Category: Beverly Hills

Beverly Hills Fountains

Public Fountains in Beverly Hills 

Beverly Hills is never penalized for using excessive amounts of water and not meeting water-saving goals… That is why Beverly Hills is always so luscious and green. The beautiful landscapes and grounds. These are Beverly Hill’s public fountains.

Beverly Gardens Park Electric Fountain

Beverly Hills park fountain
Electric Fountain At Night
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The most famous fountain in Beverly Hills is the electric fountain at the corner of Santa Monica Blvd and Wilshire Blvd in Beverly Gardens Park. It is listed as #20 on the city’s Register of historic properties. The fountain is the demarcation point between Westwood, Century City, and Beverly Hills. The fountain was dedicated in 1931 and is rumored to have stopped moving traffic for hours when it opened. The original cost of the fountain was $22,000.

In recent times, the Fountain gets less attention with major changes to the built landscape like the Waldorf Historia Hotel caddy-corner and the recently remodeled CAA building by IM Pei (Although it hardly reminds me of his other works, see Century Towers in Century City for a better Los Angeles example). The Fountain is a towering 6 feet tall and was designed by Robert Merrell Gage (Figure) and Ralph Carlin Flewelling (Base). The fountain prominently features a native Tongva Indian kneeling in prayer. Before Beverly Hills was Beverly Hills- the land was part of the Rancho Rodeo De Las Aquas (Translated roughly to mean “coming together of waters”). In the early history of Beverly Hills long before Rodeo Drive and Multimillion-dollar mansions, there were underground artesian streams flowing from both Coldwater Canyon and Benedict Canyon (intersecting Right at the present-day location of the Beverly Hills Hotel) which is where the inspiration for the Rancho name originated.  To me, the fountain is symbolic of Beverly Hills’ early history.


The fountain was designed by Wilbur Cook. A lot of people may wonder why I think landscape architects are so important when you consider the history of Beverly Hills. If you see the design of the city from the air, you will quickly realize that the great urban planning of the city is what makes it such a desirable place to live today. The fountain recently underwent a major overhaul led by landscape architect Mia Lehrer, to usher it into the next 100 years. Make sure to check it out both during the day and at night, as the fountain has two very distinct personalities depending on the time of day!

 

The Fountain at Will Rogers Memorial Park

Will Rogers Park marquee
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9650 Sunset Boulevard, Beverly Hills CA 90210

Will Rogers Park is named after the first mayor of Beverly Hills Will Rogers. Will Rogers the person is also responsible for the Polo Fields in the Pacific Palisades, and the Bridal Path. He was an avid horseback rider among many other talents. Fun Fact, the park originally belonged to the Beverly Hills Hotel, before Margaret Anderson donated it to the city in 1915. The Park is seldom visited so it is a great place to go to for some peace and quiet. The Beverly Hills Hotel is just across the street, so you can stop over there for lunch at the Polo Lounge, and don’t miss their gift shop which is really great! There is a large fountain at Will Rogers Memorial right smack dab in the center that has lilypads and turtles!  Opened in 1915- another fun fact- it was the first municipal park in Beverly Hills, at that time called Sunset Park. In 1952 the park was renamed to Will Rogers Memorial Park. 

The Scallop Fountain at Via Rodeo

9480 Dayton Way, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

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Throw a quarter in the wishing well? Via Rodeo is the newest section of Rodeo Drive, built-in 1990, the European inspired facades and winding cobblestone paved street meanders from the corner of Rodeo Dr and Dayton to Wilshire Blvd. This diamond-encrusted street has a remarkable stairway with a scallop fountain which is a popular tourist spot to snap a selfie.  The steps were said to be inspired by the Spanish Steps in Rome Italy. This is one of the top shopping destinations in the entire US so don’t forget to bring your checkbook! 

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La Terrasse | 447 N Doheny Dr

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La terrasse beverly hills condos

 

La Terrasse, 447 N Doheny Dr

La Terrasse is a newer construction luxury condo development in Beverly Hills. La Terrasse was completed in 2010 and has 20 units. There are five stories, including four penthouses on the fourth and fifth floors.

La Terrasse is on the Beverly Hills side of Doheny (the west side of the street with all the palm trees), and features single story floor plans plus full service amenities. The 01 and 05 stacks are street facing and have nice outdoor balconies. The 02,03, and 04 stacks face the rear and are more private and quiet. A perk with any property in Beverly Hills is that you get Beverly Hills schools.

