For many years, the area that is now the City of West Hollywood was an unincorporated area in the midst of the City of Los Angeles, but was under the jurisdiction of Los Angeles County. Because gambling was illegal in the city of Los Angeles, but legal in the county, the 1920s saw the proliferation of many nightclubs and casinos along the section of the Sunset Strip that did not fall within the Los Angeles city limits. As a result, these businesses were immune from the heavy-handed treatment by the LAPD. (The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department was and still is in charge of policing the area.)
Movie people were attracted to this less restricted county area and a number of architecturally fine apartment houses and apartment hotels were built. Movie fans throughout the world knew that Ciro’s, the Mocambo, the Trocadero, the Garden of Allah, the Chateau Marmont and the Formosa Cafe on Santa Monica Boulevard were places that movie stars could be seen.
Eventually, the area and its extravagant night spots lost favor with movie people. But the Strip and its restaurants, bars and clubs continued to be an attraction for locals and out-of-town tourists. In the late 1960s, the Strip was transformed again during the hippie movement. Young people from all over the country flocked to West Hollywood clubs such as the Whisky a Go Go and the Troubadour.
In the 1960s, a club called Ciro’s held the first gay dance nights on Sundays, known as “Tea Dances” [or “T-Dances”]. Men dancing together was illegal in those days, but as with the casinos and speakeasies that had gone before, the laws were not strictly enforced. This tolerance led to more gay clubs after Ciro’s closed, as well as the end of the anti-gay laws that prohibited dancing between two persons of the same gender in Los Angeles County. The building that Ciro’s occupied is now the home of The Comedy Store.
Always friendly to creative folks, the design and decorating industry took root in the 1950s, culminating in the completion of the 750,000 square foot Pacific Design Center in 1975. The 1960s brought hippie culture and a thriving music publishing industry to town. Emboldened by the Stonewall Riots of 1969, gays from all over Los Angeles flocked to West Hollywood, many fleeing from the homophobic harassment of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD). Still unincorporated, gays and lesbians found refuge here, patrolled by the markedly less brutal Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department. The most recent migration to West Hollywood came about after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, when thousands of Russian Jews immigrated in the 1980s and early 1990s.
West Hollywood affords some of the most dynamic living in Los Angeles. The range in styles and prices of residential housing draws a truly unique mix of people to its beautiful tree lined streets. THE REAVIS GROUP has helped many buyers and sellers in the West Hollywood area–let us help you as well!