Article (A) guide: Culver City Walking Tour

Culver City Walking Tour
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Culver City is where many "Hollywood" movies are and were actually made. Once home to MGM studio and its many back lots, most of it was eventually sold and turned into residential real estate developments, but a portion remains and is currently owned by Sony Studios. Sights highlighted in this tour include Sony Studios, Main Street, The Culver City Hotel, Kirk Douglas Theater, Museum of Jurassic Technology, Culver Studios and Media Park.

Walk Route

Guide Name: Culver City Walking Tour
Guide Location: USA » Los Angeles
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Article (A))
# of Attractions: 12
Tour Duration: 2.0 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.7 km
Author: Grace Takade
Author Bio: I was born and raised in Los Angeles and have lived here all my life. I have enjoyed traveling to many great locations worldwide, but I have also made it my mission to explore my native city and see its many wonderful sights.
Culver Hotel

1) Culver Hotel

Originally named the Hotel Hunt, this Renaissance Revival style hotel was built by Harry Culver, the founder of Culver City, in 1924. It was built on the site of the first movie theater in Culver City, the Meratta Theater. Though considered a luxury hotel, it originally had only one bathroom per floor.

The actors who played the Munchkins in the film "The Wizard Of Oz" stayed here during filming, as did some of the actors from the cast of "Gone With The Wind", both in 1939....
City Hall

2) City Hall

In 1928 a permanent City Hall was built at this location. The current incarnation of City Hall was opened in 1995, but it has a 3/4 size replica of the 1928 City Hall's facade just to the side of its main entrance. The 1928 structure was completely demolished to build the current modern structure.

The rebuilding of City Hall was part of the massive effort in the 1990s to restructure and revitalize the commercial heart of Culver City, which up to then had gradually fallen into disrepair,...
The Washington Building

3) The Washington Building

The Washington Building was commissioned in 1926 by Charles E. Lindblade, a real estate developer who helped Harry Culver develop Culver City and a founding member of the Culver City Chamber of Commerce.

The style of the building is known as Beaux Arts Classicism. Its triangular shape earned it the nickname "The Flatiron Building", drawing comparisons to the taller, more famous one in New York. The structure is 135 feet long on the Washington Boulevard side, 152 feet on the Culver...
The Kirk Douglas Theater

4) The Kirk Douglas Theater

Originally opened in 1947 as a movie palace named The Culver, this site was acquired, renovated and reopened for live performances in 2004 by the Center Theatre Group, which also owns and operates the Ahmanson and Mark Taper Forum in downtown Los Angeles. It underwent an 8 million dollar renovation and reconfiguration. Most of the original exterior and box office architecture has been preserved.

While the original movie theater seated over 1,000, it slowly fell into obscurity and became more...
Sony Pictures Entertainment

5) Sony Pictures Entertainment

The first movie studio to occupy this site was the Triangle Motion Picture Company, founded in 1915 by Thomas Ince and his partners, including D.W. Griffin, who created the controversial film "Birth Of A Nation" during this time. On the lighter side, the Keystone Cops movies were filmed here. The Greek colonnade facade, located on the Washington Blvd. side of the lot was the original entrance and today is a designated historical landmark.

In 1918 Samuel Goldwyn bought the studio and...
Hobbit House

6) Hobbit House

Officially known as the Lawrence and Martha Joseph Residence and Apartments Historic-Cultural Monument No. 624, it was designed and built by Lawrence Joseph, a former Walt Disney artist between 1946 and 1970 and consists of 9 residential units. Now known as a Hobbit House, this fairy tale architectural style was popular in the early part of the century and Los Angeles had many homes based on this theme, but now there are only a handful remaining.

If you are lucky, a resident will spot you and...
Govinda's

7) Govinda's

Govinda's restaurant is a vegetarian/vegan restaurant run by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness of Los Angeles, or Hare Krishnas, and is located in the Hindu temple at this location. The temple also houses a gift shop and museum.

The restaurant serves a vegetarian Indian buffet Monday through Saturday 11am to 3pm and 5pm to 8:30pm for under $10. On Sunday evenings a free six course meal is served, in part because of their belief that no one near a Krishna temple should...
Museum of Jurassic Technology

8) Museum of Jurassic Technology

The Museum of Jurassic Technology was founded by David and Diana Wilson in 1987. Contrary to what its name may imply, it is not about dinosaurs. It is difficult to classify or describe its contents. It is full of curiosities, whimsical in its presentation, eclectic, at times obscure in its references, but sure to peak your interest.

For example, one exhibit displays a collection of pre-scientific remedies and supposed cures for various medical conditions. Another display shows miniature...
The Ivy Substation/The Actor's Gang/Media Park

9) The Ivy Substation/The Actor's Gang/Media Park

The Ivy Substation was built in 1907 and was a power converting substation for the Pacific Electric Railway's Santa Monica line. Essentially power was received as AC current and the substation converted it to DC power needed to run the electric trains. Electric trains were eventually replaced by diesel electrics and the substation was mothballed around 1953.

The Ivy Substation is listed on the National Historic Register of Historic Places and renovation was completed in 1993. Its...
The Citizen Building

10) The Citizen Building

Eugene and Kitty Donovan purchased the land at this site with the intention of building a self-contained hometown newspaper and commercial printing plant. The architectural firm of Orville E. Clark designed the Citizen Building, with a fusion of Beaux Arts classical elements and Art Deco and at the Donovans’ request complied with San Francisco's earthquake building codes, since Southern California had no such guidelines. Construction was complete in 1929.

The newspaper, named The...
Main Street

11) Main Street

At just one short block in length, Main Street in Culver City has the distinction of being the Guinness World Record holder of the world's smallest Main Street. The city itself is on a small scale as well, being 1.2 square miles at its incorporation in 1917 and today is just under 5 square miles in size.

Every Tuesday from 3pm to 7pm year round Main Street is shut down to cars and plays host to a farmer’s market. There you will find your usual mix of fruits, vegetables, flowers,...
The Culver Studios

12) The Culver Studios

After selling his shares in what became MGM, Thomas Ince created "Thomas H. Ince Studios", at this location, which operated from 1919 to 1924. The front administrative building that you see was designed as a replica of George Washington's home at Mount Vernon.

After Ince's death, the studio was acquired by Cecil B. Demille, who renamed it DeMille Studios in 1925. It has been owned at different times by RKO, Howard Hughes, Desilu Productions and Sony Pictures. It is...

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