Nichols Canyon Road by David Hockney
Nichols Canyon, Los Angeles, California
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Nichols Canyon is an area in the
Hollywood Hills of
Angeles County, California.
It begins at
Hollywood Blvd. on its south end and snakes its way north into the hills
below Mulholland Drive
.Nichols Canyon has two large year round water falls over 100' high, and several
natural and man made small water falls. The two larger falls are the only
natural water falls in the City of Los Angeles.
Nichols Canyon was named after
John G. Nichols who
served as mayor of Los Angeles, California between 1852 and 1853 and again from
1856 to 1859. He was a businessman and a builder who lived in the first brick
house to be built in Los Angeles, and he was the first mayor to expand the city.
In 1851 his son, John Gregg Nichols, was the first Anglo American to be born in
In the early days, approximately 3/4 mile up the canyon, was a small sales
office with an old western type porch and roof overhang where canyon children
would gather to play in the stream and make forts in the native sycamore, oak,
sumac, sage, yucca and laurel. It is now known as "Rick E Lake", named after the
current owner. The property features 150 ft. of waterfront on a year-round
stream with four waterfalls. Prior to being converted into a residence, the
structure served as the real estate office for the Nichols Canyon development
(1941). Remodeled several times, the home was featured in 1976 issue of House
Beautiful's Home Remodeling magazine. Expanded to the present 2 bd/2ba
configuration, the interior now features a rustic antique heart pine
interior,inspired by James
Cagney's 1930 cabin in Lake Arrowhead.
Today, few of the original bungalow and cape cod style houses remain, having
been expanded or replaced entirely. Home to many celebrities throughout the
years, Nichols Canyon is a favorite jogging and cyclist road.
There are many quirky stories to be told about the Canyon. For instance, on the
evening of May 13, 1874 a sheriff's posse from Los Angeles camped near the mouth
of Nichols Canyon a mile and a quarter northeast of Greek George's ranch house.
The next morning, in a shoot out at Greek George's, they captured the Mexican
bandit Tiburcio Vasquez. The present day
Los Angeles County Park of Vasquez Rocks was one of his favorite hideouts.
In more recent times one of the more bizzare residents of Nichols Canyon was
Father Yod, an ex-marine and self styled guru for lost and wayward youth, who
founded The Source restaurant in the 1970s. He lived in a three bedroom house
that at one point housed nearly a hundered people. Everyone slept in a beehive
like complex of cubbyholes. In 1974 he took his cult of followers to Hawaii to
avoid a child endangerment charge.
The British artist David
Hockney was a resident as well. He created an acrylic painting on canvas
(213.3 x 152.4 cm or 84" x 60" inches) called Nichols Canyon in 1980. The bright
colors depict the winding road and landscape of the Hollywood Hills in the late
1970s. The two story red-roofed white house featured prominently in the center
of the painting is the Michiels House, which is located approximately one mile
up Nichols Canyon Road from Hollywood Boulevard. As in the Hockney painting,
there is a stop sign and a right hand turn in the road in front of the house.
Members of the Michiels family have lived in this home for three generations.
Next door lived Ava Gardner who purchased her Nichols Canyon home in 1948. This
home is featured in Architectural Digest, Hollywood at Home, March 2006. In the
mid 1950's it was home to Madeline Foy O'Donnell, one of the original Eddie Foy
and the Seven Little Foy's of Vaudeville fame.
Alex Murray, and
Melissa Mathison ,
are just a few celebrities in the music and movie industry that lived, worked,
and played in Nichols Canyon over the years. More recent residents include
Renée Zellweger and
Rob Lowe. Movies filmed in
Nichols Canyon include
Lethal Weapon II,
Unknown World, Laurel
Canyon and The Limey.
Its also a favorite location for shooting commercials. Many authors such as
David Freeman, Jackie
Jane Kozak, Carol Wolper and
Robert Crais have used
Nichols Canyon as a location. Budy Miles wrote a song named Nichols Canyon Funk.
Most recently Nichols Canyon was identified as where a murder victim lived on
the TV series The Closer.
City of Los
Other elected officials
Eastside · Harbor Area
Greater Hollywood ·
Feliz · San
Crescenta Valleys ·
South Los Angeles ·
Greater Hollywood area,
Beachwood Canyon ·
Cahuenga Pass ·
East Hollywood ·
Hollywood · Hollywood
Hollywood Heights ·
Laurel Canyon ·
Little Armenia ·
Melrose District ·
Melrose Hill · Nichols Canyon ·
Outpost Estates ·
Spaulding Square ·
Sunset Hills ·
Virgil Village ·
Points ofinterest Griffith
Grauman's Chinese Theatre ·
· Walk of Fame
Beverly Hills ·
Greater Hollywood ·
Westlake/Silver Lake/Los Feliz ·
San Fernando and Crescenta Valleys ·
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