One Small Treasure on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles

Sep 17, 2010 by Lisa Newton

Have you ever passed by a building and wondered about its history? Who lived there? When was it built? Who was the architect?

These are the questions I asked myself as I passed by 11725 Sunset Boulevard, in Brentwood.

What I discovered was part history, part educational, and of course, part Hollywood movie magic–the golden trio!

Designed and built in 1931 by architect, William Mooser III, who also designed Santa Barbara’s County Courthouse, the Archer School for Girls, was once the Eastern Star Home, a retirement home for widows of members of The Order of the Eastern Star, the largest fraternal organization in the world open to both men and women.

Built in the Spanish Colonial Revival style, it includes numerous design elements including:

  • Rectangular, courtyard, or L-plan
  • Horizontal massing
  • Predominantly one-story
  • Interior or exterior courtyards
  • Asymmetrical shape with cross-gables and side wings

Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument #440 isn’t open to the public, but can be viewed from the street.

As with many of the famous and even the not so famous buildings in LA, the Eastern Star Home played a prominent role in Roman Polanski’s 1974 classic movie Chinatown, as the Mar Vista Rest Home.

This is a city natural architectural treasure, so when you have time, be sure to visit the Eastern Star home on Sunset Boulevard.

It’s part of Los Angeles’ history, beauty, and lore!

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