My fascination with historic Hollywood apartments and other architecture began 25 years ago, when I stumbled on to Chaplin Court. Finding something this magical in the center of Hollywood, something just a few block from where I lived at the time, that was a secret, was the beginning of an obsession.
Chaplin Court was purported to have been built by Chaplin himself, so I studied his old films for glimpses of the cottages, but no luck.
Last week, I thought I would take a spin by Chaplin Court to see how it looked. Recently I saw that Disney Court had been given a fresh coat of paint, and I wanted to see if Chaplin Court had suffered a similar (or worse!) fate.
I made a wrong turn, and it happened again. Pure magic! I found another magical apartment complex that I didn’t know existed.
Normandie Towers is a magical complex right off of Santa Monica Blvd in West Hollywood. While Chaplin probably didn’t build Chaplin Court (it was desinged by the Zwebell’s), Normandie Tower actually was built by Chaplin’s crew in 1924 to house actors and crew.
And I see you can rent a cottage on Air BnB for $80 a night. I am sorely tempted, I would love to be able to shoot inside the complex itself and let it reveal more of its magic and history to me.
Oh and Chaplin Court? It’s doing just fine. Still as magical as ever.