Beverly Hills, CA: Wikis

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The City of Beverly Hills
—  City  —
Picture of Beverly Hills taken at Wilshire Boulevard


Nickname(s): "Garden Spot of the World", "B.H.", "The Hills"
Location of Beverly Hills in Los Angeles County, California
Coordinates: 34°4′23″N 118°23′58″W / 34.07306°N 118.39944°W / 34.07306; -118.39944
Country United States
State California
County Los Angeles
Incorporated October 22, 1906
 - Mayor Nancy Krasne
 - Vice Mayor Jimmy Delshad
 - City Manager Roderick J. Wood
 - Total 5.7 sq mi (14.7 km2)
 - Land 5.7 sq mi (14.7 km2)
 - Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)  0%
Elevation 259 ft (79 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 33,784
 Density 5,927/sq mi (2,298/km2)
Time zone PST (UTC-8)
 - Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP Code 90210, 90211, 90212
Area code(s) 310, 323, 424
FIPS code 06-06308
GNIS feature ID 1652672
Aerial view, 3D computer generated image

Beverly Hills is a city in the western part of Los Angeles County, California, United States. Beverly Hills and the neighboring city of West Hollywood are together entirely surrounded by the city of Los Angeles. The area's "Platinum Triangle" of affluent neighborhoods is formed by Beverly Hills and the Los Angeles neighborhoods of Bel Air and Holmby Hills. The population was 34,980 as of the 2006 census. Beverly Hills is home to many Hollywood celebrities, corporate executives, and numerous other wealthy individuals and families.

Beverly Hills is bordered on the north by Bel-Air and the Santa Monica Mountains, on the east by West Hollywood, the Carthay neighborhood of Los Angeles, and the Fairfax District of Los Angeles, and on the south by the Beverlywood.

Beverly Hills contains some of the largest homes in Los Angeles County and in the nation. In 2007, Coldwell Banker lists Beverly Hills as the most expensive housing market (second year in a row) in the United States, with a median home price of over $2.2 million[1]. These homes range from the extravagant and luxurious in size, to the more elegant and modern homes, and then to the many small duplex rental units and detached homes with less than 2,000 sq ft (280 sq meters).



18th century

Gaspar de Portolà's land expedition arrived in the area on August 3, 1769. The group consisted of Portolà (the first governor of the province of California), some Franciscan priests and a cavalcade of leather-jacket soldiers and horses. On September 27, 1821, New Spain became Mexico and the province of California quietly changed flags.

That same decade, retired Spanish soldier Vicente Ferrer Valdez and his wife, Maria Rita Villa de Valdez, settled on the 4,500 acres (18 km2) Rancho Rodeo de las Aguas. Rita did not care for the name, however, and chose to call it San Antonio. The Valdez adobe home was built near what is the present day intersection of Sunset Boulevard and Alpine Drive. Valdez died in 1828, leaving Rita and eleven children.

19th century

California was ceded by Mexico to the United States in 1848 with the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, marking the end of the Mexican-American War. It was admitted as a U.S. state on September 9, 1850.

In 1852 Maria Rita Valdez De Villa asked to purchase a league of land for $4,000. She called the land Rancho Rodeo de las Aguas. It was later purchased by Major Henry Hancock (of Hancock Park fame), a New Hampshire attorney. He had come to the state during the 1849 gold rush. He used the land as a farm until 1868 when Dr. Edward Preuss, a native of Louisville, Kentucky, bought the land.[2]

A brief oil boom raised interest in the area in 1865 when the Pioneer Oil Company bought the rights to drill wells.[citation needed]

20th century

On October 22, 1906, the community of Beverly Hills was declared open by the Percy H. Clark Co., managers of the tract of land. It was described as a "beautiful suburban residence between this city [Los Angeles] and Santa Monica."[3] The community was designed to allow the buyers to build a custom house on the land they purchased in the new development. The Rodeo Land and Water Company (Burton Green) decided to name it Beverly Hills after Beverly Farms in Beverly, Massachusetts.[4] Prior to this, the land was known as the Hammel and Denker ranch, which was one of Southern California's most fertile lands for growing lima beans.[3] It was purchased by a syndicate of Henry E. Huntington, C. A. Canfield, W G. Kerckhoff, W. S. Porter, Burton M. Green, M. W. Whittier. It lies in the old Morocco Junction of the Los Angeles Pacific road, where the Hollywood and Colgrove braches connect. The investment company marketed Beverly Hills as "between the city and the sea."

