Hollywood’s Most Distinguished Address

October 6, 2014

Designed in 1929 by architect Leland A. Bryant, the Sunset Tower Hotel is one of greatest examples of Art Deco architecture in Southern California.

As advertised in a 1938 issue of the Screen Actors Guild magazine, the Sunset Tower was “Hollywood’s Most Distinguished Address.” As one would expect, residents were mainly the who’s who of the entertainment business including John Wayne, Marilyn Monroe,  Howard Hughes, Elizabeth Taylor, Billie Burke,  Paulette Goddard, Errol Flynn, Frank Sinatra, Clark Gable, and Bugsy Siegel.  While thoroughly stunning both the inside and out, the building surpassed the standard of living for its opulent residents by incorporating modern conveniences such as outlets in every bathroom for personal appliances and large, modern windows to take advantage of the glistening city lights.

Sunset Tower 3

Sunset Tower 2

Sunset Tower 1

Sunset Tower 3

Sunset Tower 2

Views of the Tower in 1939

Sunset Tower 1939 HuntingtonLibrary

Sunset Tower 1939 3 Huntington Library

Sunset Tower 1939 2 Huntington Library

As the golden era faded, the building deteriorated through the 80s and was nearly demolished by developers. Longtime resident and actor, Werner Klemperer, refused to move out of the building and delayed the demolition until historic preservation laws were successfully passed. The building was restored and converted into the St. James Club luxury hotel. In 2004, Jeff Klein purchased the hotel and restored the original name. The hotel still hosts a wealth of stars at the Tower Bar (once Bugsy Siegel’s apartment) and other star-studded events on the terrace, keeping the tradition of attracting the faces of Hollywood alive and well.

To book a stay or a dining reservation, click here.

Sunset Tower Hotel
8358 Sunset Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA 90069

Images : 5 & 6 via Sunset Tower Hotel, 7, 8, 9 via Huntington Digital Library

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  • Reply Rhianne October 7, 2014 at 12:30 am

    Wow, I didn’t realise that so many famous people had lived there – I bet a lot of people stay there just because of that!

    Thank you for your comment on my blog, I’m looking forward to going through more of your photos – they’re are so bright and fresh!

    Also I love that you have a quote from Midnight in Paris on your about page :)

    • Reply South On Spring October 8, 2014 at 4:31 pm

      Thank you so much!

  • Reply Donald Bryan November 18, 2014 at 8:37 am

    Kudos to the late Werner Klemperer (son of conductor Otto Klemperer) for saving this building.

    • Reply South On Spring November 18, 2014 at 12:34 pm

      Absolutely, Donald. I thought it was great how he refused to leave his suite – he was a great pioneer of preservation efforts.

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