Sunday, October 06 2013

KFA at Hollywood & Vine

corner copy

The recent topping out of the Taft Building seismic upgrade at the southeast corner of Hollywood and Vine marks the third of those famous four corners that KFA has improved. We converted the Broadway-Hollywood Department store, at the southwest corner, into condominiums for the Kor Group in 2007 and the Equitable Building, on the  northeast corner, into apartments for Palisades Development Group in 2008.

An edited history of that intersection, taken from Wikipedia, follows:

The area was a lemon grove until 1903, when Daeida Beveridge allowed one corner of the dirt intersection on her property to be used for the building of the Hollywood Memorial Church for the local German Methodist population. The streets were renamed in 1910, when the town of Hollywood was annexed by the City of Los Angeles.

Beginning in the 1920s, during the Golden Age of Hollywood, the area began to see an influx of money and influence as movie and music businesses began to move in, turning the local farms and orchards into movie backlots. Hollywood and Vine was the second busiest intersection in the area, after Wilshire Boulevard and Western Avenue. On May 29, 2003, Hollywood and Vine was named “Bob Hope Square” to commemorate Hope’s 100th birthday.

The first “high-rise” building at Hollywood and Vine was the 12-story Taft Building, built in 1923 on the southeast corner on the site of the old Memorial Church. It was built for A.Z. Taft Jr. by architects Walker & Eisen, in the Renaissance Revival style. “In Hollywood’s golden age, all the studios had offices there,” said Hollywood Chamber of Commerce President Leron Gubler, including Charlie Chaplin and Will Rogers.

From 1935 to 1945 it was home to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences offices. On the northeast corner of Hollywood and Vine is the Equitable Building, a Gothic Deco commercial tower built in 1929 on the northeast corner, designed by Aleck Curlett. Next to it is the famous Art Deco movie house, the Pantages Theatre, built in 1930 by B. Marcus Priteca, the first of its kind in the United States. The Academy Award ceremonies were held at the Pantages from 1949 to 1959.

On the southwest corner, the B.H. Dyas building was built in 1927 by architect Frederick Rice Dorn. The B.H Dyas Specialty Emporium was a victim of the depression. From 1931 to 1982 it housed The Broadway-Hollywood department store. The famous sign is a historical landmark and remains. The building has an art deco style annex just to the west of it built in the 1930s.

In 1927, while researching The Skyscraper for DeMille Studios, Ayn Rand visited the building and, while waiting for her contact to arrive, went to the nearby Hollywood Branch Library, where she was reunited with Frank O’Connor, whom she had lost track of 6 months earlier when DeMille’s The King of Kings finished shooting; Rand and O’Connor then began dating, were married in 1929 until his death in 1979.