Los Feliz, also
Rancho Los Feliz ("Feliz Ranch") is a district of
the City of Los Angeles, California, named for its land grantee José Vicente
north of East
Hollywood and just south of the Santa Monica
Mountains, adjacent to the neighborhoods of Hollywood and Silver Lake. Home to the southern face of Griffith Park, the district includes the Griffith
Observatory and the Greek Theatre.
A view of L.A. from behind the
Griffith Observatory in Los Feliz.
Los Feliz is bordered by Hollywood
Boulevard to the south, Hyperion Avenue to the southeast, Griffith
Park to the north, the Los Angeles
to the east, and Western Avenue
the west. It is traversed by Los Feliz Boulevard.
Feliz, one of the first land grants in California,
was granted to Corporal José
An old adobe
built in the 1830s by his heirs still stands on Crystal Springs
Drive in Griffith Park, named for Griffith J. Griffith
, who donated over half of the
rancho to the city of Los Angeles, which became one of the largest
city owned parks in the country. Other sections of the rancho were
developed and became the communities of Los Feliz and Silver
The rugged, chaparral covered mountains of Griffith Park rise just
a few miles north and west of downtown Los Angeles. An oasis in a
major metropolis, much of the park's land remains in its natural
state. One of the earliest leaders and protectors of the pueblo
received this land as a token of appreciation by the Spanish
government. This area was once the Rancho Los Feliz, one of the
first land grants in California, given to Corporal Jose Vicente
Feliz. An old adobe house built in the 1830s by heirs of Feliz
still stands in Griffith Park on Crystal Springs Drive.
Rancho Los Feliz had a succession of owners after the Feliz family.
One owner, Colonel Griffith J. Griffith, donated over half of the
ranch to the city of Los Angeles, which became one of the largest
city owned parks in the country.
Long before the Spanish settlers arrived to settle near the banks
of the Los Angeles River, Indians were the only inhabitants. The
Indians established villages known as rancherias throughout the
countryside. One of these settlements was located within the
boundaries of what was to become Rancho Los Feliz. Archeological
surveys have found evidence of a substantial rancheria that existed
in the mouth of Fern Dell Canyon in Griffith Park. It is estimated
that the Indians first came to this area approximately 10,000 years
ago. The traditional name of this village is not known, but the
inhabitants were Gabrielinos. This name was given by the Spanish
because of the Indians' association with the San Gabriel Mission.
When Gaspar de Portola traveled through the vicinity in 1769 his
expedition encountered members of this village.
In 1882, Colonel Griffith Jenkins Griffith acquired of Rancho Los
Feliz. The Lick estate still owned the southwest portion of the
rancho and there developed the Lick Tract, which later became a
part of Hollywood. Griffith never served in any branch of armed
forces in the United States, but he was given a courtesy title of
"Colonel" from influential friends in the California National
Guard. The title remained a permanent fixture to his name.
Griffith died on July 6, 1919 at the age of 67. Griffith bequeathed
$700,000 and his Los Feliz area to the city of Los Angeles to be
used for additions to Griffith Park. The park's area was increased
to over . In 1930 the Greek Amphitheater was built as designed by
Griffith himself. Funds from the Griffith estate were used to build
an observatory at the peak of Mount Hollywood. In 1935 the Griffith
Observatory and Planetarium was completed and opened to the public.
Griffith's will also included a provision for a permanent endowment
to maintain the theater and park grounds.
Mickey Mouse was "born" in Los Feliz--Walt Disney drew his first
image of the now legendary character in the garage of his uncle's
house which was located on Kingswell Avenue between Vermont and
Rodney. Los Feliz was also home to many early movie studios,
including Walt's first Disney
Kingswell Avenue just down the street from that uncle's house and
east of Vermont (now a photocopy store) as well as the second
studio (now a Gelson's
supermarket) and D. W. Griffith's
studio; it currently is home to The Prospect Studios (formally known as First National-Warner Brothers
and more recently ABC Television Center), at the intersection of
Prospect Avenue and Talmadge Street. On Sunset Boulevard
was Monogram Pictures (currently KCET public
television), where early Charlie Chan movies were filmed, as well
as "Hurricane" starring Dorothy Lamour and the camp classic
street from that movie remained until the mid 1980s when KCET razed
the set to make way for a much-needed parking structure—but they
threw a huge studio-wide party there on its final days.) The
neighborhood has historically been home to movie stars, musicians,
and the Hollywood elite. It boasts some of the best known residential
architecture in the city, including two homes designed by Frank Lloyd Wright: Ennis House and the Hollyhock House, and Richard Neutra's
May 2007 fire
On May 8-9, 2007, about of uninhabited terrain in Los Feliz and
Griffith Park, including the famous Dante's View, were destroyed in
a wildfire. In light of the event, Los Angeles city officials have
pledged millions of dollars in aid to reconstruct the parts damaged
by the fire over the coming years.
As of the census of 2000, it is estimated that there were 40,573
people residing in the Griffith Park/Los Feliz area. The ethnic or
racial makeup of the area was 70.54% non-Hispanic White, 3.77%
Black or African American, 0.43% Native American, 8.61% Asian,
0.16% Pacific Islander, 2.37% from other races, and 6.45% from two
or more races. 16.48% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of
any race. The median income for a household in Los Feliz was
in Los Feliz are assigned to the Los Angeles Unified School
District which includes the local John Marshall
Private schools include the Lycée International de
, a bilingual (French/English) school founded in
1978, and Immaculate Heart
, a private Catholic high school for girls,
established in 1906.
Los Feliz Branch of the Los
Angeles Public Library
is located in Los Feliz Village.
Los Feliz village is home or in close proximity to numerous
restaurants and bars. They are mostly located on Hillhurst between
Los Feliz Boulevard and Prospect Avenue, and on Vermont between
Franklin Avenue and Hollywood Boulevard. Some were classic dives in
their hey-day, frequented by the likes of Charles Bukowski
, Lawrence Tierney
, sundry working class
drunks, poets, artists, writers and other creative types, but have
now primarily been taken over by Los Feliz's massive influx of
hipsters and scenesters.
, at Hillhurst and Los Feliz, the last
remaining location of the historic Brown
chain, was featured in the movie Swingers
. It recently
The Dresden Room
on Vermont, also featured in the
live entertainment by Marty and Elayne. (Marty and Elayne make
brief, performing appearances in both Swingers
and the fourth-season
episode Rudy Will Await Your
Griffith Park is home to the Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles
Zoo and the Greek Theatre.
It also contains various childrens' play
areas, two 18 hole golf courses
driving range and other sports fields as well as hiking and
equestrian trails in the mountains away from the residential
district. At Traveltown there is a miniature railroad
operated by the
Los Angeles Live Steamers
and a collection of railroad locomotives
, passenger car
- Spanish feliz is pronounced .
However, the English pronunciation of the city is .
Wildfire continues to burn in heart of Los
Angeles. Both published and accessed May 9, 2007.
- Population of Communities of the City of Los