Biltmore Hotel facade Downtown LA Untapped Cities

Over 3,000 people were in attendance at the Biltmore Hotel‘s opening party on October 2, 1923. In the ninety years since its opening, the Biltmore has seen more than its fair share of ups and downs and plenty of celebrities including Walt Disney, Katherine Hepburn, Mae West and Carmen Miranda have graced its halls. It has played host to a nightclub during Prohibition, the Academy Awards, the 1960 Democratic National Convention, and some rather unfortunate redecorating during the ’70s, to name a few.  We learned all about the Biltmore Hotel with the LA Conservancy and now we’re taking you inside and sharing the hotel’s secrets. 

1. The hotel cost $10 million to build and the roof that looks like wood is actually plaster

The Biltmore Hotel was envisioned as the hotel to eclipse all of Los Angeles’ other hotels. Construction began in 1921 and took eighteen months. The architects, Schultze & Weaver, were responsible for New York City’s Waldorf Astoria and Park Lane Hotels. The Biltmore’s founders insisted on having the best of everything, including radio hookups in every room. (Remember, there was no Wi-fi in 1921.) So it’s surprising to note that inside what is now the main entrance, many of the columns are hollow and the woodwork on the ceiling is actually plaster. However, the Venetian glass chandeliers are real. Because you definitely can’t skimp on Venetian glass chandeliers!