Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California


Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California

Los Feliz, also Rancho Los Feliz ("Feliz Ranch") is a district of the City of Los Angeles, California, named for its land grantee José Vicente Feliz. ["Feliz" ("happy" in Spanish) is pronounced IPA|/fe'lis/; however, the local English pronunciation is roughly IPA|/'fiːlɪz/.]

It lies north of East Hollywood and just south of the Santa Monica Mountains, adjacent to the neighborhoods of Hollywood and Silver Lake. Home to the southern face of Griffith Park, the district includes the Griffith Observatory and the Greek Theatre. Los Feliz is bordered by Hollywood Boulevard to the south, Hyperion Avenue to the southeast, Griffith Park to the north, the Los Angeles River to the east, and Western Avenue to the west. It is traversed by Los Feliz Boulevard.

Los Feliz was home to many early movie studios, including the first Disney studio (now a Gelson's supermarket) and D. W. Griffith's studio; it currently is home to The Prospect Studios (formally known as First National-Warner Brothers and more recently ABC Television Center), at the intersection of Prospect Avenue and Talmadge Street. On Sunset Boulevard was Monogram Pictures (currently KCET public television), where early Charlie Chan movies were filmed, as well as "Hurricane" starring Dorothy Lamour and the camp classic "Johnny Guitar". (The western street from that movie remained until the mid 1980s when KCET razed the set to make way for a much-needed parking structure--but they threw a huge studio-wide party there on its final days.) The neighborhood has historically been home to movie stars, musicians, and the Hollywood elite. It boasts some of the best known residential architecture in the city, including two homes designed by Frank Lloyd Wright: Ennis House and the Hollyhock House, and Richard Neutra's Lovell House.

The convert|6647|acre|km2|0|sing=on Rancho Los Feliz, one of the first land grants in California, was granted to Corporal José Vicente Feliz. An old adobe house built in the 1830s by his heirs still stands on Crystal Springs Drive in Griffith Park, named for Colonel Griffith J. Griffith, who donated over half of the rancho to the city of Los Angeles, which became one of the largest city owned parks in the country. Other sections of the rancho were developed and became the communities of Los Feliz and Silver Lake.

The Hollywood Hills

The Hollywood Hills area is considered home to elite and wealthy residents of Los Angeles. Most of the mansions and private estates (dating back to the 1920s) are located among the hills overlooking Griffith Park. Between Hollywood Hills and the heart of Los Feliz, it's nearly impossible to get through a month without seeing a taping of a popular TV series or major motion picture.

Nightlife

Los Feliz village is home or in close proximity to numerous restaurants and bars. They are mostly located on Hillhurst between Los Feliz Boulevard and Prospect Avenue, and on Vermont between Franklin Avenue and Hollywood Boulevard. Some were classic dives in their hey-day, frequented by the likes of Charles Bukowski, Lawrence Tierney, sundry working class drunks, poets, artists, writers and other creative types, but have now primarily been taken over by Los Feliz's massive influx of hipsters and scenesters.

The Derby, at Hillhurst and Los Feliz, the last remaining location of the historic The Brown Derby chain, was featured in the movie "Swingers" and remains a popular establishment.

The Dresden Room on Vermont, also featured in the film "Swingers", has live entertainment by the Marty and Elayne. (Marty and Elayne make brief, performing appearances in both "Swingers" and the fourth-season Mr. Show episode Rudy Will Await Your Foundation.)

Recreation

There is much to do in Los Feliz, which is bordered by Griffith Park, home to the Los Angeles Zoo, along with a merry-go-round, two 18 hole golf courses, a driving range, baseball field several tennis courts, athletic fields, hiking, and equestrian trails in the mountains away from the residential district. At Traveltown there is a miniature railroad operated by the Los Angeles Live Steamers and a collection of railroad locomotives, passenger cars and streetcars.

At the Greek Theatre, which was built to resemble a Greek amphitheatre, visitors can attend concerts under the stars. The newly renovated Griffith Observatory and planetarium is right up the hill from Los Feliz.

