Meet the Hood Building, aka The Building No One Ever Took A Picture Of On Purpose.
This modest little workhorse of Spanish Colonial design occupied the busy southeast corner of Sunset and Vine for almost 40 years. Photographers turned their backs to it in order to snap the more interesting NBC studios/Carpenter’s drive-in at the northwest corner of the same intersection, or Wallichs Music City on the northeast corner, or the Pig Stand drive-in/Carpenter’s second home at the southwest corner. Muller Brothers’ ever-expanding auto service complex was just to the west.
In April 1926, Richard Haden Hood took a 99 year lease on the corner parcel from William F. Markam and his second wife Carrie. Markham, a wealthy retired toy air rifle manufacturer, had come to Hollywood from Michigan in 1911. The couple subsequently built a home with expansive gardens near the southwest corner of Sunset and Vine (addressed as 1453 Vine Street). Markham had built the Markham Building at 6372 Hollywood Boulevard at Cosmo Street in 1918 and also owned numerous rental properties. The Markhams moved to a new rural estate in Glendale in 1926, thus opening the Sunset and Vine property to development. Hood announced plans to build a brick building containing 12 storefronts on the corner site.
It was a pretty big deal when its anchor tenant, Bee Drug Co., opened it’s second location here, in the primo corner space in December 1926. Otto K. Olsen had his klieg lights out for it and everything. A drugstore occupied the corner here, alternately addressed as 1499 N. Vine, for most of the building’s 40 years. There was not much going on at this intersection in December 1926. The Famous Players-Lasky lot was being cleared. The building that later housed Walichs was not yet built. Even 11 years later, in 1937 there wasn’t much to see here. But, still, no one could be bothered to photograph the Hood Building? C’mon.
Bee Drug lasted inoto 1933. In 1936 it became Boorey’s Drugs. See detail of the larger photo below at the top of this post.
The Hood Building outlasted its more photogenic neighbors: Muller Brothers (demolished 1963), NBC studios (Demolished 1964) and Carpenter’s (by then Stan’s, demolished 1961). It was demolished in February 1965. In September 1965, the Bank of America, designed by Welton Beckett, rose on this spot. The bank opened in October 1966. The corner remained under-photographed, appearing accidentally in photos of the Cinerama Dome theater.