Early Los Angeles Historical Buildings (1800s)

Historical Photos of Early Los Angeles

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(1860s)* - Exterior view of S. C. Foy saddlery shop, housed in a one-story, brick building with a portico. The store sign reads "Saddle & Harness Maker, Leather Depot" and has a silhouetted prancing horse on top. Tack and saddles are displayed on the front and several men are posing for the camera.  

 

Historical Notes

Samuel Calvert Foy moved to Los Angeles in 1854 and operated a successful harness business at 217 Los Angeles Street, which was the oldest business establishment in the city at the time of his death. He also served as the city's Chief of Police for a time.

In 1872, Foy built a house at the corner of Grasshopper (now Figueroa) and 7th Streets.  The house was reportedly "the first three-story building in the city." At the time the Foys built their house, the site was considered to be "way out in the country."

Foy's daughter, Mary Foy, was the city's first woman librarian from 1880-1884, a leader in the California Women's suffrage movement, a leader of the Democratic Party, and the first woman to be a member of one of the major parties' national committees.^*

 

 

 
(1870s)* - View of the west side of North Los Angeles Street, between Commercial and Arcadia, looking north. The Samuel C. Foy Leather Depot stands in the center-right.  In the far left is one of the first two-story buildings built in Los Angeles, by I.W. Hellman in 1870.  

 

Historical Notes

Isaias Wolf Hellman was a German-born American banker and philanthropist, and a founding father of the University of Southern California.

On September 1, 1868, Hellman and Temple founded Hellman, Temple and Co., the fledgling city’s second official bank. In 1871, Hellman and John G. Downey, a former governor of California, formed the Farmers and Merchants Bank, which became Los Angeles' first successful bank. Hellman lent the money that allowed Harrison Gray Otis to buy the Los Angeles Times and Edward Doheny and Charles Canfield to drill for oil.

Hellman was also a major landowner in Southern California and his holdings included numerous city lots and vast swaths of former rancho land. In 1871, he and a syndicate bought the 13,000-acre Rancho Cucamonga. In 1881, Hellman and members of the Bixby family purchased the 26,000-acre Rancho Los Alamitos (now home to Long Beach and Seal Beach). He also purchased the Repetto Ranch (now Montebello) with Harris Newmark and Kaspare Cohn. Hellman and Downey also bought up swaths of Rancho San Pedro from the Dominguez family. Hellman also owned much of Boyle Heights with William H. Workman.

At his death in 1920, Hellman was considered the leading financier of the Pacific Coast. His son (I.W. Jr.) and grandson (Isaias Warren Hellman) later became presidents of Wells Fargo Bank; and the Union Trust Company was merged with Wells Fargo after his death. His original Farmers and Merchants Bank would later merge with Security First National Bank.^*

 

 

 
(1857)* - View of Abel Stearns adobe known as "El Palacio", located on the southeast corner of Main and Arcadia streets. Stearns purchased the land from Francisco O'Campo and built his adobe. He gradually expanded the adobe from 1835-1838, and the home eventually became U-shaped with a wide-open cobblestone court, and contained a grand ballroom at least 100 feet long. At the time, it was the largest and most magnificent house in the pueblo, which the natives gave the name of "El Palacio de Don Abel", or simply "El Palacio". It became the site of the Baker Block in 1878.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1829 Abel Stearns came to Monterey, California, then settled in Pueblo de Los Angeles, present day Los Angeles. He obtained a concession to build a warehouse in San Pedro. Later, he established a stagecoach route connecting San Pedro Bay with the Los Angeles pueblo. In 1831, he built a three-story flour mill on North Spring Street, Los Angeles. Soon Stearns became one of the most prominent and influential Californian citizens of the pueblo.

Abel Stearns represented Los Angeles under American military rule, 1848-1850. He was a delegate to the 1849 California Constitutional Convention, representing the district of Los Angeles; later he was California State Assemblyman, and a Los Angeles County Supervisor and Los Angeles City Councilman.

In 1842 Stearns bought the 28,000-acre Rancho Los Alamitos between the Los Angeles and the harbor. However, there was a drought between 1862 and 1864 which was said to have resulted in the death of 50,000 cattle on Stearns land alone. Stearns mortgaged the rancho to Michael Reese, who then purchased it at a sheriff's sale and Reese's estate then sold it to John W. Bixby.^*

 

 

 

 

 
(1857)* - Panoramic view of Abel Stearns adobe known as "El Palacio", located on the southeast corner of Main and Arcadia streets; four men stand scattered in the area, and two others sit in a horse-drawn carriage. Stearns purchased the land from Francisco O'Campo and built his adobe, gradually expanding the home over the years until it took on the proportions of a mansion - which the natives gave the name of "El Palacio de Don Abel", or simply "El Palacio".  

 

Historical Notes

Arcadia Street was dedicated in 1872. Arcadia Bandini, born in 1823, was the daughter of prominent ranchero Juan Bandini. She came to be regarded as one of the most beautiful belles of Los Angeles and was just 14 when she married 40-year-old Abel Stearns, who had come west from Massachusetts and acquired Southern California's largest land-cattle empire. Stearns built a home for his bride one block south of the Plaza--the community's central gathering area--and the house, called El Palacio (as seen above), became the social hot spot.

In 1858, Stearns constructed a two-story business block on Los Angeles Street nearby and called it Arcadia Block. The street was officially dedicated one year after Stearns' death in 1871.^*^

 

 

 

Map of Los Angeles as it appeared April 4, 1850 based on the 1849 Ord Survey:

(Note: The Abel Stearns adobe is indicated by the number 9 on the map)

Click HERE to see Interactive 1850 Map of Los Angeles^**

 

 

 

 

 

 
(1875)* - View of Abel Stearns adobe along with an orchard directly behind it, located on the southeast corner of Main and Arcadia streets. Note how the adobe has been expanded since 1857 as shown in the previous photo.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1858)** - This is the earliest known close-up photograph of the Los Angeles Plaza. There is a square main brick reservoir in the middle of the Plaza, which was the terminus of the town's historic lifeline: the Zanja Madre ('Mother Ditch'). The reservoir was built in 1858 by the LA Water Works Company.  

 

Historical Notes

The site of the Plaza today is not the original location. It is the second, third, or maybe even the fourth. One of the earlier plots is believed to be  around where the current Pershing Square sits. It’s also thought that at least one of the first three was washed away in a flood. The current Plaza dates from as early as 1815.^#^#

When early settlers arrived at the Los Angeles River by way of Mission Road, they picked as a nearby gathering point a huge sycamore (upper right-center of photo) that gave them shelter and became a landmark, "El Aliso." That Spanish word for sycamore was later used to name the road carved out near the river (Aliso Street in 1854).^*^ 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1860)* - One of Los Angeles' first water reservoirs was the brick structure shown in the center of the Plaza. The adobe directly behind was owned by Augustin Olvera. The 3-story building behind was the Sisters of Charity Hospital.* Click HERE to see more Early LA Water Reservoirs.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1857, the city granted William Dryden a franchise to deliver water to homes through a system of wooden pipes beneath the streets. Dryden incorporates the Los Angeles Water Works Company and then erects a forty foot water wheel to lift water from the Los Angeles River to the city's main ditch, the Zanja Madre. He then constructs a large brick and wood storage tank (as seen above) in the center of the City Plaza to better manage the city’s water supply.

Click HERE to see more in LA's Early Water Works System.

 

 

 
(ca. 1869)^^* - Photograph of the Los Angeles Plaza and the entrance to Wine Street looking north from the Pico House. The Avila Adobe is visible on Wine Street (renamed Olvera Street in 1877). The Olvera Adobe can also be seen on the right.  

 

Historical Notes

Don Francisco Avila, a wealthy cattle rancher and one-time Mayor of the pueblo of Los Angeles, built the Avila Adobe in 1818. The Avila Adobe, presently the oldest existing residence within the city limits, was one of the first town houses to share street frontage in the new Pueblo de Los Angeles.*

 

 

 

 
(1857)^^* - Photograph of a drawing (by a young lady pupil of Sister's School) of the Los Angeles Plaza Church with a group of 14 nuns processing in the foreground. A wooden picket fence extends from the church at left to the right. A horseman prances nearby (at right). Two people stand near the church entrance (at left). A few other people are visible on the bare hilltop behind. Drawn in 1857.  

 

Historical Notes

The flat roof of the mission was covered with tar from the La Brea Tar Pits.^*

 

 

 

 
(1870s)^^* - Exterior view of the Plaza Church or Mission Nuestra Senora de La Reina de Los Angeles. In front of the church is a fence that encloses the yard (at right). Three trees in the yard hinder the view of the building in the background. Two horse-drawn carriages are parked in front of the church and near the fence.  

 

Historical Notes

The 'Church of Los Angeles' was founded on August 18, 1814 by Franciscan Fray Luis Gil y Taboada. He placed the cornerstone for the new church in the adobe ruins of the original "sub-station mission" here, the Nuestra Señora Reina de los Ángeles Asistencia (founded 1784), thirty years after it was established to serve the settlement founding Los Angeles Pobladores (original settlers).

The completed new structure was dedicated on December 8, 1822. A replacement chapel, named La Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles - for Mary, mother of Jesus or "The Church of Our Lady of the Angels" - was rebuilt using materials of the original church in 1861. The title Reina, meaning "Queen," was added later to the name. For years, the little chapel, which collected the nicknames "La Placita" and "Plaza Church," served as the sole Roman Catholic church in emerging immigrant Los Angeles.^*

 

 

 

 
(1870)^^*- View of the 'Old Plaza Church" with its gazebo-like roof structure. Note the bare hills in the background.  Chavez Ravine, over the gazebo on the left, is where Dodger Stadium is today.  

 

Historical Notes

The original 1822 -built "Church of Our Lady of the Angels" incoporated a three-bell campanario, or "bell wall" which was replaced by a gazebo-like structure (seen above) when the Church was rebuilt in 1861. The "bell wall" or "bell tower" would once again return when the Plaza Church was repaired/remodeled circa 1901.^*

 

 

 

 
(1870)* - Close-up view of the 'Old Plaza Church' (Mission Nuestra Senora Reina de Los Angeles) as it appeared in 1870. The three-story church features corner buttresses with spire-like tips.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1871)* - View across the Los Angeles Plaza where three people are seen posing for the photograph. The Plaza Church and the Cape House Restaurant are seen in the background. In the far background can be seen Fort Moore Hill. The Plaza was landscaped in 1871 and has served since that date as a public park.  

 

Historical Notes

Fort Hill (also known as Fort Moore Hill) was a prominent hill overlooking the pueblo of Los Angeles. Its commanding view of the city made it a strategic location.

Fort Moore was an historic U.S. Military Fort during the Mexican–American War. Its approximate location was at what is now the Hollywood Freeway near the intersection of North Hill Street and West Cesar Chavez Avenue, downtown. The hill on which it was built became known as Fort Moore Hill, most of which was removed in 1949 for construction of the freeway. The hill was located one block north of Temple Street and a short distance south of present day Cesar Chavez Avenue, between the Los Angeles Civic Center and Chinatown.^*

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1887)* - Exterior view of Plaza Church seen from the plaza, across the street. A trolley can be seen on the right side of the photo. In the background can be seen the Banning House sitting on top of Fort Moore Hill.
 

 

Historical Notes

The Plaza Church or Mission Nuestra Señora Reina de los Angeles (Church of Our Lady the Queen of the Angels) was considered an asistencia ("sub-mission") of Mission San Gabriel Arcángel. Priests from Mission San Gabriel divided their time between the mission and the Asistencia site, but ultimately the installation was never granted mission status and the missionaries eventually abandoned the site. ^*

 

 

 

 

 
(1894)* - Plaza Church as seen by looking north from Pico House on Main Street. This was the parish church for Los Angeles and was never a mission. A woman is seen holding a small child in front of the church.  

 

Historical Notes

The surrounding area was named El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Angeles del Río de Porciúncula ("The Town of Our Lady the Queen of the Angels on the River Porciúncula", which is the present-day City of Los Angeles). A chapel, La Iglesia de Nuestra Señora Reina de los Angeles, was later erected and dedicated on December 8, 1822, and for years served as the sole Roman Catholic church in the Pueblo. It is the oldest church in the city of Los Angeles.^*

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1900)#*^^ - View of the Old Mission Church from across the LA Plaza. Several men are seen relaxing on the Plaza's benches. In the background on top of Fort Moore Hill stands Los Angeles High School.  

 

Historical Notes

The new Los Angeles High School replaced the original one that was built in 1872, at the former site of Central School on what was then known as Poundcake Hill, at the southeast corner of Fort Street (later Broadway).

This second location atop a hill was completed in 1891 and LAHS moved in. It was an enormous, for then, building. The new high school was built on part of the site of the abandoned Fort Moore Hill Cemetery, the first Protestant cemetery in Los Angeles, which was spread over the slopes of the hill.

Early buildings commissioned to house the Los Angeles High School were among the architectural jewels of the city, and were strategically placed at the summit of a hill, the easier to be pointed to with pride. One of the school's long standing mottos is "Always a hill, always a tower, always a timepiece." ^*

 

 

 
(ca. 1900)^^* - Closer view of the Old Plaza Church as seen from the Los Angeles Plaza.  The clock tower of Los Angeles High School can be seen in the background.  

 

Historical Notes

This would be one of the last photos taken of the Plaza Church with its gazebo-like tower. It would soon be replaced with a "bell wall" similar to the one it had prior to 1861.^*

 

 

 
(ca. 1901)^*# - Front view of the Old Mission Church with its newly installed "bell wall", similar to the one it had prior to 1861. There is a clear view of Los Angeles High School (2nd location, built in 1891) up on Fort Moore Hill and its relative relationship to the Plaza and the Plaza Church.  

 

 

 

 

Before and After

 
(ca. 1900)^^* - Old Mission Church with "Gazebo Tower"
  (ca. 1901)^*# - Old Mission Church with "Bell Tower"

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1901)* - View of the 'Old Plaza Mission' (Plaza Church) with its new 3-bell tower. A man and child can be seen crossing the street heading toward the church.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1905)^^* - Panoramic view of the Los Angeles Plaza, looking west.  The F.W. Braun Building, Plaza Catholic Church, and shops along Main Street are visible in the background. Men are sitting, standing or moving about near the church, plaza and along Main Street. An electric streetcar is passing on Main Street carrying about a dozen passengers. Rocks and other forms of debris litter the dirt road. Utility lines and utility poles run along the streets.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1910)^^* - View of the bells in the Los Angeles Plaza Church tower.  Through one of the tower openings can be seen sidewalks, trees and people in the Plaza.  

 

Historical Notes

The Plaza Church bells were cast by Paul Revere's apprentice George Holbrook.

The bells bear inscriptions that read: "Across the street from the Plaza and to the west is the Old Plaza Church (535 Main St.), first established in 1784 as a chapel. The oldest religious structure in Los Angeles, this 1822 building is also known as the Church of Our Lady the Queen of the Angels. Originally built as a simple adobe by Franciscan Padres with the labor of local Native American Indians, it took an additional 40 years to construct the whole church. This Catholic Church now features some fine modern additions, including a tile mosaic of The Annunciation, created by artist Isabel Piczek in 1981. The interior displays ornate designs of wrought iron and gold leaf. A collection of religious canvases adorn the alter, and murals grace the ceilings. Today, Our Lady Queen of Angels serves as an active church of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles." ^^*

 

 

 
(ca. 1915)^^* -  View of the Old Plaza Church, showing what appears to be a new bell tower. Four churchgoers are seen behind a wrought-iron fence in front of the chapel. In the background on top of Fort Moore Hill can be seen the Banning House.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1920s)^^* - View of the front of the Old Plaza Church as seen from the L.A. Plaza across the street. Early model cars are seen parked in front of the church.  

 

Historical Notes

The 'Old Plaza Church' was one of the first three sites designated as Historic Cultural Monuments by the City of Los Angeles, and has been designated as a California Historical Landmark No. 144.^* Click HERE to see the complete listing of California Historical Landmarks in L. A.

 

 

 
(ca. 1937)** - A man is crossing Main Street directly outside of La Plaza Church. Signage on a water tower (upper left) promotes the nearby "Brunswig Drug Co."  Photo by Herman J. Schultheis  

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of the LA Plaza

 

 

 

 

 
(1865)* - The Bella Union Hotel which later became the St. Charles. This is a view of two sides of the hotel in which the front is mostly obscured by trees. Mounds of dirt and debris from construction lie in front and to the side of the building.  

 

Historical Notes

The Bella Union Hotel was considered the first hotel in Los Angeles. It became the Clarenden in 1873 and the St. Charles in 1875.

On October 7, 1858, the first Butterfield Overland Mail stage from the east arrived here 21 days after leaving St. Louis. Warren Hall was the driver, and Waterman Ormsby, a reporter, the only through passenger.*

 

 

 
(ca. 1867)* - The Bella Union at 314 N. Main St. later became the St. Charles Hotel. To the left is the original home of Farmers and Merchants Bank, later merged into Security Pacific Bank. Standing on the balcony is Mrs. Margarita Bandini Winston.  

 

Historical Notes

Dr. J.B. Winston was one of the owners of the Bella Union Hotel. His wife, Mrs. Margarita Bandini Winston (seen on the balcony), was the sister of Arcadia Bandini Baker.#*

In the 1840s, a one-story adobe owned by Benjamin Davis Wilson stood here. It later became the last capitol of Mexican Alta California. The building served as quarters for American troops in the late 1840s, a saloon, a courthouse, and a commercial coach hub operated by Phineas Banning. In 1851, a second story was added, and a third in 1869.*#*

 

 

 
(ca. 1875)* - Exterior view of the St. Charles Hotel, originally the Bella Union Hotel. Horses and buggies are lined up along the Main Street. In the foreground a sign reads, “Rifle and Pistol Shooting,” a reminder that Los Angeles was a Western frontier town.  

 

Historical Notes

The Bella Union became the Clarenden in 1873 and the St. Charles Hotel in 1875.*

The Bella Union Hotel (Claredon/St. Charles) site was designated as California Historical Landmark No. 656. Click HERE to see more in California Historical Landmarks in LA.

 

 

 
(ca. 1870s)* - View of the La Fayette Hotel, located on the west side of Main Street opposite of the St. Charles Hotel. The same "Rifle and Pistol Shooting" sign can be seen here but from a different angle.  

 

Historical Notes

The Lafayette Hotel was built sometime in the early 1850s. The second city hotel after the Bella Union (the U.S. Hotel was the third), it was renamed the Cosmopolitan Hotel and then became the St. Elmo. The Lafayette was located on Main Street near Temple, and in the 1870s was known as the best hotel in Los Angeles.*#*

 

 

 
(ca. 1880)* - Closer view of the La Fayette Hotel. Several men sit and stand in front of the hotel entry way. The street is unpaved and two horses and carriages are seen in front of the building, one near the "Insurance and Real Estate" sign.  

 

Historical Notes

In later years the Lafayette Hotel changed names to "Cosmopolitan," then to "St. Elmo".*

 

 

 
(ca. 1865)* - View of the Wilmington Exchange building, hotel and stage station to Los Angeles before the railroad on Canal Street (now Avalon Boulevard). In the front of the hotel is a 4-horse stagecoach with passengers.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1863, the Wilmington Exchange Hotel was built and was the first hotel in Wilmington. Phineas Banning’s first Wilmington home was the single-story building attached to the hotel (as seen above).^**^

Banning also owned a stagecoach line with routes connecting San Pedro to Salt Lake City, Utah and to Yuma, Arizona, and in 1868 he built a railroad to connect San Pedro Bay to Los Angeles, the first in the area.^*

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of San Pedro and Wilmington

 

 

 

 

 
(1868)* - View of Workman Brothers Saddlery shop located in a two story, brick commercial building on Main Street between Commercial and Reguena. The shop has J.B. Saunders retail store on one side and a bathing emporium on the other. A large silhouetted sculpture of a prancing horse sits atop the building.  

 

Historical Notes

The first marriage in Los Angeles city history in which both persons had "Anglo" surnames was in September 1845, of William Workman's daughter Antonia Margarita Workman to Pliny Fisk Temple (Francisco P. Temple or F.P.T ). The Temples had eleven children, eight living into adulthood.

William Workman and John Rowland organized the first wagon train of permanent eastern settlers, which arrived in Southern California on November 5, 1841. Together they owned and developed the 48,790-acre La Puente Rancho. Workman began this adobe home in 1842 and remodeled it in 1872 to resemble a manor house in his native England. He also established 'El Campo Santo,' this region's earliest known private family cemetery.^*

The Workman home and family cemetery have been designated California Historical Monument No. 874. Click HERE to see more California Historical Landmarks in LA.

 

 

 
(ca. 1868)* - View of St. Vincent's College, located at Hill and Broadway, between 6th and 7th streets. Numerous students, including what appears to be a band, can be seen on the grounds, which are landscaped with several trees.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1865, the Vincentian Fathers were commissioned to found St. Vincent's College for boys in Los Angeles, and appointed John Asmuth, C.M. as its first President Rector. The college was originally located in the Lugo Adobe House at the southeast corner of Alameda and Los Angeles streets. The building was one of the few two-story complexes in the city at that time and had been donated by Vicente Lugo. Although the building no longer stands, its original site was across Alameda Street from the current Union Station on the Plaza near the southeast end of the city's historic Olvera Street. After two years, the school moved several blocks over. The campus encompassed Broadway, 6th, Hill, and 7th streets, the entire block being used for athletic fields, etc.*

 

 

 
(ca. 1872)* - Temple Block exterior view looking south toward Temple Street from some point on the Main Street side of the buildings.  

 

Historical Notes

The view above shows John Temple's 1858 Clocktower Market/Courthouse building and the first three buildings on the rest of Temple block. The original Temple Block structure is the two-story adobe at front (see photo below) at the intersection of Spring, Main and Temple. It was demolished by FPF Temple ("Tempelito"), John's half-brother, to build the new Temple Block building in 1871. "Temple Block" seems to be used to identify all of these buildings and also, only the one in front, facing the intersection (whether the old adobe Temple Block or the new Italianate Temple Block).^*#

 

 

 
(ca. 1850s)*^# - Sketch of John Temple’s original two-story adobe at the intersection of Spring, Main and Temple, which became known as Temple Block.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1827, Jonathan Temple moved to the Pueblo de Los Angeles, where he opened the pueblo's first store, a business he operated for almost thirty years.

Temple Street (Los Angeles) was developed by him as a modest one-block dirt lane in the 1850s.^*

 

 

 
(1858)^^ - Photograph of an exterior view of the old City Hall building in Los Angeles. The two story building is long and narrow and has rows of large windows. A small cupola with a clock sits on the roof.  

 

Historical Notes

Jonathan Temple was one of Los Angeles’ first developers, constructing such landmarks as the original Temple Block and the Market House, which later served as city and county administrative headquarters, contained the county courthouse, and featured the first true theater in southern California. He also served as the first alcalde (or mayor) of Los Angeles after capture of the pueblo by the United States during the Mexican-American War and served on the first American-period common (city) council.

In 1849, after Los Angeles was ordered by California's military governor to conduct a survey, but couldn't pay for the work, Temple paid for the Ord Survey out of his own funds, and then was repaid by the sale of lots created in the survey.^*

 

 

 
(1860s)* - Three men stand at the top of the stairs in front of the old County Courthouse.  

 

Historical Notes

The original County Courthouse, which later became the Bullard Block, stood on the site of the new City Hall. It became the seat of government in the early American period.*

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1869)* - The old County Courthouse, originally built by John Temple in 1858 as a marketplace and theater. Its first floor was used for that purpose for a number of years, and the second floor was the first theater in Los Angeles.
 

