Laurel Canyon


Laurel Canyon is a canyon neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. It was first developed in the 1910s, and became a part of the city of Los Angeles in 1923 (prior to then, it was an unincorporated part of Los Angeles, County. Much like Topanga Canyon, community life is focused on its central thoroughfare, Laurel Canyon Boulevard. Lookout Mountain had one of the bvest panoramic views of the Cahuenga Valley. Unlike other nearby canyon neighborhoods, Laurel Canyon has houses lining one side of the main street most of the way up to Mulholland Drive. There are many side roads that branch off the main canyon, but most of them are not through streets, reinforcing the self-contained nature of the neighborhood. Some of the main side streets are Mount Olympus, Kirkwood, Wonderland, Willow Glen, and Lookout Mountain Avenue. The zip code for a portion of the neighborhood is 90046. Laurel Canyon is an important transit corridor between West Hollywood and the San Fernando Valley specifically Studio City. The division between the two can roughly be defined by the intersection of Laurel Canyon and Mulholland Drive. In early 2005, the first section of the road on the Hollywood side was partially washed away in a heavy rainstorm, and traffic was redirected to a normally quiet residential side street. Prior to the arrival of the Spanish, the area of Laurel Canyon was inhabited by the local Tongva tribe of Native Californians. A spring-fed stream that flowed year round provided water. It was that water that attracted Mexican ranchers who established sheep grazing on the hillsides in the late 1700s and early 1800s. After the Mexican government was ejected, the area caught the attention of Anglo settlers interested in water rights. Around the turn of the century, the area was subdivided and marketed as mountain vacation properties. Between 1912 and 1918, a trackless electric trolley ( similar to a streetcar) ran up the canyon from Sunset Boulevard to the base of Lookout Mountain Road where a road house served visitors. Travel to the newly subdivided lots and cabins further up the canyon was at first made on foot or by mule. As the roads were improved, access was possible by automobile. Around 1920, a local developer built the Lookout Mountain Inn at the summit of Lookout Mountain and Sunset Plaza roads, which burned just a few years after opening. Among the famous residences in Laurel Canyon are the log cabinhouse once owned by silent star Tom Mix that later became home to the Zappa clan, and another (directly across the street) that legendary magician Harry Houdini may have lived in. Laurel Canyon found itself a nexus of counterculture activity and attitudes in the 1960s, becoming famous as home to many of L.A.'s rock musicians, such as Frank Zappa, Jim Morrison of the Doors, The Byrds, Buffalo Springfield and Love Joni Mitchell, living in the home in the Canyon that was immortalized in the song, "Our House", written by her then-lover Graham Nash, would use the area and its denizens as inspiration for her third album, Ladies of the Canyon. That bohemian spirit endures today, and residents gather annually for a group photograph at the country market. Hillside fires have been a constant threat for the residents of the Laurel Canyon Area. In 1979, a terrible fire broke out in Laurel Canyon hat destroyed twenty three homes. Laurel Canyon has been mentioned in many films and novels of Los Angeles, including Laurel Canyon written and directed by Lisa Cholodenko in 2002, and is the subject of a number of books. Laurel Canyon was also featured in the 2003 film Wonderland, which chronicled the 1981 Wonderland Murders that occurred at 8763 Wonderland Avenue in the Canyon, involving porn star John C. Holmes and reputed gangster Eddie Nash. The Wonderland Massacre has been described as one of the bloodiest mass murders in California history. Laurel Canyon intersects Mulholland Highway at the of the Santa Monica Mountains.

Click to Enlarge
Lookout Mountain Inn in Laurel Canyon
Click to Enlarge
Lookout Mountain Inn
Click to Enlarge
Lookout Mountain Inn in Laurel Canyon
Click to Enlarge
Ladies at play at the Lookout Mountain Inn in Laurel Canyon
Laurel CanyonLookout Mountain Inn in Laurel Canyon
HA-031-1
1915
Laurel CanyonLookout Mountain Inn
HA-031-3
1915
Laurel CanyonLookout Mountain Inn in Laurel Canyon
HA-031-4
1915
Laurel CanyonLadies at play at the Lookout Mountain Inn in Laurel Canyon
HA-031-5
1916
Click to Enlarge
Ladies at play at the Lookout Mountain Inn in Laurel Canyon
Click to Enlarge
Lookout Mountain Inn in Laurel Canyon
Click to Enlarge
Lookout Mountain in Laurel Canyon
Click to Enlarge
The First House In Laurel Canyon
Laurel CanyonLadies at play at the Lookout Mountain Inn in Laurel Canyon
HA-031-6
1916
Laurel CanyonLookout Mountain Inn in Laurel Canyon
HA-031-7
1918
Laurel CanyonLookout Mountain in Laurel Canyon
HA-031-8
1924
Laurel CanyonThe First House In Laurel Canyon
LC-1
1902
Click to Enlarge
Sycamore Tree In Laurel Canyon
Click to Enlarge
Driving up Laurel Canyon
Click to Enlarge
Driving down Laurel Canyon
Click to Enlarge
Week-end travelers at the top of Lookout Mountain in Laurel Canyon
Laurel CanyonSycamore Tree In Laurel Canyon
LC-2
1907
Laurel CanyonDriving up Laurel Canyon
LC-3
1912
Laurel CanyonDriving down Laurel Canyon
LC-4
1912
Laurel CanyonWeek-end travelers at the top of Lookout Mountain in Laurel Canyon
LC-5
1912