The True History of Rollin B. Lane, His Family and His Castle

Chapter 7.3: The Hollywood Location of the Lane Mansion

The Neighborhood
The building is located in the Hollywood-Oceanview Tract, a residential area opened in 1902, although the single family dwellings in the southern portion of the tract have nearly all been replaced by multi-unit apartments and condominiums. In addition, properties on both sides of Hollywood Blvd. and extending southward are now part of the central Hollywood business district.

The property was purchased from the Los Angeles Pacific Boulevard and Development Company on January 3, 1909 by Rollin Lane’s mother, Olive (listed as Mrs. O. P. Wood, a resident of Redlands, County of San Bernardino, State of California.)

The Property
The residence was built on a lot measuring approximately 200’ wide by 200 feet deep, located on the south side of the Hollywood Hills, at roughly the base of said hills. The property runs along the north side of Franklin Ave. with the residence set back approximately 80’ from the street and elevated approximately 30’ above street level. At the time of construction in 1909, the address was 701 Franklin Ave. In the summer of 1910, when the City of Hollywood was annexed by the City of Los Angeles, the address changed to 7001 Franklin.

Several years after the residence was built, additional property was purchased immediately adjacent to the west property boundary and extending that boundary by 70’.

Access to the property was, and is, from Franklin Ave. via a driveway running along the east property line. A garage, not part of the original construction but built sometime before 1948 was located at the rear of the property. It has long since been demolished and is not believed to have been architecturally significant.

 

 

ocean view tract with MC marked
Ad for the Hollywood-Ocean View Tract, printed in the Los Angeles Herald, March 30, 1902. The area in red shows the lot purchased by Rollin Lane’s mother in January of 1903. The E-W street immediately below the lot is Franklin Ave. The E-W street across the bottom of the picture was Prospect Blvd., now known as Hollywood Blvd.

At the time of construction in late 1909, roughly half of the nearby lots already had completed homes.
Sanborn - 1907
Sanborn insurance map of 1907. Blue items are completed homes. The large blue facility at the lower right is the Hotel Hollywood at the corner of Highland and Prospect (Hollywood) Blvd. The red item is the 1909 Lane mansion and property lines. The leftmost rectangle was not part of the original purchase, but was acquired later.

 

The Lane Family and Later Owners
The property has had relatively few owners during its 100 year life. As already noted, Rollin’s mother Olive purchased the land in 1903. Ownership passed to Rollin when Olive died in 1922. It remained in the Lane family until Rollin Jr. sold it in 1955 to Thomas O. Glover whose family still own the property, as well as several surrounding properties.

Description of the Lane mansion
(Note: While the focus of this project is, of course, the Lane mansion, a century’s worth of modifications and renovations have all but obliterated it’s original appearance. The grounds have been extensively graded and two of the exterior elevations are completely hidden behind newer construction. The remaining elevations have been heavily modified. Even the originally visible roofline has been largely obscured. While the building’s current and well maintained appearance retains the Chateauesque elements and character, it has lost all historic and architectural integrity. The available photographs are limited to a few grainy images from decades ago, and a handful of recent of photos to document specific architectural elements. Photographs of the better preserved Hill residence are therefore included here to illustrate some details.)

The Rollin B. Lane residence was designed in March of 1909 by the firm of Dennis and Farwell as a near replica of the home they designed for Cornelia A. Hill in Redlands, in 1897.

The building permit was issued in July of 1909, the official year of record, and construction began soon thereafter. The home was nearing completion when described in a January, 1910 article in the Los Angeles Times.

The mansion was built near the base of a hill on the north side of downtown Hollywood, facing south and overlooking what was then described as the Hollywood flatlands. Located on the north side of Franklin Ave., it is set back from the street nearly 80 feet and is elevated above street level by roughly 30 feet. During the period when Hollywood was an independent, incorporated city, from 1903 to 1910, the address was 701 Franklin. After that time, the address was, and is 7001 Franklin Ave.

As built, the Lane residence was located on a lot 197 feet wide and 200 feet deep. An additional 70 feet of property adjacent to the west side of the original lot was later acquired for expansion of the grounds and presumably the garden.

 

 

THIS SECTION IS STILL UNDER CONSTRUCTION - PLEASE COME BACK NEXT WEEK.

Aerial view of Lane Mansion - 1924

 

 

An opulent architectural style patterned after the design of monumental French chateaux of the 16th century; popular in the late 19th century and beyond. Buildings were usually characterized by

a fašade having masonry walls; an attic story;

a single balcony or continuous balconies;

prominent use of vertical elements such as pilasters; wall dormers with gables that might break the roof line; cross gables;

a belt course;

an ornately hipped roof either steeply pitched to a ridge and/or truncated by a horizontal surface;

cast-iron cresting on the roof;

 BALUSTRADE: An enclosure or parapet composed of ballisters (q.v.), and by analogy, an enclosure consisting of any other ornament, such as trefoils, carved work, etc. (Mollett, 1883) 

The above image represents a balustrade of the pointed Gothic style. Note the similarities to the tracery-like, pierced panel balustrades of Kimberly Crest and Holly Chateau, below.

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Copyright 2010 George W. Siegel, unless otherwise noted