Hollywood Blog

Part 4: Whitley Heights: What Hollywood living was really the good old days

It was Albright who pointed out Dick Barthelmess house and told about those trysts with Talmadge, which the neighbors could vicariously enjoy when they occurred on the terrace; he also showed us the unhappy house in which the too - beautiful Miss LaMarr had lived until she perished in flames of Hollywood legend. Albright seemed to possess a mystical acceptance of Hollywood, easily blending scandal with eulogy. "Hollywood," he declaimed in his peroration, holding our little group spellbound in the street, "is the repository of our entire civilization."

Whitley's own villa is one of the few that has the traditional Palladian facade: It stands above the street at the crest of 30 broad steps - two stories, symmetical, with white ionic columns on a porch guarded by two stone lions.

Back side of Whitley's Home. See the Whitley Heights sign and Barnes Truck.

Valentino's house was in the path of the freeway, and is gone, razed to make six lots, but from now on the integrity of the hill will be kept. Any new house must be in Mediterranean style, with red tile roofs.

More than once, on the tour, I overheard someone asking, "How did they ever get that grand piano up those stairs/"

Anything is possible in the repository of civilization.

Los Angeles Times May 12, 1983 by Jack Smith