6696 Lakeridge Drive: A Fresh Contemporary in Lakeridge Estates

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Located within a supremely tranquil section of Eastern Hollywood Hills just a stone’s throw from the Hollywood Reservoir is this fantastic 3-bed/3 bath 2,948 sq. ft. modern home in the hidden gem of Lakeridge Estates. Built in 2014 and located on a 16,901 sq. ft. lot, the home is complete with stunning views and villa-like feel, offering complete serenity with proximity to all that LA has to offer.

6696 Lakeridge is located at the confluence of a number of iconic roads: Mulholland Drive, Wonder View Drive, Cahuenga Boulevard, and Cahuenga Pass all converge here. Rich in historical significance, this section of the hills still maintains much of the same foliage—eucalyptus, sage scrub, and chaparral, that is has for generations.

When the Tongva named the area just west of the Hollywood Reservoir and east of the Hollywood Hills “Cahuenga,” meaning “place of the hills,” they probably didn’t envision how centuries later, the hills would provide little obstacle to the myriad of movie studios, freeways and homes that now dot its landscape.

“Traffic” on the Cahuenga Pass, 1897

“Traffic” on the Cahuenga Pass, 1897

View of Universal City from Cahuenga Pass 1939, courtesy of Dick Whittington Photography Collection at USC Digital Library

View of Universal City from Cahuenga Pass 1939, courtesy of Dick Whittington Photography Collection at USC Digital Library

Today, frustrated drivers know the Cahuenga Pass as the short, yet trafficky stretch of the 101 Freeway that runs through the Santa Monica Mountains, but few actually know that the area has experienced its fair share of vital California history. According to the California State Military Museum, in 1831, the Battle of Cahuenga Pass was just the first of several military encounters in the region. Settlers (Californios) who were not happy with Mexican governor Manuel Victoria’s policies confronted him and overthrew him in a short battle that was to be followed by at least one more in 1845, appropriately named the Second Battle of Cahuenga Pass.

Cahuenga Valley Railroad, 1889, Huntington Library Digital Collection

Cahuenga Valley Railroad, 1889, Huntington Library Digital Collection

Later, in 1887, a railroad line linking Cahuenga Valley to the rest of Los Angeles came under construction, and passengers were able to take it from downtown all the way into Cahuenga Valley after switching to a steam engine for the Cahuenga portion of the trip. The cable car was in usage until 1899, when it became electrified, then later in 1915 was eventually abandoned.

San Francisco Chronicle, February 17, 1915

San Francisco Chronicle, February 17, 1915

If you follow Cahuenga Boulevard west from 6696 Lakeridge Road until it turns into W.C. Fields Drive, you’ll find yourself in Universal City, a hub for the movie industry and of course, the location of the famous Harry Potter world at Universal Studios.

Universal Studios, circa 1920, Dept. of Archives and Special Collections, Loyola Marymount University

Universal Studios, circa 1920, Dept. of Archives and Special Collections, Loyola Marymount University

Universal Pictures was founded by German immigrant Carl Laemmle in 1912, shooting Westerns like At Old Fort Dearborn before moving locations to a larger lot that could accommodate his production needs. Laemmle sold his studios in 1936, and no studio tours were given until the studios were reopened in 1964.

Universal Music Group, dating back to the early 1930s when it was a part of Universal Studios, also operated out of this area until it moved to Santa Monica in 2000. In the last few years, studio executives changed street names after music legends like Buddy Holly and Muddy Waters back to the names of film stars, resulting in W.C. Fields Drive (formerly Buddy Holly Drive) and Bob Hope Avenue (formerly Muddy Waters Drive).

Courtesy of paradiseleased.wordpress.com

Courtesy of paradiseleased.wordpress.com

Hollywood Manor was just one of the early 1900s developments in Universal City, right behind Universal Studios off of Barham Blvd and developed by the DeWitt-Blair Realty corporation. Like the Cahuenga Pass, Barham Blvd. also offered easy passage through the mountains into Burbank and beyond.

