LOS ANGELES, CA-Hilton Hotels Corp. has opened the Checkers Hotel in downtown Los Angeles under the Hilton name, adding the latest chapter in the story of a building that dates back to the 1920s, has been designated as a City of Los Angeles Historic-Cultural monument, and is eligible for the National Historic Register.

Beverly Hills-based Hilton is nearing completion on a $4 million renovation of guest rooms and public areas at the 12-story property at 535 S. Grand Ave., which formerly was the Wyndham Checkers Hotel. The Checkers is in the midst of the city’s main business and financial district, a few blocks from office complexes, the Staples Center and the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Ken Bernstein,director of preservation issues at the Los Angeles Conservancy, tells GlobeSt.com that the Checkers began as the Mayflower Hotel in 1927, combining Spanish modern exterior architecture with an interior that the original owners described as “Pilgrim Revival” to complement the Mayflower name. The interior has since been remodeled several times. Bernstein says the building was designed by Charles Wittlesey, a prominent architect of the time, who also designed the El Tovar Hotel at the Grand Canyon in Arizona, the Hayward Hotel at Sixth and Spring streets in Los Angeles, and the former Los Angeles Philharmonic Auditorium at Fifth and Olive streets, which has been demolished.

The hotel was closed for major renovations in 1985 and reopened in 1989 as the Checkers, an independent, later becoming part of the Wyndham chain.

Robert E. Dirks, a Hilton senior vice president, says the recent renovations to the hotel include a number of features aimed at business travelers, including high-speed internet access. The property also features more than 3,000 sf of banquet and meeting space. General manager of the property is Joseph Mottershead. The Checkers will continue to be managed by Tarsadia Hotels and operated under a franchise license agreement with Hilton.

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