In a metropolis identified for chasing traits, Los Angeles’ Lodge Figueroa thrives by embracing its lengthy historical past.
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Hotel Figueroa has seen many lives since opening in 1926 as a protected haven for ladies vacationers. For nearly 100 years, the historic constructing in downtown Los Angeles — with its distinctive Italian Renaissance exterior and Spanish Colonial inside — has served as a communal house for artists and writers, a focus for social activism and, in fact, a gathering place for the Hollywood elite. That’s why Bradley Corridor, the lodge’s co-owner, sees himself merely as a steward of this dwelling piece of historical past. “Lodge Figueroa was right here lengthy earlier than us,” he tells Entrepreneur, “and it’s our obligation to ensure it’s right here lengthy after us.”
To attain his aim, Corridor and his group aren’t chasing the newest hospitality traits; as an alternative, they’re wanting again into the lodge’s storied previous for inspiration. After present process an enormous two-year restoration, Lodge Figueroa re-opened in 2018 in all its Roaring Twenties splendor in part of city, Downtown L.A., that has change into certainly one of the town’s trendiest. “The bodily restoration is just a bit of the story,” he says. “Its wealthy historical past and the inventive power it holds is as — if no more — essential.”
Their strategy is working to this point, because the lodge was lately named one of many World’s Best by Journey & Leisure, with comparable accolades bestowed by Conde Nast Traveler and CNN Travel. How is Corridor’s group channeling that historical past and power, precisely? We spoke with him to seek out out.
Lodge Figueroa is an nearly 100-year-old property. What’s your favourite second from its historical past?
Clearly, its starting. In truth, the story served as our inspiration for the lodge’s rebirth and restoration. Lodge Figueroa’s historical past is deeply rooted within the girls’s motion in Los Angeles. The lodge was in-built 1926 by the ladies of the YWCA. It was conceived, financed, constructed, owned and operated by women, for ladies. On the time, it was the biggest single funding made by girls in the USA for the quantity of $1.25 million. These girls had been robust, progressive, unbiased and brave. It was additionally the biggest lodge of its sort managed by the nation’s first-ever feminine managing director, the inimitable Maude Bouldin. Beneath her management, Lodge Figueroa shortly turned a mecca for progressive, unbiased girls — a spot of nice social, mental and inventive consciousness.
How do you retain that spirit alive within the lodge’s present incarnation?
All the things about Maude Bouldin is just astounding. A pioneering aviatrix, she flew her personal airplane from the east coast to west coast. Rode bikes and raced males in motorcars — as a result of she knew she might beat them. She had a character all her personal, a lady of character, energy and independence. In the present day, Maude greets you within the foyer astride a bike in a crimson portray by critically acclaimed artist Alison van Pelt. As well as, as a tribute to the unique founding girls’s assist of the early artwork group in Los Angeles, we have now assembled an artwork assortment of L.A.-based feminine artists. On the lighter aspect of issues, we additionally host a month-to-month all-female comedy night time on the lodge — which is a riot — showcasing the abilities of some extremely intelligent, vibrant and humorous girls.
What’s the most important problem of working such an outdated property?
Telling its story authentically and sustaining the character and integrity of a property which homes such a wealthy and nuanced historical past. We use a number of media to inform the story — clips within the visitor room TVs, our web site, hardcopy collateral and excursions by the employees. When individuals lastly study of its previous, they all the time say, “You must inform its story.” We even have 42 totally different room sizes, so from an operational standpoint — upkeep of the furnishings, fixtures and gear — it may be a little bit of a problem, however the lodge group does a unbelievable job conserving all of it good.
Inform us in regards to the lodge’s latest restoration.
We acquired the property in July 2014 and closed the lodge and begun development in December 2015. Though not initially deliberate, we ended up utterly demolishing your complete inside on all 13 flooring after which reconstructing it again to its authentic feel and look.
What are your favourite particulars in regards to the lodge? Is there actually a room hidden behind a bookshelf in one of many suites?
Sure, Casbah! Our “secret” house tucked behind a bookshelf inside our Casablanca Luxurious Suite. The key room is a variety of enjoyable. It’s behind a bookshelf in certainly one of our suites and opens up into an expensive room with vintage mirrored partitions and ceiling. It additionally connects to its personal personal speakeasy bar, Bar Alta — one of the crucial distinctive suite experiences on the earth.
What classes can entrepreneurs exterior the hospitality business study out of your experiences conserving Lodge Figueroa related?
It’s all about teamwork and a shared vision — one can’t accomplish it alone. Set the imaginative and prescient and lead by instance with objective, ardour and dedication. There are numerous people who’ve lent their time and experience to the restoration of this property and, as they are saying, a rising tide raises all ships. Within the case of Lodge Figueroa, we’ve all been pleasantly stunned by how a lot you’ll be able to study from historical past that also holds true in current day. Oftentimes, wanting backward to the previous results in forging the trail forward.