Seeing Stars: Hollywood Landmarks..  


along the north side Santa Monica Boulevard through
the city of Beverly Hills, CA. / (310) 271-8174



This curiously-shaped park near Rodeo Drive is the site of several annual Beverly Hills festivals, including the Beverly Hills Food Festival (in June) and the Affaire in the Garden (May & October).

Created in 1911, this narrow, two-mile-long strip of green lawns and gardens, runs for 14 blocks along the northwest side of busy Santa Monica Boulevard, for the complete length of the city of Beverly Hills. It's a reasonably attractive park, with a rose garden, ornate stone park benches, a lily pond, fountains, tall trees, a unique cactus garden, and a gravel path for joggers. (The path is situated directly west of the beautiful Beverly Hills Police Station, so it should be a safe place to jog.)

The small rose garden located near Elm Street, and other colorful flower beds lie just to the south of Elm. A large-scale cactus garden (one of the largest collections of cacti in the world) takes up the entire block between Camden Drive on the east and Bedford Drive on the west.

A little farther south, at Bedford Drive, is the Good Shepherd Church (where Rudolph Valentino and Bing Crosby used to attend Mass). Nearby is the Beverly Hills Presbyterian Church, where Jimmy Stewart's funeral was held in 1997.

You may notice a bronze statue in the center of the park between Crescent Drive and Canon Drive. The statue is titled Hunter and Hounds, and it has an interesting history. A banker (W.D. Longyear) went to France to visit the spot where his son was killed in World War 1. At the site, near the Chateau Thierry, he saw this statue, riddled with bullet holes from the battle. In 1925, he bought the statue and had it shipped back to Beverly Hills, where it stood on his front lawn for many years. Memorial ceremonies were held at the statue each Armistace Day. When the Longyears moved from Beverly Hills, they donated the statue to the city. It was placed here in Beverly Gardens Park.

At the park's southwest end (at the intersection of Wilshire and Santa Monica Boulevards) is the "Electric Fountain." At night, this fountain is lit by ever-changing colored lights. Although its display is modest by today's high-tech standards, it was considered quite innovative when the fountain was built back in 1931 (the funds to build it were raised by actor Harold Lloyd's mother).

Its water-jets and multi-hued lights allow for 60 different combined effects every 8 minutes. A statue of an Indian praying for rain stands atop the fountain. Merle Gage was the sculptor. Gradin Newsom (who was part Cherokee) modeled for the statue.

The fountain was featured in a key moment in the 1995 movie comedy "Clueless," in the scene where Alicia Silverstone finally realizes that she loves Josh....

Getting there: This narrow park runs through the heart of Beverly Hills, as a two-mile long green strip along the north side Santa Monica Boulevard, from Doheny Drive (on the northeast) to Wilshire Boulevard (on the southwest), then along the north side of Wilshire Boulevard, west to Whittier Drive. / From Rodeo Drive, simply drive north to Santa Monica Boulevard, and turn either left or right. The park will be on your northwest side.



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Copyright  2014-Gary Wayne
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