The El Palacio Apartments were designed by architect William Hauptman in 1931. El Palacio is a one of many elegant apartment complexes constructed during the high-flying early days of the movie industry, but undoubtedly one of the most eye-catching. Completed in 1931, El Palacio was built by William R. Hauptman, one of the earliest developers of multi-family residences in West Hollywood.
Upon its opening, Hauptman made the grand gesture of formally dedicating the Spanish-style complex to the then-newly elected president of Spain, Niceto Alcalá-Zamora. (Evidently, this was a favored marketing tactic; three years earlier, Hauptman had similarly "honored" the Emperor of Japan with a dedication for his Japanese-style Lotus Gardens complex.) The Los Angeles Times obligingly covered El Palacio's dedication ceremony.
The 18-unit courtyard complex features a stuccoed exterior, subterranean parking, mahogany doors, cast stone ornamentation, balconets, a tiled gable roof and gardens fashioned by Seymour Thomas. Marilyn Monroe also lived at the El Palacio Apartments, in the spare bedroom of actor John Carroll and his wife, Lucille Ryman, for five months in 1947.