Designed by architect John B. Parkinson of the firm of Parkinson & Bergstrom and constructed by developers Albert C. Bilicke and Robert A. Rowan, the Hotel Alexandria opened on February 12, 1906. The 8-story luxury hotel stands on the southwest corner of Spring and 5th Streets and was so popular that Parkinson & Bergstrom designed a twelve-story addition, which was built behind the original building in 1911.
Backstory and Context
After its construction, the Alexandria was one of the most luxurious hotels in the whole city. In 1923 the Biltmore Hotel was opened up three blocks away and was direct competition. This led to the hotel being sold in 1927 and then again in 1930, before eventually going bankrupt and closing down in 1932. Much of the hotel's interior, including the gold leaf ceilings, furniture, and chandeliers were sold off in 1934 in an attempt to pay off its debts.
The hotel was sold yet again in 1937 to film producer Phil Goldstone who decided to renovate the building and reopen it. Part of the renovation involved splitting the lobby in two and creating a ballroom. The hotel changed hand again after World War II before being acquired by property developer S. Jon Kreedman in 1961.
The building was declared as a historic-cultural landmark in 1971, but after this period began to see a gradual decline. This was in part due to the westward movement of the downtown business area. The proximity to Skid Row saw overnight guests decline and led the hotel to be changed into a single room occupancy hotel for low-income individuals. During this period the building became notorious for drug crime and its generally dangerous character.
In 2005, the new owners converted the hotel into apartments, remodeling gradually as tenants were moved out. Today the building is a mix of regular and subsidized housing. Its ballrooms still remain and are used for various events, movie shooting, and weddings.
Alexandria Hotel, News on Her Second Century. History Los Angeles. March 23, 2013. Accessed July 08, 2017. http://historylosangeles.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/alexandria-hotel-news-on-her-second.html.
Knoles, Davy. Haunted Rooms at the Alexandria Hotel in Los Angeles. Get Away Tips. Accessed July 08, 2017. http://getawaytips.azcentral.com/haunted-rooms-alexandria-hotel-los-angeles-4256.html.