Elements of Urbanism: Hollywood, CA

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Metro Jacksonville visits an internationally known community that Jacksonville help build: Hollywood, CA.

Tale of the Tape:

Since Hollywood is a district within the City of Los Angeles, Los Angeles' statistical data is included.

Los Angeles Pop. 2010: 3,792,621 (City); 12,828,837 (Metro) - (incorporated in 1850)

Jacksonville Pop. 2010: 821,784 (City); 1,345,596 (Metro) - (incorporated in 1832)

City population 1950: Jacksonville (204,517); Los Angeles (1,970,358)

Metropolitan Area Growth Rate (2000-2010)

Los Angeles: +3.75%
Jacksonville: +19.85%

Urban Area Population Density (2000 census)

Los Angeles: 7,068.3 people per square mile
Jacksonville: 2,149.2 people per square mile

City Population Growth from 2000 to 2010

Los Angeles: +97,801
Jacksonville: +86,281

Convention Center Exhibition Space:

Los Angeles: Los Angeles Convention Center (1971)  - 720,000 square feet
Jacksonville: Prime F. Osborn III Convention Center (1986) - 78,500 square feet

Attached to Convention Center:

Los Angeles: Ritz-Carlton (123 rooms), JW Marriott (878 rooms)
Jacksonville: N/A

Tallest Building:

Los Angeles: U.S. Bank Tower - 1,018 feet
Jacksonville: Bank of America Tower - 617 feet

Fortune 500 companies:

Los Angeles: Northrop Grumman (72), Occidental Petroleum (129), AECOM Technology (353), Reliance Steel & Aluminum (367), CB Richard Ellis Group (440)
Jacksonville: CSX (230), Winn-Dixie Stores (324), Fidelity National Financial (398), Fidelity National Information Services (426)

Urban infill obstacles:

Los Angeles: Downtown is completely surrounded by a network of freeways.
Jacksonville: State & Union Streets cut off Downtown Jacksonville from Springfield.

Downtown Nightlife:

Los Angeles: Historic Downtown Core
Jacksonville: East Bay Street

Common Downtown Albatross:

A large number of homeless residents.

Who's Downtown is more walkable?

Los Angeles: 92 out of 100, according to walkscore.com
Jacksonville: 78 out of 100, according to walkscore.com

About Hollywood

Hollywood is a famous district in Los Angeles, California, United States situated west-northwest of downtown Los Angeles. Due to its fame and cultural identity as the historical center of movie studios and movie stars, the word Hollywood is often used as a metonym of American cinema. Today, much of the movie industry has dispersed into surrounding areas such as the Westside neighborhood, and the San Fernando and Santa Clarita Valleys, but significant auxiliary industries, such as editing, effects, props, post-production, and lighting companies remain in Hollywood, as does the backlot of Paramount Pictures.

On February 16, 2005, California Assembly Members Jackie Goldberg and Paul Koretz introduced a bill to require California to keep specific records on Hollywood as if it were independent, although it is not the typical practice of the City of Los Angeles to establish specific boundaries for districts or neighborhoods. For this to be done, the boundaries were defined. The bill was unanimously supported by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and the Los Angeles City Council. Assembly Bill 588 was approved by the Governor of California on August 28, 2006, and now the district of Hollywood has official borders. The border can be loosely described as the area east of West Hollywood, south of Mulholland Drive, Laurel Canyon, Cahuenga Boulevard, and Barham Boulevard, and the cities of Burbank and Glendale, north of Melrose Avenue and west of the Golden State Freeway and Hyperion Avenue. This includes all of Griffith Park and Los Feliz[citation needed] – two areas that were hitherto considered separate from Hollywood by most Angelenos. The population of the district, including Los Feliz, as of the 2000 census was 123,436 and the median household income was $33,409 in 1999.

Motion Picture Industry

The first studio in Hollywood was established by the New Jersey–based Centaur Co., which wanted to make westerns in California. They rented an unused roadhouse at 6121 Sunset Boulevard at the corner of Gower, and converted it into a movie studio in October 1911, calling it Nestor Studio after the name of the western branch of their company. The first feature film made specifically in a Hollywood studio, in 1914, was The Squaw Man, directed by Cecil B. DeMille and Oscar Apfel, and was filmed at the Lasky-DeMille Barn among other area locations.

By 1911, Los Angeles was second only to New York in motion picture production, and by 1915, the majority of American films were being produced in the Los Angeles area.

Four major film companies – Paramount, Warner Bros., RKO and Columbia – had studios in Hollywood, as did several minor companies and rental studios. Hollywood had begun its dramatic transformation from sleepy suburb to movie production capital. The residential and agrarian Hollywood Boulevard of 1910 was virtually unrecognizable by 1920 as the new commercial and retail sector replaced it. The sleepy town was no more, and, to the chagrin of many original residents, the boom town could not be stopped. By 1920, Hollywood had become world-famous as the center of the United States film industry.

