(LA Trend) — Will Rogers Memorial Park is a must-see for pop culture enthusiasts, as it has a rich past that goes back over a hundred years ago to when the park was first opened in 1915 as the first municipal park in Beverly Hills.
Located on Sunset Boulevard across the street from the famed Beverly Hills Hotel, the park was originally called simply Sunset Park, but was renamed the Will Rogers Memorial Park in 1952 after the legendary stage and film actor, vaudeville performer, cowboy, humorist, newspaper columnist, and social commentator, who was appointed the first “Honorary Mayor” of Beverly Hills in 1926.
But that’s only the beginning of the park’s long history in the annals of entertainment lore. For example, some scenes of the 1932 film Pack Up Your Troubles, featuring comedy duo Laurel & Hardy, were filmed in the park.
Acclaimed actor Michael Caine claims to have seen John Wayne land in a helicopter in Will Rogers Memorial Park, then watching him head across the street to the Beverly Hills Hotel—in full cowboy costume, no less!
This is also the park where rock singer Rod Stewart proposed to his wife, model Rachel Hunter, back in 1990, and they were later married at the Good Shepherd Church nearby.
Visitors to this gorgeous five-acre park will enjoy the quaint pond with fish and turtles, and a fountain in the middle (dedicated to Margaret J. Anderson, the first owner of the Beverly Hills Hotel), as well as the numerous lawns, rose gardens, tall palm trees, dragon tree, and asphalt paths that wind through the park’s lovely features.
While the Will Rogers Memorial Park retains much of its classic Hollywood atmosphere, it has been upgraded in recent years with such improvements as the replacement of asphalt walkways with decomposed granite; new energy-efficient security lights; an irrigation system, and many new trees and plant materials; modifications to the restroom facilities; restoration of the existing retaining walls; and two monument park signs and two bronze commemorative plaques celebrating the park’s fascinating history.
9650 Sunset Boulevard, Beverly Hills