This is a luxury hotel in Los Angeles with a long and rich history. It was Hollywood Roosevelt that hosted the first Academy Awards ceremony. Find out more about the construction of one of the most famous buildings along Hollywood Boulevard at Los Angeles Future.
The historical hotel: how did it all begin?
The Hollywood Roosevelt is one of the most luxurious vacation spots in Los Angeles. Its history began back in May 1927, in the Golden era of architecture in Los Angeles. How was it?
The idea of creating an unusual and luxurious hotel belongs to several famous stars of the film industry:
- the actor Douglas Fairbanks and his wife, a movie star Mary Pickford
- the legendary film producer Louis B. Mayer
- Sid Grauman, the owner of the well-known TCL Chinese Theater.
Famous figures chose the area in front of TCL. The cost of construction is estimated at 2.5 million dollars. The main works were completed in a year. The building in the style of the Spanish Colonial Revival became one of the best architectural jewels of the city.
Architecture of the Hollywood Roosevelt: who did design the luxury hotel?
The star owners wanted their hotel to be the best, so they hired the architectural firm Fisher, Lake & Traver. The company’s architects developed the project, focusing on the principles of the Spanish Colonial Revival architecture. Here are some highlights and features of the building:
• asymmetric T-shaped layout of the 12-story building
• architectural features include wrought iron balconies, arched windows (divided by colonnades)
• Churrigueresque-ornaments spread around the territory of the entire facade
• a red roof — a bright accent in the project of the architectural company.
The hotel is named after one of the US presidents, Theodore Roosevelt.
The favorite hotel of Los Angeles movie stars
That is what it was called, because famous and prominent people liked to stay in Hollywood Roosevelt, for instance, Clark Gable and Carole Lombard. The star couple liked to spend the night on the 12th floor, and the price at the time of opening was an average of 5 dollars per night. These were private meetings surrounded by mysteries and secrets, because the man was still married at that moment.
In the 1940s, Marilyn Monroe lived in the hotel for some time. Modern guests of the hotel can rent the Marilyn Suite, in which she lived, and become a little closer to the legend.
In 1929, it was at the Hollywood Roosevelt that the first Academy Awards ceremony was held.
Hard times: did you know about that?
Even in the history of such a luxurious and famous hotel, there were hard times. It refers to the 1950s, when the owners hid the original architecture of this place during numerous renovations. For instance, the owners covered the facade of a luxurious building with a paint of a sea foam color.
Radisson Hotels purchased the hotel in 1985 and began to operate. It became a salvation for the historical building of the city. Thus, the time has come for a large-scale reconstruction of the entire hotel. The expenses were significant at that time, approximately 35 million dollars. But it was an investment to return the building’s former glory. The new owners wanted to restore the originality of the building, the aesthetics of the design. And for this they had to:
- find the initial drawings of the Fisher, Lake & Traver company
- focus on the restoration of rooms
- focus attention on the restoration of the lobby, which was the face of the hotel.
The owners hired the famous artist David Hockney, who created a wonderful mural inside the hotel.
It is worth adding that in 2005 and 2015 the hotel underwent several more reconstructions.
The historical and cultural monument of Los Angeles
This is how the city authority defined the hotel due to its close connection with the history of Hollywood. Visitors have the opportunity to see the Hollywood elite still staying at the Hollywood Roosevelt.
The location of the hotel was quite successfully chosen, in front of the TCL Chinese Theater. This is the central part of Hollywood. And there are such places nearby that attract tourists every year.
1. The famous Hollywood Boulevard. It is known that until the 1920s, Hollywood Boulevard was called Prospect Avenue, but then Charles E. Toberman decided that it was time for a change and turned this part of the city into a theater district. Subsequently, Hollywood Boulevard became the center of the district with many shops and restaurants, which are loved by movie stars.
2. The Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 1953, E. M. Stewart from the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, together with his colleagues and the construction company Anesco, were able to recreate and draw a parallel with the film industry of Los Angeles. The Walk of Fame consists of the shiny brass stars along the entire boulevard. Each star is related to the name of an outstanding person who made a significant contribution to the development of the local film industry. The modern Hollywood Walk of Fame has a length of 15 blocks. And the number of stars exceeds 2,600.
The first Academy Awards ceremony
This is a well-known historical event that took place in 1929. It was in the Hollywood Roosevelt that the debut of the prestigious annual award ceremony for favorite actors took place. How was it? There was an exquisite banquet at the event, and the number of honored guests reached 270 people. These were the most famous Hollywood stars who arrived by car to the applause of fans. The ceremony was not broadcast on radio or television at that time.
The actor Douglas Fairbanks announced 12 winners in various nominations during a short 15-minute ceremony.
The renovated Hollywood Hotel
This is an iconic building. Since 1927 such celebrities as Marilyn Monroe (she lived in the hotel for more than 2 years), Clark Gable, Charlie Chaplin, Shirley Temple, Ernest Hemingway, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, and other stars have stayed in the hotel rooms. Their list is impressive, as well as the number of movies in which the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel was filmed. For instance, the hotel pool was first shown in a 1955 episode of the hit comedy “I Love Lucy”.
The renowned designer Yabu Pushelberg renovated the legendary hotel, adding a vintage style and glamor. Several zones will become a vivid example and confirmation of these words:
• the Tropicana swimming pool made in the style of the 60s and a bar in the same category
• the luxurious Marilyn Suite room
• American steaks at The Barish
• cocktails in the Spare room.
After walking through different areas of the hotel, you understand how the elegance of the bygone times harmoniously combines with the playfulness of Hollywood.
The history of Hollywood Roosevelt is truly impressive. Some guests who stay at the hotel say that they have seen the ghosts of famous celebrities. The staff and some visitors claimed that Monroe’s spirit still resides in room 1200. They saw the reflection of the celebrity in the mirrors of her room.
Another ghost seen in the room was Montgomery Clift, who played the trumpet at the hotel. He, according to eyewitnesses, haunts room 928. Blogs and online editions sometimes mention a young girl Caroline, who wanders over a large territory of the hotel, looking for her lost mother.
Such scary stories only attract visitors. Is this true or not? It is hard to say, but it is a good magnet for filmmakers to show the famous hotel in the film works once again. Hollywood Roosevelt is loved not only by the city residents, but also by guests, tourists of Los Angeles and famous stars. So they come to this place every year in order to relax and become a part of history.