Cecil Hotel (Los Angeles)

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Cecil Hotel
General information
Address 640 S. Main Street, Los Angeles, CA 90014
Coordinates 34°02′39.04″N 118°15′01.97″W / 34.0441778°N 118.2505472°W / 34.0441778; -118.2505472
Opening 1927[1]
Technical details
Floor count 14
Other information
Number of rooms 600

The Cecil Hotel (now rebranded as Stay on Main) in Downtown Los Angeles (640 S. Main Street) is a budget hotel with 600 guest rooms (originally 700). Constructed in 1927, the hotel was intended for business travelers but in the 1950s it gained a reputation as a residence for transients. A portion of the hotel was refurbished in 2007 after new owners took over.

The Hotel is known for several suicides and its criminal activity which includes three murders.[2] Most notably, the hotel was the reported residence for serial killers Richard Ramirez in 1985 and Jack Unterweger in 1991.[2] It is rumored to be one of the last places Elizabeth Short was seen before her murder in 1947.[3]

In February 2013, the body of Elisa Lam, a 21-year-old Canadian student, was found inside one of the water supply tanks on the hotel roof. Lam went missing January 31, and her body was discovered on February 19. Her body was discovered by a maintenance worker in one of the rooftop water tanks of Los Angeles' Cecil Hotel, after guests had complained about low water pressure and water that "tasted funny".[4][5] Authorities later ruled Lam's death as an accidental drowning. Video surveillance footage taken from inside an elevator showed Lam acting strangely, pressing multiple buttons and waving her arms, causing widespread speculation about the cause of her death.[6] Lam suffered from bipolar disorder, which is believed to have contributed to her death.[7]

The Cecil Hotel is open and is being re-branded as "Stay on Main".


  1. ^ "Body found in LA hotel water tank may be missing Canadian tourist". Yahoo! News. 20 February 2013. Retrieved 22 February 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Duke, Alan (22 February 2013). "Hotel with corpse in water tank has notorious past". CNN. Retrieved 22 February 2013. 
  3. ^ Hamilton, Denise (2007-12-10). "Serial Killer Central - Native Intelligence". Laobserved.com. Retrieved 2014-05-15. 
  4. ^ "'We thought the water tasted funny': Los Angeles hotel guests drank and bathed in water from tank where dead Canadian tourist decomposed for two weeks". Daily Mail UK. February 20, 2013. 
  5. ^ Melissa Pamer and Lolita Lopez (20 February 2013). "Body Found in Water Tank at Hotel is Missing Canadian Tourist: LAPD". NBC 4 Southern California. 
  6. ^ William M. Welch (2013-06-21). "Elisa Lam's death ruled accidental". USA Today. 
  7. ^ Nair, Drishya (June 21, 2013). "Elisa Lam Death: Canadian Tourist's death an accident, rules LA coroner's office". International Business Times. 

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