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Hollywood Visitors Bureau Finds New Home in Historic Janes House

August 28, 1986|KENNETH J. FANUCCHI | Times Staff Writer

The historic Janes House, the oldest structure in Hollywood, will become the new site of an expanded division of the Greater Los Angeles Visitors and Convention Bureau.

The two-story Victorian house, a designated city landmark, was purchased by Herman and Mary Janes in 1903. Eight years later, it was converted into an elementary school.

The sons and daughters of such motion picture celebrities as Cecil B. DeMille, Noah Beery Jr. and Jack Holt were among the estimated 1,000 children who attended the school during its 15 years of operation.

The newly refurbished house at 6541 Hollywood Blvd. is the centerpiece of the Janes Square Landmark Shopping Center, scheduled to open in September, according to Timothy L. Bower of Coldwell Banker, the leasing agent.

"We expect to complete a lease agreement this week with the visitors bureau," Bower said, adding that the first floor of the house will be leased to the bureau for $1 a year.

Patricia G. Stump, vice president of the bureau, said the new location "is the kind we have always wanted in Hollywood." Past bureau locations, she said, were too cramped and the hours of operations too limited.

The bureau's last location, in a bank building at Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue, was closed in early July when the bank's owners began remodeling the structure.

"We could only operate on weekdays and during banking hours, which did not necessarily coincide with tourist activity," Stump said. "We also lacked space to display most of our tourist booklets."

Stump said the bureau will open as soon as the shopping center does and will employ two full-time agents. "Prior to this," she said, "we got by with only a part-time employee."

An operating schedule has not been established, Stump said, but the bureau will be open for longer periods and at hours when the need for tourism services is greatest.

Tourist Telephones

In conjunction with the opening of the bureau office, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce plans to install tourist information telephones at both ends of Hollywood Boulevard to dispense information to the millions of tourists who visit the famed street each year.

"In that way, we hope to pretty much cover the boulevard," said Bill Welsh, president of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. "We know there is a great need by tourists for information along the boulevard and believe that we soon will have the best resources we've had to help them."

The new bureau is just east of Musso & Frank Grill, the oldest restaurant in Hollywood, and equidistant between Mann's Chinese Theater and the Pantages Theater.

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