 

Historical Notes

The first floor of the building was used as a marketplace for a number of years, and the second floor was the first theater in Los Angeles. The County purchased it for $25,000 in 1870 and occupied it as a court for a number of years (1861 - 1891). The original cost of the building was $30,000.*

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1869)* - Closer view (same photo as above) of the old Courthouse. It was originally built by Don Juan Temple for other purposes but later was used by the government.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1869)#^ - View looking east of the old LA County Courthouse.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1876)* - View toward the old Courthouse built by John Temple for market and theater, looking east. Spring Street is on the west, Main on the east, and Market on the north and Court on the south.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1881)^## - Stereoscopic view of the old Courthouse and surrounding buildings. The building was occupied as a court between 1861 and 1891. The LA river can be seen in the background.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1869)^^* - View showing the Pico House, Masonic Temple and the Plaza area from a hill overlooking Spring Street and Main Street, Los Angeles, December 1, 1869. In the foreground is a community of small houses. Just beyond the community is the Pico House, which faces Main Street. The Plaza is to the left of the Pico House. The Masonic Temple (or Hall) stands several buildings to the right of the Pico House. A majority of the buildings in view are residential houses.  

 

Historical Notes

Pío de Jesús Pico (May 5, 1801 – September 11, 1894) was the last Governor of Alta California (now the State of California) under Mexican rule. In 1868, he constructed the three story, 33-room hotel, Pico House (Casa de Pico) on the old plaza of Los Angeles, opposite today's Olvera Street.

In 1821 Pico set up a tanning hut and dram shop in Los Angeles, selling drinks for two Spanish bits (US 25 cents). His businesses soon became a significant source of his income.

By the 1850s Pico was one of the richest men in Alta California. In 1850 he purchased the 8,894-acre Rancho Paso de Bartolo, which included half of present day Whittier. Two years later, he built a home on the ranch and lived there until 1892. It is preserved today as Pio Pico State Historic Park. Pico also owned the former Mission San Fernando Rey de España, Rancho Santa Margarita y Las Flores (now part of Camp Pendleton), and several other ranchos for a total of over one half-million acres, or 800 mi².  ^*

 

 

 
(1876)* - Panoramic view of the Los Angeles Plaza in 1876. The Pico House is the prominent 3-story white building at the center of the photo. The LA River can be seen in the background.
 

 

Historical Notes

At the time of its opening in 1870, it was the most lavish hotel in Southern California. Even before 1900, however, it began a slow decline along with the surrounding neighborhood, as the business center moved further south. After decades of serving as a shabby flop house, it was deeded to the State of California in 1953, and is now a part of El Pueblo de Los Angeles State Historic Monument. It is used on occasion for exhibits and special events.^*

 

 

 
(1875)* - The Pico House, built by Pio Pico 1869-70. Several men are standing on the sidewalk while a stage coach and two other horse-drawn wagons are parked in front of the hotel.
 

 

Historical Notes

The Pico House was designated California Historical Landmark No. 159 (Click HERE to see more in California Historical Landmarks in Los Angeles).

 

 

 
(late 1800s)**#^ - View of the Pico House dining room circa late 1800s.  

 

 

 

 
(1878)* - The Pico House, sometimes called "Old Pico House" was built by Pio Pico in 1869-70. Seen here from the Main St. entrance of the Plaza. The road in front and to the side of the building is dirt, and a set of tracks runs down the middle.  

 

 

 

 
(n.d.)*#^ - Map of Historic Sites in and near the Plaza Area. Click HERE to see more in Early Los Angeles Plaza.  

 

Historical Notes

Map of Historic Sites in and near the Plaza Area. On this map, streets which no longer exist are shown in a light grey, and/or labeled in italics. The approximate locations of the 101 freeway and its ramps are shown in a darker grey. Buildings which no longer exist are outlined with dotted lines.*#^

 

 

 
(1870s)* - The Merced Theater sits between the Pico House, and two other unidentified buildings close to the right. This was the "first business block on Main Street".  

 

Historical Notes

The Merced Theatre, erected in 1870 on North Main Street next to the Pico House, was the first building built expressly for theatrical purposes in Los Angeles. It was built by William Abbot, a cabinetmaker, and named in honor of his wife Merced Garcia.*^*

The theater was built in an Italianate style and operated as a live theater from 1871 to 1876. When the Woods Opera House opened nearby in 1876, the Merced ceased being the city's leading theater. Eventually, it gained an "unenviable reputation" because of "the disreputable dances staged there, and was finally closed by the authorities." ^*

The Merced Theatre was dedicated as California Historical Landmark No. 171.

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1876)* - Main Street and Plaza showing the Pico House and the Merced Theater. The first gas works can also be seen in the foreground; the tanks were built in 1867, the Pico House and the Merced Theater in 1870.  

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of the LA Plaza

 

 

 

 

 
(1868)^^* - Left panel of a panoramic photograph/sketch of downtown Los Angeles looking east from Bunker Hill with each property annotated and listed at top. The photographer, S. A. Rendall, can be seen standing in his own photo (#14).  

 

Historical Notes

The above photo was taken from a section of Bunker Hill called "Poundcake Hill", the future site of the old Los Angeles High School (1873) and later the location of Los Angeles' second County Court House (1891).

It was this time that Los Angeles began growing faster than anywhere in the country. By 1870, the City's population increased to 5,730, a 350% jump from when it was incorporated as a municipality in 1850.  By 1900, LA's population would mushroom to over 100,000 people.^*

 

 

 

 
(1868)^^* - Right panel of a panoramic photograph/sketch of downtown Los Angeles looking east from Bunker Hill with each property annotated and listed at top. The location of the camera was at the top of a hill called ‘Poundcake Hill’ the future site of Los Angeles High School (1873) and the 2nd L.A. County Court House (1891).  

 

Historical Notes

S. A. Rendall, the photographer of the amazing panoramic photo seen above, is mentioned in a 1911 publication titled: OUTPOSTPreserving Historical Data by W. S. Broke.

“Remembering that no city in the United States has had a rate of growth commensurate with that of Los Angeles, the preservation of historical data becomes of pressing importance. Much of the photographic material illustrating the early life of the city has been preserved but as far as can be ascertained little of this immediately available for all comers.

… There does not appear to have been any systematic attempt to preserve photographs of the city prior to the early 80s.  The late S. A. Rendall, whose children now reside in Los Angeles, was a photographer who did much toward preserving the appearance of the early Los Angeles—the city of the ‘60s and ‘70s.  What has become of most of his negatives is not known, although they would be of immense historical value were they now available.  Perhaps the best thing that he left behind is a bird’s eye view of Los Angeles taken in 1868 from the site of the present court house.  This photograph is the property of George W. Hazard, who has it covered by copyright, and who has it on sale.  It is a remarkable photograph in every way.” #**

 

 

 
(1873)* - Old Los Angeles High School, looking east from the hill on North Broadway at Court Street. The building in the center, occupying the 2nd site of the County Court House (1891-1932), is the old school house. The Temple block stands to the right of the school. Broadway, first known as Fort Street, was cut through the bushes in the foreground.
 

 

Historical Notes

Construction on Los Angeles' first high school, which was also the first and only one in Southern California for a number of years, began on July 19, 1872, at the former site of Central School on what was then known as Poundcake Hill.  It was located at the southeast corner of Fort Street (later Broadway), which the front of the school faced, and Temple Street, with the back of the school to New High Street (later Spring Street). As it was on the hill, a few hundred feet from the streets below, steep wooden stairways led up to the schoolyard.

The first graduating class, in 1875, consisted of seven students.^*

 

 

 
(ca. 1878)^^* - View looking southeast showing Los Angeles High School at Temple and Fort Street on Poundcake Hill. In the haze just to the left of the school building you can just make out the clock tower of the Temple Block.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1870s)* - The first Los Angeles High School was built in 1873, with Dr. Lucky as principal. The corner stone was laid July 19, 1872. Cost was $19,000. A horse can be seen standing by a fence in the left foreground.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1874)^^* - Los Angeles High School atop Poundcake Hill, circa 1874. The St. Athanasius Episcopal Church can be seen in the center of the photo.  

 

 

 

 
(1879)* - Exterior view of St. Athanasius Episcopal Church, located on the southwest corner of Temple and New High Streets. Caption on the photograph reads, "Photograph of Saint Athanasius Episcopal Church the first Protestant house of worship erected in Los Angeles in 1864. On S.W. corner of Temple and New High Streets. Rev. & Mrs. Messenger standing in doorway of the church."  

 

Historical Notes

Built in 1864, St. Athanasius was the first Episcopal church in Los Angeles. In 1881, the church was renamed St. Paul's. Two years later, this church building was sold to Los Angeles County, and a new St. Paul's church was built where the Biltmore Hotel now stands at Pershing Square.*

 

 

 
(ca. 1884)* - Exterior view of the Los Angeles County Assessor's office, known originally as St. Athanasius Episcopal Church, located on the southwest corner of Temple and New High Street. Built in 1864, St. Athanasius was the first Episcopal church in Los Angeles. In 1883 the church building was sold to Los Angeles County who converted it to a county assessors office.  

 

Historical Notes

The original 1860s-era bell from St. Athanasius lives on at the Church of the Epiphany at 2808 Altura Street in Lincoln Heights.^*#

 

 

 
(1891)^*# - View of the same building (originally the St. Athanasius Episcopal Church) shortly before its demise, with a clockless County Courthouse in the background.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1875)* - Early view showing the Antonio Maria Lugo adobe, built in 1820, and located at San Pedro near 2nd Street. The Lugo adobe is indicated by a star (middle right). The large towered building seen in the center distance is the Wallace Woodworth residence.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1810, when Antonio Maria Lugo was 35 years old and a corporal in the Spanish army stationed in Santa Barbara, he requested and was given his first land grant, the grant that included Bell Gardens. Shortly thereafter, he became mayor of Los Angeles.^#*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1885)^^* - Exterior view of the home of Don Antonio Mario Lugo located on San Pedro Street, near Second Street, Los Angeles.  

 

Historical Notes

The Don Antonio Mario Lugo adobe was built in 1820. The single-story house has extended roof supported by beams at about every ten feet. A wooden fence encloses the perimeter to the right of the house. Trees are visible in the background. Picture file card reads: "1st house with wood floor?" ^^*

 

 

 
(ca. 1875)^## – View of the Los Angeles and Independence Railroad Depot on San Pedro Street near Wolfskill Lane.  There is a train stopped at the depot with several men standing on the platform.  A horse-drawn wagon is also stopped near the train.  

 

Historical Notes

The Los Angeles and Independence Railroad Company was incorporated in January 1875 with Francisco P. Temple, John P. Jones, Robert S. Baker, T. N. Park, James A. Pritchard, J. S. Slauson, and J. U. Crawford, as directors. Col. Crawford was the engineer and general manager.

The 16.67 miles of track between Los Angeles and Santa Monica were privately built without government subsidies or land grants, all in a little over ten months - primarily using 67 Chinese laborers imported for the task. Right-of-way between Los Angeles and Santa Monica was given by local ranchers who were anxious to have access to a railroad. The line opened October 17, 1875, with two trains a day running between Santa Monica and Los Angeles; the fare was fixed at $1.00 per trip, freight at $1.00 per ton.^*

 

 

 
(1875)^^* - View of a steam locomotive in front of the Los Angeles and Independence Rail Road Terminal at Fifth Street and San Pedro Street, 1875. Two lavishly decorated brick towers extend from the main building to either side of its entrance.  

 

Historical Notes

The wood Victorian building has two three-story square towers with wrought iron work at their apexes, with dormer windows in the roofs of the towers and small decorative balconies on the second-story windows. A statue of a sphinx stands guard (on the left) next to several doors at the head of a wide set of stairs on the left side of the building (out of view).^^

 

 

 
(ca. 1877)^^ – Exterior View of the Los Angeles and Independence Railroad Depot, San Pedro Street and Fourth Street, south of Fifth Street. A group of about six people are gathered on the platform near the end of a rail car (one is on the car) on the right side of the building.  

 

Historical Notes

The railroad line, which extended to Santa Monica, was taken over by Southern Pacific, and the station was destroyed by fire in November, 1888.^^

The right-of-way was purchased by Los Angeles Metro in 1990 and is now used for the Expo Line light rail line.

 

 

 
(1876)* - Main Street between 1st and Court, Old McDonald block, showing Alex McKenzie liquor store. John Temple's old courthouse building can be seen on the right.  

 

Historical Notes

The first organizational meetings of the Los Angeles Athletic Club (LAAC) were held in the law offices of Judson, Gillette, and Gibson on the second floor of the old McDonald Block on Main Street in 1880. James B. Lankershim was the first president of the LAAC. He later became a leading developer of the downtown business district.*#^#

 

 

 
(1880)* - Lithograph of McDonald Block building on Main Street, 1880.  

 

 

 

 
(1880)^^* - Photograph of a lithograph of the Baker Block on the corner of Main Street and Arcadia Street in Los Angeles. The three-story building is a large rectangular building with short towers on the corners and massive domed tower at center.  The building is Victorian style, with large arched windows on all three levels.  

 

Historical Notes

The above lithograph was from Thompson and West's History of Los Angeles County, published in 1880.^^*

 

 

 
(1880)* - Built on the former site of the residence of Abel Stearns, the Baker Block was prominent in Los Angeles. The telegraph office has a sign at the corner of the building.  

Historical Notes

The ornate three-story Baker Block was completed in 1878 by Colonel Robert S. Baker. For a number of years, the building housed offices, shops, and apartments. Goodwill Industries of Southern California purchased it in 1919. Despite plans to relocate the structure for another purpose, the city purchased the Baker Block from Goodwill in 1941 and demolished the building a year later. U.S. Route 101 now runs beneath where these buildings once stood.*

As a point of interest, Colonel Robert Baker married Abel Stearn’s widow, Arcadia Bandini de Stearns, in 1874 (three years after Stearn’s death in 1871).

 

 

 
(ca. 1880)* - View of North Main Street. Baker Block is on the left and the St. Charles Hotel, formerly the Bella Union Hotel, is on the right.  

 

 

 

 
(n.d.)* - Drawing of North Main Street, showing the location of the businesses in the entire 300 block, starting with the Baker Block on the left. The Baker Block was built in stages starting in the late 1840s through 1875.  

 

 

 

 
(1882)* - View looking north on Main Street with buildings annotated. The Farmers and Merchants Bank opened October 29, 1882 in the Hellman Building. First National Bank, formerly Commercial Bank, was in the building on the right. The Baker Block is at the far left and the Duccommon building can be seen at center-left of photo.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1882)**- One of the first of seven electric street lights installed in the City of Los Angeles at Main Street and Commercial Street in 1882. It stood 150 feet tall. Baker Block is on the left and the Ducommun building on the right.  

 

Historical Notes

Each of the 150-foot-high masts carried three carbon-arc lamps of three thousand candle-power. All seven lamps and a small power plant to provide the electricity were installed by C. L. Howland in 1882.

In 1883, Howland and others formed the Los Angeles Electric Company.**

Click HERE to see more in Early Los Angeles Street Lights.

 

 

 
(ca. 1930s)* - Looking across N. Main Street (foreground) towards the French Second Empire style Baker Block, on the southeast corner at Arcadia Street (lower left), and the Grand Central Hotel (right). Photo by Herman Schultheis.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1942 the Baker Block was demolished to make way for the construction of a new freeway. U.S. Route 101 (Hollywood Freeway) now runs beneath where these buildings once stood.*

 

 

 
(ca. 1882)* - Hardware Store of C. Ducommun, dry goods store of S. Prager and a furniture store at 204 N. Main Street (after 1890 at 304 N. Main Street) are shown. The 1883-4 edition of the city directory lists C. Ducommun Hardware at this location.  

 

Historical Notes

Charles Louis Ducommun, a watchmaker by training, emigrated to the US from Switzerland in the early 1840s. He started a general store, providing supplies (and credit) to gold prospectors and other pioneers who had settled in the burgeoning pueblo of Los Angeles. Ducommun Street was named for Charles Louis.^*

 

 

 
(1886)* - Facade of the hardware store of C. Ducommun at 204 N. Main Street (after 1890 at 304 N. Main Street).  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1930)* – View of the west side of North Main Street. Security First National Bank now occupies part of the Ducommun Building on the northeast corner of Main and Commercial streets.  

 

Historical Notes

The Security First National Bank of Los Angeles became the Security Pacific National Bank and is now Bank of America. The Farmers and Merchants Bank was the oldest bank in Southern California from 1871 until 1956 when it was merged into the Security First National Bank of Los Angeles.*

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1880)* - Panoramic view of the home and grounds once belonging to Charles W. Davis. The house and its groves are identified as being on Boyle Ave. near Stephenson. Charles Davis was one of Los Angeles' earliest well known architects.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1880s)#*** – View of the first American public school in Los Angeles.  Constructed in 1855, the school was located at Second and Spring streets, where the Los Angeles Times building now stands.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1873 the original Spring Street School housed a hundred pupils and one teacher; in the five schools in Los Angeles there were 14 teachers and 835 pupils, or 60 children per teacher. Two years later it was noted that the school was "running a double set of scholars, one class filling the rooms in the morning, and the other class receiving instruction in the afternoon."

In 1883, the school board purchased a parcel of land fronting on both Broadway and Spring Street, midblock between Fifth and Sixth streets (the present site of the Broadway-Spring Arcade), for $12,500, and a new Spring Street School was built there.  The more commodious structure hosted gatherings of educators  and parents, it had an auditorium used by the public and it was the home of special education for "deaf-and-dumb" children, with the "oral method or lip-reading system" as the method of instruction.^*

 

 

 
(ca. 1880)* - Exterior view of the Round House, located from Main to Spring streets, between 3rd and 4th.  

 

Historical Notes

This adobe, known as the Round House as well as the "Garden of Paradise", was built in 1854 by Ramón Alexander as a gift to his Spanish bride María Valdéz, daughter of Basílio Valdéz, who came to Los Angeles from Spain in 1830. In the late 1850s, it was sold to German immigrant George Lehman, better known as "Round House George", and it long housed his famous beer garden known as the Garden of Paradise, which eventually became a famous landmark and a very popular pleasure resort at the time.*

 

 

 
(1880)* - Close-up view of the Round House main entrance, also known as the "Garden of Paradise".  

 

Historical Notes

After the garden closed, the city's first kindergarten was opened here, with Kate Douglas Wiggin as teacher. Sadly, it was torn down in or about 1887.*

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1880)* - Exterior view of the residence and carriage house of Isaac Newton Van Nuys. It was located at Spring and 7th Street, on the southwest corner. A horse and buggy stands in the driveway.  

 

Historical Notes

Isaac Newton Van Nuys was a businessman, real estate developer, banker, and agricultural entrepreneur. He founded the community of Van Nuys in the San Fernando Valley in 1911. As a major figure in regional history and development, there are schools, streets, libraries, and a Liberty Ship with the name of Van Nuys.^*

Click HERE to read more in Early Views of the San Fernando Valley.

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1902)^^* - View of  man driving on Spring Street in front of the Van Nuys family residence.  The man, dressed in a dark suit and candystriped hat, steers the topless carriage with a rod-and-stirrup device. In the background, the Victorian architecture of the I.N. Van Nuys residence can be seen, with its gingerbread roof, molded window frames and clapboard veneer. A wrought-iron fence marks the perimeter of the lawn. A woman is partially visible in the background from behind the vine-grown porch of the residence, over which hangs a sign reading "Rose Lawn Villa". Tree foliage obscures the left side of the residence.   

 

Historical Notes

A thrid floor was added to the orgiinal 2-story house since the time of the previous photo.

 

 

 
(1904)^^* - View of Spring Street looking north from Seventh Street featuring the I.N. Van Nuys residence, May 24, 1904. Several early automobiles drive towards the camera along the unpaved street in which trollycar tracks are visible. Only the wrought-iron fence and the top of the Victorian architecture of the Van Nuys residence is visible from behind the lush treecover surrounding it. Telephone poles are visible, as well as large signs attached to building in the background which read "Furniture and Carpets" and "Angelus Flour".   

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1880)* - Exterior view of the original B'nai B'rith Temple, located at Temple and Broadway in Downtown Los Angeles.  

 

Historical Notes

Completed in 1873, this building was located on the east side of Fort Street (now Broadway) between Second and Third Streets, Los Angeles. It was razed in 1896.

Isaias W. Hellman was president of B'nai B'rith in 1872 when the congregation built the city's first temple on Fort Street. Hellman was a German-born American banker and philanthropist, and a founding father of the University of Southern California.*^

In 1896, Congregation B'nai B'rith moved into a new building located on the corner of 9th and Hope streets.*

 

 

 
(ca. 1880)* - View of the United States Hotel on the corner of Requeña Street (later renamed Market Street) and North Main Street. A horse-drawn carriage is seen parked in front of the hotel.  

 

Historical Notes

The U.S. Hotel was built around 1863 at 170 North Main by Louis Mesmer, then remodeled and expanded in 1886. The hotel attracted a swanky crowd and served the “best two-bit meal in Southern California” in its dining room, according to advertisements and articles published in the Los Angeles Times. By the early 1930s, it was still owned by the Mesmer family and lodged only men, many on public assistance.*#*

Requeña Street was named after Manuel Requeña, who was the first Mexican-American mayor of Los Angeles (only 11 days). The street was later renamed Market Street.*

 

 

 
(1935)* - Exterior view of the old United States Hotel on March 16, 1935, once the center of the city's social life. For 80 years it stood on the southeast corner of Market and North Main Streets. The hotel was owned by the Mesmer family from 1862 until 1939 when the building was demolished.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1937)^^* - View of Main Street looking north.  Two three-story Victorian-style buildings are pictured at center wedged between commercial shop fronts. The U.S. Hotel is closest to the foreground, while the Amestoy Building can be seen farther back. Both buildings feature a tower of sorts, the hotel's sprouting from the flat roof, the Amestoy Building's extending from a column of windows at its corner. The New Palace Cafe and a sign that reads "Shoe Store. Shoes for the whole family" can be seen at right. A sign to the left reads "Victor's". Cars are parked along the sidewalk. Street car cables are attached to the top of a streetlamp visible in the left foreground. The U.S. Hotel would be domolished two years after this photo was taken.  

 

 

 

 
(1939)^^* - View looking East from across North Main at Market Street showing both the Amestoy Building (left) and the U.S. Hotel (right). This photo was taken shortly before the U.S. Hotel was razed.  

 

Historical Notes

Domingo Amestoy came to California by way of Argentina in 1851. Amestoy started a modest sheep business and within a few years he parlayed it into a fortune. He was one of the largest wool producers in Southern California during the 1860s. In 1871, he bought $500,000 worth of shares in the newly established Farmers and Merchants Bank in Los Angeles. In 1874 he went back to France and married. In 1875 Amestoy moved his family to 650 acres of the "Rosecrans Rancho" in what is now Gardena. By 1880, he had over 30,000 head of sheep, most of which were fine-wooled Spanish merinos.

In 1889 he acquired all 4,500 acres of Rancho Los Encinos in the San Fernando Valley. After Domingo Amestoy died on January 11, 1892, his sons, John and Peter Amestoy, assumed ranch operations and changed the name to Amestoy ranch. Like other ranches in the San Fernando Valley at the time, the Amestoys cultivated wheat and barley. The Amestoy family held title to rancho for fifty-five years. In 1915, subdivision of the rancho began later developing into the communities of Sherman Oaks and Encino. The Amestoys held on to 100 acres, which included the old adobe until selling the property in 1944.^*

 

 

 
(1952)* - View of the Amestoy Block on the northeast corner of Main and Market Streets. Fagan's Cafeteria and Fountain is on the first floor.   

 

Historical Notes

Built in 1887 by Domingo Amestoy, the structure was Los Angeles' first brick office building and the first to have an elevator.^#*^

Note: The Nadeau Hotel also claims to have had the first elevator (built in 1882).

 

 
(ca. 1881)* - A full view of the Hotel Melrose, left, and the Richelieu Hotel, Grand Avenue and Second Streets. Photograph names M. W. Connor as proprietor.  

 

Historical Notes

During this period it was trendy to transform private residences into hotels. Two well-known examples are the Melrose and Richelieu.

