Why LA’s Sierra Towers Building Remains a Celeb Hot Spot

The West Hollywood high-rise is as popular amongst A-listers as it was in the 1960s

Past residents of Sierra Towers include Cher Elton John Joan Collins Courteney Cox Diahann Carroll Sidney Poitier George...Past residents of Sierra Towers include Cher, Elton John, Joan Collins, Courteney Cox, Diahann Carroll, Sidney Poitier, George Hamilton, Matthew Perry, and more.Photo: Barry King / Alamy Stock Photo

Even before it was Sierra Towers, the plot of land at 9255 Doheny Road in Los Angeles had its fair share of Hollywood lore. In 1942, 24 years prior to the opening of the condominium building that stands there today, Minna Gombell lived at the address. Gombell’s fame may be lost to time, but in her day, she appeared in more than 50 Hollywood films and made headlines for her uniquely modern long-distance marriage to millionaire Joseph W. Sefton Jr. Highly unusual for the time, the couple was known as the “film colony’s champion live aparters,” according to the book Accustomed to Her Face: Thirty-Five Character Actresses of Golden Age Hollywood by Axel Nissen. Sefton Jr. lived on a proto-compound in San Diego; Gombell’s Doheny Road pad was the site of her independent lifestyle.

The exterior of the 31floor buildingThe exterior of the 31-floor building Photo: RBL/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

Once 9255 Doheny Road officially became Sierra Towers in 1966, its interest to Hollywood players and their observers only increased, seemingly compounding decade after decade as the list of high-profile names associated with the building grew longer and longer. Looking at the names of the building’s previous residents is something of a lesson in the changing face of Hollywood, a reflection of the powerful entertainers du jour. In her 2009 memoir, Stories from Candyland, Candy Spelling writes about marrying Aaron Spelling at her parents’ Sierra Towers apartment back in 1968. Actor Patty Duke writes about her time living in Sierra Towers in her 1987 autobiography. According to her 2013 memoir, Joan Collins rented in Sierra Towers for years before purchasing her own spot in the early aughts. David Geffen also owned in the building, as did Sidney Poitier, and Lindsay Lohan made headlines in 2007 for buying and selling a condo in the building within one year.

Though it’s hard to say much about the inner workings of the building so long ago, many of its draws are timeless—the views of the ocean, mountain, and LA skyline, and of course its location. Sharon Osbourne explains in her memoir, Unbreakable, that she and Ozzy Osbourne used their Sierra Towers apartment as a place to crash in LA proper after working late, rather than braving the drive to their Hidden Hills home. “It’s a magical location. On the center line of Beverly Hills and West Hollywood. Moments from the fine shops and restaurants in Beverly Hills, moments from the hippier West Hollywood area with its shops and restaurants,” says Leonard Rabinowitz, an estates director at Hilton & Hyland and the president of the Remington Plaza HOA. “Literally across from the SOHO House and a two-minute walk to at least four fine dining experiences.”

A model unit in Sierra Towers was published in ADs Summer 1966 issueA model unit in Sierra Towers was published in AD’s Summer 1966 issue

Nowadays, 9255 Doheny Road is making headlines for its range of celebrity residents that runs the generational gamut. Adam Sandler owns a condo there, and Katy Perry purchased one just this year. Courteney Cox owned there until just last year, when she offloaded her 25th-floor pad for $4.5 million. Cher owned in the building for seven years before selling in 2013.

Inside an apartment at Sierra TowersInside an apartment at Sierra Towers Photo: Bryan Chan/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

High-profile sales prove how quickly units in the building can move—back in 2018, pre–Emily in Paris fame, Lily Collins closed the sale of her unit after less than two months on the market, and Sandra Bullock sold a unit in the building in the same quick timeframe. What keeps the big-named and deep-pocketed drawn to the building?

Another apartment at Sierra Towers featuring a kitchen with glass wallsAnother apartment at Sierra Towers, featuring a kitchen with glass walls Photo: Bryan Chan/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

“Good business always boils down to the product. Like at a great restaurant, it’s the service and food,” says Rabinowitz. “In this case celebs and high-net-worth residents come because the building is well run, well designed, updated, and well maintained. Not the other way around. Of course, after time high-profile residents do validate the property for other like residents. Like fine art, the building has a provenance.”

Via Architectural Digest

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