In September, 1911, work began on the Beverly Hills Hotel. The Los Angeles Times would call it a "monster hostelry" since it cost $300,000.[5] At the time, lots were selling for around $2,000 each.[6]

In 1919, Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford bought land on Summit Drive and built Pickfair.[7] In 1921, they announced that they would build the home which they had been "dreaming" about in Beverly Hills.[8]

Will Rogers, a wisecracking political humorist, wrote of the land boom in 1923, "Lots are sold so quickly and often out here that they put through escrow made out to the 12th owner... They couldn't possibly make out a separate deed for each purchaser; besides, he wouldn't have time to read it in the 10 minutes' time he owned the land."[citation needed]

The movie colony was well entrenched by 1928 when Harold Lloyd ('Greenacres'), John Barrymore, Robert Montgomery and Miriam Hopkins built residences there.[citation needed]

The population in 1920 was 674; in 1924, it was 5,000; by 1930, it was 17,429.[9]

The issuance of building permits in 1918 totaled $35,200; in 1919, $304,900; in 1921, $787,729; 1922, $1,838,994[7].

In early 1920, the Beverly Hills Speedway, a 1.25 miles (2.0 km) wood oval track with turns banked 35 degrees was opened. Joe Boyer ran his race car 110 miles per hour (177.0 km/h) during the exhibition run[citation needed]. The races drew huge crowds and radio broadcasts were on a par with today's Indianapolis 500. There were also aviation shows, another national craze. The speedway was closed in 1924 and the site was later subdivided for housing and businesses.[citation needed]

In 1923, annexation to the city of Los Angeles was proposed, but faced opposition. Residents Mary Pickford, Will Rogers and others mobilized local voters against the plan.[citation needed] Those for annexation argued that Los Angeles would provide an adequate supply of better quality water for growth. Workers left bottles of sulfur-smelling water on the doorsteps of every home in Beverly Hills with a label that read: "Warning. Drink sparingly of this water as it has laxative qualities." Despite the campaign tactics, annexation was defeated 507 to 337.[citation needed] The following year, the city voted $400,000 in bonds to purchase the water system from the Beverly Hills Utilities Company and drill additional wells.

This fight for an independent city was arguably the first union of show business and politics in the United States.[citation needed] When Will Rogers became involved in the local city government the community received international advertising. In 1925, Rogers was given the title "Honorary Mayor of Beverly Hills," becoming the first and (to date) only person so honored as such. The same year, the citizens of the city voted a $100,000 bond issue to purchase with Los Angeles, Santa Monica and Venice 385 acres (1.6 km2) for the building of UCLA. There were 96 miles (154.5 km) of paved streets in the city limits by 1927. In 1928, the Beverly-Wilshire Hotel on Wilshire Boulevard between El Camino and Rodeo Drives, part of the old Beverly Hills Speedway, was completed. That same year, Greystone Mansion was completed by Edward L. Doheny, Jr., the only son and heir of wealthy oil man Edward L. Doheny. And in 1930, horses were banned in the City of Beverly Hills.

In the early 1930s, Santa Monica Park was renamed Beverly Gardens and was extended to span the entire two mile (3 km) length of Santa Monica Boulevard through the city. At its Santa Monica and Wilshire corner, the Electric Fountain, a constant symphony of form and color at night, was installed, with a small sculpture at the top of a Tongva kneeling in prayer, homage to the heritage of Beverly Hills as a wellspring of fertility and abundance.

