Hollywood's Historic Buildings
Theaters and other architectural gems lined Hollywood's famous boulevards during its Golden Age and now hold restored star appeal
- By Laura Kiniry
- Smithsonian.com, March 01, 2010
The Hillview Apartments (Los Angeles Public Library)
6531 Hollywood Boulevard
Confronted with signs reading “no actors, no dogs” on many Hollywood rentals, silent film stars like Joan Blondell and Stan Laurel moved to the 54-unit Hillview Apartments. The pink stucco complex was built in 1917 to provide actors with lodging near the movie studios. Not only did the U-shaped Mediterranean-style “Pink Lady” have a spacious parlor and central courtyard, there was even an automatic elevator. And though the basement was originally planned to be a rehearsal space, Rudolph Valentino turned it into a speakeasy during Prohibition. Falling out of favor as the Hollywood neighborhood deteriorated in the 1960s, the property was declared unsafe in the ’90s and became a squatters dwelling. After a fire in 2002, historic photos were used to restore the building to its original 1917 appearance, including recreating exterior arches and storefront windows. It reopened as luxury residences in 2005.