Los Feliz Neighborhood Guide
It’s the birthplace of Mickey Mouse and where Frank Lloyd Wright built some of his most famous homes. It’s where many celebrities of today and yesterday have called home and where the homes tell an incredible history of Los Angeles. It even has a bridge named after Shakespeare. It is Los Feliz, one of the trendiest neighborhoods in Los Angeles.
Located next to Griffith Park, Los Feliz was originally called Rancho Los Feliz and was a part of one of the first land grants in California to Corporal Jose Vicente Feliz. Eventually, this land was sold to Griffith J. Griffiths who donated over half the property to the city of Los Angeles, and upon his death, the rest was bequeathed to the city as well.
The neighborhood is quite diverse with the housing varying from multi-million dollar homes, where many celebrities live up in Los Feliz Hills to gorgeous craftsmen and Spanish-style homes. In fact, 2 of Frank Lloyd Wright’s most famous homes – Ennis House and Hollyhock House are located in Los Feliz.
One of the most interesting facts about Los Feliz is that it was where Walt Disney created Mickey Mouse in the garage of his aunt and uncle’s house. Eventually, his first studio was located down the street from this house and is now a photocopy shop with a very famous lineage.
After early success in the animation business, Disney opened his first studio in the area, located down the street from his aunt and uncle’s house. Today, this site is now occupied by a photocopy shop, albeit one with a very famous lineage. Not far away was Disney’s second studio, located in neighboring Silverlake.
The house that the mouse built is not the only star of Los Feliz. Prospect Studios is also located there (on Prospect Avenue). For over sixty years, critics and audiences have marveled at the sheer breadth of television shows filmed there, including iconic sitcoms like American Bandstand and Welcome Back Kotter, along with long-running series such as Grey’s Anatomy, Family Feud, Barney Miller, The Dating Game, General Hospital, and Who’s the Boss?
In addition, the venerable studio is frequently used for film production as well. From its modest origins in the 1950s, Prospect Studios has grown into a bona fide Hollywood institution.
Down the street from that, on Sunset, is Monogram Pictures (which is now KCET). Established in 1931, the studio is well-known for producing a string of hit films featuring detective Charlie Chan during the 1930s and 1940s. Many of these films were shot at Monogram’s sprawling backlot and soundstages, which featured vastly varied sets and settings that ranged from city streets to wild jungles.
During its heyday, a wide array of directors, writers, actors, editors, and other crew members made up the studio’s talented staff. The legacy of Monogram Pictures is still alive today as most of its films have been preserved by KCET, a local public television station. Indeed, Monogram Pictures has firmly cemented itself in Hollywood history for its one-of-a-kind contributions to the film world.
Los Feliz Murder Mansion
For those interested in the macabre, you can take a self-guided tour of the so-called “Murder Mansion,” a historic home with a dark history. This sprawling estate has been at the center of a mysterious unsolved crime for decades. On the night of June 13th, 1984, four wealthy and powerful family members were brutally murdered inside. No suspects have ever been identified, and to this day, the crime remains a chilling mystery.
Since then, the home has remained strangely untouched despite its violent past. It is often referred to as an “anti-museum” by locals, an eerie reminder of what happened that fateful night. Stories and rumors still swirl about who committed the murders and why, but no solid answers have emerged.
Today, more than 35 years later, the Los Feliz Murder Mansion continues to captivate locals and visitors alike. Visitors to the estate often experience a chill of terror upon stepping foot inside the home, almost as if they are able to feel some connection to the tragedy that occurred long ago. It is both a morbid curiosity and a somber reflection on mortality all rolled into one. Whatever your views on the Los Feliz Murder Mansion may be, it certainly provides an interesting window into our darker side.
Ennis House in Los Feliz is a beautiful and iconic residential building that has become an architectural landmark in the city of Los Angeles. Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, this iconic building was completed in 1924 and is widely considered one of his finest works. Located on a hillside in Los Feliz, Ennis House’s striking brickwork and Mayan-inspired designs have caught the eye of countless passersby ever since it was completed.
The estate consists of two separate buildings – the main house featuring six bedrooms and four bathrooms, as well as a smaller guest house with two bedrooms and one bath. Inside, admirers can find intricate details such as walls made out of 16 terracotta panels with Mayan-influenced patterns, and concrete blocks designed to look like ancient adobe bricks. Outside, visitors can explore the extensive grounds, which feature stunning views of the surrounding hillsides.
