LOCAL L.A. Now

Change comes to the Villa Carlotta, an old building in Hollywood

Sam Fuller, 83, has lived at the Villa Carlotta nearly 40 years. He loves the old Hollywood apartment building, which dates back to the 1920s.

The building on Franklin Avenue is a city historic-cultural monument. Louella Parsons got married in the lobby. Among its earliest inhabitants were Marion Davies, Adolphe Menjou, David O. Selznick, George Cukor and Edward G. Robinson.

Fuller, who is a waiter at the Sheraton Universal Hotel, spent his hard-earned money to decorate the building's public spaces, which were bare and shabby when he arrived in the 1970s.

He bought a $10,000 grand piano for the lobby. He brought in couches, chairs, statues, urns and lamps that shed soft light. Fellow residents credited him with turning the place into a home. People loved living there. Until recently.

Last August, real estate developers bought the building and an adjoining property for $12.25 million. CGI Strategies in Real Estate announced it would turn the villa into a luxury hotel and told the remaining tenants that they would have to go.

I hope you'll read my story, in Friday's paper, on the Villa Carlotta. Keep reading here to see a version of the story, in photos, that I sent out on Twitter.

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