About Our Neighborhood
Hancock Park is one of the oldest and most well-preserved neighborhoods in Los Angeles. With its broad lawns, mature trees and central location five miles west of downtown, Hancock Park consists of R-1 single family homes located north of Wilshire Boulevard and south of Melrose Avenue. Along its western and eastern boundaries, North Highland Avenue and North Rossmore Avenue, houses along both sides of the street are within Hancock Park.
These characteristics, along with the area’s abundance of classic Los Angeles architecture, have made it one of the most desirable areas in all of Southern California ever since its development. We are proud of the historic integrity of our 1,200 homes and the ethnic diversity among our neighbors.
In 2007, Hancock Park became the 23rd Historic Preservation Overlay Zone (HPOZ) in the City of Los Angeles. 90% percent of its homes and structures were identified as being Historic Contributors in the Historic Resources Survey, one of the most intact historic neighborhoods in the nation.
Hancock Park, located in the eastern portion of the original Rancho La Brea area, was purchased by Major Henry Hancock in 1863. The residential subdivision of Hancock Park was developed by G. Allan Hancock, in the 1920s. Outstanding architects of the era designed the palatial two-story, single family residences in various Period Revival styles (including Tudor Revival, English Revival, Spanish Colonial Revival, Mediterranean Revival, Monterey Revival, and American Colonial Revival) for influential members of Los Angeles society. The vast majority of the residences are set back 50 feet from the street, as insisted upon by G. Allan Hancock, and include side driveways generally leading though a porte cochere to a rear garage. Past prominent Hancock Park residents have included millionaire Howard Hughes, entertainers Mae West and Nat King Cole, Broadway Department Store magnate Arthur Letts, Jr., and architect William Pereira.
The Hancock Park Homeowners Association was founded in 1948, and the Board met on a purely social basis. By the late 1950’s and early 1960’s the Association had become more organized and focused on neighborhood quality of life issues under the leadership of Stuart Ketchum, Bob Sutro. In 1962 Anita Robbins, was elected and that same year the name was changed to the Hancock Park Homeowners Association. In 1969 Sam Carpenter and Joe Wolf became directors and helped develop a Master Plan for Wilshire Blvd. which became known as the Park Mile Specific Plan, which still governs the development allowed along Wilshire Blvd between Highland Ave. and Wilton Place. In the late 1960’s the City proposed to build a freeway cutting through the northern part of Hancock Park which would have torn apart the neighborhood. This galvanized the Association into action. They solicited donations, marshaled residents and succeeded in defeating the “Beverly Hills” freeway plan. Thanks to their efforts Hancock Park remains intact and a valuable, historic neighborhood.
In the late 1990’s the Homeowners Association developed a Block Captain program to help foster a sense of community and promote neighborhood watch. We now have a Block Captain for each of our 72 residential blocks. Block Captains create a block information/contact sheet for each residence on their block which includes emails, update the information as needed and make sure each residence has a copy. The emails are used as a way of distributing neighborhood information or for emergency situations. Many Block Captains also host a block meeting once a year. They also serve as a liaison between block residents and HPHA Board members and work with the Security Chairs to set up meetings to discuss neighborhood watch ideas with LAPD, SSA and ADT.
In 2000 the Association began to work with residents, the Office of Historic Preservation, Cultural Heritige Commission, and the City Planning Commission on becoming a Historic Preservation Overlay Zone (HPOZ) and in 2007 Hancock Park became the 23rd HPOZ in the City of Los Angeles. 90% percent of our 1200 homes and structures were identified as being Historic Contributors in the Historic Resources Survey, Hancock Park is one of the most intact historic neighborhoods in the nation. This designation has helped protect not only our historic character and setting but also our R-1 zoned (single family residence) neighborhood from over development and up zoning which would forever change the historic character of the neighborhood.
In 2015 the HPHA Streets Committee began working with Councilman David Ryu to develop a long term plan for repairing our concrete streets and sidewalks. That year for the first time ever funds for our Hancock Park concrete streets were included in the City budget and repairs began. Intersections, potholes and uneven street lifts will continue to be repaired as budget funds will now be allocated in every City budget going forward.
Today, members of the board, now numbering 18, plus numerous committee members continue to serve Hancock Park as dedicated volunteers for the preservation and protection of one of the oldest and finest residential neighborhoods in the City of Los Angeles. We hope you will support us by sending in your annual dues today!