The scenic highway along the crest of the Santa Monica Mountains that became Mulholland Drive was the brainchild of a group of large property owners, speculators, developers, financiers, and business leaders. This group, organized as the Hollywood Foothills Improvement Association, donated the land for the right-of-way, directed the survey and engineering studies for the roadway, lobbied city officials, convinced small property-holders to approve a municipal improvement district to fund it, and won public support for the project. The scenic drive fostered its members’ real estate goals and the value of their investments. It also promoted tourism in the region and reduced the mountain barrier that had divided the City of Los Angeles from its San Fernando Valley extension.
- © 2017 by The Historical Society of Southern California