The Hotel Melrose started as a Victorian mansion in 1881. Decorated with overlapping shingles, cupolas, and domes, it eventually became a hotel apartment. When built, the hotel proper was attached to the mansion which became its annex.*

 

 

 
(ca. 1894)* - 18 guests of the Hotel Melrose are gathered on the steps and porch of the hotel's verandah. Located at 138 S. Grand Ave. on Bunker Hill, it started as a Victorian mansion in 1881 and eventually became a hotel apartment.  

 

Historical Notes

If still standing today, the view from the above porch would be that of Disney Hall, located directly across the street, on the other side of Grand Ave.

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1890s)^*^# - View of the Hotel Melrose showing the new 4-story addiition to the left, located at 120-30 South Grand Avenue.  

 

Historical Notes

In the 1920s famous Socialist Party mayoral candidate and labor lawyer Job Harriman and his wife moved into the Melrose Hotel.^*^#

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1895)^^* - View of a stagecoach in front of the Melrose Hotel and the Hotel Richelieu on Grand Avenue between First Street and Second Street, ca.1895. The half-tone photograph shows the Richelieu at right. It is a large Victorian mansion with a wrap-around porch and a tall conical tower. At center and left are the two buildings of the Melrose Hotel. The one at center is another Victorian mansion with a tall, bell-shaped tower topped by a cupola. At left is a four-story rectangular building with triangular attachments on the roof and a sign that reads "Melrose". A stagecoach pulled by a team of six horses is in the street at left, and several people are waving at it from the porches of the Victorian buildings.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1930s)* - View from across the street on Bunker Hill of two Victorian style hotels on the 100 block of S. Grand Ave., the Richelieu (at 142) on the right and the Hotel Melrose (at 130) on the left. New dual-lamp electric streetlights now appear in front of the buildings. Click HERE to see more in Early Los Angeles Streetlights.  

 

Historical Notes

Hotel Richelieu was built in late 19th century. It was the home of Richard A. Larkin. In 1893, Mrs. Helen Larkin sold it to Chicago businessman Charles S. Hord who pledged to refurbish the building into a first-class hotel. The Richelieu was razed shortly before the Melrose in 1957.*#*

 

 

 
(ca. 1882)* - Entrance to sheriff's office and county jail at the northwest corner of Spring and Franklin. Men are posing in the doorway and on the sidewalk. A horse and buggy is in front. Signs for real estate and railroad tickets are by the doors and windows and on top of the portico. The businesses advertised are "Ben. E. Ward, real estate and insurance", "Pryke & Co., railroad tickets bought, sold and exchanged, cut rates to all points", "Potts and Covarrubias, real estate agent, general auctioneer" and "J. D. Dunlap, general commission, lands & houses for sale or rent". Mr. Dunlap was also a Deputy Marshall.  

 

 

 

 
(1882)* - Foster Block building was located on Main Street near First Street. A sign on the face of the building reads: "SADDLES & HARNESS".  

 

 

 

 
(1883)* - The L. A. Conservatory of Music and Arts in 1883 located at 406 South Main Street. The building would have been at 506 South Main Street after the change in street addresses in 1890.  

 

Historical Notes

The L. A. Conservatory of Music and Arts was founded in 1883 and was still in existence 75 years later. The 1890 City Directory lists the president as Emily J. Valentine.*

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1880s)* - View of Ozro W. Childs’ house located at 1111 S. Main Street. The photo shows the exterior front of the house, with a horse-drawn carriage next to a tree, as well as a child wearing a white dress and hat to the left of the picture.  

 

Historical Notes

Ozro W. Childs obtained the contract to build an extension of the Zanja Madre, a canal system to bring water to the fields south of the pueblo. He was paid in land in that area – all now within present day Downtown Los Angeles - from Sixth to Ninth, and Main to Figueroa Street. Click HERE to see more in Zanja Madre - LA's Original Aqueduct.

This property was the foundation of his fortune. He built a substantial house at 10th and Main, then a half-mile from town center, and on his property took up planting. In his day, Ozro Childs was Los Angeles’s most prominent plantsman, with a Plant nursery.

Childs was also involved in philanthropic work. When Judge Robert Maclay Widney set out to create a university in Los Angeles in the 1870s, he received assistance from donors including Childs. In 1879, Childs contributed a considerable amount of land to the founding of the University of Southern California, which opened in 1880.^*

 

 

 
(1880s)* - Retail stores in the 2600 block of Central Avenue, Los Angeles.  

 

 

 

 
(1880s)^^** - Home of merchant/postmaster James H. Dodson and his wife, Rudecinda Sepulveda. She is possibly the woman standing on the second floor balcony.  

 

Historical Notes

The Victorian architecture style house was built in 1881 by the Sepulveda family as a wedding present for their daughter Rudecinda and her husband, James Dodson. It was originally located at the corner of 7th and Beacon Streets, San Pedro.^*

 

 

 

 
(1890)* - A partial view of J. W. Dodson's residence can be seen above the small trees.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1976, the James H. Dodson Residence was dedicated Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 147 (Click HERE to see complete listing).

The house is now located at 859 W. 13th St., San Pedro.  It is a private residence and is not open to the public.^*

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1880s)#*** - View of the Macy Street School located on the corner of Macy and Bridget streets.  

 

Historical Notes

The Macy Street School was built in 1881 on the corner of Macy and Bridget Streets. It was not named until 1887. It was considered one of the more beautiful schools in the District. #***

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1882)* - Front view of the State Normal School, located at Grand and 5th Street close to the time it opened.  

 

Historical Notes

In March 1881, after heavy lobbying by Los Angeles residents, the California State Legislature authorized the creation of a southern branch of the California State Normal School (which later became San Jose State University) in downtown Los Angeles to train teachers for the growing population of Southern California. The State Normal School at Los Angeles opened on August 29, 1882, on what is now the site of the Central Library of the Los Angeles Public Library system.^*

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1888)* - View of the State Normal School looking southwest. The scarce landscaping on the property and young saplings suggests that the school was fairly new at the time the image was taken, although a new wing had been added (extreme right tower).  

 

Historical Notes

Through the years, the State Normal School was expanded and several new wings were added; the "new and improved" facility would eventually include an elementary school where the teachers-in-training could practice their teaching technique on real children.*

 

 

 
(ca. 1893)* - Southwest corner view of the State Normal School, located at Grand and 5th Street. A long and winding driveway is located on the left side of the entrance, and a long flight of stairs (barely visible) is on the right; the school sits impressively on the last knoll of Bunker Hill, aptly dubbed "Normal Hill".  

 

Historical Notes

After the demolition of this structure (1922), 5th Street was straightened and the remainder of the site was eventually occupied by the L.A. Public Library.*

 

 

 
(ca. 1890s)* - Southwest corner view of the State Normal School, located at Grand and 5th Street. A long and winding driveway is located on the left side of the entrance (not visible in this shot), and a long flight of stairs is on the right.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1914, the Los Angeles State Normal School  moved to a new campus on Vermont Avenue (now the site of Los Angeles City College) in East Hollywood.

On May 23, 1919, Governor William D. Stephens signed Assembly Bill 626 into law, which merged the Los Angeles Normal School with the University of California as the Southern Branch of the University of California. The same legislation added its general undergraduate program, the College of Letters and Science.^*

 

 

Click HERE to see more Early Views of the Normal School and of UCLA.

 

 

 

 

 
(1883)* - Founded by father Fermín Lasuén on September 8, 1797 in Mission Hills, Mission San Fernando Rey de España (originally La Misión del Señor Fernando, Rey de España) is located on the former settlement of Encino Rancho.  

 

Historical Notes

The San Fernando Mission was the seventeenth mission built in Alto California. It was built in a quadrangle, similar to other missions, in which the church makes up one corner. The Convento stands apart from the quadrangle; it took 13 years to construct and was completed in 1822. Most noted for its 21 Roman arches, it is the largest two-story adobe structure in California. Now, the second floor is used for storage.*

 

 

 

 
(1886)^^* - View from the corridor of Mission San Fernando Rey de Espana showing its external surroundings and a fountain, Mission Hills, California, 1886. The tall corridor is constructed of wooden beams supporting the roof structure, large arches made of adobe bricks, and stucco to cover the adobe bricks.  

 

Historical Notes

The Convento Building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1988 - Building #88002147. And in 1999, the entire Mission San Fernando Rey de España was added to the National Register of Historic Places as well - Building #71001076. It also was dedicated as California Historic Landmark No.157 (Click HERE to see complete listing).

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of the San Fernando Mission

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1884)^^* - Exterior view of the Lindenfeld & Co. Liquor Store on the southwest corner of Main Street and Third Street. Men and horse-drawn carriages are gathered in front of the two-story Romanesque building, in front of which a streetlamp stands. The New York Brewery building is visible farther down the street to the left. The sign on the Lindenfeld & Co. building reads "Dealers in Fine Wines, Liquors and Cigars. Sonoma Wines a Specialty". A second sign is posted on the side, reading "Wine Room".  

 

Historical Notes

The building was erected in the late 1870's and later torn down in 1905 in lieu of the City National Bank Building. The Henne Building was later constructed where the New York Brewery is pictured. ^^*

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1884)^^* - View of the Los Angeles Soap Company Building on 1st Street. Sign on front of building reads: FORTHMANN & BERGIN  

 

Historical Notes

John Forthmann was a 17-year-old immigrant from Hamburg, Germany, when he arrived in California in 1860. He briefly lived in San Francisco, then came south and opened a small grocery store at Sixth and Olive streets before starting the Los Angeles Soap Co. at First and Alameda streets that same year.

In 1870, he and William D. Bergin became partners and they erected a factory amongst the orange trees and grape vines in the downtown area. The company grew to include about 25 buildings, some as high as five stories, on 16 acres from First Street on the south to Banning Street on the north.

The Los Angeles Soap Co. is best known for making White King Detergent and for sponsoring the show 'Queen for a Day'.^##^

 

 

 
(1885)^^* - Exterior view of St. Vibiana's Cathedral located at 200-248 S. Main Street. A man stands near a horse-drawn carriage that is parked on the dirt road in front of the church.  

 

Historical Notes

Plans for a cathedral dated back to 1859; and land for the facility was donated by Amiel Cavalier. The complex, on the southeast corner of Main and Second Street in downtown Los Angeles, was dedicated in 1876 and cost $80,000 to build. The Cathedral's architect, Ezra F. Kysor, also designed the landmark Pico House.

The Cathedral of Saint Vibiana, often called St. Vibiana's, is a former cathedral church building and parish of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles. The building opened in 1876 as the cathedral for what was then known as the Diocese of Monterey-Los Angeles, and remained the official cathedral of the Los Angeles for over 100 years.^*

 

 

 
(1885)* - A closer view of the Catholic Cathedral of St. Vibiana, southeast corner of Main and Second Streets.  

 

Historical Notes

The building is approximately three-stories tall. It features cornices that wraps around the sides of the building, various sized pediments, embossed texts, decorative sculptures and large entrances. In the rear is a large dome-capped tower with a cross perched on the peak. In front of the building at the peak of the highest pediment is a cross that is perched on a stand. Flanking it on the corner of the building are statues mounted on stands.^^*

 

 

 
(ca. 1890s)* - Exterior view of the Cathedral of St. Vibiana as it appeared in the late 19th century. Photo taken from the southeast corner of 2nd and Main streets.  

 

Historical Notes

The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels was dedicated in 2002 as the successor to St. Vibiana's Cathedral.

The former cathedral building is now a performing arts complex and event venue called "Vibiana". The Little Tokyo branch of the Los Angeles Public Library is also located on the site. The 1885 cathedral structure is one of the last remaining buildings from the early period of Los Angeles history.^*

In 1963, St. Vibiana's Cathedral was dedicated as Los Angeles Historic Cultural Monument No. 17 (Click HERE to see complete listing).

 

 

 
(ca. 1884)* - Photograph showing Los Angeles' first fire station, near the Los Angeles Plaza, with a horse and buggy firefighting team (The First Volunteer Company), located at 26 Plaza Street.  

 

Historical Notes

The Old Plaza Firehouse is the oldest firehouse in Los Angeles. Built in 1884, it operated as a firehouse until 1897. The building was thereafter used as a saloon, cigar store, poolroom, "seedy hotel", Chinese market, "flop house", and drugstore. The building was restored in the 1950s and opened as a firefighting museum in 1960.^*

For the first two years of its existence the station housed 38's Engine Company No.1 (comprised of 38 volunteers, a horse cart and 3 horses). The volunteer fire companies also used the area to stage the parades, holiday fireworks displays, monthly inspections and periodic musters which helped to stimulate civic pride. This and the fact that the volunteers continually bickered amongst themselves and some of the companies acted in too independent a fashion, led to the establishment, in December 1885, of the city's first paid Fire Department. The council appointed Walter S. Moore as Fire Chief and the new Board of Fire Commissioners installed another steam engine company (Walter S. Moore Company No. 4) at the Plaza Firehouse with a seven man crew while the Volunteer 38's moved elsewhere or disbanded.**^

 

 

 

 
(1894)**#^ - Firetruck, men and horses in front of the Plaza Firehouse.  

 

Historical Notes

The Old Plaza Firehouse was dedicated as California Historical Landmark No. 730 (Click HERE to see complete listing of California Historical Landmarks in L.A.)

 

 

 

 
(1885)* - Plaza Church and an adjoining building as they appeared in 1885. This was the parish church for Los Angeles and was never a mission.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1962, the Plaza Church (Nuestra Senora la Reina de Los Angeles), located at 535 N. Main Street and 100-110 Cesar Chavez Avenue, was dedicated as Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 3 (Click HERE to see complete listing).

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of the LA Plaza

 

 

 

 

 
(1880s)* – View of the Crystal Palace Crockery store located on the northwest corner of Temple and Main streets as seen from the front of Temple Block. The building, also known as Downey Block, is two stories with a large sign over the portico that reads: THE CAPITOL. Two men are sitting on the window ledge at upper left-center. A horse and buggy is parked in front of the building while another appears to be moving west on Temple.   

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1884)* - View of an unpaved Temple Street, looking west from the second floor of Temple Block on Main Street. Horse-drawn carriages and wagons are parked along the street. In the right foreground is the Downey Block on the northwest corner, housing the Crystal Palace, wholesale and retail sellers of crockery and china ware. Behind it is the Temple Street Stables. Poles strung with electric wires are seen in the foreground.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1885)* - The junction of Main, Spring and Temple Streets, showing Jacoby Brothers clothing store and the Los Angeles County Bank in the Temple Block. The Downey Block on the right was on the northwest corner of Main and Temple.  

 

Historical Notes

The Italianate Temple block was built in 1871 by Francis Pliny Fisk Temple on the site of the old Temple Block, inherited from his older brother John in 1866. It was commonly known as the Lawyer's Block as so many attorneys had offices there. The old Clocktower Couthouse, at that time, was situated immediately to the south. As there was very little waiting room at the courthouse, attorneys went back to their offices until their cases came up. They were summoned by a court clerk hollering their names out the second-story windows of the court.^***

 

 

 
(n.d.)^^* - Temple Square (Temple Block) appears at the bottom-center of this photograph of a model of old Los Angeles. Dick Whittington Photography Collection.  

 

Historical Notes

Spring Street was realigned when construction of the new City Hall began in early 1927. Spring now runs parallel to Main, and intersects with Temple where the current 28-story City Hall building is now located.

 

 

 
(ca. 1885)^*# - Close-up view of the Temple Block showing its extraordinary building details.  

 

Historical Notes

Francis Temple formed a bank with his English-born father-in-law, William Workman, The Temple & Workman Bank. The bank was in the space occupied by the Los Angeles County Bank in the photo above. The bank closed during the panic of 1875, brought on by the failure of the Bank of California in San Francisco. Temple managed to secure a loan to reopen the bank from the ruthless "Lucky" Baldwin, a San Francisco financier who had become interested in investing in Southern California. The terms of the loan were extremely harsh, Temple and Workman pledged everything they had, including their homes, ranches, downtown commercial property and Temple Block itself. However, the bank failed for a second time in 1876. Baldwin, refusing to renegotiate the loan, quickly closed in. Temple and Workman were ruined. Workman, then 76 and a former Mayor of Los Angeles, killed himself. Temple, under extreme stress following his losses, had a stroke, finally dying in 1880. He left his wife and seven children.

The Temple & Workman family fortunes were restored in 1914 when Temple's nine-year-old grandson (Workman's great-grandson), Thomas Workman Temple II, discovered a natural gas deposit while playing on land his father owned. The families developed Montebello Oil Field there in 1917. With their renewed funds the families were able to recover their ranch, La Puente (City of Industry) including their private family cemetery, El Campo Santo. Temple and Workman are buried there along with their families and their friend, Pio Pico and his wife.^***

 

 

 
(1887)^^* - View looking south from Temple toward Temple Block.  Main Street is on the left and Spring Street on the right. Note the fountain in front of Temple Block.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1882, the fountain in front of Temple Block was donated by Harris Newmark of Newmark & Co. and the water was provided free by the LA Water Company.  The Newmark Fountain was a minor landmark in downtown Los Angeles between  1882 and 1892. The female figure atop it was nude, which made it an object of some interest at the time. Unfortunately, the fountain met a premature end when a team of runaway horses hit it in 1892.^#*^

Harris Newmark was a successful businessman in early Los Angeles.  He made many contributions to the economy and culture of Los Angeles, and gave his time and his money to causes he felt were worthy. He was one of the founders of the Los Angeles Public Library, was a charter member of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, and was one of the organizers of the Board of Trade, which helped bring railroad service to California. He was the president of Congregation B'nai B'rith in 1887 and a founder of the Jewish Orphans Home. Newmark was also instrumental in the establishment of the Southwest Museum, which is now part of the Autry National Center. He and other Newmarks were leaders of the local Odd Fellows and were Masons.^*

 

 

 
(ca. 1880s)^*# - View of Temple Block with its distinctive building design. Large awnings overhang the display windows of the Jacoby Bros. Store.  

 

Historical Notes

The Jacoby family came from Loebau, Poland, a territory at the time controlled by Prussia. They arrived in the United States at different times during the 1870s.

The five Jacoby brothers started business in Los Angeles in the 1870's by joining with Leopold Harris and buying out Herman W. Hellman’s store. Hellman left after 5 years and the firm became The Jacoby Brothers and flourished well into the first third of the 20th Century.^^*#

 

 

 

 
(1896)* - Jacoby Bros. dry goods store in Temple Block on Spring St. during La Fiesta Week. The employees pose in front of the entrance and on the balcony above. On the back of the photo is the inscription "To Leo Jacoby, from Pauline Kemling, Earl R. Lovarice, employees of 1896."  

 

Historical Notes

Jacoby Bros. kept growing until it was one of the largest retail and wholesale companies in Los Angeles. In the mid-1920's it sold out to David May of the May Company of St. Louis. This occurred about the same time as when the Hamburgers Department Store was also sold to the May Co.^^*#

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1880s)^^* - View of Temple Block from the Spring Street side. The ornate design of the building facade made this structure a stand-out for years to come.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1926)* - Temple Block as it appeared just one year before construction of today's City Hall.  

 

 

 

   
  (1927)*^^* - The last stand of the historic Temple Block. As the steel frame of the new City Hall neared completion the proud building, once dominant in the business and professional life of the city, was razed.  

 

 

 

 
(1885)* - View of the exterior of Coulter's Dry Goods Company. The building is two stories with bay windows on the second story and a cupola above the corner bay window. The sign above the store reads "101, 103 & 105" and "B. F. Coulter, Proprietor".  A street car is in front of the building and a horse and buggy stands at the curb. A multi-tiered utility pole is on the corner facing the store.  

 

Historical Notes

B. F. Coulter was one of the earliest merchants in Los Angeles. The Coulter's Dry Goods business dates from 1878 and later was called Coulter's. Coulter was an ordained minister and founded the Broadway Christian Church. The business was continued by B.F. Coulter's son-in-law, R. P. McReynolds, and his son, James McReynolds.^^*

 

 

 
(1885)^^* - The first Los Angeles Athletic Club located on the west side of Spring Street between 29th & 31st Streets.  

 

Historical Notes

The Los Angeles Athletic Club was founded on September 8, 1880 and used several locations before settling into its own twelve-story building in downtown Los Angeles in 1912. The LAAC building was notable at the time for being the first building in Southern California to have a swimming pool on an upper floor.^*

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1880s)* - View looking southwest towards Bellevue Terrace and Pearl Streets. Bellevue Terrace Hotel and Foy house is in center of photo.  

 

Historical Notes

Pearl Street became Figueroa Street, and Bellevue Terrace 6th Street.*#*

 

 

 

 
(1880s)* - View of Pearl Street (Figueroa) near Bellevue Terrace (6th Street) with horse carriages and the Bellevue Terrace Hotel at the far left.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1880s)* - The Bellevue Terrace Hotel, now the site of the Jonathan Club. The trees are only tall enough to hide a little of the lower floors. The sidewalk is paved only across the front of the block. Up the left side is still a dirt street and low hitching posts.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1885)* - Photo of an early lithograph showing Figueroa Street south from 6th Street. The Bellevue Terrace Hotel is on the right (northwest corner of Figueroa and 6th).   

 

Historical Notes

Photo caption reads: "View on Pearl Street, south from Bellevue Terrace, showing banana and palm plants, and cypress hedges." Pearl Street became Figueroa Street, and Bellevue Terrace 6th Street.*

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1890)* - View of the Bellevue Terrace Hotel at Figueroa & 6th. Two horse-drawn carriages wait my the curbside. Today it is the site of the Jonathan Club.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1892, Edward Doheny and his family stayed at this Victorian building. Doheny later said that he got the idea of digging for oil while watching wagons laden with fuel and tar pass by.*#*

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1890s)* - View of the Bellevue Terrace Hotel taken from a different angle and shows more of the main building in the block.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1886)* - Photograph of the exterior view of the Belmont Hotel and its yard, Belmont Avenue & 2nd Street. The three-story hotel featured shingled walls, triangular shaped dormer windows, triangular gables, inclined roof, a balcony, and a square tower.  

 

Historical Notes

The Belmont Hotel on Crown Hill opened in July 1886 at the terminus of the Second Street Cable Railway that was completed a year earlier. The easy access to the line, the graceful architecture, beautiful landscaping, fresh air, and stunning views were attractions for visitors and wealthy Los Angelenos who held a number of social events there. The Belmont’s owner, Rev. John W. Ellis, was also the proprietor and director of another Crown Hill establishment, Ellis Villa College, a finishing school for young ladies.*#*

 

 

 
(ca. 1887)* - Photograph of the Belmont Hotel on fire at the corner of Belmont Street and First Street,  December 16, 1887. While firemen hose down the hotel, people are shown milling around on the lawn which is covered with assorted sheets, furniture, etc. The Hotel was a great tourist resort at that time and was later the site of Belmont High School.  

 

Historical Notes

This is the earliest photograph of a major fire in Los Angeles and possibly the earliest photo of the newly formed Los Angeles Fire Department in action.**^

 

 

 
(ca. 1886)* - Exterior view of the newly constructed Queen Anne revival style Garvanza Hotel. Opened in 1886, the hotel was located at South Avenue 63 and York Boulevard in Garvanza, a former section of Highland Park.  

 

Historical Notes

One of the oldest settled areas of Los Angeles, Highland Park is also one of the most scenic due to its location along the Arroyo Seco, between the Mt. Washington hills, the San Rafael hills and the Monterey Hills.*^

Garvanza is considered a sub-district of Highland Park.  The area was named for the garbanzo beans that once flourished there. In 1899, Garvanza was annexed by the City of Los Angeles.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1886)* - A panoramic view facing the eastern facade of the Raymond Hotel. The surrounding land is still rural with scattered houses and small buildings close to a dirt road that passes over a bridge covering a small wash.  

