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FHRA@FranklinHills.Org -- 323-908-6078 -- PO Box 29122, Los Angeles, CA 90029-0122

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Shakespeare Bridge Garden

COYOTE SAFETY       Click Here to Report Neighborhood Coyote Sightings
Keep the lights on - Fight Copper Wire Thefts   

1940 Census for Franklin Hills     Who lived in your house?
Overview: Fall 2014January 1990 (1st issue) * All issues
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"Big Sunday" Cleanup - Saturday May 17, 2014
Thanks to the four dozen volunteers from several community organizations who turned out on a warm Saturday to spruce up their neighborhoods. In the Franklin Hills they clipped, swept and scrubbed their way down the Radio Walk stairway from Lyric to Claremont. Other teams cleaned their way from Los Feliz Blvd. down to Prospect along both Hillhurst and Vermont including the Vermont Triangle. For more photos of the event click here.

Hyperion Ave. Cleanup Day February 8, 2014

Thanks to the Franklin Hills neighbors ably aided by LAPD Capt. Jeff Bert, SLO Lenny Davis, and CD-4 area deputy Dan Halden all of whom heeded the call to spruce up Hyperion Ave. between Lyric and DeLonpre. 
After a lot of hard work it looked a lot better.

Plenty of work, congenial neighbors, and the early morning sun filtered by the Tyndall effect greeted the 2-3 dozen FHRA members and other volunteers who came out to cleanup the dried up ivy and other plants, trim and mulch the rose garden and prepare the slope beneath the Shakespeare Bridge at the end of Monon Street for future improvement.
Planned for 2014 are redoing the water supply and irrigation system and planting sticky plumbago, thorny blackberries and other plants to deter those who might want to loiter in the area.
click here or on the photo above to see more picture of the great gang of volunteers at work
Special thanks to FHRA's friends from the city government who are seen in many of the photos. From the LAPD, Northeast Division Captain Jeffrey Bert, perhaps the hardest worker, (red shirt) and our Senior Lead Officer Lenny Davis (green shirt).  Councilmember Tom Labonge (blue shirt) and his deputy for our area Dan Halden (FHRA t-shirt) who provided much support and arranged for immediate trash pickup.
FHRA is also grateful for the mulch that LILA donated and to the several students and parents from LILA who joined ranks with local residents and other volunteers to get so much accomplished.

The FHRA celebrated the 10-year anniversary of the Shakespeare Bridge garden on Nov. 17th. A bubbly water toast was made at the start of the program. Neighbors were joined by students, parents and staff from LILA and students read Shakespearean sonnets.
Retired city structural engineer Clark Robins talked about the art and architecture of the bridge and its arches. Local author and historian Donald Seligman recounted the history of the neighborhood surrounding Monon Street. Councilman Tom LaBonge partnered with FHRA to help organize the event. 
LaBonge presented the FHRA with a certificate and asked LILA students to read it to the audience. FHRA board member Shirley Mims chaired the event with other board members Chris Boutelle, Elizabeth Richardson (who took many photos, click here to see them), Tim Cowell and Charley Mims. About 70 people attended. It was a fun and interesting day in this peaceful spot under the Shakespeare Bridge.


At the FHRA October 2013 meeting on dealing with coyotes Officer Greg
Randall, LA Department of Animal Services wildlife officer, came armed
with plenty of suggestions about dealing with the coyotes in our
neighborhood. In response to several nearby sightings by neighbors
walking their dogs he showed off various whistles and air horns, said
some people throw tennis balls, but advised against things like pepper
spray that could blow back towards you.

He demonstrated how to open and close an umbrella or swing vinyl streamers to make yourself look threatening, or take off your jacket and swing it. He reminded the 50 attendees that legally your dog’s leash can be no longer than 6 feet.
He noted that past efforts to control the coyote population by killing
or trapping and relocation did not work and are no longer done by the
city. He showed roller type devices that can be mounted atop a fence and
prevent coyotes from getting a foothold at the top to climb over into
your yard. He also suggested making sure there were no gaps where
critters could burrow under the fence.

He brought many displays of products that could be helpful in keeping a
healthy distance between coyotes and you and your pets. Also be sure not to leave pet food or fallen fruit outside where it might attract coyotes who, if they are coming to your property, are likely in search of their next meal. Keep small dogs or cats indoors or create a securely fenced enclosure in your yard where coyotes can't get in.

LA City Animal Services       888-452-7381
Coyote Hotline    323-225-9453

Water Main Break on St. George St.
June 3, 2013

A six inch water main about 6 feet under St. George street ruptured early in the morning of June 3, 2013. The break occurred between Franklin Ave.and Ronda Vista and the street was closed for the rest of the day.
DWP workers dug out the broken section of the pipe, but did not know what caused the failure (circled in blue) in the otherwise solid seeming pipe.
By mid afternoon they had cut away the broken section and were ready to install about three feet of replacement pipe.
Many confused drivers came to the busy Franklin and St. George intersection, which was blocked off, and then tried to figure out how to get around the problem.


