Culver Studios

Posted on January 21, 2020

Q. What do E.T., Star Trek, The Untouchables, Legally Blonde, The Matrix, and GeoDesign have in common?

A. Historic Culver Studios!

We’re currently providing geotechnical services for The Culver Studios Innovation Plan development in Culver City, California. Sometimes field work means driving to a castle in the middle of the desert, and sometimes, it means being a small part of Silver Screen history.

The History

The first building on site in 1918 was the Mansion (often mistaken for Tara in Gone with the Wind – while the movie was filmed here, the Mansion does not appear in the film). It was built by Thomas Ince, silent movie pioneer. Ince’s tenure at the studio didn’t last long – he died a mere six years later after a dinner party on William Randolph Hearst’s yacht.

The studio changed hands numerous times while churning out well-known classics: A Star is Born, Citizen Kane, The Andy Griffith Show, Kill Bill, and A Few Good Men, to name a few. Other owners of the site include Cecil B. DeMille and husband/wife team Desi Arnaz & Lucille Ball. The site was finally purchased in 2014 by an affiliate of Hackman Capital Partners, and in 2018, the studio began its current expansion project.

The Expansion

The Culver Studios expansion will more than double the size of the current studio, including 5 new buildings totaling 500,000 square feet, and two new parking structures with 1,930 spaces.

To date, GeoDesign has provided subsurface investigations, geotechnical reports, and recommendations. We are also performing ongoing construction observation and vibration monitoring services.

The expansion is expected to wrap by 2021.


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