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August 03, 1994|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Sunset Strip Dowager Is Sold: The St. James's Club & Hotel, which in its previous incarnation as Sunset Tower was home to such celebrities as John Wayne, Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra and Bugsy Siegel, has been sold to a real estate limited partnership assembled by Morgan Stanley. The price was undisclosed. Built in 1931, the 15-story building at 8358 Sunset Blvd. was long a Hollywood art deco landmark, but a failed 1980s real estate venture left it half-demolished and looking like "Beirut West," in the words of former resident Werner ("Hogan's Heroes") Klemperer. British developer Peter de Savary renovated the building for more than $40 million and reopened it in 1988 as the St. James's Club & Hotel. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, but it's better known for stories such as John Wayne keeping a cow in his penthouse for fresh milk (not true, Wayne spokesmen said) and that Siegel, the creator of Las Vegas as a gambling mecca, was "asked" to move out because of his notoriety.

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