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  #2141  
Old Posted Dec 10, 2010, 6:55 PM
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an amusing little anecdote about harpo marx when he lived at the garden of allah. this is from his autobiography Harpo Speaks

“My little bungalow in the Garden of Allah was a peaceful retreat. It
was the best place to practice I ever had - until a piano player moved
into a bungalow across from mine and shattered the peace.
I was looking forward to a solid weekend of practice, without
interruptions, when my new neighbour started to bang away. I couldn’t
hear anything below a forte on the harp. There were no signs the
piano banging was going to stop. It only got more overpowering. This
character was warming up for a solid weekend of practice too.
I went to the office to register a complaint. One of us had to go, I
said, and it wasn’t going to be me because I was there first. But the
management didn’t see it my way. The new guest, whose playing was
driving me nuts, was Sergei Rachmaninoff. They were not about to ask
him to move.

I was flattered to have such a distinguished neighbour, but I still
had to practice. So I got rid of him my own way.

I opened the door and all the windows in my place and began to play
the first four bars of Rachmaninoff’s Prelude in C sharp Minor, over
and over, fortissimo. Two hours later my fingers were getting numb.
But I didn’t let up, not until I heard a thunderous crash of notes
from across the way, like the keyboard had been attacked with a pair
of sledgehammers. Then there was silence.

This time it was Rachmaninoff who went to complain. He asked to be
moved to another bungalow immediately, the farthest possible from that
dreadful harpist. Peace returned to the Garden.

I didn’t really know until much later how sharp my intuition had been.
I found out that the great pianist and composer detested his Prelude
in C-sharp Minor. He considered it a very Minor piece of work. He
was haunted by it everywhere he went, by students who butchered it and
by audiences who clamoured for it, and he wished he’d never written
it. After playing the damn thing nonstop for two hours I knew exactly
how he felt.”




Last edited by gsjansen; Dec 10, 2010 at 7:10 PM.
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  #2142  
Old Posted Dec 10, 2010, 7:26 PM
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a then (1928) and now (googlemaps streetview) of the garden of allah

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  #2143  
Old Posted Dec 10, 2010, 7:28 PM
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GaylordWilshire GaylordWilshire is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ethereal_reality View Post
A more modern Garden of Allah sign on the corner of Havenhurst Dr. and Sunset blvd. in 1959.
The complex was torn down that same year.


usc archive

Maybe it's just obsessive wishful thinking, but after "driving" around the old Garden of Allah courtesy of Google Street View... all I can find that may still be in place are the tree and the hydrant on the se corner of Sunset and Havenhurst, and maybe those trees behind the walls:

Google Street View
Well, maybe the hydrant has been moved a little toward Sunset, from the grey spot closer to the tree....
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  #2144  
Old Posted Dec 10, 2010, 10:24 PM
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^^^very cool find.

That anecdote from Harpo Marx was great.
It gave you a sense of what it must have been like in the villas.
The artists, actors, writers, and true bohemians all vying for space.
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  #2145  
Old Posted Dec 10, 2010, 10:39 PM
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This only makes sense in our crazy upside down world.

We lose the real Garden of Allah with its decades of rich history....and then they build a fake one in Orlando Florida.



kiskybiz


click on this link to view the tourist's caption under her photo.
http://www.travelpod.com/travel-phot....jpg/tpod.html

Last edited by ethereal_reality; Dec 10, 2010 at 11:20 PM.
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  #2146  
Old Posted Dec 10, 2010, 10:50 PM
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I just found this:

If you're at all interested in the Garden of Allah this is the perfect article.

http://sunsetstrip.scandalopolis.com...f-allah-hotel/




and this.


unknown

Alla Nazimova and her beard.

Last edited by ethereal_reality; Dec 10, 2010 at 11:03 PM.
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  #2147  
Old Posted Dec 10, 2010, 11:18 PM
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Originally Posted by ethereal_reality View Post
This only makes sense in our crazy upside down world.

We lose the real Garden of Allah with it's decades of rich history....and then they build a fake one in Orlando Florida.

