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Touring a Loft in an Old 1920s Department Store in Hollywood

1,400 square feet and a view of the Capitol Records building

Elizabeth Daniels

Welcome to House Calls, in which Curbed tours the lovely, offbeat, or otherwise awesome homes of regular Angelenos. Think your space should be featured next? Drop us a line with a few photos and details about your place.

Hollywood Historic Loft House Calls Seth Elizabeth Daniels

Seth wrote to Curbed LA about his roomy loft in the Broadway Hollywood building (aka the BH Dyas Building, built in the late 1920s as the department store's Hollywood location)—the building, designed in the Classical Revival style, is a contributing structure to the Hollywood Boulevard Commercial and Entertainment District on the National Historic Register of Places. Inside Seth's place, the decor "plays off of the industrial NYC vibes of the building, integrating some contemporary pieces as well."

Who lives here?

Seth, web design agency owner

Denyc, actress/writer

What are the stats?

The place is about 1,400 square feet, including two balconies. It's a loft space, which means there are no official "bedrooms," but the sleeping area is somewhat removed from the rest of the apartment.

What's the rent?

The mid-$4,000.

How long have you been living here?

About 2.5 years.

Hollywood Historic Loft House Calls Seth

What's your approach to decorating?

The building is a converted 1920s department store. The exposed pipes and brick walls give it an industrial vibe, so the decorating plays off of that. The place is styled with a mix of vintage, industrial, and contemporary elements. The living room is a great example of this approach. The lounge chair, ottoman, and foam "cactus" stools represent contemporary, almost futuristic European design. In the same space, we have Edison bulbs with exposed wiring, a reclaimed wood mirror, and the antique trunks. This creates an interesting contrast.

What's the best feature?

The 14' ceilings make this place feel huge. Living here makes it difficult to imagine moving anywhere else with "normal" height ceilings!

What's the worst feature?

We really love watching the sunset, and unfortunately this apartment faces east. If you ask Denyc, the worst feature would be that it isn't located on the beach!

Hollywood Historic Loft House Calls Seth

What do you love and/or hate about the neighborhood?

The neighborhood is great. Hollywood and Vine isn't what it used to be! We have dozens of great restaurants and bars within walking distance, a Trader Joe's across the street, and new businesses opening up all the time. Our farmer's market (every Sunday) is one of the best in the city. Hollywood has truly become a walkable neighborhood. We are able to get by with just one car between the two of us, and it rarely gets used.

The worst aspect of living here would be the rising costs! With all of the new development in the area, demand has gone up considerably, and it's now impossible to find reasonable listings in the area.

Any interesting stories about your place?

One thing that seems to wow a lot of guests is the car elevator that they use to park the cars underground. There is a lot of history in the building, and many stories of Old Hollywood. It's well known that Howard Hughes lived here, and there is a story about one of his guests falling down an elevator shaft in the building. Some believe it's haunted.

Another interesting fact is that there is (or was) an underground tunnel between our building and the Pantages Theater across the street. This tunnel was used by performers back in the day, who also lived in the building.

Hollywood Historic Loft House Calls Seth

How'd you end up living in this apartment?

Wanting to find an open plan "loft" space isn't easy. Excluding downtown, Hollywood is one of the only places that has an inventory of old industrial/commercial buildings that can be converted to lofts. After viewing the apartment just once, it became clear that this was the best mix of location, value, and amenities.

How's your landlord?

He's amazing. I couldn't have gotten any luckier!

If you could have any living situation in LA, what would it be?

We love to travel, so an ideal living situation in LA would be a place that doesn't cost us anything while we're off seeing the world!