If you’re the kind of person who listens to true-crime podcasts in your free time and often ventures down the YouTube and Reddit rabbit holes of mysteries and fadings, then trust us, Netflix’s ‘Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel’ is the show for you. Chronicling the disappearance of 21-year-old Elisa Lam, a Canadian tourist staying at the Cecil Hotel in Los Angeles during her visit to California, this four-part mini-series examines all the aspects involved in her matter. And because the hotel itself plays quite an important role, let’s find out its current situation, shall we?
Is The Cecil Hotel Still Standing?
Located at 640 S. Main Street in Los Angeles, California, 90014, sitting just off Seventh and Main, the answer to whether the Cecil Hotel is still standing or not is a bit more complicated than a simple yes or no. The downtown budget hotel, or the Stay On Main Hotel and Hostel, is not currently open or operational. But unlike what most people tend to think, it has nothing to do with its proximity to the Skid Row area or its haunting history. In fact, the 1924 building, established during the boom of LA and Hollywood, which unwittingly garnered a reputation for being a home for transients, is closed for renovations.
The 700-room structure, including single, double, and group occupancy quarters, was opened as a hotel in 1927 as a one-stop-shop for business travelers and tourists alike. But because it couldn’t keep up with the times and became known for its safety issues, it had no choice but to rebrand and try again. Therefore, in 2011, the Cecil Hotel became Stay on Main, complete with a different lobby, a distinct setting, and even a new website. The central aspect of it being a hotel while still having residential units, though, remained the same. But it seems like the hotel officially closed its doors for the public in 2017.
Who Is The Owner of the Cecil Hotel Today?
With a portfolio of successful lodges in New York, Richard Born, boutique hotelier and founder of BD hotels, bought the Cecil Hotel for $30 million in 2014. However, in 2015, another New York-based organization, Simon Baron Development, entered into a 99-year ground lease with the new property owner to independently renovate and operate the Cecil. Towards the end of 2016, the leasing firm revealed its plans of adding a gym, a lounge, and a rooftop pool to the building, all the while preserving its architectural and historical significance.
In February 2017, the Los Angeles City Council deemed the Cecil Hotel a Historic-Cultural landmark. And it was around this same time that it shut down its doors. As per the latest reports, though, all the work within Cecil, guided by Simon Baron Development, is expected to conclude by October 2021. Their proposal outlined a mix of hotel and micro-living units, stating that they wished to rehab 261 residential rooms and build 30 replacement ones at a nearby estate. In simpler words, the Cecil will be a lodge again, so if all goes to plan, it could be open to the general public for business quite soon.