The scenic highway along the crest of the Santa Monica Mountains that became Mulholland Drive was the brainchild of a group of large property owners, speculators, developers, financiers, and business leaders. This group, organized as the Hollywood Foothills Improvement Association, donated the land for the right-of-way, directed the survey and engineering studies for the roadway, lobbied city officials, convinced small property-holders to approve a municipal improvement district to fund it, and won public support for the project. The scenic drive fostered its members’ real estate goals and the value of their investments. It also promoted tourism in the region and reduced the mountain barrier that had divided the City of Los Angeles from its San Fernando Valley extension.
Building Mulholland Highway: The Road to Mulholland Drive: Part 1: The Campaign
Barry Read holds a doctorate in ecology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a law degree from the University of Texas School of Law. His legal career was focused on environmental law. From 1997 to 2004, he was the executive director of Mulholland Tomorrow, a nonprofit group advocating for the preservation of the Mulholland Scenic Parkway. He currently resides in Texas.
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Barry Read; Building Mulholland Highway: The Road to Mulholland Drive: Part 1: The Campaign. Southern California Quarterly 1 February 2017; 99 (1): 46–70. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/scq.2017.99.1.46
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