Culver Hotel | Los Angeles Conservancy
Photo by Justin Officer

Culver Hotel

Upon its opening in 1924, local press dubbed the flatiron-shaped building a “skyscraper” – its six stories visible from miles around. Standing at the epicenter of the newly-founded Culver City, the hotel (originally named the Hotel Hunter) housed the offices and vault of none other than the city’s founder, Harry Hazel Culver.

A masterpiece of Beaux Arts design, the building’s ornate Renaissance Revival architecture is easily appreciated by visitors in the city’s pedestrian-friendly downtown. At the time of its opening, the 150-room hotel featured one bathroom on each of its four accommodation floors. (Today each of the hotel’s 46 rooms features private bathroom facilities.)

From its upper floors, hotel guests could appreciate the views and nearby convenience of the studios and back lots of Thomas Ince, Hal Roach, and soon after, Metro Goldwyn Mayer. Over time, those guests would include Joan Crawford, Dorothy Dandridge, Douglas Fairbanks, Clark Gable, Greta Garbo, Judy Garland, Buster Keaton, Ronald Reagan, Mickey Rooney, Frank Sinatra, and Lana Turner. During the filming of The Wizard of Oz, all 124 actors portraying the film’s Munchkins stayed here, too.

Movie stars didn’t just stay here – some owned the hotel outright, including Charlie Chaplin who (legend has it) sold the deed to John Wayne in a poker game. Red Skelton is also believed to have been an owner. Though falling into disrepair in the decades following the 1950s, renovations begun in the 1990s have continued into the present. Today the 46-room, 4-star hotel known as the “jewel of downtown Culver City” is privately owned by the Mallick family.

Photo by Larry Underhill

Dunes Inn Wilshire

The Wilshire Twilighter exemplified the postwar car craze, down to drive-in registration.
Photo by Annie Laskey/Los Angeles Conservancy

State Theatre and Building

The State Theatre (1921) designed by Weeks & Day is a twelve-story Beaux Art style structure with a brick façade – one of the largest brick-clad buildings in the city – with terra cotta ornamentation at the lower levels.
Metro 417
Photo by Floyd Bariscale

Metro 417

Designed in the Beaux Arts style with Italian Renaissance ornamentation, this 1926 building has dual entrances, one to the offices above, and one to a concourse that served the city's early subway.