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GaylordWilshire Nov 30, 2010 10:39 PM

Great Chester Place survey, gs-- elsewhere here check out the Newhall/Addams house on the part of Chester Place perpendicular to the original stretch (it started out as part of W. 25th St). Along with the one I keep of Berkeley Square, I have a whole notebook chronicling the houses of Chester Place, with records of original owners, architects etc--Doheny eventually acquired almost every one, renting them to friends and associates at very favorable rents. These houses are well-documented photographically, unlike those in Berkeley Square. Btw, young Doheny wasn't the only Chester Place scion to die young under mysterious circumstances. So was the one for whom the Judge had named his subdivision:

Read all about it here:

PHX31 Nov 30, 2010 11:48 PM

Pyrenees Castle, Alhambra, Ca

Atop a small hill surrounded by a 1920s and 30s working class neighborhood, sits the Pyreness Castle. Built in 1926 for Sylvester Dupuy, the castle was designed and built to be similar to a chateux in France he admired as a child.

Here is an image of the Pyrenees castle shortly after completion, just before the neighborhood below began to fill in:
Source: zillow, city of alhambra,

This City of Alhambra link gives the interesting history of the castle, with an exerpt below:

On a hilltop, overlooking southwest Alhambra, sits a fabulous castle.

The dense walls of the Pyrenees Castle embrace much history. In 1926, Sylvester Dupuy's dream of building a castle had come true. The Pyrenees Castle was the culmination of his childhod dream to build a replica of a beautiful chateau he had admired when growing up in Southern France.
Dupuy's $250,000 vision was built of concrete and steel. The castle's walls were 3-feet thick at the foundation and 1-foot wide at the eaves. It had 10 bedrooms, eight fully tiled bathrooms with Italian marble floors, a game room, a breakfast room, an office, dens, service and utility rooms, a large basement, an extensive balcony, covered patios and a large wine cellar in which the Dupuy family made its own wine.

Magnificent chandeliers, crystal sconces, gorgeous wood paneling, beautiful hardwood floors, a marbled center hall and a courtyard with a huge water fountain embellished the palace. The 3-acre property also included tennis courts, playgrounds for children and towers guarding its strategic corners.
Over the years, the castle has had several owners, sheltered many residents and has been the source of fantastic legends. One tale told of a wealthy motor magnate who never permitted himself to be seen entering or leaving the building. "Eastern gangsters," secret elevators and passwords were the fodder for other tales....
Of a slightly more famous and recent note, on February 3, 2003, current owner of the castle Phil Spector shot and killed actress Lana Clarkson in the castle. But everyone knows about that.

My mother grew up a couple streets down from the Pyrenees Castle in Alhambra (back in the 1950s). She recently took me by her old house and told me stories of her childhood memories of "the castle", which to her and her friends as kids was haunted. It's very heavily wooded, gated, and walled and currently it is hard to see the place from the streets.

Here are a couple bird's eye pictures of the castle (sorry for the skewed picture, I was including my mom's old house in the picture (which is the top left house in the first picture and the bottom right house in the second picture)):
Sources: Bing birds' eye

ethereal_reality Dec 1, 2010 2:11 AM

I never knew the rich history of the "Pyrenees Castle" in Alhambra.
(secret elevators, passwords and "Eastern gangsters" gotta love it) Thanks for posting PHX31.

Here's another "castle" in Alhambra. It looks very low rent compared to the Pyrenees Castle.
I believe it says Diamond Castle on the turret. Anyone know the history of this one?
usc digital archive

Also, I really enjoyed reading about Chester Place gsjansen.
There's so much of L.A. I have yet to discover.

jcchii Dec 2, 2010 5:05 AM

I noticed the Black Dahlia post from a few pages back. Anyone interested in that case might pick up the book "most evil"

LA detective basically proved his father did it and went on to be the zodiac killer

malumot Dec 2, 2010 9:58 AM

Son of Elmar
L.A. Noir lives.

Suspect in Chasen's death kills himself -

Under surveillance in the publicist's death, he pulls out a gun as police approach him in his apartment building in Hollywood.

A man described as a suspect in the slaying of veteran Hollywood publicist Ronni Chasen fatally shot himself at a Hollywood apartment house Wednesday evening as Beverly Hills police were serving a search warrant there.

The shooting occurred about 6 p.m. at the Harvey Apartments on Santa Monica Boulevard.,1544032.story

The four-story Harvey, in the 5600 block of Santa Monica Blvd in Hollywood, is a 1920s-era former hotel (The El Cortez?) comprised mostly of studios at a low price-point and catering to many month-to-month renters.

Pretty much the same recipe for all those joints up on old Bunker Hill.

gsjansen Dec 2, 2010 4:31 PM

they may not be noirish, but man does not live by noir alone....sometimes ya need a couple of n'yuck n'yuck n'yuck's and a few whooo whooo whooo whooo's in your life :haha:

some then and now images of screen shots from the 1936 three stooges short "False Alarms".

The fire house, (engine Co. 61), where moe, larry and curly work as firemen is located on Larchmont Boulevard just South of melrose Avenue in Hollywood.

