Celebrity real estate has become a natural pastime, but the Hancock Park neighborhood of Los Angeles remains relatively unknown. Beverly Hills and Hollywood are names familiar around the world, but for acre-for-acre, Hancock Park has them beat, as Mark David of our sister site, ShelterPop.com, explains.
Long before Beverly Hills was 'Beverly Hills', there wasHancock Park, one of the oldest, most affluent, architecturally well-preserved and star-studded neighborhoods in Los Angeles. Just 5 miles west of downtown, the neighborhood bloomed in the 1920s when prominent Angelenos with notable names like Doheny, Chandler and Ahmanson hired accomplished architects such as Wallace Neff and Paul Williams to design large and elegant mansions on the oversized, mostly flat lots. The commercial hub of Hancock Park is tree-lined Larchmont Village, a Main Street USA style strip of upscale boutiques, hardware stores, a bookstore or two, and oodles of restaurants that spill out onto outdoor dining areas that line the sidewalks. It's not unusual in Larchmont Village to see Hollywood power players going about their daily business with little fanfare and, more often than not, no pesky paparazzi.
Big name residents of Hancock Park have included Muhammad Ali and legendary actor John Barrymore Sr., Drew Barrymore's grandfather. But the neighborhood and its eclectic mix of Mediterranean, Tudor and Colonial Revival style homes fell into real estate disfavor in the 1970s and 80s when rich and famous folks gravitated towards some of Tinseltown's glitzier zip codes.