 

Historical Notes

The Raymond Hotel was the first major resort hotel of the San Gabriel Valley and was only opened from December to April. It was built by Mr. Walter Raymond of Raymond & Whitcomb Travel Agency of Boston, Mass. and sat atop Bacon Hill which lies between Pasadena and South Pasadena. Bacon Hill was renamed Raymond Hill with the opening of the hotel in 1886.*

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1886)* - A closer view of the Raymond Hotel. Landscaping covers the embankment to the right of the stairs.  

 

Historical Notes

The Raymond Hotel was opened in 1886 but burned down in 1895. It was replaced by a second Raymond Hotel in 1903.*

 

 

 
(ca. 1890)* - A group of people sit under a hanging light fixture in the luxurious and spacious lobby of the Raymond Hotel. The beamed ceiling is decorated with painted motifs. An elevator is directly behind the seated group and large staircases behind the elevator and on both sides lead to the upper floors. The reception desk is to the left of the front doors. The floor is carpeted and spittoons stand close to several chairs.  

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of Pasadena

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1887)* - View of Santa Monica beach looking south from Santa Monica Canyon rim. The wharf and newly constructed Arcadia Hotel can be seen in the background. House-tents are seen along the beach.  

 

Historical Notes

The Arcadia Hotel opened for business in 1887 and was located on Ocean Avenue between Railroad Avenue (later known as Colorado Avenue) and Front (later known as Pico Boulevard). The Arcadia was the largest structure in Santa Monica at the time of its construction. The 125-room hotel was owned by J.W. Scott, the proprietor of the city's first hotel, the Santa Monica Hotel. The hotel was named for Arcadia Bandini de Baker, the wife of Santa Monica cofounder Colonel R. S. Baker.^**#

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1887)* - Exterior view of the east front of the Arcadia Hotel in Santa Monica soon after its construction. It opened in March 1887. It was located on Ocean Avenue immediately south of the bridge over the gulch that was later occupied by Roosevelt Highway.  

 

Historical Notes

Being located on a bluff, all 125 rooms in the 5-story building boasted unobstructed views. It featured a grand ballroom, upscale dining room and its own roller coaster. A bathhouse was located on the beach directly below the hotel, offering guests hot saltwater baths.*^*^

The pinnacle of the hotel was an observation tower, offering breathtaking views in every direction a dizzying 136 feet above the beach level.*^**

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1887)*^** - View of the 'Switchback Rollercoaster' at the Arcadia Hotel.  

 

Historical Notes

A special delight for guests was a two-track gravity switchback rollercoaster, which in a one minute journey, could whisk guests either to or from the hotel and back again, all for the price of a nickel.*^**

Click HERE to see more in Early Southern California Amusement Parks.

 

 

 
(ca. 1890)* - View from the pier showing the Arcadia Hotel on Santa Monica South Beach behind the Arcadia Bath House.  

 

 

 

 
(1890s)* - View looking south of the Arcadia Hotel and the Arcadia Bath House. The Southern Pacific Railroad tunnel is seen at center. At right are the '55 steps' that enabled visitors to have quick access to the beach below.  

 

Historical Notes

In the 1890s, the Southern Pacific Railroad built a tunnel under Ocean Avenue. The tunnel was eventually enlarged to accommodate the Pacific Coast Highway**^*

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of Santa Monica.

 

 

 

 

 
(1886)* - Exterior view of Ralphs Bros. Grocers, located on the southwest corner of 6th and Spring Streets in 1886. A horse-and-carriage is parked in the unpaved street.  

 

Historical Notes

This was known as "Georgetown Corner." The photo was taken shortly after this two-story brick building was built. Next door on Spring Street is the New York Bakery. George A. Ralphs is leaning on a stack of boxes, and Walter B. Ralphs is in shirt sleeves (He died in 1954 at age 99).

The original address of Ralphs was 501-503 South Spring, with New York Bakery at 505. Under the new street numbering system adopted about 1890, the address for Ralphs changed to 601-603, and for the Bakery 605 South Spring. Later the Hayward Hotel was built in this location.*

 

 

 
(1880s)* - View of the front of the Boston Dry Goods Store. Three women are window-shopping in front of the large display window. The Boston Store was first started at Spring and Temple Street in 1883 by J.W. Robinson.  

 

Historical Notes

The “Boston Dry Goods Store” began business in February of 1883 at the corner of N. Spring and Temple Streets. Joseph Winchester Robinson  advertised that his establishment was characterized by “fine stocks and refined ‘Boston’ service.” The arrival of railroads spurred the enormous and long-lived growth of Southern California, and Robinson’s store brought eastern goods and their attendant sophistication to a willing (and growing) public; in 1887 the store was forced to move to larger quarters at 69-73 N. Spring Street. After returning from a trip back east in 1891, Robinson became ill and passed away in his home at the age of 45. His father, H.W. Robinson came to Los Angeles for the funeral and to look after the business founded by his late son.

Remaining under family control, the store was renamed J.W. Robinson Co. (but continued to trade as the “Boston Dry Goods Store” until after the turn of the century) and moved in 1896 to 239 S. Broadway, “opposite City Hall.” In the early days of the twentieth century, the Los Angeles area grew and grew, especially with the arrival of the film industry.  The store, which “catered to the most exclusive trade” according to the Los Angeles Times in 1911, expanded into adjacent properties, but it became apparent to management that the South Broadway location could not handle the store’s growth into the future.  Accordingly, land was acquired along Seventh Street between Grand and Hope streets where a new store was built in 1915.^#*

 

 

 
(1886)* - People, horses and buggies lined up in front of H. Newmark & Co. in the Amestoy Block in 1886.  

 

Historical Notes

Harris Newmark emigrated to the United States in 1853 from Löbau in Province of Saxony (now Saxony, in eastern Germany) and settled in Los Angeles. After working in partnership with his brother, he eventually established his own wholesale grocery business, H. Newmark and Company, in 1865, with headquarters on Spring Street. He went on to invest in real estate, holding large tracts in the San Gabriel Valley. In 1875 he sold eight thousand acres of what was then the Santa Anita Rancho to rancher E.J. “Lucky” Baldwin.

In May 1899, Newmark subdivided the tract (approx. 15,000 acres) owned by himself and his nephew, after contracting with William Mulholland to design and construct a suitable water system for the new settlement. A piece of this tract adjacent to the tracks of the San Pedro, Los Angeles & Salt Lake Railroad was developed into a town site called Newmark. The remaining land was subdivided into 5-acre lots suitable for small-scale agriculture. The entire settlement, including the Newmark town site, was given the name Montebello. When the town incorporated in 1920, Montebello replaced Newmark as the new city's name.

Newmark was one of the founders of the Los Angeles Public Library, was a charter member of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, and was one of the organizers of the Board of Trade, which helped bring railroad service to California. He was the president of Congregation B'nai B'rith in 1887 (he inherited the title from his uncle and father-in-law Joseph Newmark) and a founder of the Jewish Orphans Home. Newmark was also instrumental in the establishment of the Southwest Museum, which is now part of the Autry National Center. He and other Newmarks were leaders of the local Odd Fellows and were Masons.^*

 

 

 

 
(1886)* - View of the Nadeau Hotel on the southwest corner of Spring and 1st streets. A row of horses & carriages is lined up on the street in front. A tall narrow church spire can be seen in the background on the far left.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1882, Remi Nadeau built the Nadeau Hotel, Los Angeles's first four-story structure and the first building with an elevator. The hotel was designed by Morgan & Walls.

Remi Nadeau was a French Canadian pioneer who arrived in Los Angeles in 1861 driving a team of oxen. During the silver-mining excitement in the Cerro Gordo region of Inyo County his teamster operation brought tons of silver to Southern California and hauled back food and supplies to the miners. By 1873 he operated 80 such teams.**##

 

 

 

 
(1897)* - The Hotel Nadeau, showing the entire corner at 1st and Spring Streets, the present site of the Los Angeles Times. The hotel was built in 1882 as the first 4-story building in L.A. A paved street now visible. Horses, carriages, cars and trolleys, along with people are now visible. A sign giving the name of the hotel sets on the corner of the roof. The hotel advertises that it is heated by F.E. Brown's hot air furnace, and testimonials are available. Architects, Morgan & Walls.  

 

 

 

 
(1886)* - An early picture of the southeast corner of Spring and 5th St. when the building was occupied by Central Saloon.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1883)* - View of Los Angeles High School on Poundcake Hill, taken from 1st and Spring Streets, with numerous buildings in the foreground. At center-right there is a side view of the Saint Athanasius Episcopal Church, widely thought to be the first Protestant house of worship in Los Angeles, which is situated on the northeast corner of Poundcake Hill at Temple and New High Streets.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1880)^^* - View of Los Angeles High School from Temple Street sitting on top of 'Poundcake Hill'. A long flight of stairs can be seen going from the bottom of the steep hill to the top.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1886, the decision was made to move the high school building to Sand Street (later California Street, now part of the Hollywood Freeway), just to the west of North Hill Street and below the south side of Fort Moore Hill, in order for the Los Angeles County Courthouse to be built on Poundcake Hill. The contractor, Mr. Hickam, said he could do the job with scaffolding, rollers, horses and workmen. But his bid turned out to be too low. He lost a considerable amount of money because of his elaborate preparations, including the high wooden trestle which carried the building over the intersection of Temple and Fort Street.^*

 

 

 
(1886)* - Photo of the Los Angeles High School building, being moved over to Temple Street as a couple of people look on. A man standing at the corner of Temple and Broadway (formerly Fort Street) watches a double trolley traveling by, and two people can be seen exiting the Clifton House on the left.  

 

Historical Notes

The moving contractor, Mr. Hickam, managed to get the schoolhouse halfway up Temple Street when he ran out of money and left it right in the middle of the street. It was there for a good while. They jacked it up on scaffolding high enough for the Temple Street street cars to run under it. Finally, they got it moved up to its new location on Sand Street, where LAHS students and faculty remained until the second high school was built a few years later.^*

 

 

 
(1886)* - Los Angeles’ first high school moved across the street from Poundcake Hill to clear space for a new county courthouse.  

 

Historical Notes

The building remained where the contractor crew left it, repurposed as a schoolhouse for younger students while a new, grander high school was built atop Fort Moore Hill.^#

 

 

 
(1886)^^* - Moving plans run into technical problems and contractor gives up.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1886)* - Family in front of home circa 1886. Note the two styles of bicycles used by the children.
 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1881-1886)* - Exterior view of the first building of the Los Angeles Times, which was located at Temple and New High Streets from 1881 to 1886. Signs on the building indicate "Mirror Printing Office" and "Mirror Book Bindery."  

 

Historical Notes

In 1882, Colonel Harrison Gray Otis took over editorial oversight of the Daily Times and Weekly Mirror (now the Los Angeles Times) at the above building.  Otis and his wife Eliza had purchased 15% of the newspaper. While Harrison published bombastic editorials, Eliza wrote articles for the women’s section and columns called “The Saunterer” and “Susan Sunshine.” By 1886, the couple bought out their partners and owned 100 percent of the newspaper.**#

 

 

 
(ca. 1887)* - Exterior view of the original Los Angeles Times Building on the corner of 1st and Broadway. The building next door, to the right, was occupied by the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce from February 1889 until March 1890.
 

 

Historical Notes

In 1884 Harrison Gray Otis bought out the Los Angeles Daily Times from the Mirror Company and formed the Times-Mirror Company.

Otis was known for his conservative political views, which were reflected in the paper. His home was one of three buildings that were targeted in the 1910 Los Angeles Times bombing. During his time as publisher of the Times Otis is known for coining the phrase "You are either with me, or against me."

His support for his adopted city was instrumental in the growth of the city. He was a member of a group of investors who bought land in the San Fernando Valley based on inside knowledge that the Los Angeles Aqueduct would soon irrigate it.^*

 

 

 
(ca. 1887)* - Carriers of the Los Angeles Times assembled in the street outside the old building on 1st and Broadway.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1890s)* - View of the Times Building on the northeast corner of 1st and Broadway, decorated with stars, American flags, and other items. A large group of people is assembled by the front entrance.  Horse-drawn wagons and a streetcar can also be seen.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1905)* - Located on 1st and Broadway since 1886, this is how the second Times Building looked prior to the 1910 dynamiting. The Times was originally located on Temple and New High Streets.  

 

 

 

 
(1910)* - Bombed-out building of the Los Angeles Times at First Street and Broadway.  

 

Historical Notes

On October 1, 1910 at 1:07 am, a bomb exploded in an alley adjacent to the LA Times building known as "Ink Alley". The south wall facing Broadway Street collapsed, the blast weakened the second floor, which also collapsed under the weight of its machines, onto the first floor, in turn, falling into the basement. A fire resulted due to the natural gas lines that were located beneath the bombing site, and barrels of ink ignited. The explosion and subsequent fire destroyed the building, trapping and killing 20 employees who were working the night shift printing that day's edition, and many more were seriously injured. Charged in the crime were two brothers, James B. ("J.B.") and John J. ("J.J.") McNamara, members of the Iron Workers Union; they were arrested in April 1911. A third man, Ortie McManigal, was also implicated and would later agree to testify against the McNamara brothers.

Noted attorney Clarence Darrow was hired by the American Federation of Labor to defend the brothers; their trial was set to begin October 11, 1911. Darrow initially believed the McNamaras to be innocent, but upon learning of their guilt arranged a plea bargain to spare them the death penalty. James McNamara got a life sentence, and John received a sentence of 15 years. Following their trial, they were sent to San Quentin State Prison. James B. was transferred to Folsom State Prison for a time, and then sent back to San Quentin for medical reasons, where he soon died of cancer on March 9, 1941. His brother John J. died in Butte, Montana two months later, on May 8, 1941.*

 

 

 
(ca. 1912)* - View of the new Times Building shortly after it was rebuilt. Note the new castle-like clock tower.  

 

Historical Notes

The third Los Angeles Times building opened on Oct. 1, 1912 — on the second anniversary of the bombing of the second Times building. It was used until the new Times Building (current location) was opened in 1935. The building was torn down in early 1938.*

 

 

 
(1915)#^ – Night view showing the illuminated clock tower of the LA Times Building. Photo Date: April 16, 1915  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1925)* - Panoramic view of the Civic Center in the 1920s, looking north from First and Broadway, with the old Los Angeles Times building in the foreground and the Hall of Records, the old County Courthouse, and the Broadway Tunnel beyond.  

 

 

 

 
(1920s)* - View looking north showing a parade on Broadway rounding the corner at 1st Street and then heading east. The LA Times building stands on the northeast corner. In view is the Broadway Tunnel and the Hall of Records.  

 

 

 

 
(1926)* - View looking toward the LA Times Building on 1st and Broadway. Cars, streetcars and pedestrians are seen at the busy intersection.  

 

 

 

 
(1934)* - Scaffolding covers portions of the emerging L.A. Times Buildings as cranes clamp to the top like stick insects. The construction fence advertises "New Home of Los Angeles Times - largest newspaper in the West". A truck delivering construction material is parked by the curb and a ladder extends from the truck to the top of the fence. Next to the Times is the Bryson Building, left. A pharmacy is across the street.  

 

 

 

 
(1934)^*# - View looking south on Broadway at 1st Street. The old Times Building (3rd Times Bldg.) with its ornate castle-like tower stands guard while the new Times Building on First and Spring is still under construction. The new building was completed in 1935.  

 

 

 

 

(1937)^#*^ - The current Times Building rises behind a worker demolishing the paper's previous home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
(1887)* - Horse-drawn fire engine and cart in front of Los Angeles fire station house at southwest corner of 9th and Spring streets. Notice all the men above are in street clothes. The firehouses were staffed by volunteers until the end of 1887.
 

 

Historical Notes

In December 1885, the City Council considered the merits of a fully paid Department and moved to finance and control the first fully paid, official Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD). In February 1886, the LAFD officially went into service with four fire stations.

It took until 1887 for the City’s LAFD to establish its own fire station, Engine Company No. 1, the Old Plaza Firehouse.**^

Click HERE to see more on the Old Plaza Firehouse in Early Plaza of Los Angeles.

 

 

 
(1887)* - Exterior view of H. D. Alfonso & Co. grocery and feed store at the corner of Temple and Main. The unattached one-story wooden frame building has steps leading to the entrance. A sign at the door indicates that the premise is authorized to be a post office station. A man and boy pose on the steps and a man in a horse and buggy are in front. On the side of the building is painted: "Groceries, Hay and Grain for sale". A house is being constructed in the background.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1887)^*^^ - View of the Burbank Villa Hotel looking north on Olive Avenue. It was built by Dr. David Burbank and his son-in-law John W. Griffin. Behind it and to the right is the Burbank Block.  

 

Historical Notes

At the time the American Civil War broke out Dr. David Burbank established his profession as a dentist in Pueblo de Los Angeles. In 1867, he purchased Rancho La Providencia from David W. Alexander and Francis Mellus, and he purchased the western portion of the Rancho San Rafael (4,603 acres) from Jonathan R. Scott. Dr. Burbank's property reached nearly 9,200 acres at a cost of $9,000. He eventually became known as one of the largest and most successful sheep raisers in southern California, resulting in him stopping his practice of dentistry and investing heavily in real estate in Los Angeles.^*

The Burbank Villa Hotel cost $30,000 to build and was later renamed the Santa Rosa Hotel which was a popular place for weddings and galas. The hotel was remodeled into apartments in the 1920's and by 1927 was torn down and later replaced by the Downtown Burbank Station (Bob Hope) Post Office.^*^^

 

 

 

 
(1895)* - Exterior view of the Burbank Block (Brick Block), the first brick building in town located at San Fernando Road and Olive Avenue. Horse-drawn carriages are parked alongside of the building.  

 

 

 

 
(1889)* - Group photo of several men sitting in front of the Burbank Block. The Burbank Block was the first brick building in town, located on San Fernando Road (now Golden Mall) and Olive Avenue in Burbank. The Brick Block was erected during 1887 by the Provedencia Land & Water Co. for the newly planted town of Burbank.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1887)* - This business block in Compton includes a hardware and grocer. A horse-drawn cart can be seen at right. Shop owners are standing in front of the brick building housing various businesses, posing for the camera.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1867, Griffith Dickenson Compton led a group of thirty pioneers to the area. These families had traveled by wagon train south from Stockton, California in search of ways to earn a living other than in the rapid exhaustion of gold fields. Originally named Gibsonville, after one of the tract owners, it was later called Comptonville. However, to avoid confusion with the Comptonville located in Yuba County, the name was shortened to Compton.

Griffith D. Compton donated his land to incorporate and create the city of Compton in 1889, but he did stipulate that a certain acreage be zoned solely for agriculture and named Richland Farms.  In January 1888, a petition supporting the incorporation of Compton was forwarded to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, who in turn forwarded the petition to the State Legislature. On May 11, 1888 the city of Compton was incorporated, it had a total population of 500 people. The first City Council meeting was held on May 14, 1888.^*

 

 

 

 
ca. (1880)^ - Full frame lithograph photo of the orange and lemon groves on the Wolfskill Ranch, residence of  William Wolfskill. The Los Angeles and Independence Railroad Station can be seen in the background. The Southern Pacific Arcade Station would be built on the Wolfskill Ranch in 1888.  

 

Historical Notes

William Wolfskill, a native of Kentucky, came to California in 1831 and settled in Los Angeles in 1836, where he soon met and married Magdalena Lugo, daughter of Jose Ygnacio Lugo. In March 1838, Wolfskill purchased a 100-acre lot bounded by 3rd to 9th streets and San Pedro to Alameda streets, which he named Wolfskill Ranch, and built a large adobe (known as "Wolfskill Adobe") located at 239 Alameda, between 3rd and 4th streets.

In 1839 Wolfskill became a major grape producer when he planted the first vineyard of table grapes in California. Two years later, in 1841, he planted his first 2-acre plot of citrus behind his adobe, between 4th and 6th streets east of Alameda. In a short period of time, Wolfskill's farm had increased to 28-acres of planted citrus with over 2,500 orange trees. By 1862 he owned 3/4 of all the orange trees in California and was the biggest orange grower in the United States - for which he is considered the father of early California citrus industry.

In 1865, Wolfskill purchased Rancho Santa Anita, where he planted eucalyptus seeds that he had imported from Australia. The eucalyptus trees, which still stand today, were the first of their kind in California.*

 

 

 
(ca. 1880s)* - Exterior view of the William Wolfskill adobe (simply known as the "Wolfskill Adobe") located at 239 Alameda, between 3rd and 4th streets. It shows one side of the white L-shaped adobe behind several palms and trees. A gentleman can be seen leaning against a low post - possibly used to tie horses, as a pile of manure is visible near his feet.  

 

Historical Notes

William Wolfskill died in 1866 at the age of 68, but the property remained in the family, with his son Louis Wolfskill taking over the operation of the ranch. Eventually, all but seven acres of the Wolfskill Ranch would either be sold or subdivided.*

John Wolfskill, William's younger brother, owned the Wolfskill Ranch on land that would later become Westwood and UCLA. Click HERE to see more in Early Views of UCLA.

 

 

 

 
(1887)* - Front view of the Wolfskill Adobe showing a low hedge separating the house from a dirt pathway, possibly a driveway. A few trees can be seen in the surrounding area and another house or building is visible in the background on the right.
 

 

Historical Notes

In 1887, the still-standing Wolfskill Adobe would be razed to make way for the old Southern Pacific Railroad's Arcade Station, which was located at Fifth and Alameda. This, too, would be demolished in 1914 and replaced with a larger and more modern railroad passenger depot - the Central Station. In 1916, the Ice & Cold Storage Plant was built on a portion of the land, and was located on 3rd and Central avenues. By 1958, the Ice & Cold Storage Plant had become Young's Market Company, located at 500 S. Central Avenue.*

 

 

 

 
(1889)^^*  - View of a palm tree being moved to the front of the Arcade Depot on Fifth Street and Central Avenue on land that was once occupied by the Wolfskill Adobe.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1891)* - Southern Pacific steam engine no. 1364 heads the train at the Arcade Station at Alameda between 4th and 5th St.  

 

Historical Notes

The Arcade Station was the second station built by Southern Pacific in Los Angeles (and first one built primarily for passenger service). Built in 1889 and used until 1914 when it was replaced by larger SP Central Station. It was demolished shortly thereafter.

 

 

 

 
(n.d.)* - Interior view of an empty Arcade Depot. The trains appear to be sitting outside the building.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1890)^## - View showing over a dozen horse-drawn wagons waiting for the next train to arrive at the Southern Pacific Arcade Depot.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1896)^## – Close-up view of the large palm tree standing in front of the Arcade Depot.  Horse-drawn wagons are parked in front of the station.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1908)^^* - Close-up view of the Arcade Depot with it's now-famous palm tree standing tall in front of the main entrance. Horse-drawn carriages can be seen waiting for the arrival of passengers.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1914, the Southern Pacific Railroad replaced the Arcade Station with the Central Station, a larger and more modern railroad passenger depot. The Union Pacific Railroad moved its Downtown Los Angeles passenger terminal to Central Station in 1924 after its original passenger depot just south of First Street on the east side of the Los Angeles River was destroyed by fire.^*

 

 

 

 
(1914)* - Horse and buggies are parked outside the Arcade Station in its last year of operations at Alameda between 4th and 5th St. The singular Arcade palm tree can be seen in front of the station, the same tree seen being planted in the earlier 1889 photo.  

 

Historical Notes

Amazingly, the original Arcade Depot palm is still alive. It was replanted at a location in front of the Los Angeles Coliseum where it stands today. It along with the Longstreet Palms are considered to be the oldest trees in the City of Los Angeles.^*#

 

 

 

 
(n.d.)#*#* - Plaque commemorating the Arcade Depot Palm as the "Mute witness to the growth of Los Angeles". Both plaque and Arcade Palm are situated in front of the LA Memorial Coliseum.  