Jacksonville - Hollywood Connection

In the early 20th century, before Hollywood, the motion picture industry was based in New York City. In need of a winter headquarters, moviemakers were attracted to Jacksonville due to its warm climate, exotic locations, excellent rail access, and cheaper labor, earning the city the title of "The Winter Film Capital of the World". New York-based Kalem Studios was the first to open a permanent studio in Jacksonville in 1908. Over the course of the next decade, more than 30 silent film companies established studios in town, including Metro Pictures (later MGM), Edison Studios, Majestic Films, King Bee Film Company, Vim Comedy Company, Norman Studios, Gaumont Studios and the Lubin Manufacturing Company. Comedic actor and Georgia native Oliver "Babe" Hardy began his motion picture career here in 1914. He starred in over 36 short silent films his first year acting. With the closing of Lubin in early 1915, Oliver moved to New York then New Jersey to find film jobs. Acquiring a job with the Vim Company in early 1915, he returned to Jacksonville in the spring of 1917 before relocating to Los Angeles in October 1917. The first motion picture made in Technicolor and the first feature-length color movie produced in the United States, The Gulf Between, was also filmed on location in Jacksonville in 1917.

Jacksonville was especially important to the African American film industry. One notable individual in this regard is the European American producer Richard Norman, who created a string of films starring black actors in the vein of Oscar Micheaux and the Lincoln Motion Picture Company. In contrast to the degrading parts offered in certain white films such as The Birth of a Nation, Norman and his contemporaries sought to create positive stories featuring African Americans in what he termed "splendidly assuming different roles".

Jacksonville's mostly conservative residents, however, objected to the hallmarks of the early movie industry, such as car chases in the streets, simulated bank robberies and fire alarms in public places, and even the occasional riot. In 1917, conservative Democrat John W. Martin was elected mayor on the platform of taming the city's movie industry. By that time, southern California was emerging as the major movie production center, thanks in large part to the move of film pioneers like William Selig and D.W. Griffith to the area. These factors quickly sealed the demise of Jacksonville as a major film destination.


After many years of serious decline, when many Hollywood landmarks were threatened with demolition, Hollywood is now undergoing rapid gentrification and revitalization with the goal of urban density in mind.[citation needed] Many developments have been completed, typically centered on Hollywood Boulevard. The Hollywood and Highland complex (site of the Kodak Theater) has been a major catalyst for the redevelopment of the area. In addition, numerous fashionable bars, clubs, and retail businesses have opened on or surrounding the boulevard, returning Hollywood to a center of nightlife in Los Angeles. Many older buildings have also been converted to lofts and condominiums.

Hollywood Boulevard

Hollywood & Vine Metro Station entrance.

Hollywood Boulevard is a famous street in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, splitting off Sunset Boulevard in the east and running northwest to Vermont Avenue, where it straightens out and runs due west to Laurel Canyon Boulevard. West of Laurel Canyon it continues as a small residential street in the hills, finally ending at Sunset Plaza Drive. On the east side of Hollywood Boulevard it passes through the neighborhoods of Little Armenia and Thai Town.

The famous street was named Prospect Avenue from 1887 to 1910, when the town of Hollywood was annexed to the city of Los Angeles. After annexation, the street numbers changed from 100 Prospect Avenue, at Vermont Avenue, to 6400 Hollywood Boulevard. In 1946 Gene Autry rode his horse in the Hollywood Christmas parade and was inspired by the children yelling "Here comes Santa Claus, Here comes Santa Claus," to write the song "Here Comes Santa Claus" along with Oakley Haldeman. Then, the boulevard was nicknamed "Santa Claus Lane". The Hollywood Christmas Parade passes down Hollywood Boulevard every Sunday after Thanksgiving.

In 1958, the Hollywood Walk of Fame, which runs from Gower Street to La Brea Avenue, was created as a tribute to artists working in the entertainment industry. The Walk of Fame recognizes such celebrities and icons as Walt Disney, Michael Jackson, Hugh Hefner, and many more. (The Walk runs for an additional 3 blocks on Vine Street.)

The Hollywood extension of the Metro Red Line subway was opened in June 1999. Running from Downtown to the Valley, it has stops on Hollywood Boulevard at Western Avenue, at Vine Street and at Highland Avenue. Metro Local lines 180, 181 and 217 and Metro Rapid line 780 serve Hollywood Boulevard. An anti-cruising ordinance prohibits driving on part of the boulevard more than twice in four hours.