Moe Larry and Curly clean fire hoses outside the fire house looking north on larchmont towards melrose

Curly retrieves a run-a-way hose from the east side of larchmont

Curly almost gets done in by a southbound speeding vehicle and a northbound third street railroad trolley car

at the end of the short, moe larry and curly run away in a bekins moving van containing the demolished, on fire, smokey remains of the fire chiefs new car, heading south on la brea avenue from the chief and the rest of the engine company who are in hot pursuit. the view is looking south on la brea towards wilshire across 6th street

MikeD Dec 4, 2010 4:17 AM


Originally Posted by sopas ej (Post 4428157)
Great pics, ethereal! Looking at those drive-in restaurants has given me an idea... just thinking out loud. ;)

You're correct, Lafayette Park is adjacent to MacArthur Park, just west of it.

And Simon's apparently was a chain, I assume. And it looks like they had a monopoly on Wilshire Blvd. Hehe ubiquitous like a Starbucks.

Here's one on Wilshire near La Brea, circa 1945.

The same one at night:

I came across this great forum while looking for info on the LA gas tanks. Once a year my brother and I fly out to LA to check out movie locations, mostly westerns. But we also spend a couple of days in LA roaming around Hollywood or downtown LA. We are also big film noir fans.
Anyhow, I apologize if this has been mentioned before (I may have missed it.) but that building behind Simon's on the corner of LaBrea and Wilshire was the Daily Planet during the first season of "The Adventures of Superman". Although shown in 1951, I think it was filmed in 1949. After that first season, some smart ass put a four sided billboard on the top which necessitated the move to City Hall for the second season. This is the Daily Planet that when the camera pans down you see those strings of triangular colored flags that once were strung around used car lots. The building and billboard are still there.
Somewhere in this thread the Carnation Building was mentioned as being used for the Daily Planet that first season. The entrance was used, most memorably in the episode 'Crime Boss' where Tris Coffin's girlfriend, Dolores Fuller (Ed Wood's girlfriend) films the Planet staff leaving the building. The Carnation building is a few blocks east on Wilshire.
If haven't bored you yet, just up LaBrea at the corner of 4th is where Bernard Gorcey had his fatal car accident. Bernard Gorcey was Leo's father and played Louie Dombrowski in the Bowery Boys series, as if you didn't know.

As soon as I posted this I saw the 3 stooges pictures above. I had been waiting for my account to be activated and hadn't looked at the latest posts. That's the Daily Planet with the blue Samsung billboard on top!!!

JeffDiego Dec 4, 2010 5:36 AM

Hello Mike: Don't think anything you have to share is boring. Probably most everyone here is interested in odd and arcane tidbits of LA and Hollywood history, architecture, crime etc. Keep it coming.

GaylordWilshire Dec 4, 2010 2:29 PM

Truth, Justice, and the American Way
Hello MikeD--that is great stuff. Keep it coming, the more arcane the better! I didn't know that there was ever another Daily Planet building besides City Hall. The building on the ne corner of Wilshire and the LaBrea you mention was originally called the Wilson Building, built in 1929 by the same architects who did the Chinese and Egyptian theaters (Meyer & Holler). I was always familiar with the building when the billboard on top read "Mutual of Omaha"--in fact pictures of the building with that sign signified L.A. to me as much as those of City Hall did, not to mention shots of the palms against the white western wall of the Carnation Building.

MikeD Dec 4, 2010 4:08 PM

Ok, you asked for it. I don't have too many pictures online at the moment but here are a couple. Here's the entrance to the Carnation Building. Dolores Fuller lets loose with a line something like this - "This dreamboat is Clark Kent."
Neither of those two thugs in the picture is me.

Here's the Daily Planet -
Thanks for the info on the building.

This hill on a corner of Glendale Blvd is where the 3 stooges lose a load of beer barrels off the back of a truck. There's a distinctive sign that doesn't show up well at this angle. I do have another angle if you want.

These steps (not too far from the Music Box steps) are the ones that Curly carries an ice block to the top which transforms to an ice cube. I think the stooges may go sliding down them also.

This road in Culver City appears in the Superman episode 'The Mind Machine' where Dan Seymour takes control of govt witness's minds. One victim hijacks a school bus up the hill so Clark and Lois come roaring up this road. I think a bunch of episodes use this hill to the east of MGM. There's oil derricks up there; probably where the Mole Men come out of the earth. I couldn't get a shot from above because there was heavy construction going on. Afraid I might have missed the boat on that photo op.

This ballfield is where the bus was parked when it was hijacked. You can match the hill in the background. Here's where Superman leaves Lois & the bus driver.
Hey, there's one of the thugs from Carnation Building.

Somebody asked for crime - here you go. Humphrey Bogart's last stand location from High Sierra. Sorry it's not LA, but it is CA!

