Coronet Apartments (Piazza del Sol)

 

 
(1940s)* - Coronet Apartments, originally Hacienda Park Apartments (today Piazza del Sol).  

 

Historical Notes

In 1926 Alexander R. Gallos bought a commercial parcel on Sunset Boulevard in Hacienda Park and began construction on a high-end apartment building. The architect was Charles Sherman Cobb, whose roster included numerous residential and commercial buildings in Toronto. The Hacienda Park Apartments opened in early 1927. The cost upon completion was $382,000 (about $5.5 million today).

 

 

 

 
(1949)*– View looking down upon the Sunset Strip from the roof of the Sunset Tower.  On the right, is Ciro's Nightclub (now The Comedy Store) and behind it the Coronet Apartments (originally the Hacienda Park Apartments, today the Piazza del Sol Office Building).  

 

Historical Notes

The Hacienda Park was ahead of trends in construction of high-end apartment housing west of Hollywood. It was built around the same time that the Garden of Allah residential hotel opened on Alla Nazimova’s former estate a half-mile east on Sunset, and perhaps a year later than the Normandie Village Apartments a block to the west.

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1938)* – Life Magazine photo showing the Coronet Apartments (Hacienda Park Apartments) with the Club Seville (later Ciro's and today The Comedy Store) on the right.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1935, Phil Goldstone, the chief studio executive at Tiffany Pictures, acquired the Hacienda Park and renamed it Coronet Apartments. From the 1940s through the 1970s, the building changed hands many times and fell into decline. The Los Angeles Times reported in 1983 that the decline of the building "roughly paralleled the decline of Hollywood," and the building had an "unremarkable history" in the 1950s and 1960s.

 

 

 

 
(n.d.)* – Piazza del Sol located at 8439 Sunset Boulevard (originally Hacienda Park Apartments then Coronet Apartments).  

 

Historical Notes

Built in 1927, the Piazza is older than its nearest historic neighbors – predating by two years the Chateau Marmont and by four years the Sunset Tower – both of which, like the Piazza, were originally apartment buildings. And like the Sunset Tower, it was listed in the National Register of Historic Places after being marked for demolition in the 1980s.

A check of the Piazza del Sol’s listing in the National Register reveals a quirk in the record. The Register shows its original name as Hacienda Arms Apartments, not the Hacienda Park Apartments – a name that in 1927 connected the building to the neighborhood around it, Hacienda Park. It’s by no means a fatal error, and the rest of the information appears to be correct, but this small mistake has been magnified over the years – picked up and repeated in dozens of articles and books, including, for example, the headline of the building’s Wikipedia page.*

 

 

 

 
(2016)* – Piazza del Sol at the NE corner of Sunset Boulevard and Queens Road.  

 

Historical Notes

The building’s story makes it unique. Local lore has it that it was once a bordello, a lavish pleasure palace, that serviced Hollywood elites in the 1930s. While this is not entirely true, it was the scene of a sensational murder in 1935, and Rod Stewart was carjacked there when he owned the building in the early ’80s.

In July 1983, the Coronet, which was vacant at the time, was nearly destroyed in a fire. The interior of the building was completely gutted, and the exterior was charred. Investigators believed the fire was set intentionally, because it started in three places, and its rapid spread suggested it had been "boosted" with a flammable liquid. Some reports blamed the fire on "vagrants" living in the building.

Before the 1983 fire, San Francisco-based Westcap Financial Group had agreed to purchase the building for $4.2 million, and Westcap went forward with the acquisition despite the fire. Westcap converted the space into 40,000 square feet of luxury office space, and changed the building's name to the Piazza del Sol. In 1986, the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce honored the remodeled building with an architectural award.^

 

 

 

 
(2021)* - Piazza del Sol – 8439 W. Sunset Boulevard at Queens Road and Sunset.  

 

Historical Notes

Piazza del Sol with its Venetian Renaissance Revival façade makes it the only neo-classical building on the boulevard, and it is by far the Strip’s most ornate structure.

 

 

 

 
(2019)* - Piazza del Sol  

 

Historical Notes

Today, Piazza del Sol is a "Class A Office Building" offering a full range of office spaces from 300 square feet to full floor, 10,000-square-foot spaces. The Piazza del Sol houses the offices of several movie production companies, including Miramax Films, and The Film Department.

 

 

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