Good grief--the tourist's caption is pretty sad. It's crazy enough that a replica is built 2,200 miles from Hollywood, but the irony is doubled if no one knows why. And I bet 99% of visitors to whatever Orlando theme park the replica is in have no clue. I'd like to think that they'll Google this forum, but I don't think I'll hold my breath.
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  #2148  
Old Posted Dec 11, 2010, 12:55 AM
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Originally Posted by JeffDiego View Post
Fascinating photos of The Garden of Allah , and Nazimovoa. Speaking of unusual, long-gone apartment complexes that I don't believe have been featured here, a pal who lived in West Hollywood in the 50's says that there was a very large complex of stage-set like French cottage-style apartments, probably built in the twenties which may have been called Normandy Village. (Similar in architectural style to the small and still-standing "French Village Apartments" located in a quiet residential area of Hollywood, supposedly having a connection to Charlie Chaplin).I believe it fronted on the Sunset Strip and was a block square in size. I came across a photo of it on the LA Times a few years ago. Lots of peaked roofs and picturesque stairways. Anyone have photos or info?
A tidbit of gossip (my pal is probably the world's expert on old Hollywood and forgotten celebrities; he wrote many books on the subject) is that among the residents there was Harald Ramand (also known as Harald Maresch, originally from Vienna), the man who got Lupe Velez pregnant before she committed suicide in 1944 (he was blamed and it ruined his budding movie career). He lived at the complex with a gay lover.
Here is a bit about the French Village Apartments from Ken Schessler's 'This is Hollywood', a great little guide to interesting and "unusual" Hollywood sites. I lost my original during one of our expeditions but picked up a used one cheap on Amazon. It's arranged by different neighborhoods and includes basic maps. It also includes Beverly Hills and downtown LA.


"Hidden behind the trees here is one of Hollywood's most unique apartment courts. The unusual shaped bungalows that resemble a small French village complete with a narrow cobblestone street, were built about 1920 by Charlie Chaplin for use as a movie set in one of his pictures. 1330 Formosa"

I took one or two pictures back in 94 or 95 before digital cameras existed. From what I remember, there was a 6 foot fence around the court plus a closed entry gate. But we were able to see the tops of the bungalows. I'll see if I can dig up the pictures when I get a chance.
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  #2149  
Old Posted Dec 11, 2010, 1:23 AM
malumot malumot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ethereal_reality View Post
This only makes sense in our crazy upside down world.

We lose the real Garden of Allah with its decades of rich history....and then they build a fake one in Orlando Florida.


click on this link to view the tourist's caption under her photo.
http://www.travelpod.com/travel-phot....jpg/tpod.html
--A pretty faithful copy of the original. The sign at least.

As to the caption-er: In her defense she looks pretty young. Ignorance of youth.

Nice find.
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  #2150  
Old Posted Dec 11, 2010, 2:10 AM
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Originally Posted by MikeD View Post
Here is a bit about the French Village Apartments from Ken Schessler's 'This is Hollywood', a great little guide to interesting and "unusual" Hollywood sites. I lost my original during one of our expeditions but picked up a used one cheap on Amazon. It's arranged by different neighborhoods and includes basic maps. It also includes Beverly Hills and downtown LA.


"Hidden behind the trees here is one of Hollywood's most unique apartment courts. The unusual shaped bungalows that resemble a small French village complete with a narrow cobblestone street, were built about 1920 by Charlie Chaplin for use as a movie set in one of his pictures. 1330 Formosa"

I took one or two pictures back in 94 or 95 before digital cameras existed. From what I remember, there was a 6 foot fence around the court plus a closed entry gate. But we were able to see the tops of the bungalows. I'll see if I can dig up the pictures when I get a chance.