For many years, Ennis House stood empty until its recent renovation by billionaire Ron Burkle, who brought the historic building back to life and restored it to its original beauty. Today, the house is open for tours through partnerships with various organizations such as the Los Angeles Conservancy and the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy – providing visitors with a unique opportunity to experience the beauty of this incredible building firsthand.
Hollyhock House is a stunning example of California architecture and an iconic Los Angeles landmark. Located in the Hollywood Hills neighborhood of Los Feliz, just above Franklin Avenue, it offers visitors a unique insight into the past.
Commissioned by oil heiress Aline Barnsdall, Hollyhock House was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1921. Intended as a gift for her daughter, the house served as an experimental project for Wright to showcase his modernist style. The 11,000-square-foot estate reflects Wright’s organic approach to design, with its central courtyard surrounded by four curved wings of Usonian-style bungalow homes.
Today, the house is part of the Barnsdall Art Park and is open to the public for multiple special events throughout the year. From outdoor film screenings to themed art workshops, there is always something exciting happening at Hollyhock House for locals and visitors alike. To truly experience this architectural masterpiece, take a guided tour through the courtyards or enjoy some time outdoors on one of the park’s two grassy terraces. Whether you are a fan of architecture or simply looking for an interesting place to explore, Hollyhock House is sure to provide a delightful day out.
Griffith Park is adjacent to Los Feliz, and many of its entrances and attractions are easily accessible from the neighborhood. For example, the Griffith Observatory, one of the park’s iconic landmarks, is located on the southern slopes of Griffith Park and is a popular destination for both locals and tourists in the Los Feliz area.
The park also provides stunning views of the Hollywood Sign and the Los Angeles skyline. You can hike the trails, visit the Los Angeles Zoo, explore the Autry Museum of the American West, and enjoy picnics in a scenic setting.
Perched on the slopes of Griffith Park, the Griffith Observatory offers stunning views of the city and the stars. It’s a great place to explore astronomy exhibits, view celestial objects through telescopes, and enjoy the cityscape.
While you can’t get right up to the Hollywood Sign, you can get some of the best views of it from Griffith Observatory and nearby hiking trails in Griffith Park. It’s an iconic photo opportunity.
Fern Dell Nature Trail
This tranquil nature trail in Griffith Park offers a shaded, peaceful walk among lush greenery and a small stream.
Explore the scenic Bronson Canyon, which features hiking trails and the famous “Batcave,” a filming location for the 1960s “Batman” TV series.
Travel Town Museum
Located in Griffith Park, this outdoor museum showcases a collection of historic trains and railroad cars, making it a fun and educational experience for families.
Los Feliz Famous Residents
Los Feliz has also seen its share of famous residents as well including Marilyn Monroe, Jim Parsons, Casey Affleck, Kristen Bell, Liv Tyler, Christina Ricci, January Jones, Katherine Heigl, Ryan Gosling, Eva Mendes, Jon Cryer, Lauren Graham, John Hamm and many others. The diversity of the neighborhood is a huge draw for many people and its “downtown” area boasts incredible restaurants and fun bars that are within walking distance to many of the residences.
One of the earliest residents was silent film star Mary Pickford, who lived there with her husband Douglas Fairbanks in the 1920s. Following in their footsteps were renowned actors like Cary Grant, Maureen O’Hara, and Bette Davis. In the ‘60s and ‘70s, notable stars such as Frank Sinatra and Lucille Ball called Los Feliz home.
During the 1980s and 1990s, more big names moved to the area to benefit from its charming atmosphere and close proximity to sound stages. Among them were James Stewart, Johnny Depp, Charlize Theron, Lily Collins, Jack Nicholson, Meryl Streep, Brad Pitt, Jennifer Aniston, and David Lynch.
More recently, Los Feliz continues to attract A-listers from all over the entertainment industry, including Robert Downey Jr., Leonardo DiCaprio, Kristen Stewart, George Clooney, Will Ferrell, Jessica Chastain, and Larry David. Living alongside these famous faces are Oscar winners, Grammy winners, authors, scientists, athletes, and entrepreneurs – it’s no wonder why Los Feliz is such a sought-after spot to call home.
The next time you are in LA and on a tour with us, take a look at a piece of LA’s cultural and entertainment history in Los Feliz.