447 N Doheny stacks

 

A drawback of Doheny address is traffic. I categorize Doheny as a short cut street- it has two lanes plus a turn lane. Double pain windows eliminate traffic noise inside.

Doheny Drive street view

Doheny Drive street view

La Terrasse was designed by Levin-Morris Architects. I think they did a great job with the design. Contemporary buildings can sometimes be plain and blocky. This design has variety and the façade is both engaging and beautiful.

The landscaping in front features palm trees and well ordered shrub beds. The building has a lot of curb appeal.

When you speak with the developer Brian Adler, who also developed Beverly Park, you can tell he really went all out with La Terrasse. The building exterior has attractive Limestone stone cladding which really makes this building standout from other 80’s and 90’s condo buildings on Doheny that have stucco exteriors. The elevator in the parking garage has a huge glass entry and sitting area. The rooftop deck has a floating floor tile system that has no unsightly drains. Otis elevator takes owners up and down. The Viking fridges have matching panels to the cabinetry. There are thirty-two monitored security cameras throughout the building.

La Terrasse Floorplans

La Terrasse square footage

 

The 1,2,4, and 5 stacks are 2br 2.5ba of approximately 2,000 sqft. These floor plans are abnormally large for a 2br floor plan in a condominium, typical 2br floor plans can range from 1,000 to 1,500 sqft.

The 3 stack are the 1br+1.5 bath units that again are huge for 1br at 1,600 sqft. A perk with the 1br units is that they have 2 parking spaces.

The penthouse units are 4,000 sqft 3br 4.5 ba. And are unit numbers 401,402,501, and 502

Kitchen

Kitchen

 

 

Hand Brushed Walnut Floors

Hand Brushed Walnut Floors

 

Hand brushed Walnut flooring gives the units natural warmth. Flexible floor plan allows 2nd bedroom to be easily converted to den. Separate tub and steam shower in master baths. All the doors are solid core Mahogany.

walk in closet

walk in closet

His and Hers finished Walk in Closets.

 

Front Desk

Front Desk

 

It might be surprising to buyers that there is a 24 hour front desk; buildings of this size usually don’t offer this amenity. Additional amenities include fitness room with changing bathrooms, a media room with leather theater seating and Hi-Definition 110″ screen Panasonic Projector, with full Kitchen. 10 units have his and hers masterbaths. All park is side by side. Each unit has storage areas.

HOAs range from $1,280 – $2,300

 

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Beverly Hills Hotel

The Beverly Hills Hotel
9641 Sunset Blvd
Beverly Hills CA 90210

The Beverly Hills Hotel

9641 Sunset Blvd
Beverly Hills CA 90210

The Beverly Hills Hotel is shrouded by dense gardens and palm trees on its 12-acre lot located in the heart of the residential estate section of Beverly Hills. The hotel is one of the first buildings to be built in the city of Beverly Hills in 1912- which was before the city was incorporated in 1915 (it’s Beverly Hills Historic Landmark #1).

Designed by architect Elmer Grey in the Spanish Mission style, and added onto several times over the years, it’s 3 bell towers over the red carpet main lobby entrance proudly wave the US, State of California and Mexican flags and can be seen from Sunset Blvd below.

One thing you will notice right away is the Beverly Hotel’s signature Pink color. The Hotel wasn’t always Pink, it was originally white which is more in keeping in line with the Spanish Mission-style architecture. The pink happened in 1948 when the Louisiana Inspired Crescent Addition was added by Paul Williams.

Lovingly nicknamed the Pink Palace (a moniker given by George Christy of the Hollywood Reporter), the Beverly Hills Hotel today serves as the social center for the community of Beverly Hills, and its own unique brand of personalized service to travelers the world over as their home away from home.

The Guest book of the Beverly Hills Hotel reads like a who’s who of the 20th century- Marylin Monroe, Charlie Chaplin, John F Kennedy, Prince Phillip, Howard Hughes, Katharine Hepburn (an avid tennis player. She played tennis with the tennis pro every morning), Elizabeth Taylor (and six of her eight husbands- each one stayed in a different bungalow). The Beverly Hills Hotel has been continuously open since 1912 to the present day, except for a period of closure during the great depression, and a 2-year remodeling in 1992. The Beverly Hills Hotel hosted fundraisers for war bonds during WW2 and has introduced people the world over to the city of Beverly Hills.

The Beverly Hills hotel is marked by its personal service (you can request a butler if you want one). The Hotel staff outnumber the guests by a ratio of about 1.5 to 1. They make you feel like royalty, even if you are not royalty. The staff maintains the upmost discretion – not easy to do with so many legendary happenings all around.

