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Inside SoCal: 3/6 Wrap Up

We're celebrating Women's History Month and paying tribute to LA trailblazers.

Hotel Figueroa

In 1926, just 6 years past the ratification of the women's right to vote, the women from the local YWCA did something radical: they financed, founded and operated Hotel Figueroa. Not only was Hotel Figueroa a safe haven for solo female travelers at a time when traveling alone was frowned upon, it was also a space for forward-thinking women to congregate, network, and discuss new possibilities. Leading the new hotel was Maude N. Bouldin, who rode in on her motorcycle from the East Coast (you'll see a painting of her on said motorcycle at the lobby entrance). She was the only female hotel manager in America at that time. Since the 1920s, the hotel has honored the legacy of supporting women by championing female hotel leadership, artwork and events. Look for the inverted triangle insignia throughout the hotel honoring the original YWCA logo and the women it guarded.

Hotel Figueroa
939 South Figueroa St.
Los Angeles, CA 90015

Dorothy Buffum Chandler


Dorothy Buffum was born in 1901 in Lafayette, Illinois. As a toddler, her family moved to Long Beach and there they purchased a dry goods store which later became Buffums' Dept. Store. She married Norman Chandler in 1922 and they had two children, Camilla and Otis. Her love of music and the arts, plus years of volunteer and board work led her a pivotal moment in 1951. The Hollywood Bowl was in financial dire straits and Chandler was tapped to chair the emergency committee to save the Bowl; and that she did. She used her extensive network to procure musicians to play gratis, to garner funds, and to enlist women volunteers to simply get things done – often undertaking marketing and artistic department roles. These thousands of female volunteers from Los Angeles had been historically discouraged from entering the workforce, but Chandler knew they could get the job done and keep it going forward.

Ten years later in 1961, the LA Philharmonic was still performing out of their 40-year temporary site due to a lack of funds to create a new performance venue. Chandler once again changed the course of history. She not only led the charge to fundraise for a new facility, but a three-venue Music Center — what we know today as the Ahmanson Theatre, Mark Taper Forum and the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. The Music Center stands as one of the nation's largest performing arts centers bringing together artists, communities, and ideas with the goal of enriching the cultural lives of every resident.

To learn more about free and ticketed events at the Music Center, visit

Dorothy Chandler Pavilion
135 N. Grand Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 972-7211

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