Beverly Hills Set to Celebrate Centennial


BHC

Beverly Hills will officially celebrate its centennial on January 28, 2014.  Between now and continuing through 2014, the city will be hosting many events celebrating its milestone.  Known for its 90210 area code, made famous in the television series of the 90’s, the city is known for its Hollywood glitz, glamour and designer shops. Mayor John Mirisch recently said “this is a chance to take stock, look at our history, celebrate the people who made the city, and have fun together.”  Beverly Hills is all about fun and fantasy.  It’s a land of make believe. The Beverly Hills Hotel along with The Beverly Hilton, are two of my favorite hotels despite the fact the Hilton will forever be known as the hotel where Whitney Houston died.  According to the city’s website, the centennial events are scheduled to begin New Year’s Day with the Rose Parade and a float celebrating the city’s “historical character and charm.”

Beverly Hills was once part of a 4,539-acre rancho held by Maria Rita Valdez. Valdez named the rancho Rodeo de las Aguas, or gathering of the waters, after the seasonal flow down Canyon of the Live Oaks, (Benedict Canyon).  Valdez sold the land in 1854 and it changed hands several times through the end of the century.  At the time, a number of farming families and their servants lived on the hillside.  It was mostly being used for farming cabbage and lima beans.  Finally, in the early 1900s, an investor firm called Rodeo Land & Water Co., bought more than 3,000 acres and carved it into housing lots. However, the company had a difficult time finding buyers.  Then, Henry Huntington, who made his fortune as a railroad man, lured Margaret Anderson from her highly successful Hollywood Hotel to build and operate a new hotel in Beverly Hills.  The Beverly Hills Hotel opened in 1912, the same year the Titanic sank and the city was born.  It grew exponentially as a result.  When the hotel first opened, the hills behind the hotel were used for fox hunts and other activities but the open space was soon supplanted by the mansions of the rich and famous.  Beverly Hills was incorporated on January 28, 1914 and the rest is history.  More information, about history and centennial celebratory events can be found on the city’s website at http://www.beverlyhills.org/

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