The Beverly Hills Hotel is a home fit for kings and queens, heads of states, captains of industry, playground of the rich and famous, hitching post to local Beverly Hills residents, location of candid hotel interviews, clandestine rendezvous, and photoshoots. I’d say this is the most famous hotel in Los Angeles!

EARLY HISTORY

 The Beverly Hills Hotel came about as an attraction to sell a little known nascent real estate development called Beverly Hills. The Real Estate developers were a syndicate of oilmen called the Rodeo Land & Water Co. led by President Burton Green. Many people attribute the founding of Beverly Hills to Burton Green, but Beverly Hills Historian Jeff Hyland says it was Percy Clark, Beverly Hill’s first real estate agent who came up with the idea.

The oilmen had a problem, they had paid oil field prices for lima bean land, and when they found no oil (except for a small well by Beverly Hills Highschool), they revamped their idea to sell land for a real estate development. Sales were slow at first (I know it is hard to imagine now!). Only a handful of lots had sold in the first 5 years. At this rate, it was going to take 100 years to sell out! They had leaped way out in front of the path of development of the city of Los Angeles. It was 1906- It would take 20 years for development to reach them as the city was growing from Santa Monica Eastwards and Downtown Los Angeles Westwards and Beverly hills was right in the middle… of that time nowhere.

They advertised Beverly Hills as “in the middle of the city and the sea” and proudly boasted that it was just a 25-minute drive from Beverly Hills to either Downtown Los Angeles or Santa Monica beach, but unfortunately in 1910, there wasn’t anything in the middle yet.  The oilmen were making money hands over fist with their productive oil wells throughout Southern California, so money was no object.

The 1920s to 1930s saw explosive growth for the city of Beverly Hills going from just 750 residents to 20,000 residents in ten years. The current day population is 34,000. Lot sales were few and far between in the 1910s. Burton Green was one of the first people to build a house- he built a humungous craftsman.

The oilmen looked to Hollywood where a rising hotelier star had grown a small 16 room hotel into a sprawling 250 room juggernaut at the Hotel Hollywood at Hollywood and Highland. They had money pouring out of their ears from their oil wells and they were anxious to reinvest it into a hotel to attract more residents to their real estate development. They struck a deal with the hotel manager Margaret J Anderson to operate their new hotel. Construction finished in 1912 at an obscene cost of between $300,000 to $500,000 by local newspaper estimates. It was instantly the largest hotel in the city with 300 rooms. The hotel was an instant success, and in the 1920s brought a new wave of Hollywood Silver Screen actors like Clark Gable, Charly Chaplin, Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks which elevated Beverly Hills’ status as one of the most exclusive residential communities in the US.

The Fireplace in the Lobby always had a fire burning. When Central HVAC was added in the 1948 addition, the fire was put out although the fireplace is still there. At this time there were horse stables and guests would take horseback rides. This early era in the Beverly Hills Hotel’s history came to an end when Mrs. Anderson sold the Beverly Hills hotel at the top of the market right before the crash of the great depression to Chicago Hotelier Hugh Leighton for $1.5 million in 1928. When the stock market crashed, Leighton lost the hotel in foreclosure.

Time to Shine

in 1934, The Bank of America put Vice President Hernando Courtright in charge of bringing the hotel out of receivership. Seven years later in 1943, Mr. Courtright formed a syndicate of investors and purchased the hotel from the Bank, so you could say Mr. Courtright came to the Beverly Hills hotel through the bank door. Courtright was a very important owner to the hotel because he set about making $5M in capital improvements to the property over the next 15 years of his ownership that greatly expanded the hotel’s footprint and brought the property into the 20th century. Courtright is the person responsible for instilling the personal service that guest receives at the Beverly Hills Hotel to this day. He had acquired his own personal views on service from years of travel and staying in hotels all over the world. He brought that sense of service to the Beverly Hills Hotel. One thing you will notice is that this hotel doesn’t do any conventions or Corporate events. Courtright’s philosophy was “Mi casa, su Casa”. He lived nearby to the hotel at 919 N Crescent.

