In 1914, after failing to find oil, a group of investors decided to turn a Southern California bean field into a housing development. They named it after a place on Boston’s North Shore called Beverly Farms and threw in the word “Hills,” because of the terrain. A hundred years later the town’s zip code has become synonymous with wealth and fame. As the city of Beverly Hills celebrates its centenary this year, French publisher Assouline (known for their luxurious, lavishly illustrated volumes evoking the good life) have come out with the perfect literary companion, In the Spirit of Beverly Hills: 100th Anniversary Editition ($45) by Nancie Clare — the former editor-in-chief of LA, The Los Angeles Times Magazine, who has been chronicling the culture of Beverly Hills for over 20 years.
Claire tells the story of Beverly Hills, the icon of luxury and celebrity, through vignettes about the famed residents of its Elysian mansions, like Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford (the first movie star residents), to Elizabeth Taylor, Charlie Chaplin, and Zsa Zsa Gabor. It tells the tale of luxurious Rodeo Drive boutiques, like Bijan and Buccellati, and legendary addresses such as The Beverly Hills Hotel, as well as its countless depictions in movies and on Television.
"Beverly Hills is where dreams that have come true live,” Clare writes. “[It] lives up to anything the imagination can envision and more." As we reported previously, a number of the city’s top luxury hotels are each creating custom luxury suites to celebrate the centenary as well.