Laurel Canyon is a neighborhood in the Hollywood Hills. It was first developed in the 1910's, and became a part of the city of Los Angeles in 1923.
Much like Topanga Canyon, community life is focused on its central thoroughfare, Laurel Canyon Boulevard. Unlike other nearby canyon neighborhoods, Laurel Canyon has houses lining mostly one side of the main street most of the way up to Mulholland Drive. There are many side roads that branch off the main canyon, but most of them are not through streets, reinforcing the self-contained nature of the neighborhood.
A little Laurel Canyon history... Between 1912 and 1918, a trackless electric trolley ran up the canyon from Sunset Boulevard to the base of Lookout Mountain Road where a road house served visitors. Travel to the newly subdivided lots and cabins further up the canyon was at first made on foot or by mule. As the roads were improved access was possible by automobile. Around 1920, a local developer built the Lookout Mountain Inn at the summit of Lookout Mountain and Sunset Plaza roads, which burned just a few years after opening.
Among the famous places in Laurel Canyon are the log cabin house once owned by silent film star Tom Mix that later became home to the Zappa clan, and another (directly across the street) that magician Harry Houdini lived in.
Laurel Canyon found itself a nexus of counterculture activity and attitudes in the 1960s, becoming famous as home to many of L.A. 's rock musicians, such as Frank Zappa, Jim Morrison of The Doors, The Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, and Love. Joni Mitchell, living in the home in the Canyon that was immortalized in the song, "Our House", written by her then-lover Graham Nash, would use the area and its denizens as inspiration for her third album, Ladies of the Canyon. That bohemian spirit endures today, and residents gather annually for a group photograph at the country market.