Hollywood Reporter Building | Los Angeles Conservancy
Photo by Marcello Vavala/L.A. Conservancy

Hollywood Reporter Building

The Hollywood Reporter Building is historically significant both for its Regency Moderne architecture and its association with publisher and businessman William Wilkerson and The Hollywood Reporter.  

Wilkerson founded the entertainment trade newspaper in 1930, which operated from the property for six decades. The Reporter was one of only two local publications, the other being Variety, that were devoted solely to entertainment news.

Wilkerson, who started legendary Hollywood nightclubs including Café Trocadero and Ciro’s, developed the Hollywood Reporter property during the 1930s and 40s, which evolved to include three connected structures.

The Hollywood Reporter operated out of the entire property through the early 1990s. L.A. Weekly next occupied the building through 2008, and replaced the entrance signage with the name of their publication, while utilizing similar lettering.  The structure currently houses the telefundraising firm Donor Services Group.

The years 1936-1937 marked a significant phase in the development of the property as it appears today. Publisher and businessman William Wilkerson hired architect Arthur W. Hawes to design what is now the rear, two-story portion of the complex to house the offices of The Hollywood Reporter. He concurrently hired master architects Douglas Honnold and George Vernon Russell to remodel an existing one-story structure fronting Sunset Boulevard into a Regency Moderne showpiece for his upscale men’s haberdashery Sunset House. 

Both projects were completed in 1937, though Sunset House was short-lived in the newly remodeled structure, which was later adapted for expansion of the offices of The Hollywood Reporter. The elegant Regency Moderne structure became the face of The Hollywood Reporter, which added a curved band of signage above the entrance featuring bronze lettering. A three-story addition was completed in 1948 between the front and rear structures to create a fully connected complex of three adjoining structures united as one. 

Architect Douglas Honnold’s Regency Moderne façade contrasts book-matched, white-veined black marble cladding with curving, ribbed concrete surfaces that form the dramatic concave entrance and the curved east portion. Bronze cornice trim and three circular bronze medallions accent the façade. A series of four display windows, two on each side of the central entrance, originally served the haberdashery.  The original, bronze-framed entrance door, with its three-light transom above, remains.

Significant interior elements by Honnold and Russell include a fireplace featuring the Sunset House crest. The middle and rear portions of the structure are vernacular in design and feature multi-paned, steel industrial sash windows.

The Regency Moderne is a variation of the Streamline Moderne style, but is considered especially uncommon and appeared for only a few years during the late 1930s.

Regency Moderne involves the application of decorative neoclassical elements to what was typically, according to Streamline Moderne precepts, a relatively unadorned exterior. The Hollywood Reporter Building is a particularly sleek example of the Regency Moderne style, borrowing the decorative medallions and the bold form of the central, concave entrance from the Neoclassical tradition, while retaining a strong streamlined aesthetic with multiple curved surfaces and the smooth finishes of painted concrete and polished marble.

Photo by Jessica Hodgdon/L.A. Conservancy

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