 

Historical Notes

The plaque sits in front of the Exposition Park entrance leading to the coliseum. It reads:

“This historic palm tree stood for more than twenty-five years at the entrance of the Southern Pacific Station.  At this railroad portal of the City it became a familiar landmark to many thousands of Los Angeles and Southern California citizens and visitors from elsewhere, and was a mute witness to the growth of Los Angeles from a community of Pueblo days to a great world metropolis of today.  When construction of a new Southern Pacific Station necessitated removal, under the auspices of the Los Angeles Examiner it was presented to te City of Los Angeles by the Southern Pacific Company.  On September 5, 1914, it was placed here, where it and its sentimental associations will be prmanently preserved.”

 

 

 
(ca. 1930s)* - A painting by Chris Siemer of the Los Angeles Coliseum in Exposition Park around the 1930s, created for a display for the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce. The horse created by the card section indicates that a USC football game is in progress. On the lower right side, at the Figueroa St. entrance to Exposition Park, stands the Arcade Palm.  

 

 

 

 
(1932)^*# - View looking east at the LA Coliseum scoreboard during a USC - Nortre Dame game. The Arcade Depot Palm is seen through the arch of the colonnade.  

 

Historical Notes

Final score: USC 13 - Notre Dame 0: USC shut out Notre Dame on its way to a second consecutive consensus national title, matching Notre Dame's feat in 1929 and 1930. From 1928-1932, USC and Notre Dame combined to win the national title five straight years, with USC winning in 1928, 1931 and 1932, and Notre Dame winning in 1929 and 1930.

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of USC.

 

 

 
(ca. 1887)* - View of Fort Moore Hill, showing the home (upper center) of Mary Hollister Banning, widow of General Phineas Banning. The structure was built by Jacob Philippi as a beer hall, but Banning purchased and transformed it into a home. Part of the trenches of old Fort Moore, built in 1846-1847, are visible in the upper left.  

 

Historical Notes

Fort Moore was an historic U.S. Military Fort during the Mexican–American War. Its approximate location was at what is now the Hollywood Freeway near the intersection of North Hill Street and West Cesar Chavez Avenue, downtown.^*

The building seen above was originally built by Jacob Philippi when he opened shop as a barkeep on Fort Moore Hill in about 1870-75. Being difficult to reach, particularly after a rain, the saloon attracted a rough crowd and after a few years of fist-,gun- and knife fights Philippi called it quits and retreated back down the hill simply boarding it up and leaving.*#*#

 

 

 
(1888)* - Horses and buggies at the Los Angeles Plaza in 1888. The Banning Residence can be seen in the background on top of Fort Moore Hill overlooking the LA Plaza. The LA Plaza Church is to the left. Click HERE to see more in Early Plaza of L.A.  

 

Historical Notes

Following Phineas Banning's death in 1885, his widow, Mary Hollister Banning relocated from Wilmington and chose to purchase and refurbish the structure on top of Fort Moore Hill as a rather unusual home. With two strong-willed daughters in tow, particularly Lucy the younger girl whose life of misbegotten decision-making could fill a book, Mary appreciated the relative isolation as well as the view and frequent breeze the brow of the hill afforded.*#*#

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1937)* – View of the former home of Mary Hollister Banning on Fort Moore Hill.  Photo by Herman Schultheis.  

 

Historical Notes

At 535 N. Broadway, here, well past its prime, now serving as a boarding house, it overlooked the north portal of the Broadway tunnel. Interestingly, Mary's step-son Hancock Banning built his own house on Fort Moore Hill at 416 N. Broadway. It overlooked the south portal of the Broadway tunnel.*#*#

Most of Fort Moore Hill was removed in 1949 for construction of the Hollywood Freeway. The hill was located one block north of Temple Street and a short distance south of present day Cesar Chavez Avenue, between the Los Angeles Civic Center and Chinatown. A small portion of the hill was not bulldozed and remains on the west side of Hill Street on the north side of the freeway where the fort is now memorialized by the Fort Moore Pioneer Memorial.^*

 

 

 
(ca. 1887)^^* - Head of Vermont Avenue - Photograph of an exterior view of the old Los Feliz school in Cahuenga Valley, later Hollywood.  The building is a two-story wood building with a large tower at center. The top level of the tower is an open deck, and the roof of the tower is onion-shaped. A tall flagpole stands on the roof at left and a large flag flies from it. The main entrance to the school is at left and consists of a stairway leading up to a covered porch. The windows of the school are tall and rectangular, and they are very close together at right. There is a hill in the background, and a low wooden fence is in the foreground.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1887)* - Exterior view of Maclay School of Theology, a Methodist seminary founded by Charles Maclay, a Methodist minister, in 1885 in San Fernando.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1874, Charles Maclay bought 56,000 acres of the Rancho Ex-Mission San Fernando land grant including the northern half of the San Fernando Valley. In 1882, cousins George K. Porter and Benjamin F. Porter, owner of future Porter Ranch, each received one-third of the total land.

In 1885, Maclay founded the Maclay School of Theology, a Methodist seminary in his newly founded town of San Fernando, California. After his death it became an affiliate and moved to the campus of the University of Southern California before becoming the Claremont School of Theology in 1957.^*

Click HERE to see Early Views of the San Fernando Valley or HERE to see Early Views of U.S.C.

 

 

 
(ca. 1887)* - View of St. Vincent's College located at Hill and Broadway, between 6th and 7th streets.  

 

Historical Notes

Rapid growth of St. Vincent College enrollment prompted the Jesuits to seek a new campus on Venice Boulevard in 1917. In 1918, the name was changed to Loyola College of Los Angeles. The school relocated once again to the present Westchester campus in 1929, and achieved university status in 1930, becoming Loyola University of Los Angeles. In 1973, Loyola University and Marymount College merged to form Loyola Marymount University (also known as LMU).*

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1887)* - View of St. Vincent's College, circa 1887, located at Hill and Broadway, between 6th and 7th streets. It is believed that the left portion of building was erected for St. Vincent's College, and later, was the headquarters to General Miles of the U.S. Military Dept. of Arizona.  

 

Historical Notes

St. Vincent’s Place, the site of Saint Vincent's College from 1868 to 1887 has been designated as California Historical Landmark No. 567.  The college, now Loyola University, was the first institution of higher learning in Southern California.

Click HERE to see more California Historical Landmarks in LA.

 

 

 

 
(1889)* - Southwest headquarters of the United States Army, Saint Vincent's College, Sixth Street and Broadway, 1889.  

 

 

 

 
(1881)* - Photograph of the Los Angeles Infirmary, as it looked in 1881. This was the second building to house the city's finest hospital, located on Naud Street, opposite the Southern Pacific Railroad Depot. This was a three-story American Mansard-style structure with a wrap-around balcony on the second floor, and numerous windows and doors. Two young girls stand next to a large shrub at the front of the hospital, and several adults stand on the balcony.  

 

Historical Notes

The Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul established the first hospital in Los Angeles - the Los Angeles Infirmary, in 1856. It was located in the Sonora Town adobe owned by then-Mayor of Los Angeles, Don Cristóbal Aguilar. Four years later, in 1860, the hospital relocated to 1416 Naud Street, between Ann (named for Sister Ann) and Sotillo Street (though other data indicates the location was 1414 Naud Street, between N. Main and San Fernando Road). In 1869, Daughters incorporated the Los Angeles Infirmary under their own ownership, the first women in the region to do so.*

 

 

 
(ca. 1887)* - Photograph of St. Vincent's Hospital (formerly Sisters Hospital) as seen from across a sparse field. Several trees can be seen to the right of the grand hospital, which boasts of numerous windows, dormers, an irregular roof, a cupola or tower, and several chimneys.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1883 the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul purchased six and a half acres of land at Beaudry Park at a cost of $10,000, and a new hospital building was erected a year later at Beaudry and Sunset, on a hillside overlooking Sonora Town. By 1898, Los Angeles Infirmary had come to be known as Sisters Hospital, but both names were used interchangeably in reference to the same hospital.*

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1887)* - Photograph of St. Vincent's Hospital (formerly Sisters Hospital) as seen from across the lawn. Several trees, most of them palms, are planted in front of the grand hospital that shows numerous windows, dormers, an irregular roof, a cupola or tower, and several chimneys. Six nuns can be seen walking and/or sitting around the front lawn.
 

 

Historical Notes

The hospital building was located on six and a half acres in Beaudry Park, atop a hillside that overlooked Sonora Town.*

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1890s)* - View of Sisters Hospital (later to be named St. Vincent's Hospital) as seen from behind a cluster of banana trees located on the grounds; a nun can be seen standing in the foreground. More trees hide the rest of the grand hospital, which boasts of numerous windows, dormers, an irregular roof, a cupola or tower, and several chimneys. The hospital building was located on six and a half acres in Beaudry Park, atop a hillside that overlooked Sonora Town.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1910)^^* - View of the Los Angeles Infirmary at it's new location at Sunset and Beaudry. A seven-story octagonal tower topped with a dome rises on the corner of the four-story Mission-revival building. A cross is on top of the dome.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1884, a new Los Angeles Infirmary Hospital was built at Sunset and Beaudry.

In 1913, Los Angeles Infirmary became the first hospital in California accredited by the American College of Surgeons. #^#^

 

 

 

 
(1908)^^* -  Interior view of the Los Angeles Infirmary (later, Saint Vincent's Hospital), Sunset and Beaudry.  A group of six nurses and doctors surround a patient on an operating table.   

 

Historical Notes

In 1918, the name changed from Los Angeles Infirmary to St. Vincent’s Hospital.

In 1924, a new building was erected on 3rd and Alvarado, which was built by John C. Austin and Frederick M. Ashley. #^#^

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1887)* - View of Los Angeles College, located on the southwest corner of Eighth and Hope streets. Photograph shows a three-story wooden building with jutting towers on each corner, narrow fire-escapes on the second and third floors along the right side of the building, and numerous windows throughout the entire structure. A low fence and hedge surrounds the college.  

 

Historical Notes

Rev. D.W. Hanna, one of the pioneer educators of Los Angeles, opened the Los Angeles College for Young Ladies, better known as Hanna College, on September 2, 1885. At the time, it was the only institution in the city that provided exclusively for the higher education of young women. The school was originally located in a couple of buildings on the corner of Fifth and Olive streets.

By 1887, having formed a stock company, Hanna erected a new, larger school structure on the southwest corner of Eighth and Hope streets. With 350 students enrolled at that time, the college prospered and was a popular girls' boarding school, where many of the most exclusive families sent their daughters to be educated.

Sadly, Hanna's own daughter died in 1892, and he never fully recovered from the loss; he gave up his teaching work and went into retirement due to poor health, and shortly after, the institution failed. A few years later, Abbot Kinney purchased the still standing building and operated it as the 100-room Abbotsford Inn. In 1914, First Methodist Church purchased the property; in 1921 the structure was demolished to make way for a new church building.*

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1887)^^* - View of the Los Angeles National Bank building on the northeast corner of 1st and Spring Street where City Hall is today.  

 

Historical Notes

Completed in 1887, the building was designed by Kysor & Morgan in the "Modern Gothic" style, includes a basement and cost $65,000 to build. The building materials were granite, iron and pressed brick. The bank was organized in 1883 and later merged, along with Southwestern National Bank, with First National in 1905.*

The Masonic Temple was located upstairs and the Shriners had their first meeting hall here in 1888.^^*

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1890)*  - View of the Los Angeles National Bank at the northeast corner of First and Spring streets, in downtown Los Angeles.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1906, the seven-story Equitable Savings Bank replaced the Los Angeles National Bank building on the northeast corner of First and Spring streets.^ 

 

 

 

 
(1906)* -  View of the construction of Equitable Savings Bank, a seven-story structure that replaced the Los Angeles National Bank building at the northeast corner of 1st and Spring.  

 

 

 

 
(1920)s* - Exterior view of Security Trust and Savings Bank at First and Spring Streets, in the Equitable Building.  

 

Historical Notes

The Equitable Savings Bank Building did not last too long, being demolished in the late 1920s. The site today is the corner of the park next to City Hall.^

 

 

 
(2014)#^** – View looking at the northeast corner of Spring and First Streets where the Equitable Bank Building once stood, now a park next to City Hall.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1880s)* - The southwest corner of Broadway and 2nd St., showing the house built in 1870 for Judge O'Melveny.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1887 the house was moved around to make way for the American National Bank. In 1911 the California Building was erected on the spot.*

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1880s)* - Exterior view of the Brunson Mansion, located at 347 S. Grand Avenue on Bunker Hill.   

 

Historical Notes

This home was built in the early 1880s by Anson Brunson who was a Los Angeles County Superior Judge and a lawyer for the Santa Fe Railroad.

 

 

 
(1886)* - View of Bunker Hill from Hill and 3rd looking northwest. The Crocker Mansion, located at 3rd and Olive, can clearly be seen at the top of the hill.  

 

Historical Notes

At the turn of the 20th Century, no building dominated Bunker Hill like the Crocker Mansion. Perched high at the corner of Third and Olive, the imposing 3-story Victorian structure overlooked the emerging metropolis for more than 22 years.^

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1886)* - View of Edwin B. Crocker's residence located at 300 S. Olive near 3rd Street. The mansion can be easily seen sitting majestically atop Bunker Hill, despite numerous tall trees that surround it.    

 

Historical Notes

Designed by architect John Hall and erected in 1886, the ornate residence was built at a cost of $45,000 for Mrs. Margaret E. Crocker. Margaret was the widow of Edwin Bryant Crocker, a California Supreme Court Justice, who with his brother, Charles, amassed a fortune in the railroad industry.*

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1887)* - The Crocker Mansion, located on the south east corner of 3rd and Olive street. This photo shows the back entrance of the mansion, as well as a horse-drawn carriage with three women and a child taking in the spectacular views of Downtown Los Angeles.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1891, the home was known as the Crocker Mansion Rooming House. It later became the site of the Elks Club, and finally the Moose Lodge.*

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1888)* - Looking across an unpaved Olive Street, just south of 3rd Street, towards the Crocker Mansion on Bunker Hill.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1890)* - Rear view of the Crocker Mansion showing the full extent of its wide balconies where you could get a great view of the emerging metropolis of Los Angeles.  

 

 

 

 
(1895)*#*# – View looking west at 3rd and Hill Streets with the Crocker Mansion seen at the top of Bunker Hill.  The southwest corner of 3rd and Hill (lower-right) would become the lower station terminal of Angels Flight.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1898)^^* - Panorama view from 3rd and Spring streets showing the Crocker Mansion and neighbors on Bunker Hill.  

 

Historical Notes

Construction on the Third Street tunnel began in 1900, and Mrs. Crocker filed a petition claiming that the mansion was endangered by the street tunnel which was “unsafe, improperly constructed and a veritable death trap.” According to the Los Angeles Times, “the walls of her house are settling, the foundations giving way and the plaster is falling off…Unless something is done, the building is liable to topple into a hole.” The house never did topple and was alive and well in 1902 when Angels Flight began operating and dropping riders off practically on the Crocker doorstep.^

 

 

 

 

 
(1901)^*# - Photo of Angel’s Flight at the grand opening of the railway, December 31st, 1901. An observation tower was also constructed on top of the hill adjacent to the Crocker Mansion.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1900)^^* - Panoramic view of downtown Los Angeles from the Crocker Mansion (partially visible at left) looking east on Third Street from the intersection of Olive Street on Bunker Hill. Flags are flying on several buildings, including the Bradbury Building (Third Street and Broadway). The Los Angeles City Hall, with its distinguished tall tower, is seen just to the right of the mansion.  

 

Historical Notes

The Victorian building was razed in June 1908 and the cornerstone for the Elk’s Annex was laid the following September.^

 

 

 

 
(1888)*##^ - Exterior front corner view of the Leonard John Rose Victorian home at 400 South Grand Avenue.  

 

Historical Notes

Sunny Slope was the name of the renowned ranch Rose acquired shortly after arriving in Southern California in 1860. Located in what is now the eastern end of Pasadena, the 1,900 acre property contained countless lemon, orange and olive trees, but became famous for its vineyards. Vines were imported from Spain, Italy and Peru, and the wine and brandy generated from Sunny Slope made L.J. Rose a household name and a very wealthy man. He also found success as a breeder with a horse ranch named Rosemead (where the city of the same name now stands), and eventually became a State Senator.^

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1890)* - Exterior of the mansion owned by businessman Leonard John Rose, located on the southeast corner of Grand Avenue and 4th Street on Bunker Hill.  

 

Historical Notes

The lavish home, completed in 1888, was designed by Curlett & Eisen and cost approximately $50,000 to build.*

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1888)* - Exterior front corner view of the three-story Victorian style home of Pierre Larronde at 237 N. Hope Street, Bunker Hill.  

 

Historical Notes

At one time, the name Larronde was a fairly well known one in the City of Angels. Pierre Larronde was a native Frenchman who landed in San Francisco in 1847 and made a killing in the gold mines. When he relocated to Los Angeles in 1851, he amassed a further fortune by successfully raising sheep on one of the Ranchos. Always the astute businessman, Larronde cashed out his sheep empire in the late 1880s and focused his energies on real estate. His holdings included prime land at the corner of First and Spring, and a parcel on North Hope Street near Temple where he built the family home.

The Sanborn Fire Insurance maps show the house on Hope Street as being under construction in 1888. The Larronde Bunch moved in shortly thereafter and held gatherings on a regular basis that made the society pages. Unlike many residences of Bunker Hill, the Larronde home suffered no scandals or controversies. Pierre the pioneer died in 1896, around the age of 70, and Juana resided on Hope Street until her death in 1920 at the ripe old age of 84.^

 

 

 
(1954)* - Exterior of the Queen Anne Revival style home, located at 237 N. Hope Street. It was demolished in 1957.  

 

Historical Notes

Pierre Larronde had a great deal in common with a fellow Los Angeles pioneer named Jean Etchemendy. Both men hailed from a south western region in France called the Basses-Pyrenees, both briefly lived in South America before cashing in early on the Gold Rush, and both successfully settled in Los Angles as sheep ranchers. Last but not least, both men married a gal named Juana Egurrola. Juana was born in Marquina, Spain but moved to California with her family at a very young age. She married Etchemendy in 1865 and gave birth to daughters Mariana, Madeleine and Carolina. Jean Etchemendy died in 1872 and Juana mourned for a couple of years before hooking up with the other French sheep-man in town. Juana’s 1874 union with Pierre Larronde produced three children, Pedro Domingo, John and Antoinette.

For nearly eighty years, one family resided in the house at 237 North Hope Street. By the end of the 1960s, all traces of the Larronde/Etchemendy clan were erased from Bunker Hill.^

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1887)* - Exterior view of Hazard's Pavilion. Erected in early-mid 1880; demolished around 1905, it is the present site of the Philharmonic Auditorium.  

 

Historical Notes

Hazard's Pavilion was a large auditorium located at the intersection of Fifth and Olive Streets. Showman George "Roundhouse" Lehman had planned to construct a large theatre center on the land he purchased at this location, but he went broke and the property was sold to the City Attorney (and soon to be Mayor), Henry T. Hazard. The venue was built in 1887 at a cost of $25,000, a large amount for the time, and seated up to 4,000 people (some sources say that seating could be up to 8,000; the building was divided into two galleries, and perhaps each accommodated 4,000). The building was constructed of wood with a clap-board exterior, and the front was framed by two towers.^*

 

 

 

 
(1903)* - A public reception being held inside the Hazard's Pavilion in May 4, 1903. The pavilion was erected in 1887 and demolished around 1905. The Philharmonic Auditorium was built in its place.  

 

Historical Notes

As the largest building of its type in Los Angeles at the time, Hazard's Pavilion was a venue for conventions, political meetings, lectures, fairs, religious meetings, concerts, operas, balls, and sports events. It opened in April, 1887 with a modest civic flower festival, but a month later it hosted the National Opera Company with 300 singers, ballet dancers, and musicians. The Pavilion hosted regular religious meetings, including a series in 1888 where famed evangelist Dwight L. Moody spoke. In attendance at one of these meetings was Harry A. Ironside, which led him to becoming a world-famous preacher in his own right. Booker T. Washington, William Jennings Bryan and Carrie Nation were among the famous people who spoke to crowds gathered at Hazard's Pavilion. The great Italian operatic singer, Enrico Caruso, performed there.^*

 

 

 
(1895)* - Hazard's Pavilion as seen from across the street. Location: Intersection of 5th and Olive Streets.  

 

Historical Notes

From 1901 to 1904, the first great Los Angeles boxing promoter, Uncle Tom McCarey, staged his first boxing shows at the pavilion. It would be McCarey who put the Los Angeles area on the map as a major boxing venue. Many famous boxers fought at the Pavilion.The future World Heavyweight Champion, Jim Jeffries, had only one fully recorded bout in Los Angeles, his hometown, when he fought Joe Goddard there in 1898. The man who would go on to be the first World Heavyweight Champion, Jack Johnson, fought in eight main events on cards staged by Tom McCarey at the pavilion during a period from 1902 to 1904.

In 1906, Hazard's Pavilion was demolished to make way for a new Temple Auditorium. This was the largest reinforced concrete structure with the only cantilevered balcony in the world. It had the largest stage west of New York when it was completed, and it seated 2,600 people. An eight story office block and retail shops were part of the complex. For a number of years during the 1910s, Billy Clune presented silent films in the auditorium, then called, "Clune's Auditorium." The landmark film, Birth of a Nation, had its world premiere at Clune's Auditorium on its way to becoming a massive success.^*

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1888)* - Two separate cable cars arrive at the same location (7th and Grand) from different directions. The southwest corner building is the main power station for the Pacific Railway Company (formerly Los Angeles Railway).  

 

Historical Notes

In September 1888, the Los Angeles Cable Railway Company sold their controlling interest to C. B. Holmes, and associates, of Chicago, Ill. They organized a new company, known as the Pacific Railway Company, capitalized at $5,000,000.00 and finished the construction of the cable lines, which when completed covered many of the LA streets with double tracks.^

 

 

 

 
(1890s)* - View of a flooded intersection at 7th Street and Grand Avenue. On the right, two men stay on high ground trying to avoid the rising water. To the left, a cable car appears to be stalled in the middle of the intersection.  

 

Historical Notes

The principal power station for the Pacific Railway Company was located on the southwest corner of Seventh Street and Grand Avenue. Between 1904-1910, this building was used as a Post Office. Later, J. W. Robinson’s Dry Goods would build their first store at this corner.^

 

 

 
(1890s)* - Interior view of the Pacific Railway Company power house, located at 7th and Grand, where huge wheels controlled the lines pulling the cable cars.  

 

 

 

 
(1906)^^* - Several people are seen crossing the street at the interscetion of 7th Street and Grand Avenue. The old Pacific Railway power house as been converted into a Post Office. The Romanesque architecture of the one-story building sports six visible arched windows to the right wall, while showing fourteen rectangular one-over-one sash windows to the left.  

 

Historical Notes

The Post Office was moved here to Seventh and Grand in November 1904 and later moved away again in the September of 1910 to the corner of Main Street and Winston Street. The site, which was once the former cable power house, later became site of the J.W. Robinson Co. Department Store.^^*

 

 

 
(1907)* - View of the unpaved intersection of 7th Street and Grand Avenue, where a post office building sits on the southwest corner. This site later became the location of the large J.W. Robinson's store.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1888)* - View of Banning Street electric plant located on the corner of Alameda and Banning Streets. Photograph marked 1888 shows a brick building with men and a horse and buggy in front of it.  

 

Historical Notes

The first electric light plant in Los Angeles was built in 1882 by C. L. Howland on the corner of Alameda and Banning Streets. One year later, Howland formed the Los Angeles Electric Company.*

Click HERE to read the story behind LA's first electric power plant in Early Power Generation.

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1888)^^* - Exterior view of the Mission Hotel in San Fernando, ca.1888. The three and a half-story, Victorian-style hotel is shown at center, with people posing on its porch and balcony. On the second floor a man can be seen leaning against one of the beams which support the overhang near the hotel's entrance. A dog is visible near him at the top of the front steps that lead to the second floor and the subsequent entrance. On the second floor to the left, a two-story tower extends from the hotel, decorated in gingerbread clapboard.  

