West Hollywood Preservation Alliance

To identify, protect and preserve the historic, architectural, and cultural resources of West Hollywood

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Renovation of El Mirador Underway

Beverly Press updates the current status of renovations to the El Mirador, a seven-story apartment building on Fountain Avenue at Sweetzer. The city designated the building as a cultural resource in 1992. It has been closed since 2010.

The article includes a quote from WHPA Board Pres. Victor Olmenczenko:

“The El Mirador is an architectural treasure whose current rehabilitation and restoration bode well for historic preservation in West Hollywood. For over 90 years, the El Mirador has caught the eyes of both tourists and residents alike as they travel along Fountain Avenue. The building’s ornate ‘Churrigueresque’ Spanish Colonial Revival style is quite rare nowadays … The El Mirador could garner even additional recognition at the state and national levels, which if achieved, could also result in some fine tax benefits.”

Jerome Nash, the owner the building, has yet to say whether he intends to convert El Mirador into an urban inn or condominiums or resume renting the its 32 units.

Renovations are expected to be complete in early 2021.

HPC to Review Proposed Changes to French Market Project and Rehab of Berman/Kohner Building

French Market and Paseo revised street-level experience – Source: Faring.

The agenda for tonight’s meeting of the Historic Preservation Commission includes consideration of:

  • A draft of the city’s 2018-2019 Certified Local Government (CLG) Annual Report.
  • Changes to plans for the redevelopment of the French Market site.
  • A request to enter into a Mills Act Contract for the rehabilitation of 9165-9169 Sunset Boulevard (Berman/Kohner Building).

Read the agenda for tonight’s meeting HERE [PDF].

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 25, 2019 – 7:00 P.M.
Plummer Park Community Center, Rooms 5 & 6
7377 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, California 90046

WHPA Supports Designations for Whisky a Go Go and Detroit Street Craftsman Duplex

The West Hollywood Preservation Alliance (WHPA) supports city staff’s recommendations and urges the Historic Preservation Commission at its October 28 public hearings to recommend to the City Council that the following two properties be designated as local cultural resources in the City of West Hollywood:

Item 9.A.: 8901 Sunset Boulevard, “The Whisky a Go Go Building.” All public comments heard at the previous Oct. 2 HPC hearing on this potential designation were supportive of designation. However, due to a lack of quorum, a decision on this item was continued to the Oct. 28 meeting. The WHPA reiterates its full-throated support for designating this property which, according to the latest survey of commercial properties, is that rare example of a “trifecta” in which a building is considered historically significant at the local, state, and federal levels.

Item 9.C.: 1251 N. Detroit Street, “Rare Craftsman Duplex.” Although scheduled for an HPC hearing at its August 26 meeting, the hearing was postponed and no public comments were heard although community members were ready to speak and supportive citizen position slips were ready to be submitted.

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Four Sunset Strip Landmarks Considered for Cultural Resource Designation

Westside Market on the Strp, circa 1940s, now site of the Roxy

The West Hollywood Historic Preservation Commission will meet on Wednesday, Oct. 2, to consider designating four iconic buildings on the Sunset Strip as cultural resources. Three of the buildings are associated with the Strip’s Rock ‘n Roll era: the Roxy Theatre, the Rainbow Bar and Grill and the Whisky a Go Go. The fourth site is a 1938 Streamline Moderne office building, formerly known as the Sentney Building, at 9157-9163 Sunset Blvd.

You can read staff reports evaluating the eligibility of the four buildings HERE.

WEHOville covers the history of each building in article titled, Some of the Sunset Strip’s Most Famous Venues Seek Designation as Cultural Resources.

