The Ambassador Hotel opened in LA's Wilshire District in 1921, and for decades it hosted American presidents, foreign dignitaries, and countless Hollywood stars. Its most historic moment was tragic: the assassination of Robert Kennedy in 1968. Twenty years later, the Ambassador shut down, and as the surrounding neighborhood declined and faded, the vacant building caught the eye of various interests. Today, the Wilshire District is growing fast, and the current owners see the Ambassador property as a key factor in economic improvement. Educators and developers are now locked in legal combat, with preservationists and neighborhood residents anxiously looking on. It's a microcosm of LA in the new millennium. Is there any way to make everybody happy?
On Reporter's Notebook how did 12 kids survive the crime and poverty of South Central LA and succeed by the standards of more privileged parts of society? Are we giving others the same chance?