Ambassador Hotel's Makeover in Progress


Curbed L.A.
has flagged a blog post by L.A. Magazine's Chris Nichols about his encounter with the remnants of the Ambassador Hotel. Nichols, an expert in Things L.A. and a Mid-20th Century buff, was asked by the L.A. Unified School District, which is now constructing a school on the Ambassador site, to share a color photo he had of the hotel's coffee shop. That coffee shop, designed by Paul Williams, will be a new teachers lounge, and it turns out that Nichols owns the only known color photograph of the original -- an artifact needed for the lounge's accurate restoration.

While only meager vestiges of the hotel remain, a tour of the Cocoanut Grove's west wall revealed to Nichols "the entrance canopy, and the original driveway pylons that have been retained and are being restored. The main auditorium, modeled after the Cocoanut Grove nightclub, will be on the same site as the original."

Nichols reports about several "creepy" oddities about the new complex, including the fact that the LAUSD has put into storage in Virginia the pantry in which Robert F. Kennedy was gunned down in 1968. Seems the school district is trying to figure out where to put the pantry. Perhaps it would make a good detention room.


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