Ace Hotel L.A. Takes Broadway; Mallery Roberts Morgan Reports

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Ace Hotel hits downtown L.A., DnA’s Mallery Roberts Morgan reports.

15 years ago Alex Calderwood and friends created the first Ace Hotel in Seattle. It was in a converted Salvation Army building and was intended as an affordable hotel that would appeal to the “creative class” —  rooted in its locale, mixing it up with local artistic talent and businesses. Since then the idiosyncratic concept has become a chain, with outposts in New York and Palm Springs and, springing up in the last few months, London, Panama and now, Los Angeles.

The hotel, designed by Commune in collaboration with Atelier Ace, in-house designers, held a soft opening this week, with guests arriving while artists — including the Haas Brothers, Alma Allen, Michael Schmidt, Tanya Aguiniga, Kevin Willis, Michael Boyd and Adam Silverman — worked to complete their pieces.

Ace Hotel Downtown LA - Model Room - Photo by Spencer Lowell - 025 (2700...This Ace, says Commune‘s Roman Alonso, continues a tradition of mixing present and past in a way that’s intended to exude a sense of having been around forever while feeling totally contemporary and never “precious.”

And its “past” is heavyweight: Ace Los Angeles occupies the 13-story theater and office building on South Broadway in downtown that was originally created in the 1920s by Mary Pickford and her breakaway friends for United Artists (and went on to become the offices for Reverend Gene Scott – hence the Jesus Saves sign that the company has kept, above.)

Mallery Roberts Morgan, who has the unusual life experience of having grown up as a “hotel brat,” went to see the hotel and spoke with the designers, artists and clients about how the company maintains the singularity and local flavor of each hotel now that it’s a brand.

She also inquires about how the company been affected by the passing of Ace founder Alex Calderwood, who was found dead last November in his London hotel. Listen to the story, here, featuring Roman Alonso, Michael Schmidt, Nikolai Haas, Brad Wilson, Kelly Sawdon and Ryan Bukstein. And read Mallery’s description of the new hotel, below.