Southern California has long been home to a number of notable spend-the-night spots, from cozy hideaways to starry, high-profile hotels, the kind of ballroom-bedecked places that host award shows.
But few places have possessed the enduring allure and timeless draw of the tall and stately structure located at 939 S. Figueroa Street in Downtown Los Angeles.
Hotel Figueroa, a fancifully imagined DTLA fixture that has seen the better part of century, and a few changes along the way, with a first chapter that continues to resonate: It was an early beacon of women's rights, becoming, at the time, "the largest commercial building funded by women for women."
That time? It was 95 years ago, or just over, for the hotel is celebrating its big 95th on Aug. 14, 2021.
What to do, where to go and what to see
Take a look back, and at the Fig as it looks today, and ponder its continuing place in the pantheon of panache-filled, story-laden landmarks.
The Hotel Figueroa, affectionately known as The Fig to many of its fans, has long been an important player in the Los Angeles hospitality scene, an inn with its own character and look, not to mention a central role in the women's rights movement.
Maude Bouldin, a "pioneering aviatrix," served as the "first-ever female managing director of a hotel in the U.S." (Ms. Bouldin is pictured at left, along with Mrs. Chester C. Ashley).
Local women's clubs made The Fig their favored meeting place in its first decades. "The hotel was advertised as 'an ideal stopping place for ladies unattended,'" shares the Hotel Figueroa's team today.
While the area immediately surrounding Hotel Figueroa has changed (L.A. Live is a neighbor today), the hotel has remained a constant in an evolving landscape, while also adding fresh art, new design, and modern touches to both its popular public spaces and stylish guest rooms.
Plump-pillowed couches, chairs meant for conversation, and an in-lobby bar: Both guests and people meeting friends downtown have regularly called upon the Hotel Figueroa's airy lobby, which included odes to both Moorish and Spanish Mediterranean design over the decades.
The hotel's Gran Sala is an ultimate meeting spot, with its dramatic fireplace, shimmer-reflecting sconces, and circle-spectacular windows.
Today, The Fig is known for its artist collaborations and eye-catching pieces, pieces that even show up covering a sizable portion of the building's exterior.
The Figueroa Suite is featuring the work of Shyama Golden as part of the 2021 Featured Artist Series. Look for "... living plants, trellises, and more that bring the artistic elements of nature and nurture to life, as well as a selection of new and original works from the illustrious L.A.-based artist."
The famous coffin-shaped pool sits near La Casita, a two-story villa that is a hub for classic and new cocktails and bites made for enjoying outdoors as nearby skyscrapers twinkle and glow (or, yes, the sun shines above earlier in the day).
Here's to the next 95, Hotel Figueroa! May you long shine as a destination that draws travelers and locals together, people who love community, cocktails, art, history, and a great conversation enjoyed in the Gran Sala, next to the pool, or inside your iconic, couch-plump, light-and-lovely lobby.