Thanks, Mike. I found these photos of French Village on Formosa Avenue.

http://allanellenberger.com/book-flm...plin-film-set/

There must be some photos somewhere of that big French-style complex that was on Sunset. I have a vague memory of reading that it burned down, but at the least it was razed.
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  #2151  
Old Posted Dec 11, 2010, 2:32 AM
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Today's Wall Street Journal has an article call the "L.A. Noir Tour" which features many of the noir haunts of the city's past. It even has an interactive map of some of the best noir spots to visit.
Here it is:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...Tabs%3Darticle
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  #2152  
Old Posted Dec 11, 2010, 2:46 AM
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Originally Posted by gsjansen View Post
west side of main street between temple street and republic street 1940 and now

All your work on 411 N Main and surroundings. Amazing.
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  #2153  
Old Posted Dec 11, 2010, 2:52 AM
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I recently obtained this panoramic "double postcard" view of Downtown, circa 1904. (I think it may actually be a M. Rieder photograph, but that's only my amateur opinion.) Anyway, I just think it's a really neat view of Broadway and the Edwardian cityscape in general! Hard to grasp that it hasn't even been a hundred years yet since the city looked like this...



Is there any way a normal person living here today would recognize this as Los Angeles? Amazing that a city of such significance could change so completely in only one-and-a-half human lifespans, isn't it!

(For those who may want a better look at the old city, there's a nice hi-res enlargement of this image available on my most recent blog post.)
You note on your site that you think it may be '04 because the Lankershim is under construction; I would second that in that the Moore Cliff, in the center of the right panel of the card, is covered in scaffolding. It TOO was constructed (and opened) in aught-four!

That's an amazing piece, congrats.
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  #2154  
Old Posted Dec 11, 2010, 3:36 AM
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---------------------------------------------------------------
Beaudry - You're the best. (Well a lot of you are.) I keep coming back here like moth to a flame. Thanks for all the recent posts, and the informative background.

In trying to answer a question I pose to myself (Why do I find Bunker Hill so fascinating?), here's a couple really brief reasons I came up with---

The hill itself. Sounds obvious, but......that was a VERY steep hill in parts, as Beaudry pointed out in his most recent Third Street photos. There was a reason why there was demand for such a thing as Angel's Flight. And 100 years ago they didn't have the earthmoving capability they do now. A little scraping and tunneling here and there but they pretty much worked with what they found....and that led to some very interesting streetscapes.

Take the Second and Third Street tunnels....If road-builders came upon that barrier today they would simply V-cut it. Ho hum. And no way would you get anything like The Sawyer (and many others) that are only three stories on the uphill end but 8 stories on the downhill side! I surely don't see unique curiosities like that where I live, on the Broad, Beige Plains of Irvine......LOL

The other thing I find fascinating is that so many of the structures are of the same vintage, which lends something of a consistency and repetition to the streetscapes. (By extension, the first rule of landscaping is repetition of a theme.) You have your late 19th century Victorians and early 20th century apartment/hotels, but the place was pretty much built out by the mid-1920s.

Most cities have become a hodgepodge of old and new architecture. The result usually isn't very pleasing. Or even jarring, if one considers NYC's Grand Central Station juxtaposed against the Met Life Building. And to be fair, the New Bunker Hill works pretty well precisely because of that same reason...it is pretty much ALL more modern architecture.

Back to work. Thanks again to all the posters.
I think you hit the nail on the head. Reminds me of the quote from Ask the Dust -- "The hotel was called the Alta Loma. It was built on a hillside in reverse, there on the crest of Bunker Hill, built against the decline of the hill, so that the main floor was on the level with the street but the tenth floor was downstairs ten levels." (Fante's Alta Vista, on the W side of Bunker Hill Avenue [at 3rd], rode the down the hill à la the Sawyer.)

But then, if architectural homogeneity is a motivator, wouldn't the same be arguable for Irvine? I may be proven wrong, but will we mourn Tustin so when it's erased come 2050? (Of Bunker Hill's allure there are no quick answers, but at least the road to understanding her is paved with enormous pleasure. However bittersweet it may be.)
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  #2155  
Old Posted Dec 11, 2010, 5:16 AM
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the best that i can figure, this building is the old st. mark apartment that was on the se corner of olive and 1st. I can't find a photo of the building's olive street entrance, (which is the entrance shown above), but here is a 1952 image of the 1st street elevation


LAPL

of course i could be wrong......................
Do you mean the SW corner? Because that's this bldg, and I'm interested to know how you came across the St. Mark name -- I've always called it either the Cecil or by its later name The Gladden. Anyway, I can definitely say yes, it's this building, because I've got a full-frontal image of it clearly at this corner just before demolition (unfortunately, a photo of an unpublished slide I don't own so can't post it here).