Radio Walk Cleanup - March 2013

On the sunny warm morning of Sunday, March 2nd, stairway cleanup volunteers were greeted at the top of Radio Walk  by TV cameras from KABC Ch-7 and City Channel 35 along with Councilmember Tom LaBonge and stairway expert,  author Charles Fleming.

FHRA boardmember Elizabeth Richardson, broom in hand, was among about two dozen sweeping and clipping years of accumulated dirt, leaves and other stuff.  When it was time to take a break Councilmember Tom LaBonge was joined by Chief of Staff Carolyn Ramsey, FHRA President Chris Boutelle, Former FHRA boardmember Adam Weisman who began the adopt-a-stairway program, FHRA Chairman Charley Mims, and author Charles Fleming who signed copies of his book, Secret Stairs - A walking Guide to the Historic Staircases of Los Angeles.

By the time the crew of volunteers had made their way all the way down about 200 steps they had filled dozens of bags, painted out some grafitti and left Radio Walk from Franklin down to Deloz in spic-n-span condition where they were met by truck drive Tom LaBonge.

Myra Underpass Mural IV

Starting in 2005 the FHRA has sponsored four murals to grace the walls of the underpass that carries Sunset Blvd. over Myra Ave. In  May 2011 King Middle School students inspired, by teacher Kirk Palayan finished Myra Mural IV "Soar" (left, near completion) designed by student Michelle Kim and painted by King students and Palayan with guidance from mural artist Nori Shirasu. To the right are Mural III "Dream Again" and Mural II. All were created by students and the winners were selected by voters in online polls.

It took about a year from the selection of the design to get the funding from the GGPNC & SLNC and approval by the city's Cultural Affairs Commission.

Teacher Kirk Palyan (left) and artist Nori Sirasu lay out work on the mural.

Michelle Kim shows off her winning design  at the FHRA's 2010  meeting.

Click here to see all the Mural IV design entries
To see more about Myra Mural III click here, for Murals I & II click here.


The FHRA, and no doubt the City Department of Street Services, received many complaints about the rough condition of Franklin Ave. leading to the east end of the Shakespeare Bridge. Now we'll all have a smoother ride after crews on May 25, 2011, used an "asphalt patcher"  truck to dole out sifted asphalt heated by the truck to 200° then rake it into place and pound it down with the "whacker" weilded by the worker in the orange shirt. Alas, because of the poor condition of the underlying surface, even the crew supervisor was not too confident that relief would last too long.

 is a lovely, historic neighborhood in the midst of the bustling metropolis of Los Angeles. The distinctive Shakespeare Bridge, completed in 1926, led the way for development of a unique community which embodies the best of LA. The people who live in Franklin Hills are multi-cultural, multi-talented, span a wide income range, and yet compose a harmonious community. The beautiful homes, schools and libraries in the area reflect the architectural grace of Frank Lloyd Wright, John Lautner and others. Cultural amenities include the Greek Theater, Griffith Park and Observatory and Barnsdall Park. The view from Franklin Hills stretches all the way from Mt. Baldy to Malibu - from a rich history to the future of Los Angeles.
FHRA volunteers decked the Shakespeare Bridge
with lights for the 2001 Holiday season

Looking northeast toward John Marshal High School on a clear day in 1932 (US Army Signal Corps photo) Click on this 80+ years photo for a closer view. To obtain a large photographic print  e-mail FHRA@FranklinHills.org
THE EARLY YEARS of Hollywood give  Franklin Hills much of its historical luster. Silent movie classics were filmed in the area by directors like D. W. Griffith. And the old Vitagraph Studio lot where  Disney-owned ABC Television now stands started cranking out films in 1916. The first Walt Disney animation studio once occupied the site of the Gelson's Market on Hyperion. In the late 1920's Walt and his brother Roy built matching houses at the corner of St. George St. and Lyric Ave. Along the five block walk between their houses and the studio site you'll find the quaint cottages  that inspired the home of the seven dwarfs in Snow White.

What the FHRA Can Do for YOU

Past Projects & Events


 "Fluid City Rising" by muralist Ricardo Mendoza
Dedicated on March 26, 2009.