In April 1931 the new Italian Renaissance style City Hall was opened.[10]

By 1933, the effects of the Depression were being felt in Beverly Hills. The city and school board cut salaries to save funds. In February, some 161 parcels of land were advertised for sale for delinquent lighting assessments. The Chamber of Commerce established an employment bureau and the mayor requested a branch welfare office from the County of Los Angeles.[citation needed] By 1937, the city had weathered the storm of the Depression and was riding the crest of a wave of retail sales that reached more than $20,000,000 and bank deposits topped the $25,000,000 figure. Property values of that year showed a 30% increase over the previous year.[9]

By the 1950s, small vacant lots remained and developers cropped whole mountains to ease the housing shortage. The stables and trails of the unusually large Doheny family estate, Greystone Mansion was bought by Paul Trousdale. The Trousdale Estates area was eventually annexed and an expensive housing development began to take shape in the hills above the city.

Beverly Hills marketed itself as one of the most glamorous places in the world to shop. The Golden Triangle, with Rodeo Drive at its center, was marketed as the apex of chic shopping and fashion.[11]

Via Rodeo was completed in 1990. The Spanish cobblestone street leads to 2 Rodeo Drive, a "mini-mall" with upscale shops and restaurants. In 1992, the Beverly Hills Civic Center was opened. Designed by architect Charles Moore, it links the new public library, fire and police departments with the historic City Hall.

Rodeo Drive, Beverly and Canon Drives all recently underwent construction to widen the sidewalks and beautify the streets. New construction has also just been completed that added more parking for visitors to the famed shopping area.


Beverly Hills is nearly entirely surrounded by the city of Los Angeles, sharing only a portion of its eastern border, primarily along Doheny Drive, with West Hollywood. The precise limits of Beverly Hills are complex, and therefore hard to describe; however, the city limits can be roughly described as the area surrounded by the Los Angeles Country Club and Century Park Drive to the Southwest, Whitworth Drive to the South, variously Doheny Drive/Robertson Blvd/San Vicente Blvd to the East, and the Hollywood Hills to the North.

Major east-west thoroughfares in Beverly Hills include Wilshire Boulevard, Santa Monica Boulevard, and Sunset Boulevard. Shopping is prevalent along Beverly Drive and the world-famous Rodeo Drive. Coldwater Canyon Drive is the main road out of Beverly Hills to the north into the San Fernando Valley. Beverly Drive and Roberston Blvd exit to the south into the city of Los Angeles.

In spite of the city's name, most residents live in the "flats" of Beverly Hills, a relatively flat land that includes all of Beverly Hills south of Sunset Blvd. The homes in the hills north of Sunset Boulevard have a much higher value than average homes in the rest of Beverly Hills, and the most expensive homes in Beverly Hills are all in the hills. Santa Monica Boulevard divides the "flats" into two areas, locally known as "North or South of the tracks," referring to the train tracks that were once used by the old Pacific Electric streetcar line that traversed Beverly Hills along Santa Monica Blvd. Homes south of Wilshire have more urban square and rectangular lots, generally smaller than those to the north. There are also more apartment buildings south of Wilshire Blvd than anywhere else in Beverly Hills, and the average home value south of Wilshire is the lowest in Beverly Hills.

Nearly all businesses and government offices in Beverly Hills are located south of Santa Monica Boulevard, two notable exceptions being the Beverly Hills Hotel and the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Just outside the city limits to the west lies the Los Angeles Country Club. Other locations commonly associated with Beverly Hills include the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and the Beverly Center, just outside city limits to the east.


Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1920 674
1930 17,429 2,485.9%
1940 26,823 53.9%
1950 29,032 8.2%
1960 30,817 6.1%
1970 33,416 8.4%
1980 32,367 −3.1%
1990 31,971 −1.2%
2000 33,784 5.7%

As of the 2000 census,[12] there were 33,784 people. The racial makeup of the city was 85.1% White, 0.10% Native American, 7.10% Asian, 1.50% from other races, and 4.60% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. Like the rest of Los Angeles County, Beverly Hills is home to a large Persian/Iranian community.There has been a recent estimate that Iranians represent as much as 40% of the city's population and 50% of the students in public schools.[13] This estimate is not immediately evident in Census Bureau data as the Census Bureau defines the "White" race category as including "people having origins in any of the original peoples of .. the Middle East .."[14]

In the city the population was spread out with 20.0% under the age of 18, 6.3% from 18 to 24, 29.3% from 25 to 44, 26.8% from 45 to 64, and 17.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age for the city was 41 years old.

