35,200; in 1919, $304,900; in 1921, $787,729; 1922, $1,838,994.
In early 1920, the Beverly Hills Speedway, a 1.25 mile wood oval track with turns banked 35 degrees, which was built at a cost of $500,000 on the south side of Wilshire Boulevard between Beverly Drive on the east and Lasky Drive on the west in Beverly Hills, was opened. Joe Boyer ran his race car 110 mph during the exhibition run. The races drew huge crowds and radio broadcasts were on a par with today’s Indianapolis 500. There were also some aviation shows, another national craze. The speedway was closed in 1924 and the site was later subdivided for housing and businesses.
In 1923, annexation to the City of Los Angeles was proposed, but faced opposition. Residents Mary Pickford, Will Rogers and others mobilized local voters against the plan. Those for annexation argued that Los Angeles would provide an adequate supply of better quality water for growth. Workers left bottles of sulfur-smelling water on the doorsteps of every home in Beverly Hills with a label that read: “Warning. Drink sparingly of this water as it has laxative qualities.” Despite the campaign tactics, annexation was defeated 507 to 337. The following year, the city voted $400,000 in bonds to purchase the water system from the Beverly Hills Utilities Company and drill additional wells.
This fight for an independent city was arguably the first union of show business and politics in the United States. When Will Rogers became involved in local city government the community received international advertising. In 1925, long before Ronald Reagan became governor or Clint Eastwood became mayor of Carmel, Rogers was given the title “Honorary Mayor of Beverly Hills,” which was the first and only time anyone has been so honored. That same year, the citizens of the city voted a $100,000 bond issue to purchase with Los Angeles, Santa Monica and Venice 385 acres (1.6 km²) for the building of UCLA. There were ninety-six miles (154 km) of paved streets in the city limits by 1927. In 1928, the Beverly-Wilshire Hotel on Wilshire Boulevard between El Camino and Rodeo Drives, part of the old Beverly Hills Speedway, was completed. That same year, Greystone Mansion was completed by Edward L. Doheny, Jr., the only son and heir of wealthy oil man Edward L. Doheny. And in 1930, horses were banned in the City of Beverly Hills.
Beverly Hills continued to grow. Promotional materials from the period touted the young metropolis as the “center of the next million.” Fortunately, human-scale public improvements helped soften the effects of growth. In the early 1930s, Santa Monica Park was renamed Beverly Gardens and was extended to span the entire two mile length of Santa Monica Boulevard through the city. At its Santa Monica and Wilshire corner, the Electric Fountain, a constant symphony of form and color at night, was installed, with a small sculpture at the top of a Tongva kneeling in prayer, homage to the heritage of Beverly Hills as a wellspring of fertility and abundance.
The following year, 1932, a new Italian Renaissance-style City Hall was opened. By 1933, however, the Depression hit Beverly Hills. The city and school board cut salaries to save funds. In February, some 161 parcels of land were advertised for sale for delinquent lighting assessments. The Chamber of Commerce established an employment bureau and the mayor requested a branch welfare office from the County of Los Angeles. Despite these problems, in April 1934 there was a huge celebration over the dedication of the city’s new United States Post Office. The civic festival that followed was called Beverly Hills on Parade. By 1937, the city had weathered the storm of the Depression and was riding the crest of a wave of retail sales that reached more than $20,000,000 and bank deposits topped the $25,000,000 figure. Property values of that year showed a 30% increase over the previous year and new buildings were being opened regularly.
In the years after World War II, energies were again turned toward the building of the city; businesses and residential areas began to flourish.
Contemporary Beverly Hills
By the 1950s, few vacant lots remained and developers cropped whole mountains to ease the housing shortage. The Trousdale Estates area was eventually annexed and an expensive housing development began to take shape in the hills above the city. Beverly Hills marketed itself as one of the most glamorous places in the world to shop. The Golden Triangle, with Rodeo Drive at its center, was marketed as the apex of chic shopping and fashion. The Via Rodeo, the first new street in Beverly Hills in seventy-six years, was completed in 1990. The Spanish cobblestone street leads to 2 Rodeo, a “mini-mall”. In 1992, the Beverly Hills Civic Center was opened. Designed by architect Charles Moore, it links the new public library, fire and police departments with the historic City Hall. The exterior of the old public library, which had featured a mosaic resembling books on a shelf, appeared in stock shots in The Brady Bunch as Mike Brady’s office building.
A little known fact about the center divider that runs from North Santa Monica to Sunset in the middle of Rodeo Drive is a trolley once ran from downtown Beverly Hills to the Beverly Hills Hotel along that route. While the city derives its unique personality from being favored by show business people; and it is true that many actors, writers, directors and producers live in the city and take part in civic life; many professionals, doctors and lawyers, have homes and offices in the city also. The Beverly Hills Unified School District, with its four K-8 schools and the Beverly Hills High School, boasts particularly high academic achievement.