 

Historical Notes

In the late 1800s the City of San Fernando, as well as the entire San Fernando Valley, saw a significant land boom A major hotel was built near the modern intersections of Laurel Canyon Boulevard and South Brand Street. Called the Mission Hotel, the building was built by the Porter Land and Water Company during 1887.*

 

 

 
(ca. 1890)* - Exterior view of the Porter Hotel (also called the Mission Hotel). Building was built in 1887, on a knoll about a mile from the center of San Fernando. It served as a hotel for about a year, and later, as a summer residence for the Porter family, 1890.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1888)^*^^ – View of the Hotel Cecil in Lankershim (North Hollywood).  It was one of the first hotels in the San Fernando Valley. Pictured in the center is the owner, Mrs. Cecil Wilcox, with a dog by her side.  A dozen men surround her, all posing for the photographer.  

 

Historical Notes

Cecil Wilcox was the husband and his wife's given name was Clara. They appear in the censuses. He owned a furniture/book store and was apparently the publisher of a San Fernando Valley newspaper "The Lankershim Laconic." While it is not mentioned in the censuses, a newspaper article in the early 1950's promoting a "pioneer picnic" in Toluca/Lankershim, lists her as a widow who was the owner of the hotel. The photo date more than likely should be 1898 since Cecil was born in 1876. Clara (Hoegerman) and Cecil were married in 1897 in Los Angeles County. Cecil had died in 1933. Clara died in 1958. Ancestry.com has a picture of Clara and her sister Rose.^*#

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of the San Fernando Valley

 

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1886)* - Sketch showing the corner of First and Spring streets, looking southeast at the Wilson Block with its distinct copula, built in 1886.  

 

Historical Notes

The Los Angeles Herald has an extensive article about the Wilson Block in the 8 August 1886 edition. The first paragraph says:

"In the Wilson Block, West First street, near the corner of Spring and between Main and Spring streets, Los Angeles has had another handsome addition to the needed accommodations for her rapidly growing business. The location is in ths heart of the city and of course one of the most desirable for business purposes. The lot has long been owned by Mrs. C. Wilson, and it is greatly to her credit that she has put up a structure which is not only an ornament to the city but one which will long be of substantial benefit. With the Wilson and Bryson Blocks rapidly approaching completion, the junction of First and Spring streets presents a lively spectacle. Both will doubtless soon be occupied from top to bottom."

The full article can be found at the California Digital Newspaper Collection. ^*#

 

 

 
(ca. 1910)* - View of the Wilson Block located on the southeast corner of First Street and Spring Street. Sign over the corner store reads: WESTERN UNION TELEGRAPH. Note the ornate streetlights on the corners. Click HERE to see more in Early L.A. Streetlights.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1918)* - View of the Wilson Building, also known as Wilson Block, on corner of First Street and Spring Street. Sign over the corner store reads: Civic Center Pharmacy  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1888)* - Sketch showing the first permanent home of the Los Angeles Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) was this structure at 212 West 2nd Street, which the organization leased in 1886. It was used by the Y until about 1889.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1899)^^* - View of the first building designed and constructed as a YMCA structure in Los Angeles.  It was located at 207 Fort Street (now Broadway). Completed in 1889, it had the first gymnasium in Los Angeles.  

 

Historical Notes

The YMCA's most influential period since its conception (London in 1844) could be between the 1870s and 1930s. It is during this time that they most successfully promoted "evangelical Christianity in weekday and Sunday services, while promoting good sportsmanship in athletic contests in gyms (where basketball and volleyball were invented) and swimming pools."  Later in this period, and continuing on through the 20th century, the YMCA had "become interdenominational and more concerned with promoting morality and good citizenship than a distinctive interpretation of Christianity.^*

 

 

 
(ca. 1900)* - YMCA building at 209 South Broadway, used from 1889 to 1903.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1890s)^^*- Photograph of an artist's rendering of a portion of a block on the west side of Broadway, between Second and Third Streets, showing commerical buildings and pedestrian traffic.  The YMCA Building is the second building from the right.  On the southwest corner of Broadway and 2nd Street, next to the YMCA, stands the California Bank Building.  

 

Historical Notes

A block of commercial buildings, designed in the Second Empire style of architecture, is depicted in detail, with the row of buildings crossing the center of the image. Each building is four stories tall and its front contains many windows; the building at the right edge of the picture is more ornate, with gabled windows and a turret at its outer edge. The bulidings are fronted by a paved sidewalk, which is occupied by pedestrian traffic. The edge of another block can be seen at the rightmost edge of the image, while horse-drawn carriages line Broadway.

Legible signs, from left to right, include: "Los Angeles Furniture Co", "Dr. Fuller Eye, Ear, Throat & Lungs", "Ville de Paris", "Jno.S Chapman. Atty. At Law", "T. Frank McGrath Wallpaper", "C.E. Decamp Builders Indemnity Co", "Lynn Helm Atty. At Law", "Pacific Coast Home Supply Association", "City of London Lace Curtains, Draperies", "Green & Willis Embroideries Laces Etc. Infant Goods. Modes", "Young Mens Christian Assn", "W.M.Gar & Co. Real Estate", "George S. Hupp Atty At Law", "Otto C. Sens Merchant Tailor", "Cal-Bank Building", "Gordon & Conrey Atty At Law", "Union Central Life Ins. Co", "Mutual Reserve Fund Life Assn of New York", and "Bank".^^*

 

 

 

 
(1897)* - Exterior view of the California Bank building, now the American National Bank, located on southwest corner of Second and Broadway. Date built: 1897. Note the adjacent bulding is still under construction.  

 

Historical Notes

Of the buildings seen in the previous artist rendering of 200 block of Broadway, the 1897 built California Bank Building appears to be the first building constructed.

 

 

 
(ca. 1899)^^* - View of the California Bank, the YMCA and the Fort Street Methodist Episcopal Church on Broadway and Second Street, looking south, ca.1899.  

 

 

 

 
(1888)* - Exterior view of the new Turnverein building in 1888, located at 321 So. Main Street. It has a group posing in front. This was a club of German Americans.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1888)^^* - Exterior view of a three-story Romanesque apartment building located at 1133 South Figueroa Street.  Four tall columns hold up an overhanging section of the roof in the front of the building. Balconies can be seen on the second and third stories, while arched windows can be seen flanking the arched front door at center.  

 

Historical Notes

Today, the Staples Center is located where this beautifully designed apartment building once stood, 1133 S. Figueroa Sreet.

 

 

 
(ca. 1955)* - Looking southwest across the intersection of W. First (running from left to right in the foreground) and S. Hope streets, showing the Lima Apartments, also known as the Lima Apartments Hotel, located at 700-702 W. First Street.  

 

Historical Notes

This structure, with some Classical Revival style elements, had previously been known as both the Majestic Apartments and the Rossmore Apartments; it was later demolished.*

The Lima apartments is an example of the residential ‘hotels’ of the early 20th century in Bunker Hill, formerly desirable apartment buildings before the area’s decline.

 

 

 
(ca. 1964)* - Exterior of the Lima Apartments, also known as the Lima Apartments Hotel, located on the southwest corner of 1st and Hope streets.  On the far left is a glimpse of the Dome Hotel Apartments, located at 2nd and Olive streets.  

 

Historical Notes

Today, this corner is the part of the Bunker Hill complex. Disney Hall, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, and the DWP Building sit on the other three corners of the intersection (1st and Hope).

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1888)* - Exterior view of the Governor John Gately Downey estate, located at 345 S. Main Street.  

 

Historical Notes

In addition to serving as governor for two years, Downey was the founder and first president of Farmers and Merchants National Bank. The city of Downey was named in his honor after he subdivided his land holdings there and converted them into farms.*

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1888)*##* - View of the Bryson-Bonebrake Block located on the northwest corner of Spring and Second streets.  

 

Historical Notes

The Bryson-Bonebrake Block was one of the more important office buildings built during the 1880s building boom in Los Angeles. It had six stories, with a typical Queen Anne Style variety of shapes, materials and ornamentation for which architect John Cather Newsom was famous.*##*

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1890)* - Spring Street looking north from the roof of the Stowell Building at 2nd Street, circa 1890. The Hollenbeck Block/Hotel is the first building on the left, next the Bryson-Bonebrake Block (n/w corner of 2nd and Spring) center the County Courthouse, roof of Phillips Block, Temple Market Block and Baker Block.
 

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1890s)* - View of the Bryson-Bonebrake Building located at the northwest corner of 2nd and Spring. Note how the roofline has been shaved off, including towers, domes, and chimneys, to make room for two additional stories (see previous photos).  

 

Historical Notes

Two highly influential figures in 1880s Los Angeles, John Bryson, Sr., the 19th mayor, of LA and Major George H. Bonebrake, President of the Los Angeles National Bank and the State Loan and Trust Company, commissioned John Cather Newsom to erect this 126-room bank and office building. It's cost was projected to be $224,000, a staggering sum at the time. Bonebrake was one of the richest men in the city at the time, and he could afford making such an investment. He located the main headquarters of his bank in the Bryson-Bonebrake Block.*##*

 

 

 

 
(1890)^## - View of Spring at 2nd Street looking north. The Hollenbeck Hotel is seen on the left and the Bryson-Bonebrake Building is on the right. Horse-drawn carriages are parked in front of the hotel.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1890)* - The Hollenbeck Hotel sits on the southwest corner of Spring and Second behind trolley lines extending up and down the streets on both sides. On the street are people, a trolley, horses and buggies. Architect, Robert B. Young. A portion of the Bryson-Bonebrake Building can be seen on the right.  

 

Historical Notes

The Hollenbeck Hotel was constructed in 1884 at Spring and Second streets.  The hotel was named for its owner, John Hollenbeck, a prominent investor, banker, and owner of large landholdings in the Boyle Heights area.  A leading hotel in its day, it was designed by Robert Young, an architect responsible for several early downtown hotels, including the Lankershim, the Lexington, and the Westminster. #^*

 

 

 
(ca. 1905)^^* - Exterior view of the Hollenbeck Hotel at the intersection of Second Street and Spring Street.  Streetcars are pictured making their way down either side of the three-story Romanesque hotel, which is pictured on the southwest corner at center. Pedestrians, including a man riding a strange, bicycle-like contraption can be seen navigating the sidewalks. The column of a larger building is visible in the right foreground. The signs on the streetcars read "Hollywood", "Griffin Ave.", "Redondo", and "2nd & Spring Streets".  

 

Historical Notes

John Edward Hollenbeck (June 5, 1829 - September 2, 1885) was an American businessman and investor who was involved in the 19th century development of Nicaragua and the city of Los Angeles, California.

Arriving in Los Angeles a wealthy man from his investments in Nicaragua in 1876, Hollenbeck purchased land on the east side of the Los Angeles River, and built a large residence with broad verandas and a tower on extensive grounds on Boyle Avenue. He made twenty-seven acquisitions of property by 1880. In 1884 he purchased and developed an urban business district, known as the Hollenbeck Block, within Los Angeles.

In 1878 Hollenbeck became a stockholder in the Commercial Bank of Los Angeles, and was elected its president. In 1881, he and other investors organized and established the First National Bank. In 1880, Hollenbeck, with former California Governor John G. Downey, horticulturalist Ozro W. Childs and other associates, persuaded the State of California to purchase 160 acres in Los Angeles to foster agriculture in the southland. The property, then known as Agriculture Park, is now known as Exposition Park, home to the Los Angeles Coliseum and the Los Angeles County Museums.^*

 

 

 
(1880s)* - View looking north on Spring near 2nd Street.  This was the location of Los Angeles’ second City Hall between 1884-1888 (site of current Los Angeles Times Building).  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1889)* - Exterior view of the Old City Hall, located at 226 Broadway. It stood from 1888 until 1928. This was Los Angeles' third City Hall.  

 

Historical Notes

Los Angeles’ third City Hall was erected in 1888 at 226-238 South Broadway.  This grand Romanesque edifice of marble and red sandstone building stood for 40 years until 1928 when the present day City Hall was completed.

 

 

 
(ca. 1890)* - Another view of Old City Hall at 226 Broadway. Horse-drawn carriages can be seen parked in front of the building.  

 

Historical Notes

Architectural plans for this building were submitted by Caukin & Hass and formally accepted by City of Los Angeles officials on July 7, 1887; the cost of the entire structure had to come within the limits of $150,000.*

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1890)^*# – View of several horse-drawn carriages parked on an unpaved Broadway in front of Los Angeles' third City Hall.  

 

Historical Notes

Designed and built in 1888 in a graceful Romanesque style and constructed of brick, sandstone and terra cotta, City Hall included a buttressed skyscraper tower atop a square colonnade base, a wide three-arched porch accessed by a broad flight of stone steps, numerous large windows throughout, and a gabled roof.*

 

 

 

 
(1895)* - Exterior view of the third City Hall, built in 1888, adorned with banners. Horse-drawn wagons are parked in front.  

 

Historical Notes

LA City Council has occupied various buildings prior to 1928 (current City Hall):

1850s - used rented hotel and other buildings for City meetings

1860s - rented adobe house on Spring Street - across from current City Hall (now parking lot for Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center)

1860s-1884 - relocated to Los Angeles County Court House

1884-1888 - moved to building at South Spring Street and West 2nd Street (site of current Los Angeles Times Building)

1888-1928 - moved to new Romanesque Revival building on 226-238 South Broadway between 2nd Street and 3rd Street; demolished in 1928 and now site of parking lot between LA Times Parking structure and 240 Broadway.*^

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1895)^## - View of Broadway looking north from Third Street. Horse-drawn carriages and a streetcar share the road.  

 

Historical Notes

City Hall (1888-1928) dominates the right of the picture. Several other landmarks of the day can also be seen here. The tower of Los Angeles High School is partially visible to the left of the power poles. The clock tower in the distance is that of the Los Angeles County Court House. The tall spire next to that belongs to the First Presbyterian Church at the SE corner of Broadway and Second Street. And, the gothic structure just barely visible between City Hall and the Crocker Building (with the two bay windows) is Los Angeles' first Jewish synagogue.*^^*

 

 

 
(ca. 1900)#*^^ - View looking north on Broadway from near 3rd Street showing streetcars, horse-drawn wagons, bicycles and pedesrians all sharing the roadway. City Hall stands tall on the east side of Broadway. The LA County Courthouse, built in 1891, stands in the background.  

 

Historical Notes

Municipal departments, as well as the offices for: Clerk and Council, Tax Collector, Treasurer, Chief of Fire Department, Zanjero, Building Inspector, Board of Education, Board of Health, Health Officer, Board of Public Works, Mayor's office, Council Chambers, City Attorney, Superintendent of Streets, Assessor, Public Library, and City Surveyor, among others were housed here from 1888 until 1928; a courtroom and several private offices were also located here.*

 

 

 
(1925)* - Exterior view of L.A.'s third City Hall, located at Broadway, between 2nd and 3rd streets. Within three years of this photo, the building would be torn down.  

 

Historical Notes

On January 10, 1928 an auction of the furnishings and other items inside the structure was conducted on the front steps before the building was torn down later that same year. A new, larger City Hall had been built (in 1927) to replace this one.*

 

 

 
(1928)* - View of the demolition of the old City Hall building which stood at 226 S. Broadway between 1888 and 1928. The governmental offices moved into the new City Hall, seen in the background, earlier in the year.  

 

 

 

 
(1889)* - People standing outside the County Courthouse in 1889. This was LA's original County Courhouse, located on Temple Block. Between 1860s-1884 City Hall also occupied this building.
 

 

Historical Notes

The old County Courthouse, originally built by John Temple in 1861 as a marketplace and theater. Its first floor was used for that purpose for a number of years, and the second floor was the first theater in Los Angeles. The County purchased it for $25,000 in 1870 and occupied it as a court from 1861 to 1891.*

In 1891 the LA County Courthouse moved to it's newly constructed building located at the old site of LA High School where it would stay until 1932.

 

 

 
(1889)* - Exterior view of the Weil Building, owned by Mrs. Jacob (Yetta) Weil, Maurice Hellman's aunt.
 

 

Historical Notes

The Weil Building housed the Security Savings Bank and Trust Co., a predecessor of the contemporary Security Pacific National Bank, which opened in this building on Main Street, on February 11, 1889. The name was changed to Security Trust Savings Bank in 1912 and to Security First National Bank in 1929. Also sharing this building was the Los Angeles Business College and the Orange Belt Paint Co.*

 

 

 
(1889)* - Before being run by electric lines, the cable cars were pulled by horses. Shown here is the horse barn at 12th and Olive Streets which ran the "red line", running from Broadway out E. 1st St. to Boyle Heights, Broadway to 7th, west on 7th to Westlake Park. The sign on the barn reads "Los Angeles Cable Railway Co."  

 

 

 

 
(1889)***^ - View of the Boyle Hotel-Cummings Block on the northwest corner of 1st and Bolye Ave. A horse-drawn carriage is parked at the curb while a group of men stand behind it on the sidewalk. A horse-drawn streetcar is in the lower right. Also, several men can be seen on the building roof balcony and parapet.  

 

Historical Notes

Located at the corner of Boyle Avenue and E. First Street in Boyle Heights, the Boyle Hotel, also known as the Cummings Block, is one of the oldest remaining commercial structures in Los Angeles and is significant for its many layers of history. Designed by architect W. R. Norton and built in 1889 for community leaders George Cummings and his wife Maria del Sacramento Lopez, this Victorian-era hotel became a social and political center for the community and encouraged the residential and commercial development of Boyle Heights.

The building features decorative patterned brickwork, cast iron storefront columns, and a corner turret with an open belvedere. #*^

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1895)^## - View looking west on 1st Street at Boyle Avenue. An electric streetcar passes by the Boyle Hotel located on the northwest corner.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1858, Irish-born Andrew A. Boyle (1818–1871) came to Los Angeles from San Francisco (having also previously lived in New Orleans and Texas after his 1832 migration to America.) Boyle built the first brick house east of the Los Angeles River and cultivated the Lopez vineyards, manufacturing and selling wine under the Paredon Blanco name. He also operated a shoe store in Los Angeles and was a member of the city council.

After Andrew Boyle's death in early 1871, his property passed to his only daughter and her husband, William Henry Workman (1839–1918), a saddler and rising politician in town. As the first growth boom was underway in the Los Angeles area, Workman decided to subdivide part of Paredon Blanco. In Spring 1875, he partnered with banker and real estate speculator Isaias W. Hellman and John Lazzarovich, who was married to a member of the Lopez family, and announced the creation of the new neighborhood of Boyle Heights.

Before long, the growth boom ended, largely because of the failure of the bank co-owned by Workman's uncle, William Workman (1799–1876), owner of the Rancho La Puente in the eastern San Gabriel Valley. It was not until the next development boom, which took place during Workman's tenure as mayor in the 1887-88 period, that Boyle Heights grew rapidly and became a desirable residential area for middle and upper middle class Angelenos. Some large Victorian-era homes still survive in Boyle Heights as testament to the late nineteenth-century status the neighborhood possessed.^*

 

 

 
(1942)* - View of the Boyle Hotel-Cummings Block, located on the corner of Boyle Avenue and First Street, Boyle Heights as it appeared in 1942.  

 

Historical Notes

In the twentieth century, the building became associated with the many mariachi musicians who rented rooms in the hotel and gathered in the adjacent plaza to await customers. #*^

 

 

 
(1979)* - Exterior view of the historic Boyle Hotel on the Cummings Block with the roof its turret gone and some of its windows bricked in.  

 

Historical Notes

Although the condition of the building deteriorated through the years and some of the decorative elements were removed, the Boyle Hotel underwent a full-scale rehabilitation that renovated the interior for use as apartments and restored missing architectural elements, such as the upper portion of the corner turret. #*^ 

 

 

 
(2012)#^^ - View of the Boyle Hotel complete with its turret shortly after the building was renovated.  

 

Historical Notes

In 2012, renovation of the relic of Victorian-era Boyle Hotel was completed with a turret, arches and a domed cupola crowning the four-story brick building. 

The East Los Angeles Community Corp., a nonprofit developer, restored the Victorian Italianate-style building, as part of an approximately $25 million project to transform the former hotel into affordable housing. #^^

 

 

 
(2012)#*^ - View looking west on 1st Street at Boyle Avenue shortly after the building was renovated.  

 

Historical Notes

The Boyle Hotel was declared Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 891 in 2007.

 

 

 

Before and After

 
(ca. 1895)^## - View looking west on 1st Street at Boyle Avenue.   (2012)#*^ -View looking west on 1st Street at Boyle Avenue after 2012 renovation.

 

 

 

 

 
(n.d.)* - Close-up view of the residence of W. H. Workman at 357 Boyle Ave., Boyle Heights, later the site of the Hebrew Sheltering Home for the Aged. The house was built in 1880.  

 

 

 

 
(1890s)* - View of the first campus of Occidental College in Boyle Heights. An institution for the higher Christian education of both sexes, the college was built in 1890 in Romanesque/Elizabethan style and was destroyed by a fire in 1896.  

 

Historical Notes

On 20 April 1887, a group of clergy and laypersons from the city's Presbyterian population received its articles of incorporation from the State of California for "The Occidental University of Los Angeles, California." The site chosen for the school was at the southern end of Boyle Heights off Rowan Street (named, incidentally, for banker, county treasurer, county supervisor and Los Angeles mayor Thomas E. Rowan.) On 20 September, the cornerstone was laid for the sole college structure and construction commenced.

A year later, in October 1888, instruction began for the first crop of Oxy students, composed of twenty-seven men and thirteen women, who paid $50 tuition per year. Five years later, the college celebrated the matriculation of its first graduates: Maud E. Bell and Martha J. Thompson. Another landmark occurred in 1895 when Oxy played its first football game against arch-rival Pomona College, a contest won by the Tigers, 16-0.

On 13 January 1896, a fire destroyed the sole structure at the institution, which then moved temporarily to 7th and Hill streets in downtown Los Angeles. A new campus was built and occupied in 1898 at Highland Park, on Pasadena Avenue (now Figueroa Street) near Avenues 51 and 52. After over a decade there, another move was made, this time to Eagle Rock, where the current campus was situated in 1912.**^^

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1890)* - A cable car full of passengers and decorated with American flags is seen in front of the Temple Street Cable Railway barn and powerhouse on the northwest corner of Temple Street and East Edgeware Road. Angelino Heights is in the background.  

 

Historical Notes

Originally spelled Angeleno Heights, Angelino Heights is second only to Bunker Hill as the oldest district in Los Angeles. Founded in 1886, it was originally connected to the downtown mainline (which ran east to west on Temple Street) by the Temple Street Cable Railway and later by streetcars.^*

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1890)^## - View of Angelino Heights looking north at the corner of Temple Street and East Edgeware Road. The two buildings on the northwest corner belonged to the Temple Street Cable Railway. The front building with tracks running into its entry is the cable car barn. The building in the rear with the smokestacks is the powerhouse.  

 

Historical Notes

In the late 1940s, a large swath of Angelino Heights was destroyed to build the Hollywood Freeway. The new freeway cut off Temple Street save an overpass at Edgeware Road.^*

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1890)^## - Close-up view of the multi-story homes of Angelino Heights.  

 

Historical Notes

Angelino Heights was the City of Los Angeles' first recognized historic district, or Historic Preservation Overlay Zone (HPOZ). Enacted in 1983 and spelled out in Angelino Heights' Preservation Plan, this zoning prohibits unsympathetic remodelling of historic houses and requires new construction to resemble original architecture in scale, massing and materials.

