×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Architect Leland Bryant’s Legacy Looms Large in L.A. Lore

If you were invited to a dinner party at an up-and-coming star’s apartment during Hollywood’s golden age, there’s a good chance you would have experienced the storybook grandeur of architect Leland A. Bryant.

While not much is remembered about Bryant himself, many of his buildings live on, and have hosted new generations of famous names through the decades. His Spanish Colonial-style Romanesque Villa on Harper Avenue in West Hollywood is said to have been home to Marilyn Monroe, Marlene Dietrich and Zsa Zsa Gabor. The owners recently offered new tenants a chance to enjoy that piece of history in a one-bedroom apartment replete with crown molding and vintage tiling for $2,100 a month.

(From the pages of the April 9 issue of Variety.)

After her split from Russell Brand, Katy Perry reportedly moved into Bryant’s Colonial House on Havenhurst Drive. The Colonial Revival-style building that’s on the National Register of Historic Places is purportedly the former home of Jamie Lee Curtis and Julia Roberts — and the final home of Bette Davis. (Perry rented her three-bedroom flat, but another unit in the complex sold for $860,000 in 2012).

“(Bryant) worked in all styles, but he tended to work more in the French chateau,” says Adrian Scott Fine, advocacy director of Los Angeles Conservancy, which works to preserve the county’s historic architecture and cultural resources. “It was all about creating a kind of exotic fantasyland with architecture, which fit well with the Hollywood scene.”

Still, Fine says Bryant’s best-remembered creation is stylistically different — the booming Art Deco marvel now known as the Sunset Tower. Liz Taylor, Frank Sinatra, Howard Hughes and Errol Flynn once resided at the apartment-turned-hotel on the Sunset Strip. Nowadays, Dmitri Dmitrov, the maitre d’ at the hotel’s Tower Bar, has mastered the stealth art of knowing the intricate details of every A-lister who reserves space at his tables.

“(Bryant) created things that were a little more special than the run of the mill,” Fine says. “A lot of architecture employed these styles, but he seemed to go the extra mile in terms of his execution of them.”

These finely wrought details carried on, even as his buildings entered darker days. Realtor Brian Moore, who with his wife Laura runs L.A. Vintage Homes and specializes in Hollywood housing with character and history, has brokered deals at the Colonial as well as other Bryant-designed properties like the Larchmont-area Country Club Manor and West Hollywood’s Granville Towers. The Towers once housed Rock Hudson and David Bowie, and are where Twilight actress Ashley Greene’s rented condo caught fire in March.

Moore was also was the Realtor when Bryant’s six-story French Norman-style Le Trianon was put on the market in June. Although Moore says the residential building, a Los Angeles Historic Cultural Monument, had fallen into disrepair, the details were still there. “It was still in very much original condition,” he says.

In other words, like all timeless yet aging stars, Le Trianon is just waiting for its comeback.

More Biz

  • During an interview at her home

    Judith Krantz, Best-Selling Author and Columnist, Dies at 91

    Judith Krantz, a best-selling author known for her novels “Scruples” and “Princess Daisy,” died Saturday from natural causes, surrounded by family, friends and her four dogs at her Bel Air, California home, her publicist John Tellem confirmed. She was 91. Krantz began her career in journalism, working for Good Housekeeping writing freelance articles for Macleans, [...]

  • Plume of black smoke rising from

    Soundgarden, Tupac and Tom Petty Estates Sue Universal Music Over Fire Damage

    Attorneys representing Soundgarden, Hole, Steve Earle and the estates of Tupac and Tom Petty today filed a class-action lawsuit against Universal Music Group over the master recordings destroyed in a 2008 fire, the extent of which was revealed last week in a New York Times article. The lawsuit, obtained by Variety, seeks some “50% of [...]

  • John Prine, Kamasi Washington, Sub Pop

    John Prine, Kamasi Washington, Sub Pop Win Big at A2IM Libera Awards

    Out of all the awards shows Variety Music attends every year — and we hit a few — in many ways A2IM’s Libera Awards, which celebrate the tight-knit independent label sector, is the most fun. It’s got awards and performances and a host and people get dressed up and all that, but at the end [...]

  • A trading post sports the Spotify

    Spotify Determines That It Overpaid Publishers in 2018, Requests Refund

    When calculating the new, higher rates determined by the U.S Copyright Royalty Board — which Spotify, Amazon, Google and SiriusXM/Pandora have appealed — Spotify has determined that it overpaid publishers in 2018 and would like a refund. “According to the new CRB regulations, we overpaid most publishers in 2018,” a Spotify spokeperson said. “While the [...]

  • Los Angeles LGBT Center CEO Lorri

    Los Angeles LGBT Center Opens New Campus for Community's Most Vulnerable

    When Donald Trump became president in 2016, some had grave concerns about what that could mean for the LGBTQ community. It gave such serious pause to the backers of the historic Los Angeles LGBT Center that they even considered scrapping plans to build their $142 million Anita May Rosenstein Campus in Hollywood. Then again, that [...]

  • Jussie Smollett

    Judge to Appoint Special Prosecutor in Jussie Smollett Case

    In yet another bizarre twist, a Chicago judge on Friday ordered the appointment of a special prosecutor to review the hoax case against “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett. Judge Michael Toomin ruled that State’s Attorney Kim Foxx should have appointed a special prosecutor when she opted to recuse herself early in the case. Instead, Foxx turned [...]

  • LGBT Rights Around the World

    The State of LGBTQ Rights Globally

    Pride is on the march across the globe as more and more countries recognize the freedom and rights of their LGBTQ citizens. Homosexuality is now legal in a majority of the world’s 195 nations — the latest, Botswana, joined the list June 11 — and marriage equality prevails in nearly 30 territories, covering more than [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content