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Ambassador No More?

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If the Los Angeles Unified School District has its way, the historic Ambassador Hotel will soon be reduced to little more than a reconstructed facade after being demolished to make way for a badly needed school (badly needed due to the LAUSD's bungling attempt to build the Belmont Learning Center on a toxic waste site).

Historic preservationists are understandably upset as, once again, Los Angeles prepares to raze its cultural heritage in the name of progress. This city seems bent on erasing any architecturally remarkable or historically important edifice as it grows, recreating itself as a landscape of hideous utilitarian boxes with no past, and a future that promises only more of the same.

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If this plan is approved, the Ambassador will join the list of LA landmarks that now exist only in the increasingly short memories of its inhabitants: the original Brown Derby, the Pan-Pacific Auditorium, the Garden of Allah, the original Schwab's... the list goes on and on.

It's hard to imagine other great cities engaging in this sort of war on the past. Would New York? Chicago? San Francisco? Why does LA?