Hancock Park

Hancock Park is an affluent neighborhood in Los Angeles, California. Hancock Park is bounded by Wilton Place on the east, Melrose Avenue on the north, Highland Avenue on the west, and Olympic Boulevard and Wilshire Boulevard on the south. Hollywood lies to the north, Koreatown to the east, Mid-City to the south, and the Miracle Mile and Fairfax District to the west. Beverly Boulevard, Rossmore Avenue, Wilshire Boulevard and 3rd and 6th Streets are the primary thoroughfares running through the district.

Hancock Park is a large region of central Los Angeles adjacent to and sometimes overlapping with the Mid-Wilshire district. Hancock Park contains several smaller communities with distinct identities, including Wilshire Park, Larchmont Village, and Windsor Square.

Hancock Park was developed in the 1920s, by the Hancock family, with profits earned from oil drilling in the former Rancho La Brea (much of which is now the Miracle Mile district). Hancock Park owes its name to developer-philanthropist G. Allan Hancock, who subdivided the property in the 1920s. Hancock, born and raised in a home at what is now the La Brea tar pits, inherited 440 acres, which his father, Major Henry Hancock had acquired from the Rancho La Brea property owned by the family of Jose Jorge Rocha.

Some 71 oil wells were operating at capacity on the land from 1905 to 1910. Nine years later Hancock subdivided the property into residential lots. He leased 105 acres to the Wilshire Country Club with an option to buy. The Hancock Park development was started on Rossmore Avenue and moved west to Highland Avenue in 1921.

Architects such as Paul Williams, A. C. Chisholm and John Austin were hired to design homes for many of the city’s pioneer families. The list of families who moved into Hancock Park’s first homes reads like a “Who’s Who” of California: Doheny, Chandler, Huntington, Van Nuys, Crocker, Banning, Newmark, Van de Kamp and Duque, were some of the early residents.