Monday, October 24, 2005
PLANS FOR A LOST TREASURE TO REGAIN SOME OF ITS ELEGANCE AND DIGNITY
The lobby of the faded Alexandria Hotel in Los Angeles once bustled with Hollywood deal makers and dignitaries, including three presidents who stayed there (Theodore Roosevelt, William Taft and Woodrow Wilson). If its plan is approved, developer American Group intends to uncover the Alexandria's hidden treasures as they restore the building's common areas. Windows and skylights hidden long ago by remodeling would be uncovered and restored. Backers described the plan as a milestone for downtown, where a historic building would be renovated but still reserved for units with below-market rents. Until now, developers have said the cost of restoring old bank buildings and other historic structures was so high that the only way they could make their money back was to immediately sell the units as condos or charge hefty rents. The new plan offers a refreshing change.