We were happy to notice a colorful article in United Airlines’ Hemispheres magazine about Downtown LA’s beautiful “new” Hotel Figueroa, a recent Chattel project that has been getting a lot of attention since it reopened last February. Thanks to a creative contemporary vision (including a new 12-story tropical mural crawling up the entire west elevation) that plays directly into the hotel’s simple elegance, the two-year rehabilitation is already making an exciting impact.
A noteworthy example of Italian Renaissance Revival design by local architect Lester Hibbard, the 1926 building has a unique and unusual backstory. At a then-cost of $1,000,000, it was constructed for the YWCA and at the time was the largest project in Los Angeles to be built, financed, owned, and operated by women. The re-imagined hotel calls proud attention to this history with an art collection of entirely female artists.
The hotel’s former owner added a Moroccan theme including painted motifs on the S. Figueroa Street façade that urged the building away from its original design, purpose, and backstory. For us, restoring the upper façade with new hung windows and through window units removed was a strong and immediate way to return to its earlier appearance. The street level was opened up with tall steel sash doors and transoms to better connect outdoor and indoor space and enliven the sidewalk.
The Hotel Figueroa is just a few blocks up from the Staples Center, so stop by next time you’re in the area to try one of the two restaurants or just to glimpse the fantastically restored and revitalized 1926 lobby.