Skid Row’s King Edward Hotel Earns City’s Historic Designation

Los Angeles City Council grants Historic-Cultural Monument status to the hotel and its King Eddy Saloon, a bar and former speakeasy in continuous operation since the 1930s
Skid Row’s King Edward Hotel Earns City’s Historic Designation
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The Los Angeles City Council has designated the King Edward Hotel — a 1906-era Beaux-Arts hotel — and its King Eddy Saloon, a bar and former speakeasy in continuous operation since the 1930s, status as the newest Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument. The 150-room hotel, located on the edge of Skid Row, was purchased, refurbished, and repurposed by AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) and the Healthy Housing Foundation in 2018 for use as housing for the homeless and extremely low-income individuals.

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“While I am extremely pleased that our City Council designated the King Edward Hotel an official Historic-Cultural Monument — a well-deserved recognition for this beautiful 1906 Beaux-Arts hotel located in the heart of Skid Row — I believe what really makes this property historic is its new life repurposed as housing for formerly homeless and extremely-low-income individuals,” Hon. Kevin de Léon, Los Angeles City Council Member for District 14, said in a press release last week. “I’ve always said our approach to reducing homelessness must be all hands on deck, so AHF and the Healthy Housing Foundation are to be commended for their innovative and cost-effective approach to address our growing homeless situation via the adaptive reuse of many old hotels and motels like the King Edward, an approach I believe the city and other organizations should get behind.”

The historic designation came via the City Council’s adoption of a motion passed on the consent calendar at last Wednesday’s council meeting (Agenda Item #29—Council File item #20-0736). According to documents submitted in support of the designation, the Cultural Heritage Commission, in a June 11, 2020 letter and memo to the city’s Planning and Land Use Management Committee (PLUM), recommended that PLUM urge the City Council consider the King Edward Hotel for inclusion in the list of Historic-Cultural Monuments. The Heritage Commission had previously voted unanimously (on May 5, 2020) to recommend Historic-Cultural Monument status.

“The King Edward Hotel meets two of the Historic-Cultural Monument criteria: it ‘exemplifies significant contributions to the broad cultural, economic or social history of the nation, state, city or community’ for its association with the early 20th-century development of hotels in Downtown Los Angeles, and as the home of the King Eddy Saloon, a business important to the commercial identity of Downtown Los Angeles that has continuously operated at the property since the 1930s; and it ’embodies the distinctive characteristics of a style, type, period, or method of construction” and “represents a notable work of a master designer, builder, or architect whose individual genius influenced his or her age’ as an excellent example of a commercial building in the Beaux-Arts architectural style, and a significant work of master architect John Parkinson,” the Cultural Heritage Commission noted.

Caleb J. Spivak

Caleb J. Spivak (CJS) is the Founder of What Now Media Group, Inc., the publisher of What Now Atlanta, What Now Los Angeles, What Now San Diego, and What Now Las Vegas.
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