It’s always funny to see photos and videos and other looks into Los Angeles’ past, particularly items from the beginning of our 1930s and 1940s boom. You can so clearly see then and now but the now is so insanely different and the then was so romantic and quaint. It’s a shame a lot of those places only exist in photos now–and the Garden of Allah is one of them. Are you familiar? We weren’t. And it has an incredible story, too.
The Garden of Allah was a compound built on Sunset Blvd by actress Alla Nazimova. The area became a literary and film hang out for names like Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Dorothy Parker, and more. It was a lush Spanish style collection of buildings that was Alla’s oasis. Unfortunately it was all torn down in 1959 and now it is that McDonald’s and Chase bank on Sunset and Crescent Heights. Does anyone know that though? What about the people who in that patch of land now?
WEHOville‘s Kaitlin Parker wanted to know the answers and see if Alla’s Allah is remembered at all. There is still some memory and people do actively seek it out. Surprisingly, there are some traces of Allah buried under this pre-Sunset Strip strip mall. The video below reveals the fascinating relationship careless now and the lush then. It’s a pretty sad story and shows us that we really, really need to be careful what we build over in Los Angeles.
Yes, this is easier said than done and sometimes things have to go. However, you can’t help but long for these Spanish villas to return to replace a McDonald’s. Check the story out below.