Search Is On for Students of 1911 : Former Pupils Sought for Dedication of Janes House

Times Staff Writer

Students in the first class at the Janes School in 1911 are being sought for an appearance at the dedication of the newly refurbished Janes House, reputedly the oldest building in Hollywood.

Built in 1903, the Janes House, where the school's classes were held from 1911 to 1926, was remodeled this year as part of a new commercial development at 6542 Hollywood Blvd. The city Community Development Department financed the remodeling.

The dedication will be held at 5 p.m. Thursday as part of the opening of Janes House Square, a private development whose architecture was modeled on the 19-Century Queen Anne style of the house.

Occupying the upper story of the two-story house is the Hollywood Economic Revitalization Effort, a city agency trying to upgrade buildings on Hollywood Boulevard.

"We are trying to locate students from the first class at the school," said Pompea Smith, director of the revitalization agency. "Actually, we would be satisfied with anyone who attended the school."

Among the estimated 1,000 students of the school during that period were the children of motion picture personalities Charlie Chaplin and Cecil B. DeMille.

The house was bought by businessman Herman Janes for $10,000 in 1905. His wife and three daughters started the school. The house was under the continuous ownership of the Janes family until Carrie Janes Collier, one of the daughters and last of the original family, died in 1983 at 92.

Smith said the house is important because it was the site discussions that led to construction of the Hollywood Bowl and represents a blueprint for the redevelopment of Hollywood.

"This shows what can be done in combining the new with preservation of the historic," Smith said. "That certainly is a major element of redevelopment in Hollywood."

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