A Blog For Thelma Todd
Thelma Todd was a star of silent movies and later the talkies. She is remembered as much today for her mysterious death as she is for her films. In this blog, we take a look at Thelma Todd, her movies, and various commentaries.
Tuesday, April 19, 2016
Bringing New Life To Former Thelma Todd's Sidewalk Cafe
Reblogged from http://www.palipost.com/bringing-new-life-to-former-thelma-todds-sidewalk-cafe/
“Bringing New Life” to Former Thelma Todd’s Sidewalk Cafe
Plans for the former Thelma Todd’s Sidewalk Café building are coming to light.
The building located at 17575 Pacific Coast Highway sold on Jan. 13, 2015 to Hayman Properties, LLC for $6 million.
Robert Hayman at the 17575 PCH property. Rich Schmitt/Staff Photographer
Robert Hayman, the firm’s CEO and Principal, told the Palisadian-Post in November 2015 that he has no plans to demolish the property, quelling any rumors that had spread to the contrary.
“We are interested in rehabilitating and bringing new life to the building while preserving those features that convey its history,” said the company’s COO Michael Treiman during a March 2016 tour of the property, which is now empty of tenants.
The apartment with its original sliding door is where Thelma Todd once lived. Rich Schmitt/Staff Photographer
Hayman Properties enforced that during the building’s pending “soft demolition,” the goal is to return the property to its days of glory and breathe new life into a building that has been partially forgotten. “We’ve learned a lot from the Pacific Palisades Historical Society,” Treiman told the Post, adding that Hayman Properties has been working with a historical consultant as well as conservancy societies to come up with a plan for the property.
An exterior wall by a second-story patio Rich Schmitt/Staff Photographer
Hayman Properties’ plans include exposing the majestic dual staircases that had been walled off at some point during the building’s 87-year history, waterproofing the building, working to meet ADA requirements and focusing on preservation.
The property was built in 1928 by Alfonzo Bell and first operated as a community center with first-floor archways open to PCH. Parts of the building were boarded up after the Stock Market Crash of 1929.
The third-story operated as a Prohibition-era ballroom. Rich Schmitt/Staff Photographer
Film noir director Roland West bought the building shortly after, turning the place into a joint café/restaurant/nightclub with a ballroom during the Prohibition era.
West remodeled parts of the building to make the transformation, including closing off the archways with a wall. This room served as Joya’s Dining Room, named after West’s estranged wife Jewel “Joya” Carmen who owned the PCH property with him. The building’s original front doors still display the name “Joya’s” in etched glass.
“One aspect of this rehabilitation is reconstructing the metal-frame windows visible in historic photographs from the early 1930s, when Thelma Todd’s Café first occupied the building,” Treiman said.
And to put things bluntly, Hayman Properties has no plans to turn the building into residential housing or a strip mall. Hayman and Treiman said the building will likely serve as office property eventually.
“What we want to do dovetails perfectly with what the building’s history is,” Hayman said optimistically of the planned renovations. “The exterior will remain intact…Even most of the interior will stay the same.”