School Climate & Safety A National Roundup

Kennedy Family Urges Against Preserving L.A.’s Ambassador Hotel

By Joetta L. Sack — October 12, 2004 1 min read

Family members of the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy have urged the Los Angeles Unified School District to demolish the historic Ambassador Hotel, where he was assassinated in 1968, and turn the entire site into an education complex.

The school board of the 778,000-student district will decide this week whether to go forward with a compromise plan that would demolish most of the hotel, but save its architecturally significant coffee shop, nightclub, and ballroom ceiling. The plan calls for erecting three schools on the site to ease severe overcrowding in other schools in the predominantly Hispanic neighborhood.

Historic preservationists have called for saving the entire structure. But six of Sen. Kennedy’s nine surviving children and his widow, Ethel, signed a letter to the board that stated the most fitting memorial would be new schools. Mr. Kennedy was shot in a pantry off the hotel kitchen while campaigning to be the Democratic presidential nominee.

If approved, the schools could open as early as 2008 and house 4,200 students.

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