The first expansion was adding more bungalows, of the original 14, another 7 were added. He then added the Crystal Ballroom in 1947 which can host up to 1,200 guests and has a humongous 18-foot wide crystal chandelier. Then came Courtright’s masterpiece the Crescent Wing addition in 1949. He hired renowned Los Angeles architect Paul Williams to design the addition in a New Orleans inspired. At a cost of $1,500,000- the Crescent Addition was built over the old stables grounds, which closed one chapter of the Beverly Hills Hotel’s early history and added 109 guest rooms and underground parking. All of the rooms in the Crescent Addition have French Quarter inspired wrought-iron balconies. He also reimagined Polo Lounge, Fountain Coffee Room and the lobby. Quick on the heels of this major addition was another 1.2M addition for the Glenway wing another 88 rooms.

In 1954, Courtright and his group of investors got nervous. They had always planned to sell the hotel, but with the groundbreaking of the Beverly Hilton, they worried they would lose business to the new hotel. They sold to Ben Silberstein who bought it at his daughter Muriel’s behest for 6M. Courtright’s worries never materialized as there was a brief two to the three-month lull in the hotel’s business when the Beverly Hilton opened, but the overall growth of the city sustained the additional hotel rooms.

In 1976, the Eagles seminal rock album “Hotel California” was released. The album art featured a picture of the Beverly Hills Hotel at sunset. 

The Silberstein family owned the hotel until 1986. The two daughters inherited the hotel but started fighting with each other and eventually sold it. This sale marked the end of this era and brings us into modern times.

Modern Times

The property was sold in a sealed bid auction in 1986 run by Morgan Stanley’s real estate division- the minimum bid was $100M.  Marvin Davis, Colorado Oil tycoon (he sold his Oil holdings for $180M) and Fox Chief Executive (He sold his 50% interest to Rupert Murdoch for $325M) had the winning bid at $135M- but some other notable bidders were Donald Trump, Jay A Pritzker of Chicago, local legend Merv Griffin, and The Sultan of Brunei.

Marvin Davis planned to do a $40M renovation, but quickly lost interest in the project and resold the hotel a year later in 1987 to the Sultan of Brunei for $185M. Many people were nervous about a foreign buyer taking control of the hotel. They had every right to worry about the mysterious pacific Potentate whose full name is Kebawah Duli Yang Maha Mulia Paduka Seri Baginda Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah Muizzaddin Waddaulah or just Hassanal Bolkiah for short. In the end, those worries were unfounded. The Sultan of Brunei has changed very little about how the hotel operates and reinvested the 100M the hotel desperately needed for a major a facelift. The hotel had been riding on its cache for years. The polo lounge leaked when it rained, the rooms didn’t have very much closet space, the plumbing which was cast iron didn’t run properly, and many of the rooms had wall HVAC’s instead of central air. The Beverly Wilshire had just undergone a 100M renovation, and the new Peninsula hotel in Beverly Hills was opened in 1991. Beverly Hills Hotels was losing guests- the occupancy rate dropped to as low as 58% when it had previously enjoyed occupancy rates of 98%. Something needed to be done. The Renovation took 2 years of planning and 2 years of construction. Gensler architects were brought in. They repainted the exterior in the Pink paint, it took 1,600 gallons! They actually lowered the room count to make the rooms bigger. The hotel is now owned and operated by the Dorchester Collection, a group of high-end hotels in London, Paris, Milan, and Geneva, a subsidiary of the state of Brunei.

How much does it cost to stay at the Beverly Hills Hotel?
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Who owns the Beverly Hills Hotel?

The Sultan of Brunei- Hassanal Bolkiah owns the Beverly Hills Hotel through his state-owned entity the Dorchester Collection. He purchased the hotel in 1987 for $185,000,000. 

Why is the Beverly Hills Hotel Famous?
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How far is the Beverly Hills Hotel from LAX?
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When was the Beverly Hills Hotel Built?

The Beverly Hills Hotel was built in 1912 and opened on May 12th

Who was the architect of the Beverly Hills Hotel?

The Beverly Hills Hotel was originally designed by Elmer Grey. The Crescent Addition, built in 1949 was designed by Paul Williams. Most recently for the $100,000,000 update the hotel received in 1991, Gensler Architects was in charge of the historic renovation. 

How many bungalows are there in the Beverly Hills Hotel?

23. 

Can you visit if you are not a guest?

The Beverly Hills Hotel is site seer friendly. You don't have to be a guest to visit the Beverly Hills Hotel, there is a gift shop that is open to the public, and two public restaurants - the Polo Lounge, and Fountain Room to grab a quick bite and enjoy the ambiance. 

Is the Beverly Hills Hotel Pet Friendly?

