Holmby Hills is one of if not the most affluent neighborhood in the Los Angeles Westside. The neighborhood was developed in the early twentieth century by the Janss Investment Company which developed the rest of Westwood as well as other Los Angeles neighborhoods.
The area of present-day Holmby Hills was the homeland of the Tongva-Gabrieliño Native Americans, who had a presence in the region for over 8,000 year. The first European on the land that present-day Holmby Hills, Bel Air, Westwood and UCLA now occupy was the Spanish soldier Maximo Alanis, who was the grantee of the 4,438-acre Rancho San Jose de Buenos Ayres from a Mexican land grant issued by Alta California Governor Manuel Micheltorena in 1843.
In 1858, he sold it to Benjamin Davis Wilson of early Pasadena development, who was the second Mayor of Los Angeles and namesake for Mount Wilson in the San Gabriel Mountains. The development of Holmby Hills began when Arthur Letts, Sr. purchased 400 acres of the original Wolfskill ranch at $100 an acre. He called the development "Holmby Hills," which was loosely derived
from the name of his birthplace, a small hamlet in England called Holdenby and it was also the name of his estate in Hollywood. Letts died suddenly in 1923 before he could realize his vision.
His son-in-law, Harold Janss, took over the project. Zoning for the community which straddles Sunset Boulevard was designed to accommodate lot sizes up to 4 acres. The streets were named after places in Great Britain: Devon Avenue after Devon, the county in southwestern England; Charing Cross Road after Charing Cross junction in London; Conway Avenue after Conwy in Wales, etc. In the 1920s, English-style streetlamps were added specifically for the neighborhood. After the Wall Street Crash of 1929, grand mansions were constructed.
In 2012, residents tried to be annexed into the city of Beverly Hills, California to make sure their potholes would be repaired, but this was rejected by John A. Mirisch, then Beverly Hills city councilman and later mayor.
According to the Holmby Hills Homeowners Association website: "In
the 1920s, Sunset Boulevard was a two-lane country road known as
Beverly Boulevard. It was renamed when it was opened through to the
Pacific Ocean. When Sunset Boulevard was expanded into a four-lane
thoroughfare, Holmby Hills was for all practical purposes split into
north and south sections." The northern section is served by the Holmby Hills Homeowners Association, while the southern section is served by the Holmby Westwood Property Owners Association, which it shares with the rest of the northern Westwood area east of UCLA. However, in 2013, the Holmby Hills Homeowners Association Board decided to reach out to the homeowners south of Sunset (and east of Beverly Glen) to grow the Association with new members also residing in
Holmby Hills having similar interests.
With the expansion of Sunset Boulevard, Holmby Hills was split into two northern and southern sections as mentioned above, each lying within a different community plan area designated by the City of Los Angeles: The portion south of Sunset Boulevard is the area north of Wilshire Boulevard and east of both Beverly Glen Boulevard and Comstock Avenue, and west of the Los Angeles Country Club. Holmby Hills, Bel Air, and Beverly Hills form the "Platinum Triangle" of Los Angeles.
The neighborhood is home to two parks: Holmby Park and De Neve Square Park.
The former, Holmby Park, includes two playgrounds, a nine-hole putting
green called the Armand Hammer Golf Course and classic lawn bowling,
which is home to the Holmby Park Lawn Bowling Club started in 1927. It is located next to the Los Angeles Country Club.
The Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation, an art gallery named after Frederick R. Weisman,
is located on North Carolwood Street. It includes works by many noted
artists, including impressionists, post impressionist, surrealist and
many more up through today.
Primary and secondary schools
Residents are zoned to the following Los Angeles Unified School District schools: Warner Avenue Elementary School, Emerson Middle School, and University High School.
Colleges and universities
Holmby Hills is a few blocks east of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).
The only school located within Holmby Hills is the Middle School (grades 7–9) component of the independent Harvard-Westlake School. The campus was originally occupied by Westlake School for Girls, which moved from its original site near downtown L.A. to the Holmby Hills campus in 1927. Harvard-Westlake was created in 1989 when Westlake merged with the Harvard School for Boys.