History

Wilshire Grand

Starting in 2012, the property at the site of the former Wilshire Grand Hotel will be cleared to make way for a visionary new hotel and mixed-use building. Under the leadership of Korean Air, the developer of the project, the new building will revitalize the property and allow the site to continue being the indelible landmark it has always been. Doors will open to L.A. and the world in 2017, building upon the Wilshire Grand’s rich history. Here is a look back at the life of this iconic building and preview of its future.

Timeline

  • May 22, 1950

    The city issues a building permit for $15,000,000, the largest single permit the city had ever issued at the time for the construction of what would be Hotel Statler.

  • July 5, 1950

    Groundbreaking for the hotel project takes place.

  • August 6, 1952

    The hotel officially opens.

  • October 27, 1952

    A grander public opening occurs with dignitaries present to celebrate the newest hotel of downtown. Ronald Reagan served as Master of Ceremonies. He was joined by Governor Earl Warren and Mayor Fletcher Bowron were both on-hand to speak, as were hundreds of business leaders.

  • 1954

    Hilton Hotels buys the 8-hotel Statler chain and the hotel becomes the Statler Hilton.

  • July 1960

    President Kennedy stays at the hotel during the Democratic Convention, where he accepts the Democratic Nomination for President.

  • 1968

    Statler Hilton becomes Los Angeles Hilton, after a $2.5-million renovation project

  • August 1983

    Reliance Group purchases the hotel for $70 million

  • Late 1984

    Reliance Group invests $30 million in hotel renovations.

  • 1987

    Pope John Paul II stays at the hotel during his L.A. visit.

  • November, 1989

    Korean Air purchases Los Angeles Hilton & Tower.

  • February, 1995

    New contract with Omni USA begins.

  • February, 1999

    Omni Hotel changes name to Wilshire Grand Hotel.

  • October 23, 2012

    Deconstruction of the Wilshire Grand begins. It will make way for the iconic new project that will be built at the site.

  • February 7, 2013

    Design of new Wilshire Grand unveiled.

  • 2017

    Doors will open on the new building in early 2017.

Sources: KPCC 89.3, blogdowntown