In this issue, we explore Hollywood Boulevard’s newest attraction, Hollywood & Highland, and the reality of dreams fulfilled personified in stories of real people who have made it in Hollywood.
I love the perspective that 24 years of involvement with this community provides me. While we rejoice in a renaissance realized with the fanciful development at a corner touched each year by over 10 million visitors, we can also now see that the job is far from done. Old Hollywood was built parcel by parcel and it will be the same with the New Hollywood. Fastened at its intersections with multi-stored office buildings from the 20’s, aging infill buildings languish waiting for their comeback while new developments at Sunset & Vine and Hollywood & Vine catch the imagin-ation as more evidence that a new day is coming.
Late last year, Hollywood was studied by the Urban Land Institute whose team looked at us with the fresh eyes that only distance brings. They found a community of opposites. Evidence of dreams of fame and fortune fulfilled exist almost side by side where only freedom and a job that feeds a family is the dream. ULI concluded: “There are many Hollywoods-- studios, industries, public, nighttime, residential… Revitalizing the public Hollywood will entail improving the core of the community…Hollywood Blvd. Hollywood Boulevard is and should be the embodiment of all that was, is, and can be in the Hollywood of the world’s collective consciousness. Hollywood Blvd. has the opportunity to be great, and the vision should strive to make it a memorable place. The panel recognizes that virtually everything that happens on Hollywood Blvd. will have an impact in the larger Hollywood community and, likewise, that activities elsewhere will also affect the core.”
Hollywood Boulevard is listed on the United States Register of Historic Places. A new generation is discovering not only the beauty of the past in the architecture of another era as they covet our older homes and apartments, but enjoy its urbanity. It is this legacy that is now in our hands. For years, I’ve watched a community point fingers toward City Hall as the source of its problems. But in community when you point fingers, eventually the finger is pointed toward you. If at this decisive time, we could craft a vision for our unique community that includes us all - residents, business and industry - it truly would be a new day in Hollywood.