Hollywood Hotel

(1903)* - View of the Hollywood Hotel at northwest corner of Prospect Ave. (later Hollywood Blvd.) and Highland Ave. showing a gathering of people, fronted by five identical open-air automobiles. Only the original portion of the hotel had been built at this time. Photo Date: April 26, 1903  


Historical Notes

The Hollywood Hotel opened in December 1902. It was built by early Hollywood developer H.J. Whitley, to support selling residential lots to potential buyers arriving from Los Angeles by the electric Balloon Route trolly of the Los Angeles Pacific Railroad.  It was developed on property owned by Harrison Gray Otis, George Hoover, and Whitley.  Located on the west side of Highland Avenue, the elegant wood structure with Mission Revival style stucco facades and broad verandas also fronted on unpaved Prospect Avenue, lined with California pepper trees. The hotel was sited among lemon groves then at the base of the Hollywood Hills, part of the Santa Monica Mountains in the area. Whitley was instrumental in improvements to Prospect Avenue, which in 1910 was renamed Hollywood Boulevard. Increasing business compelled the building of an additional 40-room wing onto the hotel in 1905.^




(1905)^* - A closer view of the Hollywood Hotel. Guests can be seen standing on the front porch while horse-drawn wagons are parked in front of the hotel and along the curb of an unpaved Highland Avenue.  


Historical Notes

Whitley surrounded the hotel with 3 acres of cultivated gardens. He operated the establishment as a country resort hotel as the developing community of Hollywood first established itself.^




(1906)*– Postcard view of the Hollywood Hotel after new addition.  Prospect Avenue (later Hollywood Boulevard) is still unpaved.  


Historical Notes

The hotel was so successful that in 1906 a huge addition, which included a new entrance, chapel, ballroom, etc. and 125 guest rooms, was constructed running along Prospect Ave (later Hollywood Blvd.), stretching west to Orchid Drive. The whole place, including the gardens took up three acres.




(1906)* - View of the Hollywood Hotel just after it was enlarged to cover the entire block. The original building can be seen on the right.  


Historical Notes

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 it.  She hired Margaret J. Anderson who had worked for her at the Darby and the Fremont Hotels, which Hershey owned, as the manager. Under Anderson's management, the hotel expanded to 250 rooms and became well known in the area, but the two women had a contentious relationship and Anderson left to move to the Beverly Hills Hotel in 1912.^




(ca. 1907)#** - View looking north from the field behind Hollywood High School.  The Hollywood Hotel is seen on the north side of Prospect Avenue (Hollywood Boulevard).  In the far background are the Hollywood Hills.  





(ca. 1910)* - Carriage drawn by six horses in front of the Hollywood Hotel. Thie is the year Prospect Avenue would become Hollywood Boulevard.  


Historical Notes

Hollywood Boulevard was named Prospect Avenue from 1887 until 1910, when the town of Hollywood was annexed by the City of Los Angeles. After annexation, the street numbers changed from 100 Prospect Avenue, at Vermont Avenue, to 6400 Hollywood Boulevard.^




(ca. 1915)^*# - View looking northeast showing a car full of people parked by the curb in front of the Hollywood Hotel.  





(1914)^.^ - Composite postcard of the Hotel Hollywood at Hollywood & Highland, 1914. Creator Frank W. Staley  





(ca. 1915)##^* - View showing a streetcar heading south on Highland Avenue in front of the Hollywood Hotel.  In the background high on a hill sits the impressive Japanese Palace of brothers Charles and Adolph Bernheimer.  





(ca. 1920s)* - Corner view of the famous Hollywood Hotel, located on the north side of Hollywood Blvd, between Highland and Orchid Avenues. It shows a white, 2-story Spanish style structure with numerous windows throughout, a wrap-around porch, neatly manicured lawns, and several tall palms. A cupola can be seen peeking up from behind the arched façade on the left of the building.  





(ca. 1920)^*# - View of the Hollywood Hotel circa 1920. Note how much the trees have grown over the last decade (see previous photo).  





