Brand spanking new 87 years ago, the Hollywoodland real estate development welcomes a handful of vintage automobiles through its Beachwood Canyon gates in this 1923 Los Angeles Public Library (LAPL) digital archives photo. Likely carrying property buyers, the cars are parked outside the new neighborhood’s sales headquarters.
Although not visible, the world-famous “Hollywoodland” Sign loomed over the new development atop Mt. Lee. Erected as a sales gimmick the same year as the above photo, its 50-foot letters were festooned with 5,000 electric bulbs that blinked like a Christmas tree each night. (In 1949 neglect led to the sign’s last four letters getting lopped off.)
The Same Gates Now…
Today the castle-like gates witness a constant flood of autos, as I discovered while attempting numerous time-elaspsed images this past Saturday night. Shooting between the hours of 8 to 9:30 p.m., it was impossible to manage a single photo without multiple cars streaming through the scene.
Predictably, daytime traffic is even busier, with tourists arriving by the bike, car and busload every few minutes to snap their pics in the shadow of the Hollywood Sign and the gateway arches. Although a little difficult to discern in this photo, the Hollywoodland Real Estate offices also stand virtually unchanged — and all lit up for the evening — to the right of the large white house near the intersection.