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Common Ground: the Histories of the Ambassador Hotel’s Neighborhood
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Common Ground is divided into two parts: this section which shows the ongoing investigation into the neighborhood of the former Ambassador Hotel and the Wilshire Center communities. We have created a list of online resources for those wishing to go further. Fortunately, there are many people who love this place and continue to keep its history alive. In addition to oral histories, this project highlights ephemera related to this neighborhood and current photographs.

The second section is an online Guide created over the summer of 2011 by student interns investigating the area. This Guide was authored by Marie Eleanore Cabal, project lead. Who writes:

I would like to thank the Hill Street Historians --fellow students from CSULA, UCR, ELAC and Lincoln Heights High Schoool--who helped me on this journey including Lucas Benitez, Carla Calderon, Claudia Carcamo, Gabrielle Garcia, Michelle Lopez, Michael Mattice & Nicole Miller. Finally, we would like to thank the Studio for Southern California History for supporting our project and asking me to participate. I learned so much!

There are many people we need to recognize in helping put this guide together. Michelle Hawley and the Honors College at California State University Los Angeles for providing support for this project. Professors Alejandra Marchevsky and David Olsen from the Honors College who taught us about Los Angeles. Thank you to Catherine Gudis for sharing her insights on this amazing neighborhood in a lively lecture and later in an interview. We wish to thank Dr. Angela Vergara and her students - for integrating Common Ground into their classroom and then presenting wonderful projects on their research. Celia Pearce and her gamer friends - for notifying us on the alternative reality game “City of Angeles” also known as PEG-LA: Secret City Playtest, which took us on an art and history seeking journey through MacArthur Park in early summer.

We have interviewed many different people who have readily given of their sources and histories for this project. First and foremost, we wish to thank Margaret Burk--author of Are the Stars Out Tonight? and former Public Relations Director for the Ambassador Hotel and Tess Inman, who connected us.  Thank you to all of our interviewees including Margaret Burk, Steve Goldstein, Harry M. Fox, Catherine Gudis, Tess Inman, Isa-Kae Meksin, Scott Michaels, Shelley Morrison, Laura Sanderson Healy and Jane Sanderson. A special thank you to the New Open World Academy and Dr. Chuck Flores, Felicia Perez and Link Mize who opened up their school to the Honors College of California State University, Los Angeles for a special tour. If you are interested in contributing to this project, please contact the Studio for Southern California History at 213-229-8890 or by emailing Please put 'Common Ground Project' in the subject line.

Many places on this walking tour the layers of history in this neighborhood will become more visible to you, hopefully, after you learn how parts of this neighborhood developed in the ways they did. The former Ambassador Hotel site is a great example of this and the best place to start.