Thanks to its many starring roles and abundant star-studded estates, Beverly Hills ranks among Los Angeles’ most famous neighborhood. The area now incorporated as the City of Beverly Hills served as ranch and farmland — in between severe droughts — for much of the late 19th century. In 1900, Burton E. Green, an oilman and real estate speculator, purchased for land to drill for oil, but instead struck water — an even more important commodity in Southern California.Burton enlisted landscape architect Wilbur D. Cook to design the newly formed city’s master plan, and Green and his wife dubbed the enclave Beverly Hills after their fondness for Beverly Farms, Massachusetts.
Cook’s original city plan,featuring tree-lined streets separatinglarge lots to the north and smaller lots to the south with a business district in between, largely still stands today. The city’s wildly irregular borders stretch from the Los Angeles Country Club to the east to Doheny, Robertson and San Vicente to the west, and from Whitworth Drive to the south into Benedict Canyon, Coldwater Canyon and Trousdale Estates to the north. Intersected by both Sunset and Santa Monica boulevards, and featuring world-famous Rodeo Drive, there’s no shortage of magnificent luxury shopping, dining and nightlife in Beverly Hills. And while sprawling estates garner headlines, there’s are also more modest single-family homes and apartment houses, plus luxury condominium buildings, located throughout the city.