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Holmby Hills, Los Angeles, California

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Title: Holmby Hills, Los Angeles, California  
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Subject: Humphrey Bogart, Beverly Hills, California, Myrna Loy, Rat Pack, Sunset Boulevard, Aaron Spelling, Joan Bennett, Barron Hilton, Letts, Paul Williams (architect)
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Holmby Hills, Los Angeles, California

Holmby Hills
Neighborhood of Los Angeles
Holmby Hills
Holmby Hills
Location within Western Los Angeles

Coordinates: 34°05′22″N 118°25′27″W / 34.089559°N 118.424034°W / 34.089559; -118.424034

Country United States
State California
County Los Angeles
City Los Angeles

Holmby Hills is a neighborhood in the district of Westwood in western Los Angeles. It is bordered by the city of Beverly Hills on the east, Wilshire Boulevard on the south, Westwood on the west, and Bel Air on the north. Sunset Boulevard is the area's principal thoroughfare which divides Holmby Hills into north and south sections. However, Holmby Hills can be recognized by its unique street lamps. In an effort to decrease traffic in the neighborhood, speed bumps have been installed on several key streets.


Holmby Hills, Bel Air, and Beverly Hills form the "Platinum Triangle" of Los Angeles. It is bordered by the city of Beverly Hills on the east, Wilshire Boulevard on the south, Westwood on the west, and Bel Air on the north.[1]


The area of present day Holmby Hills was the homeland of the Tongva-Gabrieliño Native Americans, who had a presence in the region for over 8,000 years.[2][3][4]

The first European on the land, that present day Holmby Hills, Bel Air, Westwood, and UCLA now occupy, was the Spanish soldier Maximo Alanis, who was the grantee of the 4,438-acre (18 km2) Rancho San Jose de Buenos Ayres from a Mexican land grant issued by Alta California Governor Manuel Micheltorena in 1843.[5]

In 1858, he sold it to Benjamin Davis Wilson, of early Pasadena development, the second Mayor of Los Angeles, and namesake for Mount Wilson in the San Gabriel Mountains. In 1884, Wilson sold Rancho San Jose de Buenos Ayres, at 2,000 acres (8 km²), to the nephew of leading pioneer William Wolfskill, businessman John W. Wolfskill, son of Mathus (Mathius) Wolfskill, William's younger brother. He paid $10 an acre and built a ranch house, near the present-day Mormon Los Angeles Temple.

The development of Holmby Hills began when Arthur Letts, Sr. purchased 400 acres (1.6 km2) of the original Wolfskill ranch at $100 an acre.[1][6][7] He called the development "Holmby Hills," which was loosely derived from the name of his birthplace, a small hamlet in England called Holdenby, and it was also the name of his estate in Hollywood.[6][7] Letts died suddenly in 1923, before he could realize his vision.[6] His son-in-law, Harold Janss, took over the project.[1][6] Zoning for the community, which straddles Sunset Boulevard, was designed to accommodate lot sizes up to 4 acres (16,000 m2).[1] The streets were named after places in Great Britain: Devon Avenue after Devon, the county in Southwestern England; Charing Cross Road after Charing Cross junction in London; Conway Avenue after Conwy in Wales, etc.[7] In the 1920s, English-style streetlamps were added specifically for the neighborhood.[1][6] After the Wall Street Crash of 1929, grand mansions were constructed.[1]

In 2012, residents tried to be annexed into the city of Beverly Hills, California to make sure their potholes would be repaired (which the Los Angeles City Council has failed to do despite estate taxes), but this was rejected by John A. Mirisch, then Beverly Hills city councillor and now mayor.[8]


The neighborhood is home to two parks: Holmby Park and De Neve Square Park.[1] The former, Holmby Park, includes two playgrounds, a nine-hole putting green called the Armand Hammer Golf Course, and a classic lawn bowling, home to the Holmby Park Lawn Bowling Club started in 1927.[1][9] It is located next to the Los Angeles Country Club.[9]

The Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation, an art gallery named after Frederick R. Wiesman, is located on North Carolwood Street. It includes works by Paul Cézanne (1839-1906), Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944), Max Ernst (1899-1976), Joan Miró (1893-1983), René Magritte (1898-1967), Alberto Giacometti (1901-1966), Isamu Noguchi (1904-1988), Alexander Calder (1898-1976), Robert Rauschenberg (1925-2008), Jasper Johns (1930), Willem de Kooning (1904-1997), Sam Francis (1923-1994), Clyfford Still (1904-1981), Mark Rothko (1903-1970), Helen Frankenthaler (1928-2011), Morris Louis (1912-1962), Kenneth Noland (1924-2010), Andy Warhol (1928-1987), Roy Lichtenstein (1923-1997), Claes Oldenburg (b. 1929), James Rosenquist (b. 1933), Edward Ruscha (1937), Joe Goode (1937), Duane Hanson (1925-1996) and John De Andrea (b. 1941).[10]

Los Angeles Fire Department is in the area.[11]


Primary and secondary schools

Public schools

Residents are zoned to the following Los Angeles Unified School District schools: Warner Avenue Elementary School, Emerson Middle School, and University High School.

Colleges and universities

Holmby Hills is a few blocks east of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

Private schools

The only school located within Holmby Hills is the Middle School (grades 7–9) component of the independent Harvard-Westlake School. The campus was originally occupied by Westlake School for Girls, which moved from its original site near downtown L.A. to the Holmby Hills campus in 1927. Harvard-Westlake was created in 1989 when Westlake merged with the Harvard School for Boys.


See also


Coordinates: 34°05′22″N 118°25′27″W / 34.089559°N 118.424034°W / 34.089559; -118.424034

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