Students from King Middle School perch on the steps below Prospect Avenue, while those who saw the project through 6+ years of planning, painting, repairing and preparing damaged walls led the way down the stairway. In the front row Councilmember Tom LaBonge, project coordinator Mary Francis Smith-Reynolds (with daughter Graycie), muralist Ricardo Mendoza, and  Michael Espinoza, Project Manager from the LA Office of Community Beautification.
The Mural, which was painted in Mendoza's studio on three specially prepared panels, was attached to the concrete in February 2009, after years of delay due to the deteriorated surface of the walls. At the dedication Mendoza declared the mural a 'lasting monument to the transformative spirit that made this happen."  And about the years of delay and problems overcome Espinoza explained, "you can't rush perfection."
Contributions from the Franklin Hills Residents Association, the Greater Griffith Park Neighborhood Council, Councilmember Tom LaBonge's office, and the L.A. City Office of Community Beautification,  helped finance the project which was spearheaded by former FHRA boardmember Mary Frances Smith-Reynolds.

Muralist Mendoza, in February 2009, applying the panels he painted to the specially prepared concrete. Mendoza and his assistants scraped about a quarter inch of  paint, built up over about 80 years, off the walls before they could apply the mural. The mural panels have a special anti-graffiti coating that it's hoped will help keep the site looking great. In fact since the walls were prepped for the mural there have been  no graffiti attacks on the site.

Not all the work was done on the walls. Compare the top view on dedication day with the bottom views a month earlier during mural installation. Farm Feliz and many community volunteers working hard to clear the weeds and plant drought resistant landscaping at the site. The community's help will be needed to keep it that way. And Councilmember LaBonge pledged to get trash cans installed to keep the area a tidy community treasure.


The Beginning
The End

A BIG THANKS to all the hard working volunteers from the LILA School and "Voluntears" from Disney's Prospect Studios who cleaned up Radio Walk from Hollyvista down to Deloz in May 2009. In three hours more than a dozen sweepers, scrapers, clippers and pruners filled more than 60 large plastic bags, leaving what had been a nearly impassable path a clean place for a pleasant stroll. Many Franklin Hills neighbors stopped to
offer thanks saying they had been avoiding the stairway because of its unkempt condition.

The City Council voted 15-0 to approve the designation on  Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2009
Thanks to the FHRA Members who let the CHC and Councilmember LaBonge know how important this issue is

FHRA Projects & Past Events
Griffith Park Natural History Survey
Missing Mail Boxes Find the Left In 90027
Hyperion Fatal Accident - June 2008      
 Day of Service Stair Cleaning Photos   Myra Mural

FHRA 2011 Annual Meeting Report
FHRA 2010 Annual Meeting Report           FHRA 2009 Annual Meeting Report  
2007 Annual Meeting Report       2006 Winter Meeting Report 
Annual Meeting 2005 Report      Winter Meeting 2005 Report
Annual Meeting 2004 Report      Winter Meeting 2004 Report
Annual Meeting Report 2003 ---  2003 E-mail Poll Results 
Neighbors Lose Myra Ave. Zoning Appeal    The Return of Halloween
Coyote Sighting Survey     Griffith Park  Background
Auto Body Shop Zoning
Franklin Hills Gardeners Win Awards

What FHRA Can Do For You

   FHRA Connections Get Action on Your Issues
    FHRA has built good relationships with city agencies,  political leaders,  police and fire departments,  Prospect Studios and other neighborhood associations over the years.  As a member of FHRA, you have access to these connections to motivate change or solve problems, such as those caused by auto repair shops. The FHRA is also worked to give our community a strong voice in the city's Neighborhood Council program. We are one of the founding organizations of the Greater Griffith Park Neighborhood Council which was officially certified by the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment on June 11, 2002. FHRA volunteers also worked hard to defeat Hollywood secession which would have split our neighborhood in two.

  Open Meetings Give Residents a Voice
    Community meetings give a voice to your needs and opinions, relay news and information, and offer a chance to socialize with neighbors. Guest speakers and topics relevant to your concerns and interests in the community are presented.

    Newsletter Keeps You Informed and Involved
    The Overview is a high-quality news publication produced and delivered entirely by FHRA volunteers. Read all about what's going on in Franklin Hills, find out what events and issues are coming up and how you can get involved. It's also a great sourcebook for information on local businesses and services. 

    Community Projects Improve Your Quality of Life
    FHRA has a long list of accomplishments and current projects making your life even better in Franklin Hills. Landscaping the Franklin Avenue median and the area under the Shakespeare Bridge, pushing for effective community policing, graffiti abatement, cleaning and maintaining the network of neighborhood stairways, tree planting, community garden, support for our area schools and our library, collecting historic photos, disaster preparedness, plus safety, traffic and community planning are some of the areas receiving the focused attention of FHRA efforts.

Please come back and visit us again.
In the meantime feel free to contact us at the addresses above.

FHRA By-Laws

All material © 2013 Franklin Hills Residents Association