However, I am happy to say that this movie star of a building is in more than just Brasher Doubloon (post #1930). Having done a bunch of shot examinations of The Turning Point back on pp. 69-70, here's another one:



Ed Begley walks into the Hotel Gladden, 102 S Olive:



Here's William Holden checking out the scene:



But where's he checking out the scene FROM? Good question! Kitty-corner, there was a market in the apartment building at 501 W 1st/103 N Olive. It's obscured a bit by this mother and daughter --


Hylen, Cal State Lib, http://catalog.library.ca.gov/exlibr...JQJXH173PA.jpg

...and of course one thing leads to another...

...so here's that market in better detail, October 09, 1951. Oh, still partially obscured...




http://digitallibrary.usc.edu/search...=1292043519751
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  #2156  
Old Posted Dec 11, 2010, 5:43 AM
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Do you mean the SW corner? Because that's this bldg, and I'm interested to know how you came across the St. Mark name -- I've always called it either the Cecil or by its later name The Gladden.
the st. mark name that i used comes from the 1909 birdseye map of los angeles



the st. mark (corner of 1st and olive) is on the far right, just above center.

B Man! thank you so much for posting the images from the turning point, i was never quite sure where that building was that holden tailed begley to. i always thought the corner shop where holden knows the storekeeper was filmed at the store at grand and third in the nugent, but now i know that it's actually pollinger's market at 1st and olive!
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  #2157  
Old Posted Dec 11, 2010, 6:32 AM
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the st. mark name that i used comes from the 1909 birdseye map of los angeles



the st. mark (corner of 1st and olive) is on the far right, just above center.

B Man! thank you so much for posting the images from the turning point, i was never quite sure where that building was that holden tailed begley to. i always thought the corner shop where holden knows the storekeeper was filmed at the store at grand and third in the nugent, but now i know that it's actually pollinger's market at 1st and olive!
A-ha! You're absolutely right. I shoulda looked at that.



Weird. It's the Cecil in the 1906 Sanborn map, the St. Mark in the 1909 Birdseye, the Gladden in the 1922 Baist's Atlas.

My copy is pretty crummy but as he gets out of the car you can just make out the "Olive Court" gun street sign behind him; I just noticed that for the first time as I was putting this together...
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  #2158  
Old Posted Dec 11, 2010, 8:46 AM
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So much good stuff on here lately. Thought I'd contribute some new material...fire up the old scanner and dig around for motels that caught my eye as being particularly...evocative.

Because I love motels. I love the people who work there, who eye you with that mix of distrust, disinterest, and disgust. That first cold blast of the clamorous, rattling A/C. Thin towels, disinfectant, getting to know the other long-termers. Won't even go into the beds, that is, discuss them.

Here are some motels 'round town:

First off, the Town Motel:



Really nice International/Streamline. Dig the lone car. (Also see the even more imperious http://www.flickr.com/photos/zilf/2949669127/ )

Another streamline --



"Beautiful" is code word for "oil derrick". That towers over.



...in case you're checking your Google Street, we're 0 for 3. However, this one still stands:



http://www.flickr.com/photos/thomashawk/4842549732/



Should we assume "Back" means "on your"?

The Sun Motel:



Deco masterpiece The Sun has had some work done, but looks more bleak, in this one http://www.flickr.com/photos/zilf/1118714044/ ...but look at the cars. The card where they have the addition and improved signage appears to predate this image by a good ten years. Uh-huh.

Though no sun shall enter


...where at Vine Lodge -- 1818 N Vine -- the patio is forever empty and shadowed. (At least it's still extant.) (Though the back of the card reads "All rooms cross ventilated, insuring constant fresh air." Needless to say, Vine Lodge has since been hemmed in by massive developments.)



