Hancock Park was originally part of a Spanish land grant. Initially developed for agriculture, the Hancock Park area produced hay, bananas, pineapples and citrus fruits, as well as grapes for wine. The land grant ended in the 1880s and the area was subdivided.
Hancock Park today is serene and elegant, with grand houses on lush tree-lined streets. Many of the area’s homes were designed by famous architects, including Paul Williams and Wallace Neff. Larchmont Boulevard, inspired by Larchmont, N.Y., is the commercial hub of Hancock Park. Trendy boutiques, upscale shops, antique stores and a variety of services and restaurants can be found here. Other nearby shopping areas include Melrose Avenue, Rodeo Drive and the Beverly Center.
Hancock Park is among the ten wealthiest big city neighborhoods in the country, according to Worth magazine. Muhammad Ali and Nat King Cole once resided here. Current celebrity residents include Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas. Other actors, musicians, and employees of the film and television industries have also chosen to live in Hancock Park because of its proximity to Hollywood and the studios. Despite its reputation as the home of A-list stars and “industry insiders,” Hancock Park retains a friendly atmosphere and community spirit runs high.
Hancock Park’s central location allows easy access to all that Los Angeles County has to offer. Recreational opportunities include hiking in the Santa Monica Mountains, biking at Paramount Ranch, golf, beach activities, and nearby skiing in the winter. Nearby Griffith Park provides over 4000 acres of open space with walking trails and horse rentals. The Los Angeles Zoo is located at Griffith Park, as are an observatory and a planetarium. A merry-go-round, the Autry Museum of Western Heritage and Travel Town are also located in Griffith Park.
The area abounds with museums, including the Getty, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Petersen’s Automotive Museum, the Armand Hammer Museum of Art Cultural Center, and those at Expedition Park. Historic film venues include the Hollywood Walk of Fame, El Capitan, the Hollywood Wax Museum, and Mann’s Chinese Theatre. The La Brea Tar Pits and the Angeles Flight Railway are nearby. Local professional sports teams include the Lakers, Clippers, Sparks, Kings, and Dodgers, and auto racing, horseracing, polo and college football can all be found in the area.
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