Today, the district contains many notable examples of Victorian architecture, particularly of the Eastlake and Queen Anne styles, and though found throughout the neighborhood, they are especially concentrated on Carroll Avenue. Two of these residences served as the houses used for the TV shows Charmed and Journeyman, used in the shows as San Francisco Victorian residences, and because of the picturesque nature of the neighborhood, they have served as the backdrop for countless motion pictures from the earliest days of cinema to the present.^*

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1895)^## - A man is seen sitting on the front porch of his simplistic but elegantly stylish home in Angelino Heights.  

 

Historical Notes

Traveling around the Angelino Heights today, one can see many styles of architecturally significant homes, such as Craftsman, Bungalow, Mission Revival, Art Deco, and Colonial Revival, to name a few.^*

 

 

 
(ca. 1858)** - This is the earliest known close-up photograph of the Los Angeles Plaza. There is a square main brick reservoir in the middle of the Plaza, which was the terminus of the town's historic lifeline: the Zanja Madre ('Mother Ditch'). The two-story building behind the reservoir is the Vincent Lugo adobe house.  

 

Historical Notes

The Lugo Adobe, said to have been built in the 1840s by Don Vicente Lugo, was one of the very few two-story houses in the pueblo of Los Angeles.

The Lugo Family was very influential in the development of the Peublo. For his service as a corporal in the Spanish army, Vincent Lugo’s father, Antonio Maria Lugo, received a land grant in 1819 which included what is now Bell Gardens. Shortly thereafter, he became mayor of Los Angeles.^#*^

In 1867, Lugo donated this house on the Plaza to St. Vincent's School (forerunner of Loyola University).*^*

 

 

 

 
(1865)* - View of the LA Plaza looking east, showing the newly refurbished Vincent Lugo adobe, now housing Saint Vincent's College. The Old Plaza Church is seen in the foreground.  

 

Historical Notes

Saint Vincent's College was founded by the Vincentian Fathers in 1865. The college, now Loyola University was located in the Lugo Adobe as seen above. The college was only there for a brief period (1865 - 1868) before moving to a new location several blocks over. The new campus was surrounded by Broadway, 6th Street, Hill Street, and 7th Street. Today, the site is in the heart of Los Angeles's Jewelry District and is known as St. Vincent Court. A decade later, the school moved to a location at Grand Avenue and Washington Boulevard where it remained until being folded into the newly founded Los Angeles College in 1911.  That evolved into Loyola College of Los Angeles and then Loyola Marymount University.^*

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1886)^^* -  Panoramic view showing the Old Lugo Residence, now a Chinese restaurant in disrepair, on the east side of the Plaza.  

 

Historical Notes

The building consists of a covered veranda and balcony, four windows with shutters on the second level, and three dormer windows along the roof. There is a pile of debris or wood in front of the large building. A shoemaker has a shop next door. Furniture and two Chinese lanterns are visible on the second story porch. At least eight additional Chinese lanterns hang below. Four men stand in front. A horse and carriage are visible at right. To the far left, another carriage can also be seen. Some signs are in Chinese. Legible signs include: "Chung Kee, shoe maker, repairing", "Chung Kee Co., shoe makers" and "Chinese merchandise, Chinese goods, butcher shop".^^*

From the 1880s until it was razed in 1949, the building was occupied by the Chinese businesses.

 

 

 

 
(1890)* - The Los Angeles Plaza, around 1890. The one story building on the left is the former residence of Don Augustin Olvera. The large two story building on the right is the former residence of Don Vicente Lugo. The LA City Water Company is at the northwest corner of Marchessault and North Alameda. Some of the area shown is now occupied by the Union Terminal.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1902 the City of Los Angeles took over control of its water system from the LA City Water Company. The building seen with a large sign on its face reading: LA CITY WATER CO., was used by the City's Water Dpartment (later DWP) from 1902 until it was razed in 1939.

Click HERE to see more in Water Department's Original Office Building.

 

 

 
(ca. 1890s)* - Exterior front view of the two-story Vicente Lugo adobe house with horse-drawn wagon parked in front.  

 

Historical Notes

When this photograph was taken, the adobe was home to Leeching Hung & Co.

 

 

 
(1905)* - Close-up view of the two-story Vicente Lugo adobe house, seen with hipped roof and dormer windows. The home is located at 518-520 North Los Angeles Street and Sunset Boulevard, and faces the Plaza.  

 

Historical Notes

When this photograph was taken, the adobe was home to the Pekin Curio Store with brick buildings flanking it on either side; and the road was still unpaved.

 

 

 
(ca. 1930)^^* - View showing the Old Lugo adobe residence as seen from the LA Plaza, across Los Angeles Street. Three early model cars are seen parked in front.  

 

 

 

 
(1939)* - Exterior front view of the two-story Vincent Lugo adobe house, located on Los Angeles Street and facing the Plaza.  

 

Historical Notes

The last vestige of Old Chinatown, a block of buildings between Sunset Boulevard and Los Angeles, Alameda and Aliso streets, was demolished in 1949 to make way for the Hollywood Freeway and a park.

Included in that cluster of 22 razed buildings was the home of Vicente Lugo, the first two-story residence on the plaza. He donated the house to the parish priest in the 1850s. The house became the first home of St. Vincent's College (now Loyola Marymount University) in 1865, named for Lugo's patron saint, Vincent de Paul, a 17th century French priest who founded the Vincentian Fathers.

The site of the Vicente Lugo adobe house was designated California State Historic Landmark No. 301 (Click HERE to see the California Historical Landmarks in LA Listing).

 

 

 

 
(1890)* - Avila Adobe house on Olvera Street as it looked in 1890; two young boys sit on the porch.  

 

Historical Notes

Don Francisco Avila, a wealthy cattle rancher and one-time Mayor of the pueblo of Los Angeles, built the Avila Adobe in 1818. The Avila Adobe, presently the oldest existing residence within the city limits, was one of the first town houses to share street frontage in the new Pueblo de Los Angeles.*

 

 

 
(ca. 1930)** - A view of Olvera Street looking across at vending booths in front of the Avila Adobe with two pedestrians walking near.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1930, through the efforts of activist Christine Sterling, the Plaza-Olvera area was revived with the opening of Paseo de Los Angeles (which later became popularly known by its official street name Olvera Street).^*

 

 

 
(ca. 1935)* - View of the sign in front of the Avila Adobe, the oldest existing residence within the city limits.  

 

Historical Notes

The Avila Adobe is registered as California Historical Landmark #145, while the entire historic district is both listed on the National Register of Historic Places and as a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument.^*

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of the LA Plaza

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1890)* - Wells Fargo & Co's. Express office in an unidentified building circa 1890. A group of men are standing on the sidewalk while several horse-drawn wagons on parked on the dirt street.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1852, Vermont native Henry Wells and New Yorker William G. Fargo organized Wells, Fargo & Company to provide express and banking services to California.^*

 

 

 
(ca. 1890)* - The Phillips Block circa 1890, located at the intersection of Spring and Hill streets. The Hamburger's Peoples Store was in this building.
 

 

Historical Notes

The building was constructed in 1887 at a cost of about $200,000 in the French Renaissance style popular at that time for secular buildings. It was the second four-story building erected in Los Angeles and was one of the most ornately decorated.*

 

 

 
(ca. 1890)* - The entrances to Hamburger's People's Store in the Phillips Block at the intersection of Spring and Hill Sts. is decorated in patriotic themes. Horse and buggies wait by the curb. A sign for "Royal Rooms" hangs over an arched entrance. Mr. Carpenter's law office, Dr. Hoy's (Eye and Ear), and Dr. Solomon's (Eye, Ear and Throat) offices are on the second floor.  

 

Historical Notes

A. Hamburger and Sons was one of the first department stores to operate in Los Angeles.  Originally known as A. Hamburger & Son's People's Store, the name later changed to Hamburger's Store.   In 1908 the company relocated their store from Spring Street to a newer building located at Broadway and Eighth Street.  May Department Stores acquired Hamburger's in 1923 and renamed it the May Company. Much later in the century, the May Company and Robinsons chains of department stores would affiliate under the name Robinsons-May; and this entity would be bought out by Macy's in 2005.*^#

 

 

 
(ca. 1890)* - Exterior view of Simpson Methodist Episcopal Church, located at 734 S. Hope Street, as seen from across the unpaved street. A horse-drawn carriage is parked outside the church at the curb.  

 

Historical Notes

The Simpson Methodist Episcopal Church was constructed in the late 1880s. After serving as a Methodist church for years, it later became the Third Church of Christ, Scientist.*

 

 

 
(ca. 1911)* - Exterior view of Third Church of Christ, Scientist, located at 734 S. Hope Street, during an extensive remodeling project in 1911.  

 

Historical Notes

After serving as Simpson Methodist Episcopal Church and Simpson Auditorium for years, it became the Third Church of Christ, Scientist in the early 1910s. A Christian Science Reading Room remains on the site, but the large church building was demolished after it suffered severe damage as a result of the 1971 San Fernando earthquake.*

 

 

 
(ca. 1900)* - A horse and buggy are parked in front of a vintage automobile on North Spring St. at Franklin. In the background stands the four-story Phillips Block building with a banner on the top floor for M. Garry Realty Co. advertising its availability.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1890)* - View of the first LA Times Building on the corner of 1st and Broadway with trolley making a turn from Broadway to 1st Street. The Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce is in the building adjacent to the Times, on the north side of 1st Street.  

 

Historical Notes

The Los Angeles Times was first published on December 4, 1881, under the name of the Los Angeles Daily Times. When the original founders ran into financial problems the following year, the fledgling paper was inherited by its printer, the Mirror Printing Office and Book Bindery. The company hired as editor former military officer Harrison Gray Otis, who quickly turned the paper into a financial success.

Otis and a partner purchased the entire Times and Mirror properties in 1884 and incorporated them as the Times-Mirror Company. Two years later, Otis purchased his partner's interest in the company.  In October 1886, the word "Daily" was removed from the title and the newspaper became the Los Angeles Times.^*

 

 

 
(ca. 1890)* - Exterior view of the Los Angeles Examiner building at 509 South Broadway, in Los Angeles. Architect: Julia Morgan.  

 

Historical Notes

The Los Angeles Examiner was founded in 1903 by William Randolph Hearst as a union-friendly answer to the Los Angeles Times. At its peak in 1960, the Examiner had a circulation of 381,037. It attracted the top newspapermen and women of the day. The Examiner flourished in the 1940s under the leadership of City Editor James H. Richardson, who led his reporters to emphasize crime and Hollywood scandal coverage.^*

 

 

 
(1890)** - Lopez Station around the year 1890 was used as a stagecoach stop on the route from Los Angeles to San Francisco. Click HERE to see more Early Views of the San Fernando Valley.  

 

Historical Notes

The site of an historic stagecoach station was commemorated April 29, 1978 with the placement of a marker at the Los Angeles Reservoir in Mission Hills. Members of the Native Daughters of the Golden West placed the marker commemorating Lopez Station in ceremonies near the DWP reservoir gate, 15735 Rinaldi Blvd, Mission Hills.

Constructed in 1860, Lopez Station served as a stopping place for the Butterfield Stage. Here Lopez established a stage stop and a general store. This valley stop would expect two stages a week from Los Angeles en route to San Francisco. Lopez Station served the Butterfield Stage Line throughout its run from 1861 until 1874. When the railroad was completed linking Northern and Southern California, stagecoach travel became obsolete. In 1868, Lopez Station was also became an overnight stop for Remi Nadeau’s Cerro Gordo Freighting Company. Nadeau ran freight wagons hauled by teams of sixteen or more mules back and forth from San Pedro to the Cerro Gordo mines in the rugged Sierra Nevada Mountains in Inyo County.

The station sat on 40 acres of land, now part of the Los Angeles Reservoir site, originally owned by Geronimo Lopez.

Lopez Station was the site of the first English-speaking school and U.S. Post Office in the San Fernando Valley. Upon completion of the Los Angeles Aqueduct in 1913, the Lopez Station land became part of the city’s reservoir complex.*^

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1890s)**# - Leonis Adobe as it appeared in the 1890s. The photo shows a man standing by his horse in the field. If you look closely, standing right behind the fence (center) is a woman looking at the photographer. This is purported to be Espirut Leonis, wife of Miguel Leonis.  

 

Historical Notes

Leonis Adobe, built in 1844, is one of the oldest surviving private residences in Los Angeles County and one of the oldest surviving buildings in the San Fernando Valley. Located in what is now Calabasas, the adobe was occupied by the wealthy rancher, Miguel Leonis, from 1880 until his death in 1889. Following Leonis' death, the property was the subject of a legal dispute between his common law wife (Espiritu Leonis), heirs, and a daughter born out of wedlock; the dispute lasted more than 15 years in the courts.*

 

 

 
(ca. 1915)^^* - Photograph of the adobe home of Miguel Leonis in Calabasas, ca.1915. The building is two stories high and has both a covered balcony and covered porch at right. Although classified as an adobe, most of the building is made of wood. A door and a window flank a brick chimney at left. Much of the view of the front of the house is obscured by several tall trees and bushes. Another tree is visible behind the house.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1961, the adobe had fallen victim to vandalism, and its owner applied for a permit to raze the structure and erect a supermarket in its place. Preservationists succeeded in having the adobe declared a Historic-Cultural Landmark (the first structure in Los Angeles receiving the designation in 1962 - Click HERE to see the LA Historic-Cultural Monuments List).

Leonis Adobe is also known as one of the most haunted sites in Los Angeles County, and it was profiled in the British paranormal television series "Most Haunted" in 2005. The adobe was restored and is operated as a living museum. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975.^^^

 

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of the San Fernando Valley

 

 

 

 

 
(1890)* - Photo taken from the southwest corner of 2nd Street and Grand Avenue, looking north on Grand. It shows a modest one-story home. A woman stands on the steps that lead to the entrance of the house and three other people are standing in the garden, all looking toward the photographer. Visible behind tall trees, a larger, more elaborate Victorian home can be seen.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1896)* - Exterior view of Almira Parker Hershey's two-story Victorian Gothic style home, located on the northwest corner of 4th Street and S. Grand Avenue on Bunker Hill.  

 

Historical Notes

Almira Hershey was a relative of Milton S. Hershey, founder of the Pennsylvania chocolate empire, and the daughter of Benjamin Hershey who amassed a fortune in the lumber and banking industries. Mira inherited a substantial sum when her father died and she relocated from Muscatine, Iowa to Los Angeles in the 1890s.

Hershey purchased real estate on Bunker Hill and commenced construction on a number of residences, including her own home at the NE corner of Fourth and Grand Avenue in 1896. The elegant structure sat across the street from the Rose Residence.^

In 1906, Mira had this home moved to 750 W. Fourth Street and commissioned architects C.F. Skilling and Otto H. Neher to split it in half to turn it into an apartment building. After the apartment building opened in 1907, it was named the Castle Towers, reminiscent of the structure's "castle-like features." Built to a cost of around $50,000 and designed by architects Curlett & Eisen.*

 

 

 
(ca. 1890)* - Exterior of Lewis Leonard Bradbury's mansion, located on the corner of Hill and Court streets.  

 

Historical Notes

Designed by Samuel and Joseph Carter Newsom, the house was built in 1886 at a cost of $80,000. In 1887, Lewis Lenonard Bradbury bought the 35-room structure, complete with 5 chimneys and 5 turrets, from one-time County Clerk J.W. Potts for $125,000.*

Arriving in Mexico around 1862, L.L. Bradbury began to accumulate "barras", or shares, of Minas del Tajo (Tajo Mines). By 1873 he had acquired control as the majority shareholder, substantially increasing his wealth in the process. Bradbury was one of several highly successful foreign investors in 19th and 20th century Mexico.

L.L. Bradbury's success in Mexico's mining industry afforded his family a luxurious lifestyle during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The family maintained several properties and homes, distributed between northern and southern California, in addition to several mines in Mexico.^^^*

 

 

 

 
(1927)* - Exterior of Lewis Leonard Bradbury's mansion, located on the corner of Hill and Court streets. Cars line the street and the building shows significant wear and is in need of paint.  

 

Historical Notes

The Bradbury Mansion was occupied for years by various movie studies, including J.A.C. Film Manufacturing Co., who moved into the building in 1913. Hal Roach occupied it with Harold Lloyd, who referred to the mansion as "pneumonia hall", due to the building's high level of draftiness. It also served as a luncheon center for area Supreme Court judges and as a boarding house; it was demolished in 1929.*

 

 

 
(n.d.)^^* - Exterior view of the J. Ruber home located at 145 N. Flower St.  It sat on the southwest corner of Flower and Court streets.  

 

Historical Notes

The house is a small structure with a wide front porch held up by Romanesque columns.  A 5-story sheer drop down to Figueroa was in its backyard.^*#

 

 

 
(1890)* - Exterior front corner view of the two-story Victorian style Jacob Loew home at 1417 South Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, in 1890, during construction  

 

Historical Notes

Jacob Loew was president of Capitol Milling Company and originally from Germany. Samuel and Joseph Carter Newsom were the architects. The Queen Anne style house was built in 1888 at a cost of $20,000.*

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1890)* - Two ornate Victorian homes located on the west side of South Figueroa Street looking south from 6th Street.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1887)^*# - Birdseye view of Bella Vue Avenue (now Bellevue, this section of which would later become part of Sunset Boulevard) and the Robinson residence shortly after it was built, looking north from Fort Hill.  

 

Historical Notes

The J.W. Robinson mansion can be seen on the hilltop.  It was located on Teed Street near Bella Vue Avenue  (now Bellevue, this section of which would later become part of Sunset Boulevard).

Teed Street was named after Freeman G. Teed who, in the 1880s and 90s, was LA City Clerk and President of the City Council. He was also a real estate speculator.^*#

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1890)* - Exterior view of the two-story Victorian style home of Joseph Winchester Robinson, located on Teed Street near Bella Vue Avenue (now Bellevue, this section of which would later become part of Sunset Boulevard). A winged gargoyle watches over the entrance.  

 

Historical Notes

Samuel and Joseph Carter Newsom were the architects. The house was built in 1887 at a cost of $10,000.

Joseph Winchester Robinson was the owner of Boston Dry Goods which later became the J. W. Robinson Department Stores.*

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1895)^## - View looking northwest from Fort Moore Hill.  The beautiful Victorian mansion (on the right) was purchased by Mrs. Julia S. Ford after the sudden death of J. W. Robinson in 1891.    

 

Historical Notes

J. W. Robinson's “Boston Dry Goods Store” began business in of 1883 at the corner of N. Spring and Temple Streets. Joseph Winchester Robinson advertised that his establishment was characterized by “fine stocks and refined ‘Boston’ service.” The arrival of railroads spurred the enormous and long-lived growth of Southern California, and Robinson’s store brought eastern goods and their attendant sophistication to a willing (and growing) public; in 1887 the store was forced to move to larger quarters at 69-73 N. Spring Street. After returning from a trip back east in 1891, Robinson became ill and passed away in his home at the age of 45. His father, H.W. Robinson came to Los Angeles for the funeral and to look after the business founded by his late son. ##^^

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1897)* - Panoramic view of the two-story Victorian style home of Mrs. Julia S. Ford, who purchased the residence from J.W. Robinson Estate and then remodeled it.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1900)^^* - View showing the Ford Mansion (previously Robinson Mansion) sitting on the hill overlooking Sonora Town as seen from Fort Moore Hill. Castelar Street is on the right running away from the camera.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1870s)^^ - View of Point Fermin Lighthouse near the edge of the cliffs at San Pedro.  

 

Historical Notes

Point Fermin Lighthouse was built in 1874. It was the first navigational light into the San Pedro Bay. Phineas Banning, with the support of many local businessmen, petitioned the Federal Government and the US Lighthouse Board to place a lighthouse on the point in 1854. Although the Lighthouse Board agreed funding and land, disputes delayed its construction until 1874.#^*^

Point Fermin marks the southern-most point of the City of Los Angeles.  It was named after Father Fermín de Francisco Lasuén by British explorer George Vancouver. When Vancouver visited in 1793 he wanted to thank the Father for his hospitality at the mission in Carmel. ##**

Father Padre Fermín de Francisco Lasuén also founded Mission San Fernando Rey de Españaon (the San Fernando Mission). Sometimes called the "forgotten friar," Padre Fermín Lasuén actually governed the California Mission system three years longer than his more famous predecessor, Padre Junipero Serra.^*

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of the San Fernando Mission.

 

 

 
(ca. 1875)#^ - Exterior view of the lighthouse at Point Fermin, San Pedro.  Four people pose for the camera as they sit in a horse-drawn carriage in front of the white picket fence.  

 

Historical Notes

Paul J. Pelz, a draftsman for the US Lighthouse Board, designed the Stick Style Victorian lighthouse. The design was used for six lighthouses built between 1873 and 1874, of which three are still standing, East Brothers in San Francisco Bay, Hereford Light in New Jersey, and Point Fermin. The Stick Style is an early Victorian architectural style and is simpler in design and decoration than the later high Victorian period. It is characterized by its gabled roofs, horizontal siding, decorative cross beams and hand carved porch railings. #^*^

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1890)** - Exterior view of the Victorian-style Point Fermin Lighthouse, located at 807 W. Paseo Del Mar in San Pedro on the Palos Verdes Peninsula.  

 

Historical Notes

The Point Fermin Lighthouse stands 30 feet tall and was built in 1874 at Point Fermin to guide mariners. The Lighthouse has a brick foundation and a wood frame, which was built with lumber from the California Redwoods.**

 

 

 

 

 
(1890)^^* - Profile view of the lighthouse on Point Fermin, San Pedro.  A picket fence surrounds the wooden two-story house with the square tower supporting the light. Several trees are in the yard.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1941 the light was extinguished due to the bombing of Pearl Harbor. There was fear that the light would serve as a beacon for enemy planes and ships. Later, the lantern room and gallery were removed. They were replaced by a lookout shack that remained for the next 30 years, and was referred to as "the chicken coop" by locals.^*

 

 

 
(2005)^* - View of Point Fermin Lighthouse, San Pedro.  Photo Date: July 2005.  

 

Historical Notes

Point Fermin Lighthouse was saved from demolition in 1972 and the light was added to the National Register of Historic Places. It was refurbished in 1974, and a new lantern room and gallery were added. It is California's only surviving 19th century lighthouse.**

In 2002, the lighthouse was restored, retrofitted, and rehabilitated for public access with funds from the City of Los Angeles, the Port of Los Angeles, and the State of California. The lighthouse was opened to the public on November 1, 2003 under the management of the Department of Recreation and Parks for the City of Los Angeles. Volunteers from the Point Fermin Lighthouse Society serve as tour guides and help to keep the lighthouse open to the public.#^*^

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1890)* - Numerous people are seen outside of an unidentified two-story wooden building, which appears to be a boarding house or hotel, in San Pedro.  

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of San Pedro and Wilmington

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1899)##^ – View of the Bank of Santa Monica located at Third Street and Oregon Avenue (now Santa Monica).  

 

Historical Notes

By 1899 there were two banks in the City of Santa Monica: Bank of Santa Monica located at Third Street and Oregon Avenue (now Santa Monica Blvd.) and Commercial Co's Bank at 219 Third Street. By the late 1920s there were thirteen financial institutions, including multiple branches. #**#

 

 

 
(1890)* - Exterior view of the California Bank building located south on 3rd from Oregon (now Santa Monica Boulevard). The building includes a library, upstairs in the corner. Several horse drawn carriages can be seen along side of the building.  

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of Santa Monica.

 

 

 

 

 
(1890)* - Fort Street (now South Broadway), showing the Fort Street Methodist Episcopal Church, replaced by the Homer Laughlin Building in 1916. Also includes the "Peerless" restaurant, featuring a sign that reads "Best 15 cent meal in the City"!  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1890)^^* - Panoramic view of downtown Los Angeles looking west from Spring Street and Fourth Street toward Bunker Hill across Broadway between Third Street and Fourth Street. Fort Street Methodist Episcopal Church (later purchased by Homer Laughlin for $63,000 in 1899) stands in the center of the photograph which includes principally dwellings. The tall pole at the top of Bunker Hill seen in the upper-left is one of Los Angeles’ earliest electric stretlights, standing 150-ft tall. Click HERE to see more in Early L.A. Streetlights.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1890)* - A view showing the newly constructed Los Angeles High School. It was built in 1890 at Castelar and Rock streets (North Hill Street and Fort Moore) The four-story red brick building had 40 rooms for its 400 students. It was the second Los Angeles High School to be built.*  

 

Historical Notes

The new Los Angeles High School replaced the original one that was built in 1872, at the former site of Central School on what was then known as Poundcake Hill, at the southeast corner of Fort Street (later Broadway).

