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Ambassador demolition
January 17, 2006 6:11 PM   Subscribe

The Ambassador Hotel is no longer standing. Recorded here.
posted by tellurian (23 comments total)

 
It's sad to see it go, I guess. I went to Disney "Swinging at the Grove" SIGGRAPH party there in '97. We got into the party by giving the security guy some bottles water. Ah, the memories of the "Cocoanut" Grove.
posted by tomplus2 at 6:39 PM on January 17, 2006


----
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I remember walking past The Ambassador at night and seeing a seriously creepy group of cats (felines, not, like, jazz people) sitting about 10 feets inside the gate staring menacingly at anyone who stopped for a peek. I thought of them as the gatekeepers or protectors of the place. I guess they're all off to the local ASPCA now. Oooh! Adopt a creepy Ambassador Hotel Mystical Cat-- That'd be cool!
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Cool that they left the Cocoanut Grove standing. There was a great New Yoker article a while ago about the preservation attempts and about architect Paul R. Williams
posted by lalalana at 7:04 PM on January 17, 2006


Tangent: is LAUSD pronounced "lost"?
posted by winston at 7:12 PM on January 17, 2006


lalalana - I've got Myron Hunt as the architect. Interesting story on Williams though, thanks.
posted by tellurian at 7:25 PM on January 17, 2006


Sorry lalalana, I now realise that you were talking about the Cocoanut Grove.
posted by tellurian at 7:32 PM on January 17, 2006


The largely abandoned hotel had in recent years become overrun with feral cats who were likely to perish in the demolition (or shortly thereafter). Their story is here.
posted by jonson at 7:36 PM on January 17, 2006


Very sad. I left NYC (in part) because of its callous disregard for architectural and cultural history. I guess I thought L.A./Hollywood would be self-obsessed enough to leave SOME of its landmarks unvarnished, but 'tis not so. Oh, well. It's still very sunny, and Franklin Avenue almost feels like it was dropped out of an Ellroy novel, regardless.

Any of you read "The Building" by Will Eisner? Moving story that is becoming increasingly relevant as the vestiges of our architectural heritage and stomped on by the big boots of aesthetic/economic "progress."
posted by ford and the prefects at 7:39 PM on January 17, 2006


Great link, jonson! I wish I weren't so damn allergic to those things.
posted by lalalana at 7:57 PM on January 17, 2006


I left NYC (in part) because of its callous disregard for architectural and cultural history. I guess I thought L.A./Hollywood would be self-obsessed enough to leave SOME of its landmarks unvarnished, but 'tis not so. Oh, well. It's still very sunny, and Franklin Avenue almost feels like it was dropped out of an Ellroy novel, regardless.

Please continue with your search for the most self-obsessed place in the world.
posted by longsleeves at 7:59 PM on January 17, 2006


Please continue with your search for the most self-obsessed place in the world.

Oh, SNAP!
posted by keswick at 8:13 PM on January 17, 2006


Funny that many "Save this building" protests are based around the banal uses that the property will be put to once the historical monument is demolished... elevated highway, starbucks coffee shop, big corporate headquarters...

This one's being demolished to make way for an elementary and high school.

Glad to hear it.
posted by anthill at 8:15 PM on January 17, 2006


I was in The Ambassador Hotel once while working on a visual effects sequence for the movie, The Shadow - It was around the time of the Northridge quake, and I think the idea that the roof could come down was in the back of everyone's mind. I walked around a bit there. and saw the pantry area.
posted by jfrancis at 8:53 PM on January 17, 2006


Wow. That's sad.

Until last year, I lived about 2 blocks away from the Ambassador and rode my bike by it nearly every day. (I remember the cats, too, lalalana... and the creepy-looking guy who would drive up in the middle of the night with a trunkload of catfood.)

At least the land will be used for something worthwhile. I can't blame LAUSD, in the middle of the largest school building program ever, for not shelling out the extra funds needed to preserve and convert the building.
posted by the jam at 8:54 PM on January 17, 2006



June 5, 1968
posted by cenoxo at 9:29 PM on January 17, 2006


Oh, well. It's still very sunny, and Franklin Avenue almost feels like it was dropped out of an Ellroy novel, regardless.

Funny you should say that, I was just reading this:

"He's got a fuck pad a few blocks away where he bangs his secretary, but you insist on the Ambassador. You're in town for a convention, and you've got a snazzy room with a wet bar."

-- James Ellroy, American Tabloid


*sigh*
posted by basicchannel at 10:24 PM on January 17, 2006


Cenoxo has it.
posted by Tullius at 10:24 PM on January 17, 2006


It's a shame, sure, but as an LA resident all I can say is "meh". The city is broke. The county is broke. The school district is broke. Schools are overcrowded. There's no open land.

The past is important, yes. But not at the expense of the present, or the future.
posted by Slothrup at 10:37 PM on January 17, 2006


Yes, it's very tragic that an old, ritzy hotel is being demolished so that yet another ineffectual comprehensive school may be built in its place.

No, wait, it's not... Actually, it evokes no emotion whatsoever.
posted by dsword at 11:37 PM on January 17, 2006


Actually, it evokes no emotion whatsoever.

In you.
posted by jonson at 12:53 AM on January 18, 2006


I remember back in ... mid 80s, me and my brothers went to the OG comic book conventions held at the Basement, mind you not the lobby. You know back then, they knew where the comic geeks belonged; underground, out of sight and embarrassed that they are near you at all. Ah... those were the days, when it had a really ghetto swap meet, flea market feel. No anime crap just really fat (not obese, obese is so 90s) hairy guys hocking good ol' beat up comics to little children with too much o' them spendin' cash.
posted by anyokerin at 2:45 AM on January 18, 2006


poor Bobby.

.
posted by matteo at 4:14 AM on January 18, 2006


Very sad. I left NYC (in part) because of its callous disregard for architectural and cultural history. I guess I thought L.A./Hollywood would be self-obsessed enough to leave SOME of its landmarks unvarnished, but 'tis not so.

Are you fucking kidding me? The plastic surgery capital of the world?

Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.
posted by quantumetric at 9:40 AM on January 19, 2006


Oh, please, it's not "for the children." The school board raced to rip that baby down and only now have they discovered dangerous methane seepage underneath the site, which is what left their last ginormous academic boondoggle, the Belmont Learning Center, a $150million+ ghost town. It's gonna be a long time before a child is taught there.

The Ambassador was in bad shape after years of movie shoots and neglectful owners poking holes in the roof to discourage preservationists. But once LAUSD got it in their sights, it truly was doomed.
posted by Scram at 10:29 PM on January 20, 2006


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