Looking at it just a few years ago, you might have had a hard time believing that the Boyle Hotel in Boyle Heights, a community located just east of downtown Los Angeles, was once the grandest structure in the neighborhood.
When it was built in 1889, the four-story, Italianate-style hotel signaled the city’s growth. The farmland once surrounding the city center was being transformed into new suburban neighborhoods, like Boyle Heights, and the red brick and elegant turret made the new building a popular gathering place for the community.
Over time, it became home to mariachis, who congregated across the street at Mariachi Plaza, playing music and waiting for work.
But by the time the nonprofit East Los Angeles Community Corporation (ELACC) purchased the building in 2006, much of the building’s original splendor had been lost.... Read More →
Lauren Walser is an assistant editor at Preservation magazine. She enjoys writing and thinking about history, art, architecture, and public space.