The Beverly Hills Hotel is pet-friendly and offers its trademark world-class service to ALL guests- human and pet alike. The hotel allows up to two pets of any weight, although if you are a frequent guest I'm sure the staff can make a special exception. Fun fact: The Hotel staff at the Beverly Hills Hotel once adopted a stray tomcat they belovingly named "Riley" (think ala to live the life of Riley) that lived on the grounds for several years until meeting an untimely demise RIP Riley!

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Beverly Hills Public Elementary Schools

Beverly Hills Unified School district has four K-8 public schools. They are El Rodeo School, Beverly Vista School , Hawthorne School, and Horace Mann School.

In 1913 when Beverly Hills was incorporated, Canyon School was the first elementary school in Beverly Hills. Canyon has since moved and been renamed Hawthorne School which it is known as today. Beverly Vista was established 1924 and El Rodeo shortly after in 1927. Hawthorne Elementary was built last in 1929.

Hawthorne School

Situated in the heart of Beverly Hills is Hawthorne School. Located on Rexford drive north of Santa Monica Boulevard, Hawthorne school is short distance to world famous Rodeo Drive, not what one would expect from a school that started with such humble beginnings.

 

The former Canyon School which later became Hawthorne was a one-room portable school bungalow, topped by a belfry like a church, and it stood in a bean field north of Sunset, at the entrance to Coldwater Canyon. On June 23, 1914, the electors of Beverly Hills met formally to exchange school sites, when Rodeo Land and Water Company deeded to the school district a 3.98-acre tract of land at the corner of Elevado and Gwendolyn Drive ( later renamed Rexford), in exchange for the school lot north of sunset.

On June 29, 1914, bids were opened for the construction of the new building, and designed by Architect W. J. Dodd, and in the fall of that year Mrs. Wood, three teachers, and the handful of students moved to the new school, called Beverly Hills Grammar School, later renamed Hawthorne School which it is known as today.

Enrollment in 2010 was 677 students. Student enrollment incuded 17% of students receiving special education services, 11% qualifying for English Learner Support, and 4% enrolled in the free or reduced lunch program.

The PTA is very active at Hawthorne School and parents will like being an active member in the school community. To get involved with the PTA, contact the school office, your child’s teacher, the PTA president, or the school administrators.

Hawthorne School scored 908 the statewide API in 2010. Hawthorne School’s mascot is a Viking.

Beverly Vista School

Located in the southern region of Beverly Hills, Beverly Vista is located on Elm street just below Wilshire Boulevard. Enrollment in 2010 school year for Beverly Vista was 710 students. The curriculum for K-5 students is provided in a self-contained classroom while students in grades 6-8 rotate classrooms for their lessons. 13% of enrolled students received special education services. 13,7% of students qualified for English Learner support, and 3% of enrolled students participated in the free or reduced lunch program.

Parent involvement is encouraged at Beverly Vista, there are volunteering opportunities for parents who want to become involved and there are numerous events throughout the school year that parents may attend along with their children such as Back to School Night, Celebration of Books, Book fairs, Open house, student performances, BV fun day, and of course graduation.

Beverly Vista has an API of 904, that is truly outstanding. Beverly Vista’s mascot is a Bulldog.

El Rodeo School

Located just north of Beverly Hills High school on the western boarder of Beverly Hills just north of Wilshire Boulevard is El Rodeo Elementary School. Enrollment in 2010 was 700 students. 10% of enrolled students received special education services. 8% of students qualified for English Learner support and 3% of enrolled students participated in the free or reduced lunch program.

El Rodeo offers various volunteering opportunities, such as volunteering at the library, chaperoning field trips, and fundraising. El Rodeo like Beverly Vista has a very packed social calendar with Back to School Night, Open House, Multicultural Dinner, Outdoor Education, student performances, Family BBQ, Ice Cream Social, Bedtime for Books, Science Olympiad, Music Theater, and Student Variety Show.

El Rodeo scored 902 on API in 2010. El Rodeo’s mascot is the bald Eagle.

Horace Mann School

The School is named after Horace Mann http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horace_Mann a early American Massachusetts native who became well known during his political career as an education reformer. Mann fought for the creation of public education and many states adopted a version of the public school system Horace Mann set up in Massachusetts, using it as a model.

Located in the eastern region of Beverly Hills, Horace Mann school is on Charleville Boulvard. Total enrollment for 2010 was 600 making it slightly smaller in student body then the other Elementary Schools. The school wide API ranking in 2010 was 898.

School Reports for all Beverly Hills Schools

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