The Alta Cienega hotel is seemingly run-of-the-mill for West Hollywood; the pock-marked, aqua-hued walls don’t quite match and inside the decor hasn’t been updated since the ’80s. But don’t be fooled by the exterior, as Room 32 is what has cemented the hotel’s legacy in rock and roll history.
This used to be Jim Morrison’s private sanctuary whenever his girlfriend, Pamela Courson, kicked him out of their apartment on nearby Norton Avenue. It was a place for him to kick back, pass out after a long night at Barney’s Beanery, and unleash his inner Lizard King with his groupies. He was said to have stayed here while recording “L.A. Woman” at a studio just around the block.
After Morrison’s death in 1971, the public took charge and made the room their personal shrine to the man, commemorating him with decades of graffiti. The breadth of these trippy visuals is shocking. No surface in the room is without lines of poetry from Jim’s journals, Doors’ lyrics, personal messages, and insane drawings. The TV, the showerhead, the inside of drawers, and the air conditioner—they all bear messages from mourning Doors fans, some as old as 1971 and others added as recently as yesterday. Anyone is welcome to bring their own sharpie and leave a “scar” upon the place.
For a price, that is. The hotel has really cashed in on the room over the years, charging anywhere from $70 to $160 to spend the night in the shrine. Just visiting the room is an option as well, to the tune of roughly a dollar a minute. To commemorate the occasion, you can purchase a keychain on your way out for $10. The room is musty and grimy, with paper thin walls and few amenities, all the better to channel the ghosts of rock and roll history.
Visit California withAtlas Obscura Trips
L.A. Science Weekend: Natural History and Space
Join New York Times Journeys and Atlas Obscura for three days of scientific learning in Los Angeles, focused on natural history and zoology or space and aviation. This two-track program includes panels, exclusive visits and special access to scientists and venues to get up close to everything from telescopes and taxidermy to dinosaur skeletons and space artifacts.