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Whitely Heights, Hollywood Hills

Whitley Heights is located where the Hollywood Hills East & Hollywood Hills West come together. Just east of the Hollywood Bowl and right behind the Hollywood Heritage Museum, occupies this area of lush hillside. Named after Hobart Johnstone "HJ" Whitley, the "Father of Hollywood". In 1918, HJ Whitley commissioned architect A.S. Barnes to design Whitley Heights as a Mediterranean-style village on the steep hillsides above Hollywood Boulevard, and it became the first celebrity community. The neighborhood 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 tourist district of Hollywood, including the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Grauman's Chinese Theatre and the Hollywood Bowl amphitheater.

H.W. Whitley, who also helped develop Reseda, Van Nuys, and Hollywood, considered Whitley Heights his “crowning achievement.” Employing architect A.S. Barnes, Whitley sent him to tour and study the architecture and landscaping of the Mediterranean. Barnes designed the majority of the residences in Whitley Heights from 1918 to 1928, and recreated the ambiance of a Mediterranean village.

The beauty and seclusion of Whitley Heights’ architecture and terrain quickly made it the home of Hollywood’s elite. Unfortunately, the construction of the Hollywood Freeway divided the original layout of the neighborhood and destroyed many houses. However, the use of the Spanish Colonial Revival style in Whitley Heights led the way for the popularity of this architectural style throughout Los Angeles.

Whitley Heights Historic District is also listed in the National Register of Historic Places. 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 1991 and was substantially completed by April 1992, at a cost of more than $350,000. Construction was permanently halted in 1992 when a group called "Citizens Against Gated Enclaves" successfully sued to prevent the closure of public roadways in Whitley Heights.

Among Whitley Heights' many famous residents have been Rudolph Valentino, Barbara Stanwyck, W.C. Fields, Jean Harlow, Carole Lombard, William Powell, Tyrone Power, Ellen Pompeo, Gloria Swanson, Rosalind Russell, Judy Garland, and Marlene Dietrich.

The streets in and around Whitley Heights are as follows; Bella Vista Way., Bonair Pl., Cerritos Pl., Emmet Terrace, Fairfield Ave., Grace Ave., Holly Hill Terrace, Iris Cir., Iris Dr., Iris Pl., Kendra Ct., N. Las Palmas Ave., Milner Rd., Whitley Ave., Whitley Terrace, Wedgewood Pl., & Wilcox Ave.

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