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Hollywood Boulevard
Hollywood Boulevard sign
Former name(s)Prospect Avenue (1887–1910)
Maintained byBureau of Street Services, City of L.A. DPW
Nearest metro station
West endSunset Plaza Drive in Hollywood Hills West
Major
junctions
Highland Avenue in Hollywood
Vine Avenue in Hollywood
US 101 in Hollywood
Western Avenue in Hollywood
Normandie Avenue in Hollywood
Vermont Avenue in Los Feliz
East endSunset Boulevard/Hillhurst Avenue/Virgil Avenue in Los Feliz
Other
Known forHollywood and Vine
Hollywood Walk of Fame
Hollywood Boulevard Commercial and Entertainment District
The revamped Hollywood Boulevard as seen from the Dolby Theatre, 2005
Built1939
NRHP reference No.85000704
Added to NRHPApril 4, 1985

Hollywood Boulevard is a major east–west street in Los Angeles, California. It runs through the Hollywood, East Hollywood, Little Armenia, Thai Town, and Los Feliz districts. Its western terminus is at Sunset Plaza Drive in the Hollywood Hills and its eastern terminus is at Sunset Boulevard in Los Feliz. Hollywood Boulevard is famous for running through the tourist areas in central Hollywood, including attractions such as the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the Ovation Hollywood shopping and entertainment complex.

Route description

Hollywood Boulevard's western terminus is at Sunset Plaza Drive in the Hollywood Hills. It then runs as a winding residential street down to Laurel Canyon Boulevard. The boulevard then proceeds due east as a major thoroughfare through Hollywood and its popular tourist areas. Part of this segment has been listed in the U.S. National Register of Historic Places as part of Hollywood Boulevard Commercial and Entertainment District. The fifteen blocks between La Brea Avenue east to Gower Street is part of the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The Ovation Hollywood shopping and entertainment complex, the home of the Dolby Theatre, is located at the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue. And the intersection with Vine Street was once a symbol of Hollywood itself.

East of Gower Street, Hollywood Boulevard crosses the Hollywood Freeway (US 101) before running through East Hollywood. The portion of the boulevard between the Hollywood Freeway and Vermont Avenue forms the northern boundary of Little Armenia,[1] while the portion between Western Avenue and Sunset Boulevard forms part of the southern boundary of Los Feliz.[2] Thai Town is centered along the six blocks of Hollywood Boulevard between Western and Normandie Avenues.[3] After crossing Vermont Avenue, Hollywood Boulevard heads southeast to its eastern terminus at Sunset Boulevard.

Three B (Red) Line Metro Rail stations are located on Hollywood Boulevard: Hollywood/Highland station, Hollywood/Vine station, and Hollywood/Western station.

History

1890s to 1910

Part of today's Hollywood Boulevard was called Prospect Avenue, a dusty road that ran through Hollywood towards the neighboring city of Los Angeles. In December 1899, a new railroad construction began to connect Hollywood with Los Angeles in a project that was led by Peter Beveridge, H.J. Whitley, and Griffith J. Griffith.

In May 1900, the railroad connecting Hollywood and Los Angeles was completed, and another one was under construction. In 1901, the Town of Hollywood opened the new macadamized road surface with electric railway that ran down its center between Laurel Canyon and Western. Eventually, the road was widened from 20 feet wide to almost 100 feet wide in some areas.[4]

In 1903, Hollywood became a municipality, and Prospect Avenue became sometimes called as the Boulevard of Hollywood, albeit unofficially.

In 1910, the town of Hollywood was incorporated into Los Angeles, and Prospect Avenue was officially renamed Hollywood Boulevard.

1920s

In the early 1920s, real estate developer Charles E. Toberman (the "Father of Hollywood") envisioned a thriving Hollywood theater district.[5] Toberman was involved in 36 real estate development projects while building the Max Factor Building, Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel and the Hollywood Masonic Temple. He partnered with Sid Grauman, and they opened the three themed theaters: Egyptian, El Capitan ("The Captain") (1926), and Chinese.[6]

