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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

Preserving Hotel Would Promote Education

September 15, 2004

Re "Group Urges L.A. Unified to Preserve Historic Hotel," Sept. 11: Now, let me see if I get this right. The Los Angeles Unified School District is ready to turn down $39.4 million made possible by the National Trust for Historic Preservation toward maximum preservation and redevelopment of the Ambassador Hotel as an outstanding school that would bring history alive for thousands of kids for generations to come.

Doesn't the LAUSD have a clue that this amount would leverage up to 10 times that amount from the tens of thousands who have great memories of the place? Or did I forget something: That concept would have to come from someone with knowledge and/or experience in the real estate industry.

Why did I think LAUSD officials would know anything about that? After all, the LAUSD is only the largest real estate developer in the city right now.

Lois Arkin

Los Angeles

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Los Angeles for years has been notorious for bulldozing our history. The LAUSD is many times at the forefront of this process. However, a notable exception was the preservation and continued use of Marshall High School two decades ago. This was the right thing to do even though it was not the cheapest.

How can LAUSD officials justify teaching history if they themselves seek to destroy it? They need to do the right thing and preserve the Ambassador Hotel.

Charles J. Fisher

Highland Park

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Los Angeles is a world-class city that can learn from the great cities of the world that preserve their cultural traditions and historic heritage through the preservation and sensitive rehabilitation of their significant buildings. Our children deserve to learn about what has made Los Angeles a world-class city, and the Ambassador is a great place for them to start.

Priscilla Wright

Los Angeles

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Re "L.A. Unified Opens 8 New Schools," Sept. 10: Now that the LAUSD has begun to make good on its endeavor to build 160 new schools, it is time to make sure that it lives up to its Measure K and Measure R campaign promises to "get the kids off buses." The one- and two-hour bus rides to and from distant schools contribute to low academic performance. Attending a neighborhood school would help solve that problem.

David Coffin

Los Angeles

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