Lerch Bates, an international consulting firm for vertical transportation, façade access and materials management, has been selected to modernize the nine elevators in the iconic Millennium Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. Designed by architectural firm Schultze & Weaver, the property has exemplified extraordinary grandeur since it opened in 1923.
Founded in 1947, Lerch Bates is the oldest and largest vertical transportation consulting firm in the world and has consulted on the elevator and escalator systems of many of the world’s tallest buildings. The hotel’s nine elevators are being significantly updated with new AC gearless machines, modern controllers and advanced regenerative drives. The cutting-edge equipment is expected to dramatically reduce the energy use of the current elevator systems and may allow for energy to be returned to the power grid. New car and hall fixtures that match the existing architecture of the hotel will be utilized to maintain the existing aesthetics of the property. The project is scheduled to be completed in mid-2015.
“Lerch Bates continues to gain momentum as one of the premier vertical transportation consulting firms in the world,” said Lerch Bates Area Vice President – West Jeff Marsh. “Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles is one of the most famous and cherished hotels in the country and we’re thrilled to have been selected to modernize the elevator systems of such an esteemed property. Modern vertical transportation systems that showcase the latest in efficiencies and design will complement the hotel’s contemporary luxury and historical architecture.”
Millennium Biltmore Hotel, originally the Los Angeles Biltmore Hotel, is a remarkable fusion of Italian Renaissance Revival, Mediterranean Revival and Beaux-Arts architecture and was the largest hotel west of Chicago upon its completion. The property was designated a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument in 1969, deeming it worthy of preservation based on architectural, historic and cultural criteria. The unique interior of the hotel features brilliant frescos and murals, hand-carved marble fountains and columns, lead crystal chandeliers, cast bronze stairwells and vibrant embroidered tapestries and draperies. Millennium Biltmore Hotel features 683 guestrooms, down from its original 1,500 due to room reorganization, and more than 70,000 square feet of meeting and banquet space.
Nine United States presidents and numerous dignitaries have visited Millennium Biltmore Hotel. During its 91-year history the property has accommodated countless momentous events including nine Academy Award ceremonies for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and John F. Kennedy’s acceptance speech as the presidential nominee during the 1960 Democratic National Convention. Scenes from many memorable movies including Bachelor Party, Beverly Hills Cop, Ghostbusters, Ocean’s 11, Splash and Wedding Crashers were shot on location throughout the property.
Lerch Bates is currently modernizing the elevator systems of other landmark properties around the country including Chicago’s majestic Drake Hotel. The storied property was constructed in 1920 and features 535 guestrooms including 55 executive guestrooms, 73 individually decorated suites and a luxurious five-room presidential suite. The Drake has made history many times during its fabled past including being the first hotel in The Windy City to provide air conditioning in every guestroom as well as color television for every guest.
Hilton Worldwide, Inc., selected Lerch Bates last year to provide elevator and escalator maintenance management services for the company’s Hilton portfolio in the United States. The firm designed a custom maintenance management program to support and improve the ongoing maintenance and repair of Hilton’s elevators and escalators. The Hilton-owned, managed and franchised properties participating in the program exceeds 4,300 elevators and escalators in more than 1,400 hotels across the country.
Lerch Bates announced in July 2013 that it was chosen to work on another high profile downtown Los Angeles project. The firm is designing the modern façade access system for Wilshire Grand, a high-rise tower being developed by Korean Air Lines Co. that will be the tallest building west of Chicago when it is completed in 2017. The $1 billion 73-story glass-clad tower is currently being constructed in the city’s financial district and just blocks from the bourgeoning entertainment district that is anchored by the Staples Center and L.A. Live. The tower will include a four-star hotel as well as 400,000 square feet of office, 45,100 square feet of retail space and a soaring spire that will raise the total height of the skyscraper to 1,100 square feet, rising 82 feet higher than the city’s 1,018-feet U.S. Bank Tower.