Los Altos Apartments

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Los Altos Apartments
Los Altos Apartments, Los Angeles.JPG
Los Altos Apartments, May 2008
Los Altos Apartments is located in the Los Angeles metropolitan area
Los Altos Apartments
Los Altos Apartments is located in California
Los Altos Apartments
Los Altos Apartments is located in the United States
Los Altos Apartments
Location4121 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, California 90010
Coordinates34°3′43.4118″N 118°19′2.9202″W / 34.062058833°N 118.317477833°W / 34.062058833; -118.317477833Coordinates: 34°3′43.4118″N 118°19′2.9202″W / 34.062058833°N 118.317477833°W / 34.062058833; -118.317477833
ArchitectRust, Edward B.; Mayo, Luther
Architectural styleMission/Spanish Revival
NRHP reference #99000765[1]
LAHCM #311
Significant dates
Added to NRHPJuly 1, 1999
Designated LAHCM1986-10-17[2]

The Los Altos Apartments is a Mission Revival style apartment building on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles, California.


Los Altos was built in 1925 and designed by Edward B. Rust and Luther Mayo. In 1999, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

When built, the Los Altos Apartments began as a co-op and were later used as a luxury apartment and hotel catering to stars like Clara Bow, Bette Davis, Mae West, Douglas Fairbanks, and William Randolph Hearst; the Spanish Colonial-style building went bankrupt during the Great Depression and fell into disrepair.[3] In 1993, a local housing group Neighborhood Effort rescued the structure from demolition and obtained national historic site status by tracking down its original parts and design details such as floor tiles, doorknobs, and colors.

In the 1980s the building became a magnet for a bohemian list of residents. Jeff Ayeroff, who went on to co-found Virgin Records America, and The WORK Group lived in the building as did screenwriter Becky Johnston while she wrote the scripts “Under the Cherry Moon” for Prince and “The Prince of Tides” for Barbra Streisand.[3] Artists Nancy Reese, Phil Garner, Eric Blum and Tom Shannon all rented living quarters[3] and art dealers Tom Jancar and Richard Kuhlenschmidt opened the Jancar Kuhlenschmidt Gallery in the basement of the building. New York hotshots Richard Prince and Louise Lawler had their first L.A. exhibitions there. Actor Frederic Forrest was living at the Los Altos when he turned in his critically acclaimed performance in Francis Ford Coppola’s 1988 film “Tucker: The Man and His Dream”, as did musician Tommy Gear, who was a founding member of revered L.A. punk group The Screamers.[3]

Los Angeles-based architectural firm M2A rehabilitated the 75-unit structure, and restored its original decor; the firm restored or recreated Los Altos’ original light fixtures, hardware, carpets, plaster work, awnings, and ornamental iron work. The rehabilitation "successfully transformed the property from a vacant, blighted, graffiti-infested building into a healthy, mixed-income building serving the very low income population as well as the market population."[4] Today, Los Altos is the home to artists, screenwriters, and actors. In 1999, Los Altos received several preservation design awards from the California Preservation Foundation and the Los Angeles Conservancy; the landmark also received a Historic Preservation Award of Excellence from the city of Los Angeles.

Popular culture[edit]

The television series Angel prominently featured exterior shots of the Los Altos Apartments, in seasons 2 - 4, it acted as the exterior of the Hyperion Hotel, the home and base of titular character and his friends. The 'Los Altos Apartments' building was also featured in a season 1 episode of Angel called "I Fall To Pieces", where it was used as both exterior and interior for the apartment building of a guest character.

In the fifth episode of the second season of the television series Numb3rs, called Assassin, the building was used as the exterior of the Rancho Verde Assisted Living building.

In the Amazon television series Transparent, the character Ali lives in the Los Altos Apartments; several exteriors, including scenes in the courtyard entry, are featured in seasons 1 and 2.

See also[edit]



  1. ^ National Park Service (2008-04-15). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-10-02. Retrieved 2011-10-03.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ a b c d McKenna, Kristine (April 28, 2005). "Someone Left the Cake Out in the Rain". LA Weekly.
  4. ^ LOS ALTOS APARTMENTS, LP v. City of Los Angeles, No. B222174 (Cal. Ct. App. July 7, 2011)(rent abatement for housing code violations). <https://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=6667827209919705812&hl=en&as_sdt=2,5>

External links[edit]

Media related to Los Altos Apartments at Wikimedia Commons