The Rosslyn Hotel “in the heart of Los Angeles” was a large tourist hotel consisting of two units- the main hotel and the annex on the northwest and southwest corners of Main and Fifth streets. My great-grandfather worked there as an electrician from 1914 to 1941.
The Rosslyn proprietors were brothers Dwight and George Hart. They got their start in the hotel business as teens, helping their father run the old Natick House hotel at Main & First streets. The boys took over its operation after their father died c. 1892.
They also opened the original Rosslyn at 443 S. Main St, converting two existing 1890s hotels. When the northwest corner of Fifth & Main came available in 1913, they jumped at the chance to expand the hotel.
Architects Parkinson & Bergstrom designed the “new Rosslyn” which opened November 9, 1914.
In 1923, knowing they would soon face competition from the new Biltmore Hotel rising a few blocks away at Fifth & Olive streets, the brothers had Parkinson design an annex, which was built on the southwest corner of Fifth and Main opposite the 1914 hotel. It opened on December 29, 1923. The annex had its own lobby and entrance but contained mostly guest rooms; the dining room and other amenities were in the main building. The two units were connected under Fifth St. by a 145-ft. marble-lined subway.
George Hart died in 1929. Dwight continued to operate the hotel solo. He died in May 1942, after which the Rosslyn was sold to a syndicate headed by hotel men Conrad Hilton and J.W. Drown. They kept the Rosslyn name until the hotel closed in 1959, however. The buildings reopened in 1979 as separate hotels, with the annex retaining the name Rosslyn; the 1914 building became The Frontier. It is now lofts residences.