The Hollywood & Highland Center is a shopping mall and entertainment complex at Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue in the Hollywood district in Los Angeles. The 387,000-square-foot center also includes Grauman's Chinese Theatre and the Kodak Theatre, home to the Academy Awards. The historic site was once the home of the famed Hollywood Hotel. Located in the heart of Hollywood, along the Hollywood Walk of Fame, it is among the most visited tourist destinations in Los Angeles.

Sunset Boulevard

Sunset Boulevard is a street in the western part of Los Angeles County, California, that stretches from Figueroa Street in downtown Los Angeles to the Pacific Coast Highway at the Pacific Ocean in the Pacific Palisades. The street is an icon of Hollywood celebrity culture and the phrase "Sunset Boulevard" is an enduring shorthand for the glamor associated with Hollywood.

The Sunset Strip is the name given to the mile-and-a-half (2.4 km) stretch of Sunset Boulevard that passes through West Hollywood, California. It extends from West Hollywood's eastern border with Hollywood at Harper Avenue, to its western border with Beverly Hills at Sierra Drive. The Strip is probably the best-known portion of Sunset, embracing a premier collection of boutiques, restaurants, rock clubs, and nightclubs that are on the cutting edge of the entertainment industry. It is also known for its trademark array of huge, colorful billboards and has developed a notoriety as a hangout for rock stars, movie stars and other entertainers.

Fairfax Avenue

Fairfax Avenue is a street on north central Los Angeles, California. It runs from La Cienega Boulevard (which separates the Westside from the central part of the city) with Culver City at its southern end to Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood on its northern end.

Fairfax Avenue forms the western boundary of Hancock Park as well as Park La Brea, an 160 acre, 4,222-unit apartment complex with over 10,000 residents.

Since World War II, the Fairfax District has been a heavily Jewish neighborhood. Fairfax High School, on the corner of Fairfax and Melrose Avenue, was known as the alma mater of many entertainment industry personalities. Canter's Deli has been a late night hangout in Los Angeles since the 1940s. CBS's Television City is located on the corner of Fairfax and Beverly Boulevard, the former site of Gilmore Stadium, where the minor league baseball team, the Hollywood Stars, used to play prior to the Dodgers moving from Brooklyn. World-famous recording studio, Cherokee Studios, home to over 250 gold and platinum recorders, is just above Melrose Avenue.

The Grove is off 3rd Street and Fairfax. Due to the volume of high density attractions, Fairfax is one of the most congested streets in Los Angeles.

The Farmers Market is an area of food stalls, sit-down eateries, prepared food vendors, and produce markets in Los Angeles, USA. It also a historic Los Angeles landmark and tourist attraction, first opened in July 1934. The Farmers Market features more than 100 restaurants, grocers and tourist shops, and is located just south of CBS Television City.

It is located at the corner of 3rd Street and Fairfax Avenue in the Fairfax District of Los Angeles, California, USA. It is adjacent to The Grove outdoor shopping mall; an electric-powered trolley runs between the two sites.

The market is a destination for foodies in search of the market's ethnic cuisines, as well as its specialty food markets and prepared food stalls. The front of Farmers Market displays a sign saying "Meet Me at Third and Fairfax.

Melrose Avenue

Melrose Avenue is an internationally renowned shopping, dining and entertainment destination in Los Angeles that starts from Santa Monica Boulevard at the border between Beverly Hills and West Hollywood and ends at Lucille Avenue in Silver Lake. Melrose runs north of Beverly Boulevard and south of Santa Monica Boulevard.

Melrose District

The eastern end of the district, which runs from Fairfax to Highland Avenue, became a popular underground and new wave shopping area in the early 1980s. Pioneered by adventurous independent retailers and restaurateurs, Melrose Avenue captured the global imagination as the birthplace of Southern California's New Wave and Punk cultures. Rapid notoriety quickly lured movie stars, moguls, and style seekers, leading the press to dub Melrose Avenue "the new Rodeo Drive." Ready for its close-up, the avenue enjoyed its share of TV and movie cameos, and appears regularly today in Jay Leno's "Jaywalking" segments, in addition to pop culture gems like Entourage and LA Ink.

Vine Street

Vine is a street in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California that runs north-south from Melrose Avenue up past Hollywood Boulevard. The intersection of Hollywood and Vine was once a symbol of Hollywood itself. The famed intersection fell into disrepair during the 1970s but has since begun gentrification and renewal with several high valued projects currently in progress.

The Hollywood/Vine Station for the Metro Red Line serves the intersection with the station entrance located at Hollywood Boulevard and Argyle Avenue, located one block east.

The Capitol Records Building, Capitol Tower, is located just north of the intersection of Hollywood & Vine.

South of Melrose, Vine turns into Rossmore Avenue, a Hancock Park thoroughfare that ends at Wilshire Boulevard.

Article and photographs by Ennis Davis.