As part of my effort to understand what made film maker D. W. Griffith tick, I wanted to pay a visit to his last residence: The Knickerbocker Hotel in Hollywood. The hotel, located on Ivar Street just north of Hollywood Blvd, has something of a storied past. It is rumored that Marilyn Monroe met Joe DiMaggio at the hotel bar, the same bar that Rudolph Valentino had regularly imbibed before his untimely death, Elvis Presley stayed there while in town making Love Me Tender, William Frawley suffered a massive heart attack walking down Hollywood Blvd and then died in the lobby, Irene Lentz jumped to her death from her 11th story window – distraught over the death of Gary Cooper, and alas, D. W. Griffith suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and died after being discover unconscious in the lobby. By the 1970s, the luster had faded from the hotel facade – both figuratively and literally. Today it is a retirement home – apparently, for Russian senior citizens.
I went for a visit today and could not get in. Residents only. But I hear there is a plaque inside honoring Griffith, so plan B is to contact the manager and see if I can get a personal tour. Wish me luck!