Best Make-believe Historical Shopping Mall (1936) (2010)

Crossroads of the World

In a region that features a green space called Elysian Park, a subdivision called Mount Olympus and a chain of suburbs called the Inland Empire, why not a repurposed old outdoor shopping mall called Crossroads of the World? What were the other suggested names: Center of the Known Universe? Valhalla on Earth? Nonetheless, Crossroads is a perfect example of the playful, make-believe “historical” architecture one finds strewn throughout greater Los Angeles; the overcompensation of a place saddled with the unfair accusation of being history-less. Built in 1936, Crossroads is now mainly offices (the majority entertainment-related), but all the original buildings remain. It is an Epcot-style hodgepodge of Spanish, Moorish, Italian, French, Cal-Mediterranean and Cape Cod American styles, along with an actual ship, a lighthouse, a 60-foot tower with revolving globe. It was designed for the widow of real estate tycoon and mob-adjacent character Charlie Crawford, who was murdered at the site in 1931. The only violence at Crossroads these days is on the pages of the film scripts being produced there. 6671 Sunset Blvd., Hlywd. (323) 463-5611. —Adam Gropman

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