Have I worn out my welcome after 2 posts?

gsjansen Dec 4, 2010 4:30 PM

a great 1940 aerial view looking east on wilshire boulevard with the intersection of la brea at the lower left. The daily planet building, (wilson building), in it's pre-billboard hat glory
Source: USC Digital Archive

when i lived in los angeles in the late 60's early 70's, the building with it's mutual of omaha sign was such a icon on the miracle mile.

here's a 1930 image of the building under construction
Source: LAPL

before the wilson building was constructed, the site was home to a gilmore gas station
Source: USC Digital Archives

a wider 1928 view showing the gilmore station on the ne corner of wilshire and la brea
Source: LAPL

gsjansen Dec 4, 2010 4:58 PM


Originally Posted by MikeD (Post 5080608)
Ok, you asked for it. I don't have too many pictures online at the moment but here are a couple.

These steps (not too far from the Music Box steps) are the ones that Curly carries an ice block to the top which transforms to an ice cube. I think the stooges may go sliding down them also.

great posts MD! welcome to the party

the three stooges steps are from the 1941 short, "an ache in every steak"

the location of the steps is fair oak terrace in silver lake.

MikeD Dec 4, 2010 4:59 PM

Those are pretty neat pictures of the Wilson Building. Funny, after we found out about it being the Daily Planet a couple of years ago, we kept on finding ourselves driving by it as we zigzagged the area looking for locations.

In the interest of full disclosure, I should add that most of the locations were found by others, sometimes friends not as lazy as I am or on the internet, in books or newsletters. But there are times I find them on my own. A Superman website led me to the Mind Machine road but while in that area I noticed a divided road that I recoginized as being in "The Talkative Dummy" where the trucks are hijacked (no, I'm not embarrassed that I remember the episode name). Driving up the road we came across that ballfield. Then I thought the hill looked familiar so we broke out the portable DVD player (now I'm embarrassed) and matched up the hill with the Mind Machine bus scene.

GaylordWilshire Dec 4, 2010 7:07 PM

gs--your aerial of Wilshire & La Brea reminds me of one of my very favorite buildings in L.A. No doubt Lois took her famous Nash Rambler (and Clark his Nash-Healey) here for service:

The se corner of La Brea and 8th Street View
I couldn't find a shot of Noel Neill as Lois Lane with her own, but here is
a Nash factory photo of the same model of Rambler she drove.
Appropriately enough, this is known as the "Lois Lane Rambler"
among collectors.

George Reeves/Clark Kent/Superman with his Pinin Farina-designed Nash-Healey.

MikeD Dec 4, 2010 8:59 PM

Here's a shot of the current Angel's Flight and a couple of old buildings within view. I thought they looked interesting. I did take a ride. The old wall next to Angel's Flight might have some history to it or why would they leave it up. At one time there was the wreck of an old Angel's Flight car around here someplace but I couldn't find it. Wish I had found this forum before this October trip. I would have done more roaming around downtown.

MikeD Dec 4, 2010 9:39 PM

John Hamilton's (Perry White) last residence, The Villa Elaine on Vine Street. Wonder if he used the pool. Bad time of day to get that sign on the brick wall.

MikeD Dec 4, 2010 9:48 PM

Lucy and Desi's house in Beverly Hills. Lucy climbs that wall in 'Lucy meets Richard Widmark". Is that Lucy, Ethel and Carolyn Appleby standing in front of it?

MikeD Dec 4, 2010 10:09 PM


Originally Posted by ethereal_reality (Post 4754959)
I'll stay on the aviation topic just a bit longer.

Below is Glendale's Grand Central Airport then and now.
2007 photo by Loren Latker

I took this picture in the late nineties. It not a digital picture and I copied it off a location website I had given it to which is why it's so blurry. But you could walk up the steps to the second floor balcony. My brother's up there at the top of the stairs. Sorry to see its fenced off (did the owners see that website?). I thought I had read that Disney had bought it and was using it for some sort of animation project. It's pretty obvious that I am not a professional photographer (who put that palm tree there?).

GaylordWilshire Dec 4, 2010 10:33 PM


Originally Posted by MikeD (Post 5080898)
Lucy and Desi's house in Beverly Hills. Lucy climbs that wall in 'Lucy meets Richard Widmark". Is that Lucy, Ethel and Carolyn Appleby standing in front of it?

Mike-- While that is the house currently standing at 1000 N. Roxbury Drive (ne corner of Lexington Road) in Beverly Hills, it isn't Lucy's. Whoever built the incredibly ordinary McMansion in your shot not only saw fit to tear down Lucy's house, but a house by the great architect Paul Revere Williams:

EDIT: It seems I'm crediting Paul Williams with the wrong Lucille Ball/Desi Arnaz house. There is confusing information online, but using the seemingly definitive website, it was the couple's Palm Springs house that was designed by the architect, not this one.

GaylordWilshire Dec 4, 2010 10:54 PM

While the Wilson/Mutual of Omaha/Samsung building at Wilshire and La Brea may have served (with the Carnation Building nearby) as the first home of the Daily Planet, its second actually appeared in the opening sequence of the first season of the Adventures of Superman in 1951. While it's not apparent at first that this is Los Angeles's City Hall, comparison shots reveal its identity:

All four shots above are of the Spring Street facade of City Hall--the first two are from the actual opening of the tv show.

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