(1930s)#^^ – Postcard view of the Hollywood Hotel with early model car parked in front.  





(ca. 1930s)^^ – Street level view looking at the front entrance of the Hollywood Hotel.  The four-story hotel has a striped awning on the bottom floor, while a tower can be seen at left rising above the fourth floor. Several large windows with decorative wooden frames can be seen on the facade, along with a sign that bears the name of the hotel. Two men can be seen standing outside the hotel near the top of stairs leading down to a circular driveway.  





(1931)* – Street view looking east on Hollywood Boulevard towards Highland Avenue showing the Hollywood Hotel on the left. In the distance can be seen the 1927-built First National Bank of Hollywood on the NE corner of Hollywood and Highland.  




Then and Now

(1931 vs 2022)* - Looking east on Hollywood Boulevard toward Highland Avenue.  






(1936)^***^ – Night view looking west through the foliage of the Hollywood Hotel.  Two cars are parked on the circular driveway in front of the hotel with the bright lights of the neighboring Grauman's Chinese Theatre seen in the distance.  





(1936)^***^ - Night view looking northeast showing the entryway to the Hollywood Hotel with cars parked in the circular driveway.  





(ca. 1937)* - The Hollywood Hotel, located on the northwest corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue.  





(ca. 1937)*– Close-up view showing two women standing under the archway in front of the Hollywood Hotel near the NW corner of Hollywood and Highland.  





(1940)##^* – Postcard view showing the Hotel Hollywood fronting Hollywood Boulevard.  The hilltop Japanese estate and gardens of brothers Charles and Adolph Bernheimer can be seen in the upper right corner.  


Historical Notes

After WWII, the Bernheimer home was remodeled and converted into apartments. Soon thereafter, Thomas O. Glover purchased the property and began the restoration of what was to become the Yamashiro restaurant.*




(1939)*# - View showing a bus making a right turn onto Hollywood Boulevard from Orchid Avenue. The Hollywood Hotel is seen on the north side of Hollywood Blvd. between Orchid and Highland.  


Historical Notes

Today, both this section of Orchid Avenue and the Hollywood Hotel are gone. In their place stands the Hollywood and Highland Entertainment Complex.





(1940s)##** – View looking north on Highland Avenue at Hollywood Boulevard showing P.E. No. 5170 heading south. The  Hollywood Hotel is seen on the northwest corner.  






(1940s)^*# - Postcard view of the Hollywood Hotel on the northwest corner of Hollywood and Highland.  The hotel’s florist shop fronts Highland and can be seen in the lower right.  





(1956)* - Night view of the Hollywood Hotel which was razed shortly after this photo was taken.  





(1956)^#^* – View showing the demolition of the Hollywood Hotel, N/W corner of Highland and Hollywood, with only its florist shop left standing. Both the Chinese Theatre and the Roosevelt Hotel are seen in the background.  


Historical Notes

Though the Hollywood Hotel housed many of the great stars in its day, it was razed in August 1956 to make way for a $10 million development, with a twelve story office building (First Federal Savings and Loan Building), a shopping center and parking lots.^




(1956)^.^ – View looking NE showing what’s left of the Hollywood Hotel after being razed to make way for a new 12-story office building.  Toff’s Coffee Shop (NW corner of Hollywood and Orchid Ave) will also be demolished once the Hollywood and Highland Center is built in 2001.  The iconic First National Bank Building remains standing today.  


Historical Notes

The 12-story First Federal Savings and Loan Building would be constructed at the NW corner of Hollywood and Highland where the Hollywood Hotel once stood. It too would be torn down (1998) to make way for a new entertainment center.  The Hollywood and Highland Center, the current home of the Academy Awards, was constructed on the site in 2001.

Orchid Avenue at Hollywood Boulevard "disappeared" during the construction of the new complex in the late 90s. The other half of the street still exists and can be accessed off of Franklin Ave, the next street north of Hollywood Blvd.



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