Regional shopping district

In the 1920s the boulevard and adjacent streets became a major regional shopping district, both for everyday needs and appliances, but increasingly also for high-end clothing and accessories, in part because of the nearby film studios. Chains that opened includes Schwab's in 1921, Mullen & Bluett in 1922, I. Magnin in 1923, Myer Siegel in 1925, F. W. Grand and Newberry's (dime stores) in 1926–8, and Roos Brothers in 1929. The independent Robertson's department store, at 46,000 square feet (4,300 m2) and 4 stories tall, opened in 1923. In 1922, stock was sold to finance construction of a much larger department store at Hollywood and Vine,[7] originally to have been a Boadway Bros. When Boadway's went out of business the next year, B. H. Dyas, a Downtown Los Angeles–based department store,[8] opened in the 130,000-square-foot (12,000 m2) building in March 1928, then sold their lease to The Broadway in 1931 – the building still a landmark today, known as the Broadway Hollywood Building. By 1930 the shopping district consisted of over 300 stores.[9] The area would later face competition from areas along Wilshire Boulevard: the easternmost around Bullocks Wilshire which opened in 1929, second the Miracle Mile, and finally, the shopping district of Beverly Hills, where Saks Fifth Avenue opened a store in 1938.

1940s–1960s

In 1946, Gene Autry, while riding his horse in the Hollywood Christmas Parade — which passes down Hollywood Boulevard each year on the Sunday after Thanksgiving — heard young parade watchers yelling, "Here comes Santa Claus, here comes Santa Claus!" and was inspired to write "Here Comes Santa Claus" with Oakley Haldeman.[10]

In 1958, the Hollywood Walk of Fame, which runs from La Brea Avenue east to Gower Street (and an additional three blocks on Vine Street), was created as a tribute to artists working in the entertainment industry.

Decline

In the 1970s, the street became very seedy and was frequented by many odd characters as shown in pictures by photographer Ave Pildas.[11]

Revitalization

In 1985, a portion of Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood was listed in the National Register of Historic Places as part of the "Hollywood Boulevard Commercial and Entertainment District". In 1992, the street was paved with glittery asphalt between Vine Street and La Brea Boulevard.[12]

The El Capitan Theatre was refurbished in 1991 then damaged in the 1994 Northridge earthquake. The full El Capitan building was fully restored and upgraded in December 1997. The Hollywood Entertainment District, a self-taxing business improvement district, was formed for the properties from La Brea to McCadden on the boulevard.[6]

The Hollywood extension of the Metro Red Line subway was opened in June 1999, running from Downtown Los Angeles to the San Fernando Valley. Stops on Hollywood Boulevard are located at Western Avenue, Vine Street, and Highland Avenue. Metro Local lines 180 and 217 also serve Hollywood Boulevard. A light rail extension station is proposed at the Hollywood Blvd. and Highland Ave. intersection connection the boulevard with West Hollywood, Central LA and LAX.

An anti-cruising ordinance prohibits driving on parts of the boulevard more than twice in four hours.[13]

Beginning in 1995, then Los Angeles City Council member Jackie Goldberg initiated efforts to clean up Hollywood Boulevard and reverse its decades-long slide into disrepute.[14] Central to these efforts was the construction of the Hollywood and Highland Center and adjacent Dolby Theatre (originally known as the Kodak Theatre) in 2001.

In the summer of 2005, the city made revamping plans on Hollywood Boulevard for future tourists. The three-part plan was to exchange the original streetlights with red stars into two-headed old-fashioned streetlights, put in new palm trees, and put in new stoplights. The renovations were completed in late 2005.

In the few years leading up to 2007, more than $2 billion was spent on projects in the neighborhood, including mixed-use retail and apartment complexes and new schools and museums.[14]

In 2021, the Vogue Theater, on Hollywood Boulevard, at Las Palmas, reopened as the Vogue Multicultural Museum.[15][16][17][18]

Renovations of the Hollywood and Highland Center began in 2020. The renovated complex was renamed Ovation Hollywood in 2022.[19][20][21]

In 2022, for the return of the LA Pride parade to the boulevard, the city installed multi colored lighting to more than 100 trees to illuminate for special events.[22]

Heart of Hollywood / Walk of Fame Master Plan

Advocates promote the idea of closing Hollywood Boulevard to traffic and create a Pedestrian zone from La Brea Avenue to Highland Avenue citing an increase in pedestrian traffic including tourism, weekly movie premiers[23] and award shows closures, including 10 days for the Academy Award ceremony at the Dolby Theatre.[24] Similar to other cities in the US, like Third Street Promenade, Fremont Street in Las Vegas, Market St. in San Francisco or the closure in Times Squares Pedestrian Plaza's created in 2015.[25]

