Hotel Stowell

Built in 1913 to be Fireproof

Originally known as the Hotel Stowell, the 12-story hotel was built in 1913 and designed by Frederick Noonan with a highly stylized and brightly colored facade, enameled brick and terra cotta—which are maintained to this day. Batchelder tiles are used extensively in the hotel and lobby.

As a response to the devastating city fires of the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, Hotel Stowell was built using cutting-edge concrete and steel construction in order to make “fireproof” rooms. This type of construction has proven durable as the building has withstood over 100 years of SoCal earthquakes.

Charlie Chaplin Era

Shortly after the hotel opened, Charlie Chaplin lived at the Stowell, which he described as "a middle-rate place but new and comfortable."

Charlie Chaplin's production company was run just a block away in the Alexandria.

The Decline 1970's

In the late 1900’s the Spring Street area was in decline as the banking industry relocated to newer areas of downtown. Many areas of Downtown suffered during this time as businesses and landlords abandoned historic buildings in favor of more modern buildings and a car-centric culture.

The Renovation 2008

In 2008, the building was converted into lofts under the name "El Dorado Lofts.” The renovation was spurred by LA’s Adaptive Reuse Ordinance and the Mills Act which incentivized redevelopment of historic buildings for new housing. D. Rocky Rockefeller, AIA, oversaw the redesign. The renovation saw extensive changes to the interior layouts and systems of the building, while leaving many of the historical details, such as the facade and tile floors in the lobby areas. Additionally earthquake retrofitting was performed to bring the building up to modern California earthquake safety standards.

Shortly after the El Dorado’s renovation, a parking lot adjacent to the building was converted into the Spring Street Park—in large part due to efforts of the El Dorado’s residents.

The Modern Era

In 2023, the El Dorado HOA updated the exterior sealing in the building’s light wells to reduce water intrusion.

The El Dorado proudly maintains its Mills Act status.

The Trust Building located across the street was purchased by UCLA in 2023 as part of a campus extensions program and will be the home to “UCLA Downtown”.