Hollywood’s famous sign was built in 1923 as an ad for a real estate development. Its 50-foot high letters originally read HOLLYWOOD LAND until 1949 when the city tore down the last four letters. Located on Mt. Lee (part of the old Sherman and Clark ranch), the sign had 5000 electric lights that flashed on and off nightly.
In 1914, the Berheimer brothers purchased this 300-foot hill overlooking Hollywood and built a palace that was an exact replica of one of the most beautiful palaces in Japan. Hundreds of craftsmen were brought form the Orient to carve out each detail of the palace. Named the “Yamashiro,” it is now a restaurant with a breathtaking view of L.A. 1999 Sycamore.
In the early 1920’s, comedian Buster Keaton built this x-shaped mansion-one of the showplaces of Beverly Hills. In 1927, when talkies came in, he lost the house, his fortune, and his career. When Fatty Arbuckle married in 1925, the wedding reception was held here. 1018 Pamela Dr.
Actor Errol Flynn designed and built his home here in 1942 at a cost of $125,000. He turned the home into a fortress of bacchanalian amusements, including installation of one-way mirrors in the ceilings of the bedrooms so that he and his friends could observe his famous houseguests making love. Flynn, Hollywood’s best know rouge and Casanova, once said of the home: “Strange people wended their way up the hill to the Mulholland house. Among them pimps, sports, bums, down at the heels actors, queers, athletes, sightseers, process servers, phonies, salesmen-everything in the world.” Former owners were Richard Dreyfuss, and singers Stuart Hamblin and Rick Nelson. It was Nelson’s last home. The house was torn down in June 1988. 3100 Torreyson Pl.
For over twenty-five years, Ozzie and Harriet Nelson lived in this home in Hollywood. Located nearHollywood Blvd., it was here that Rick and David grew up. After Ozzie died in 1975, Harriet lived alone in the house until she sold it in 1980. Soon after the new owners moved in, they discovered that their famous home was quite unusual. Many strange and mysterious events began to happen, including doors that suddenly opened and closed-with nobody near them, lights and faucets that turned on and off-by themselves. The owners are convinced that the mischievous incidents are the work of Ozzie Nelson’s ghost. 1822 Camino Palermo.
Just a few blocks north of Hollywood Blvd. lay the remains of a once beautiful 148 acre estate. After passing through the main gates leading into the grounds, a crumbling road takes you past the foundation and steps of what was once an English-Gothic mansion. Further up the curving road are the remains of tennis courts, two swimming pools and several cottages. Many exotic plants and trees grow out of control on the grounds. Called “The Pines,” the estate was built in 1919-20 by Carmen Randolph Runyon, who sold it to Irish tenor, John McCormack in the late 1920s. In 1942, supermarket magnate, Huntington Hartford purchased the estate. He owned it until the early 1960s, during which time he allowed it to deteriorate. Abandoned for over 30 years, the only structure intact on the grounds is a small stone building, which McCormack once used as a studio to make his recordings. The property is one of the most serene in Hollywood. In recent years, become known as Runyon Canyon and is favorite dog park and hiking trail for locals.
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