Hancock Park was developed in the 1920s by the Hancock family with profits earned from oil drilling in the former Rancho La Brea. The area owes its name to developer-philanthropist George Allan Hancock, who subdivided the property in the 1920s. Hancock, born and raised in a home at what is now the La Brea tar pits, inherited 4,400 acres (18 km2) which his father, Major Henry Hancock had acquired from the Rancho La Brea property owned by the family of Jose Jorge Rocha.
Hancock Park activists were also instrumental in the passage of a 1986 Congressional ban on tunneling through the neighborhood. The ban, sponsored by Congressman Henry Waxman, prevented the Red Line Subway from being routed along Wilshire Boulevard through the neighborhood.
According to the Mapping L.A. project of the Los Angeles Times, Hancock Park is flanked by Hollywood to the north, Larchmont and Windsor Square to the east, Koreatown to the southeast, Mid-Wilshire to the south and southwest and Fairfax to the west. Street boundaries are Melrose Avenue on the north, Arden Boulevard on the east, Wilshire Boulevard on the south and La Brea Avenue on the west. The neighborhood surrounds the grounds of the Wilshire Country Club.
Today, the Hancock Park Homeowners Assn. counts about 1,200 homes within the boundaries of Melrose Avenue, Wilshire Boulevard and both sides of Highland and Rossmore avenues.
The Hancock Park Homeowners Association defines Melrose Avenue and Wilshire Boulevard as two of the boundary streets of Hancock Park. The houses on both sides of Highland Avenue and Rossmore Avenue, the other boundary streets, are defined as a part of Hancock Park.