Topic: Light and Shadow
On Hollywood Boulevard, Monday, October 09, 2006 - a few doors -
A little of India -
The front door of the Geisha House -
How about a little poison green at an abandoned smoke shop?
Shouldn't there be two M's here?
Topic: Nature and Botanicals
Nature is supposed to be all calm and that sort of thing. Not so - high tension shots in the deep shadows at the Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden on the UCLA campus, photographed Friday, October 6, 2006.
Topic: Botanical Studies
One of the better botanical shots - a specimen at the Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden on the UCLA campus, photographed Friday, October 6, 2006.
1927 Rococo Madness
Topic: Historic Hollywood
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.
Verticals at Hollywood and Vine
Topic: Geometric Shapes
A study in composition - the Equitable Building - 1929, by Alexander Curlett - on the northeast corner of Hollywood and Vine, 6253 Hollywood Boulevard - Gothic Deco -
Verticals at Hollywood and Vine
Here's some history -
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.
In 1927, when planning began for the Equitable Building of Hollywood, drug-store magnate Sam Kress envisioned the structure as a direct link between Hollywood and Wall Street. Kress planned to include a brokerage office in the building that would provide this link that he believed was desperately needed for the burgeoning film industry in Southern California. When the building was completed at the end of 1930, it was occupied by a bank on the ground floor with various tenants, including Hollywood agent Myron Selznick, in the upper floors. Selznick's agency represented a who's who of Hollywood stars including Vivien Leigh, Gary Cooper, Laurence Olivier, Boris Karloff and Henry Fonda. The building's namesake, The Equitable Trust Insurance Company, was the prime tenant for the building.
The building's gothic-deco design was the work of architect Aleck Curlett, also responsible for other L.A. landmarks including the Park Plaza Hotel near MacArthur Park and the Irving Thalberg Building at MGM. The building is adorned with exterior artwork, hand carved gargoyles, floral designs and twisting rope trim, some of which had been covered over during previous building renovations. The Equitable Building formed a triumvirate of commercial office towers at the corner of Hollywood and Vine with the Dyas Building and the Taft Building. These three towers, with their imposing edifices and classical aesthetics, became the financial center for the area's film industry from the early-1920s to the mid-1930s. Since its heyday in the early days of Hollywood, the building has been home to numerous tenants and as a result many of the buildings aesthetic amenities were covered over as utility took prominence over design.
Beginning in 2000, the building underwent a two-year restoration program to restore it to its previous grandeur, including replacement of damaged or missing gargoyles and other fixtures and the removal of tile along the first 12 feet of the building's façade. Inside the building, yellow starburst floor tiles were ripped out to reveal original marble floors and above the low-slung ceilings workers found original art-deco panels.
The building has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places for its contribution to the Hollywood Boulevard Commercial and Entertainment District.
M2A Architects did the earlier restoration (more photos at link) -
At one of the most recognizable intersections in the world, the Hollywood Equitable Building was built in two phases in 1929 and 1930. Over the years, the building withstood numerous "renovations, modernizations, and tenant improvements" so little original historic fabric remains on the interior or below the second floor on the exterior.
M2A, working with the Owner, Gilmore Associates, implemented a full upgrade of the building to provide state of the art office suites within the historic envelope. Remaining historic suites and bathrooms were restored, and the lobby returned to its original location and character.
But, most importantly for the National Register Historic District, the original entry and ground floor facades were recreated and commercial activity will be restored to the ground floor. While some original drawings are available of the original facade details, substantial research was conducted into photo documentation as a basis for reconstructing the facade.
The little stone guys stay.