Hollywoodland is Here!

Over the last few years I have been amazed by the incredible and ever-growing collection of local/regional history books put out by Arcadia Publishing. This is a truly remarkable series of literally hundreds of titles that have brought forward tons of images, many of which have never before been published. These books have not only been a great treat for local history buffs they have also shed light on many fascinating but overlooked aspects of history. The diversity and specificity of these titles is just astounding. Looking for a book on the lakes and parks of the Granite State? You’re in luck. How about one on the Jews in Rhode Island 1658-1958? Yep. Conshohocken in vintage postcards? Yes indeed. Wilmington’s waterfront? Got it.

Southern California and Hollywood have not been neglected by this series either and now I’m thrilled to announce that as of today Arcadia is releasing HOLLYWOODLAND as part of its Images of America series. And I know it’s going to be a good one because it has been put together by my friend Mary Mallory and Hollywood Heritage. Mary is both passionate and extremely knowledgeable about her subject and this is readily apparent on every page of HOLLYWOODLAND. And the photographs are spectacular!

The Hollywoodland district is really one of the greatest treasures Hollywood has to offer both historically and architecturally. From the iconic sign atop Mount Lee on downwards to Moby’s “Wolf’s Lair,” Madonna’s former “Castillo Del Lago,” to Bela Lugosi’s houses on Westshire, Hollywoodland is a repository of beautiful and historic homes designed by a number of the region’s best architects and designers particularly the exceptional John De Lario who designed so many of Hollywoodland’s finest homes. But he was far from alone. Nestled throughout the winding streets of Hollywoodland there can be found homes by such legendary architectural practicioners as Walter S. and F. Pierpont Davis, Richard Neutra and Carl Lindbom, but there are also some great designs by lesser known builders as well such as Kenneth Kahn and Ben Sherwood. And, of course, from the time of its opening in 1923, Hollywoodland has been and continues to remain a haven for Hollywood stars, writers, directors, producers and every other creative type.

Hollywoodland is the quintessential Hollywood neighborhood and it deserves to get the full star treatment. And now it does with HOLLYWOODLAND.  Here’s the link to Arcadia and one for Amazon too. AND, if you haven’t joined Hollywood Heritage yet – what are you waiting for? You will be glad you did and you will be helping to preserve and honor the incredible history that could only be found in a place called Hollywood.

Lastly, I wanted to share with you my favorite Hollywoodland picture. What’s the deal with that guy’s hair?!

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12 Responses to Hollywoodland is Here!

  1. Steven says:

    Yes, it is great that these books are out there and that the photographs are being made available to the public, however, having done 3 of them, I can say with that these books are not as hot as they seem. I won’t do another. Publishing restictions prevent the author from doing what could be a great history on the subject largely due to space restrictions (other restrictions from Arcadia also hamper the writer). Captions are limited to 75-100 words and these books sell for 20 bucks, as a historian myself, and one on a limited budget, I’m not shelling out that kind of money for something I can’t use as a reference book. I don’t need a pretty, expensive, coffee table book, and these books all amout to that. When I wrote my books I stuck to the old rule of “Who, What, Where, and When,” but many writers of these books fail to give basic information such as location, when a building was built or destroyed, who the people are in the photopgraph, when the picture was taken etc.! My captions usually ran 200-500 words and I had to cut out all that information, My point is I researched and researhed and researched each image. Still, i was forced to cut captions down to 100-150 words, but I made sure to fill every inch of space and to ensure that readers, and future reserchers could use my books to at least get a start on learning about local landmarks. Another historian and I still laugh over an Arcadia book that contained a wonderful photograph filled with possible information that the writer could have included but instead focused on a solitary woman walking down a dirt road leading to the ocean stretched out below her where a sail ship either was coming in or going out and the caption read “She better hurry or she’ll miss the boat”……. I’ve found that Arcadia, and other publishers like them, only use these books as tax write offs, considering the lack of sales on my books and the great reviews I got. These companies do nothing to promote or push sales either, fo rme the amopunt of time and money I soent putting one together wasn’t worth the effort: I lost thousands of dollars that I’ll never get back. At one time, “real” historians looked down their noses at these books but I notice they’ve changed their minds, even writing and publishing them as well. Too me, so many Arcadia books are worthless because they tell me nothing; a picture may be worth a thousand words, but not in an Arcadia book!

    • Regrettably, although I wouldn’t say Arcadia books are mostly worthless, I have to agree with your opinion on the Arcadia picture books. Without the proper historical con-text behind the pictures we are left with an incomplete picture. However they do whet our appetite for more.

  2. Robby says:

    I really enjoy the Arcadia series of books on local subjects. As much as I wish there were more detailed descriptions/captions to the images (until I read the comment above I was unaware of Arcadia’s restrictions) I guess I’m happy to take what I can get. I can’t wait to see this new addition on Hollywoodland and I’m sure I’ll be totally engaged as I thumb through the pictorial history. I agree with the comment above that maybe some of these Arcadia books could be starting points for some future in-depth historical books on local history. In the meantime, hooray for Hollywoodland!

  3. Jim lewis says:

    Either that is a picture of Ignace Jan Paderewski, or the Santana winds are blowing!

  4. Mary Mallory says:

    Thanks Steve for the great post! Yes, the captions are small, but I did find much new information that people hadn’t known before which will be available in the book. Hopefully it will spur people on to research more specific people or items. There were some people and items that little could be found for, however. We had most of our photos, so didn’t need to expend much money to acquire extras. I’m still learning and tracking down new information. Every time I walk up there, I discover new things, especially about the original homes. I’ve never seen the above photo, it’s great! It’s not the pianist, he didn’t live up there as far as I can tell. I believe that he is sitting on Belden Drive however, and that is Durand Dr. above him on the hill to the West.

    • Steve says:

      You’re most welcome, Mary. Congratulations! Hollywoodland is such a special neighborhood and there is always something new to discover there. I still like stumbling across (but hopefully not down) its hidden stairways. Congrats again!!!

      PS: I think Jim was just kidding about that being Paderewski, but whoever he was, he sure needed a BIG hat!

  5. Congratulations to Mary on the book and to you Steve on another perfect post! I do want to add my two cents by saying (and encouraging everyone to follow suit) joining the Hollywood Heritage foundation is one of the best things I’ve ever done! Their work in preservation alone is so terribly important here in “Developers Paradise” Hollywood. Haven’t we who love the place seen enough bulldozers for one lifetime? Every tour that I give, I mention them and the Barn and encourage all my guests to join.

  6. David Ko says:

    Congratulation Mary on the book. My bookstore trip is incomplete without browsing the Image of America section. Another interesting subject Steve!

  7. Mindy says:

    I wasn’t able to make it to last night’s discussion, but will buy the book nearby. In the meantime, does anyone know what road that is winding up to the sign in the iconic photo with the two cars? Is the house below the sign particularly well-known? If it’s not in the book, I hope you can answer here.

    Thanks!

  8. Mary Mallory says:

    Well, too late for your answer, but I believe that is Heather Dr., after walking up it.

  9. Pingback: MYSTERY SOLVED IN RECORD TIME! | Paradise Leased

  10. yes, that crazy haired man looks like he’s sitting at the switchback at heather and durand.

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