Beverly Hills Neightborhoods: Benedict Canyon, Coldwater Canyon, Flats, Post Office, Trousdale Estates.
A prestigious city located in Los Angeles County that is bordered on the west by Westwood Village and Century City, on the north by the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains, on the east by the City of West Hollywood and the Fairfax District of the City of Los Angeles, and on the south by Los Angeles. The main through-streets include Sunset Boulevard, Wilshire Boulevard, and Santa Monica Boulevard. The two most world-renowned shopping streets include Rodeo Drive and Beverly Drive. The main road through Beverly Hills that leads to the San Fernando Valley is called Coldwater Canyon.
Beverly Hills’ population has now reached almost 34,000 and there are around 15,900 homes. In the year 2000, an estimated 62% of housing units were condominiums and apartments and 37% were single-family residences. Of the multi-family units, approximately 18% are condominiums and 82% are apartments. Ninety percent of the city is zoned for residential use.
Benedict Canyon is an area of lush hillsides with charming homes and tree lined roads. Specifically, it is a spectacular ravine in the Hollywood Hills that runs north, from the crest line of the Santa Monica Mountains, to the south on Mulholland Drive and ends near Sunset Boulevard. To the east, one finds its sister canyons, Franklin and Coldwater.
Historically, Benedict Canyon was a part of Rancho de las Aguas, which included Beverly Hills as well. A store-keeper, named Edson A. Benedict, named the area. He and his family built an apiary that was so productive he reportedly made a single shipment of 45,000 pounds of honey. Eventually, one of Mr. Benedict’s sons, Pierce E. Benedict, was elected to the city of Beverly Hills Board of Trustees.
The residents of Benedict Canyon are typically married couples who are professionally at the peak in their careers. Records show that the population is highly educated and in professional and executive positions. Approximately half of the population is between 35 and 64 years of age; and the median age is at 43 years. It is rare to find neighbors with young children; most residents have kids in college. However, recently many younger couples have migrated to the Canyon and are remodeling the older homes as a place to start their families.
Benedict Canyon does not have commercial apartments, duplexes, or condominiums available. Properties are exclusively residential and the homes are single-family residences and owner-occupied. Many of the homes were built in the early 1960’s and are listed from middle-class affordable to high-end luxury prices.
The Benedict Canyon community is a tight-knit group; the BCA (Benedict Canyon Association) began in 1948 and is exemplary in its efforts towards neighborhood activism. The association is devoted to maintaining and preserving the quality of life in the community. Due to its earlier efforts, Benedict Canyon has remained the only Canyon that is a one hundred percent residential community. Due to the Association’s lobbying, building height is limited to 36 feet and there are restrictions on set-back, side yards, and parking. Beautification projects include the repainting of guardrails, repairing of roads, a subsidized monthly service of clearing debris, and the maintenance of vegetation that encroaches upon the roadways.
Franklin Canyon Park is just a short drive away from Benedict Canyon, where families can go to enjoy a sunny afternoon. The park is about 605 acres, complete with a three acre duck pond, hiking trails, a lake, and picnic area. Another nearby park is Coldwater Canyon Park, which is home of TREEPEOPLE. There are numerous trails, a tree nursery, tree care workshops, and Full Moon guided tours.
The following are schools located in the area which are all a part of the Los Angeles Unified School District:
- Warner Elementary School
- 615 Holmby Avenue
- Los Angels, CA 9002
- Tel (310) 475-5893
- Emerson Middle School
- 1650 Selby Avenue
- Los Angeles, CA 90024
- Tel (310) 475-8417
- University Senior High School
- 11800 Texas Avenue
- Los Angeles, CA 90025
- Tel (310) 478-9833
A 12- acre piece of land along Mulholland Drive is known as Coldwater Canyon Park. A conservation group called “Tree People” is a long term lessee of the park. There are many short and fun trails throughout the area.
The Beverly Hills Flats is an area featuring more traditional-style homes. Many were designed by highly respectable architects such as Gus Duffy, Robert Byrd, Richard Landry, and Paul Williams.
BHPO or Beverly Hills Post Office is ironically not an official part of Beverly Hills. Although it shares the name and the same 90210 Zip Code, the community does not receive the same services such as schools, police, and fire department services as Beverly Hills. The reason being is because in 1914 when Beverly Hills was incorporated, the northern border to Mulholland Drive remained a part of the hills of Los Angeles. For decades thereafter it remained anonymous. Out of convenience the area was given the 90210 Zip Code.
By using the Beverly Hills name, BHPO homes are more valuable and the area is more prestigious. Those wishing to have larger lots for big homes, privacy, and great views look to BHPO to provide them with these wishes. As of the 2000 U.S. Census, BHPO had 5,482 housing units. Many of the homes were built from 1960-1971; however as the popularity of this area increases many of the original homes are coming down in order to accommodate new homes. The plus side is that these new constructions are raising the property values. There is a particular section of BHPO in the east where some homes exceed 18,000 square feet. One of these homes had a sale price of $17.5 million.
It is important to note that BHPO is not a part of the Beverly Hills Unified School District but rather the Los Angeles Unified School District. For young children living on the east side, West Hollywood Elementary serves these children; it scored 854 on the 2010 Academic Performance Index. For children residing on the west side, Warner Elementary serves these residents; which scored 963 on the API. University High School scored 678 in 2010.
This area was the northernmost part of the Doheny Ranch until the mid-1950s. The 425 acre tract was home to the largest estate in Beverly Hills, called the Greystone mansion. Paul Trousdale purchased 410 acres in 1954 and began constructing single-family homes on ample-sized lots. This area was a favorite to many celebrities, some famous names include, Dean Martin and Elvis Presley.
The Trousdale Estates are located in a desirable area because they are surrounded by the canyon which ensures privacy, but also the Beverly Hills retail districts are close-by for convenience. In addition, security is in full effect with private patrol round the clock. Many homes have views of either downtown LA or of the ocean.
Recently, the original restrictions on zoning have expired, making residents uneasy about the future of their neighborhood. Initially, zoning restrictions limited building height to a single story. Now with the expiration of these restrictions residents fear that higher building heights could block their views. However a revision is being drafted for resident vote.
The Beverly Hills Unified School District serves Trousdale Estates. Students enrolled in K-8th grade attend Hawthorne Elementary School. High school students attend Beverly Hills High.
Resources & Links:
- City of Beverly Hills Web Site
- Local School Links
- Crime Statistics
- Southern California Home Sale Activity | Los Angeles home sales data, organized by ZIP code. Updated monthly.
- LA County Online
- The Los Angeles Times | Online version of the local periodical.
- KCRW | National Public Radio station, based at Santa Monica College.
- ArtScene | Guide to California's museums.
- National Park Search Great National Parks link.
- California State Parks | Highly recommended.
- Yahoo! Neighborhood Profiles | For neighborhood demographics, cost of living and quality of life.