THE BILTMORE HOTEL
The Biltmore was listed in the Green Book from 1962-1964 and with over 1,000 rooms, the Biltmore was one of the largest hotels in Western America. It's a beautiful Beaux Arts building with Renaissance Revival influences. Inside the hotel has a three story lobby, life-size statues, travertine stone walls, staircases with velveted handrails, 24-karat gold gargoyles and cherubs and a ceiling with elaborate wood carvings. In July of 1969, the Cultural Heritage Board of the City of Los Angeles named the Biltmore as a historic Landmark.
The property served African American culture by hosting the Outstanding Student Awards for black scholars, the Women’s Lawyers Association and black sorority events with Swing Orchestras.
In January of 1964, three black men, Rev. H. H. Brookins, Mr. O. B. Granville, president of Consolidated Realty Board and Los Angeles NAACP President, Dr. Christopher Taylor, sat at the Legion speakers luncheon table for the first time in Legion history. Foley stated the “basic principle of Americanism is that all are created equal, and the essence of Americanism is class, religious and racial tolerance.”
In August of 1964, Rev. H. H. Brookins, the chairman of the United Civil Rights Committee spoke out against Proposition 14, which would allow Realtors to legalize racial segregation in housing. At the Legion meeting Brookins said, “The California Real Estate Association has admitted its concern is not with property rights—it is to destroy human rights.”
History was made at the Biltmore when more than 1100 dignitaries and laypersons honored Leon G. Washington Jr. at a testimonial steak dinner recognizing him as one of the nation’s greatest civil rights pioneers. A $2500 check by building executive Richard Corensen was presented to intiate a Leon H. Washington Jr. Scholarship Foundation for worthy students.