Wednesday, August 31, 2005

The Fat Lady Sings

Take a good, long look at the old Ambassador Hotel the next time you pass by it on Wilshire. Chances are that will be the last time you'll ever see it.

The L.A. Conservancy has officially given up the ghost, and halted efforts to save the old hotel, once a glorious Hollywood landmark and the site of Robert Kennedy's assassination. (The hotel has served as a location for TV and movie shoots after shutting down in 1989.)

Realizing that their efforts were only delaying the inevitable, the Conservancy struck a deal with the L.A. Unified School District -- which plans to build a new school at the site -- to drop their challenges, if the school board would donate $4.9 million to help preserve historic school buildings.

The board voted 6-1 Tuesday night to approve the bill. Demolition will now commence immediately -- with the building likely to disappear by October.

According to the L.A. Times, an auction of lighting fixtures, fountains and other items from the hotel is scheduled for Sept. 10.

Yet another blow for the L.A. Conservancy (which hasn't yet updated its site, which at the moment still urges members to help save the Ambassador) -- which hasn't had much luck lately in the preservation department (or so it seems, from the outside looking in).

(Pictures from this tribute site.)