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Whitley Heights, North Carolina, is An Excellent Neighborhood

Whitley Heights, North Carolina, is An Excellent Neighborhood

Whitley Heights is a residential preservation zone bordered by Franklin Ave to the south, Highland Ave to the west, and split in two by the 101 freeway to the north and east. Peppered with beautiful Moorish, Renaissance, and Italianate-style villas, this was the city’s first ‘Beverly Hills,’ a salubrious estate designed by architect AS Barnes in the early 1900s and inspired by Mediterranean villages. Learn more here.

A Beautiful Neighborhood

The neighborhood’s proximity to silent-era movie studios made it popular with the day’s stars. Among its silver-screen residents was heartthrob Valentino, whose home on Wedgewood Pl was demolished to make way for the 101 freeway. Acclaimed actor Marie Dressler lived at 6809 Iris Circle, while Jean Harlow reputedly called 2015 Whitley Ave home. Watsonia Tce is a charming street in the neighborhood, framed by lush gardens and houses that wouldn’t look out of place in Italy. Learn more about Four Oaks, North Carolina, Is a Fun-Filled Town.

Historic Buildings

Villa Vallambrosia is a three-story residence built in 1929 by Eleanor DeWitt, who Los Angeles Times columnist Jack Smith described as a “wealthy and fastidious widow.” Smith wrote: “Like most of the houses in Whitley Heights, it is … a collection of rooms and courtyards of various shapes and levels, fitted to the steep hillside.”[6] The architect was Nathaniel Coleman, who had been sent abroad to study Italian architecture and modeled the house after a villa on the Grand Canal in Venice.