Crossroads of the World

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Crossroads of the World
Crossroads of the World.jpg
Crossroads of the World
Location6671 Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, California
Coordinates34°5′53.48″N 118°20′8.27″W / 34.0981889°N 118.3356306°W / 34.0981889; -118.3356306Coordinates: 34°5′53.48″N 118°20′8.27″W / 34.0981889°N 118.3356306°W / 34.0981889; -118.3356306
ArchitectRobert V. Derrah
NRHP reference #80000805
LAHCM #134
Significant dates
Added to NRHPSeptember 8, 1980
Designated LAHCMDecember 4, 1974

Crossroads of the World has been called America's first outdoor shopping mall. Located on Sunset Boulevard and Las Palmas in Los Angeles, the mall features a central building designed to resemble an ocean liner surrounded by a small village of cottage-style bungalows. It was designed by Robert V. Derrah and built in 1936.


In 1931, after Charles H. Crawford's death, his wife Ella decided to build a multi-national outdoor market - that would feel like «a permanent world's fair with a cosmopolitan atmosphere» - on the land where her husband was shot. She hired the Streamline Moderne architect Robert V. Derrah (who was finishing his work on the Coca-Cola Building) to design the complex.[1]

Derrah designed a ship-shaped structure in the center of the complex. The surrounding buildings represented different countries of the world. The complex originally held 57 shops and cafes, and 36 offices on the upper floors. The Crossroads of the World was inaugurated on 29 October 1936. The new shopping center was not a full-blown success, but it became an excellent model for outdoors malls across the world.[1]

In the 1950s, the Crossroads of the World was converted into an office complex. The Screen Actors Guild, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Jackson Browne and Alfred Hitchcock used to rent offices there. The property was purchased in 1977 by the real estate investor Mort La Kretz and restored.[1]

In January 2019, the Los Angeles City Council approved the project to revamp the Crossroads of the World in a move to revitalize the district. New buildings are planned to bring 950 apartments and condos, a 308-room hotel, and 190,000 square feet of commercial space. 82 Hollywood Regency garden appartments are to be demolished in the project.[2][3] The preservationists called the redevelopment project a «Manhattanization of Hollywood».[4]


Once a busy shopping center, the Crossroads now hosts private offices, primarily for the entertainment industry. Today, Crossroads is the creative home of a variety of music publishers and producers, television and film script writers, film and recording companies, novelists, costume designers, publicists, and casting agencies.



TV shows



A reproduction of Crossroads' iconic tower and spinning globe can be seen just inside the entrance to Disney's Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World in Florida.

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