Hotel Alexandria

5th and Spring streets

Designed by the renowned architect Parkinson in 1906, the Alexandria was once the grandest hotel in Los Angeles, hosting three presidents and dignitaries from around the world. The highlight of the building remains the "Palm Court," a dining room with a stained glass ceiling. The hotel deteriorated in the years after the Biltmore was built. During World War II, the top part of the lobby was made into a second floor to house soldiers (resulting in the short ceiling seen in photo below). In the 1970s, the hotel's owners scraped gold paint off parts of the building to sell, and drastically remodeled the hotel lobby to look Victorian rather than retain its original Baroque magnificence. The building, long a single room occupancy motel, was recently bought by a San Diego firm that specializes in rennovating historic buildings as affordable housing.

At left, the ceiling of the Palm Court; below is the once-grand ballroom.


PHOTOS: J. Mapes