Once inside the single front door with its lovely floral patterned ironwork and glass, is a small, narrow vestibule with a dark red Spanish/brick tile floor. This floor was made by Gladding, McBean and Co., who also provided the patterned tile floors in screenwriter Frances Marion's home, and collaborated often with famous architect Walter Neff on other Hollywood homes. To the left is what was once an organ chamber, for a pipe organ (probably in the breakfast or living room) and is now a coat closet under the stairs. In Buster's time, the female guest's coats would have been collected and taken upstairs to Natalie's bedroom, and laid across the king-sized oak platform bed that Buster had designed and built down at the studio.

The main stairs originally had stonework instead of a railing on the right-hand side, decorated with demi columns and faces in medallions. An Oriental carpet padded the wooden stairs, and a braided, swagged rope was bolted to the wall as a hand rail. Just beneath these stone columns were the vents of the organ chamber, now covered over. The stairs are shallow enough to accommodate children, and broad enough for three or four people to walk abreast.

Turning around to face the front door, there was once a pulpit directly above it, and on the landing are the three front loggia glass arched doors. In 1926, there was additional plaster and fresco work around the inside of the entrance, known as s'graffitti. There was once much more of this work on the ceiling of the living room., all done by the California Architectural Decoration Company.

Up above is a two story groin-vaulted ceiling, created by the cross intersection of the two wings of the house. The second floor balcony and landing form a square around the entrance hall. There is a legend (probably started by Louise Brooks) that Buster used to answer the door by swinging in on a curtain like Douglas Fairbanks; or perhaps that he would swing into the living room, neither of which is, unfortunately, likely to be dynamically possible, even for Buster Keaton. It's probably a safe bet that Buster swung on something at some point, but perhaps not in this steep narrow hallway, surrounded by low archways!

 

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