Thursday, November 30, 2006

AMBASSADOR UPDATE: The Cocoanut Grove to be Demolished As Well

So much for even the L.A. Unified School District's token attempt at preservation at the Ambassador site.

As you know, most of the Ambassador was torn down earlier this year, as the LAUSD plans to build a new school complex where the historic hotel once stood. But as a tiny consolation prize, the school district agreed to save the famed Cocoanut Grove and refashion it into the school's auditorium.

More recently, rumors started to swirl that plans to salvage the Cocoanut Grove was lip service. And anyone who's passed by the Ambassador site can see (above) that the old nightclub has already been mostly gutted.

Now, Franklin Avenue reader Kevin emails us about signs that have popped up in front of the Ambassador site:

Mike & Maria,

I was driving by the Ambassador tonight & saw a few of these attached to the fence.

It looks like there will be very little, if anything, reused of the Cocoanut Grove.

It does seem that there is the opportunity to give written comment on LAUSD's desire not to have to revise the EIR.

The "Notice of Preparation, Supplement to Final Environmental Impact Report" reads: The 2004 FEIR included mitigation measures for the adaptive reuse of the Cocoanut Grove as an auditorium subject to structural materials testing. Based upon extensive testing and evaluation by the District's structural engineer, consultants and staff, the District determined that it is technically infeasible to retain and reuse all of the features that were described in the 2004 FEIR due to their age and degraded and unstable condition. In view of the potential changes in the retention and reuse of the Cocoanut Grove, LAUSD is preparing a Supplement to the 2004 FEIR to document these changes.

Written comments and responses are being accepted through Dec. 15, via fax (213-893-7412), email (, or regular mail (Barbara Wu, LAUSD Office of Environmental Health and Safety, 1055 W. 7th St., Los Angeles, 90017).

I know what most of you are probably thinking: Yeah, well, if the building is unsound, then of course it should be torn down. But for those of us already stung by the decision to knock the Ambassador down, this just adds more salt to that wound.

Check out our entire coverage of the Ambassador's final days at The Ambassador's Last Stand.

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