Posted: Monday, August 2nd, 2021 by Gaelyn Whitley Keith

I find I enjoying reading historical books that have recorded the correct history about H J Whitley.

It should also be noted that a few years ago, in order to close up affairs, Mr. Whitley took over the balance of unsold lands and assets of the Suburban Homes Company, taking over a large amount of land and other assets, supplying the capital and making it possible to wind up the affairs of the company. This was another of his generous acts, in line with his desire to ensure that his policy of giving the land buyer who improves his holding proper accommodation and support should be continued.

Los Angeles From the Mountains to the Sea
Link to purchase:
Los Angeles From the Mountains to the Sea


Los Angeles from the Mountains to the Sea: With Selected Biography of Actors and Witnesses to the Period of Growth and Achievement; Volume 3
The American Historical Society
New York 1921

Posted: Sunday, July 25th, 2021 by Gaelyn Whitley Keith

I find I enjoying reading historical books that have recorded the correct history about H J Whitley.

H. J. Whitley's responsibilities and the continuous strain of business effort brought about a breakdown in health, and on the advice of his physicians he came to California in 1893. He was soon afterward employing his talents and means in local constructive enterprises, although his interests elsewhere have always continued large. His greatest task and the scene of his best work has been in the district of Hollywood and the contiguous territory of the San Fernando Valley. From an open country he developed the modern Hollywood, having as his associates some of the most prominent business men of Los Angeles. Individually, however, he owned the principal interests and had the chief burdens of management. He was the first to conceive the idea of making Hollywood a suburb of Los Angeles. Largely through his efforts water was distributed throughout the Hollywood Hills. He donated five tracts of lands, two reservoir sites and other grounds which today are valued by the water company (1921) at nearly two hundred and fifty thousand dollars. He also gave nearly the entire site for the Hollywood Hotel and the First National Bank property and organized the bank. He was a large stockholder in these and other institutions which developed Hollywood. He put in the first electric light and telephone systems. It was his influence that attracted the assistance of E. P. Clark and Gen. M. H. Sherman in the building the electric line through Hollywood. The splendid boulevards, Sunset and Hollywood were conceived in his original plan for the development of Hollywood. Up to that time surburban development around Los angeles had encountered baffling obstacles, and it was the sheer will, force and able management of Mr. Whitley that brought about the first real suburban success.

Los Angeles From the Mountains to the Sea
Link to purchase:
Los Angeles From the Mountains to the Sea


Los Angeles from the Mountains to the Sea: With Selected Biography of Actors and Witnesses to the Period of Growth and Achievement; Volume 3
The American Historical Society
New York 1921

Posted: Sunday, March 28th, 2021 by Gaelyn Whitley Keith

It is interesting that Cecil B. Da Mille’s first film, The Squaw Man, was the first feature film shot in Hollywood. His last, The Ten Commandments, remains a box-office legend. This reminds me of one of the concerns that H J Whitley had with the motion picture industry. He realized there is great power in words. They are the things that create dreams. What type of positive dreams is Hollywood currently producing? How are they bringing communities together? How are actors helping their fellow man?

Over 13 years ago I had a very disturbing dream similar to the ones Gigi use to have. It had to do with the consequences people would pay for evil deeds they were doing behind the scenes. They were sure no one would catch them, but the times are changing. The secrets will soon be revealed. Hollywood, please wake up and do what is truthful and righteous before it is too late.

Posted: Tuesday, July 20th, 2021 by Gaelyn Whitley Keith

I find I enjoying reading historical books that have recorded the correct history about H J Whitley.

H. J. Whitley. While there is a generous and widespread appreciation of the magnificant results achieved in developing many of the beautiful districts around Los Angeles, it is not generally understood how much of the credit is due the guiding genius and inspiration of a few far-sighted and public spirited individuals. Some of the best examples of this development, notably at Hollywood, have not proceeded from the haphazard and undirected enterprise of a community and its inhabitants, but from a powerful connection of effort originating largely in a single man or organization.

Those intimately informed as to the history of progress and development in the wonderful section of Los Angeles north of the city proper, including Hollywood and the San Fernando Valley, are aware that the results acheived are due largely to the silent workings, plans and energies of H. J. Whitley. Mr. Whitley exemplifies in an eminent degree that broadly constructive spirit and genius for development which makes communities and cities. Mr. Whitley's forte has not only consisted in town development, the usual scope of his enterprise having extended over much greater area than that prescribed in any single town site.

Los Angeles From the Mountains to the Sea
Link to purchase:
Los Angeles From the Mountains to the Sea


Los Angeles from the Mountains to the Sea: With Selected Biography of Actors and Witnesses to the Period of Growth and Achievement; Volume 3
The American Historical Society
New York 1921

Posted: Tuesday, March 23rd, 2021 by Gaelyn Whitley Keith

Gigi Whitley was born with a caulk over her face. This symbolized that she was chosen to be a dreamer. Throughout her life she would have dreams of events before they happened. One of her most eventful dreams saved the life of H. J. Whitley, Harry Chandler and H. G. Otis. They had planned to meet at the Times Building but because of Gigi’s dream the meeting was canceled. Instead they went to see a play with the ladies. The bombing happened October 1, 1910. A union member belonging to the International Association of Bridge and Structural Iron Workers planted the dynamite. The explosion started a fire which killed 21 newspaper employees and injured 100 more.

Her dreams gave her a close connection to God. Perhaps that is why Gigi Whitley planned the first Easter Sunrise Service in Hollywood. Few people know that the very first Hollywood Easter sunrise service took place in 1919 atop Whitley Heights in an open space at 6675 Whitley Terrace. It was the site of a Mission-style pavilion used for band concerts to attract prospective buyers to the new residential development.

That first Easter Sunrise Service, organized by Gigi Whitley, wife of Whitley Heights founder H.J. Whitley, was more of a block party, the kind of event that draws a community together. It was so successful that more space was needed to accommodate everyone who wanted to attend. The following year, the services were held on Olive Hill, now called Barnsdall Park. Because that venue lacked the acoustics needed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, a new location was sought. The Hollywood Bowl is famous for its Easter sunrise service held every year since 1921 in the outdoor theater nestled in a canyon enveloped by brush-shrouded hills.

And the site of that first Easter sunrise service in Whitley Heights is now occupied by a house built in 1951 and once occupied by actor Donald O’Connor, famous for starring in the movie “Singin’ in the Rain” with Debbie Reynolds and Gene Kelly. Wishing all of you a blesed Easter.