Hollywood Blog

H. J. Whitley Annual Progress Edition of The Hollywood Citizen

The Master Builder of Hollywood is Mr. H. J. Whitley, who has been likened to Aladdin and his lamp, for wherever he has appeared towns have sprung up as if by magic. There is a string of them from the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains along the Northern Pacific and along the Rock Island in Kansas, Texas and Oklahoma. He began operations in California in 1894.

The great premature boom in Los Angeles real estate had come and gone, leaving the country dotted over with moribund suburban undertakings. Hollywood was one of these. But it was just this failure, which has remained asleep for fourteen years that attracted the city builder. Whitley was always associated with big men and knew the value of such associations. When, therefore, he would resurrect Hollywood, knowing the task before him, he picked out a number of associates he knew could and would stand with him shoulder to shoulder. The practical management was, however, in the hands of Mr. Whitley. Through his efforts the waterworks were put in, and the electric works. He set himself to the creation of boulevards and induced Gen. Sherman and E. P. Clark to run an electric line out to Hollywood.

Picture below from the Hollywood Citizen is of the Whitley Homestead and First Hollywood Car on Hollywood Blvd and Whitley Ave.

Whitley knows the truth of the adage, “To make money, you must spend money. At Hollywood he gave the reservoir sites and wells now worth $100,000, the original site for the Hollywood Hotel and the block on which the First National Bank stands. He spent large sums of money in opening up Sunset Boulevard. Wherever Whitley has been interested and any desirable improvement has lagged, he has been prompt to put his hand in his pocket and lend it the necessary financial aid. He is also a far sighted man. Some years ago, he gave a bonus of $5000 to have the electric railroad extended up Highland Avenue and through Cahuenga pass.

Part One Annual Progress Edition of the Hollywood Citizen page 28