Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Hollywood Bowl and High Tower

It is surprisingly quick to get from the crummy, touristy area of Hollywood up into secluded hilly neighborhoods. One group of houses in this area is so inaccessible that residents have to park their cars in freestanding garages at the base of the hill and then walk up stairs or take a private elevator in the "High Tower" to get to their houses:The High Tower was built in 1920 and its design is based on a Bolognese tower. Here is a view of the elevator landing at the top of the High Tower:

These hilly neighborhoods are criss-crossed with public stairways that are hidden in between houses:

The Hollywood Bowl, home to the L.A. Philharmonic since 1922, is the country's largest natural outdoor amphitheater and is located in the hills about one mile from central Hollywood. The stage and shell were originally built in the 1920s and are constantly being renovated to improve acoustics. The original shell was built by Lloyd Wright (Frank's son) and updates include a 1980s remodel by Frank Gehry. Here is a photo from the Bowl of the present-day shell with the Hollywood sign in the background:

George Stanley, the sculptor who designed the Oscar statuette, built this beautiful art deco fountain at the entrance to the Hollywood Bowl in 1940:

This funny dog on Camrose Drive doesn't realize that his owners have made a painting of him on the other side of his peep-hole to the street from his yard:

I combined Walks 16 and 17 from my favorite book "Walking L.A." by Erin Mahoney Harris to do this walk around the lower Hollywood Hills area:


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14 comments:

  1. I'm sure this High Tower & elevator landing featured in the film "The Long Goodbye" - the Philip Marlowe character played by Elliott Gould lived next to the top of this landing. mum xx

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  2. It also features in an old episode of the Naked City series "From New York to LA" way back in the late 50s.

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  3. First of all - a nice blog :-). Love reading (and seeing) about what and where I should have visited when I was in LA in 2003. Bugger... Have to come back...

    The High Tower was also mentioned in Michael Connelly's book "Echo Park" - the clothing and shopping of a missing girl was discovered in a car in one of the garages. I don't know which one though. I haven't finished the book yet but if there's more relevant information... I'll let you know.

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    1. Andrew (gerando on google earth photos)March 17, 2012 at 12:11 AM

      That's why I love Michael Connelly books because they feature all these wonderful places.

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    2. Andrew (gerando on google earth photos)March 17, 2012 at 12:15 AM

      I may have missed it if you mentioned it in your blog, but there is a Lloyd Wright house up in the High Tower apartments.

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    3. Connelly is such a fan of Chandler that he actually lived in one of the apartments there for a few years.

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    4. That book is the reason I am looking at this page. Thank you for the pictures.

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  4. Also mentioned in Michael Connelly's book "Echo Park"

    Great Blog :-)...

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  5. My friend says that back in the 60's they all thought the tower was haunted and would go there to look at it but were afraid to go in. Anyone else hear anything like this ?

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    1. During the late 60's, we discovered a primitive old elevator that was like a crate that could fit about 4 people suspended and operated by a cable. There apparently had been an out of order sign on it. It may have been removed for safety reasons by now. Does anyone know anything about it?

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  6. High Tower was also used prominently in the classic 80's Kenneth Branagh noir thriller "Dead Again". Emma Thompson lives in the High Tower building and there are some suspenseful shots of the killer coming up in the elevator.

    I lived in the penthouse of High Tower for many years. It was so high I remember waking up in the morning, looking over the railing and literally looking down on hawks circling beneath me. It truly is one of the most unique buildings in LA.

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    1. Andrew (gerando on google earth photos)March 17, 2012 at 12:09 AM

      I was just about to mention Dead Again!
      To think that you lived there..Wow that's amazing, it's one place I've always wanted to live. I bet you could hear concerts from the Hollywood Bowl there?

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  7. I knew a few people who lived there in the 60's. Lots of partying. The elevator always smelled of urine, lovely.

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