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Long Renovation of the Hotel Clark Continues with Restaurant Permits

By Eric Richardson
Published: Thursday, August 04, 2011, at 08:05AM
Hotel Clark California Historical Society / USC Digital Archives [digitallibrary.usc.edu]

Mid-1910's view of the then-new Hotel Clark, which offered 555 rooms at 4th and Hill.

It may not look like it from the outside, but the long and mysterious renovation of the 1914 Hotel Clark continues to move forward at 4th and Hill.

This summer, permits have been issued for the construction of three restaurant spaces and a lobby coffee shop. 186 and 270 seat restaurants would be inside the hotel's second floor, while an 80-seat restaurant would be outside next to the pool. The architect listed on the permits is Flex Designs, located just next door in the Pershing Square Building.

It would be unwise to hold your breath for an opening date, however: renovation work on the structure first kicked off in the mid-1990's, and opening plans announced in 2008 came and went without an open hotel.

Through it all, though, work has slowly moved forward. Two levels of basement have been converted to parking, and last year the second floor swimming pool was installed atop a southern annex to the building.

The building's owners, the Chetrit Group, have taken a similar pattern with work on the Embassy at 9th and Grand. The company has been in the news this week for its purchase of New York's famous Chelsea Hotel.

The Hotel Clark opened in January of 1914 with 555 rooms, each with a private bathroom. It was built at a cost of roughly $2 million by Eli P. Clark, one of the builders of the Los Angeles Pacific Railroad. The Broadway Department Store occupied the ground floor.

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