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Nearly century-old Los Angeles hotel serves as beacon for women's rights

A look at the role of the pioneering Hotel Figueroa
Pioneering Los Angeles hotel has been fighting for women's rights for nearly a century 02:04

Los Angeles — The Hotel Figueroa opened in Los Angeles about six years after women won the right to vote.

"It was built to be a place for professional women," Connie Wang, Hotel Figueroa general manager, told CBS News.

The Hotel Figueroa was completely financed and built by a trailblazing group of women in 1926, a time when almost every hotel prevented women from getting a room unless they were accompanied by a man.

In the lobby hangs a painting of its first general manager, Maude Bouldin.  

"She very famously rode across the country on a motorcycle to take her first job here," Wang said.

Many guests come for the hotel's charm, unaware of its incredible history, such as how it was one of the first hotels to check women in without a chaperone, according to Wang.

According to Wang, 97 years later, almost everything about the Hotel Figueroa is exactly as it was.

"We wanted to make sure that it still had a very strong sense of time and place," Wang said.

"It was important to restore rather than renovate," she added.

Every piece of art in the hotel was created by women. When asked what she would be most proud to show the hotel's founders, Wang responded: "How we continue to embrace women in art just like they did back in the 1920s and '30s." 

And the swimming pool has its own legend.

"Rumor has it that it was built in the shape of a coffin to bury the patriarchy," Wang said. 

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