Hollywood Riviera | Los Angeles Conservancy
Hollywood Riviera
Photo courtesy Architectural Resources Group

Hollywood Riviera

The courtyard apartment is a very common building type in Southern California, and many good examples dating to the mid-twentieth century survive today. Few of them, however, compare to the Hollywood Riviera (now the Hollywood Biltmore) in terms of style and integrity. Completed in 1958, the Hollywood Riviera was designed by local architect Kenneth N. Lind, who was also the owner. Lind developed other multi-family buildings of his design in the 1950s and '60s, including at least one other in Hollywood.

The Hollywood Riviera is a two-story apartment building in the Mid-Century Modern style, distinguished by its flat roof and simple structural lines punctuated by geometric ornamentation. It is U-shaped, but unlike many mid-century courtyard apartments, the open part of the U is in the rear rather than the front, so the building in essence turns its back to the street. The main façade of the Hollywood Riviera is dominated by a brise soleil of vertically oriented, geometric shapes that, when viewed straight on, seem to pair into hourglasses. When viewed obliquely, the opaque shapes break down into elongated stacked hexagons. It is an extraordinary feature, and together with the horizontal emphasis and below-grade parking, it gives the building the feel of a dingbat that's been expanded and elaborated into a much swankier style.

Photo by Larry Underhill

Chateau Colline

An eight-unit apartment house and one of the last remaining apartment buildings in the Westwood section of Wilshire Boulevard constructed before World War II.
Mel's
Photo by Jessica Hodgdon/L.A. Conservancy

Mel's

A great example of Louis Armet and Eldon Davis early Googie designs, showing their use of angled rooflines, dramatic signage, and other space-age elements that would become even more angled and dramatic in their later work.