In 1918, H.J. Whitley commissioned architect A.S. Barnes to design Whitley Heights as a Mediterranean village on the steep hillsides above Hollywood Boulevard. The developed properties grew during the 1920s, and it became the first Hollywood celebrity community.
In 1991, the City of Los Angeles issued a permit to the Whitley Heights Civic Association to allow the installation of gates that would turn the community into a private enclave. Construction, funded by Whitley Heights homeowners, began in January 1991 and was substantially completed by April 1992, at a cost of more than $350,000. Construction was permanently halted in 1992 when a group called "Citizens Against Gated Enclaves" successfully sued to prevent the closure of public roadways in Whitley Heights. The gates were acquired by and installed at entrances to the private Laughlin Park community in the Los Feliz district.
^ ab"Whitley Heights". City of Los Angeles, Department of Planning, Office of Historic Resources. 2007-09-11.
^CITIZENS AGAINST GATED ENCLAVES et al., Plaintiffs and Respondents, v. WHITLEY HEIGHTS CIVIC ASSOCIATION, Defendant and Appellant, No. B077760. Second Dist., Div. Seven. Mar 23, 1994 (Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Second District, Division Seven 1994-03-23).