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the skunks of los feliz
8.31.2005
 
The battle is lost.

The Ambassador Hotel will now suffer the fate of so many L.A. landmarks: demolition in the name of "progress".

The L.A. Conservancy, trying to put a fancy dress on this ugly pig, has brokered a deal under which the LAUSD would enter into a "binding committment" to create an endowment to preserve historic school structures in the District.

No matter how you spin it, however, this is a resounding defeat for preservationists (though you can't say they didn't fight like hell). Superintendent Roy Romer's single-minded fixation on tearing down this historic landmark to build a school never wavered. He brushed aside all compromise plans, and ignored the concerns of elected officials and private citizens alike.

Does L.A. need this school? Undoubtedly, and, it must be said, due in no small part to the LAUSD's Belmont Learning Center fiasco. If they had got it right the first time, The Ambassador might have been saved for future generations.

As it is the hotel will soon go the way of it's neighbor across Wilshire, the Brown Derby (whose Los Feliz cousin is now, unsurprisingly, threatened with new "development"), leaving nothing behind but old photos, fading memories, and the restless spirits of the past.

For a last look inside the Ambassador/Cocoanut Grove complex click here. This site features pics from a tour of the hotel conducted in March of this year.
 
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