Meeting Information
West Hollywood Historic Properties Commmission Meeting
Wednesday October 2, 2019 – 7:00 P.M.
Plummer Park Community Center, Rooms 1 & 2
7377 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, California 90046

HPC to Consider Fate of Three Important Sites

Craftsman duplex at 1251 N. Detroit

The historic designation of a 106-year-old craftsman duplex on Detroit St., the rehabilitation of the French Market Building on Santa Monica at Laurel, and the impacts of a new project on Vista St. in the historic Plummer Park neighborhood will be the subjects of Monday’s important Historic Preservation Commission meeting. Mark your calendars for:



WHEN: MONDAY, AUGUST 26, 2019, 7:00 PM

Here’s more information:

1. WHPA Supports Historic Designation of Craftsman Duplex at 1251 N. Detroit. See city staff report HERE [PDF].

2. WHPA Board Is Reviewing Final EIR on the French Market Project. See city staff report and the final EIR HERE [PDF].

Responses to WHPA concerns are in Letter 5, Pages 2-23 to 2-33 of the final EIR.

3. WHPA Is Concerned About Effects of New Project at 1201 N. Vista on Historic Plummer Park Neighborhood. See city staff report HERE [PDF].

If you have any questions, contact us info@westhollywoodpreservationalliance.org.

2019 Historic Preservation Annual Event July 8 – NEW DATE!

Please join the City of West Hollywood and its Historic Preservation Commission to celebrate the restoration of the recently landmarked Formosa Cafe.

The Formosa Cafe was established in 1940 and features the last of the Pacific Electric 800-series streetcars and has a legendary Hollywood history. The building and trolley became a designated cultural resource in March, and after an extensive renovation, will reopen its storied doors this summer.

Date: July 8, 2019 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Location: The Formosa Cafe
7156 Santa Monica Boulevard
West Hollywood, California 90046

R.S.V.P. by July 3, 2019
Mike Peterson, Historic Preservation Intern


WHPA Statement on 8743 Sunset Boulevard

8743 Sunset Boulevard, via WEHOville.com

Prior to the Feb. 25, 2019, meeting of the West Hollywood Historic Preservation Commission PDF, the WHPA submitted the following statement:

The West Hollywood Preservation Alliance (WHPA) supports having the city’s Historic Preservation Commission recommend to the City Council that the property located at 8743 Sunset Boulevard be designated as a local cultural resource. Already deemed potentially eligible for local designation in the city’s survey of commercial buildings, this distinctive two-story property built in the Georgian Revival Style certainly meets municipal code criteria established for designation. Ample justification for designation is provided in the application prepared by Architectural Resources Group.

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Historic Preservation Commission Votes to Designate Formosa Cafe As a Cultural Resource

“The iconic Formosa Cafe on Historic Route 66 played an important role in West Hollywood’s commercial development, especially in the growing film industry,” WHPA board president Victor Omelczenko told the Beverly Press after the West Hollywood Historic Preservation Commission voted to recommend that the nearly century-old cafe be designated a cultural resource..

“We’re happy to have the preservation year start off on such a fine note. Now, it’s up to the City Council to give its official approval,” Omelczenko said.

“The West Hollywood Preservation Alliance finds it very exciting to have the HPC finish what the Cultural Heritage Advisory Board recommended decades ago in designating the Formosa Café a local cultural resource,” WHPA board member Roy Rogers Oldenkamp said to WEHOville in late January. “WHPA would like to give a shout out to historian Stacy Failing, who befriended the owners and persuaded them to save former owner Jimmy Bernstein’s and subsequent owners’ many headshots of celebrities who dined there over the years.

“Because of Stacy, we have the original menus ,many intact furnishings, even the Chinese lanterns over the banquettes, all save one that virtually disintegrated when taken down.”

WHPA Response to the Historic Preservation Committee’s Agenda Item, ‘Historic Preservation Work Program’

With 88 properties now designated as historic resources and with six designated historic districts and thematic groupings, the City of West Hollywood exhibits a fine record in historic preservation.  Following are observations/suggestions regarding future possible efforts as they relate to the four key elements described in the staff report.

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Designation of Formosa Cafe on Agenda at Monday, Jan. 28, HPC Meeting

Show support for formal designation of the famous Formosa Café as a local cultural resource/landmark in West Hollywood by attending tomorrow’s meeting of the city’s Historic Preservation Commission.  This designation is a rare Commission-Initiated request — usually property owners and/or the preservation community have been the impetus for such actions — and is something to be commended and encouraged.  

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