Sunset Plaza History
Only a century ago, Sunset Plaza was filled with avocado groves, orchards and poinsettia fields, and bustling streets such as La Cienega were yet to be paved for automobile traffic. This all changed in 1924 when Belgian diplomat and banker Victor Ponet’s son-in-law Francis S. Montgomery built the first commercial development on what would be later called the Sunset Strip.
This same collection of shops and cafes still exists, updated over time, but with the same calm, relaxed environment that has made it an oasis of shopping and dining for almost 100 years.
Architect Charles Selkirk designed the original Georgian Revival-style buildings, and although they have been rebuilt and remodeled over the ensuing years, Sunset Plaza maintains the atmosphere that was created when it began. The low-slung buildings with landscaped medians and plantings, the boutiques, the sidewalk cafes and the ample parking with spectacular views over Los Angeles have created a unique place in the urban fabric of West Hollywood. It’s the ideal place to spend an afternoon shopping, pampering oneself and finally having a relaxing meal al fresco with over 50 stores and businesses to choose from.
Sunset Plaza’s many tenants included haberdashers, agents, decorators, salons, restaurants and nightclubs, including the legendary Trocadero. Several of our tenants are historically notable for the part they played in Hollywood and design history, such as photographer George Hurrell and fashion designers Adrian and Don Loper and Elizabeth Arden, who was one of the first tenants. Interior designer William Haines started here after transitioning from his role as a screen actor. His famous slipper chair remains in production to this day and is widely copied. Silversmith Porter Blanchard, whose creations were all hand wrought and valuable for collectors, had his studio here. His son-in-law Allan Adler continued the same tradition, and such standards continue with platinum smith Philip Press.
Sunset Plaza has remained through the Great Depression, World War II, the tumultuous 60s and the glamorous 80s into the revamped 2020s. Although it remains, it is far from static; each era has its own tenants and stories. In the 60s, designer Holly Harp opened a boutique with beautiful clothes, translating hippie regalia into haute couture. In the last 70s, the famed Le Dome restaurant opened and remained one of the entertainment industry’s favorite dining spots well into the 90s. Most recently, Sunset Plaza was chosen as a location for Vanity Fair’s Oscar Party, where a large tent was built to highlight the gorgeous views over Los Angeles. The shopping area is still owned by the Montgomery family and Montgomery Management Company.
A visit to Sunset Plaza is one of the consummate experiences of traversing the Sunset Strip. Taking a break from the hectic traffic and nonstop growth in the area is one of the most enjoyable ways to while away the afternoon. Enjoy yourself and the area as you stroll through the two-block strip filled with fashion boutiques, outdoor cafes and beauty spas.