Tucked just below Paramount Studios and about five miles east of Beverly Hills sits Hancock Park, a hundred-year-old Los Angeles neighborhood with a rich history. It may not have the name recognition that the 90210 boasts, but it’s been a favored enclave of L.A.’s elite since its inception, attracting big Old Hollywood names like Mae West, Clark Gable, and Ava Gardner, along with local business magnates and government officials.
The beauty of Hancock Park is its variety. To this day, it is a representation of 1920s L.A.’s architectural playfulness, when the majority of Hancock Park homes were built, and as such contains a wide range of property styles, including Tudor Revival, Spanish Colonial Revival, and Châteauesque dwellings. Since its outset, when G. Allan Hancock was planning the residential subdivision, allowing these properties to shine has been a priority. Hancock’s initial guidelines, including the insistence that properties be at least 50 feet from the street and that utility lines be placed out of sight behind homes, remain key elements that create the area’s distinct stately vibe.
This thoughtful planning attracted not only prominent residents, but well-known architects of the time, too, including Southern California architecture golden boy Wallace Neff and Hoover Dam architect Gordon Kaufmann. In 2008, the area was named one of L.A.’s Historic Preservation Overlay Zones, ensuring that the gorgeous buildings of the area won’t be wiped out anytime soon, nor will anything be added that could distract from their beauty.
Though some celebrities and prominent figures have moved westward in pursuit of ocean views, Hancock Park remains prized both by tourists looking to catch a glimpse of the city’s past and by locals with an eye for architecture and mature foliage. From Margot Robbie to Fred Savage, plenty of contemporary stars have done their time in the neighborhood, and it’s even royal-approved—Meghan Markle once rented a Colonial in the area and Prince William and Kate Middleton spent time in a Neff-designed home there. Below, we spotlight some of the 21st century’s most prominent stars who’ve enjoyed the centrality and beauty of Hancock Park.