Friday, July 24, 2015

Nichols Canyon, Los Angeles

"Nichols Canyon" by David Hockney, 1980

Cut into the south side of the Hollywood Hills, Nichols Canyon stretches from Hollywood Boulevard to the south up to the top of Mulholland Drive to the north. Nichols Canyon Road is a narrow, winding road with homes and lush vegetation and wild life. It's the country, just above the city.
Artist and resident of Nichols Canyon, David Hockney made his Canyon known world-wide with this painting (above) in 1980. I love the riot of colors and the wiggly roads, dotted with colorful houses.
In addition to Hockney's make-believe houses, just west of Nichols Canyon you will find the John Lautner designed Harpel House on Torreyson Drive. I'm not sure if this is current, but at one time there was a Futuro House on this property! I'm obsessed with the Futuro homes. I would like to have one in my backyard.
A Futuro House (right), behind the John Lautner designed Harpel House, Hollywood Hills. Photo from "Curbed L.A."

Nichols Canyon was named after John G. Nichols who served as mayor of Los Angeles between 1852 and 1853, then again from 1856 to 1859. He was a businessman and a builder. Homes were built in the canyon as early as 1920 when it was still a dirt road. There was also a Boy Scout camp at the top of the Canyon, demolished in 1950. Most of the "modern" homes were built in the 1950's. 
Many famous people have lived in Nichols Canyon over the years, including actors and musicians, such as Ava Gardner, Rudy Vallee, Steve McQueen, Mama Cass Elliot, Harry Nilsson and more. 
I haven't even touched on the history of Mount Olympus or Laurel Canyon! The hills above Hollywood are chock full of interesting facts.
I look forward to a trip up Nichols Canyon this weekend to visit famous residents, Natalie and Joe in their hillside hideaway for yet another birthday celebration!  
Party House, Nichols Canyon, Hollywood Hills

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At 7:11 PM PDT, Blogger Lizzy Tex Borden said...

I LOVE the history of these areas. I remember visting areas around LA like this and it truly was like getting out of the city and into the country.

At 4:59 AM PDT, Blogger The Grumpy Old Limey said...

The Futuro is still there - I visted not too long ago - Simon []

At 6:59 AM PDT, Blogger Ellen Bloom said...

Thanks for the update, Simon!


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