These under construction apartment towers with lower floor retail space are at the corner of Vermont and Wilshire. Across the street is a huge new residential complex underneath of which is a major subway stop from downtown and Hollywood. Thousands of people move around this intersection, not to mention cars. Don’t worry, hot dogs wrapped in bacon are still sold from shopping cart stoves on the corners.
Two blocks west at the corner of Wilshire and Berendo is the Talmadge Apartment buiding.
Built in 1924 (90 years ago!) by the head of United Artists as a present for his wife, Norma Talmadge. They occupied the entire tenth floor which curves around the block, by the way. Lots of fire places, tall ceilings, maids quarters,etc. The only complaint its tenants seem to have is that film crews are always around. You know how that is.
On the same side of Wilshire Blvd. but just on the other corner of Berendo, fifty feet away, is Immanuel Presbyterian Church - built in 1929 and about as beautiful a church as you’ll find anywhere. So measured and timeless in that self-conscious but reassuring WASP way. I’m talking architecturally of course. Today it’s a polyglot mixture of Spanish, Korean, and English congregants. Here is its facade which isn’t showing Immanuel’s wonderful steeple.
And here is where the Presbyterian Elders kept the collection money or something.( It couldn’t have been the communion wine. That was always grape juice.) The arched small doorway you see is actually the thick steel entrance to a walk-in safe. The clock and the light stole my heart.
And this is a big foundation hole for a 15-20 story (depending on who you talk to) building going in right next to the venerable Talmadge Apartments and directly across from the church. Whooah! "Turn! Turn! Turn!” (..to everything there is a season) - a song by Pete Seeger
Thanks Pete for bringing such joy and encouragement to so many of us. I laughed and loved you every time I heard you sing. May your journey go well.
Pete Seeger May 13, 1919 - January 27, 2014
Photography by John Fritzlen