There were 15,035 households out of which 24.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.8% were married couples living together, 8.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.0% were non-families. The average household size was 2.24 and the average family size was 3.02.

According to a 2008 estimate, the median income for a household in the city was $93,327, which is typical for an upper-middle class suburb.[15] This figure may seem rather low but can be attributed to the unusually large proportion of renters in the city. There are so many renters in Beverly Hills that homeowners are not the majority. Renter-occupied housing units comprise 56.6 percent of the city's housing stock and the median household income for renter-occupied housing units in the city is $48,179, which is just slightly above average for the entire United States.

The median income for a family is $110,040. Males had a median income of $72,004 versus $46,217 for females. The per capita income for the city was $87,589.[15] 1.1% of the population were below the poverty line, most of those were 65 and older Senior citizens.

Beverly Hills remains one of the most expensive real estate markets in the country and in the world. The median home sale price in Beverly Hills in 2009 was $2,870,000, down 20% from the high of $3,600,000 reached in 2007.[16]

Government and infrastructure

Local government

The Beverly Hills City Hall, built in 1932, was featured prominently in the Beverly Hills Cop films
Beverly Hills Civic Center
Beverly Hills Police being inspected in the late 1930s

Of the 21,426 registered voters in Beverly Hills; approximately 50.3% are Democrats and 25.9% are Republicans. The remaining 23.8% are Independents or are registered with one of the many smaller political parties, like the Green Party or the Libertarian Party.

The heavy Democratic advantage makes Beverly Hills one of the more liberal cities in Southern California. In 2004, John Kerry won 62% of the vote compared to 37% for George W. Bush. In the 2006 state governor election, Arnold Schwarzenegger got nearly 45% of the vote but won a second term by a state-wide majority, while Democratic opponent Phil Angelides had just over 54%.

Beverly Hills is a general law city governed by a five-member City Council including the mayor and vice mayor. City Council hires a city manager to carry out policies and serve as executive officer. Every odd-numbered year either two or three members are elected by the people to serve a four-year term. Each March the City Council meets and chooses one of its members as mayor and one as vice-mayor.

Nancy Krasne is mayor and Jimmy Delshad is vice mayor. Roderick J. Wood is city manager. The other three city council members are Barry Brucker, Dr. William Brien and John Mirisch. In city council meetings, a few celebrities have shown up to speak on local political issues.

The Beverly Hills Police Department and the Beverly Hills Fire Department serve as emergency response for the city. BHFD has the privilege of being distinguished as "Class 1" in fire protection by an insurance industry rating service.

See also: Mayor of Beverly Hills

County, state, and federal representation

Beverly Hills Post Office

The Los Angeles County Department of Health Services SPA 5 West Area Health Office serves Beverly Hills.[17] The department operates the Simms/Mann Health and Wellness Center in Santa Monica, serving Beverly Hills.[18]

In the state legislature Beverly Hills is located in the 23rd Senate District, represented by Democrat Fran Pavley, and in the 42nd Assembly District, represented by Democrat Mike Feuer. Federally, Beverly Hills is located in California's 30th congressional district, which has a Cook PVI of D +20[19] and is represented by Democrat Henry Waxman.

The United States Postal Service operates the Beverly Hills Post Office at 325 North Maple Drive,[20] the Crescent Post Office at 323 North Crescent Drive,[21] the Beverly Post Office at 312 South Beverly Drive,[22], and the Eastgate Post Office at 8383 Wilshire Boulevard.[23][24] The Beverly Hills Post Office received listing in the National Register of Historic Places on January 11, 1985.[25]


The former Hilton Hotels Corporation headquarters in Beverly Hills

The Los Angeles-area offices of Aeroflot and El Al are in Beverly Hills.[26][27]

At one point Hilton Hotels Corporation had its corporate headquarters in Beverly Hills. Originally GeoCities (at first Beverly Hills Internet) was headquartered at 9401 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills.[28]

