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 Major Hancock’s son, 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 est. 1948 was founded in 1948 by nine men who initially met on a casual, infrequent basis. By the late 1950’s and early 1960’s the Association had become more organized under the leadership of Stuart Ketchum, Bob Sutro and others. In 1962 the first woman director, 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 Plan.
The City’s proposal in the late 1960’s to build a freeway cutting through the northern part of Hancock Park galvanized the Directors into action. They solicited donations, built up a “war chest”, marshaled residents and succeeded in defeating the “Beverly Hills” freeway plan. Thanks to their efforts Hancock Park remains intact and a valuable, historic neighborhood was spared being split apart. The unused freeway flight funds with interest plus yearly dues forms the basis for the present day Association treasury.
Today, members of the board, now numbering 18, plus the support of countless other property owners, continue to serve Hancock Park as dedicated volunteers for the protection and preservation of one of the oldest and finest residential neighborhoods in the City of Los Angeles. We hope you will join us in this worthwhile undertaking.
A more complete history of Hancock Park and the Association can be read in our Preservation Plan. See HPOZ link on the Home page.