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The hotel that could have been…

Posted by Allan Ellenberger on Jun 6th, 2012
Jun 6


The Hollywood-California, the hotel that could have been




By Allan R. Ellenberger


Sometimes building projects get no farther than the drawing board—maybe even more so in Hollywood, the land of big dreams. In 1922, the Davenport Corporation announced the construction of a grand building enterprise for the film capitol—The Hollywood-California, a Class A hotel-apartment building to cost in the neighborhood of $3.5 million—a grand neighborhood for 1922.


Architect Harry H. Whitely was hired to complete the design. The site where the hotel would be constructed was comprised of an entire block of frontage on the north side of Hollywood Boulevard, between Bronson Avenue and Gower Street, which at the time was known as the Brokaw property. Today the historically significant, former nightclub, the Florentine Gardens, is located on part of that block.


The Hollywood-California Hotel was designed to contain 717 rooms and it was to be built in the shape of a cross, with four wings radiating from a central, octagonal shaped unit. The wings were so designed that each succeeding floor would be stepped back from the floor below, an arrangement which would provide roof-gardens for a number of the apartments occupying ends of the wings.


Whiteley’s design provided single rooms, a single apartment or a double apartment. The studio apartments on the top floor would have two-story living rooms, with balconies, which opened to the bedrooms.


Entrance to the hotel was arranged at the intersections of the wings, between which it was planned to lay out extensive gardens. The main lobby, three stories in height was to be located in the central octagonal unit, and in this lobby the elevators and other service features was located.


The hotel was designed to be a combination of Spanish and Italian. The exterior finish would be of stucco, with a tile roof, while the interior finish of the apartments would be of mahogany, southern gum and pine. Marble wainscoting, with tile flooring and mutual decorations, would be used in the main lobby.


Other features incorporated in the plans, included an auditorium, palm room, dining room, and an auxiliary dining room with a dance floor. The main floor, in addition to these features, would house twenty shops, arranged to permit catering to outside clients, as well as to guests of the hotel. A garage with sufficient capacity to accommodate the automobiles of guests was connected directly to the main building.


Unfortunately, the Hollywood-California Hotel never came to be. No reports of why the project was abandoned were ever published but it was most likely due to finances, zoning or some other such technicality.  Had it been built, there is the likelihood that it would have been demolished at some point, to make way for progress as so many of Hollywood’s landmarks have been.



Ray Bradbury Obituary

Posted by Allan Ellenberger on Jun 6th, 2012
Jun 6


Ray Bradbury dies at 91; author lifted fantasy to literary heights




Ray Bradbury’s more than 27 novels and 600 short stories helped give stylistic heft to fantasy and science fiction. In ‘The Martian Chronicles’ and other works, the L.A.-based Bradbury mixed small-town familiarity with otherworldly settings.


By Lynell George
Special to the Los Angeles Times
June 6, 2012


Ray Bradbury, the writer whose expansive flights of fantasy and vividly rendered space-scapes have provided the world with one of the most enduring speculative blueprints for the future, has died. He was 91.


Click here to continue reading the Los Angeles Times obituary for Ray Bradbury



Richard Dawson Obituary

Posted by Allan Ellenberger on Jun 6th, 2012
Jun 6


Richard Dawson dies at 79; host of TV’s ‘Family Feud’




Dawson was a British actor who appeared in ‘Hogan’s Heroes.’ He went on to host the game show ‘Family Feud,’ charming female contestants by kissing them on the lips.


By Greg Braxton
Los Angeles Times
June 3, 2012


Richard Dawson, the British actor who went from comedy co-star in the popular TV series “Hogan’s Heroes” to his best-known role as the charming host of the TV game show “Family Feud” with his trademark of kissing the female contestants on the lips, has died. He was 79.


Check here to continue reading the Los Angeles Times obituary for Richard Dawson



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