Diane Keaton Mourns the Ambassador

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008
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Diane Keatons crusade

Diane Keaton, tireless preservationist

We’ve followed the slow, sad demise of LA’s Ambassador Hotel until it came down to the final, last-ditch effort to save just the Cocoanut Grove. Of course that didn’t work out either, so look for a story in this month’s issue about the park planned for the space, which will reference the Ambassador’s history through an audio installation. Overall, though, it was an unhappy ending. But there was some solace knowing that, the whole time, Annie Hall was right there sobbing with us.

National Trust for Historic Preservation trustee Diane Keaton’s love affair with historic buildings is well-known around town (and best chronicled in her latest book on Spanish Colonial houses, California Romantica, co-written by DJ Waldie and designed by Lorraine Wild.) In her LA Times op-ed “The Ambassador Hotel lesson” she begins with the same swooning prose of her first visit to The Grove with her father, yet she ends with an authoritative, well-sourced, five-point plan for making the case for preservation strictly a sustainable one. In Keaton’s world, we would treat these buildings with extreme care, as if we were wearing white gloves during every waking hour. Oh wait, that’s just her. [via Curbed LA]

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