Felix In Hollywood

A Blog for the Smart Set

Thursday, September 30, 2010

I Just Adore A Penthouse View...

If you drive down Vine St. in Hollywood, at the intersection of Melrose Ave. Vine becomes Rossmore and remains so until it terminates at Wilshire.  There is a short stretch of Rossmore (namely, between Melrose and Beverly) that has always kind of reminded me of Manhattan's Riverside Drive....without the river.  It's because of the apartment buildings there.  There are two Grande Dame buildings on this street; The Ravenswood (where Mae West lived) and the El Royal (often referred to as the Dakota of the west coast):

The list of Tinseltown luminaries who have resided here, either short or long term, include George Raft, Loretta Young, Clark Gable and William Frawley.  Frawley had lived there a short few months when on a stroll down Hollywood Blvd., not far from his former residence at the Kickerbocker, he collapsed and died in front of Leeds Shoes.  It has been erroneously stated that he was still living at the Knickerbocker when he died, not true.  A former neighbor of Frawley's at the El Royale recalls Bill knocking on his door in the afternoons to borrow a walnut for his martini! (for those who imbibe, and are daring, try it and let me know)  Judy Holliday lived there with her mother while she was filming "Born Yesterday".  This fact is verified by no less than an FBI report. (well she might have been a commie, you know)

By the 1990s and 2000s, it became hipster central with tennants such as:  Uma Thurman, Cameron Diaz, Nicholas Cage, Ben Stiller, Katie Holmes, Jack Black, Judd Apatow, Ellen Page.

And right now (act fast, supplies limited) the Penthouse of the El Royale is offered for rent! A two story, 3 bedroom, 2 1/2 bath Penthouse can be yours.  Let's have a look!
Go ahead and walk in.


Oh, heck I waited to long!  I was researching this earlier this morning, looking at pictures and deciding to do this post once I got to work.  Well I just went to get the pictures, and apparently it's just been rented, all of the listings are down!  Well if it's any consolation the pictures weren't that great:  The kitchen was completely, and uninspiringly modernized.  But the bathrooms were faithfully original, one in sunshine gold and black tile, the other in a seafoam green and black tile.  Below is the view you would have enjoyed:

The penthouse was listed on the 16th of this month at $9500 per month.  Two days ago, it was re-listed at $8500.  Apparently that did the trick.

I was just able to locate some of those pictures and here they are:


Entry of Building:

Living Room with original floors:

Looking into Dining Room:

Green Bathroom:

Ho hum Kitchen:

Private Terrace:


normadesmond said...

but is it air conditioned?

FelixInHollywood said...

You know I'd be willing to bet it's not, because it's got those old-school heating grates and I don't see any other kind of vents or ducts. Pretty ugly thought; window ac units rigged into lovely french windows.

Ask the Cool Cookie said...

It really is lovely. We may have to try that walnut thing, but in a Stu-tini (360 Vodka, half jigger of sweet vermouth).

Sorry to say that I don't drink Tanquery or Bombay. As Dashiell Hammett once said: "Gin is for old ladies" and I'm not there, yet.

nursemyra said...

Love that bathroom

Anonymous said...

The lady who lived there was the former owner
Martha- died at 98. Her family is now running the joint - raising rents - chasing out tenants and hence the new "apts avail" ads in the Larchmont Papers. For years it was waiting list only - now it's "come and get it"

Anonymous said...

How can they "chase out tenants" and "raise rent?" Los Angeles has rent control -- rent can only be raised a certain (small) percentage yearly, and tenants can only be evicted for certain specific things, which does not include because the owner wants to re-rent to higher renters.

Anonymous said...

You can raise the rent to whatever you want once a tenant moves out them rent control stays in place until that tenant moves out.

The owner can raise your rent 3-5% a year for a cost of living...Thank you City of Los Angeles....which every year they have 5%.

I lived at this building but high tailed it out once the owner died. It has lost it's charm and is nothing but churn n' burn now.

I would put up with the no water and busted pipes because the old management would treat you like family and work with you.

Those days are long gone as are some of the staff. They had a guy that worked there over 50 years with great stories he was canned!

Pantheon_Zeus said...

My pals lived there as well.

re: the 2 penthouses
One resident was Susan Dey and hubby Bernie ____ , they moved away mid 2005ish for NYC area.

The owner of the building, Martha Scott, who lived to be a very old lady (98?) was in the 2nd penthouse. She died in 2009 and her estate (kids) raised rents, changed staff and many long-time residents fled.