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School at Former Ambassador Hotel Site Named after Robert F. Kennedy

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Photo by BinaryLA via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr

Photo by BinaryLA via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr
The group of schools on the site of famous Ambassador Hotel on Wilshire Boulevard where Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1968 will be named in his honor, the LAUSD Board of Education decided today. The move had been in the works for a long time and was voted upon unanimously.

"The Ambassador Hotel was once the center of Los Angeles style," LAist explained in a historical profile of the hotel. "It was an ode to art deco. In its prime, it housed the fabulous Cocoanut Grove, one of the hippest restaurants in the city... Since its closing in 1989, the Ambassador Hotel has lived the mysterious half-life of a movie set to which so many grand buildings in Southern California are reduced."

In the 80s, Donald Trump envisioned the world's tallest building for the site, but he faced the school district and its own a vision, which is now the pedantically named (well, not formerly named) Central Los Angeles Learning Center #1. Once the district beat out Trump, they battled preservationists who wanted the hotel building to be preserved. The costs were too high, so the district constructed faux-version of the hotel as the campus at the cost of $400 million, making it the most expensive K-12 education complex.

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“The words with which Robert F. Kennedy inspired us decades ago - that we can all be part of a change for a better world, a greater world - are alive with us as we celebrate the naming of these schools,” said LAUSD Board President Mόnica García in a statement.

The Kennedy family is also pleased. "There is no greater memorial to my father than this particular school, which represents all that is good in the hearts of the people of Los Angeles," said Max Kennedy, son of Robert and Ethel Kennedy in a release from the district.

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