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The Neighborhood of Hancock Park

Hancock Park is a historic and affluent urban neighborhood in Los Angeles, California, roughly bounded by Van Ness Avenue to the east, Melrose Avenue to the north, La Brea Avenue to the west and Wilshire Boulevard to the south. The true western and eastern boundaries are North Highland Avenue and North Rossmore Avenue,with houses along both sides of the street considered to be Hancock Park. Homes outside of these boundaries are considered Hancock Park "Adjacent."

History

Hancock Park was developed in the 1920s by the Hancock family with profits earned from oil drilling in the former Rancho La Brea. The Rancho La Brea area was discovered by the Portola Expedition in 1769.  Antonio Jose Rocha was given a land grant of 4,400 acres in 1828 by Mexican Governor Carrillo.

The area owes its name to developer-philanthropist George Allan Hancock, who subdivided the property in the 1920s. The Hancock Park development started on Rossmore and moved west to Highland in 1921. Hancock, born and raised in a home at what is now the La Brea tar pits, inherited 4,400 acres, which his father, Major Henry Hancock had acquired from the Rancho La Brea property owned by the family of Jose Jorge Rocha.

Hancock subdivided the property from Rossmore to Highland avenues between Wilshire Blvd. and Melrose Ave. into residential lots. He leased 105 acres to the Wilshire Country Club with an option to buy. Hancock also insisted that his master plan include concrete streets and the location of utility lines at the rear of each development, out of sight of homeowners. Another condition was that homeowners build no less than 50 feet from the curb.

A 23-acre site where the Hancock family home stood was donated to the County in 1923 and is called Hancock County Park. This land is also now the site of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and Page Museum.

He also gave $100,000 to the Los Angeles Railway to extend its tracks along Third Street (which stopped at Larchmont Blvd.) west to La Brea Ave.

Architects such as Paul Williams, A.C. Chisholm and John Austin were hired to design homes for many of the city’s pioneer families including the Dockweilers, Duques and Bannings.

Hancock, whose many talents included scientist, musician, financier and engineer, died in Santa Maria in 1965. To learn more about the area’s namesake visit the Hancock Foundation building on the USC campus.

Hancock Park activists were also instrumental in the passage of a 1986 Congressional ban on tunneling through the neighborhood. The ban, sponsored by Congressman Henry Waxman, prevented the Red Line Subway from being routed along Wilshire Boulevard through the neighborhood.

Residence of Consul General

Since 1957 the residence of the Los Angeles British Consuls-General has been in a home designed by the renowned architect Wallace Neff and completed in 1928. The residence is at the Hancock Park address of 450 S. June St., Los Angeles, CA 90004, and backs to the Wilshire Country Club. The residence was where the Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge stayed in July 2011 on their first visit to the United States after their wedding.

Hancock Park Area Neighborhoods

Brookside

Freemont Place

New Windsor Square

Windsor Square

Windsor Village

Notable residents

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