News in Brief: A National Roundup
L.A. Groups Sue School District Over Ambassador
Historic-preservation and civic groups have filed two lawsuits to try to prevent the Los Angeles Unified School District from demolishing most of the famed Ambassador Hotel to build schools.
The Los Angeles Conservancy and other groups argued in the lawsuits filed last month in Los Angeles Superior Court that the district’s plan did not look at enough options for preserving the site and that it violates the state’s environmental-quality laws.
Built in 1921 and closed since the late 1980s, the hotel was once a posh hangout for celebrities. It is also where Sen. Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1968.
The school board approved a plan in October to demolish most of the six-story hotel and build three schools for 4,200 students on the site. ("L.A. Board Votes to Raze Historic Building," Oct. 20, 2004.)
Superintendent Roy Romer said the legal action would delay the completion of the much-needed schools. “We should be spending our taxpayer dollars to build schools, not defend against lawsuits to block them,” he said in a statement.
Vol. 24, Issue 15, Page 4