History of the Design District


The West Hollywood Design District, centered around the westernmost end of world-famous Melrose Avenue, has an amazing legacy of art, culture, food and fashion.


Don Eugenio Plummer acquires land that would later become West Hollywood for his home and farm; later subdivides the land to farmers to grow fruits and vegetables for Los Angeles markets.


Moses H. Sherman buys land at the corner of San Vicente Boulevard extending south to Venice Boulevard — he builds the Pacific Railway’s Sherman Station railroad yard at the corner of San Vicente — and the area is known as the town of Sherman.


The name “West Hollywood” is officially adopted by Moses Sherman to rename his town of Sherman to take advantage of the nearby Hollywood real estate market.


Decades of Design, Presented by the West Hollywood Design District

Chasen’s Restaurant, Early 1950s

Chasen’s restaurant opens on Beverly Boulevard by comedian Dave Chasen as “Chasen’s Southern Pit” and quickly becomes known for its chili. Famed director Frank Capra loans silverware for its opening. Customers include Marilyn Monroe, Walt Disney, Cary Grant, Clark Gable…and of course, Elizabeth Taylor. Ronald Reagan proposes to Nancy Davis in one of its booths. It closes in 1995.


Jules Seltzer Associates establishes its company and later Seltzer meets Charles Eames during the MOMA design competition “Organic Design in Home Furnishings.” The company becomes a West Coast leader in offering the best in modern furniture and has three showrooms on Beverly Boulevard.


The iconic hot dog stand Tail o’ the Pup designed by architect Milton Black opens on the corner of Beverly Boulevard and La Cienega Boulevard — and later relocates to 329 North San Vicente Boulevard where it remained open until 2005 when it is moved to a warehouse in Torrance, California.


Decades of Design, Presented by the West Hollywood Design District

Carl Marias and Hamburger Hamlet

Carl Marias Carpets opens its first showroom, with several locations on Beverly Boulevard over the decades.

Dominick’s restaurant and bar opens at 8715 Beverly Boulevard and is a favorite gathering spot for Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack where only “friends of friends” are able to drink and dine. Now in the hands of owners Warner Ebbink and Brandon Boudet, the restaurant has returned to its original vintage look and feel.

Anawalt Lumber opens at 641 North Robertson Boulevard and remains a go-to designer resource for hardware and landscaping supplies.


Herman Miller opens its Charles Eames-designed showroom at 8806 Beverly Boulevard.

Pindler & Pindler fabrics (established in 1947) moves from 501 North Western Avenue to 100 South Robertson Boulevard in 1951.


Phyllis Morris opens Phyllis Morris Originals on Melrose Place.

Jules Seltzer Associates opens a 10,000 square foot showroom at 8833 Beverly Boulevard (its third and final showroom on Beverly) and remains there for 61 years until it relocates to Beverly Hills in 2014.


Lou Sugarman opens Decorative Carpets, Inc. showroom at 144 North Robertson Boulevard.

Kneedler-Fauchere opens its first showroom at 151 North Robertson Boulevard.


Ronald S. Kates joins Bert J. Friedman & Associates, the leasing, management and development company for commercial property in West Hollywood. Kates eventually becomes the leasing agent for the International Design Center on Beverly Boulevard — the area’s first high-rise concentration of designer showrooms that opens in 1964.


Jerry Leen and Leo Dennis open their Dennis and Leen showroom at 468 North Robertson Boulevard. The company would later move to 8720 Melrose Avenue in 1990.


Ed’s in the Early 1960s

Knoll opens its first Los Angeles showroom at 8936 Beverly Boulevard.

Phyllis Morris Originals moves to 8770 Beverly Boulevard and later to 8772 Beverly Boulevard in 1964 to expand its furniture offerings.

Ed’s Coffee Shop is opened by Ed and Sybil Blumstein at 460 North Robertson Boulevard. It becomes a regular gathering spot for the design trade and continues to be so to this day.

Renowned eatery Hamburger Hamlet opens at the corner of Beverly and Robertson boulevards and is immediately a hit with its red leather booths and chairs and gourmet hamburger menu. It closes December 2011 after 51 years in business at that location.


Pindler & Pindler fabrics moves to 145 North Robertson Boulevard.


The International Design Center opens at 8899 Beverly Boulevard.

Walton E. Brown and his wife Mary Maudlin Brown publish their first edition of Designers West magazine, the first West Hollywood-based interior design magazine to print feature length stories on designers, architects, artists and craftspeople — propelling many of those featured into the national and international spotlight for the first time.


Murray Leisner opens Murray’s Iron Works first showroom on   Melrose Avenue on the same site where the Pacific Design Center (PDC) now stands; but moves across the street to 8632 Melrose in 1969 when its building was razed to make room for the PDC.


Fashion retailer and pioneer Tommy Perse opens the Maxfield Bleu fashion boutique on Santa Monica Boulevard which becomes simply Maxfield and later moves to 8825 Melrose Avenue.


Sally Sirkin Lewis opens her first showroom J. Robert Scott at 8727 Melrose Avenue.


