This is stair walk #37, from the book “Secret Stairs,” by Charles Fleming. The first set of stairs has 103 steps up to the first landing. At the top of the staircase, you can extend your walk by turning left and going south on Glencoe Way and taking a shady, public pathway which looks private. This is my third stairwalk in this area, and for some reason, I skipped over this part on my first two stairwalks. It’s worthwhile to take this pathway, which leads past a
Every time I’ve done this stairwalk, I was able to see the inside of an apartment or house for rent. This last time I was able to go inside a home with some contractors who were checking the plumbing on this home which had been damaged by fire. The time before that, I saw the resident of this same house sitting on his deck which overlooks Hollywood Hills, Hollywood and downtown Los Angeles. You can see this home in the High Tower picture–it’s to the right of the elevator shaft, above the home which has the red umbrella on the deck.
This home is in an area known as Alta Loma and is right next to the High Tower, which is an elevator shaft built in the 1920’s to serve residences of the Alta Loma community. In his book, Charles Fleming says only about 30 residents have keys to this exclusive elevator. However, the mail carrier told me only about 7 or 8 residences have the key and she started to point out which homes have a key. The places I have seen inside were all very nice with great views and hardwood floors. Many of the homes near the tower are accessible only by foot, and if you do not have a key to the elevator, you have to climb the stairs, as the garages for these homes are located at the bottom of the tower.
Alta Loma has charming homes with lush greenery, vines and bougainvillea. It’s as if you step into your own little exclusive world and you forget you are minutes away from crowded Highland Avenue and the Hollywood Bowl.
Leaving Alta Loma and heading back to my car, I pass by the Highland-Camrose Park, located at the corner of Highland and Camrose Avenue. Surrounded by a green wall, this park has bungalow style buildings which house the Sheriff’s Dept. Park Bureau Headquarters and Philharmonic Orchestra offices.
It also has nice gardens and picnic tables, a popular place for patrons of the Hollywood Bowl to enjoy a pre-concert picnic. I have always wondered what was inside the wall. Now, thanks to the stairwalk, I discovered the area behind the Hollywood Bowl and a park.