In June 2019, The City of Los Angeles commissioned Gensler architects to provide a master plan for a $4 million renovation to improve and "update the streetscape concept" for the Walk of Fame between the Pantages Theater (Gower Avenue) at the east and The Emerson Theatre (La Brea Avenue) at the west end of the boulevard.[26][27][28] Los Angeles City Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell released the draft master plan designed by Gensler and Studio-MLA in January 2020. The city's Bureau of Engineers proposed a three phase approach to implement the changes. This included adding bike lanes, new landscaping, removing lanes of car traffic, sidewalk widening by removing street parking and art-deco designed street pavers to beautify the boulevard. They also proposed a street mechanism to able to temporarily close the boulevard on pedestrian high capacity days or events where a street closure was approved. Creating public plazas and car free zones. Phase three would disallow east-west travel thru the boulevard but still allow north-south travel along its major intersections, Highland Avenue, Cahuanga Boulevard and Vine Street.[29] The approved phase one was completed and removed parking lanes between Orange Drive and Gower Street in 2022.[30][31] New district council member for Hollywood, Hugo Soto-Martinez continued with the revitalization plan after defeating O'Farrell in the 2022 election cycle. A motion was filed June 30, 2023 to implement a tax district to continue funding the master plans phase two and three.[32] In early March 2024, council member Hugo Soto-Martinez announced "Access to Hollywood" plan. Commencing phase two of the proposed redevelopment. They announced the addition of bus only lanes, bikes lanes and the removal of additional street parking to add sidewalk space for pedestrians. Restructure of lanes to be completed by 2025.[33] Phase three build out has not been announced, pending funding.[34]

Also in East Hollywood area, another plan for boulevard revitalization is planned. LA DOT announced "Vision Zero" in August 2023, a pedestrian friendly streetscaping redesign. LADOT's plan focuses on the eastern section of Hollywood Boulevard between Gower Street and east past Vermont Avenue. Plans are to add safety instruments, continental crosswalks and pedestrian friendly alert striping.[35]

Major intersections

The entire route is in Los Angeles, Los Angeles County.

mi[36]kmDestinationsNotes
00.0Sunset Plaza DriveWestern terminus
1.82.9Laurel Canyon Boulevard
2.03.2Fairfax Avenue
3.04.8La Brea AvenueWestern end of Hollywood Walk of Fame
3.45.5Highland AvenueServes Ovation Hollywood, Hollywood/Highland station
3.86.1Wilcox Avenue
3.96.3Cahuenga Boulevard
4.16.6Vine StreetHollywood and Vine intersection; serves Hollywood/Vine station
4.36.9Gower StreetEastern end of Hollywood Walk of Fame
4.67.4 US 101 (Hollywood Freeway)
5.08.0Western AvenueServes Hollywood/Western station
5.58.9Normandie Avenue
6.19.8Vermont Avenue
6.410.3Sunset Boulevard/Hillhurst Avenue/Virgil AvenueEastern terminus
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

Gallery

Events

A popular event that takes place on the Boulevard is the complete transformation of the street to a Christmas theme. Shops and department stores attract customers by lighting their stores and the entire street with decorated Christmas trees and Christmas lights. The street essentially becomes "Santa Claus Lane." The route of Hollywood Christmas Parade partially follows Hollywood Boulevard.[37]

