3585 Wonder View Drive: Inspiring Spanish Colonial in Lake Hollywood Knolls
LA gets a bad rap for nearly everything, but it especially gets a lot of flack for its, uh, lack of natural beauty. But this is simply not the case. Los Angeles County alone has nearly 30 lakes and about 20 reservoirs, adding plenty of green (yes, in pockets) to a city that is marketed as desert. One of those lakes—Lake Hollywood—is just a few stone throws away from 3585 Wonder View Drive, where this marvelous Spanish Colonial Revival is situated.
Where to begin with this veritable villa? Suppose we start with the 3,830 square feet of living space and expansive, well-landscaped grounds? Or with the spacious 3 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms that offer ample, sun-lit views.
Guitarist, Producer, and Songwriter, Daniel Kortchmar, bought 3585 Wonder View in 1976 during the birth of Classic Rock. According to his website: Kortchmar’s work with singer-songwriters such as David Crosby, Carole King, Graham Nash, Carly Simon and James Taylor helped define the signature sound of the singer-songwriter era of the 1970s. Jackson Browne and Don Henley have recorded many songs written or co-written by Kortchmar, and Kortchmar was Henley’s songwriting and producing partner in the 1980s.
Kortchmar wrote music for the Cheech & Chong film, Up in Smoke and he has also produced recordings by Don Henley, Neil Young, Jon Bon Jovi, Stevie Nicks, Billy Joel, Hanson, Tracy Chapman, Louise Goffin and others. He is featured on guitar on Carole King’s 1975 album, Thoroughbred. Kortchmar is still going strong and you can catch him gigging and on tour.
Kortchmar sold 3585 Wonder View in 1989 to TV director/producer Bill Carruthers and his wife, Julie Hanan Carruthers.
Bill Carruther’s decades-long career began in the 1950’s on the Soupy Sales Show in Detroit, moving to Hollywood after the show went national. He went on to work on The Steve Allen Show, and The Ernie Kovaks Show.
“In the mid-1960s, he directed and produced Chuck Barris’ original Dating Game, and Newlywed Game, shows. In 1968, he founded his own firm, the William Carruthers Co. Carruthers served as a television consultant for the Nixon, Ford, Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations. He continued to develop shows until the mid-1990s.” – Los Angeles Times, March 13, 2003
Carruthers remained active into the 1990s, working on specials and series including You Bet your Life with Bill Cosby and EXTRA!. He was in his 40th year of directing when he suffered a stroke on set in 1996, forcing him into retirement.
As an eight-time Daytime Emmy-Award winner Julie Hanan Carruthers is well recognized for her work. According to her website bio, Carruthers has produced over 5,000 hours of network programming. Her most notable projects have been in network soap operas. She was executive producer for All My Children, and Port Charles, and a producer for General Hospital, all for ABC-TV, and a producer on Santa Barbara, for NBC – TV.
3585 Wonder View Drive is situated near some of LA’s best movie studios. Universal Studios is to the west, Walt Disney Studios to the north, and the original Warner Brothers studios was at one time, just a few miles south at 5800 Sunset Boulevard. Built in 1919, the studio was the site of the first motion picture talking feature film, The Jazz Singer, filmed in 1927. The Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies were also filmed here from 1933-1955. The space is now called the Sunset Bronson Studios.
3585 Wonder View itself, is an inspiring picture perfect location.
Built in 1924, the Hollywood Reservoir was William Mulholland’s answer to LA’s water needs. He built the Mulholland Dam and formed the reservoir, filling it with 2.5 billion gallons of water. The reservoir was initially known as the Weid Canyon reservoir, but was later changed to a more apt name–Hollywood Reservoir.
The Mulholland Dam was more than a utilitarian feat, however. Since it was located right in the middle of a city, constructed with a pedestrian walkway, automobile driveway, and was situated right near the Mulholland Skyline, it was more like a thoroughfare.
Due east, you’ll find the iconic Hollywood sign. For tourists, that is a must-see, but for locals, the sign is just a landmark to remember where other cooler things await, just a short hike away. Hiking is integral to the culture of the Lake Hollywood community. To see the Hollywood sign, it’s possible to get quite close (though not right near the barbed letters), by hiking the Mt. Hollywood, Canyon Boulevard, or Cahuenga Peak trails.
Just like the birth of a Hollywood star, the origin story of the Hollywood sign had a lot to do with marketing. The sign was erected in 1923 by Harry Chandler, the publisher of the Los Angeles Times. He intended to use the $21,000 sign as a way to draw potential buyers to his Hollywoodland development.
According to a 1926 Santa Ana Register article, Chandler “transformed the wheat fields of the Larchmont district in Los Angeles to one of the most beautiful residential sections in Southern California…Those who are familiar with the residential section of Los Angeles will appreciate that this comprises the new area wherein was inaugurated architectural restrictions and the movement for beautiful homes in Los Angeles.”
During the Great Depression, the area fell into disarray and real estate sales plummeted. The sign nearly was razed, however the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce preserved the sign, removing the “Land” in 1949.
Throughout the years, the sign has been affected by arson, general deterioration, and pranks. Perhaps as a dismissal of the stereotype that marijuana smokers are lazy, in 1976 the sign was covered in a black and white fabric to read “Hollyweed” as a statement of support for marijuana legalization.
To get a good look at the sign, there are a few hikes of varying difficulty that one can take for a decent view. One of these is the Cahuenga Peak Trail right near 3585 Wonder View Drive, which takes you right behind the sign. Locals call the tree at the top of Cahuenga Peak trail the Wisdom Tree, and according to Modern Hiker, it was planted by a man in memory of his late mother. This writer’s done the hike, and she can tell you for sure that after hiking up three miles of steep incline in 80 degree weather, that tree at the top of the peak—with its glorious, glorious shade — is about the smartest thing she’s ever seen. If you do the hike, don’t forget to bring tons of water, and write a little note (or proof of life) and put it in the metal box by the tree.
French doors off of the dining room open onto a foliage-bedecked patio for fluid, indoor-outdoor living. The simple, clean furnishings are a wonderful contrast to the elaborate wrought iron chandelier.
A gourmet eat-in kitchen with beautiful stacked ceilings, picture windows, and marble countertops adds refined, simple luxury to the home. Plenty of natural light streaming in makes for a bright, airy living space.
Another expansive living space that can double as a spare bedroom or den. Tons of natural light and a window seat spanning the length of the room make this a perfect place to curl up with a good book.
A canopy bed is ideal in this lovely, well-lit guest bedroom.
An additional bedroom with en-suite bathroom is spacious and bright.
Speaking of bathrooms, the ones at 3585 Wonder View Drive are pretty sweet.
The master bedroom opens up onto a private balcony. Dark hardwood floors and a window seat add extra refined luxury.
The master bath is a veritable living space. Complete with vanity area, his/hers sinks, and jacuzzi, this is where the unwinding really happens.