Runyon Canyon Park
Located conveniently at the east section of the Santa Monica Mountains in Los Angeles, CA this 160-acre park is maintained by the L.A. Department of Recreation and Parks. You can find the south entry in Hollywood at Fuller Ave. Meanwhile, the north entry is off Mulholland Dr. The park offers a large number of small trails for hiking throughout the 160 acres, with a fire road called Runyon Canyon Road that runs through the middle, but closed to public access.
Indian Rock is the highest elevation at 1,320ft. There are many times that celebrities have been spotted here due to the close proximity of residential regions of the Hollywood hills area. Additionally, the park is well known for their liberal policy of dogs, which allows dog owners to let their dog off the leash in more than half the park.
In 1984, the last private owner of the park was bought out, allowing it to be used for a city ran park. Adad Development had sold it to Los Angeles City and the Santa Monica Mountain Conservancy. The gorge located atop Franklin (Fuller Ave.) was titled “No Man’s Canyon”, which runs to the north reaching Mulholland Dr. It is known to be where the Tongva/Gabrielino Indians set up camp during hunting season, locally known as Nopalera.
The 160-acre land parcel was handed over by federal patent to “Greek George” Caralambo for services within the United States Army Camel Corps. Later he would become well-known through association after Tiburcio Vasquez, a bandit that was captured in 1874 hiding in Caralambo’s home.
In 1876, Vasquez was hanged, and the canyon was purchased a year later by Alfredo Solano who was a founding member of the L.A. Athletic Club. In 1919, Ella Brooks Solano, his widow, sold most of the property to Carman Runyon who retired from the coal industry. They would later sell to John McCormack in 1930, after naming roads after himself. McCormack would move back to England in 1938, renting the mansion to celebrities like Charles Boyer and Janet Gaynor. McCormack passed away in 1945.
The property was offered to the city as a gift in 1964, but was refused. Then owner Hartford became angry the city was jealous over the property and refused permits, so it quickly sold it to Jules Berman. After purchasing the land, the mansion was quickly destroyed, and the remaining land was not maintained. Mr. Berman was popular for importing Kahlua, a Mexican coffee liqueur and considered the property a subdivision investment for building 157 luxury style homes. Son Patrizio along with guest houses were developed, but the project had been brought to a halt by Daniel DeJonge. A fire in 1972 destroyed many areas, including the Lloyd Wright pool house.