In 1909 a group of idealistic visionaries from New York calling themselves the Krotona Theosophy Society brought their new philosophy and their dreams to Los Angeles to build a utopian community. Not realizing that the Motion Picture industry was about to be born in the same spot they settled on a little hilltop overlooking Cahuenga pass in the Hollywood hills and began to commission architects to build a series of structures in a Moorish style. One such architect, believed to be Alfred Heineman, designed this dormatory structure to house spiritual leader and 6 deciples, and used Batchelder tiles extensively in and out. By 1918 the open spaces between their utopian Moorish dwellings had been bought and built on by nouveau riché actors and movie people who built in a variety of disparate styles including Mediterranean, Mock Cheshire, Tudor, Souther Plantation and French chateau. Feeling the spiritual climate of the hill was lost to the contrary influence of the new movie industry comunity the Theosophists fled to Ojai California, 90 miles NW of Los Angeles where they remain today. Alfred Willis, architecture professor of USC wrote a swell paper explaining all of this which is linked below.

See my photos of the actual place in 2000 and how it's shrouded in bushes..

I made a synthetic illustration of the site in QTVR 360º Panorama format.

Get the architectural history of the building in an excellent paper by Alfred Willis. A 1MB PDF file:
or search for it.


Thanks to Alfred Willis for all this cool information