Hollywood Blog

First Electric Hollywood Sign - Whitley Heights

HJ hosted a dinner-party in which all the important business men of the area were invited. The event allowed him to announce the grand opening of his new subdivision, Whitley Heights. Dinner for more than 1000 was prepared for the opening. The feast consisted of barbequed meat, delicate mountain turkeys and other dainties just as appetizing. After dinner the assembled guests drove to the commanding summit of the tract. For nearly a year HJ had been grading roads, building retaining walls, and making sure that each residence would have a magnificent panorama of hills, city and Pacific Ocean.

This picture show the construction of the first electric lit sign in Hollywood. In the center of the picture right below the Whitley Heights Sign is the office of A. A Barnes the architect who worked for H J Whitley.

The final touch to the evening occurred when a monstrous electric sign was turned on saying “Whitley Heights”. It was so large that it could be plainly seen as far as Wilshire Blvd. At the closing speech HJ said, “Whitley Heights will be my last subdivision. I look upon it as the culmination of a life-time of development and frankly the most beautiful piece of property ever developed. I have owned and held it for with the idea that it should be my last piece of development work and even promised Gigi that it would be.” The opening of Whitley Heights marked a historic mile-stone in the life of HJ, his last great development enterprise.