Visiting the Real Morrison Hotel

by Larry Widen
Morrison Hotel room door. PHOTO: LARRY WIDEN
Morrison Hotel room door. PHOTO: LARRY WIDEN

The Alta Cienega motel, 1005 N. La Cienega Boulevard, sits on a busy corner in West Hollywood about 10 blocks from the fabled Sunset Strip. Built in 1948, the 23-room lodging adopted the mid-century modern architectural style that gained favor in the years following World War II.

Seventy years later, the Alta Cienega has outlasted a dozen competitors to remain a wildly popular place to spend the night. This is because Jim Morrison, the charismatic and controversial vocalist for The Doors rock group, lived in room 32 from 1968 to 1970. In those days Morrison paid $10 a night to stay there.

Surly and unmanageable when drinking, Morrison had been kicked out of his former residence, the Hyatt House on Sunset Boulevard, for hanging from an upper floor window by his fingertips. He promptly relocated to the Alta Cienega which only had two floors.


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