William S. Hart’s Legacy
Cowboy star Bill Hart was among the most famous actors of the silent era. He’s all but forgotten today – except for here in West Hollywood. In the 1940s he donated his home on DeLongpre Avenue to the city. Seven decades later his legacy lives on in William S. Hart Park – a green space, theatre and dog park just steps away from the Sunset Strip. Similarly, the mission of the West Hollywood History project is to create a legacy – a gift of memories of the city’s distant and recent past, from this generation to the future.
The West Hollywood History Center is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to interpreting the unique history of the Creative City, presenting it to the public and preserving it for the future. To that end the Center seeks to produce and promote local-history related projects in a variety of formats and platforms. The nexus of these will be a world-class virtual museum (www.westhollywoodmuseum.org) that will tell West Hollywood’s story to the city, the region, the nation and the world. The Center’s long-term goal is to establish a permanent, self-sustaining history museum in West Hollywood.
Also key to the Center’s mission will be its efforts to stimulate West Hollywood’s essential tourism economy. Cultural tourism attracts sophisticated visitors – people who are educated, well-informed and curious, and who seek a deeper dive into the unique character of a place than a casual visit can offer.
The Center will promote cultural tourism by spotlighting places, people and events that are significant to the history of music, movies, stand-up comedy and other forms of entertainment. Calling that out online will motivate people to come to West Hollywood to explore the virtual city in real life.
This Generation’s Legacy
Finally, as an enduring repository for the city’s stories and its memories, the Center’s West Hollywood Museum will be a gift to the people of the city of West Hollywood for generations to come.