Monday, January 09, 2006

Ambassador Cam, #23

Ambassador Hotel, 1/6/06, 10:25 a.m.

Soon, the Cocoanut Grove is all that will be left. Meanwhile, a reader writes in and wonders what has happened to the Paul Williams-designed coffee shop (below). As part of the LAUSD's original plan, the coffee shop was originally slated to be saved as the new high school's break room.

But given how fluid the Ambassador high school plans seem to be (such as the recent decision to scrap the previously announced design, which looked like the hotel), who knows. I'll see if I can get an answer from the LAUSD as well, but feel free to chime in if you know.

Meanwhile, we'll have more pics for you later today from Susan Campbell's camera. Susan works in one of the tall buildings next to the Ambassador, and has watched the slow demolition for months.

(Coffee shop pic via


Anonymous Bob said...

The coffee shop, unless I'm quite insane (a good possiblilty) is still a part of the Grove wing, isn't it? It's directly to the south of the main entrance to the hotel on the west side.

7:36 AM  
Anonymous Maria said...

I just found your blog through eBay. I often look for Ambassador Hotel items. My grandfather was the manager of the dining room in the Coconut Grove in the 40s. He turns 100 in three weeks. I'm sure he would be sad to know of the fate of the hotel. He now lives in Virginia and doesn't follow L.A. news. I'm sorry I wasn't able to see inside before it was destroyed. Thank you for all the pictures. How I wish someone could have saved it. Oh the stories he could tell!

8:40 PM  
Anonymous Max said...

Bob is not insane: the Coffee Shop (which I think was known as Cafe Ambassador at one point) is indeed part of the Grove wing, as well as the retail arcade (aka the Casino Level-I think that's what it was called), so in theory it should be preserved by virtue of location. Of course, I wouldn't trust LAUSD as far as I could throw them to honor any promises.

8:56 PM  
Anonymous Bob said...

I wouldn't trust LAUSD that far either...though I sure would enjoy throwing them.
Last I heard, yes, most of that was going to be saved, although the Casino Level continued in the main body of the hotel (bathrooms and I think the Anstead shop), so those are probably history. However, I did notice a handful of Casino items curiously absent from the recent auction, which makes me think they're possibly retaining those where they are.
Or they're saying that they have mold contamination and they were destroyed (boy, did I want those Ambassador Travel posters, even though I heavily suspect they're just set dressing leftover from That Thing You Do).
and yes, I am insane. just not about the location of the coffee shop.

9:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would suggest that anger is a more responsible response to what the destruction of the Ambassador Hotel represents then so much BS political correctness.

Great way to erase and disrespect history: destroy the Ambassador, along with the original scene of the still-unsolved crime of the murder of the once future President of the United States, Robert Francis Kennedy... So convenient, and all in the sacred cow name of providing more schools... it's long overdue to face the music that RFK was clearly killed by a conspiracy... of course, it's one of many remarkable coincidences that Nixon was in Dallas when they took out JFK... and also in LA when Bobby was murdered... hmmmmmmm....

As for the school space - the school system is broken, period. Throwing more square footage at the problem will never cure the root cause at the base of the vast public education charade. What nonsense to destroy an irreplaceable landmark such as the Ambassador using this totally lame justification...

A quick rant is in order on the sacred cow of state-run public schools, a dismal failure ever since the concept was introduced into America back in the 1800's. How totally we've all forgotten that the public school system in the US is directly based on the Prussian military model, whose aim was to turn out obedient soldiers who didn't question authority or ask too many questions... Perfect for turning the creative, free-thinking, self-leading geniuses that all children start off as into (mostly) easily led, unquestioning, authority following, non-stop consumers who (mostly) buy the media propaganda that only lone nuts take out the only leaders who matter... John F. Kennedy, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., Robert F. Kennedy all gone in under 5 years? No pattern here or larger reason? Please. History is NOT an accident and war (often well-cloaked in much false patriotism) is big, big, big business... The equation is simple, as the truth always is: RFK as President = End of Vietnam War = No trillions of dollars in war profits = Follow the Money!

Read "Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling," by John Taylor Gatto for the fascinating full story about the true history of the US school system. It will shock you and open your eyes at the same time. As President James Garfield once said, "The truth will set you free, but first it will make you miserable," updated by Werner Erhard as "The truth will set you free but first it will piss you off." Anger, honest dialogue and positive action over despondency and resignation any day.

May Robert Kennedy's spirit live on in the true, noble heart of the people of America who remember him and keep the dream alive. You can kill the man, then methodically assassinate his character after he's dead and cannot defend himself, lie about how and why he was murdered and even destroy the scene of the crime... Yet his spirit and what he represents is powerfully everlasting...

11:19 PM  
Blogger gillian said...

It was really sad to know that this great hotel is now gone. But on the other hand, it a great thing that the LAUSD will build a school out of this hotel. This hotel is not like any other Cheap Hotels out there. This hotel have its own history. I hope that the school will still remember the hotel as the first building that stands there.

12:26 AM  
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10:04 PM  

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