Linea, Inc. opens its first showroom at 8841 Beverly Boulevard to exclusively represent Ligne Roset as well as other European manufacturers in Los Angeles.


Pacific Design Center opens at 8687 Melrose Avenue with the now-iconic blue glass “whale” building designed by architect Cesar Pelli. In 1988, the Center Green phase was added and, later, the Center Red building.


Acrylic furniture designer Charles Hollis Jones opens his namesake showroom at 468 North Robertson Boulevard. It closes in 1991.

Carol Soucek King is named Editor in Chief of Designers West magazine and takes the West Hollywood-based magazine to national importance with its coverage of the burgeoning design talent within the West Hollywood Design District. The magazine prints its final issue in 1993.


Decades of Design, Presented by the West Hollywood Library

Rene Averseng

Rose Tarlow Melrose House opens at 8540 Melrose Avenue.

Beverly-Robertson Association is founded to promote the area as a “dynamic attraction to members of the architectural and interior design professions and their clients.”

Morton’s restaurant opens at 8800 Melrose Avenue by restaurateur Peter Morton and later moves across the street in 1994 to 8764 Melrose Avenue

Rene Averseng opens Du Vin wine shop at 540 North San Vicente Boulevard on May 13 and it becomes the premier destination in Southern California for European wines.

The Glass Garage Home and Garden Store opens at 414 North Robertson Boulevard and later is transformed into the Glass Garage Fine Art Gallery where it will remain until it moves in 2012 to Hollywood and also to Bergamot Statio Arts Center in Santa Monica.


Trumps restaurant opens at 8764 Melrose Avenue by chef Michael Roberts. It closes in 1992, to be replaced by Morton’s in 1994.


Karl Springer showroom opens at 8900 Melrose Avenue and later moves in 1991 to Pacific Design Center, the year that Springer passes away.


Nancy Corzine opens C & C Imports on North Robertson Boulevard, selling raw chair frames from Spain.


Decades of Design, Presented by the West Hollywood Library

Robert Kuo showroom construction on Melrose Avenue

The City of West Hollywood is incorporated as the 84th city within Los Angeles County.

Robert Kuo opens his flagship showroom at 8686 Melrose Avenue.  

Jerry Illoulian opens Aga John Oriental Rugs and later expands the showroom to 8727 Melrose Avenue.

Restaurateur Silvio de Mori opens Pane Caldo bistro at 8840   Beverly Boulevard above Antiquarius Jewelry Mart. It is the first of many restaurants di Mori opens in West Hollywoo that attracts a loyal celebrity following.


Diva Group is established at the northwest corner of Robertson Boulevard and Beverly Boulevard and opens four showrooms encompassing more than 10,000 square feet of showroom space – and now includes the lines and showrooms of Alessi, B & B Italia, Cassina, Flos, Gandia Blasco and Kartell. 

Madeo restaurant opens at 8897 Beverly Boulevard by brothers Bruno and Alfio Vietina and becomes known for its authentic Italian cuisine and high-profile clientele.


Duxiana opens it first official showroom at 8801 Beverly Boulevard. The company has been part of the West Hollywood design community since 1971.


Walker Zanger opens its first West Coast showroom at 8750 Melrose Avenue.


Murray’s Iron Works showroom at 8632 Melrose is completely renovated by hotel design James Northcutt and Dallas architect Gary Koerner.


Designer Michael S. Smith launches his design firm to include his Jasper line of furniture and fabrics.


Duxiana relocates to 8871 Beverly Boulevard.

David Cooley opens The Abbey at 692 North Robertson Boulevard which eventually becomes the largest and most popular gay bar — not only in West Hollywood — but also in the U.S. and around the globe.


Mansour Fine Rugs opens its flagship showroom at 8600 Melrose Avenue.

Decorative Carpets, Inc. opens a new showroom at 8900 Melrose Avenue.

Manny Silverman Gallery moves to 619 North Almont Drive from its former location on La Cienega Boulevard.


Hub of the House by Karen Harautuneian opens its kitchen and interiors showroom at 420 North Robertson Boulevard.

George Stern Fine Arts opens its gallery at 8920 Melrose Avenue, specializing in California Impressionism and American Scene painting.

Louis Stern Fine Arts opens its gallery at 9002 Melrose Avenue, specializing in West Coast Geometric Abstraction.

Urth Caffe opens its flagship café at 8565 Melrose Avenue to become America’s first exclusively organic coffee café. The location appears regularly on the hit television series Entourage as a hangout for the TV cast.

Famed delicatessen chain Jerry’s Deli opens at 8701 Beverly Boulevard and for 19 years is a popular eatery for designers and their clients. It closes in 2013.

Morton’s restaurant opens at 8764 Melrose Avenue. It closes in 2007 and is replaced by Cecconi’s in 2009.


Interior designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard opens his first design studio at 616 North Almont Drive.

Hamilton-Selway Fine Art opens its gallery at 8678 Melrose Avenue, specializing in American Pop Art.

