Friday, March 22, 2019

Research #9 Hollywood Hotel

Research #9
Hollywood Hotel
formerly located at 6811 Hollywood Boulevard

We started researching our new book GAME TOWN, in Hollywood, on Hollywood Blvd. While researching the Hollywood area in period newspapers, we found mention of the new development that took the place of the Hollywood Hotel. So we Googled it.

          The Hollywood Hotel opened in December 1902. It was built by Hollywood developer H.J. Whitley, to support selling residential lots to potential buyers arriving from Los Angeles by the  Los Angeles Pacific Railroad. The hotel was situated among lemon groves then at the base of the Hollywood Hills.
          Initially, the hotel was advertised as a country resort hotel. Surrounding  the hotel was 3 acres of cultivated gardens
          In 1906 the heiress Almira Hershey, who was then living in a mansion on Bunker Hill in Downtown Los Angeles, took a horse and buggy ride to see the hotel that was being advertised in the Los Angeles Times. She was so impressed with the Hollywood Hotel she decided to buy the hotel and expanded it from 16 rooms to 250.

          By the 1950s, the hotel was rundown and faded from its former glory. Developers were adamant that renovating and restoring the property was out of the question. It was razed in August 1956 to make way for a $10 million development. It was replaced by a twelve-story office building for the First Federal Savings & Loan Association of Hollywood, a shopping center, and parking lots.
          In 2001 those were demolished, and the Hollywood and Highland Center shopping and entertainment complex was built on the site. It includes the Dolby Theatre (formerly known as the Kodak Theatre), the current home of the annual Academy Awards ceremony.

AHA Moment

The hotel was lovely, however, it was gone by spring 1957.  So we decided to make mention of it in the newspaper Skylar during coffee and donuts. But- oh what a hotel it was!

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Hollywood Research #8 Pink's

Research #8

Pink's Hot Dogs

709 N La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038
We started researching our new book GAME TOWN, in Hollywood, on Hollywood Blvd. Since this was a fact-finding "mission" we decided to take the time to sample the foods in L.A. that our characters would frequent for meetings, dates, etc. (Or an excuse to sample great foods)

          Pink's was founded by Paul and Betty Pink in 1939 as a pushcart near the corner of La Brea and Melrose. The Great Depression was still having an impact on the country, and money was scarce. However, people could purchase a chili dog made with Betty's own chili recipe accompanied by mustard and onions on a steamed bun for 10 cents each. As business grew, thanks to Betty's chili and the custom-made Hoffy-brand hot dogs with their natural casings, so did Pink's. The family built the current building in 1946 at 709 North La Brea Avenue in the Fairfax District in West Los Angeles very close to Hollywood.

AHA Moment
The food is fantastic, a great place for our PI, Skylar Drake, and his partner, Casey Dolan to stop for a bite to eat and to perhaps review a case.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Hollywood Research # 7 The Central Library

Los Angeles Public Library, Central Library

630 West 5th Street, 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). After spending time at the Hollywood Branch Library we wanted more and headed to the main library.
          The Los Angeles Library Association was formed in late 1872, and by early 1873, a well-stocked reading room had opened under the first librarian, John Littlefield. Aggressive expansion and growth of the system began in the 1920s.

          The historic Central Library Goodhue building was constructed in 1926 and is a Downtown Los Angeles landmark. The Central Library was designed by the architect, Bertram Goodhue. The Richard Riordan Central Library complex is the third largest public library in the United States in terms of book and periodical holdings. Originally named the Central Library, it received a new wing completed in 1993,  The complex (i.e., the original Goodhue building and the wing) was subsequently renamed in 2001 for former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan, as the Richard Riordan Central Library.
          We spend a day in the library researching old newspapers, circulars and pamphlets of the area dating to winter 1957. We got a wonderful feel for Hollywood's everyday life, at that time.

          The staff in the Historical/Genealogy section were more than helpful in getting just what we needed.

AHA Moment

We found out about several dance clubs in Hollywood and Los Angeles that catered to specific music, i.e. Jazz, Bepop, Rock 'n Roll. Also, some "high end night clubs"  for the elite.