Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills)

Forest Lawn Memorial Park – Hollywood Hills is one of the six Forest Lawn cemeteries in Southern California. It is located at 6300 Forest Lawn Drive, Los Angeles, California 90068, in the Hollywood Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles. It is on the lower north slope at the east end of the Santa Monica Mountains range that overlooks North Hollywood, Universal City, and Burbank, and the overall San Fernando Valley area of north view Los Angeles.

Forest Lawn – Hollywood Hills is a park dedicated to the preservation of American history and hosts high-profile events such as an annual Veterans Day ceremony attended by dignitaries and other VIPs. Los Angeles Magazine described it as a "theme-park necropolis", paraphrasing Jessica Mitford, indicating "Forest Lawn’s kitsch was just a sophisticated strategy for lubricating the checkbooks of the grieved."[1]

Forest Lawn Memorial Park – Hollywood Hills
Forest Lawn Memorial Park view from Griffith Park 2015-11-07
View from Griffith Park
Details
Established1906 by Hubert L. Eaton
New cemetery opened in 1952
Location
Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Coordinates34°08′42″N 118°19′12″W / 34.145°N 118.320°WCoordinates: 34°08′42″N 118°19′12″W / 34.145°N 118.320°W
TypePublic
Owned byForest Lawn
No. of graves119,216
Websiteforestlawn.com/hollywood-hills
Find a GraveForest Lawn Memorial Park – Hollywood Hills

Features

The park features such sights as:

Court of Liberty

Liberty Mosaic
A section of the Birth of Liberty mosaic
  • The Court of Liberty features statues of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson and the Birth of Liberty mosaic. At 162 feet (49 m) long and 28 feet (8.5 m) high, Birth of Liberty is the largest historical mosaic in the United States. It is composed of ten million pieces of Venetian glass and depicts twenty-five scenes from early America, from 1619–1787.
  • The Old North Church, a precise replica of Boston's historic church, from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem "Paul Revere's Ride". The historical rooms have documents and mementos of the colonial period.
  • The Hall of Liberty American History Museum has a copy of the Liberty Bell and other exhibits. The museum has a 1,200-seat auditorium.
  • Monument to Washington, a marble and bronze tribute to America's first president, created by sculptor Thomas Ball. Four of Washington's generals are honored in the memorial.

Lincoln Terrace

Plaza of Mesoamerican Heritage

ForestLawnAztec
A large pagan Aztec calendar replica in the plaza
  • The Plaza of Mesoamerican Heritage has indigenous/pagan sculptures (non-Christian) by Meliton Salas Rodriguez, of Guadalajara, Mexico. Salas used hand tools to first quarry, then work the native Mexican stone into precisely scaled, detailed replicas of pagan artwork and artifacts that are representative of the Aztec, Huastec, Maya, Mixtec, Olmec, Teotihuacan, Toltec, Totonac, and Zapotec civilizations that preceded modern Mexican culture and is in contrast to the Christian and patriotic American themes which were originally reflective of the culture at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills and other Forest Lawn Memorial Parks since their inception by Christian American businessman Hubert L. Eaton. A smooth Olmecan head, an intricate Aztec sun calendar and a sinuous Teotihuacan bas relief are some of the sculptural features of the Plaza that are set off by crushed stone walkways and complemented by groupings of Mesoamerican plants.

This entire display has been removed and is currently in storage.

History

The first Forest Lawn, in Glendale, was founded in 1906 by businessmen who hired Dr. Hubert Eaton, a firm believer in a joyous life after death. He believed that most cemeteries were "unsightly, depressing stoneyards," and pledged to create one that would reflect his optimistic beliefs and be "as unlike other cemeteries as sunshine is unlike darkness." He envisioned Forest Lawn to be "a great park devoid of misshapen monuments and other signs of earthly death, but filled with towering trees, sweeping lawns, splashing fountains, beautiful statuary, and... memorial architecture".[2]

Before it was a cemetery, Forest Lawn was a filming location used by directors such as Carl Laemmle and Cecil B. DeMille. The climactic battle scenes for D. W. Griffith's The Birth of a Nation were filmed there. The alternate names of the filming site are Providencia Flats, Nestor Ranch, Oak Ranch, Oak Crest Ranch, Universal Ranch/Universal City, Lasky Ranch, and Paramount Ranch until November 1927.

When Eaton (self-proclaimed as "The Builder") made known his desire to open a second Forest Lawn location in the Hollywood Hills, the local residents protested vehemently. To circumvent the protesters, Mr. Eaton sent his staff to the county morgue to claim 6 "John Does" and buried them at the corners of the property in the dark of night. In the morning, the protesters had no power because, by law, the property was now a cemetery.

California Health and Safety Code, Section 7003 “Cemetery” means either of the following: (a)Any of the following that is used or intended to be used and dedicated for cemetery purposes: (1)A burial park, for earth interments. (2)A mausoleum, for crypt or vault interments. (3)A crematory and columbarium, for cinerary interments. (b)A place where six or more human bodies are buried.

The new mortuary and cemetery opened in 1952. Before 1952 the area was used as a film location for many Hollywood studios.

Notable interments

Many prominent persons, especially from the entertainment industry, are interred there.

See also

References

  1. ^ Ehrenreich, Ben (1 November 2010). "The End. – Features". Los Angeles Magazine. Archived from the original on 22 July 2011. Retrieved 5 June 2011.
  2. ^ "The Builder's Creed", March 2009
  3. ^ Daily Advocate, October 2, 1914 Page 6

External links

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