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Photos Of Hollywood Historic Places #1

Photos of Hollywood Historic Places #1

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Fifth Church of Christ

The dwindling congregation recently sold this 1959 modern masterpiece of architect Howard Elwell, located at 7107 Hollywood Boulevard. Hollywood Heritage, alerted by the Modern Committee of LA Conservancy, has learned that the new owner has plans to demolish the church and build a hotel at the site. The uncertain fate of the Fifth Church of Christ also represents the wider issue of the preservation of modern architecture in Hollywood. While landmarks such as the Capital Records Building and the Cinerama Dome are widely celebrated and cared-for, other structures such as the William Lescaze early modern CBS Columbia Square and Millard Sheet's 1967 Home Savings & Loan Association of America at Sunset and Vine are somewhat neglected. Others such as Honnold, Reibsamen & Rex's 1963 Sunset and Vine Tower have been radically transformed. A quick look at the surrounding high rise residential gives a preview of what the density on this corner will look like and how it will affect the context of such structures as the Women's Club of Hollywood and the Hollywood School for Girls just north of the WCH.

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Hollywood Boulevard

Hollywood Boulevard is back!” or so conventional wisdom would have it. However, with the Boulevard’s success has come a growing pressure on the resources of this nationally recognized historic commercial and entertainment district. Hollywood Heritage is aware that there are development plans being proposed for several sites including Grauman’s Chinese Theater, the Sardis Building, and the property at the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Hudson across from the recently restored Hillview Hotel. Hollywood Heritage is attempting to monitor all of these sites in an attempt to encourage sensitive changes to preserve the historic character of this National Register District. Everyone’s alertness to changes on the Boulevard is appreciated.

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WOMANS CLUB OF HOLLYWOOD/ HOLLYWOOD SCHOOL FOR GIRLS

Located at 1749 N. La Brea Avenue, this site contains a complex of historic structures including the 1904 Hollywood School For Girls hospitality house and the 1947 Hollywood Women's Clubhouse. The effects of years of deferred maintenance and mismanagement including the demolition of historic structures on the site, have been compounded by recent inter-organizational struggles and legal action which has lead to the neglect of the historic buildings. A recent grant from the National Trust to do much needed roof repairs on the clubhouse was put on hold and recent rains did further damage. The property is now in receivership and its fate remains an open question. In November and December of 2011, work is continuing which potentially negatively affects this structure. Although work is being reviewed by the Cultural Heritage Commission, much work is reputed to be initiated without proper permits, by unqualified workers and without the supervision of anyone qualified to judge appropriate work on a cultural heritage landmark. This site continues to be of concern to preservationists. 

As of Last Month...The effects of years of deferred maintenance and mismanagement, including the demolition of historic structures on the site, have been compounded by recent inter-organization struggles and legal action which has led to the neglect of the historic buildings. Hopefully, a step in the right direction has been taken. On June 4, 2012, a receiver was appointed by the Los Angeles Superior Court for the purpose of taking possession of the real and personal property of the Woman’s Club and operating it pending the election of a new Board. A quick inspection of the property indicates that the remaining structures on the site are intact. Their fate, however, remains an open question.

As of This Month...In the most recent decision, the Superior Court Judge has requested that an additional election be held. There was an election several months ago, but that one has now been nullified by the judge and a new one requested. The original receiver for the property - which is now in bankruptcy to forestall any questionable sale - was removed and a new receiver installed. The records of the club have not been turned over to the judge as requested, so the recent financial history of the club remains unknowable. This issue points out the difficulty of managing properties even after they have been designated Cultural Heritage landmarks. Compounding the difficulty is the value of the property and the complex communications between the club management and the members. Requests for assistance have been made to the State Attorney General's office, division of Non-Profits as well as the council office and the City Attorney's office, but no progress has been made.

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JANES HOUSE

Located at 6541 Hollywood Boulevard, the house is survivor of the era when Hollywood was an actual city. Built in 1903 the house was one of the first model houses built on the Boulevard. From 1911 to 1926 it served as the Misses Janes School of Hollywood. The last Janes sister died in 1983, and the house has gone through several incarnations from the centerpiece of a shopping arcade to a trendy restaurant. Today the house is unoccupied and obscured from view, with its future uncertain. Recent plans involve an upscale boutique hotel and there are reports of unauthorized work taking place at the house, which could potentially damage historic interior features.

Since the departure of Hollywood Heritage in 2009, the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks has managed the house and it has remained closed to the public. While the department has always had plans to reopen the house for weddings and parties and was even allocated Quimby Act funds towards the restoration of the gardens, no work other than the erection of more security fencing has occurred. Left unoccupied and unused, Wattles future remains unclear.

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WARNER BROS. THEATER

This grand Italianate Beaux Arts movie palace, designed by G. Albert Lansburgh, opened in 1928. It is the last of Hollywood's great movie theaters to remain underutilized and unrestored. Although its offices are still rented and an evangelical group uses the auditorium on Sundays, the theater has remained closed to movie and theater audiences since 1994 after suffering some damage during the Northridge Earthquake. While it is a Historic Cultural Landmark, plans of office towers rising in the lot behind the theater continue to circulate as its neglected façade casts a shadow over the Boulevard. Its issues are further highlighted by the fate and condition of other “lost” theaters along the boulevard, the Fox, the Vogue and the Hawaiian, which have all been radically or insensitively altered for new uses.

HISTORICAL RESIDENTIAL NEIGHBORHOODS

The recent survey of central Hollywood's historic resources commissioned by the Hollywood Redevelopment Agency as a result of a lawsuit settlement with Hollywood Heritage, brought to light the existence of several intact historic neighborhoods representing various periods and forms of Hollywood's development. These small districts have been eroded over the decades and represent the last of Hollywood's residential communities dating from the first half of the twentieth century. To date, the new survey has not been approved by CRA/LA, nor are there any official boundaries or recognition of these communities by the Planning Department, increasing the risk of further incompatible infill and demolitions. One of the most beautiful historical Hollywood neighborhoods is the Outpost Estates, developed by Charles E. Toberman.

Hollywood Photographs

The largest collection of historic Hollywood photos is on the hollywoodphotographs.com website. There are more than 12,000 photos, covering over 90 subject caategories on the website.

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