Ambassador Cam, #31: Cocoanut Grooves No More
(Pic by LAist's Carolyn Kellogg)
Like I mentioned in my previous Ambassador Cam post, the LAUSD sure has a funny way of "preserving" the Ambassador Hotel's Cocoanut Grove (which, we've mentioned before was bastardized so much in the 1970s that I'm not sure it's worth saving anyway). As you can see in this shot and the previous one, the Cocoanut Grove has been completely gutted and stripped. Not much left besides the four walls -- well, make that two walls, as the front and back sides have been torn off (yes, you can see right through).
LA Observed first reported on Friday that even the Cocoanut Grove's distinguishing characteristic -- its front entrance -- was demolished:
Staffers at the Archdiocese of Los Angeles—in the office building at 3424 Wilshire—just heard a loud crash outside. They ran to the window and saw that a crane had torn the front off the old Cocoanut Grove, the last part of the Ambassador Hotel still standing. An email concludes: "Gee, not much left to preserve now."
I decided to call the LAUSD Friday to ask them about it -- and they're still sticking to the company line, that the Cocoanut Grove (as well as the Paul Williams-designed coffee shop underneath) is being preseved.
LAUSD spokeswoman Shannon Johnson told me : "The entire structure is still standing. We're not tearing it down. It will be a part of the school's new auditorium."
Uh, Shannon, you might want to drive down Wilshire and take a look for yourself. Johnson tells us that the demolition will continue through mid-March.
(Another shot by Carolyn)
Mike's dark pic (sorry, it was nighttime) of the Ambassador Hotel remains, 2/10/06, 6:55 p.m.