Streetshot: Hancock Park

A peek at one of Los Angeles’ most historic neighborhoods

In Los Angeles, driving across town without losing your sanity is a delicate practice – especially during rush hour. This was exactly my mission one Friday afternoon, and I was determined to find the fastest route home. Luckily, my GPS diverted me off the Santa Monica Freeway and into a neighborhood to avoid a major traffic jam.

As I navigated the shady residential streets just east of La Brea between Wilshire and Melrose, I found myself mesmerized by the distinctive homes, wide avenues, and towering trees around me. “Where the heck am I?” I wondered, “And why don’t I live here?” A quick glance at my map told me I had entered the neighborhood of Hancock Park.

Situated between downtown Los Angeles, Hollywood, and Beverly Hills, the historic neighborhood of Hancock Park offers a quiet respite from the chaos of urban living. Its central location makes getting around town a breeze – a true luxury in such an expansive city. The community is small by LA standards at just over 1.5 square miles, but what it lacks in size it more than makes up for in character.

Hancock Park was developed in the roaring 1920s when Hollywood first emerged as the dazzling nucleus of the movie industry. During this time, Hancock Park was home to many influential members of Los Angeles society, including famous film directors and entertainers such as Mae West and Nat King Cole. The residences they inhabited were largely two-story, single-family homes built in various Period Revival styles, and today they still exude that old Hollywood charm.

After nearly a century, Hancock Park still boasts some of the most impressive mansions in the city. And, as you might guess, they come with a price tag to match. As of the first week of April 2015, there were 85 homes for sale in the neighborhood. Here’s a quick look at the market stats.

Hancock Park Market Stats

Average listing price: $1,428,485

Median sales price: $909,500

Those who aspire live like Hollywood’s elite will enjoy Hancock Park’s close proximity to shopping, dining, and entertainment in nearby Larchmont Village. The area’s commercial strip buzzes with foot traffic and offers residents a wide selection of bookstores, clothing boutiques, restaurants, and coffee shops. Locals also flock to the Larchmont Village Farmers’ Market every Sunday morning to peruse a stunning selection of flowers and organic veggies.

If you’re looking for a neighborhood that’s steps from the conveniences of city life but far enough removed to offer sprawling green lawns and quiet streets, you can put Hancock Park at the top of your list.

Photograph: Jennifer Roper

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Kate Kasbee
Kate Kasbee is a blogger and freelance copywriter living in Los Angeles. She has a background in real estate marketing and has also written about a variety of subjects including pet care, how to adopt a vegan diet, and technology. Prior to living in sunny California, Kate spent eight years in Chicago where she lived in nine different apartments in five different neighborhoods. Though she’s not quite done exploring, Kate dreams of planting her roots and owning a home with creaky floors and plenty of land for starting an organic farm.
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