“The beautiful villas and picturesque gardens that have attracted the eyes of the world to the countries of southern Europe, are to be duplicated at Laughlin Park… The villas of Laughlin Park, the highest ground in Hollywood, will command a vista unsurpassed even in beautiful sunny Italy—miles of green lawn, beautiful homes, graceful eucalyptus trees stretching out in the purple distance to the ragged skyline of the Santa Monica Mountains.”
So begins a transcendental 1913 Los Angeles Times article describing the new subdivision, Laughlin Park. Purchased by Homer Laughlin in 1890 from the Lick Estate, but left undeveloped until Laughlin’s move to Los Angeles from Ohio seven years later, the knoll was initially planned for his own residence. To this end, in 1902 Laughlin began to landscape the originally barren hill, planting 50,000 trees, shrubs and other plants as well as grading carriage roads and terraces by 1910. Illness, his wife’s passing, and his own death in January, 1913, precipitated a change of ownership to the Laughlin Park Company early that same year. This syndicate filed a subdivision plan with the city of Los Angeles during the first months of 1913, and began to market the parcels with elaborate advertising and laudatory stories in the Los Angeles Times.
The originally planned 40 lots have expanded to 77 with access to the gated enclave today, and the original restrictions that specified a minimum of $10,000 for construction costs are dwarfed by today’s values. But the beauty remains.
The Los Feliz Improvement Association congratulates Laughlin Park on reaching its centenary year.