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Crossroads Of The World Photos

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Crossroads of the World Photos

One of the worlds most unique shopping centers, the Crossroads of the World, was opened on October 29, 1936 and was built in the shape of a cruise ship with a revolving globe on a spire. When the Crossroads of the World had its grand opening, many of Hollywood's celebrities attended the event including, Cesar Romero, Boris Karloff, Marjorie Gage, Emily Lane, and a galaxy of business and civic leaders. Located on the north side of Sunset Boulevard just east of Las Palmas Avenue, the unique complex was designed by architect Robert the Derrah for owner, Ella Crawford. In order to develop the property to the fullest, so as to maximize store frontage, a private street scheme or mall was developed with access at Sunset Boulevard, Selma Avenue, and Las Palmas Ave. To this, the exclusion of automobile traffic and the numerous fine old trees, land and old world atmosphere in contrast to the busy streets of Hollywood.  Photos of the Crossroads of the World complex can be seen on the hollywoodphotographs.com website.

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Architecture Style

On one side of the mall were buildings of Italian and French architecture, and on the other, Spanish and Mexican, while in the center was a Marine modern structure surmounted by a 60 foot tower on which a world globe, 8 feet in diameter, revolved. Further up the mall were buildings of Moorish and Turkish design while the entrance from Las Palmas Avenue was a narrow crooked street reminiscent of old Cape Cod.

In the late 1940s Alfred Hitchcock moved into his new production offices at the Crossroads of the World. Other entertainment executives also had offices at the crossroads. In the 1970s interlock studios rented offices at the crossroads and began recording and mixing soundtracks for many major Hollywood movies.

Ringo Starr, Rod Stewart, Jimmy Buffett, and Bette Midler were frequent visitors at the crossroads of the world.

During the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, the crossroads of the world complex was highly successful, however, because of the competition of neighborhood shopping centers in the 1960s it began to lose its appeal. In December 1974, 38 years after its dedication, the crossroads of the world was declared a historical cultural monument by the Los Angeles cultural heritage board.

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In May 1977, Morton La Kretz, a local real estate investor, purchase crossroads of the world, saving it from probable fate of demolition. At the time, the property was run down, the landscaping dead or overgrown, and the setting anything but idyllic. But Mr. La Kretz saw beyond all of that, instinctively understanding Crossroad’s hidden glamour. It only needed someone to give the property of the attention, investment and hard work it deserved.

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Restoration

Once the sale of the property was completed, restoration was begun which took several years to complete. He uncovered painted over decorative tiles, scraped off years of offensive paint, and reassembled the roofs. He enhanced the property by adding fountains, replacing asphalt walkways with decorative concrete and revived the landscape. He upgraded the tenant list, leasing to high quality book publishers, art galleries and entertainment companies.

Other Vintage Hollywood Photos

The hollywoodphotographs.com website has over 12,000 vintage photos of Hollywood, covering more than 90 subject categories.  The most popular categories include the Hollywood Sign, Hollywood Canteen and the Chinese Theater. All the photographs on the website are available for purchase.

 

 

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