Toasting the Ambassador Hotel

The first institution to introduce glamour to Wilshire Boulevard was the Ambassador Hotel. It opened in 1921 as an instant landmark and became known around the world. Even though the hotel has been closed for fifteen years, its demolition has been sad to watch for me and for many people who I know. Reporter John Rabe of KPCC News ran a three-minute radio piece yesterday with my thoughts (audio) on the hotel's demise. We were sitting in the HMS Bounty, a dark, red-banquette bar and grill on the ground floor of the Gaylord Apartments, directly across Wilshire Boulevard from the hotel grounds. A few hours after we spoke, the Bounty and the Gaylord were filled by more than 250 guests at an Ambassador "wake" arranged by the Los Angeles Conservancy.