The early Hollywood developer H.J. Whitley commissioned architect A.S. Barnes to design “a Mediterranean hill town” in 1918. Without a shred of modesty, Whitley then named his crown jewel after himself. Mostly finished by 1930, the neighborhood was near all the movie studios and became the celebrity enclave of its time. Rudolph Valentino was an early resident, as were Carole Lombard, Carmen Miranda, and Maurice Chevalier. Neighborliness was encouraged, and a strong village-like sense of community prevails. Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982, and now a local Historic Preservation Overlay Zone, Whitley Heights ironically has more protections than many older places in America.
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