Nonprofit wants to buy, rehab storied Sheraton Town House in Westlake

Seeking state funds, Communities for a Better Life would renovate the building, maintain it for affordable rentals

Sep.September 18, 2018 10:00 AM
The Sheraton Town House building with Elizabeth Taylor and Conrad Nicky Hilton from their 1950 wedding

A nonprofit group wants to buy and rehab the historic Sheraton Town House — where a young Elizabeth Taylor celebrated her first marriage — maintaining the building for affordable tenants.

Communities for a Better Life would renovate the 90-year-old building at 639 South Commonwealth Avenue, on the Koreatown-Westlake border, according to Curbed. The building is now owned by an entity linked to the Central Valley Coalition for Affordable Housing.

Communities for a Better Life requested $28 million loan from the California Municipal Finance Authority to buy and perform repair work on the building. The City Council was expected to decide on Tuesday whether to allow the state to issue the bond.

The 14-story building was once considered among the top residences and hotels on the West Coast. Oil magnate Edward Doheny developed the Town House as an apartment building and included terra cotta facades and lavish interiors, according to the Los Angeles Conservancy.

It was converted into a hotel in the 1930s and a few years later, hotelier Conrad Hilton purchased the property. Elizabeth Taylor celebrated her brief first marriage there to Hilton heir Conrad “Nicky” Hilton in 1950.

Sheraton hotels bought the property in the 1950s and ran it until 1993. Preservationists successfully campaigned to grant it Historic-Cultural Monument status later that year. Both the building itself and its rooftop neon sign are landmarked, so any exterior work would require the city’s approval. [Curbed] — Dennis Lynch 

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