6525 Sunset: Hollywood Athletic Club

hollywood_athletic_club

Located at 6225 Hollywood Boulevard on the north side of Sunset at Hudson, the Hollywood Athletic Club towered above its 1 and 2-story neighbors when it opened in 1924.

The membership drive was successful, from 635 in April 1922 to 1000 on opening day. 4/9/1922. LAT.

The story told publicly in 1924 has it the Sam Kress, G.G. Greenwood and George L. Moore were sitting on counterstools at the Kress store on Hollywood Boulevard and Cahuenga one day in 1921 when they had the idea to form a local athletic club.

Architects Meyer and Holler designed a club building in the Italian Revival style. The inital plan called for something quite smaller than the final product.

4/9/1922. LAT.

By February 1923, the plan had changed to the structure that was ultimately built: a 2-story club building with a 9-story hotel tower. The $30,000 estimated cost was off by only $770,000.

2/3/1923. LA Evening Express.

The from $30,000 in February 1923 to a reported $800,000 when the completed Hollywood Athletic Club held a public preview on January 12, 1924 with formal opening for members the following day.

The first floor of the club building featured a painted, vaulted-ceiling dining room that could seat 300 on the and a ladies lounge with panelled walls painted French green. The main staircase led up to the billiard room, library, game room and private dining rooms. It offered a full range of athletic facilities, including a pool. Middleweight champion Harry Greb was a guest of the club when he came to Los Angeles to defend his title in 1926. See post “Harry Greb in Hollywood.” 

1/12/1924. Hollywood Daily Citizen.

1/12/1924. Hollywood Daily Citizen.

 

Hollywood AC in the 1920s. Huntington Library digital.

LAPL.

LAPL.

Looking east from a point just West of Hudson 1920s. Detail from a larger photograph.

Same view, 1970s. Detail from a larger photo.