Sunset Junction was originally the name of the stop on the Pacific Electric Railway line in Silver Lake, CA.
Traveling the northeast route from Downtown Los Angeles on Sunset Boulevard the streetcar changed course at the the intersection where Santa Monica Boulevard intersects with Sunset Boulevard. (Where the Jiffy Lube stands today.) Passengers could either continue on Sunset towards Hollywood Boulevard or turn west onto Santa Monica Boulevard and head towards West Hollywood.
Eventually, the streetcar era came to an end. The name stuck. And, before long, Sunset Junction was the center of national attention.
On New Year’s Eve in 1966 several police officers stepped out of line:
“… eight undercover LAPD officers infiltrated the gay-friendly Black Cat Bar, located near Sunset Junction between Sanborn and Hyperion Avenues. As the clock struck midnight and celebrants exchanged traditional New Year’s kisses, police officers sprung into action, beating several bar goers and arresting 14 for assault and public lewdness.
The incident sparked one of the first public protests in the nascent gay rights movement …
The Black Cat protests also inspired Richard Mitch and others to create what is today the nation’s best-known LGBT publication, The Advocate, as a way to spread information about the rising movement.”
Silver Lake’s gay friendly reputation continued to grow. In 1980 the area became home to the first annual Sunset Junction Street Fair. It was held to promote tolerance among Silver Lake’s gay and non-gay residents and blossomed into a weekend filled with many notable music acts, as well as rides and vendors. The street fair lasted for more than 30 years.
Today the sign resting on top of the Mediterranean style building at the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Sanborn Avenue is a Silver Lake landmark and serves as a reminder of the area’s indie, creative, and diverse roots.
The neighborhood is filled with popular restaurants, artisanal coffee stores, and a collection of stylish boutiques.
And, with this, home values have soared.
To find a home near Sunset Junction visit my curated list of homes for sale in Silver Lake, CA.