On March 6, 2023, the City Council of the City of West Hollywood approved a cultural resource designation on the structure commonly known as Queens Road Pillar as part of its consent calendar. The structure is located within the public right-of-way adjacent to 8459 Sunset Boulevard.
On August 30, 2022, community member Hollace Brown nominated the Queens Road Pillar as a local cultural resource under Local Criteria A3 and A5.
On January 30, 2023, the Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) voted unanimously to
adopt Resolution No. HPC 23-161 recommending designation to the City Council under
Local Criteria A3 and A5. The HPC amended the draft resolution to change any mention of the term “gate” to “pillar”, to include a section for describing the character-defining features of the resource, and to recommend the installation of a placard identifying the pillar as a designated cultural resource.
As the pillar is on City’s property, it will be the City’s responsibility to maintain, rehabilitate, or restore the pillar. Currently, there is no work proposed to rehabilitate or restore the pillar. If there are street improvements that affect the pillar, the City would be required to obtain a Certificate of Appropriateness and comply with the Secretary of Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation. The placard is not part of the nomination application process and may be considered separately.
No appeal was filed challenging the HPC’s decision. West Hollywood Municipal Code (WHMC) Section 19.58.070(B)(6) states that when no appeal has been filed, the HPC resolution recommending designation of a cultural resource may be placed on the City Council’s consent calendar for final decision.
“Thank you, thank you for designating the Queens Road Pillar a local cultural resource,” said Hollace Brown during Public Comments at a regular City Council meeting on Monday, March 6, 2023. “On behalf of all of us on The Board of the Doheny Sunset Plaza Neighborhood Association, thank you so much for your support, for your votes, and your desire to protect this unique icon of our shared history.”
Brown also asked that the pillar be restored to its previous condition before 2011. “It’s relatively a small simple paint job,” she said. “We sincerely hope that you will undertake a restoration and earmark a small amount of funds to restore the original color and to ensure that Queens Road is elegantly painted on the pillar as it once was.”
The Queens Road Pillar is almost a century old. It was originally constructed in February 1924, as part of two matching pillars on both sides of Queens Road and referred to as “Queens Road Gate” in the public right of way. The pillar is a square shape with four sides approximately four feet wide and approximately ten feet in height from the ground. Each face has a two-inch-deep, rectangular inset measuring three feet wide by four feet high. The gate was built to mark the divide at Sunset Boulevard between the hillside properties running north of Queens Road (‘Phase II’) and the properties south of Sunset (‘Phase I’). The two phases of development are in reference to a 170-acre development of Hacienda Park that started in 1906. Per the nomination materials, the plan to develop Hacienda Park announced the birth of Sunset Strip according to a Los Angeles Times article reported on April 29, 1906, with the construction of new roads and building lots.
The second pillar on the east side of Queens Road was demolished around 1927 during construction of the Hacienda Park Apartments, now known as Piazza del Sol located at 8439 Sunset Boulevard.
The pillar was designed to reflect a Mediterranean motif with stucco cladding and a peaked roof clad with terra cotta barrel tiles. The style was reflective of the 64-acre hillside
section of Hacienda Park (‘Phase II’) development with the homes and landscaping
designed with a Mediterranean influence. Per the nomination materials prepared by the
applicant, the gate was constructed by John A. Evans, a developer that described the
pillars as an ornamental entrance to the upper section of Hacienda Park. The gates were
a primary marketing tool of Phase II as a neighborhood of luxurious homes and the
expansion of Hacienda Park into the hills.
To learn more on the Queens Road Pillar, visit the Doheny Sunset Plaza Neighborhood Association page below: