Jim Morrison's WeHo Apartment Probably Won't Get Landmark Status Because The Owner Is Selling Pieces Of It On Craigslist
The 1932 apartment building thought to be the last American residence of Jim Morrison probably won't be given landmark status after all. WEHOville reports that the building's owner has withdrawn the application.
West Hollywood seemed set on designating the building on the 8200 block of Norton Avenue—a two-story Spanish-style building named Cheri Amour—a cultural landmark. The Doors frontman supposedly lived at the residence from 1969 to 1971 with his girlfriend Pamela Courson before moving to Paris. He died in Paris on July 3, 1971 of what is widely believed to be a drug overdose.
Its owner, Cheri Woods, applied for the status back in 2013 with hopes of converting it to a bed and breakfast. Then, in October, WeHo's Historic Preservation Commission recommended it for preservation. Woods withdrew her application on Tuesday, however, and the Community Development Department on Monday submitted a memo to the city council saying it would continue recommending against the motion.
It turns out Woods had been selling pieces and appliances from the building on Craigslist, marketing them as items of "Rock 'n Roll history." Items you could buy included paint chips ($10), toilets (an original from 1932 goes for $200) a "huge palm tree" that you must dig up and transport yourself ($300), and tiles (which start at $10, but can go up to $500 for ones from Morrison's own unit). You could also buy bags of dirt that Morrison was at least in the vicinity of:
This is authentic, vintage, West Hollywood California land ("Doors dirt") from the yard of the private landmark estate, Cheri Amour. The dirt was excavated in March 2004 to make way for a new patio & meditation Garden when it was opened up for tours for "The Doors" fans. Buy dirt that Jim may have walked or sat on, but definitely passed by and looked at! Locations are from the bldg's front yard, and courtyard area directly below Jim's apt.There is only a limited supply, so when it's gone, it's gone! Packaged in a ziplock baggie, no two bags are alike. Weights and contents vary. This is a rare opportunity to own a personal Jim Morrison memorabilia item at such a low cost! Makes a great gift for a Doors fan or a shrewd memorabilia investment opportunity. $20 per baggie.
Aside from the removal of original tiles from 1932, officials also noted that another "character-defining" feature that was lost was an original balcony that overlooked its courtyard. While these, technically, do not change the supposed historic nature of the site, the CCD noted, "Although the subject property was not nominated for its architectural style, the building and site's integrity and features that were in place when Jim Morrison lived and worked at the property are important to convey the visual and historical significance of the [building]."
Woods herself is somewhat of a notable L.A. figure, having been the former madam of an escort ring called Cheri's Angels in the 1970s and later chronicling it in her self-published book, Death Row Madam: Exposing Sex and Drugs in the Entertainment Industry.
WEHOville notes that more recently, Woods is the subject of a lawsuit from the city of West Hollywood for harassing tenants at Cheri Amour, illegally raising the rent on another, and illegally renting out units on Airbnb.
The West Hollywood City Council will make their final decision on the building at a meeting on Monday night.
LAist reached out to Woods via email and has not received a response.
Editor's note: This story originally stated that the city of West Hollywood had officially decided not to grant landmark status to the building. The decision will be made at a city council meeting on Monday night. The story has been updated to reflect this.