Saturday, December 17, 2011

Nob Hill Towers

And you thought Nob Hill was only in San Francisco!  So did I, until I was exploring the West Lake/MacArthur Park area near the Bryson (see my December 10th post) one afternoon and came across this building on Ocean View Avenue.

Nob Hill Towers, 2430 Ocean View Avenue, Los Angeles, built in 1929.  This Art Deco-style apartment house is built on a hill at the corner of South Carondelet Street, a setting that is a bit reminiscent of San Francisco.  Maybe that's what inspired the name!  Apparently, you really can see the ocean occasionally on Ocean View Avenue, but that occurs only on a very clear day.  I was here on a beautiful day...but never saw the Pacific.

In route to the front door you pass an interesting little fountain...

Let's go inside.

If not lavish, the lobby is interesting and suggests a well-maintained building.  Note the metal insets in the floor, which are unusual and, I think, very striking.

I had interesting conversations with several tenants, all of whom said they enjoyed living in the building.  One fellow told me the owners had purchased the Nob Hill Towers at the height of the real estate boom, and had not been able to follow through on all of their plans for the apartments.  Still, he and the others said the apartments were nicely renovated and they had no complaints.  He suggested I go up to the 7th floor for a look at the views from the let's take the elevator up.

When I got out on the 7th floor, I followed the young man's advice to go up one more flight of stairs on the downtown side of the building for a peek out over the rooftop which is reached through the door at the top.  As you can see, you're within walking distance of downtown LA, so the view is spectacular.

Now, back down the stairs to the 7th floor and the terrace on the opposite side of the building.  The views are equally grand.  This is looking toward Wishire Boulevard and the Bryson and Royale Wilshire just down the street.

Here's downtown Hollywood...

...and in the hills, the iconic sign that once read "Hollywoodland."

Here's the Griffith Observatory in Griffith Park.

And this is the view looking up Wilshire Blvd.  The slender building that's second from the left is the top of the famous Bullock's Wilshire department store, now the home of Southwestern Law School.

But let's get back to Nob Hill Tower.  If you've read this blog for a while, you've probably figured out I have an affection for metal casement windows.  I love their look, and the broad expanse of glass that lets in so much light.  It's a good look for an Art Deco building like this one, and the Nob Hill Tower is home to ribbons of casements.

I've borrowed some photos from to give you a look inside one of the apartments.  It's a top floor apartment with a terrace and arched windows.  As you can see, other features are hardwood floors and a fireplace. 

The apartments with those arched windows and terraces are on the top floor in this part of the building.

A tenant told me the man who built the Nob Hill Towers lived in this house across the street...

He doesn't live there anymore, and the neighborhood went into steep decline in the decades after he built his apartment tower.  Today, it's a diverse neighborhood, teeming with people, and, if a little rough around the edges in some places, very much alive.

There's an interesting mix of homes in this neighborhood: small apartment buildings, older homes which have been subdivided into rooming houses, single-family homes, and grand old apartment houses like the Nob Hill Towers.  Traipsing around it made me hungry.  Next time, I'll share one of my favorite burger joints in LA.

1 comment:

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