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BONAVENTURE HOTEL – LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – 1977

Bonaventure HotelSit and spin! Second only to the Walt Disney Concert Hall the Bonaventure is the most unusual building downtown. Its shape and style is late- space-age architecture at its most extreme.

Ironically very similar looking structures were illustrated by legendary science fiction artist Frank R. Paul in the 1940s. Originally when it opened in 1977, it was called the Bonaventure Hotel and Shopping Gallery. The eight stories of shops that surround it never took off. But the interior furnishings and fixtures, pools and fountains and landscaping and lighting were amazing. Falling vines of Devil’s Ivy were everywhere. It was high, high seventies.

Besides being the largest hotel downtown by far, it has many unusual features. Those scary exterior elevators never fail to remind me of my fear of heights. If the outside isn’t sci-fi enough for you, step inside and have a look at the rat maze-like lobby. The only interior space more unique in town is that of the Bradbury Building built in 1893.

I dream of the day when the Bonaventure gets the interior design treatment it deserves. It needs a Wallpaper Magazine style make over. Twenty plus years of replacement furnishings and fixtures have not been kind to the original look and feel. This is a prime high-fashion building that quite clearly has the potential to be an out-of-this-world hotel.

The sitting and spinning takes place on the 35th floor in Southern California’s only revolving cocktail lounge. The first time I ever went there I went up the lounge, walked in like I owned the place, sat down and ordered a Pina Colada. They didn’t even card me. I was sixteen. All these years later I must say it’s my favorite place in town to have a drink – especially on a crystal clear evening. Of course the best time to arrive is just in time to watch the sun set. The spectacular 360- degree birds-eye view of Los Angeles (along with your cocktail of choice) is intoxicating.

GOD BLESS AMERICANA and BONEVENTUREIANA