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History – Holmby Hills Homeowners Association

History

These lamps were specifically made for Holmby Hills.

These lamps were specifically made for Holmby Hills.

The street lamp on this page was created in the 1920′s by the Los Angeles Bureau of Street Lighting exclusively for the Holmby Hills neighborhood.  You can tell you are in Holmby Hills just by looking at the lamps.  (For more information about the street lamps in Los Angeles, please visit the George A. Eslinger Street Lighting Photo Gallery.

Holmby Hills was laid out on 400 acres of the original 2,000-acre Wolfskill Ranch, which the founder of the Broadway department stores, Arthur Letts Sr., had bought for $100 an acre.  The community was bordered to the west by Beverly Glen Boulevard, to the east by Beverly Hills, and straddled what is now known as Sunset Boulevard.  Zoning was implemented to guarantee large lot size, and electric and telephone wires were buried beneath the tree-lined streets to help preserve the landscape.  Letts chose the name “Holmby Hills,” deriving it from his birthplace, a small hamlet in England called “Holdenby.”

Arthur Letts, Sr. was also a Trustee of the California State Normal School, forerunner to the “Southern Branch of the University of California,” later renamed “University of California at Los Angeles” (UCLA).  He died on May 18, 1923, before he could realize his master plan for the Holmby Hills development.  It was left to his son-in-law, Harold Janss, one of the two brothers who ran the Janss Investment Company, who married Letts’s daughter, Gladys, to consummate the agreement to sell some 373 acres of the Wolfskill Ranch to the Regents of the University of California for UCLA’s new home.

This decision by the Regents to relocate UCLA to the then undeveloped area of “Westwood Hills” sparked the accelerated growth of WestwoodWestwood Village, and Holmby Hills – all developed by the Janss Investment Company.

In the 1920′s, Sunset Boulevard was a two-lane country road, known as Beverly Boulevard.  It was renamed when it was opened through to the Pacific Ocean.  When Sunset Boulevard was expanded into a four-lane thoroughfare, Holmby Hills was, for all practical purposes, split into north and south sections.  Our Association is the grouping of the homeowners on the north side of Sunset.

In 2013, the Holmby Hills Homeowners Association Board has decided to reach out to the homeowners south of Sunset (and east of Beverly Glen) to grow the Association with new members also residing in Holmby Hills having similar interests.

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