Sunset Tower apartments
Built partly above and partly below the Strip, the Sunset Tower apartment building was the tallest thing going on the strip when it was built in 1931.
Sunset Tower well, towered over the Strip in the 1930s and 1940s. CSL
Ad for the newly completed Sunset Tower apartments at 8358 Sunset Blvd., 9-2-1931. Old man Depression didn’t bother those who could afford the rent of $150 a month (and up).
“Where Hollywood joins Beverly Hills.” Sunset Towers remained an exclusive address ten years after its completion. This ad, which appeared less than two weeks after Pearl Harbor, shows rents going for $135-150 for a 3-room apartment. Five room units would set you back $375 to $450. LAT 12-19-1941.
Sunset Tower entrance in the 1930s, close-up view. LAPL.
The garage entrance was located below Sunset Strip on Delongpre Avenue. LAT, 8-23-1931.
View of the Sunset Tower’s garage elevation on Delongpre Ave. UCLA-digital.
It was at Sunset Tower, ostensibly in the apartment of pal “Al” Smiley, that Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel was arrested by sheriff’s deputies on bookmaking charges in May 1944, the same year Sunset Towers appeared in the noir film “Murder My Sweet.” Actor George Raft, who was also present during the raid, wasn’t charged.
In 1955, the apartment tower underwent an extensive remodeling by architects Palmer & Krisel. A pool and cabanas, added on the west side of the property, opened in September 1956. An annex, further downhill, known as Sunset Towers West (8400 Sunset Blvd.) got underway the same year.
Sunset Tower after remodeling, 1955. The pool is below Sunset Blvd, at right.
The Sunset Towers pool, 1956. Julius Shulman photo. Noirish Los Angeles.