The Mayfair Hotel and the Hotel Figueroa have been each inbuilt 1926. The glamorous Mayfair performed host to the Academy Awards’ first afterparty, whereas Hotel Figueroa was based by the YWCA and provided lodging to ladies vacationers, one thing that was comparatively uncommon in these days. Both lodges underwent large renovations in current occasions, revealing their up to date seems in the summertime. If you haven’t but revisited these two historic Los Angeles inns, right here’s what you’re lacking.
Westlake’s The Mayfair was designed by Curlett and Beelman, the identical architect duo behind the Culver Hotel. When the lodge opened, its 14 tales made it the tallest constructing within the west—at this time, the Wilshire Grand holds the title, because of its ornamental spire. The Mayfair does have a 15th flooring however, like many American resorts, is lacking its unfortunate 13th.
According to Nathalie Fintzi-Gibson, the lodge’s director of gross sales and advertising, the final time the Mayfair received an improve was previous to the 1984 Summer Olympics, which Los Angeles hosted. Designer Gulla Jónsdóttir dealt with the renovations, bridging trendy particulars with parts of the lodge’s previous. For occasion, cube-shaped chandeliers within the spacious foyer are reduce to forged patterned shadows upwards, recreating particulars discovered within the unique tin and copper tile ceiling. The focus of the foyer is a white sculpture behind the bar, seen from the road when the doorways are flung open. The piece is called the Mayfair Flower and is supposed to remind the viewer of the lodge’s Jazz Age roots.
Other historic particulars within the guardrails that line the mezzanine; they mirror design parts from the lodge’s exterior. It’s additionally the place you’ll additionally discover a peaceable seating space round an olive tree. Some of the visitor rooms pay homage to the previous with a 1929 map of Los Angeles printed on their partitions. The lodge seems in a cut-out, alongside Westlake Park and Elks Temple. Elks Temple, as soon as often known as the Park Plaza Hotel and at the moment as The MacArthur, was one other Curtlett and Beelman undertaking.
While Hollywood’s Hotel Roosevelt would host the primary Academy Awards in 1929, it was The Mayfair’s ballroom the place the celebs converged for an afterparty. Today, the renovated ballroom boasts a vapor hearth and an 800-crystal chandelier.
Elsewhere, Old Hollywood glam is eschewed in favor of hard-boiled detective fiction. It is claimed that writer Raymond Chandler stayed at The Mayfair within the late ’30s whereas writing the brief story “I’ll Be Waiting.” As the story goes, Tony Reseck is the “house detective” for the 14-story Windermere Hotel. He quickly encounters a younger, red-haired lady named Eve Cressy who’s been staying on the lodge for 5 days, awaiting the return of her ex-con husband. She sits alone within the lodge’s communal radio room, listening to music within the wee hours of the morning. Reseck quickly finds that Eve is concerned in a caper, and so is his personal mobster brother, Al.
This story is the place the Mayfair’s modern restaurant, Eve American Bistro, derives its identify. The lodge’s personal eating room bears Chandler’s identify, and two suites—the Vivian and the Marlowe—are named for different Chandler characters.
The Mayfair, akin to the fictional Windermere, as soon as had one thing of a radio room. Fintzi-Gibson stated within the 1930s, there was a stay broadcast that passed off out of the lodge. The Mayfair provides a contemporary tackle that idea with a glass-enclosed podcast room, which might be rented out and used to report exhibits.
Dining choices embrace the aforementioned Eve, helmed by chef Scott Commings, serving lunch, dinner, and brunch on the weekends. A porthole hearth permits individuals to see from Eve into the foyer or vice verse.
The floor flooring additionally options Chicago-based coffeeshop Fairgrounds. This is the chain’s first West Coast location. They open at 6 a.m. day by day for breakfast gadgets, espresso, and tea. The ordinary suspects are on the menu, however so is a matcha and espresso bar, and an inventory of espresso- and tea-based “elixirs,” together with an espresso quaint with walnut bitters. There’s no booze in these; for that, you might head to the M Bar within the foyer, or, behind M Bar, the sultrier, darker Library Bar. Here, you’ll discover a assortment of artworks, together with Daniel Cohen’s “Periodic Table of Drugs,” during which various illicit substances are framed like, properly, a periodic desk. The piece considerably ties into the lodge’s cheeky mantra.
“The hotel tagline is ‘a hotel under the influence,’ which we leave up to your interpretation,” Fintzi-Gibson explains. “Art, food, music, beverage, whatever that may be.”
