Boyle Heights landmark gets unwrapped

The black construction screen that had hidden much of the former Boyle Hotel from public view for about  year came down today, revealing a renovated relic of Victorian-era Boyle Heights complete with a turret, arches and a domed cupola crowning the four-story brick building.  Musicians for hire across the street at Mariachi Plaza snapped photos of the newly exposed landmark at the corner of  First Street and Boyle Avenue as skateboarders peered through large plate glass windows into still unfinished storefronts.

The East Los Angeles Community Corp., a nonprofit developer, restored the Victorian Italianate-style building, as part of an approximately $25 million project to transform the former hotel into affordable housing.



  1. Wow, looks awesome! Glad they finally completed this.

  2. What a beauty!

  3. I absolutely love this!

  4. This looks amazing! I hope this building is actually used what it’s meant for, affordable housing for local residents that need it. Not stupid hipsters that already have enough.

    • Well I hope the local residents learn how to appreciate and look after their new abode because based on the state of most Boyle Heights housing people are more interested in maintaining their shiny SUV’s than the roofs over their heads.

      If Hipsters did have the opportunity to move in (don’t worry they won’t Boyle heights is still too gangster for Hipsters ) the neighborhood would transform much faster and for the better in way of new business and street safety.

  5. It looks incredible! Such a wonderful job!

  6. Oh My WOW!!!

  7. Great job, money well spent….great improvement to the community.

  8. Affordable housing. It would be cheaper to buy the folks who cant afford to live here each a $200k house in Idaho and a Uhaul rental.

  9. According to the East Los Angeles Community Corp.’s website, this building houses 51 units, which, divided into $25,000,000, equals approximately $490,000 per unit. The only people for whom these units will be affordable are the future tenants; surely we the taxpayers have taken a bath yet again. It seems these developers have taken lessons from LAUSD’s building-construction folks. The only thing that’s missing is a weirdly-shaped tower or other useless architectural feature similar to the newly-built Cortines School at 450 N. Grand. What? You say that this building has a turret, arches, AND a domed cupola? Good; I see that the developers have learned from the best.

    • Not $25 million

      Wow James. Imagine when you find out that the real cost of the bulding was $75 million. That is what was raised for the construction according to the press conference they held to announce the renovation. Being next to Mariachi Plaza this money would have been better utilized to enhance the arts in the area. This building would have made a great music and art school which would have employed more people than low income housing. Boyle Heights needs jobs not public subsidized housing that usually brings in tenants from other areas, not from Boyle Heights.

    • FWIW, the renovation includes a Mariachi Cultural Center and about 4000 sf retail space: http://la.curbed.com/archives/2012/05/renovation_of_1889_boyle_hotel_set_to_finish_up_this_month.php

  10. Glad to see this landmark finally unwrapped, but so sorry to see that they deviated from the greenish (oxidized copper) cupola seen in the Richard Barron Architect rendering drawings in favor of the period inappropriate “Veranda Gold” paint job–both inside and out of the dome.

    Hopefully this off key note will fade with time, or better still, someone will care enough to get up there and clad it in copper, or repaint with something more appropriate. It seems the least they could do, considering how much was spent on this project, and how prominent the cupola is.

    • Have to agree about the dome.
      Plus in the old photographs the original appears
      to be taller, with a bigger mast.
      Budget & weight concerns, likely.
      But it’s great to see the house alive.

  11. F’ing beautiful.

  12. Why are people always worried about “hipsters” moving into a neighborhood? As long as someone is going to take pride in where they live I could care less if they’re hipsters, or anything else for that matter! People forget that Boyle Heights was originally a melting pot for all types of people from all over. It’s a good thing to have a little variety back in Boyle Heights. There are a lot of good things happening in the area and people should just be happy that progress is being made in making the area a nicer place to live. I was driving down First St. between State and Boyle on Saturday night and saw all types of people have dinner at restaurants and walking around the area and it was a good sight. Change is good and I think Boyle Heights needs it.

