Tuesday, October 7, 2008


This is the former site of the iconic Ambassador Hotel, where Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated after his 1968 win in the California Democratic primary. The steel bones are coming up for an LAUSD elementary school, middle school, and high school. A few token elements of the hotel will be preserved and integrated into the school buildings, like portions of the Cocoanut Grove nightclub and the coffee shop designed by Paul Williams.

Hard to argue with the need for new schools in an area where kids are bused miles out of the neighborhood, but I still find it painful to see the historic buildings leveled. An adaptive reuse of the hotel could've worked, with historic building tax credits and foundation funding paying the slightly higher tab. Too late...but that's Los Angeles for you.

Can you believe that California ended up helping Nixon get elected in '68? (Seems nuts considering he lost the governor race just six years earlier.) We gave that crank a whopping 40 electoral votes. We've come a long way, California.

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