5154 Sunset -- "Largest Motel in Hollywood -- 125 Rooms -- 35 Kitchens."

They've blocked up the arch, but everything is still back there:



And now, my favorite of the set --



Not only because it's the greatest image of all time (Tick Tock Motel -- just seems to connote "Because Your Time is Running Out!"), but because it still looks basically just like this. Granted, it's been painted beige, and the neon is gone (and so are the cars) but all its streamline trimmings are there and the giant Cargill Foods grain silo still looms o'er.
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  #2159  
Old Posted Dec 11, 2010, 8:40 PM
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Beaudry-- That was one of my favorite posts yet. I might add to your list of thin towels, smell of disinfectant etc, those gas wall heaters with ceramic crosshatched burners.... and of course I couldn't resist driving around town via Google Street View. It turns out that the La Brea Towers does still stand--note the window pattern and roofline of the Summit Motel at the same address. It still has its tower although it's now a billboard rather than a derrick. (I love the idea that someone might have imagined a glamorous highrise before arriving at the the La Brea Towers Hotel....)


Summit Motel nee La Brea Towers Hotel, 5005 S. La Brea


The Paradise is still The Paradise. And it even has a great "new" sign:



Don't you hope Paradise is like this? 1116 Sunset


The Sun Motel seems to have been replaced, building and all, by an America's Best Value Inn. But the house to its left remains:


5265 Sunset


The Vine Lodge--same name, same place:


1818 N. Vine


The Nity-Nite (my favorite name) is now the Copacabana Inn. And it's still eminently respectable--weekly specials are available, but there is no mention here of hourly rates.


5316 S. Figueroa


And the Tick-Tock--another great name (even if a little odd and perhaps suggestive). As you say, it's still there with the silo above. It doesn't seem to be receiving guests any longer, however.


1444 S. Atlantic Blvd., East Los Angeles


All photos via Google Street View
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  #2160  
Old Posted Dec 11, 2010, 9:46 PM
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Beaudry-- That was one of my favorite posts yet. I might add to your list of thin towels, smell of disinfectant etc, those gas wall heaters with ceramic crosshatched burners.... and of course I couldn't resist driving around town via Google Street View. It turns out that the La Brea Towers does still stand--note the window pattern and roofline of the Summit Motel at the same address. It still has its tower although it's now a billboard rather than a derrick. (I love the idea that someone might have imagined a glamorous highrise before arriving at the the La Brea Towers Hotel....)


Summit Motel nee La Brea Towers Hotel, 5005 S. La Brea


The Paradise is still The Paradise. And it even has a great "new" sign:



Don't you hope Paradise is like this? 1116 Sunset


The Sun Motel seems to have been replaced, building and all, by an America's Best Value Inn. But the house to its left remains:


5265 Sunset


The Vine Lodge--same name, same place:


1818 N. Vine


The Nity-Nite (my favorite name) is now the Copacabana Inn. And it's still eminently respectable--weekly specials are available, but there is no mention here of hourly rates.


5316 S. Figueroa


And the Tick-Tock--another great name (even if a little odd and perhaps suggestive). As you say, it's still there with the silo above. It doesn't seem to be receiving guests any longer, however.


1444 S. Atlantic Blvd., East Los Angeles


All photos via Google Street View
Gadzooks! You're absolutely right (especially about the gas wall heaters, and their younger cousin, the dust-covered coil heaters that glow orange). But also about the La Brea Towers, I didn't look hard enough and was thrown by the "Custom Window Blinds" store or whatever it is they plopped down in the middle of the parking lot.

I like how the derrick in the far distance is basically replaced by a cell phone tower:




Oh, the times, they are a-changin'.

And the Sun is apparently still with us -- sort of --




The tower, the basic fenestration, the slight hint of the filled-in door (if you do a close-up on Google Street at the Copacabana, you can see where they "filled in" the Nity-Nite entry)...as is true with so many motels around town, it's had some sort of "Tuskan" makeover.

Glad you liked the post, I certainly had fun doing it! It's about time I put my years of fetishism to some good use. There'll be more...
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