It really saddens me that they ever decided to demolish The Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles because it was such a great piece of our history. I couldn't believe that nothing could be done to save it, and am again blown away at what the LA Unified School District has built there. Why don't people recognize the value in saving historical landmarks?
If you aren't familiar with the Hotel, it is the site where Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated, and it was extremely famous in its day for housing the Cocoanut Grove club. The Cocoanut Grove was famous for the list of Hollywood stars who spent time there. It was known to be a favorite hangout of Howard Hughes, Judy Garland, Marilyn Monroe, and several others. The club was over the top as far as decor goes. It was known to have huge, fake palm trees throughout, and several outlandish shows took place there. It was shown in "The Aviator" with Leonardo DiCaprio.
Since the Hotel was demolished, the LA Unified School District has built one of the most expensive projects known. They spent $578 million to build 6 schools on the site where the Ambassador once stood. They have tried to preserve some of the historical value of the property, by keeping the doors of The Cocoanut Grove, incorporating the decor into their theater, some floor tiles have been preserved, and there are murals dedicated to Kennedy throughout.
The Ambassador Hotel opened in 1921, designed by renowned architect Myron Hunt (Rose Bowl Stadium, Caltech, Pasadena Library, Occidental College, Huntington Hotel in Pasadena--all still standing, among many others). It occupied 23.7 acres at 3400 Wilshire Boulevard bordered by Wilshire Boulevard at the north, 8th Street at the south, Catalina Street at the east, and nearly to Mariposa Avenue at the west. It was owned by the Schine family for about 50 years, until its doors were closed after 68 years of service in 1989, selling for $64 million, which was consumed entirely by accrued debt.
Do you know anyone who had the chance to visit the beautiful hotel? I only wish I could go and take pictures.
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