Home Culver City Historic Sites Historic Site #14: Rollerdrome

Historic Site #14: Rollerdrome

by Gabriel Ortiz

Historic Site No. 14: Rollerdrome, 1928-1970
Marked: 2019

This land, once traversed by the Tongva Native Americans, became a part of Rancho La Ballona under Spanish rule, and later was included in Culver City’s post-incorporation “Bohemia Annexation” in 1924. Then, in 1928, the largest roller-skating rink in the United States opened here. Conceived by Chester Park Crawford and designed by Carl Boller, the 34,000 sq. ft. Rollerdrome was a popular recreational venue for over 50 years. With its distinctive, gently-rounded roofline, the building was without a single post or pillar and featured a ‘noiseless’ skating surface of rock maple over layers of felt and Oregon pine. Parties, skating competitions, dances, and dog shows were held in the facility, which could accommodate more than 2,500 people—truly a fixture in our city’s social scene. A dress code was strictly enforced, and organ music was added in 1929. After the business closed in 1970, the building was demolished. In 1975, the City of Culver City acquired the vacant property for use as the park you see today. Named for former city attorney, mayor, and chief administration officer Michael Tellefson, Tellefson Park was dedicated in 1976, as part of Culver City’s U.S. Bicentennial celebration.

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