The Sheik’s House in Beverly Hills

Alison Martino Hollywood

The infamous Sheik’s house in 1977. This garish mansion was the infamous ‘Sheik’s House’. Once located at 9561 Sunset Boulevard in Beverly Hills, it had gained international notoriety for its tacky facade. Back in 1978, Saudi Arabian Sheik Mohammad Al-Fassi and his new wife, Sheikha Ibtissm were the owners of this 38 room mansion built in 1917. It was originally …

We Grew Up in Case Study House #22

Alison Martino Hollywood

Bruce and Shari Stahl on living in the most famous midcentury modern home in the world. All Photos by Donavan Freberg. I’ve been fortunate enough to meet many legends and visit many astonishing homes, but nothing thrills me more than a trip to L.A.’s iconic Stahl House. The structure may be more famous for its breathtaking view of the Sunset …

The Glorious Disco Days of Flipper’s Roller Rink

Alison Martino Hollywood

The skate center was L.A.’s answer to Studio 54—on wheels It’s hard to believe but roller-skating was practically a national pastime once. It was so trendy during the ’70s, in fact, skating often figured into film and TV plots. Stars rode around on eight wheels in Xanadu, Roller Boogie, Skatetown USA, Charlie’s Angels, and ChiPs. I once skated my way …

Sy Devore: Hollywood’s Swankiest Tailor

Alison Martino Hollywood

In 1944, a tailor named Sy Devore moved to Los Angeles from New York to open a 900-square-foot shop at the glamorous intersection of Sunset Boulevard and Vine Street, in Hollywood. The shop, which sold handmade custom suits, was next to Wallichs Music City and down the street from the world-famous Brown Derby restaurant. Just five years later, Devore was …

Remembering the Old Beverly Hills’ Public Library

Alison Martino Hollywood

If I could go back in time and return a single L.A. building to its former state, I would pick the old Beverly Hills Public Library. I sat happily with other children on the floor of its screening room, listening to the impeccably tailored Suzanne Pleshette read “Hansel and Gretel” in the late 1970s. A unique light reflected off the …