For further artwork, the Mayfair introduced on Kelly “RISK” Graval because the lodge’s artist-in-residence and curator. Graval’s work could be discovered alongside artists together with Patricia Torkan, Jason REVOK, Shepard Fairey, Joey Colombo, Geoff Melville, and Alex “Defer” Kizu. It’s undoubtedly value a stroll by means of the lodge’s widespread areas to see the artwork, and it’s value listening, too. The music has been curated by expertise collective Regime 72, and that features performances and DJs that happen on the lodge, in addition to the day by day and nightly playlists.
Future plans embrace the addition of a swimming pool to the third flooring of the parking construction.
Craig Robertson, writer of The Passport in America, advised National Geographic that it was extremely unusual for ladies to journey by themselves within the 1920s. And married ladies might solely get passports of their husband’s identify, e.g. “Mrs. John Doe.” Traveling solo was even more durable for ladies of colour.
Downtown’s Hotel Figueroa was constructed by the YWCA as a protected place for ladies touring alone to put their heads. Men might solely keep on the lodge in the event that they have been with their households, and solely then on designated flooring. According to Marketing Manager Natalie Terceman, the lodge, at a price of $1.25 million, was then the “largest project funded, owned, operated, and managed by women—and it was for women.”
The lodge’s first supervisor—and the primary feminine lodge supervisor within the nation—was certifiable badass Maude N. Bouldin, who’s depicted atop a motorbike in a red-washed portray by artist Alison Van Pelt that hangs close to the concierge. Under Bouldin and the opposite ladies who ran the property, the lodge bustled with social exercise. It provided a writing salon, artwork exhibitions, musical performances, and lectures on social justice.
The YWCA would lose the lodge following the inventory market crash of 1929, although they might hold their headquarters on the property via 1951. The lodge remained operational and continued to serve each ladies vacationers and locals on the lookout for artwork and lectures for the subsequent a number of many years.
Following a interval of decline within the ’60s and ’70s, Swedish entrepreneur Uno Thimansson bought the lodge in 1976 and gave it a Moroccan makeover. The lodge remained this manner for over 30 years till it was bought by Brad Hall in 2014, with the newest renovations happening from 2016 via this previous summer time. Today, one can solely discover Moroccan vibes within the decrease degree area, Tangier, which is on the market for personal occasions.
The renovation comes courtesy of Santa Monica-based design company Studio Collective, and accounts for all the property. The new foyer is posh, but presents a homey really feel, with loads of snug chairs and sofas to tuck away in with a cup of the lodge’s fig tea or a cocktail.
At the foyer bar, friends can select amongst various bespoke gin and tonics or “gintonicos,” every one infused with fruits, spices, and botanicals. Throughout the lodge, these and different cocktails have been programmed by Dushan Zaric, the person behind the cocktails at West Hollywood’s Employees Only. For meals, there’s restaurant Breva, helmed by chef Casey Lane, and specializing in Basque and Mediterranean-style fare.
Should one require solar, a stroll down a brief corridor lined with L.A. road scenes shot by photographer Estevan Oriol will result in the pool. It’s coffin-shaped, and nobody is aware of why. It’s flanked by two bars: the breezy Veranda, the place one can order flatbreads, salads, and mains; and Rick’s, the place tropical, poolside-appropriate cocktails are served.
Yet one other bar, Bar Alta, will open in December. It’s a hidden, 28-seat cocktail lounge, accessible by way of reservation solely.
“The drinks are not served over the bar. The bartender comes around and serves you,” Terceman stated of the idea. “It’s a more engaging experience. There will always be five classic cocktails, and then whatever [Zaric] creates from there.”
There’s one option to entry Bar Alta that’s notably enjoyable. The Casablanca Suite encompasses a secret personal eating room, Casbah, that one finds behind a bookcase by urgent the right backbone. Casbah incorporates one potential entrance to Bar Alta, for many who must be as clandestine as potential.
Finally, when you’re on the lookout for a scavenger hunt, attempt to discover all of the triangles. The triangle image related to the YWCA may be present in a number of locations, together with the outside of the constructing, over the fireside within the Gran Sala occasion area, and hanging over the foyer entrance. While you’re wanting, you’ll get an opportunity to see the lodge’s artwork assortment, particularly curated with ladies artists in thoughts, together with Lily Stockman, America Martin, and Alexandra Grant.
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