GE 66: Seeing Sunset, Learning Los Angeles 1 Sunset and Beverly Boulevards were constructed to have bridle paths in their medians to allow visitors to the hotel and residents in the hills an easy path for riding their horses . The sign describes it as “ Ye Bridle Path from Beverly Hills to the Sea and Mountains .” Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce Collection. USC Digital Library. chs-m11514.html?x=1351114371325 B EVERLY H ILLS Points of Interest: 1 Dead Man’s Curve , Sunset Boulevard between Copley and Whittier It may be difficult to imagine given today’s traffic, but number 8 Billboard hit of 1964 told the story of a drag race that began at Sunset and Vine and ended in a crash at this near 90 degree curve near Sunset and Whittier. Jan & Dean, the duo that sang Dead Man’ s Curve , were an important part of the Surf Music phenomenon that helped to glorify the Southern California lifestyle in the 1960s. Their other hits such as Surf City and The Little Old Lady from Pasadena , along with the Beach Boys’ entire repertoire and songs like the Mamas and Papas California Dreamin’ (“I’d be safe and warm, if I were in LA”) offered a new generation a new set of images and reasons to come to Los Angeles. In a twist of fate, Jan Berry was seriously injured when he crashed his Corvette not far from Dead Man’s curve in 1966. To hear the recording, visit U-Tube at . 2 Beverly Hills Hotel, 9641 Sunset Boulevard As the historical overview suggests, the history of the Beverly Hills Hotel is intimately involved with the history of the city of Beverly Hills and of Hollywood. It quickly became the symbol of a Beverly Hills lifestyle that boasted wealth, leisure, celebrity and privacy. The hotel, its bars, and its restaurants provided a place for people to see and be seen. The bungalows located throughout the hotel’s grounds provided privacy to Hollywood stars and celebrities from all over the world. As other luxury hotels appeared in Los Angeles, the Beverly Hills Hotel went through several major renovations. In the 1940s, Paul Williams, Los Angeles’ most prominent African American architect, designed a new wing and distinctive signage for t he “Pink Palace , ” as Elmer Gray’s original building was known. In 1992, it closed for three years for a major updating and renovation. In each of its incarnations, however, the hotel maintained what Forbes
GE 66: Seeing Sunset, Learning Los Angeles 2 The Roche adobe, c. 1920, located near the corner of Third and Robertson on what was the Hammel & Denker Ranch. Pierce, C. C. Collection, USC Digital Library - m5413.html?x=1351142068020 magazine called “ the type of Old Hollywood vibe you can only find, well, in Beverly Hi lls” when it declared the hotel its Hotel of the Day on October 24, 2012. It is worth walking into the hotel grounds to capture a bit of that vibe. Visit its centennial web site if you don’t have time to go in and look around.
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