Demographics

As of the census of 2000, it is estimated that there were 40,573 people residing in the Griffith Park/Los Feliz area. The ethnic or racial makeup of the area was 70.54% non-Hispanic White, 3.77% Black or African American, 0.43% Native American, 8.61% Asian, 0.16% Pacific Islander, 2.37% from other races, and 6.45% from two or more races. 16.48% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. The median income for a household in Los Feliz was approx $97,104. [ [http://www.laalmanac.com/population/po24la.htm Population of Communities of the City of Los Angeles ] ]

Rancho Los Feliz

The rugged, chaparral covered mountains of Griffith Park rise just a few miles north and west of downtown Los Angeles. An oasis in a major metropolis, much of the park's land remains in its natural state. One of the earliest leaders and protectors of the pueblo received this land as a token of appreciation by the Spanish government. This area was once the convert|6647|acre|km2|0|sing=on Rancho Los Feliz, one of the first land grants in California, given to Corporal Jose Vicente Feliz. An old adobe house built in the 1830s by heirs of Feliz still stands in Griffith Park on Crystal Springs Drive.

Rancho Los Feliz had a succession of owners after the Feliz family. One owner, Colonel Griffith J. Griffith, donated over half of the ranch to the city of Los Angeles, which became one of the largest city owned parks in the country.

Long before the Spanish settlers arrived to settle near the banks of the Los Angeles River, Indians were the only inhabitants. The Indians established villages known as rancherias throughout the countryside. One of these settlements was located within the boundaries of what was to become Rancho Los Feliz. Archeological surveys have found evidence of a substantial rancheria that existed in the mouth of Fern Dell Canyon in Griffith Park. It is estimated that the Indians first came to this area approximately 10,000 years ago. The traditional name of this village is not known, but the inhabitants were Gabrielinos. This name was given by the Spanish because of the Indians' association with the San Gabriel Mission. When Gaspar de Portola traveled through the vicinity in 1769 his expedition encountered members of this village.

In 1882, Colonel Griffith Jenkins Griffith acquired convert|4071|acre|km2|0 of Rancho Los Feliz. The Lick estate still owned the southwest portion of the rancho and there developed the Lick Tract, which later became a part of Hollywood. Griffith never served in any branch of armed forces in the United States, but he was given a courtesy title of "Colonel" from influential friends in the California National Guard. The title remained a permanent fixture to his name.

Griffith died on July 6, 1919 at the age of 67. Griffith bequeathed $700,000 and his Los Feliz area to the city of Los Angeles to be used for additions to Griffith Park. The park's area was increased to over convert|4100|acre|km2|0. In 1930 the Greek Amphitheater was built as designed by Griffith himself. Funds from the Griffith estate were used to build an observatory at the peak of Mount Hollywood. In 1935 the Griffith Observatory and Planetarium was completed and opened to the public. Griffith's will also included a provision for a permanent endowment to maintain the theater and park grounds.

May 2007 fire

On May 8-9, 2007, about convert|800|acre|km2|1 of uninhabited terrain in Los Feliz and Griffith Park, including the famous Dante's View, were destroyed in a wildfire. In light of the event, Los Angeles city officials have pledged millions of dollars in aid to reconstruct the parts damaged by the fire over the coming years. [Reuters. " [http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/N09243435.htm Wildfire continues to burn in heart of Los Angeles] ". Both published and accessed May 9, 2007.] .

Education

Residents in Los Feliz are assigned to the Los Angeles Unified School District which includes the local John Marshall High School. Private schools include the Lycee International de Los Angeles, a bilingual (French/English) school founded in 1978, and Immaculate Heart High School, a Private all girl Catholic High School, established in 1906.

Los Feliz Branch of the Los Angeles Public Library is located in Los Feliz Village.

Notable residents

External links

* [http://www.losfelizvillageonline.com/ Los Feliz Village Online]
* [http://www.losfelizstreetfair.com/ Los Feliz Village Street Fair Website]
* Lycee Francais de Los Angeles (LILA): lycee francais, french American school [http://lilaschool.com/]
* [http://www.netpursuits.com/losfeliz/ Los Feliz neighborhood site]
* [http://www.lapl.org/branches/36.html Los Feliz Branch Library]
* [http://www.lazoo.org/ Los Angeles Zoo]
* [http://www.griffithobs.org/ Griffith Park Observatory]
* [http://www.lalc.k12.ca.us/target/units/river/tour/lf.html Los Angeles River]
* [http://www.greektheatrela.com/ The Greek Theatre]
* [http://www.autry-museum.org/ Gene Autry museum]
* [http://www.discoverlosfeliz.com/ Discover los Feliz]

References


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