PRESERVATION

The landmark Egyptian Theatre has been the focus of press attention in the last six months due to media reports of a pending transfer of ownership. At this date, and to our knowledge, no such transfer has as yet been completed and articles in the press lack sufficient detail to justify taking any position on a projected, but unexecuted, transaction.

 

That being said, we would clearly anticipate that any such transfer of a national landmark building in a national historic register district would be reviewed with transparency by and all responsible public agencies, departments, or commissions. As the first Sid Grauman theatre in Hollywood and the site of the first gala "premiere" with searchlights and a red carpet, the Egyptian Theatre is a defining structure in our built environment and merits careful consideration in order to protect and preserve its unique architectural and cultural value not only to Hollywood, Los Angeles and America, but the world in general, which views Hollywood as a shared international cultural asset.

When there is specificity and detail regarding a change in the projected operation of the theatre which may affect its future, Hollywood Heritage will be happy to share its observations and opinions on such plans, specifically as it relates to the monument, the district, and non-profit law and operation.

 

 

Richard Adkins, president
Hollywood Heritage, Inc.

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Step One for Landmark Hopefuls.

A number of buildings were on the agenda for the Cultural Heritage Commission to take under consideration. They are included in a proposal to develop the area adjacent to and surrounding the Crossroads of the World, which is already on the Cultural Heritage inventory. 

The buildings ranged from wood frame and stucco structures before Hollywood was part of Los Angeles, and ran through commercial structures of the 1920's to high style apartment buildings of the late 1930s.  The Art Deco Society and the AIDS Healthcare Foundation submitted these nominations, with Hollywood Heritage, The Los Angeles Conservancy, and the 13th District Council office there to speak in support of these nominations. 

All of the following WERE APPROVED except for the Major Kunkel bungalow which was simply too altered and modernized in its interior and detailing for the commission to be able to consider.

Here are the approved nominations - 

LAS PALMAS REGENCY COURTYARD APARTMENTS.

1535-1555 North Las Palmas Avenue; 6700-6718 West Selma Avenue

Owner: Cross Roads Properties I, LLC c/o Morton La Kretz

Applicant: Art Deco Society of Los Angeles

Preparer: Charles J. Fisher

Built in 1938-1939, these three courtyard apartments draw their style from art direction in the films of the period. Georgian and Regency details are modified and reprduced in exaggerated and simplified proportions and details to reference previous periods while adding in some Art Deco conventions such as geometric details and repeated linear accents to bring these previous architectural forms into the 20th Century. The three buildings share massing and proportion, while differing in specific detailing on both the interiors and exteriors.

Proponents spoke to the context in which these buildings existed at the time, adjacent to the radio, recording and motion picture studios, and to their design as family apartments. Although they do not have a specific architect, possibly due to the fact that the company that built these and other structures in Los Angeles and Hollywood had a staff of architects working for them, they are clearly the work of an architect with their attention to detail and design. 

Creative brick work, decorative pediment door frames with multiple panels, terra cotta tiles inset in an "outdoor carpet" style are among the details that illuminate these structures. 
 

The courtyard apartment style was very popular in Hollywood and Los Angeles as we have the benefit of such good weather as to encourage indoor-outdoor living. 

These buildings are on the West side of Las Palmas, across from Crossroads of the World and like Crossroads, speak to a lower rise Hollywood with a greater sense of neighborhoods and communities. Much of this type of housing disappeared as the automobile came to dominate the area and the Hollywood Freeway served to change Hollywood's character from that of a destination to being en route between newly developing suburban areas and centers of business and manufacturing as they moved in concentric circles outside of the metropolitan Los Angeles and Hollywood areas.