The Avenues of Art and Design is created to recognize and promote the more than 200 business located within a specially-designated business district. Later it is renamed West Hollywood Design District. 


The First Annual Art & Design Walk sponsored by the Avenues of Art and Design. It would be presented annually until 2011.

Tod Carson opens his first West Hollywood showroom Tod Carson Antiques & Design at 449 North Robertson Boulevard.


Sur Restaurant opens at 606 North Robertson Boulevard.


Nancy Corzine opens her namesake showroom at 8747 Melrose Avenue.

Thomas Lavin opens his first furniture and accessory showroom at 8935 Beverly Boulevard.


Petrossian restaurant and boutique opens at 321 North Robertson Boulevard — offering some of the world’s finest caviar.


Decades of Design, Presented by the West Hollywood Design District

The spacious interiors of Denenberg Fine Arts

John Varvatos opens his namesake clothing store at 8800 Melrose Avenue.

Denenberg Fine Arts, Inc. moves into its live-work space
at 417 North San Vicente Boulevard, offering drawings, prints and paintings ranging from old masters to modern iconic artists.

Interior designer Nathan Turner opens his first showroom at 636 North Almont Drive.


James Perse, son of Tommy Perse, opens a clothing store at 8914 Melrose Avenue focusing on a youthful and casual California style.

Stella McCartney opens her fashion boutique at 8823 Beverly Boulevard.


Fashion and retail consultant Darren Gold opens Alpha Gear for Gents at 8625 Melrose Avenue in a former floral shop.

Mary Ta opens the Minotti Los Angeles showroom at 8936 Beverly Boulevard.

Silvio de Mori and Eddie Kerkhofs open
Il Piccolino at 350 North Robertson Boulevard,
specializing in seasonal Italian cuisine.


Commune Design opens its first West Hollywood studio at 666 North Robertson Boulevard.

Woven Accents opens its rug showroom at 8674 Melrose Avenue.

Phyllis Morris Originals moves to 655 North Robertson Boulevard.

Snaidero Los Angeles opens its kitchen design showroom at 372 North Robertson Boulevard.

Marco Pelusi Hair Studio opens at 636 North Robertson Boulevard. Pelusi is known in the industry for his hair coloring techniques and celebrity clientele.


La Murrina USA Inc Murano glass showroom opens at 8925 Beverly Boulevard.


Alexandra Von Furstenberg opens her acrylic furniture and accessories showroom at 9001 Melrose Avenue.

Celebrity hair stylist Ken Paves opens his salon at 409 North Robertson Boulevard.

Fashion designer Jenni Kayne opens her first shop at 614 North Almont Drive.


Fashion designer Nicolas Ghesquière opens the first West Coast Balenciaga fashion boutique at 8670 Melrose Avenue.

Fashion designer Phillip Lim opens his 3.1 Phillip Lim boutique at 631 North Robertson Boulevard to provide “beautiful everyday classics accented with a sense
of madness.”

Commune Design relocates it offices to 650 North Robertson Boulevard.


Cecconi’s restaurant opens at 8764 Melrose Avenue, site of the former Morton’s and Trump’s restaurants.

Niche furniture showroom opens at 8770 Beverly Boulevard.

Christian Louboutin opens his shoe boutique at 650 North Robertson Boulevard.


Custom Comfort Mattress opens its luxury mattress showroom at 8919 Beverly Boulevard.

Michael S. Smith opens his Jasper showroom at 8525 Melrose Avenue.


Restaurateur Craig Susser opens Craig’s restaurant at 8826 Melrose Avenue and it quickly becomes known for its celebrity clientele and high-end comfort food menu.

The West Hollywood Library designed by architects Steve Johnson and Jim Favaro opens at 625 North San Vicente Boulevard.

Restoration Hardware opens its flagship showroom at 8772 Beverly Boulevard.

The final Art & Design Walk is presented by The Avenues: Art, Design & Fashion District.

Interior designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard opens a new design showroom at 8550 Melrose Avenue.

Interior designer Nathan Turner opens a new showroom at 8546 Melrose Avenue.

Sur Lounge opens at 612 North Robertson Boulevard.


Christian Louboutin opens his men’s shoe boutique at 657 North Robertson Boulevard.

Christopher Guy Harrison opens his flagship Christopher Guy showroom on May 5th at 8900 Beverly Boulevard.

The British design team of David Neville and Marcus Wainwright opens Rag and Bone fashion boutique at 8533 Melrose Avenue.


Design Within Reach opens at 8612 Melrose Avenue.

The Avenues: Art, Fashion & Design (formerly The Avenues of Art & Design) is renamed West Hollywood Design District in April.

Leica Store Los Angeles opens at 8783 Beverly Boulevard.

De Re Gallery opens at 8920 Melrose Avenue specializing in international contemporary art.


Decades of Design, Presented by the West Hollywood Library

Gracias Madre Interior

Gracias Madre restaurant opens at 8905 Melrose Avenue with an organic Mexican food menu.

Restoration Hardware opens its RH West Hollwood The Gallery at Melrose Avenue located at 8564 Melrose Avenue.