Posts Tagged ‘Basque’

The Laemmle Building

Thursday, May 1st, 2008

Hollywood and Vine:

A History

 

by Allan R. Ellenberger

 

Arguably the most famous intersection in the world, Hollywood and Vine sometimes disappoints tourists who search it out. Yesterday’s fire at the intersections northwest corner made me think about its history. The intersection first became famous in the 1930s because many of Hollywood’s important radio stations were located nearby.  “Brought to you from Hollywood and Vine” was a familiar opening to many early radio broadcasts.

 

Historic 1920s office buildings are located on three of its corners. On the northeast corner is the Equitable Building (1929), a Gothic Deco commercial building, designed by Aleck Curlett. The B. H. Dyas building (1927) on the southwest corner at one time housed The Broadway-Hollywood department store. It’s famous sign still stands on its roof. And on the southeast corner is the Taft Building (1923), by architects Walker & Eisen in the Renaissance Revival style. This building once housed offices for Charlie Chaplin, Will Rogers, Hedda Hopper, Photoplay magazine and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

 

On the northwest corner is the building devasted by yesterdays fire. At first glance it may not be mistaken for a Hollywood landmark, however, it was built in 1932-1933 by Universal founder, Carl Laemmle and bore his name (Laemmle Building) for many years. Designed by famed architect, Richard Neutra in the International Style, the building has been altered many times over the decades (beginning in 1940) and no longer retains any of its original features.

 

Below are photos from the Laemmle Buildings past:

 

Vine Street at Hollywood Blvd. in 1907. The house on the left is the
approximate location of the Laemmle Building

 

The former Laemmle Building in the 1950s

 

The Laemmle Building’s (left) incarnation as a Howard Johnson’s Restaurant

 

 

 The former Laemmle Building in the 1990s

 

Currently, the building housed the Basque Nightclub and Restaurant (6263 Hollywood Blvd.), a popular celebrity hangout. Actress Lindsay Lohan recently celebrated her 21st birthday at Basque and rap star Kanye West partied there earlier in April. Scenes from the movie Ocean’s Eleven were filmed there and the property had recently been sold as part of a renovation renaissance in Hollywood.

 

 

 

As the intersection appeared yesterday morning (Al Seib/Los Angeles Times)

 

Sadly, the 75 year-old Laemmle Building’s future is unclear. It’s not known at this time if the building is a total loss and will be demolished or if it can be saved. Once it’s fate is known, it will be reported here.

 

 (Bob Chamberlain/Los Angeles Times)

 

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Hollywood & Vine Fire UPDATE…

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

Fire Burns Popular Nightclub

At Hollywood & Vine

 

KNBC

April 30, 2008

 

 

 

  Anita Rosenberg / Los Angeles Times

 

LOS ANGELES — A huge fire burned through the roof of a building housing a popular nightclub at the famed intersection of Hollywood and Vine in Hollywood on Wednesday morning, but no injuries were reported.

  

Firefighters were sent to a large single-story building in the 6200 block of Hollywood Boulevard about 5:30 a.m., said d’Lisa Davies of the Los Angeles Fire Department. The fire was extinguished at 7:58 a.m., she said.

 

But less than an hour later, firefighters were seen battling a flareup on the roof of the building at 1707 N. Vine Street.

  

Firefighters — concerned that the roof could collapse because of heavy air-conditioning units atop the building — moved into a “defensive” posture after about 20 minutes and worked to prevent the flames from spreading to other structures.

 

A large billboard atop the building shifted, causing some concern that it might collapse.

  

Crews using aerial ladders poured water on the flames from above, and utilities to the building were shut off.

  

Metro Red Line trains were unaffected, but officials re-routed bus lines 163, 217, 780, 210 and 180, said Metro spokesman Luis Inzunza.

  

The fire apparently began in the attic of the building, which houses the Basque Nightclub and Restaurant, a firefighter said.

  

Water filled the street outside the building, and traffic was routed away from the area, which appeared likely to remain closed off for much of the day.

  

The blaze was designated a major emergency fire, one that involves the deployment of at least 16 fire engines. This morning, 23 fire engines were sent to the scene, Davies said.

  

It was the second major fire at a Hollywood restaurant in a week. On Saturday afternoon, a fire apparently sparked by faulty wiring gutted “Off Vine,” 6263 W. Leland Way, near Vine Street and about two blocks south of the site of this morning’s blaze.

  

The weekend fire, which left two firefighters injured, caused about $450,000 in damage to the century-old two-story house that had been converted into an eatery, said Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey.

  

Owners vowed to rebuild the restaurant, which has served celebrities and families for more than 20 years.

 

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