For the past fourteen years, controversy has stirred over a private residence in Hancock Park. The affluent Los Angeles neighborhood, known as the place where the Ku Klux Klan once left a burning cross on Nat King Cole’s lawn, has garnered much recent attention for another one of its residents: R&B music producer, Norwood Young. More specifically, the nearly 20 statues of Michelangelo’s David that adorn the front lawn of his estate.
The street-side private residence, known as “Youngwood Court,” has been the subject of many lawsuits, traffic jams, and heated debates on aesthetic preference. Young purchased the home in the mid-1990s and – much to the chagrin of the local homeowner’s association – painted it white, erected an elaborate white iron gate, and set up 19 white statues of Michelangelo’s David.
For over a decade, Young faced – and filed – numerous lawsuits against neighbors and city officials who sought to tear down his aesthetic vision. Today, Young has finally ended his long legal battle and continues to exercise his yard-decorating rights, earning LA City Beat magazine’s title as the “King of Hancock Park.”
Though the David statues are the main attraction, Young adds to the spectacle by decorating his yard in thematic designs. This past year, Young celebrated his birthday with a tribute to the other “King,” Michael Jackson. Each David statue was fitted in a Thriller-esque jacket, and a 7-foot replica of MJ’s famous sequined glove was put on display.
For his annual winter holiday tradition, Young dresses his Davids in Santa Claus hats and displays an African-American Mr. and Mrs. Claus on a gold throne. Not to be outdone by the Claus’, however, the holiday scene also includes a larger-than-life replica of Young himself, as well as a gigantic lights display of a crown and “Norrywood” sign on his roof.
UPDATE: Longwood Court is for sale/was sold. The famous statues of David have been removed.
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