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
Vine Street near corner of Hollywood Avenue, showing the Capitol Records building (© Bettmann / Corbis)
1750 Vine Street
Instantly recognizable for its resemblance to a stack of vinyl records, the 13-story Capitol Records Tower was nicknamed “The House that Nat Built” to acknowledge the financial success singer Nat King Cole brought to the company. The tower was constructed in 1956 and is the world’s first circular office building. A rooftop spire flashes “Hollywood’ in Morse code, and the building’s three glass and wood studios remain some of the best in the business. Everyone from Dean Martin to Coldplay has recorded here. Music pioneer Les Paul helped design the property’s eight underground echo chambers, each producing a unique reverberation that can’t be duplicated. Though parent company EMI sold the tower in 2006 they continue to lease it, despite rumors of closing down West Coast operations. Still, the proposed construction of nearby 16-story condos has some worrying about Capitol’s future in Hollywood.