Saturday, February 16, 2019

Hollywood Research #4 Frances Howard Goldwyn-Hollywood Branch Library

1623 Ivar Avenue, Los Angeles

We started researching our new book GAME TOWN, in Hollywood, on Hollywood Blvd. Since this was a fact-finding "mission" we needed loads of background information on Hollywood (the real everyday Hollywood). We started with the Hollywood Branch Library.
          The Hollywood Regional Library opened in 1986 after an arson fire destroyed the original structure. The Samuel Goldwyn Foundation built the new library, eliminating entirely, the dark and musty quality of old-style libraries. With plenty of light, modern design, and lots of open space. The new library has plenty of airy, comfortable reading spaces for patrons. 
          The original Hollywood library opened in 1906 in two rented rooms on what was then Prospect Ave. (now Hollywood Boulevard). A project of the Woman’s Club of Hollywood, the library’s first permanent home was built in 1907 by Andrew Carnegie at Ivar and Prospect. It quickly outgrew its space by 192 and moved to its present location. After a 1982 fire, only 20,000 of the library’s then-90,000 book collection was salvageable.
          It features special collections which are focused on Hollywood and the local community. The special collections room is filled with books, scripts, and archival collections that directly relate to the film and television industry

AHA Moment

We were surprised how normal everyday life was in the 1950's Hollywood, California. We found books with photos of film stars talking to their neighbors over the backyard fence (They did not look staged). The trauma of the intrusive Hollywood Freeway was all over the newspapers including a scandal. Hmmm!!

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