Saturday, June 6, 2009

Los Angeles History Tidbits

If there were 36 hours in a day, or if Other Fun Projects didn't take so much time, there's plenty of things I would have researched and blogged about here. Such as:

  • An LA Times story about the Fred Harvey Restaurant at Union Station--in the "L.A. Then and Now" column. The picture at right is my own, and I did a post on this once, but Steve Harvey's piece tells a lot more of the restaurant's history, from its operation as a real travelers' diner (1939-1967) to its more recent appearances in movies and political events.

  • News that the rotunda ceiling of Griffith Observatory, with murals by Hugo Ballin, was selected as one of the top ten ceilings in the world by the VirtualTourist website. Keeping company with the Tiffany Ceiling of Macy's in Chicago, Chagall's paintings over the Paris Opera Garnier, or the Chihuly glass in the Bellagio Las Vegas' ceiling is ot-nay oo-tay abby-shay. This picture is from the Big Orange Landmarks website.

  • An article on Chinatown by Lisa See (she has a new book out too: Shanghai Girls). Actually, as she describes 1938 Los Angeles, there were four Chinatowns, including a touristy one surrounded by a miniature "Great Wall" and built using leftover sets from The Good Earth and other movies.

  • Castillo del Lago is up for sale, at just under $15 mil. This is a 1926 mansion built for a oil-rich guy named Patrick Longdon and then owned by Bugsy Segal (did he have a speakeasy there?) and later, Madonna. Apparently her brother put the stripes on the place. Read about it and see droolworthy pictures at Luxist or LA Curbed. Follow LA Curbed's link to a 1999 Los Angeles Magazine piece that quotes realtor Crosby Doe--who sold Castillo del Lago three times and lived nearby--trashing Madonna for committing "one desecration after another" during her renovation.

1 comment:

LAkompany said...

Just last week, even in all this heat, I went up to see the new observatory. I'd been waiting for the crowds to thin and then I forgot about it. I needed some pics for my blog regarding filming locations, so it was about time. After taking the REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE pics, I went inside and found myself mesmerized by that ceiling. Thanks for the background information.