Monday, October 19, 2009

Rich Runyon Canyon

Runyon Canyon has a haunting past and a rich & glamorous history. American Indians once hunted here. In 1919, Carmen Runyon bought the land and sold it to famed Irish tenor John McCormack, who built a mansion called San Patrizio. Friends like Will Rogers & John Barrymore came to visit. It looks very different now.

Don't be put off by the warning of rattlers in the midst.

As you walk in, there's a charming refreshment bar where everything is a buck & it's ice cold. My favorite part? It's on the honor system.

The payoff. The panoramic view can't be captured with one shot, so I created an homage to David Hockney. Click on it for a better view!

On the walk up, you pass by remnants of the grandeur that once existed here. Pieces of San Patrizio. A tennis court.

Steps to nowhere.

Huntington Hartford bought the property in 1942 - the heir to the A&P grocery fortune. He commissioned Frank Lloyd Wright to create a futuristic country club on the property & tried unsuccessfully to gift the land to the city of LA in 1964.

As Lloyd Wright recalled in 1977, "Here was this very wealthy man and he wanted to give something very stunning to Hollywood. The Chambers of Commerce, the hotel owners and the various businesses were jealous of the park, and with the help of the City officials, the City refused to give us permits. Hunt was so angry that he wanted to get out immediately and sold the property at a low price to Berman, who then destroyed the mansion and let the place run down."

Now, there's a little dog park on the property.

Inspiration Point still stands.

Once you get there, look back & there's one more (excruciating) level.

Once you walk up, there's an incredible view looking down over LA.

And to your left, the Hollywood sign.


Anonymous said...

Lived many years in L A and the hills do have many good places to walk. I always consider those hills were private. lonewolfsue

Lisa said...

I'm kind of afraid to hike locally...I've always felt safer at 11,000 feet in the Eastern Sierras. Looks like there's always people around, though!


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