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Crossroads of the World

I was surprised I haven't detailed the Crossroads of the World building previously but it's hard to miss this landmark building that is right at the entrance to Disney's Hollywood Studios.  While it may sell just pins, candy and other knick knacks, the Crossroads fo the World building is based on a famous Hollywood landmark.

Crossroads of the World is a copy of the shopping center located at the 6671 Sunset Boulevard, which is one of the first commercial places of its kind in the United States. This unusual little collection of shops has been called "L.A.'s first modern shopping mall."

Built in 1936, Crossroads of the World was designed by Robert V. Derrah and is perhaps most notable for its unique architecture. The centerpiece building of the project resembles a miniature ocean liner, an Art Deco facade complete with portholes, railings, life preservers, and decks,. An outdoor village of small, European-style bungalows surrounds the "ship" (Italian, Mexican, Turkish, New England, French - there's even a lighthouse!), and rising above it all is a central 30'-foot Streamline Moderne tower, topped by an 8-foot, revolving globe of planet Earth.

At Disney's Hollywood Studios, Imagineers replaced the globe at the top with a spinning Mickey Mouse, who also doubles as a lightning rod. One of his ears is actually made of copper and serves as the lightning rod for the building.

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About this column

Ever seen something in Hollywood Studios and wondered why it was placed there by Disney's Imagineers? Matt Hochberg leads you on a regular look at the hidden details in Hollywood Studios and explains why it's there.


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Posted: Thursday, September 08, 2011 by
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