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Encyclopedia > Ambassador Hotel
The Ambassador's Cocoanut Grove circa the late 1950s.
The Ambassador's Cocoanut Grove circa the late 1950s.

The landmark Ambassador Hotel, located at 3400 Wilshire Boulevard Los Angeles is best known as a favorite of celebrities from the 1920s until the 1960s and the site of many Academy Awards ceremonies. Perhaps as many as seven U.S. Presidents slept there, from Hoover to Nixon, along with heads of state from around the world. The hotel's famed Cocoanut Grove nightclub for decades was played by the biggest names in entertainment, serving as the launching point of such performers as Barbra Streisand, Bing Crosby and Richard Pryor. It was also the site of the shooting of Robert F. Kennedy in 1968, following his California Primary victory speech. Cocoanut Grove Club, Ambassador Hotel, Los Angeles, California This work is copyrighted. ... Cocoanut Grove Club, Ambassador Hotel, Los Angeles, California This work is copyrighted. ... The City of Los Angeles (from Spanish; Los Ángeles) is the second-largest city in the United States in terms of population, as well as one of the worlds most important economic, cultural, and entertainment centers. ... Sometimes referred to as the Jazz Age or primarily in North America and in Australia as the Roaring Twenties . In Europe it is sometimes refered to as the Golden Twenties. ... The 1960s decade refers to the years from 1960 to 1969, inclusive. ... This is a list of Academy Awards ceremonies, the year in film which they were honoring, their hosts, and their date of the ceremony. ... Herbert Clark Hoover (August 10, 1874 – October 20, 1964) the 31st President of the United States (1929-1933). ... Order: 37th President Vice President: Spiro Agnew (1969–1973), Gerald R. Ford (1973–1974) Term of office: January 20, 1969 – August 9, 1974 Preceded by: Lyndon B. Johnson Succeeded by: Gerald R. Ford Date of birth: January 9, 1913 Place of birth: Yorba Linda, California Date of death: April 22... Barbra Streisand - Guilty Pleasures. ... Harry Lillis Bing Crosby (May 3, 1903 – October 14, 1977) was one of the most popular and influential American singers and actors of the 20th century whose career flourished from 1926 until his death in 1977. ... Richard Pryor Richard Franklin Lennox Thomas Pryor III (December 1, 1940 – December 10, 2005) was an American comedian, actor, and writer. ... Robert Kennedy U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy was fatally wounded by a gunshot in Los Angeles on June 5, 1968, and passed away 25 hours later. ... For the New Zealand cricketer, see Robert Kennedy (cricketer). ... 1968 (MCMLXVIII) was a leap year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1968 calendar). ...

The death of RFK coincided with the beginning of the hotel's demise, hastened by the decline of the surrounding neighborhood. By the 1970s, the gang and drug problems in the area near the hotel were already becoming severe, and worsened as time went on. Despite a renovation of the Cocoanut Grove in the mid 1970s, and a period when it was run by Sammy Davis, Jr., the hotel was not able to return to its former splendor, and closed in 1989. The 1970s decade refers to the years from 1970 to 1979, inclusive. ... A gang is a group of individuals who share a common identity and, in current usage, engage in illegal activities. ... Recreational drug use is the use of psychoactive drugs for recreational rather than for working or for medical or spiritual purposes, although the distinction is not always clear. ... Sammy Davis, Jr. ... -1...

From its closing until 2004, it remained a frequent site of movie, music video and television filming, having hosted films such as The Graduate, Beaches and Catch Me If You Can. The television series Angel holds the distinction as being the last production to shoot in the hotel for an episode in its third season, although Emilio Estevez' RFK biopic, Bobby, snuck in some filming in late 2005 (while the adjoining wing was being demolished!). The Graduate is a novel by Charles Webb, made into a 1967 film of the same name directed by Mike Nichols from a screenplay by Calder Willingham and Buck Henry. ... Beaches is a 1988 movie adapted by Mary Agnes Donoghue from the novel Beaches by Iris Rainer Dart. ... Catch Me If You Can is a 2002 motion picture set in the 1960s. ... Angel was the highly successful spin-off from the American television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. ...

From 2004 to 2005 it was totally closed and was the focus of a battle between the Los Angeles Unified School District, which wanted to clear the site and build a high school and preservationists, who wanted as many elements as possible saved from the historic building and integrated into the future school. The Los Angeles Unified School District ( the LAUSD) is the largest (in terms of number of students) public school system in California and the second-largest in the United States. ...

An out-of-court settlement was reached at the end of August 2005, allowing the Ambassador demolition to go forward in exchange for a one-time 5 million USD payout directed towards saving select historic school buildings in the vicinity. [1]

Following a final auction, on September 10, 2005, of the remaining hotel fittings, work began on demolition of the main hotel building. On January 16, 2006, the last section of the Ambassador fell.

The extent to which any of the most historic elements will be saved is unknown. The school board has promised to integrate into the new school elements from three key areas including the Cocoanut Grove (which has been renovated numerous times, destroying much of its architectural integrity), the ballroom where Robert Kennedy gave his final speech (although that has since been demolished), and the 1950's coffee shop designed by one of the earliest noted African-American architects, Paul Willams. There are also plans to save the portion of the kitchen where Kennedy was shot, possibly for use in an off-site museum. The new school will also be built in a shape reflecting the footprint and general outline of the building, as seen from Wilshire Boulevard. Robert Kennedy Robert Francis Bobby Kennedy, also called RFK (November 20, 1925–June 6, 1968) was the younger brother of President John F. Kennedy, and was appointed by his brother as Attorney General for his administration. ... Paul Williams Paul Revere Williams (February 18, 1894 – January 23, 1980) was a black architect based in Los Angeles, California. ...

External links

  Results from FactBites:
Ambassador Hotel - Los Angeles (498 words)
The hotel opened in 1921, and, along with its Cocoanut Grove nightclub, was the preeminent resort and entertainment destination in LA for several decades.
The hotel was been closed to the public in 1989, and is currently being demolished.
The loss of the Ambassador is a true historical tragedy, not only for the RFK aspect, but more with regard to the cultural impact of the hotel and its visitors during the first half of the 20th century.
The Ambassador Hotel Los Angeles (1908 words)
The Ambassador Hotel was used throughout the 30's and 40's for the Academy Awards and in 1944 played host to the first Golden Globe awards.
The Ambassador Hotel was the hotel where the jury in the Charles Manson murder trial stayed in 1971 for the duration of the 9 month trial.
On January 16, 2006, the last section of The Ambassador Hotel fell, with most of the demolition taking place in 2005, leaving only the annex that housed the hotel entrance, a shopping arcade, the coffee shop, and the Cocoanut Grove, all of which will be reused for the school.
  More results at FactBites »



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