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Yamashiro Hollywood Photos & History

Yamashiro Hollywood Photos & History

The famous Yamashiro Hollywood has been a popular fixture in Hollywood for more than one hundred years.  First as a beautiful residence and then as a popular restaurant and hotel.

Yamashiro Hollywood Sold

Just recently, the Yamashiro Hollywood property was sold by the Tom Glover family to Chinese company, the JE Group. The price was about $40 million.  The property had been in the Glover family since 1949 and managed as a restaurant, hotel and apartments. The JE Group said is plans on sprucing up the buildings, including the restaurant, hotel and apartments.

1918 Yamashiro Hollywood

Vintage Yamashiro Photos

The largest collection of Yamashiro photos is on the website. Most of the photographs were taken in 1918, with some in the 1970’s.

1918 Interior of Yamashiro Hollywood

Bernheimer Brothers

In 1911, Adolph and Eugene Bernheimer, leading New York importers of oriental goods, arrive in Hollywood and purchase 3 1/2 acres on the crest of a high hill at the head of Orange Drive, just west of Highland Ave. and north of Hollywood Blvd. .  It was the Bernheimer brothers’ dream to create an exact replica of a palace they had seen while traveling in the Yamashiro Mountains near Kyoto, Japan. The following year, they began construction on a home whose architecture is reminiscent of mansions of lordly Japanese rulers. During the period of construction, and additional 29 lots were purchased, increasing the estate to about 7 acres. After approximately 2 years of construction, the Bernheimer's Yamashiro (Palace on the Hill) was completed in 1914.

The main building was 120 ft. square, with a sunken inner meditation court or patio forty feet in either direction. All of the living rooms of the castle opened upon this inner court, set in the center of which was a splendid example of anti-Japanese modeling in the form of a bronze fountain.

1918 Exterior of Yamashiro Hollywood

Yamashiro Gardens

The manicured gardens, circular terraces and white retaining walls loomed upon the view like a vision from the skies. The interior was furnished by one of the rarest and most valuable collection of Chinese and Japanese furniture in existence. After having spent two years and approximately $120,000, the Bernheimers had the distinction of owning one of the most beautiful and unique homes in Hollywood.

After his brother passed away, Adolph Bernheimer sold a home in 1923 and build a similar residence in the Pacific Palisades overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

1918 Interior garden at Yamashiro Hollywood

New Owners

During the next 20 years, the property passed through several hands causing the once magnificent gardens and structure to decline to a horrible state of disrepair. In 1945, Leo Post purchase the adversarial and increase the size of the second floor by adding several apartment units. At the same time, he established a cocktail lounge on the ground floor.

In the late 1940’s, he sold the rundown mansion to Tom Glover, who continued with the same operation. Glover embarked on an extensive restoration program, which when completed, allowed the public to enjoy the original beauty of the fabulous palace. In addition, he began restoration of the intended gardens, which included regular Bonsai trees, miniature palms, and beautiful oriental plants. After seven years of painstaking manicuring, the palace landscaping was restored to its original beauty. It was at this time that Glover began using the name Hollywood Hill Hotel in addition to the name Yamashiro.

1973 From of Yamashiro Hollywood

Resident Celebrities & Movies

During the 1970’s and 1980’s,  several celebrities, including Richard Pryor, Jerry Dunphy and Pernell Robert lived in apartments on the property.

During Glover’s ownership, the “Palace on the Hill” has been filmed in several motion pictures and television productions including “Sayonara”, “I Spy”, Perry Mason”, “Hollywood Backstage”, and many others.

Please visit the website to view scores of vintage Yamashiro Hollywood photos.

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