Posts in Art & Architecture
Howard Hughes Headquarters

Its beautifully muted art deco exterior camouflages into the dusty side streets of Hollywood south of Santa Monica Boulevard, among warehouses and studios and parking lots and new construction sites. Despite its elegance, it’s the sort of building on a forgettable street that you might drive by countless times without a second glance. But rounding the perimeter from North Sycamore Ave, the unsuspecting visitor is all of a sudden met with a bright, lush entrance behind wrought iron deco gates. It's as if this journey moves its passenger from the world of black and white to color--an unintentional metaphor for the building’s beginnings as an early color film processing plant, and the colorful, outlandish, and at times disturbing life that 7000 Romaine Street has lived since its construction in 1930. And it is no less a metaphor for its former owner who was often inextricable from the building itself--Howard Hughes, the eccentric Texan who burst on the Hollywood scene while battling his own sickness, demons, and brilliance, overflowing from his mind like the wild ivy that overtakes the entrance to his former command center.

Read More
The Sowden House

A concrete den of sex, scandal, and intrigue. A stunning example of Mayan Revival American architecture. A glamorous Hollywood haunt. And perhaps where Elizabeth Short, the Black Dahlia, met her deadly demise. For more than 90 years, the Sowden House has captured the morbid curiosity of true crime fiends, Old Hollywood lovers and architecture admirers alike….

Read More
Earl Carroll Theater

Those famous words, "through these portals pass the most beautiful girls in the world,"  emblazoned in bright neon above Sunset Boulevard, once beckoned people from across Los Angeles to come to see one of the most glamorous, risque, and tantalizing shows the world had ever known. This was the famous Vanities at Hollywood’s Earl Carroll Theater; a revue known as much for the soaring music, infectious comedy, and elaborate costumes as it was for the scantily-clad performers themselves. Yet today, the now-empty theater shows no signs of the grandeur that attracted a packed house of moviegoers and movie stars alike during its brief, but unforgettable mark on Los Angeles during Hollywood’s heyday.

Read More
The Spider Pool

Rome has the Colosseum, Greece the Parthenon, and then there’s Machu Picchu in Peru. In a city like Los Angeles, a mere infant in comparison, the idea of “ruins” and lost history doesn’t always come to mind. But here we prove otherwise by telling a story that involves a Hollywood eccentric, a house made of movie props, a spider-clad pool, a fire that nearly destroyed it all, and our modern quest to locate these, well, modern ruins—the “Spider Pool.”

Read More