Landmarks

TCL Chinese Theatre

See also

References

  1. ^ "Part of East Hollywood Is Designated 'Little Armenia'". Los Angeles Times. October 7, 2000.
  2. ^ "Los Feliz". Mapping L.A. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 16, 2023.
  3. ^ "City Council Designates Area as 'Thai Town'". Los Angeles Times. October 28, 1999.
  4. ^ Masters, Nathan, How Prospect Avenue Became Hollywood Boulevard (By Nathan Masters, Los Angeles Magazine) [1]
  5. ^ Lord, Rosemary (2002). Los Angeles: Then and Now. San Diego, CA: Thunder Bay Press. pp. 90–91. ISBN 1-57145-794-1.
  6. ^ a b Vaughn, Susan (March 3, 1998). "El Capitan Courageous". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 7, 2015.
  7. ^ "Advertisement for Boadway Bros., Inc". Holly Leaves (magazine). July 1, 1922. p. 37. Retrieved July 13, 2020.
  8. ^ Williams, Gregory Paul (2002). The Story of Hollywood. Greenleaf Book. p. 233. ISBN 9780977629930.
  9. ^ Longstreth, Richard (1997). City Center to Regional Mall. MIT Press. pp. 84–86. ISBN 0262122006.
  10. ^ "Home – The Hollywood Christmas Parade." The Hollywood Christmas Parade. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 May 2014.
  11. ^ MacLaren, Becca (July 17, 2015). "The Seedy, Funky, and Fabulous Hollywood Boulevard of the 1970s". The Getty Iris. The Getty. Retrieved January 23, 2020.
  12. ^ Krikorian, Greg (September 5, 1992). "Hollywood Blvd. to Be Paved With Glitz". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 12, 2018.
  13. ^ Martin H and McCormack S (September 24, 1999): Idled by the Law : As Cities Crack Down on Cruising, Car Culture Aficionados Find Other Outlets. Los Angeles Times archive. Retrieved March 26, 2013.
  14. ^ a b Steinhauer, Jennifer (January 26, 2007). "Development at Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street spurs Tinseltown renaissance". International Herald Tribune. Retrieved August 14, 2012.
  15. ^ Nichols, Chris (July 9, 2021). "Hollywood's Vogue Theater Gets Another Life at 86". Los Angeles Magazine. Retrieved April 28, 2022.
  16. ^ "Vogue Multicultural Museum". The Hollywood Partnership. Retrieved April 28, 2022.
  17. ^ "Their Mortal Remains". The Pink Floyd Exhibition – Official Site. Archived from the original on October 6, 2021. Retrieved April 28, 2022.((cite web)): CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  18. ^ "A preview of The Pink Floyd Exhibition at the Vogue Multicultural Museum". KTLA. September 17, 2021. Retrieved April 28, 2022.
  19. ^ "Hollywood & Highland makes name change official just in time for the Oscars". bizjournals.com. March 22, 2022.
  20. ^ "New Owners of Hollywood & Highland Center Plan Renovation". August 6, 2019.
  21. ^ "Hollywood & Highland is getting a big makeover that includes turning stores into offices". Los Angeles Times. August 5, 2020.
  22. ^ "Hollywood Boulevard to Get New Look With Lights Under 111 Trees | KFI AM 640 | LA Local News". Kfiam640.iheart.com. June 1, 2022. Retrieved August 1, 2022.
  23. ^ "Alerts Archive". Only In Hollywood. Retrieved January 31, 2020.
  24. ^ Walker, Alissa (March 2, 2018). "Make the Oscars street closures permanent". Curbed LA.
  25. ^ Crotty, Emilia (December 30, 2015). "Opinion: Here's a New Year's resolution worth keeping: Close Hollywood Boulevard to cars in 2016". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 31, 2020.
  26. ^ "Hollywood Walk of Fame's $4-Million Master Plan Moves Forward". Urbanize LA. June 14, 2019. Retrieved January 31, 2020.
  27. ^ "Hollywood Walk of Fame Update Coming, City Selects Firm to Design Improvements". NBC Los Angeles. June 12, 2019. Retrieved January 31, 2020.
  28. ^ Nelson, Laura J.; Vega, Priscella (January 30, 2020). "L.A. considers bold makeover for Hollywood Boulevard: Fewer cars, bike lanes, wider sidewalks". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 31, 2020.
  29. ^ Barragan, Bianca (January 31, 2020). "'Exciting' Hollywood Boulevard makeover unveiled. But don't call it radical". Curbed LA. Retrieved March 5, 2020.
  30. ^ "WALK OF FAME MASTER PLAN | Heart of Hollywood". Heartofhollywood.la. Retrieved August 1, 2022.
  31. ^ "Hollywood Walk of Fame to Get Streetscape Improvements | KFI AM 640 | LA Local News". Kfiam640.iheart.com. July 28, 2022. Retrieved August 1, 2022.
  32. ^ @numble (July 5, 2023). "LA City Councilmember Hugo Soto-Martinez has filed a motion for LA city to negotiate with LA County on potential tax-increment finance district (EIFD) for Hollywood. Prior council-member intended EIFD to fund Walk of Fame Master Plan" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  33. ^ https://deadline.com/2024/03/hollywood-boulevard-revitalization-wider-sidewalks-bike-lanes-1235865137/
  34. ^ https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2024-03-21/hollywood-boulevard-renovation
  35. ^ "Project aims to make Hollywood Boulevard safer for pedestrians". August 31, 2023.
  36. ^ Google (March 23, 2024). "Route of Hollywood Boulevard" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved March 23, 2024.
  37. ^ Masters, Nathan. "When Hollywood Boulevard Became Santa Claus Lane" | LA as Subject | SoCal Focus | KCET." KCET. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 May 2014.
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