AKA: Westminster Hotel, Los Angeles, CA

Structure Type: built works - dwellings -public accommodations - hotels

Designers: Young, Robert Brown, Architect (firm); Robert Brown Young (architect)

Dates: constructed 1887-1888, demolished 1960

4 stories

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West 4th Street and South Main Street
Downtown, Los Angeles, CA 90013

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Overview

The Hotel Westminster opened on 03/01/1888. On 09/16/1888, W.H. Harron and Company was the proprietor of the hotel. An ad of this time period advertised the hotel's amenities: "It is a leading first-class hotel, supplied with all modern improvements, including elevator, electric bells with return calls in all rooms, fire escapes, bath, etc.; has the largest and finest office and sitting-room in the city; is centrally located, within a few blocks of Santa Fe and S.P.R.R. Co.'s (new) depot, four blocks from the new postoffice, and in close proximity to churches and places of amusement. Rates $3 per day and upward, according to room. Reduced rates by the month." (See Hotel Westminster classified ad,Los Angeles Times, 09/16/1888, p. 8.)

Building History

Designed by architect Robert Brown Young (1855-1914), this four-story brick hotel, occupying a corner at the intersection of 4th Street and Main Street in Downtown Los Angeles, CA, was in operation by at least 1888. It was Italianate in style, with three stories of bay windows and a notable turret rising above its corner location. Hotelier Milo M. Potter (born 1854) operated the Westminster c. 1890-1896; Potter would later manage the Los Angeles Van Nuys Hotel (c. 1896-1900) and establish the lavish Potter Hotel in Santa Barbara, CA, (1902-1903). F.O. Johnson was the proprietor, c. 1900. New management took over in 1914.

An advertisement in the Overland Monthly of 1912 described the hotel: "The name of the Hotel Westminster is inseparably associated with the names of Los Angeles' best people; for years it has been the rendezvoud of the most substantial among the permanent residents of Los Angeles and of the solid, well-to-do tourists. The Hotel Westminster is one of the most centrally located in the city, situated as it is at the corner of Main and Fourth streets, and on the section of the latter known as the 'Wall Street' of Los Angeles. From immediately in front of the door, electric cars leave for any point in the city, for the mountains or for the beaches. The larger theatres of the city are within a stone's throw, while the shopping district is in the immediate vicinity." (See "the Hotel Westminster, Los Angeles," Overland Monthly, vol. LIX, no. 3, 03/1912, p. 287.) As noted in this article, The Hotel Westminster stood in the midst of the city's financial center, and, therefore, could charge luxury prices from its business and tourist clients. It came equipped with a cafe and dining room, as well as ladies' and gentlemen's writing rooms.

Building Notes

According to the photo-rich web site, Water and Power Associates, the Hotel Westminster stood "In about 1870, [on] the site of a Chinese market."

The reform-minded City Club of Los Angeles held its meetings in a dining room of the Hotel Westminster, c. 1907-1910.

Demolition

This bay-windowed building was a long-time surviving remanant of the booming 1880s in Los Angeles. It was torn down in 1960.

PCAD id: 9821