You're looking at the intersection of Laurel Canyon and Willow Glen (Willow Glen is
a right turn about sixty feet in front of the car which is northbound on Laurel
Canyon Blvd). The sign in the foreground is at the northwest corner of Laurel
Canyon and Lookout Mountain (Lookout T-intersects with Laurel). The sign
appears to say "Tom Mix Elementary" and has a cartoon of a cowboy being
bucked off a horse. Behind the wall with the arches is the Walker estate. The large
building on the left with the white tree in front of it is the Tom Mix (later known as
the Frank Zappa) cabin. The house with the pyramid shaped roof that is above
and to the right of the Mix cabin has nothing to do with the story. That structure is
actually on the northeast corner of Willow glen and Laurel canyon.
|Houdini lived at 2435 Laurel Canyon Blvd.
But he swam at 2400 Laurel Canyon Blvd.
If there are photos of Houdini in his Hollywood Home, they have not yet been recognized
as such. Here is a photo of Bessie Houdini and Ed Saint and a bunch of guests at a
Christmas party in 1934. Sitting on the floor with Bessie are Ed Saint, Houdini's first
partner Dr. Jacob Hyman, and I think, Ralf M. Walker and his wife. Also in the group are
early Magic Castle members Bill Taylor, Gerald Kosky, Dr. Victor Trask, and L. O. Gunn.
The man with the glasses at the far left is Caryl Fleming, who was president of the
P.C.A.M. and a motion picture producer.
Do you see the arched porch of a house directly above the Tom Mix cabin? It
isn't easy to see but that shadowy structure is one very obscure view of 2435
Laurel Canyon Blvd. This was a four bedroom house with a separate servants'
quarters and garage (2445 Laurel Canyon). 2435 Laurel Canyon was the guest
house of the gigantic mansion (at that time 2398 Laurel Canyon) across the
street (behind the wall and all those trees). The entrance to the Walker estate
was on Willow Glen and there was a gatehouse. 2435 had an elevator which took
people down through the solid rock of the bluff the house was built atop. The
elevator led to a tunnel which went under Laurel Canyon Blvd. and led to stairs
that came up in the gatehouse.
Solid evidence exists that Ralf M. Walker imported plants and trees from all
over the world to landscape his gardens; and he built a big, deep, beautiful
swimming pool with constantly flowing water from a spring that still flows, winter
and summer -- even now when we're in the worst drought in recorded history.
Harry Houdini walked in those gardens and swam in that pool, and the proof