Unveiling on Vineland
A NoHo hotel with Hollywood history gets a glamorous makeover and new name.
The Garland, formerly known as the Beverly Garland, has just undergone a dramatic, $20 million renovation. With its 257 rooms refurbished in “retro-cool California style,” stunning gardens by celebrity landscape designer Jonny Appleseed and a sophisticated, spacious event space, the seven-acre property seems poised for success. As exciting as the future seems, the NoHo property also has an interesting past.
The hotel was first opened by actress Beverly Garland and her husband, real estate developer Fillmore Crank. Beverly, known for roles on popular TV shows (My Three Sons, Scarecrow and Mrs. King, 7th Heaven) and Fillmore purchased seven acres of land in 1970 from actor Gene Autry with dreams of building a lodge.
Instead they built a misson-style hotel, with the help of John Kell Houssels—considered one of the forefathers of the Las Vegas hotel/casino industry and founder of the Tropicana hotel.
Before and after renovation
The actress focused on interior design, while her husband oversaw construction. The facility opened for business in 1972. Hollywood elite, including John Wayne, attended the grand opening, according to Fillmore’s son, James Crank, who now runs the property.
James fondly remembers his mother’s mantra: “It’s the personal touch that counts.” Beverly was known, when not on a set, to work at the hotel taking care of the property—including even changing lightbulbs and rearranging flowers.
“It was a very special place,” James says. “I think what they taught me was how fantastic a hotel can be.”
At one time, the hotel joined the Holiday Inn chain, but it broke away in November 2013—and has returned to its roots as an independent, boutique hotel. Now seven years after his mother’s death and with the renovation near completion, James hopes to build on what his parents accomplished, bringing back “the best elements of the ‘70s” while also meeting the needs of visitors (free trolley service to Universal Studios and CityWalk) as well as Valley residents.
Original construction underway in the early ‘70s
He is inspired by the current gentrification and growth of the arts scene in NoHo and has plans to feature the work of local artists. James envisions the hotel as a community hub where people can come to relax and host events like weddings or bar mitzvahs.
And what would his mother think of The Garland of today? “I think she’d be really thrilled,” James muses. “My parents loved the community and the hospitality business.”
|Actress Beverly Garland and her husband purchase seven acres of land from Gene Autry.||The Beverly Garland Hotel opens and is named for the actress.||The couple’s son, James Crank, becomes part of the hotel’s management team.||Beverly Garland dies. James becomes president of Rio Vista Development Corporation, which owns the hotel.||A $20 million renovation begins at the hotel, and it sheds its Holiday Inn affiliation.||The first phase of renovations is complete with new lobby and bar, renovated guest rooms and the addition of Beverly Park, an outdoor events venue. “Beverly” is dropped from the hotel’s name.||The Garland, fully renovated, is scheduled to debut in the spring with the opening of the on-site restaurant, The Front Yard.|
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