Piazza del Sol | Los Angeles Conservancy
Photo from Conservancy archives

Piazza del Sol

Built as a luxury apartment house called the Hacienda Arms, the Piazza del Sol is a notable local example of the Italian Renaissance Revival style in a multi-family residential building.

The symmetrical, five-story brick building was designed to resemble an Italian villa. It is faced in smooth plaster and features elaborate Renaissance and Venetian Gothic detailing made of cast stone. A grand double staircase leads from the street to a terrace at the main entrance level, both of which feature a cast stone balustrade.

Over the years, the building’s Sunset Boulevard location attracted several famous tenants, including actress Marie Dressler and Hollywood madam Lee Francis, who was convicted in 1940 of running a house of ill repute on the site.

The building was eventually abandoned and fell into disrepair. After a 1983 fire caused by a vagrant gutted the interior, new owners undertook a $4 million renovation to restore the historic apartment building and convert it into commercial space. Today, Piazza del Sol houses a gourmet restaurant and business offices.

The Conservancy holds an easement protecting the building’s historic exterior.

Photo by Adrian Scott Fine/L.A. Conservancy

Eastern Columbia Lofts

From its spectacular clock tower emblazoned with the name Eastern in neon down to its multi-colored terrazzo sidewalks, this 1930 downtown landmark was one of the largest buildings constructed in downtown until after WWII.
Photo by Annie Laskey/L.A. Conservancy

Downtown Jewelry Exchange/Warner Bros. Theatre

The 1920 Pantages Theatre, a nine-story steel-framed building designed by architect B. Marcus Priteca, was the city’s second theatre (and the country’s sixteenth) built for the namesake vaudeville circuit.
Photo from Conservancy archives

Petitfils-Boos Residence 

Designed by Charles F. Plummer for restaurateur Walter Petitfils, this two-story, 9,000-square-foot house clad in buff-colored glazed terra cotta is an excellent example of the Italian Renaissance Revival style.