Two historic buildings in downtown Los Angeles—Hotel Figueroa near Staples Center and Giannini Place at Olive and 7th—will each undergo major renovations as part of the ongoing makeover of L.A.’s city core.
Hotel Figueroa, which dates to the 1920s, currently serves as largely a “low-cost alternative” to foreign travelers, according to the Los Angeles Times. Plans are for it to undergo a $30 million that will restore the building’s original Spanish Mediterranean décor. The number of rooms at Hotel Figueroa will also be reduced from more than 400 to 270. One of the building’s owners, Jack vanHartesvelt, told the Times the general idea is to lighten and brighten the space .
Hotel Figueroa currently has one of the more unique decors in downtown. The Times called it “quirky” because of its “flamboyant interpretation of Moroccan style.” Work on the renovation project is slated to begin in November and be finished in about a year.
As for Giannini Place, the former Bank of Italy (now Bank of America) building will be transformed into a “hip hotel.” Giannini Place was built in 1923 and was considered perhaps the most opulent building in Los Angeles with its ornate gold ceiling, marble floors and Doric columns. However, it fell into disrepair in recent decades and has lately been identified by architect as one of L.A.’s 10 biggest eyesores.
The New York-based development firm Sydell Group purchased Giannini Place for $39 million and will spearhead the renovations. Plans call for there to be 250 guest rooms, a “living room” lobby on the first floor, rooftop deck, bar and restaurant.
The project should take about a year to complete.
The renaissance that is underway in downtown Los Angeles is truly remarkable, especially for those around long enough to remember how completely different it once was. Giannini Place and Hotel Figueroa will be just the latest to enter the 21st century.