I first learned about The Hotel Melrose earlier this year while checking out The Polaroid Kidd’s A Period of Juvenile Prosperity at the Yossi Milo Gallery. I noticed a huge print of the hotel by artist Mathew Brandt in their offices. I emailed Matthew about the piece and he told me the building was The Melrose Hotel, built in the early 1880s and sadly torn down in 1957. The land is currently a parking lot. Matthew’s creative process often involves including physical matter into the print itself so for this one he included dirt from the actual site of the mansion.
I recently came across a photo of The Hotel Melrose on Pinterest, reigniting my obsession with the doomed Victorian mansion in a lost Los Angeles neighborhood. Until recently, I’ve avoided Pinterest like the plague because it’s the Internet version of Rohypnol. I pop on for a few minutes and then I can’t account for the next six hours of my life. But I caved and so here I find myself rediscovering a favorite obsession at 1AM.
I did some research and found the website Water and Power Associates which has more photos and info about the mansion.
During this period [the late 1800s] it was trendy to transform private residences into hotels. Two well-known examples are the Melrose and Richelieu.
The Hotel Melrose started as a Victorian mansion in 1881. Decorated with overlapping shingles, cupolas, and domes, it eventually became a hotel apartment. When built, the hotel proper was attached to the mansion which became its annex.
Located at 138 S. Grand Ave. on Bunker Hill, it started as a Victorian mansion in 1881 and eventually became a hotel apartment.
By the 1950s the Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency devised a drastic plan to redevelop the Bunker Hill neighborhood and by 1968, all the Victorian homes had been demolished in the name of progress.
To see more of George Mann’s photos of The Melrose Hotel and the Bunker Hill neighborhood, check out the site On Bunker Hill: A Lost Neighborhood Found.