Hollywood, Tarzan, Live Wire and Vaudeville… What do these four have in common?
They’re all aspects of a short walk in University Heights!
A few days ago I walked east along the south sidewalk of El Cajon Boulevard, from Park Boulevard to Louisiana Street. My camera was out, aiming at anything that caught my fancy.
I saw street art and the iconic The Boulevard sign. I passed a strange bicycle and a fun window.
When I came to the historic Lafayette Hotel, I noticed huge banners proclaiming its rebirth in June of 2023.
The Lafayette Hotel has undergone many changes since it began as the Imig Manor in 1946. It’s very first guest was Bob Hope. It soon became a favorite playground for Hollywood stars, like Ava Gardner, Katharine Hepburn, Betty Grable, Lana Turner and singer Bing Crosby. It’s rumored Marilyn Monroe and JFK had a secret rendezvous here.
The hotel’s swimming pool was designed by Olympic gold medal winning swimmer and Tarzan movie actor Johnny Weissmuller. It was used by San Diego native Florence Chadwick to train for her record breaking swim across the English Channel. The hotel’s Mississippi Ballroom was used in the filming of Top Gun’s classic You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ scene.
You can learn more about the amazing, elegant features of the Lafayette Hotel here.
Okay! Here are photos from my short walk…
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