Mulholland: Nature and Culture in Los Angeles

Mulholland is a fifty-two mile road extending from the Pacific Ocean along the crest of the Santa Monica Mountains to Hollywood. The allure of Mulholland is the views it affords, of the mountains themselves, and of the city below. William Mulholland, for whom the road is named, was the water baron who brought water to Los Angeles in 1913.  A sudden abundance of water, in turn, brought hordes of Easterners to Los Angeles.  At any point along its course, Mulholland can be exquitely beautiful when the air is clear, but it cuts to the heart when it is not.

Up there on the crest, I am witness to the struggle between an intractable natural landscape and the perceived needs of an ever-expanding population. Mulholland is at the juncture: it’s where human will and ingenuity meet the forces of nature. The make-over on Mulholland is what holds my attention — the road itself carved into the land, mountaintops sheared off for building sites, culverts and irrigation spigots managing water. Mulholland is something else — it is emphatically both a natural and a human landscape.    Back to Series                                         

"Her gaze is not that of Apollo.....but of one who sees both the intimate and the grand as an integrated whole",  William L. Fox.    See full article in Orion magazine