The Hillview was designed in a subdued Mediterranean style, often used: in this era to enhance the image of California as a sunny paradise. Originally the facade was U-shaped, with a courtyard between the wings that has now been replaced by one-story shops.
Financed in part by Jesse Lasky, The apartments were once the home of many silent screen stars, among them Mae Busch who was later featured in Laurel and Hardy, comedies. Housing was a problem in the early decades: a transient population did not need permanent residences. Actors traveled between Hollywoodland New York, and many local boarding houses had signs posted with the warning: NO ACTORS OR DOGS ALLOWED.