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Journey of the Cecil Hotel

In 1924 William Hanner, Charles Dix, and Robert Schops became the owners of the very first Cecil hotel in Los Angeles, California. they began with plans to create a beautiful, high end hotel to accommodate tourists and travelers for weeks & months at a time. The Cecil hotel went on to experience many things from murder to remodels all while increasing in value.

Loy Lester Smith was the commissioned architect on the project, Simon Barron Developments worked with W.W. Paden to complete the project. The hotel cost $1.5 million dollars to build while another million was invested in the interior. When complete the hotel featured 700 rooms on 15 floors. The design consisted of a combination of art deco and beaux architecture style. The lobby was made almost entirely of marble with stain glass windows and crown molding. Giant potted palms, Iron lamps, and large clocks complimented terrazzo floors and created a welcoming feeling.

The hotel reached a high point in popularity in the 1940's, unfortunately it was short lived as 5 years later the great depression began. The surrounding area quickly became know as 'skid row' and was home to around 10,000 individuals without. The hotel that once was targeting high end clients for months and weeks was forced to turn to a daily and weekly hotel for more undesirable clients.

In 2007 the Cecil hotel was bought, parts of it were refurbished and in 2011 it was rebranded as 'stay on main'. In 2014 the hotel was bought once again, by a man named Richard Born. Born bought the hotel for a surprising $30 Million dollars. The reason the price had increased so much had to do with the economy in general, but also the increasing amount of publicity the hotel was receiving. The publicity had to do with the amount of deaths that occurred in the hotel. it was rumored that at least 13 suicides had occurred here before 2008 along with many murders.

After Born bought the hotel is was shifted into a mixed use building of sorts. The first 2 floors became long term residential living, while the 4th, 5th & 6th floor became a youth hostel, keeping the name 'stay on main'. Only floors 7 and up remained the Cecil hotel. Kenneth givens was a long term resident on one of the lower floors, he was interviewed for a Netflix documentary about a murder at the hotel and stated "..anything higher than the 6th floor was dangerous.." a famous serial killer, the night stalker was also a resident at the Cecil hotel.

In 2017 the building was listed as a Los-Angeles Historic-Cultural monument. this same year the Cecil hotel closed its doors to undergo another renovation to create a unified look. the hotel currently did not have this after very few and small renovations had occurred through past owners. the hotel is currently still closed due to contraction delays from Coronavirus. when complete the Cecil will include 299 hotel rooms and 264 residential units. Hopefully upon re-opening the Cecil hotel can get back to its former glory and its architecture will once again lead in the decision of guests and tenants.

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