Exploring Crossroads of the World

Long before I was well versed in Los Angeles architecture I found myself watching the film, LA Confidential. A homage to both film noir and LA it features several historic locations around town. I watched in wonder and was especially smitten with the office of the tabloid publisher, Sid Hudgens (played by Danny Devito).

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With it’s cruise ship shaped building and rotating neon globe I assumed this wonderland was either fictional or long torn down. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that I was wrong on both counts. Crossroads of the World is very real and still standing.

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Crossroads of the World was built in 1936 in the height of the Art Deco era. Inspired by exotic locales it was a combination shopping center and office complex with each building designed in a different cultural style with the cruise ship as the centerpiece. There were retail shops on the ground level and office upstairs and the complex was soon thriving. Eventually, the shops fell out of of favor and it continued solely as an office complex until it fell on hard times in the 1970’s and was slated for demolition. Luckily, a man named Morton La Kretz purchased the complex and restored it to it’s former glory. Since then it’s remained occupied housing such diverse personalities as Jackson Browne, David Geffen (Geffen Films) and Huell Howser.

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Ever since viewing LA Confidential I’ve been fascinated with this slice of LA real estate. I’ve passed by many times catching a quick glimpse as I drove by. Finally, I decided to stop and explore the complex. During working hours it remains open giving me plenty of time to wander around.

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The cruise ship building remains its showpiece and as I wandered around it I couldn’t help but think it would make the perfect restaurant. Wouldn’t you love to eat your dinner while looking out one of those portholes?

As delightful as that building is I’m more partial to the cottages that surround it.

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They present an array of international styles and I loved going from region to region. In one short walk I went from the Middle East

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to Europe

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and back to America.

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And I love all the details.

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My favorite piece is tucked in the back adjacent to Selma Avenue.

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I love this little lighthouse!

Crossroads of the World is one of the most unique spots in LA and one of my absolute favorites. I’m so glad that after 80 years it’s still standing.

 

 

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