Stronger Ties to Jim Morrison Needed If Norton Building to Be Declared Historic

Cheri Amour, 8214 N. Norton Ave. (Photo by Cheri Woods)
Cheri Amour, 8214 N. Norton Ave. (Photo by Cheri Woods)

West Hollywood’s Historic Preservation Commission wants more documentation linking Jim Morrison to a building on Norton before recommending it for recognition as a culturally significant place.

Morrison and his girlfriend, Pamela Curson, lived in the building, located at 8214-8218 W. Norton between Fountain and Santa Monica, from summer of 1969 to March 1971. Now called Cheri Amour, the building is owned by Cheri Woods, who wants to have the building designated as culturally significant and to turn it into a bed and breakfast. Bed and breakfasts are permitted in buildings designated as cultural resources in the city’s R3 and R4 residential zones.

The city’s Department of Community Development, in a memo prepared for the Historic Preservation Commission, recommends that it approve Wood’s request. However, Emily Stadnicki, the city’s Historic Preservation Commission liaison, said that the item has been continued because the commission wants more sources connecting Morrison to the building. Stadnicki doesn’t know when the item will be considered again because it’s now up to Woods to gather more information.

Woods also says Morrison wrote his famed “Riders on the Storm” in the apartment. The building was Morrison’s last home in the U. S. In March 1971, he and Curson went to Paris, where Morrison died at age 27.

The city’s report notes that “the time during which Jim Morrison rented the second story apartment at the subject site, the band was in a very productive period recording the albums, “Morrison Hotel” (1970) and “LA Woman” (1971).”

Another WeHo site with a Doors connection is L’Scorpion West, 8512 Santa Monica Blvd. between Knoll and La Cienega. That building was formerly a former rehearsal and “workshop” space of The Doors, who reportedly used it to record songs for the album “L.A. Woman.”

The commission also heard a request to designate the building at 8866-8872 Sunset Blvd. between Larrabee and San Vicente as a cultural resource. The commission will recommend that the City Council deny that request, Stadnicki said. The Community Development report says the building, owned by Ronald S. Kates & Company, “has been significantly altered from its period of significance and does not retain enough integrity” to warrant the designation.

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9 years ago

I recently found out that Donald and Keifer Sutherland lived in my building on Harper for a while when Keifer was a kid. Maybe it was during the time Donald was filming M*A*S*H* Guess it should qualify for B&B status too. Ridiculous is indeed the word for this whole story.

9 years ago

I agree. This is just a ploy to get her rent controlled tenants out and to make more money. Morrison lived in Laurel Canyon and other places too. Are we to make everywhere he went cultural landmarks. It is ridiculous.

9 years ago

Kind of ridiculous to me. Are we going to designate every apt. complex where every famous person might have or have not slept? The city will be full of Bed & Breakfast’s. Marilyn Monroe lived in 7 different places. I think this is just an attempt for Ms. Woods to gain an extra buck on someone else’s fame. As if the astronomical rent prices doesn’t provide her enough income.

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