A Documentary Film by Camilo Silva

1920 :: Ambassador Hotel Corporations buys 187 acres of land

Posted by on Feb 28, 2015 in 1920's, Ambassador Blog | 0 comments

1920 :: May 26, 1920, the Ambassador Hotel Corporation lands a big deal, aquiring 187 acres of land in west Los Angeles. The land is to be developed into a golf course and country club for hotel guests and exclusive members. The golf course is only a 12 minute drive from the famous Ambassador Hotel in a largely unpopulated area of Los Angeles. On September 15, 1936, American Legion post commander C. D. “Ace” Aseltine launched a drive to establish a recreation park on the site of the bankrupt Rancho Country Club, formerly the property of Los Angeles’ famed Ambassador Hotel. Realizing the potential of the 125 acre tract (bounded by Pico Boulevard on the North, Monte Mar drive on the south, Motor Avenue on the east, and Patricia Avenue on the west) Cheviot Hills Post #501 of the American Legion sought to provide the community with a unique recreational resource. The idea seemed natural to WWI Navy veteran and gas company engineer Ace Aseltine. At the time, the country club site was leased from the federal government (which had taken it over to satisfy tax liens), but

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the lease was about to expire. So the Legionnaires “pointed out that . . . Los Angeles [had] not one single large park west of Western Avenue, [and that] in view of this fact, Western Los Angeles was entitled to such a place for recreational purposes.” The plan garnered support from the mayor, city councilmen, a County Supervisor, Congressman John F. Dockweiler, Hamilton High School faculty, Emerson and Overland schools’ PTAs, and numerous other civic organizations, as well as the other American Legion posts. The campaign took their long commitment. It wasn’t until about November 1942 that the city began to lease the Rancho Country Club. And it wasn’t until about 1944 or 1945 that plans began progressing to transfer the Country Club property from the federal government to the city in exchange for Reeves Field at San Pedro. After years of effort, the private Rancho Country Club became the public Rancho Park Golf Course, again hosting the Rancho Park Golf Club, and the balance of the land was converted into Cheviot Hills Recreation Center, a 40 acre park with a community building, an indoor gym, 5 ball diamonds, basketball courts, children’s play areas, a football field, an outdoor gym, a picnic area, a soccer field, 14 tennis courts, a swimming pool, an archery range, and a band shell. Los Angeles’ flagship golf course now includes the nations’ busiest 18-hole golf course, a 9-hole executive par three golf course, a double decked driving range, several putting greens, and a clubhouse with a restaurant. Today the area is now home to the Cheviot Hills neighborhood and the Rancho Park Golf Course. Link to May 26, 1920 article regarding the land deal.   Sources @: http://www.lagolfclubs.com/clubs/NewHome.cfm/ClubID/29/Section/News/messid/547 http://www.expogreenway.org/History.htm

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