    • Nobody likes hipsters

      Rusty, nobody likes hipsters. They’re the new hippies except they care about nothing but themselves. They all dress the same, but think they’re original. They wear glasses without lenses! That’s offensive to people who actually have to wear glasses. Plus, their dirty beards and unwashed clothes are pretty disgusting.

      • So everybody without exception must hate hipsters. And, why? Because they think they are original but are really all the same. That’s some great logic there.

      • So how do you know for sure when someone is a hipster – someone you see on the street and haven’t talked to? Does is just mean any white person between the ages of 18-40 who isn’t into top 40 music and mall fashion, or is it more refined? What are the characteristics, and can any of them taken alone mean something different? This is really interesting and I’d love to see a list of some defining criteria and a method for determining when someone is or isn’t a “hipster”.

      • A "Dirty" Hipster

        As a hipster I found your comments very prejudiced. My grandmother lives in BH and I often visit her. I take care of her and her house to make it look nice on the inside and outside. It improves the value of the community and this community needs a lot! Does that mean I care about nothing but myself? I think not. In all my experience with hipsterdom, LB, Silverlake, SF, I’ve never seen anybody sporting frames. That’s more of a Hot Topic higherschooler thing (I do recall suburban teenagers doing such a thing). Yes, I do have a beard but I shower daily and even shampoo my beard. I also wash my clothes after I finish wearing them for the day. You know, if you don’t like something you’re entitled to your opinion, but no one wants to hear somebody whine about a fashion fad that’ll be gone in a decade. You could be doing more productive things in this time like helping families in need make ends meet, which will do more to prevent the deluge of hipsters you despise. No one values your opinion in this case.

  13. glad to see the old bldg reborn. Passed it all the time when I lived in City Terrace — old cupola was still there (entire building looked worn but great to my eyes) and on ground floor on 1st St. side — a few might remember this — was the old Japanese doll shop.

    And glad the sign on the corner is back. It was covered and out of sight for too many years.

  14. I had been driving by this about 4 times a week for the last year as we lived in Downtown and dropped the GF off at work. This looks a lot better than the vacant lot across the street. I still don’t get the concept of building expensive shiny new buildings for affordable housing.

  15. Affordable housing increases the housing costs for the rest of us by reducing the number of units available on the free market. We pay for it both in taxes and in increased rents/ housing prices.

  16. The building is not the Boyle Hotel, is the Cummings Hotel in Boyle Heights, did ELACC change the name?

  17. How do I contact someone about possibly renting a unit there? I drove past it and I liked the building. I grew up in Lincoln Heights and want something farther east than Echo Park.

  18. The beginning of the end ……good bye east LA .I will always remember your famous tamales, your music piesa or rap ,your Chavez warrior . The blood in blood out days are gone but not forgotten . This curtain unveiled a past that was a root in east LA …only to be weeded out by hipster idealism and euro bank nieghborhood demolition machine .we should have paid our bills.

  19. Martyr,
    The tamales are still here and you can listen to whatever type of music you prefer while your’e eating them. Blood in blood out is just a movie….with actors. No need to worry about the hipsters either, they don’t bite! Just continue to live your life and enjoy the beautiful restoration in your neighborhood.

  20. I am the sub contractor that did all the painting for this project (Related Coatings, based out of LA) . Really enjoy reading all positive comments regarding this building.

  21. I don’t understand why anytime there is development in a neighborhood people get so upset. I grew up in England but have lived in Boyle Heights for 20 years. My wife was born and raised in the neighborhood. This is a beautiful renovation for Boyle Heights to be proud of. What are the hipsters going to do that is so horrific. I love Boyle Heights but places are not static, they evolve organically. This area was Jewish, then Japanese. When my wife, who is Mexican American was growing up here she went to school with kids that were white, black, asian and latino. Times change, I lived in downtown LA in the late 80’s and it was a scary place after dark and almost no one lived down there except the homeless. Now you can live downtown, there are restaurants and all kinds of developments, creating jobs and people still complain. What exactly is a hipster anyway, people that ride fixed wheel bikes, eat at vegan restaurants, with degrees in liberal arts that wear skinny jeans and have odd looking facial hair? Oh god, how terrifying will that be if they move into the neighborhood.

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