Photo by Adrian Scott Fine/L.A. Conservancy

The Town House

Located on Wilshire Boulevard facing Lafayette Park, the Town House was one of the most prominent luxury apartment buildings constructed in the fashionable Wilshire District. 

Oil magnate Edward Doheny developed the apartment-hotel, completed in 1929, and advertised it as “Southern California’s most distinguished address.” 

Designed by architect Norman W. Alpaugh, the Town House is a late example of Beaux Arts classicism, completed in 1929 as the style was fading from favor and new styles such as Art Deco were emerging in popularity. 

Though a late example, its design is finely articulated, with brick and terra cotta facades.  Rich classical detailing includes Greek fretwork and columns and pilasters featuring the Tower of the Winds variant of the Corinthian order. Wrought iron balconettes and railings give balance to the design.

In 1937, the Town House was re-launched as a luxury hotel featuring one of Los Angeles’ storied night clubs, the Zebra Room, with interiors designed by Wayne McAllister. 

Five years later, in 1942, hotelier Conrad Hilton took over the building. Elizabeth Taylor’s first marriage, to hotel heir Nicky Hilton in 1950, was celebrated at the Town House.

The Town House was later sold to the Sheraton hotel chain, first operating as the Sheraton Town House and later as the Sheraton West. 

he hotel closed in 1993 and was later threatened with demolition, spurring a highly visible advocacy effort that saved the building and resulted in its reuse as family housing with community amenities.

Downtown Women’s Center
Photo by Randall Michelson, Courtesy Pica + Sullivan Architects, Ltd.

Downtown Women’s Center

After years of languishing, what William Douglas Lee had designed for a shoe company gained new life as the Downtown Women's Center, earning a Conservancy Preservation Award.
Photo by Michael Locke

San Gabriel Mission Playhouse

Opened in 1927, the playhouse was built for John Steven McGroarty specifically as a venue for his famed Mission Play. The architectural style is Mission Revival - the exterior façade was designed to resemble McGroarty’s favorite mission, San Antonio de Padua in Monterey County, California.
Photo by Annie Laskey/L.A. Conservancy

Clifton's Brookdale Cafeteria

Many original features remain of this downtown icon that opened in 1935 and served food in a pastoral setting that included waterfall and meandering stream, mock redwood trees, and the Little Chapel with its recorded parable. Clifton's is currently closed for renovation.