Barham and Cahuenga were prized for the transportation access they provided, and were regarded as vital corridors for residents of Los Angeles.

Aerial View of Flooding at Barham Boulevard, 1938, California Historical Society Collection at USC

Aerial View of Flooding at Barham Boulevard, 1938, California Historical Society Collection at USC

The reliance on these vital throughways, of course, became a problem when an unexpected event like the Los Angeles Flood of 1938 occurred. The flood, referred to as the fifth-largest flood in history and certainly the worst natural disaster to hit Southern California, killed over a hundred people as all the city’s major riverbanks overfilled with rainwater from a series of storms that had hit the night before.

Hollywood Knolls Map, courtesy of Hollywood Knolls Community Club

Hollywood Knolls Map, courtesy of Hollywood Knolls Community Club

6696 Lakeridge is also considered to be a part of the highly coveted Hollywood Knolls neighborhood. According to a January 2000 issue of Los Angeles Magazine, the Knolls area began as a 325-acre subdivision developed by a Swiss architect who specialized in hillside home construction named Franz Herding. In fact, one can still see the Mediterranean Revival home he designed for himself at 3355 North Knoll Drive, just a mile away from the property we previously wrote about at 3347 Tareco Drive and less than a mile away from 6696 Lakeridge Road.

Hollywood Bowl Construction, circa 1919-1922, California Historical Society Collection at USC Digital Library

Hollywood Bowl Construction, circa 1919-1922, California Historical Society Collection at USC Digital Library

Herding was instrumental in the development of the Knolls neighborhood, and was community-minded as he designed. He reserved peaks for hotels and made sure that residences were built on the lower levels of the hills to bring about that sense of community. According to a dissertation by USC Architecture student Christian Taylor, he requested that architects design the backs of homes just as beautifully as they designed the fronts. Postwar construction as well as an increased reliance on automobiles saw a boom in the Knolls area and the rest of the Hollywood hillside between 1918 and 1940, according to Taylor, and the Hollywood Bowl is a prime example of that. As we mentioned in our 2700 Hollyridge Drive post, the construction of the Bowl was pivotal in making the Hollywood Hills an entertainment destination, not just a place for residential life.

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And it’s true, you may be able to catch some of the Bowl’s fireworks living at 6696 Lakeridge, but it’s much easier just to have your own party, especially with your very own saltwater pool. The fluidity of the home lends itself well to gatherings, and the ample space surrounding it filled with local flora makes the home a veritable oasis.

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The immaculate, breezy living areas are spacious and inviting. Hardwood floors coupled with large picture windows and ample patios off the living areas give the home an earthy, natural feel.

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Wood floors and high ceilings continue into this bright dining area and kitchen. The interior marries the best part of modern loft living with the more comfortable details of a traditional home. This is a designer’s or a creative person’s paradise.

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The contemporary, sunny kitchen features Caesar stone tile on the kitchen island, a six-burner stove, and Viking stainless steel appliances for endless summertime meals to enjoy on the outdoor patio.

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Up the stylish, art deco inspired staircase, one finds that the bedrooms maintain the modernist sensibility found throughout the home, with huge picture windows and earthy oak floors throughout. French doors in one of the bedrooms open out onto an expansive veranda—a great way to catch a few notes from a show at the nearby Hollywood Bowl without leaving the house.

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The sublime master suite, flooded with natural light, opens out onto the same stunning 800 sq. ft. veranda as the other bedroom, offering gorge hillside views and supreme privacy.

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The equally luxurious en-suite master bathroom with infinity tub and designer shower is the perfect escape after a hard day’s work.

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The upstairs veranda is truly a unique feature of this home. Perfect for sunbathing, bird watching, or for simply enjoying family time, it gives residents one of the best aspects of modern design—purposeful yet beautiful space. The visual effect is stunning, but the comfort level is even more impressive.

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