Rosslyn Hotel and Annex

 
(1917)* - View looking north on Main Street near 6th Street. The Rosslyn Hotel with the large sign on roof is on the northwest corner of Fifth and Main Streets (451-459 South Main Street).  

 

Historical Notes

In 1913 the Rosslyn Hotel constructed its new building at the northwest corner of 5th and Main Streets, a major expansion of the hotel from its earlier home on Main Street between 4th and 5th Streets.

The Hotel Rosslyn has a history unique in all of the city of Los Angeles.  Once the tallest building in LA, the 12-story Rosslyn boasted in it's large rooftop sign as being the "Fireproof Million Dollar Hotel."

At that time, the area around Main Street was truly the center of Los Angeles. Through the teens and twenties, the financial, commercial, and entertainment center of Southern California was based in Downtown Los Angeles, and the Rosslyn Hotel was one of its premier destinations.

 

 

 

 
(ca 1923)* - Rendering as seen from the air of the Rosslyn Hotel and Annex, also showing neighboring buildings.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1923, as a result of the prosperity enjoyed by the Rosslyn and the surrounding district, the Rosslyn Annex was built across 5th Street, and today is still called the Rosslyn Hotel. The two buildings were connected by an underground marble tunnel, portions of which survive to this day.

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1923)^*# - View looking north on Main Street showng the Rosslyn Hotel and Rosslyn Annex shortly after they were built on the intersection with 5th Street.  

 

Historical Notes

The Hotel Rosslyn Annex was built in 1923 across the street from the original 800-room Rosslyn Hotel built in 1914. Designed as a twin, both were topped by mammoth glowing signs featuring the names surrounded by a heart, the shape acknowledging the Hart brothers who owned the hotels.^*

 

 

 

 
(1924)* - View looking west on 5th Street at Main Street showing both the Hotel Rosslyn and Hotel Rosslyn Annex with their massive roof-mounted signboards.  

 

Historical Notes

Both buildings were designed by architect John Parkinson, who was one of the most prolific architects in Downtown Los Angeles, responsible for much of the area's finest architecture, including Union Station, Bullock's Wilshire, the Title Guarantee Building, the Continental Building, the Alexandria Hotel, the Los Angeles Athletic Club, Security Bank (now the Los Angeles Theatre Center), the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, and Los Angeles City Hall.

 

 

 

 
(1930)* - View of looking west on 5th Street at Main Street showing the Rosslyn Hotel and Annex on the west side of Main.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1939)^ - View looking north on Main Street at 5th Street.  The two Hotel Rosslyn buildings are on the southwest and northwest corners. Several of the legible signs read:  United Cigars, "Money to Loan", All-American Lines Bus Depot, Turquoise Room, and Hotel Barclay. City Hall can be seen in the distance.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1940s)* - View looking north on Main Street at 5th Street. The two Hotel Rosslyn buildings are on the southwest and northwest corners.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1940s)* - View looking south on Main Street at 5th Street.   

 

 

 

 

 
(1940s)^ - Close-up view showing the entrance to the Rosslyn Hotel as seen from across Main Street.  

 

Historical Notes

The New Rosslyn went into decline and closed in 1959. It reopened in 1979 as two hotels, the Rosslyn on the south side, and the Frontier on the north side.

 

 

 

Then and Now

 

 

 

(1930) vs. (2018)* - Rosslyn Hotel and Annex at 5th and Main streets.    

 

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 2018)^ - View looking west on 5th Street toward Main Street showing the Rosslyn Lofts (formerly the Rosslyn Hotel and Annex) as they appear today.  The U.S. Bank Tower and Gas Company Tower are seen in the background.  

 

Historical Notes

Despite its once-celebrated status in the downtown hotel industry, as the character of the neighborhood began to change, so did the Rosslyn. It went dark for some years before the Frontiera family purchased it in the late 1970s, renaming it the Frontier. The family’s leadership and support were instrumental in fostering the art gallery scene that is now a staple of the area. Renamed the Rosslyn Lofts in 2006, it currently provides both market-rate lofts and low-income housing.*

 

 

 

 
(2020)^ - View looking at the Rosslyn Hotel and Annex (Rosslyn Lofts) as seen from the window of a nearby building.  Photo by Kelly Wine  

 

Historical Notes

Both the Hotel Rosslyn and Hotel Rosslyn Annex are topped by mammoth glowing signs featuring the names surrounded by a heart, the shape acknowledging the Hart brothers who owned the hotels.*

 

 

 

 
(2019)^ – Close-up view of the iconic Rosslyn Hotel roof-mounted sign.  Photo by Howard Gray  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 2017)^ – Night shot of the Rosslyn Hotel rooftop sign.  Photo by Kelly Wine  

 

 

 

 

 
(2010s)^ – Looking down from the roof of The Rosslyn Hotel/Apartments.  Photo by Kelly Wine  

 

 

 

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Other Sections of Interest

 

Early City Views (1800s)

Historical Bldgs (1800s)

Early Hollywood (1850 - 1920)

Early San Fernando Mission

Early Los Angeles Plaza

Water in Early Los Angeles

Early So Calif Amusement Parks

Baseball in Early Los Angeles

Aviation in Early Los Angeles

Early San Pedro and Wilmington

Mystery History: Q & A

Early City Views (1900 - 1925)

Historical Bldgs (1900 - 1925)

Early Views of Hollywood (1920 +)

Early Views of the San Fernando Valley

California Historical Landmarks in LA

Electricity in Early Los Angeles

Historical Timeline of Los Angeles

Los Angeles River - The Unpredictable

Early Views of Mt. Lowe Railway

Early Views of Santa Catalina Island

Early Views of the Miracle Mile

Early City Views (1925 +)

Historical Bldgs (1925 +)

Early Views of Hollywood Bowl

Early Views of Pasadena

Early Views of Santa Monica

Early Views of Glendale

Early Views of UCLA / Westwood

Early Views of USC

Early Views of Historic Main Street

Early Los Angeles Streetlights

'Miracle Mile' (1920s & 1930s)

 

 

 

Water and Power in Early LA

 

 

 

 

 

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