Culver Hotel

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Culver Hotel
Culver Hotel
Location 9400 Culver Blvd.
Culver City, California
Coordinates 34°01′26″N 118°23′39″W / 34.02385°N 118.39427°W / 34.02385; -118.39427Coordinates: 34°01′26″N 118°23′39″W / 34.02385°N 118.39427°W / 34.02385; -118.39427
Architect Claud Beelman and Aleck Curlett
NRHP Reference # 97000296
Added to NRHP April 14, 1997

The Culver Hotel is a national historical landmark situated in downtown Culver City, California. It was built by Mr. Culver, the founder of Culver City, and opened on September 4, 1924, with local headlines announcing: "City packed with visitors for opening of Culver skyscraper." Originally named Hotel Hunt, and later known as Culver City Hotel, the six-story flatiron shaped brick building housed the offices of Harry Culver, a visionary real estate developer and philanthropist. The Renaissance Revival property was designed by Curlett & Beelman, the architecture firm behind renowned Art Deco buildings throughout Los Angeles, including downtown Los Angeles' Roosevelt and Eastern Columbia buildings.

As Culver City became a movie-making mecca in the 1920s and beyond, the hotel saw many legendary stars pass through its doors, some maintaining private residences for months at a time. Cast members from classic films like Gone with the Wind and The Wizard of Oz (1939) – including the 124 'Munchkins' – are only a few of the guests who contributed to the Culver Hotel's rich history.

Over the next few decades, the property fell into disrepair. The iconic property was even boarded up for a time in the 1980s and may have been headed for the wrecking ball. In the 1990’s the hotel was partially restored and reopened, joining the prestigious National Register of Historic Places in 1997, but the renaissance did not last. The Culver Hotel’s modern comeback truly began after a hotelier family bought the ailing property in 2007 just as the surrounding neighborhood was starting to make a comeback.

Since 2007, the hotel’s entire plumbing and electrical systems have been upgraded, each of the guestrooms and public spaces have been redone, all 140 handmade windows in the guest rooms have been replaced, and the public spaces have been entirely re-imagined all the while maintaining the property's architectural integrity. Now a prominent 4-star boutique hotel, located in the heart of revitalized downtown Culver City, The Culver Hotel has also become one of Los Angeles’ go to venues for nightly live jazz and special events ranging from corporate meetings to artful weddings.

The flatiron shaped building is next door to the historic Culver Studios and a few blocks from the legendary Metro Goldwyn Mayer Studios, now Sony Pictures. The Culver Hotel has appeared in a wide array of films and television programs throughout its history, including the Our Gang short Honkey Donkey,[1] The Wonder Years, Party of Five, 7th Heaven, Last Action Hero, Sledge Hammer!,[1] Stuart Little 2, Bones, Cougar Town and Touch. Casts from the movies, Gone with the Wind and The Wizard of Oz stayed at the hotel during filming…most famously, all of the over 100 Munchkins who appeared in the Oz film. Today numerous television shows, movies or commercials still shoot in and around Culver City, with parts of the hotel’s exterior and interior having doubled for a street in London, an apartment in Barcelona or a café in Paris.

Mr. Culver would be proud to see that almost 100 years later, his ‘skyscraper’ is once again the central gathering place of the city he founded. One of his promotional slogans to launch his City in the 1920's was “All roads lead to Culver City”. His vision is thriving and his spirit lives on.


The hotel was built by Harry Culver, the founder of Culver City, on the site of the city's first movie theater. Mr. Culver's original office and vault are still located on the second floor.

The hotel was later owned by Charlie Chaplin, who, legend has it, lost the property in a poker game to none other than John Wayne, who owned the hotel for several years and eventually donated it to the YMCA.

The Culver Hotel was restored and reopened by Mr. Lou Catlett in the mid 90's and was added to the National Register of Historic Places. The property was then purchased by Abraham Hu who ran it for several years until 2007, when he sold it to the Mallick family.

Maya Mallick carefully curated a reawakening of the historic landmark and turned the ailing property around. The Culver Hotel is now a renown 4-star boutique hotel offering 46 stylish guest rooms, a lively bar and dining scene, artful meeting and event spaces and live music every evening. Once again, it has become the jewel of downtown Culver City,one of LA's fastest growing creative hubs.


The Culver Hotel has housed many stars as guests, including Buster Keaton, Clark Gable, Mickey Rooney, Greta Garbo, Judy Garland, Joan Crawford, Lana Turner, Red Skelton, Buster Keaton, Dorothy Dandridge, Douglas Fairbanks, Frank Sinatra, Ronald Reagan, all 4 members of the boy band 98 Degrees, Abby Lee Miller of Dance Moms, some even maintaining private residences for months at a time. Dwight D. Eisenhower even had a campaign office in the hotel during his run for President in 1952. The nearby Jazz Bakery has been known to put up world-renowned musicians at the Culver Hotel as well.



  1. ^ a b Smith, Leon (1988). Hollywood Goes on Location. Los Angeles: Pomegranate Press. p. 177. ISBN 0-938817-07-8. 

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