At Risk and Endangered Hollywood

TALBOT-WOOD DOUBLE DWELLING

1606-1608 North Las Palmas Avenue

OWNERS: Linda Duttenhaver and Cross Roads Properties I LLC, et al. c/o Morton La Kretz 6671 West Sunset Boulevard, Suite 1575 Hollywood, CA 90028

APPLICANT: Liza M. Brereton, Counsel AIDS Healthcare Foundation 6255 West Sunset Boulevard, 21st Floor Los Angeles, CA 90028

PREPARER: Anna Marie Brooks 1109 4th Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90019

Built as a stucco-and-wood double residence in 1916 by Howard Wood whose wife was the former Elsie McCadden, daughter of the man for whom McCadden Place, one street to the West of this structure, was named. Located on property once owned by the (de)Grass family, one of the earliest French residents of Hollywood. Residences from this period are rare and duplexes equally as rare, making this an important indicator of the early demand for different types of housing in the Hollywood community.

BULLINGER BUILDING

6683-6689 West Sunset Boulevard

OWNER: Cross Roads Properties I, LLC c/o Morton La Kretz 6671 West Sunset Boulevard, Suite 1575 Hollywood, CA 90028

APPLICANT: Liza M. Brereton, Counsel AIDS Healthcare Foundation 6255 West Sunset Boulevard, 21st Floor Los Angeles, CA 90028

PREPARER: Anna Marie Brooks

A 1923 commercial building built in a modified Romanesque style designed by architec Ray L. Jones. The Bullinger building was built with apartments on the second story (now an art gallery) and retail on the ground floor. Currently encosed arched windows were once openings on the South side of the buildings interior patios. Residents and businesses include opera singers, music concert artists and director Fred Niblo who directed the 1925 "Ben-Hur" for the newly formed Metro-Goldwyn company.

MAJOR KUNKEL BUNGALOW (left)

1542 North McCadden Place

OWNER: Linda L. Duttenhaver, Trustee Lindy Trust 6671 West Sunset Boulevard, Suite 1575 Los Angeles, CA 90028 APPLICANT: AIDS Healthcare Foundation 6255 West Sunset Boulevard, 21st Floor Los Angeles, CA 90028

PREPARER: Anna Marie Brooks

A 1910 Crafstman style Bungalow built when McCadden was named Bonita Place, which was changed when Hollywood became part of Los Angeles. The home was the residence of Harry Kunkel, the first ever Air Polluion Controller in Los Angeles starting in 1945, moving on to to a position with the County Air Pollution Control District in 1948.

The house's only major alteration appears to be the encapsuation of the exterior porch pillars which have also been cladded with river rock, both reversible conditions. 

NOT ACCEPTED - FRITZ COTTAGE (right)

1547-1549 North McCadden Place

OWNER: Linda L. Duttenhaver, Trustee Lindy Trust 6671 West Sunset Boulevard, Suite 1575 Los Angeles, CA 90028 APPLICANT: AIDS Healthcare Foundation 6255 Sunset Boulevard, 21st Floor Los Angeles, CA 90028

PREPARER: Anna Marie Brooks

Built in 1907, this is a pre-annexation residence. It was built by Godfrey Fritz and his son-in-law Raymond Vosdenbosch, an experienced contract. Mr. Fritz established the sugar business in Oxnard, California which started that town. The business was founded on the processing of the sugar beet, a newer crop, instead of the more conventional sugar cane. Mr. Fritz and his son-in-law also founded the Excelsior Furnace company and Mr. Vosdenbosch owned and operated a hardware store in Hollywood named for him.

The Next Step Will Be.... and thanks to the Sponsors and Supporters

The next step for these proposed nominations is to the Planning department's Planning and Land Use Management Committee for their cosideration and from there to the full Council.

 

We would like to thank Councilman Mitch O'Farrell for his support and the Art Deco Society and the AIDS Healthcare Foundation for their sponsorships of these nominations, which we support. We will let the Hollywood Heritage Membership and mailing list know when the dates for these specific meetings are to be held and we encourage the writing of letters and attendance at the meetings for support and vocal participation. 

All the photos for these entries were taken by Margot Gerber, President of the Art Deco Society of Los Angeles.

Hollywood Heritage Museum + Archive + Preservation Society

2100 N. Highland Ave.

Hollywood, CA 90028

Telephone:  (323) 874.2276  

Email: store@hollywoodheritage.org

Museum Hours:

Saturday and Sunday Noon - 4 PM

During the summer: Due to the Hollywood Bowl's schedule, please call to make certain that we are able to be open.