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Old Posted Feb 12, 2011, 7:39 AM
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mdiederi mdiederi is offline
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: JT
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Originally Posted by JeffDiego View Post
Fascinating photos of The Garden of Allah , and Nazimovoa.
Speaking of unusual, long-gone apartment complexes that I don't believe have been featured here,
a pal who lived in West Hollywood in the 50's says that there was a very large complex of stage-set
like French cottage-style apartments, probably built in the twenties which may have been called Normandy Village.
(Similar in architectural style to the small and still-standing "French Village Apartments" located in a quiet
residential area of Hollywood, supposedly having a connection to Charlie Chaplin).I believe it fronted on the Sunset
Strip and was a block square in size. I came across a photo of it on the LA Times a few years ago. Lots of peaked roofs
and picturesque stairways. Anyone have photos or info?

A tidbit of gossip (my pal is probably the world's expert on old Hollywood and forgotten celebrities; he wrote many books
on the subject) is that among the residents there was Harald Ramand (also known as Harald Maresch, originally from Vienna),
the man who got Lupe Velez pregnant before she committed suicide in 1944 (he was blamed and it ruined his budding movie career).
He lived at the complex with a gay lover.
There was an earlier "French Village" that got torn down, but it wasn't on sunset:

The Lost French Village of Hollywood

Complete story here:

The French Village, 1920, an enchanting little group of bungalows and artist’s studios, was designed by architects
Walter S. and F. Pierpont Davis (who also designed the Roman Gardens at 2000 North Highland Avenue 1926 and the
Court of the Fountains (today known as Villa D’Este) at 1355 North Laurel Avenue in West Hollywood 1928), and their
partner Henry F. Withey, on the corner of Cahuenga and Highland. Each of the cottages were completely unique in design
and personality. The French Village was intended for the transitory well-to-do and its construction led to ever more
elaborate apartment courts in Hollywood.

Original 1920 site plan for the French Village:

The Monkey House named for an elaborate and whimsical bas-relief carving of a group of monkeys cavorting over the home’s entrance.

Minnie Sweet Muchmore, a well-known artist and interior decorator, was the first occupant of the Monkey House.

Tower House:

Legendary designer Gilbert Adrian lived in the Tower House.

1925 modification for street widening.

House of Jonah & the Whale, House of the Virgin Mary and the House of Henry the Fourth studio:

Prominent landscape architect Stuart Chisholm lived in the House of Henry the Fourth

French Pavilion with its elaborate tapestry brickwork:

By 1930, the French Pavilion had been taken over by writer Cyril Hume and his wife, actress Helen Chandler.
Both were to achieve notable successes while living at the French Village, Hume as the screenwriter for
Tarzan of the Apes for MGM and Chandler as “Mina,” the object of Bela Lugosi’s unholy desires in Dracula (1931).

Throughout the 1930’s and 1940’s, the French Village continued to serve the artistic community
with a steady roster of actors, writers, costume designers, dance instructors and singing coaches
in residence. But that all came to an end with the construction of the Hollywood Freeway.

The site today.

Hollywood Freeway under construction 1952.

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