Since 2001, the courtyard on Hollywood & Highland was populated with a herd of controversial elephant statues that are now being demolished with a remodel in mind.
The courtyard was designed as a tribute to the silent film era, with pieces designed with film director D.W. Griffith’s Intolerance film in mind. The 1916 film was based on the fall of the Babylonian Empire and featured elephant statues as set pieces.
While the Intolerance film itself was not based on controversy, Griffith filmed it in response to his Birth of a Nation film, which portrayed black characters in an unfavorable light and involved actors performing in black-face.
The film is also believed to be the inspiration for the Klu Klux Klan, which was formed months after the film’s release.
For these reasons, the new owners of the courtyard will “reimagine” the area and give it a more modern look.
DJM Capital and Gaw Capital USA bought the property in 2020 and have begun the transformation of the property into what they will call, “Ovation Hollywood.”
“The Babylonian-themed courtyard is a replica of an antiquated film set from an intolerant time that we’ve always planned to remove for the reimagining of the property,” said Chad Cress, Chief Creative Officer at DJM. “Our goal for Ovation is to create a space that is forward-looking and celebrates Los Angeles’ diversity, history and optimism.”
As of this writing, demolition and construction is underway, with escalators and elevators already being refurbished.
Ovation Hollywood is expected to finish construction by the end of 2021 and will be a “mixed-use project” where retail stores, offices and entertainment will live.