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Life here is music to their ears

Times Staff Writer

Gere Fennelly, a composer and former keyboardist for the rock band Redd Kross, was in bed for the night, nearly asleep, when she heard Pink Floyd’s “The Dark Side of the Moon.” Every note was perfect, like the record she listened to as a teenager. A dream? No. That’s life in Hollywood Dell.

Beginnings

The night of the Hollywood Bowl’s first concert, July 11, 1922, the Los Angeles Phil- harmonic Orchestra opened its still-running Symphonies Under the Stars summer concert series. Hollywood Dell’s early residents, by all accounts creative types similar to the ones who reside there today, may have heard a faint melody from across Cahuenga Boulevard and taken it as a sign that they had chosen a special place to settle.

What it’s about

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Hollywood Dell inhabitants have found a haven in the middle of a crazy town -- a garden oasis. The Dell, part of the original Hollywood Hills, is a sunken mini-valley just east of the Hollywood Freeway and south of the Hollywood Reservoir. It is filled with winding roads and shady paths where people enjoy afternoons walking with dogs or with babies in stroll- ers.

The community has an active neighborhood association called the Hollywood Dell Civic Assn. Annual fees are $30 per household. Members attend meetings of the Hollywood Beautification Team and keep Dell residents updated on the happenings of their neighborhood and surroundings.

Insider’s view

Twenty-year Hollywood Dell resident Tom Meredith, who works in entertainment research, said he has “a hard time imagining living anywhere else.” And, if it’s not already obvious from her bedtime concert experience, seven-year resident Fennelly calls the Dell “the best place I’ve ever lived,” previously having resided in other parts of Hollywood, as well as in San Francisco and Japan.

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Sixteen-year Dell resident Patti Negri, who serves as the homeowners association president and owns a theatrical production company, enjoys sitting on her back deck and watching the Bowl’s fireworks displays.

Good news, bad news

Although the crime rate is not as high as in other parts of Hollywood, according to LAPD maps, the Dell does occasionally experience some of the same types of crimes that occur with more frequency nearby. During March there were five reports of theft, none of which was a violent crime.

On concert nights at the Hollywood Bowl, street parking in the Dell can get overcrowded, something that most Angelenos are used to dealing with -- carefully checking signage for tricky restrictions, then wedging SUVs into tight parallel spaces.

Housing stock

Homes within the Dell vary in size and style dramatically; there’s a blend of old Spanish Colonial Revival-style and new modern geometric designs, with Craftsman-style and California ranch houses thrown into the mix. There are single-family homes as well as condominiums and semi-attached town houses.

Among the homes currently on the market are a 1991 Frederick Fisher-designed, modern two-bedroom, three-bathroom, 2,016-square-foot home with hillside views for $1,190,000.

The neighborhood also has a new development of 16 Craftsman-style town houses, which range in price from the high $800,000s to the high $900,000s and have either two or three bedrooms.

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Report card

Hollywood Dell is part of the Los Angeles Unified School District. Children living in the Dell may attend Cheremoya Avenue Elementary, which scored 761 out of a possible 1,000 on the 2007 Academic Performance Index Growth Report. Joseph Le Conte Middle School scored 662; Hollywood Senior High School, 617.

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leslie.wiggins@latimes.com

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Sources: Hollywood Dell Civic Assn., www.hollywooddell. com; lapdonline.org; Jane Dorian, Mossler & Doe, architectureforsale.com; www.cde.ca.gov.


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