The city’s image has been enhanced by being featured in television shows and movies set in Beverly Hills, including the The Jack Benny Program (1950 to 1954), The Beverly Hillbillies (1962 to 1971), the Beverly Hills Cop movies, and Beverly Hills 90210 (1990 to 2000).
Rodeo, Beverly, and Canon Drives all recently underwent construction to widen the sidewalks and beautify the streets. New construction has also just been completed that added more parking for visitors to the famed shopping area.
A Brief History Of The Miracle Mile
In the 1920′s, A.W. Ross developed a shopping area designed to accommodate cars by providing wider streets and parking behind retail stores. This strip of Wilshire Boulevard, between Sycamore Avenue to the east and Fairfax Avenue to the west, is strategically placed within Los Angeles.
The design of the building storefronts facilitated presentations by local merchants, combining the concepts of window shopping and driving into one activity. Associates of Ross began to see the Boulevard’s potential and renamed it "Miracle Mile." Experiencing revitalization in the 90′s, the islands are identified with historic neon signs and new landscaping. Extraordinary examples of Art Deco, Streamline Moderne and Spanish Colonial Revival Architecture continue to grace the area.
New businesses continue to appear along the boulevard. Old businesses are sporting new looks and many of our buildings are being restored and remodeled. As the plantings on the islands that line the boulevard mature, the look of Wilshire Boulevard is more appealing. Small tables are sprouting along the sidewalks in front of our cafes. The street is more community friendly and accessible with the addition of parking on the street and a new parking lot at Detroit, complete with newsstand service. The creation of a Community Design Overlay District for the Miracle Mile will serve to ensure that continuing and future developments augment and enhance the unique architectural character and environmental setting.
Comprised of a colorful mix of retailers, restaurants, advertising agencies, law firms, public relations offices, publishing companies, art galleries, businesses and entertainment corporations, the Miracle Mile plays a defining part in the identity of the greater metropolis of our city. Several museums are permanent residents of Museum Row on the Miracle Mile.
Entertainment and events are an integral part of our community.
Hundred of thousands of visitors came to the Van Gogh exhibit at LACMA, the second of only two exhibition sites in the United States. The re-opening of Hancock Park surrounding LACMA and the Page Museum facilities was celebrated as the center piece for our community. Many non-profit organizations call the Miracle Mile "home." The beautiful Wilshire Courtyard office complex was site of the "Light the Night Walk" for the Leukemia Society of America. The first weekend in October includes the Annual County-wide Arts Open House with Museum Row on the Miracle Mile as a hub-site. The Boulevard, closed from Fairfax to Curson Avenues, features music, food and an array of booths for visitors to enjoy.
For almost seventy-five years, the Miracle Mile, with its wealth of historic and new architecture, ethnic diversity and wide range of cultural amenities has drawn residents, business owners and visitors alike. Join the Miracle Mile Chamber of Commerce now and share in the benefits of our community. Become a part of this exciting revitalization and experience the "miracle."
Brentwood: A Brief History
Brentwood is often confused with the city of Brentwood in the San Francisco Bay Area. LA’s Brentwood was once part of the Rancho San Vicente and Santa Monica land grant. In 1848, it as sold into parcels after Mexico’s defeat in the Mexican-American War.
The Brentwood area began its development within the small community of Westgate, in the late 19th century. Westgate Avenue remains a reminder of this. Many local streets are in fact named after British regions like Barrington, Bristol and Gorham, yet the neighborhood has no connection to Brentwood, England. In 1916, Brentwood was annexed by Los Angeles.
In 1961, a fire, fanned by the Santa Ana winds, spread into Brentwood. Though 22% percent of homes were destroyed (484 homes), no one was killed. The fire however burned 16,090 acres of land and caused damages worth approximately $30 million.
Today, Brentwood is known as one of the wealthiest areas of LA, populated by affluent professionals, political figures and celebrities which once included O.J. Simpson. The area received a great deal of negative publicity in 1994 when all media eyes turned on it for coverage of the Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman murder trials.
The notorious police chase of O.J. Simpson’s white Bronco ended at his Brentwood mansion. Courtroom play-by-plays regarding Brown Simpson and Goldman’s meeting referred to the Brentwood restaurant Mezzaluna (now closed) and the former’s Brentwood home at 875 S. Bundy Drive. The paparazzi continue to camp out in Brentwood where they often snap photos of celebrities at everyday hubs like the local Brentwood Country Mart.
Brentwood’s northern portions largely consist of single-family homes. The southern area, south of Sunset, is made up of a mix of single-family homes and apartments. The area south of San Vicente Boulevard consists mostly of apartments.