Underneath the city is the large and still-productive Beverly Hills Oil Field, serviced by four urban drilling islands which drill diagonally into the earth underneath the city. The most notorious of these drilling islands occasioned a 2003 lawsuit representing former attendees of Beverly Hills High School, approximately 280 of which had suffered from cancers allegedly tied to the drilling operations.[29]

Diplomatic missions

Beverly Hills has four consulates (Armenia,[30] Brazil,[31] Colombia,[32] and Ecuador.[24][33])


Public schools

Beverly Hills is served by Beverly Hills Unified School District; which includes four K-8 schools, Moreno High School, and the Beverly Hills High School.

Private schools

Beverly Hills also has several private schools.

Good Shepherd School, a PreK-8 school in Beverly Hills, is a part of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

Other Beverly Hills private schools include Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy, Emanuel Academy of Beverly Hills, and Page Private School.

Marymount High School in nearby Westwood, across from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), is in close proximity to Beverly Hills.


Beverly Hills has a warm and moderate Mediterranean climate, with an average high of 85 degrees in August, and an average high of 64 degrees in January. Beverly Hills also receives on average 18 inches of rain. Summers are marked by warm to hot temperatures with very little wind, while winters are moderate to cool with occasional rain alternating with periods of Santa Ana winds. During Santa Ana events, gusts up to 40 mph are common.[citation needed]


Beverly Hills is served by the following newspapers: Canyon News, Beverly Hills Courier, Beverly Hills Weekly, Beverly Hills 213 Magazine, and the Beverly Hills Times. The Beverly Hills Post used to be one of the main newspapers, but it went out of business. The city is also served by all Los Angeles TV, radio, and newspaper media.

Beverly Hills also has its own Television channel, KBEV. Run by the students of Beverly Hills High School, it airs on Channel 6 (on Time Warner Cable) to the residents of Beverly Hills.


Sign marking the Beverly Hills city limits

Derivative nicknames

The name Beverly Hills has often been employed as a nickname for a fashionable, affluent area. For example, Ladera Heights, an unincorporated area in southwestern Los Angeles County, has been dubbed the "Black Beverly Hills".[34] Similarly, the city of Scottsdale has been given the nickname "Beverly Hills of Arizona" for its upscale shops, stately homes, and high household income[citation needed]. Calabasas, California located in the San Fernando Valley is considered the Beverly Hills of the valley. Respectively, Buckhead, the uptown district of Atlanta, has been dubbed "The Beverly Hills of the South" due to the large number (as well as the highest concentration) of upscale shops, elaborate homes, and high average income.[citation needed].

Beverly Hills in popular culture

Beverly Hills has been featured in a number of television shows and movies set in Beverly Hills, including the The Jack Benny Program (1950 to 1954) (and on his radio program from 1932–1955), The Beverly Hillbillies (1962 to 1971), the Beverly Hills Cop movies, Beverly Hills 90210 (1990 to 2000), and 90210 (2008 - ).


90210 is one of four zip codes in Beverly Hills, and perhaps its most-famous, gaining popularity with the 1990s television series Beverly Hills, 90210. Other series to make use of the 90210 zip-code include Dr. 90210 and the 2008 spin-off of the original, 90210.

Beverly Hills in fact has three additional zip codes: 90211, 90212 and 90213.

Other pop culture

The animated series Totally Spies is set in Beverly Hills.

The opening scene of The Andy Griffith Show showing Sheriff Taylor and Opie carrying fishing poles was shot at the Franklin Canyon Reservoir at the north end of town just west of Coldwater Canyon.

In Walt Disney's movie, Beverly Hills Chihuahua, The main character, Chloe, lives in Beverly Hills, 90210

In the 2009 Simpsons episode, Waverly Hills 9-0-2-1-D'oh, there exists a spoof version of Beverly Hills, nicknamed "Waverly Hills".

Ted's of Beverly Hills is a fictional steak restaurant on the Phil Hendrie radio show.

