Members of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation Friday celebrated the Los Angeles City Council’s designation of a hotel in Skid Row used to house homeless and extremely low-income people to the list of Historic-Cultural Monuments.
The council voted unanimously Wednesday to add the 150-room King Edward Hotel, which was built in 1906 and purchased by the AHF in 2018.
“While I am extremely pleased that our City Council designated the King Edward Hotel an official Historic-Cultural Monument … I believe what really makes this property historic is its new life repurposed as housing for formerly homeless and extremely low-income individuals,” said Councilman Kevin de Leon, who represents Skid Row.
“I’ve always said our approach to reducing homelessness must be all hands on deck, so AHF and the Healthy Housing Foundation are to be commended for their innovative and cost-effective approach to address our growing homeless situation via the adaptive reuse of many old hotels and motels like the King Edward, an approach I believe the city and other organizations should get behind.”
The King Eddy Saloon within the King Edward Hotel has continuously operated at the property since the 1930s. The building was designed by John Parkinson, who also helped design Los Angeles City Hall.
“A sincere thank you to City Council and all city officials and departments involved in this recognition,” said Michael Weinstein, president of AHF. “It is an honor AHF shares with the people we serve, including the 150 residents of the King Edward.”
The hotel was the third in Greater Los Angeles that AHF purchased for its Healthy Housing Foundation at a cost of about $70,000 per room, Weinstein said.
“We did so as part of our effort to help house the homeless in a cost-effective and livable way,” he said. “Many of these old majestic buildings deserve new life, and what better way than housing the homeless? Adaptive reuse of such older hotels and buildings is an avenue we encourage others, including the city of Los Angeles, to pursue.”
A designation on the city’s list of Historic and Cultural Monuments gives stronger protections to a building so that its current use and look remain the same.