The Holland Hotel Has Been Empty for HOW Long?! *Updated 6/6*

C.C. de Vere

C.C. de Vere

· 4 min read
Holland Hotel, a decrepit four-story red brick building, with the nearby Hotel Mayfair in the background

If you're reading this blog, you probably already know about the city's costly and controversial purchase of the Mayfair Hotel for homeless housing.

But did you know that another hotel with a history of housing LA's poorest citizens just two blocks up the street has been empty for at least 20 years (and possibly up to 37 years)?

1404 W. 7th Street, aka the Holland Hotel, was built in 1924. Like most older hotels in Los Angeles, it's had its share of tragedies and seen its fortunes change along with the surrounding neighborhood.

The Holland Hotel made the news in 1987 when the District Attorney sued the owners, accusing them of defrauding the county welfare system:

In its lawsuit, the district attorney's office accused the Patels of overcharging the county by falsifying vouchers that are used to provide emergency housing for indigents. Last January, Steve Patel, the only member to be criminally charged in this case, was sentenced to 180 days in jail after he pleaded guilty to forgery.

The Holland's owners, who also own the Bixby Hotel (the article suggests the alleged fraud may have been taking place at both hotels), paid $33,000 to settle the lawsuit. Property records indicate that neither property has changed hands since the 1970s, meaning both hotels are still owned by the same family.

(Quick side note: Google Maps lists the Skid Row-adjacent Bixby as "permanently closed". Its sole online review, from 2021, calls it "a dump in the Toy District".)

Sometimes it's reassuring to know LA hasn't changed all that much, but I sure didn't have "homeless services fraud way back in 1987" on my blogger Bingo card.

Anyway, I hit a wall when trying to research the building after that point - ZIMAS claims the address doesn't exist! (I assure you, it does.) You can't even trust LA to keep its own records straight.

Following some tips from a more experienced sleuth (thanks again, Mike!), I found a workaround.

ZIMAS claims that the building was used for housing within the last five years, but I'm not convinced this is accurate for one hell of a reason: it was abated TWENTY YEARS AGO in 2004 and is still on the abatement list to this day. A code violation from August 23, 2004 lists the hotel as "abandoned or vacant building left open to the public".

As of last week, there's a proactive code enforcement investigation (although LADBS doesn't state why).

It isn't quite clear when the Holland Hotel had its last guest. Would any Westlake locals be able to tell me if it closed in 1987 or closer to its abatement date in 2004? I requested more information from the city earlier this week, but you know how THAT tends to go.

UPDATE 6/2: A Westlake local who saw this post remembers the hotel's closure and reached out.

I was born and raised in Westlake MacArthur Park and went to elementary school at Immaculate Conception just down the street. I was there when the raid happened in the late 90s and there was a bunch of junkies and prostitutes that screamed once the police showed up at the Holland. After that I never saw anyone step foot apart from a security guard that stood inside by the window for a couple months afterwards.

So, closed in the late 90s. That means closed in 1999 at the latest, or closed for a quarter-century and counting.

Like I said: What a waste of 75 rent-stabilized rooms.

Edited 6/6 to add: I asked the Office of Finance for a copy of the most recent business license for the hotel or any of its addresses. They told me "From a search of our records we were unable to locate any responsive document(s) matching your request." business license then?

1404 W. 7th Street, Westlake.

Join the discussion!

C.C. de Vere

About C.C. de Vere

C.C. is a fourth-generation Angeleno and is horrified at what greed and hubris are doing to Los Angeles.

This website was built by her preservation pals at Esotouric.

Copyright © 2024 EMPTY LOS ANGELES. All rights reserved.
Powered by Vercel
Purchase Pro ↗