Château Élysée, now the Church of Scientology Celebrity Centre
|Location||5930-5936 Franklin Ave, 5925-5939 Yucca St, 1806-1830 Tamarind Ave, Los Angeles, California|
|Architect||Arthur E. Harvey; built by: Luther T. Mayo, Inc.|
|Governing body||Church of Scientology|
|Designated||September 23, 1987|
The Château Élysée is a former hotel located at 5930 Franklin Ave. in the Franklin Village section of Los Angeles, California. It was originally built as a luxury long-term residential apartment house for movie stars by Elinor K. Ince, widow of Thomas H. Ince, the highly successful pioneer silent filmmaker who died in 1924. Designed by eminent architect Arthur E. Harvey as a prominent seven-story replica of a 17th-century French-Normandy castle, it remains as the most impressive of several Hollywood chateaux built during the area's booming 1920s.
As a residential hotel
In 1927 the firm of Luther T. Mayo, Inc. began construction on the four-story, 77-unit turreted castle and its formal gardens on the three-acre former Ince family estate on the southwest corner of Bronson Avenue. The property included a bubbling stream, a tennis court, and a pair of rubber trees that are more than a hundred years old.
In a spirit echoing her husband's contributions in the formative period of the film industry, Mrs. Ince provided a home for many of the artists that were then being drawn to Hollywood. Residents included some of the most famous names of the 1930s and 40s. Most notably Bette Davis, Errol Flynn (room 211), Edward G. Robinson (room 216), Carol Lombard (room 305), Edgar Rice Burroughs (room 408), Humphrey Bogart (room 603), Clark Gable (room 604), Ginger Rogers (room 705), Ed Sullivan (room 501), Gracie Allen and George Burns (room 609) along with Lillian Gish, Katharine Hepburn, George Gershwin, and Cary Grant.
The Élysée operated like a hotel with daily maid service and meals served out of a formal dining room. As the center of the film world's "chateau life" in the 1930s, the Manor, as it became known, was often the scene of glamorous parties and saw frequent visits by Hollywood nobility dwelling in nearby estates.
As a "Celebrity Centre"
In 1969 the building began being used as the Church of Scientology's home for its Celebrity Centre; since 1973 the building has been owned by the Church. Several floors are now hotel rooms (for church members only), with the building's topmost stories serving as offices. Free guided tours of the historic building are available to the general public.
On September 23, 1987, the City of Los Angeles declared the building as Historical National Monument #329.
In 1992, the buildings and grounds were restored.
- Los Angeles Department of City Planning (September 7, 2007). "Historic - Cultural Monuments (HCM) Listing: City Declared Monuments" (PDF). City of Los Angeles. Retrieved 2012-01-29.
- Early Hollywood by Marc Wanamaker; Robert W Nudelman. Charleston, S.C. : Arcadia Pub., 2007
- Wright, Lawrence (February 14, 2011). "The Apostate". The New Yorker. Condé Nast Digital. Retrieved February 13, 2011.
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