So, why is Beverly Hills a fabled city?
Well, I’m not sure how Beverly Hills became so famous over the years, aside from Rodeo Drive, the Bev Hills Hotel, its proximity and relationship with Hollywood, and its share of famous, wealthy residents…. Hmm, I guess that’s more than enough!
But, here is a pinch of history I bet you never knew!
Beverly Hills came into being about 125 years after L.A. City in 1906, though it was not officially incorporated until 8 years later in 1914.
At least some portion of it was at one point called “Morocco”, though this was fleeting.
It was Burton Green (of Burton’s Way) and his wife who first gave Beverly Hills its name, after Beverly Farms, Massachusetts (though sometimes earlier periods refer to the area as Rancho Beverly Hills). Green named it so after he purchased Morocco for the failed Amalgamated Oil Co., and after changing this to the Rodeo Land and Water Company, then finally, Beverly Hills.
Though the first home was built in 1907, land sales were slow. Imagine that!?
Beverly Hills City Hall was done in an early 20th Century neo-Churrigueresque style or Spanish Renaissance, though it is also sometimes referred to as Italian Renaissance style.
The Beverly Hills Hotel was built in 1912, two years before Beverly Hills was officially incorporated in 1914.
Later, in 1923, Beverly Hills led its own mini revolution, fighting for its continued independence against the City of L.A. who was threatening to annex it.
The Beverly Hills Hotel was also, in fact, the City’s first historic landmark, recently designated as such on July 25, 2012.
Other notable and recently designated (mostly in 2013) buildings include the City Hall (1931), the Beverly Hills Women’s Club (1925), the Beverly Hills Post Office (1927) and Greystone Mansion (1927).
Oh, and I live here! Right next to West Hollywood on my east, and L.A., to the south.
Want to learn more? Besides looking up facts on Wikipedia (which I admittedly still often refer to), and on the Beverly Hills City & Historic Preservation Department website, I also referred to this lovely book:
- 20 Vintage Photos From the Early Years Of Beverly Hills (laist.com)
- Metro accepted in Beverly Hills 9/19 (myweeklytimess.wordpress.com)
- ‘Little Santa Monica’ Boulevard in Beverly Hills may see name change (abclocal.go.com)
- In Beverly Hills, the real estate ethos is ‘buy and demolish’ (sacbee.com)
- You: Beverly Hills saddles up for centennial celebration (latimes.com)