Topic: Botanical Studies
Rococo emerged in France in the early eighteenth century as a continuation of the Baroque business - but not as heavy and dark. The usual words used to describe it are opulence, grace, playfulness, and lightness - carefree stuff, not heroic battles or religious figures. The word Rococo is apparently a combination of the French rocaille, or shell, and the Italian barocco, or Baroque style. You do get a lot of shell-like curves and odd flowers and figures. Anyway, when the term was first used in English, sometime around 1836, it was a colloquialism meaning "old-fashioned." And by the mid-nineteenth century it was - everything had turned all neoclassical.
Rococo hit Hollywood big-time in the late twenties, when the film industry really took off, at the tail end of the silent film era. And a few of the Rococo palaces are still around.
This is the Avalon Hollywood, 1735 North Vine - just a few steps up from Bob Hope Square (Hollywood and Vine), and sort of across the street from the famous Capitol Records Building. This opened in 1927 as the Hollywood Playhouse, but it was the El Capitan in the forties, then the NBC Radio Theater, then the Hollywood Palace. It was the home of Ken Murray’s "Blackouts" and "Hollywood Palace" - television variety shows from the fifties no one remembers. Some might remember the "Colgate Comedy Hour" and "This is Your Life," and "The Jerry Lewis Show" - and the first years of "The Lawrence Welk Show." Those were done here, as was the first nationally televised telethon. But it wasn't Jerry Lewis getting all weepy with the sick kids - it was to raise funds for the 1952 US Olympic Team. Bob Hope and Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra were featured.
These days it's a techno-thump dance club, as explained here - "Avalon Hollywood and WiredLA present Avaland - voted one of the top three dance music clubs in the nation and Number One in Los Angeles. Avaland features the world's biggest names in the electronic dance-scene coupled by some of the cities best local talent. Residents include world renowned DJ's Sasha, Danny Howells, Roger Sanchez, Sander Kleinenberg, Hybrid, Ferry Corsten, Nick Warren and more - all presented with Avalon's own EAW Avalon Series Sound System, twenty-six moving lights, an LED wall, and top-of-the line decor."
Things change. It's still Rococo.
But the building is being converted into THE LOFTS @ HOLLYWOOD AND VINE - scheduled for completion in December 2006 and will provide sixty residential units and five office units. The developer is Palisades Development Group.
The little stone guys stay.
The neighborhood school is the Howard Fine Acting Studio, 1445 North Las Palmas Avenue, a few steps south of Sunset, just around the corner from Crossroads of the World. This is a New York conservatory-style professional studio - two stages and one open space, three hundred current students, with Fine and eight additional "master faculty" members.
The site lists those who have studied and are studying with Fine - "Brad Pitt, Val Kilmer, Diana Ross, Jennifer Connelly, Sela Ward, Billy Campbell, Jon Bon Jovi, Kim Delaney, Elle McPherson, Brooke Shields, Darryl Hannah, Kelli Williams, Alison Eliot, Chris Meloni, Rosanna Arquette, Lee Tergesen, Claudia Schiffer, Jason Priestly, Michelle Williams, and currently Garry Shandling, Salma Hayek, Gerry Butler, Mark Dacascos, David Eliot, Heather Locklear, Richie Sambora, Michelle Kwan, Michael Chiklis, James Belushi, Scott Wolf, Rob Estes, Lori Loughlin, Mark Harmon, Pam Dawber, Maura Tierney, Adrian Pasdar, Heather Tom, Elizabeth Berkeley, Jared Leto, Jack Noseworthy, Danny Nucci, Tisha Campbell, David Faustino, Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson, Estella Warren, and Tori Spelling, among others."
Someone chose the stage name Jack Noseworthy? It must be a Cyrano thing.
Be that as it may, the building is all angles and colors - the stucco work is fine, nothing special, but the colors are startling. These shots are from noon, Tuesday, October 3 - not a celebrity in sight, anywhere. This is an exercise in color and composition.