Good-Bye El Morocco Motel

ARCHITECTURE AND PRESERVATION NEWS for the Los Angeles Conservancy Modern Committee (ModCom) and other Mid Century Modern, Googie, International, Art Deco, 20th Century design

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Tiki Lee
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Good-Bye El Morocco Motel

Postby Tiki Lee » Sat Mar 08, 2008 10:14 pm

While driving down the strip the other day, I happened to catch an un-holy site taking place: bulldozers tearing down the famous El Morocco Hotel. We all knew it had to happen someday since the land has become so desirable there, but it's too bad it didn't get the chance to be saved like it's good neighbor La Concha...
As you can see, it really was worthy of at least half the fight La Concha got. I guess everyone was just too tired and worn out from that fight to give the El Morocco a second thought. The cool sign has been gone for a long time, but the fabulous scalloped shaped building was still intact and completely functional as a gift shop & Korean BBQ. Check out those wild parking lot lights! This incredibly unique bit of architectural history could have served the city well as a historical bulding in another location.

I took four short videos on my cell phone of the destruction. If anyone knows how to get them off of a cel phone and posted up here, please let me know and I'll e-mail them to you.

Thanks For Looking, and please share your memories, stories and photos with the rest of us!

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Postby lasvegaslynn » Sun Mar 09, 2008 5:33 pm

I have a very brief history of the El Morocco here:

It sounds like the famed Peppermill Restaurant is endangered as well from what we are hearing.
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Postby 5280mod » Sun Mar 09, 2008 8:06 pm

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Postby modfan » Mon Mar 10, 2008 2:57 pm

Is the Peppermill still in Reno still there. I remember that was where that movie that is now a remake called 21 was made don't recall that original title but I think it had Kevin Costner in it when he was just starting out.

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Postby Synthetrix » Mon Mar 10, 2008 10:19 pm

I remember going into the gift shop there several years ago and there was this horrible smell of rotting meat or something in there. We suspected that it was coming from the Korean BBQ and figured if they had the ratings card system in the window like they do in LA it would not even get a "C".
As cool as many of these buildings were back in the day, many are just sad and pathetic now and are better off being demo'd to make way for something nicer.
Synthetrix Photos of the Forgotten

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Postby Futura Girl » Tue Mar 11, 2008 12:15 pm

Synthetrix wrote:many are just sad and pathetic now and are better off being demo'd to make way for something nicer.

this was not the case with el morrocco. while the restaurant may have smelled badly, the building itself was peachy keen and was worth saving...

but as folks know from l.a. modcom - sometimes there are too many fires burning to keep tabs on all of them - unless you have someone willing to step up to the plate and make a specific building their 'pet project.'
for instance, i can remember daniel paul coming to EVERY meeting EVERY month with news or requests about bottle village... and really thanks to his single minded efforts that complex stayed alive.
I'm gonna keep on the run... I'm gonna have me some fun if it costs me my very last dime.
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