Room 105

Final project in my photography class

Since I was a child, I have always held a special interest in the historic Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, California. My love for Hollywood and the great actors of the past helped feed my curiosity for this abandoned historic site. Yet it wasn't until I found out that this was the same site that my parents spent their senior prom, that I became completely devoted to learn everything I could about this mysterious hotel. Presidents, actors, musicians and numerous significant figures have held meetings, conferences, parties and just simply took shelter at the Ambassador hotel over it's years of running. The Coconut Grove was the main attraction at the hotel. Being used for parties, dances and filming, the hotel was used to it's fullest. Learning about the wonderful history behind this hotel kept me interested and wondering why have they not restored such a magnificent piece of California history? My question will never be answered.

This past year the hotel was shut down for good and was being prepared for it's death. An auction was held just next door to the hotel in an empty parking lot. Items such as lamps, paintings, doors, windows, furniture and even a safe was sold that day. People came with hopes of walking off with special treasures from the past and memories of the hotel. I attended this auction with no money. I wanted to see what jewels were pulled out of the hotel. I was never able to set foot inside the hotel. I was never able to set foot in the drive way. Yet being able to see what came from inside of the hotel was just an experience I will never forget.

Today, the hotel is abandoned, forgotten and is almost completely gone. They have torn down the old Ambassador Hotel sign, knocked down the back part of the hotel, cleaned out the inside, empty every room, cleared out the Coconut Grove and all the remains of the past Hollywood glamour. People passing by don't even bother to stop and look at the historic hotel's remains. They simply see the big signs that say "Home of a Future Los Angeles School" and think nothing of it. It is left alone, demolished and cold. It is being ready to face its outcome, it's final days, it's death. I ventured to this site one last time. I wanted to capture it's memory in black and white. I wanted to show the fate of a forgotten historic monument. I wanted to express my sympathy for the loss of California history.

The black and white photographs I took are all 8 x 10 and with no borders. I took the photos from a far, to show that I was never able to get beyond the gates to get a closer look at the hotel. I was always admiring it from a distance. Even at this distance, standing out on the sidewalk of Wilshire Boulevard, I was able to find beauty in this run-down hotel. I found a connection with something that was forgotten and neglected. I found interest in something that was doomed. I always hoped that the Ambassador Hotel would be saved and restored. But in the end, it did not win. I captured the last days of this legacy. And I plan on capturing the last days of many other historic sites that are sentenced to the same destruction.

– Rosanna Rincon, born 1982.