Friday, January 27, 2006

Ambassador Cam, #28

Some cool new shots from Franklin Avenue reader Wojtek, who took these on Tuesday:

Meanwhile, Thursday's LA Daily News reported on the uncertain future of the Ambassador pantry. The walls themselves are gone, but the equipment from the scene of RFK's assassination have been preserved, despitethe Kennedy family's objection. Now, what to do with it?

Against the wishes of the Kennedy family, the pantry equipment from the mostly demolished Ambassador Hotel is being packed up instead of destroyed. Now school officials, who bought the vacant hotel in 2001 to make way for new classrooms, are saddled with the question of what to do with the remnants of the tragic spot in American history.

The Kennedys fear that the fixtures - including a food-warming table, an ice machine, wainscoting and ceiling lights - could end for sale online as morbid souvenirs. Several pieces that are purported to be from the landmark hotel are already being offered over the Internet.

A Los Angeles Unified School District advisory panel concluded the pantry had no historical significance and urged the school system to get rid of it. But the district is legally bound to preserve the items under the demolition plan approved by the school board, said district spokeswoman Shannon Johnson-Haber.

According to Paul Schrade, a Kennedy family friend who was wounded in the June 1968 assassination, Superintendent Roy Romer promised one of the senator's sons that the district would dispose of the pantry.

"The agreement was to get rid of all of it," said Schrade, who said he attended a meeting where Romer gave that assurance to Maxwell Kennedy, the assassinated senator's son. Kennedy fears that if the items are not destroyed, "this winds up on eBay," Schrade added.

Glenn Gritzer, the former school official who worked most closely on the Ambassador project as a special assistant to Romer, said the superintendent was expressing a personal desire, not a guarantee.

Because of legal restrictions, "the superintendent can't just wake up one morning and say, 'Boom, it's gone,"' Gritzner said.


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