We'll drive/walk through the historic Hancock Park neighborhood, once home to silent film stars like Buster Keaton, music legends like Nat King Cole, and moguls like Howard Hughes. The uniquely preserved mansions in the area were home to the city's wealthy elite at a time when Beverly Hills was just a lima bean farm. You'll see the theater where 13-year-old Judy Garland was discovered, the house from "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?", and the apartment building made famous by Mae West. You'll hear stories about racist neighbors, deadly drunk driving accidents, the Mexican-American war, JFK's shenanigans during the 1960 Democratic National Convention, the origin of Ralphs Grocery Stores, '80s movie villains, Freemasons, and Prince William and Princess Kate's honeymoon. The streets of Hancock Park are a nexus point for Los Angeles architecture, politics, entertainment industry milestones, and scandal...and yet even most locals are unaware of how deep its roots go. This is a unique chance to access it all!
I'm a New York Times best selling author, a documentary filmmaker, and a travel blogger who is in love with Los Angeles history. After years of living adjacent to the mansions of Hancock Park, I was disappointed to find that not a single organization or company was offering tours of the area, so I developed my own! This one-of-a-kind journey into this too-often-overlooked neighborhood took months of exhaustive research, and I'm still learning new details about the neighborhood to this day. Originally the tour was something I exclusively offered to family and friends, but the history of the area is so fascinating that I'm excited to finally share it with as many people as possible!
We'll begin at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre and do a loop through the Hancock Park and Windsor Square neighborhoods. We'll drive past stunning 1920s mansions that have served as homes to Hollywood stars past and present, that have been featured in famous films, and that have figured into the colorful history of Los Angeles. We'll return to the Ebell at the tour's end.
There are no bathrooms along the route, so please be sure to go before you arrive! There will be some walking involved during the tour--nothing too strenuous, but be sure to wear comfortable shoes.