The first track on Weezer's Make Believe album is entitled "Beverly Hills" and is one of their most popular songs.

See also


  1. ^ Lamothe, Keisha (2007-9-26). "Most Expensive and Most Affordable Housing Markets". Yahoo! Real Estate (citing Retrieved 2008-04-05. 
  2. ^ History of Beverly Hills
  3. ^ a b BEVERLY HILLS. (1906, October 21). Los Angeles Times,V1. Retrieved June 25, 2008
  4. ^
  5. ^ WORK STARTS WITH RUSH ON MONSTER HOSTELRY :Great Tourist Hostelry for Beautiful Site Between the City and the Sea.. (1911, September 23). Los Angeles Times,p. I14. Retrieved June 25, 2008
  6. ^ BEVERLY HILLS SALES. (1911, December 17). Los Angeles Times,p. V28. Retrieved June 25, 2008
  7. ^ a b
  8. ^ THREE NEW HOMES FOR FAIRBANKS :Husband of Mary Pickford to Build at Beverly Hills, Santa Barbara, Lake Como.. (1921, January 11). The Los Angeles Times,II1. Retrieved June 25, 2008
  9. ^ a b
  10. ^ Wanamaker, Marc. Beverly Hills: 1930–2005. p9 ISBN 0095299717441999
  11. ^
  12. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  13. ^ Living in Tehrangeles: L.A.'s Iranian Community - NPR
  14. ^ Overview of Race and Hispanic Origin - United States Census Bureau, March 2001. (Document C2KBR/01-1, pp 2)
  15. ^ a b
  16. ^
  17. ^ "About Us." Los Angeles County Department of Health Services. Retrieved on March 18, 2010.
  18. ^ "Simms/Mann Health and Wellness Center." Los Angeles County Department of Health Services. Retrieved on March 27, 2010.
  19. ^ "Will Gerrymandered Districts Stem the Wave of Voter Unrest?". Campaign Legal Center Blog. Retrieved 2008-02-10. 
  20. ^ "Post Office Location - BEVERLY HILLS." United States Postal Service. Retrieved on December 6, 2008.
  21. ^ "Post Office Location - CRESCENT." United States Postal Service. Retrieved on December 6, 2008.
  22. ^ "Post Office Location - BEVERLY." United States Postal Service. Retrieved on December 6, 2008.
  23. ^ "Post Office Location - EASTGATE." United States Postal Service. Retrieved on December 6, 2008.
  24. ^ a b "Official Zoning Map." City of Beverly Hills. Retrieved on December 7, 2008.
  25. ^ National Register Information System, National Register of Historic Places, National Park Service. Retrieved December 6, 2008.
  26. ^ "Contacts." Aeroflot New York Office. Accessed September 10, 2008.
  27. ^ "Worldwide Offices USA." El Al. Retrieved on September 29, 2009.
  28. ^ "Beverly Hills Internet, Builder of Web Communities, Changes Name to GeoCities; Monthly Page." Business Wire. Thursday December 14, 1995. 2. Retrieved on May 1, 2009.
  29. ^ Horowitz, Joy. Parts per million: the poisoning of Beverly Hills High School. p. 8. Viking, 2007. ISBN 0670037982
  30. ^ "Child Adoption." Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Retrieved on December 7, 2008.
  31. ^ "Brazilian Consulates in the USA." Consulate-General of Brazil in Houston. Retrieved on December 7, 2008.
  32. ^ "Contáctenos." Consulate-General of Colombia in Los Angeles. Retrieved on December 7, 2008.
  33. ^ "Other Consulates in the USA." Embassy of Ecuador in Washington, D.C.. Retrieved on December 7, 2008.
  34. ^ An upscale enclave close to landings and sea - Los Angeles Times


  • Beverly Hills: 1930–2005 By Marc Wanamaker ISBN 0095299717441999
  • Beverly Hills: An Illustrated History by Genevieve Davis ISBN 9780897812382
  • Beverly Hills: Inside the Golden Ghetto By Walter WagnerPublished 1976
  • "History of Beverly Hills." BY Pierce E. Bendict. Published 1934.

External links

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