Hollywood Blog

The Hill, Hollywood Mediterranean Village

The list of those who’ve lived in Whitley Heights reads like a Who’s Who of Hollywood-silent screen star Francis X. Bushman, Rudolph Valentino, Gloria Swanson, Tyrone Power, Donald O’Connor, Rosalind Russell – to name only a few. Referred to simply as “The Hill” by residents and neighbors, the relative seclusion and convenience of Whitley Heights continues to attract members of the film and music industries even today.

“We moved to Whitley Heights three years ago after we’d fallen in love with its Mediterranean architecture,” said Australian artist Kelly, “Its romantic history is a bonus, and the sense of community that we’ve found here is extraordinary.“

“Our home was modeled after a villa on the Grand Canal in Venice and has always been known on the hill as Villa Vallambrosa. It was built in 1928 for a woman from the East Coast, who had arranged for architect Nathaniel Coleman to travel abroad to study Italian architecture.”

Just under 3,000 square feet, the three-story home has a concave façade, five-sided filigreed balcony and an interior courtyard with original fireplace and fountain. “The 20-foot-high ceiling in the living room is typical of many homes in the area,” said Kelly, who lives with her husband, British photographer and writer, Tim Street-Porter.”

Los Angeles Times July 12, 1992