Donnerstag, 29. Dezember 2011

And Again, The Ambassador

The Ambassador's Truly Last Stand



(Pic thanks to Franklin Avenue reader Theresa Inman)

The L.A. Conservancy has given up the fight to try to save the final standing elements of the Ambassador Hotel -- including the remaining pieces of the famed Cocoanut Grove (above, seen during an Academy Awards ceremony). The L.A. Times had the details on Wednesday:


Ending perhaps its most contentious battle over a new campus, the Los Angeles Unified School District will pay $4 million to fund historic school conservation in exchange for the Los Angeles Conservancy dropping a lawsuit that sought to preserve the once-glitzy Cocoanut Grove nightclub at the former Ambassador Hotel.

"We still continue to believe that it was feasible to save the hotel," said Linda Dishman, the conservancy's executive director. "At this point, we as an organization want to move on. What's left at the Ambassador site is not really historic preservation at this point, and there's a lot of other buildings we can focus on."

The settlement will allow the school system to demolish most of the Cocoanut Grove's structure and begin building a sprawling, 4,200-student K-12 campus on the site, which it had been eyeing for a school for decades.

"It is my greatest hope that this puts the whole saga finally to an end," said Kevin Reed, the district's general counsel. He said the district would have won the lawsuit, but decided to end the case so the $566-million project could continue on schedule. The first of the schools, a K-3 building, is slated to open in 2009.
Such a move was inevitable; as you can see below (in a picture taken in October), there just wasn't much left anyway. As so this sad chapter in L.A. preservation comes to a close. The remaining portion of the Ambassador will be torn down on Jan. 22


Some views from the past and what they look like later



Theresa Inman has been chronicling the fall of the old Ambassador Hotel and the rise of the new school on the site, and periodically sending us some of her great documentation. (She also last year kindly purchased our Ambassador Hotel table, which we ultimately didn't have room for.)

Tess just sent us some great new pics she took of the school -- along with "before" shots of the old hotel's ruins. ABOVE, a pic of the hotel from the early 1950s, along with a shot of the hotel (taken from the same spot) on April 24, 2010.





A relief seen on Wilshire Blvd. -- on March 26, 2006 and then after restoration work, on April 23, 2010.





East side of the Ambassador Hotel in an undated photo; the building, in mid-demolition, in November 2005; and the East side of the new school, on April 24, 2010.

A rare view into the old lobby from 2003 with its water fountain


which was later found lonely on the auction 2005 of Amassador interior stuff


take a walk back with me 



The second entrance of the Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools complex as of 2010.


1956

Ambassador Hotel And Pool Los Angeles California





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