Firehouse Hotel: New Light on What It Means to Stay DTLA
Something is captivating about massive doors opening up to greet the new morning light. Particularly a local set that has been closed for many years now pushed open to serve as a gateway, redefining what it means to visit our city. Through the resurrection of these well-known bright red doors, you will find clean affluence of art, comfort, and inspiration, sparking together to illuminate a warmth that visitors from any corner of the world will be lining up to feel. Welcome to the first and only Firehouse Hotel, the Arts District's new spoiled shelter for adventure seekers, local and afar—a vibrant refuge of hospitality springing from the elder bricks to the new artistic decor that coats the adored soul of the building.
Etched in the stone above the fire engine colored doors is the original engraving ENGINE CO. NO. 17, a bold nod to the station that served the space from 1927 - 1980. The long-awaited station has awoken, now with a new stylish identity. Let’s do as the morning light does, and waft past the steel entrance tunneling into this opulent, independent, boutique hotel.
It starts with the Lobby-Reception/Coffee Bar, pouring counter culture brews. Pair your welcome with a gander at the lobby’s selection of LA-centric goods, offering souvenirs to take with you on any journeys ahead, a kind reminder of this chic space that you will want to revisit often within your mind.
Flowing past the lobby and down the hall is the restaurant, bar, and patio. Smooth marble, concrete, and touches of brass harmonize together like a chorus from Morrisey. At the helm of the kitchen is Executive Chef Ashley Abodeely, an Eleven Madison Park alum. The exposed line in the kitchen offers an intimate view of heart, soul, and attention to detail while Ashley and Pastry Chef Rose Lawrence guide dishes to finishing touches. Elevated American fare arrives to white linen paired with delicate glassware, while tables offer a view of the firemen's old sports court which remains untouched.
If you’re savvy to the bar experience, imbibe under a light fixture resembling a tube maze with electric tentacles (initiate artistic swoon). These visual expressions are compliments of lead architect Evan Raabe of Creative Space, and the genius mind of Sally Breer, who lead the exquisite art design of the rooms and restaurant.
Let’s breeze with the midday sunshine up to the second floor, towards eight completely different rooms, based on colors; Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, and White. Each space is a livable masterpiece of retro-elegant aesthetics, fashioned by Sally. Yellow is elegant and spacious, Red has a marble-topped kitchenette, and a continuous red stripe encircling the space. Green is inspired by vintage decadence, and White is simply glamorous while still remaining whimsical. Down the back staircase and returning to ground level is a ninth room; Black. Inside is 70’s inspired funk decor with a pull-down bed and large wet-room bathroom—it’s got soul, and it’s super bad.
Without the large doors re-opened, the air and daylight wouldn't be twirling inside this new stunning boutique. We can thank owner Dustin Lancaster for pushing them open, giving rebirth as he knew he would when first seeing the doors shut ten years ago. He breathes in the new air, and exhales, “Who doesn't want to wander inside a firehouse, anywhere in America.” He drifts into thought while morning light cascades through industrial paneled windows. “I’m very grateful, I have always tried to find places that are underutilized. I love LA, so much.”
Keep opening doors, Dustin. Spend a day, a night, an evening, or a long weekend at the Firehouse Hotel, a place where you can get very used to waking up and greeting new morning light.
Written by Travis Platt | Photography by GL Askew II