In 1926 (approx.) Walt Disney built his home and his first studio at the corner of Hyperion and Griffith Park Blvd. He leased these eight cottages on Griffith Park Blvd., built by architect Robert Sherwood. Gloria Swanson and other famous stars used to visit and Walt Disney used to sit in the courtyard in a director's chair.
These cottages have historic significance because they are representative of a distinctive architectural style. In 2002, the cottages were featured on HGTV, in segment of Home Styles, highlighting French Normandy architecture in America. Further, this property is significant in the history of Hollywood. When Disney's artists lived here in the 1930s, they produced the world's first full-length animated feature, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, using these buildings as models for the dwarfs' cottage. David Lynch also chose the cottages as the setting for his movie, Mulholland Drive.*
Around these parts, most people are aware of the history, and the cottages are known as the "Snow White Cottages" or "Disney Cottages." The old studio was picked up and moved to the Burbank studio lot, where it is now known as the "Hyperion Bungalow." The cottages would be eligible for historic recognition and grant money. Although it is not the L.A. Housing Department's responsibility to preserve the buildings, they did try to get the landlord to make repairs in 2002. It would be terrible if the buildings were lost. They need roofs, and much of the exterior wood is rotting.
I lived in 2910 Griffith Park Blvd. from Nov. 2000 - Nov. 2002 and took about a hundred photos. Here are a few of them.
Editor's. note: This is 2910 Griffith Park Blvd., #17, where Diane Selwyn lived and died by suicide in the bathtub. For a Surrealist.org synopsis of the movie, click here. I always wondered how they got all those shots and where they were on the property. Then I found this: mulholland-drive.net They walk you through each scene filmed on the grounds, and it shows where they built the temporary walls to block out Griffith Park Boulevard and make the place look much bigger. The author of this page picked apart the continuity, but they still did a pretty good job. There are narrow corridors between each cottage and behind the cottages, so I always thought they filmed in those narrow passages.
Kyle C. Kyle and I lived there for two years (2000-2002). Besides being the setting for the death by suicide of Lynch's character, Kyle and I grew up as neighbors on Mulholland Drive in the 1960s. We remained friends all our lives until his passing, January 23, 2015.* Photo by Melody Fahey, 2001.
Here's an obituary for Sylvia Helfert, the landlord when we lived there: norimuster.com. It includes a lot more details and research on the history of the property.