John Edward Hollenbeck

John Edward Hollenbeck was an American businessman and investor who was significantly involved in the 19th century development of downtown Los Angeles.

Arriving in Los Angeles a wealthy man from his investments in Nicaragua in 1876, Hollenbeck purchased land on the east side of the Los Angeles River, and built a large residence with broad verandas and a tower on extensive grounds on Boyle Avenue and may have owned the land that became Azusa Street. He made twenty-seven acquisitions of property by 1880. In 1884 he purchased and developed an urban business district, known as the Hollenbeck Block, within Los Angeles.

In 1878 Hollenbeck became a stockholder in the Commercial Bank of Los Angeles, located in downtown, and was elected its president. In 1881, he and other investors organized and established the First National Bank. In 1880, Hollenbeck, with former California Governor John G. Downey, horticulturalist Ozro W. Childs and other associates, persuaded the State of California to purchase 160 acres in Los Angeles to foster agriculture in the southland. The property, then known as Agriculture Park, is now known as Exposition Park, home to the Los Angeles Coliseum and the Los Angeles County Museums.