This second location atop a hill was completed in 1891 and LAHS moved in. It was an enormous, for then, building. The new high school was built on part of the site of the abandoned Fort Moore Hill Cemetery, the first Protestant cemetery in Los Angeles, which was spread over the slopes of the hill.

Early buildings commissioned to house the Los Angeles High School were among the architectural jewels of the city, and were strategically placed at the summit of a hill, the easier to be pointed to with pride. One of the school's long standing mottos is "Always a hill, always a tower, always a timepiece." ^*

 

 

 
(ca. 1910)^^* - Photograph of Los Angeles High School, overgrown with vines. At left, the vines stop on the clock tower just beneath the clock, whose hands are missing. At right, a lone automobile is parked along the sidewalk near a second, three-story building.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1917, Los Angeles High School moved to its current location at 4650 Country Club Drive (now West Olympic Boulevard), which incidentally is not on a hill.^*

 

 

 
(ca. 1890s)#*** - View of Custer Avenue School located on the corner of Custer and Temple streets.  

 

Historical Notes

Built in 1895, Custer Avenue School was the first Junior High School (Middle School in the District). It became an elementary school in 1914. #***

 

 

 
(ca. 1890s)#*** - View of Harper School, built in 1896. The school was renamed Vermont Avenue School in 1903. Notice the round dormer on the right side of the picture. Also notice the flag in the photo; it was painted in by the photographer.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1890)^^* - St. Elmo Hotel was first named La Fayette Hotel and renamed the Cosmopolitan. It was located at the site of today’s Los Angeles City Hall on Main Street near Temple.  

 

Historical Notes

In late 19th century, this area was a dense core of commercial and government buildings. During the first half of the 20th century, government buildings and plazas replaced most of the buildings, including the St. Elmo.*#*

The La Fayette was built sometime between 1850 and 1856. Its name changed to Cosmopolitan, then to St. Elmo.*

 

 

 

 
(1920)* - Here the St. Elmo Hotel is viewed from across the street in 1920, with a line of cars parked at the curb in front of the various ground floor businesses.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1890)* - A horse and buggy and a few people stand on the corner on 4th and Main Streets in front of the Hotel Westminster, architect, Robert B. Young. Down the street to the left is the N.P. Bailey Furniture store.  

 

Historical Notes

The Westminster Hotel was a large Victorian brick building with a six-story tower. It was designed in 1887 by Robert B. Young and was considered the grandest hotel in the city. In about 1870, this area was the site of a Chinese market. By the mid-1930s the hotel was in decline. It, however, continued to operate until 1960 when the building was razed to make room for new development.^^*

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1890)^ - 4th and Main looking north. The I. W. Hellman mansion is on the left and on the right is the Hotel Westminster, designed by Robert B. Young, before it was enlarged.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1893)^^* - Another view of the Westminster Hotel located on the northeast corner of 4th and Main Street in 1893.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1890)^^* - View of Figueroa at Sixth Street looking south. Three very large homes are seen on the west side of Figueroa.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1890s)* - Front exterior view of the Thomas Douglas Stimson house at 2421 South Figueroa Street near Adams Street.  

 

Historical Notes

The Stimson House is a Richardsonian Romanesque mansion on Figueroa Street north of West Adams. Built in 1891, it was the home of lumber and banking millionaire, Thomas Douglas Stimson. During Stimson’s lifetime, the house survived a dynamite attack by a blackmailer in 1896. After Stimson’s death, the house has been occupied by a brewer who reportedly stored wines and other spirits in the basement, a fraternity house that conducted noisy parties causing consternation among occupants of neighboring mansions, as student housing for Mount St. Mary's College, and as a convent for the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet.

From the day it was built, the 30-room house was a Los Angeles landmark. Neighbors and occupants have referred to it over the years as "the Castle" or the "Red Castle" due to its turret-top walls, four-story tower, and red-stone exterior.^*

 

 

 
(ca. 1890s)* - Front corner exterior view of the Thomas Douglas Stimson house.  

 

Historical Notes

When Stimson House was built in the 1890s, the Los Angeles Times described it as "the costliest and most beautiful private residence in Los Angeles," a building "admired by all who see it." More than a hundred years later, the Times said: “From the front, the 31⁄2-story house resembles a medieval castle, with brick chimneys standing guard like sentries along the roof and an ornate four-story crenelated tower on the northeast corner, a noble rook from a massive chess board." With its $150,000 cost, it was the most expensive house that had been built in Los Angeles at the time^*

The Stimson House was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978 and has also been designated Historic-Cultural Monument No. 212 by the City of Los Angeles.  Click HERE to see complete listing.

 

 

 
(ca. 1890s)* - Corner front exterior view of the Thomas Douglas Stimson house. An open water-supply channel (zanja) flows in front next to the sidewalk.  

 

Historical Notes

Zanja (Spanish for ditch) was the original water supply channel for the southwest part of the city. It was built in 1868 and rebuilt in 1885 with concrete. The original water supply for Los Angeles was delivered in open trenches, the zanja, despite serious problems with public dumping into the trenches. In the 1880s and 1890s gradually piped water was introduced into more expensive neighborhoods, and the zanjas were used for irrigation only.

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Zanja Madre (Original LA Aqueduct)

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1890)^^* – Exterior view of E.C. Fisher's store on the west side of South Main Street, north of Washington Boulevard in Los Angeles. The store is in a long single story building that reaches from the left of the image to the right. It has an overhang that covers a walkway in front of the large glass windows of the store. There are four men standing on this walkway, and there is a small amount of merchandise, including melons, wash tubs, and ropes, arranged in front as well. Legible signs include, from left to right, "Examiner sold here", "News Depot Stationery", "Tinware Hardware", "Staple & Fancy Groceries", "Produce Tea & Coffee", "Window glass Paintbrushes", "The Broad-Guage", "Ranch Eggs Wanted".  

 

Historical Notes

Note accompanying the photo reads:  "Portrait of Fisher's Broad-Guage Department Store. There is a large hotel apartment building on this corner, The Rutland, owned by the Central and Broad-Guage Department. Store owned by E. C. Fisher, located on the west side of Main Street just north of the northwest corner of Washington--the corner occupied by Henry Coch's Saloon. On the southwest corner of Main and Washington was Dave Waldron's old Washington Gardens, later Luna Park. Opposite, on the northeast corner, was the Main Street and Agricultural Park Streetcar Horse Barns and on the southeast corner was one Louis Martin's Saloon. The man on the right was one of my photographers, the boy in short-sleeves is myself, the man on the steps--E.A. Butterfield, and the policeman is a Mr. Kemp" -- Signed, J. H. Crum in 1935.^^*

 

 

 
(ca. 1890s)* - Salvation Army Corp No. 2 quarters on the corner of 1st and Weller (San Pedro) Streets, the first one with an industrial outreach in California. It offered meetings and lodging for workingmen.  

 

Historical Notes

The Salvation Army's presence in Southern California dates back to 1887, when an open air street meeting was held on the corner of Temple and Broadway in downtown Los Angeles. To this day, a plaque remains in the sidewalk to commemorate the event.

Prior to this meeting, a church, or Corps (as it is known in The Salvation Army) had been established in the Skid Row area of Los Angeles Street. In 1892, the Corps moved to First Street where The Salvation Army occupied almost the entire block with a hotel for transient men and a men's industrial complex, the forerunner of today's Adult Rehabilitation Centers. In 1899, The Salvation Army opened a rescue home for young, expectant mothers in Los Angeles known as Booth Memorial Center.***#

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1890s)* - View of the Temperance Temple of the Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU), located at 301 N. Broadway at Temple Street. A horse-drawn carriage is shown parked along the street past the Temple and other neighboring buildings.  

 

Historical Notes

The Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) stands for the complete abstinence from alcohol, tobacco, and all harmful drugs and protection of the home. As the membership of the WCTU grew throughout the U.S, a call went out from May Gould, a resident of Los Angeles, to Frances Willard to organize a local group in Southern California. On September 20 and 21, 1883, the first State Convention was called and the WCTU of Southern California was organized at the First Presbyterian Church, 2nd and Fort (now Broadway) Streets, Los Angeles. This temple was dedicated in 1889 after money had been donated for its construction in 1886.*

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1905)^^* – Panoramic view looking northwest from the LA County Courthouse.  Los Angeles High School stands tall in the background.  The Temperance Temple building is seen in the lower-left located on the northwest corner of Temple and Broadway.  The Broadway Tunnel is out of frame at right-center.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1920)* - Street view of the Women's Christian Temperance Union Temple on the northwest corner of Broadway and Temple as seen from the front of the LA County Courthouse Building.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1920)* - Another View of the Temperance Temple of the Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) as it appeared circa 1920.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1891)* - The Pico House in 1891. The sign on 2 sides over the building here reads "Pico House" and horses and carriages are on the dirt street on the right side. Farther back on the right are the towers of Baker Block (built in 1878 and later torn down to make way for the 101 Freeway).  

 

Historical Notes

In 1868, Pío de Jesús Pico constructed the three story, 33-room hotel, Pico House (Casa de Pico) on the old plaza of Los Angeles, opposite today's Olvera Street.*

Click HERE to see more Early Views of the LA Plaza District.

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1890)* - Los Angeles County Courthouse nearing completion. Construction began in 1888. Broadway is in front, Temple Street on the left, and New High Street behind. The holes seen in the main tower are for the yet to be installed clocks.  

 

Historical Notes

Constructed in 1891, the Los Angeles County Courthouse stood where the city’s first high school, Los Angeles High School, had been located from 1873 until it moved to North Hill Street to allow for construction of the courthouse.*

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1891)* - View of Belderrain Adobe (foreground) as it sits in the shadow of the Los Angeles County Courthouse, looking south across Temple Street.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1891)* - L.A. County Courthouse, also as known as the "Red Sandstone Courthouse," shortly after its completiion. Newly planted palm trees are seen in front. The telephone/telegraph poles and lines have been removed.  

 

Historical Notes

This building served as the courthouse until 1932, when it sustained damage in the Long Beach earthquake, and was demolished in 1936.^

Click HERE to see more of the LA County Courthouse in Early L.A. Buildings (1925 +).

 

 

 
(ca. 1891)^## - Corner view of the Los Angeles County Courthouse. Horse-drawn wagon is heading west on Temple Street while pedestrians are seen walking up the incline along the courthouse bulding.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1890s)^*# - View looking southwest of the Los Angeles County Courthouse at the intersection of Broadway and Temple Street. New telephone lines are now seen in front of the courthouse.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1895)^^* -  View of the Founders Building of the University of Southern California College of Medicine, located on Buena Vista (later north Broadway).  

 

Historical Notes

The College of Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC) was founded in 1885. Dean of the Faculty: Dr. J. P. Widney.  USC was founded in 1880.^#*#

 

 

 
(ca. 1909)^^* -  Exterior view of the University of Southern California College of Medicine located on Buena Vista Street (North Broadway). The 3-story wooden building has a set of stairs rising to a covered porch and main entrance. At the roof level is a sign "USC College of Medicine".  

 

Historical Notes

In 1897, the population of Los Angeles was about 86,000.  There were 303 registered physicians in LA County.  From 1899, there existed only a small medical library to serve the College of Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC) and the physicians of the city.^#*#

 

 

 
(1939)* - Exterior front view of the Barlow Medical Library, built in 1906 and designed by Robert D. Farquhar in classic architecture style. The library was located at 742 North Broadway, across the street from the Founders Building (previous photo).  

 

Historical Notes

In 1906, Dr. Walter Jarvis Barlow, a faculty member of the College of Medicine, erected a library building on Buena Vista Street, just opposite the Founders' Building, which he deeded to the Los Angeles College Clinical Association (a non-profit holding corporation of the College of Medicine, USC).  The library was named in Dr. Barlow’s honor.

In 1907, the building was dedicated to the medical profession of Southern California and of the Great Southwest. Dr. Milbank Johnson, President of the Board of Trustees, accepted responsibility for the collection. Control and management of the Library vested in Board of Trustees of the Barlow Medical Library Association, with support coming from subscribing patrons who paid $25.00 per year. In 1907 there were 53 patrons and about 5000 volumes.^#*#

 

 

 
(n.d.)^*# - Interior view of the Barlow Medical Library, College of Medicine of the University of Southern California.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1909, the maintenance of the medical school had become more and more expensive and the University of Southern California was already spending most of its income in support of its College of Liberal Arts. Thus in 1909 the College of Medicine changed it affiliation and became part of the University of California, with the buildings including the Barlow Library building deeded to the University of California. The Barlow Medical Library Associates continued to run the Library and retained ownership of its books and journals.^#*#

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of USC

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1890)^ - Photograph of Alhambra, Garfield and Main Street ca. 1890. A horse drawn street car is in front of the elaborate Alhambra Hotrel. The building on the opposite corner is named the Jones Building and was erected in 1887.  

 

Historical Notes

Alhambra was founded as a suburb of Los Angeles in 1903. It existed as an unincorporated area during the mid-19th century. The first school in Alhambra was Ramona Convent Secondary School built on hillside property donated by the prominent James de Barth Shorb family. Thirteen years before the city was incorporated, several prominent San Gabriel Valley families interested in the Catholic education of their daughters established the school in 1890. The city's first public high school, Alhambra High School, was established in 1898, five years before the city's incorporation. The Alhambra Fire Department was established in 1906. On July 11, 1903, the City of Alhambra was incorporated.

Alhambra is named after Washington Irving's book Tales of the Alhambra, not after the Alhambra palace itself.^*

 

 

 

 
(1898)*- This was one of the big hotels in Alhambra in 1898. Early settlers made their homes in Alhambra, gateway to the San Gabriel Valley, because of the water works.  

 

Historical Notes

The elegant Alhambra Hotel stood at the northwest corner of Garfield and Main. This ornate structure was one of the earliest commercial buildings having been built in 1888 and which featured a billiards hall, barbershop, and restaurant. Unfortunately, the building burned down in 1908.*###

 

 

 
(1887)* - Alhambra's first restaurant was named "Tilley's" and was located in this two story wood frame building with a sidewalk and unpaved street.  

 

Historical Notes

Tilley's Restaurant opened in 1885.  It was built by H. W. Stanton at the corner of Main and Garfield, the building was first used as a post office and grocery. The upstairs hall was used as a church, school, community meetings, and entertainment gathering place. H. W. Stanton was the first storekeeper, postmaster, teacher, telephone agent, land subdivider and promoter. After subdividing several ranches he became wealthy and retired. He took a trip around the world, but upon his return to Alhambra found that the boom had gone bust, and he too was broke.^###

 

 

   
  (1898)* - An unidentified man (possibly one of the owners) stands at the front door of the Crow & Drake Groceries, two-story building located on So. Garfield Ave. It was the first general merchandise store in Alhambra in 1898.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1890)* - Two men and a horse stand outside a building in Alhambra with a sign on the roof identifying the owner as Charles Winter, horseshoer and blacksmith. The shop opened in 1885 and was located at 4 W. Main Street.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1899)^^* - Exterior view of Villa Brunner located on the north side of Main Street just east of the Southern Pacific Railroad crossing in Alhambra.  

 

Historical Notes

The Moorish-style residence was called Villa Brunner from 1905 to 1927 during which time it was owned by the Brunners.^^*

 

 

 

 
(1910)^^* - Postcard view of the front entryway to Villa Brunner, also refered to as the "Alhambra".  

 

Historical Notes

Two spired onion domes and the top of a chimney are visible at center in the background. The rightmost onion dome is larger and has a taller spire. A short set of stairs and an archway are also visible through the trees and shrubs which occupy the middle ground of the image. A concrete driveway bisects the lower half of the image, leading from the foreground through the archway and into the background. The near end of the driveway is flanked on each side by a small palm tree and a short stone column. The left column bears a rectangular plaque reading "Villa Brunner", while the right column's oval plaque reads "1225".^^*

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1900)^*# - Close-up view of Villa Brunner in Alhambra showing its Moorish style arches similar to those seen at the Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain.  

 

Historical Notes

Called "The Alhambra," it was the first important residence in Alhambra. The house was built in 1885 and torn down in 1927.^^*

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1890s)* - View overlooking Echo Mountain with Pasadena and the San Gabriel Valley seen in the background below. The white structure on the left is the Echo Mountain House Hotel.  

 

Historical Notes

Buildings at Echo Mountain, reached by the Mount Lowe Railway, included the Echo Mountain House, a 70-room hotel at an elevation of approximately 3500 ft., the 40-room Echo Chalet, the observatory, car barns, dormitories, repair facilities, and a casino/dance hall.*

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1890s)* - View of some of the hotel guest standing on the veranda and stairways at the front of Echo Mountain House.
 

 

Historical Notes

Completed in the fall of 1894, the Echo Mountain House was a marvel. The four-story Victorian building was marked by a tall, cylindrical tower and capped by a metal dome and a huge American flag. The bright white exterior was marked by a long row of windows on each floor. At the building’s entrance, two sweeping verandas looked off across the canyons and the valley. The interior of the hotel was extravagant, with detailed wood inlay, the finest floral-patterned carpet and handmade furniture throughout. There were seventy guest rooms, large areas for office space, a massive social hall and dining room, a souvenir shop, a Western Union office, a bowling alley, a billiard room, a barbershop and a shoeshine stand.^^##

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of Mt. Lowe Railway

 

 

 

 

 
(1891)* - The Bunker Hill residence of Dr. John Carl Zahn at 427 South Hope Street in 1891.  

 

Historical Notes

The Zahn residence on Hope Street was a large building, yet simple and elegant with far less ornamentation than a lot of the other painted ladies in the neighborhood. Behind the house was a small pasteur where horses were kept and the Zahn boys would sometimes amuse themselves by careening down the grassy hills in the area on homemade sleds.^

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1912)* - Exterior view of the Bunker Hill residence of John Carl Zahn at 427 South Hope Street.  

 

Historical Notes

Mrs. J.C. Zahn continued overseeing the family real estate holdings after her husband's death, and in 1912 had the family home demolished in favor of a three story brick building which was to be called the Zahn Apartments but ended up going by the name Rubaiyat. In 1930, the building was remodeled and renamed the Wickland Apartments and in its last few years was known as the St. Leon until it was demolished around 1963.^

 

 

 

 
(1892)* - Photo taken from Orange Street and shows an exterior front view of two Queen Anne style houses built around 1892, on a hill at Lucas and Orange Street (later Wilshire Blvd).  

 

Historical Notes

The corner house, at 1213 Orange Street, was the residence of George R. and Clara Shatto, and later became the site of Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles. George Shatto, a real estate speculator from Michigan, purchased Santa Catalina Island in 1887 for $200,000 and created the settlement that would become Avalon. He was the first owner to try to develop the island into a resort destination at the height of the real estate boom, and can be credited with building Avalon's first hotel and pier.*

Next to the Shatto house is the Orson Thomas (O.T.) Johnson house at 1221 Orange Street. O.T. Johnson became a very successful businessman in Los Angeles, known for building the Westminster Hotel. Occidental College has the Johnson Hall that was constructed in 1914 and was a gift of the Johnsons.  O.T. was also a big supporter of the LA YMCA, donating a reported $35,000 to construct a YMCA building. Johnson built the Florence Crittenden Home and established a clinic in Los Angeles for the aid of poor children.  He also built a seventy-five suite apartment building named Anna Craven Johnson Home, after his wife, that was established for the use of widowed mothers with dependent children.^*^*

 

 

 

 
(1892)* - Exterior front view of the Victorian home of George R. and Clara Shatto, built approximately in 1892 at Bixel and Orange (later Wilshire Blvd.), later the site of Good Samaritan Hospital, in Los Angeles. The photo was taken from the Orange Street side. There are people standing in front of the house and a horse and buggy in the driveway.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1892)* - Children pose on the steps outside of the First English Lutheran Church of Los Angeles, located at 800 S. Flower Street, shown before the streets were paved. A partial view of the Abbotsford Inn can be seen behind the church on the left.  

 

Historical Notes

Abbotsford Inn was converted into a hotel by Abbot Kinney, best known as the developer of Venice. The building, designed by Robert B. Young, was erected in 1887 by D. W. Hanna as Los Angeles College or Hanna College. After the college failed, Kinney took it over.*

 

 

 
(ca. 1925)^## - Street view of the recently completed LA Gas and Electric Corp. Office Building near the corner of 8th and Flower streets. The First English Lutheran Church of Los Angeles stands at the corner. Click HERE to see more in LA Gas and Electric Corporation.  

 

 

 

 
(1890s)* - View looking north on Main Street showing horse-drawn carriages, streetcar, and pedestrians all sharing the street.  The large building with the awnings on the right is the Government Building on the corner of Winston and Main Streets.  

 

 

 

 
(1893)* - View of the United States Government Building, located on the southeast corner of Main and Winston Streets.
 

 

Historical Notes

In June of 1893 the Los Angeles Post Office moved into this building from its location on Broadway near Sixth Street.*

 

 

 
(1893)* - View looking eastward from Santa Fe Avenue at 2nd Street. La Grande Santa Fe Depot is at right, located on the corner of 2nd and Santa Fe.  

 

Historical Notes

Santa Fe opened La Grande Station on July 29, 1893 and was unique for Southern California in its Moorish-style architecture. The station was located at 2nd Street and Santa Fe Ave, just south of the First Street viaduct built in 1929 and on the west bank of the LA River.^*

 

 

 
(1890s)^^* - External view of the La Grande Santa Fe Station. Horse-drawn carriages are parked at the curb waiting for passengers.  

 

Historical Notes

The Moorish-inspired La Grande railroad station was used as a passenger terminal for Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway (oten abbreviated to "Santa Fe").^^

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1894)^## - View of the front entrance to the La GrandeSanta Fe Depot showig the detail of its Moorish-style domes.  

 

Historical Notes

The La Grande depot was also notable for its red-brick construction, selected because it signaled the station's importance and because it followed a rash of fires that had destroyed wooden depots.^^

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1895)^* - View of La Grande Station, circa 1895. Two men are seen standing by the train looking toward the camera.  

 

 

 

 
(1910)^^ – Postcard view of the La Grande Station, Santa Fe Railroad with its beautiful Moorish-style dome.  Two early model automobiles are parked in front.  

 

Historical Notes

The Moorish-style depot cost $50,000 when built in 1893 and for 30 years boasted a first-class restaurant called "The Harvey House." ^^

 

 

 
(Early 1930s)* - Exterior view of the La Grande Station in Los Angeles showing the distinctive Moorish-style dome. Three early model cars are parked perpendicular to the curb. Photo taken prior to the 1933 Long Beach Earthquake.  

 

Historical Notes

Many Hollywood movies were filmed at the stylish station. Laurel and Hardy's film Berth Marks (1929) was one of the first sound movies shot on location. Other movies that used Santa Fe's La Grande Station included Choo Choo 1931 (Our Gang - Little Rascals), Lady Killer, 1933 with James Cagney, Swing Time 1936 (Fred Astaire) and Something to Sing About 1937 (James Cagney).^*

 

 

 
(1933)* - View of the La Grande station shortly after the 1933 Long Beach earthquake. Note: the Moorish-style dome has been removed because of earthquake damage.  

 

Historical Notes

After the 1933 Long Beach earthquake, the station's dome was removed but the station continued to serve as the Santa Fe terminal until 1939 when Union Station opened.^*

 

 

 
(1930s)*#*# – Front view of the La Grande Station without its Moorish Dome.  Photo taken after the 1933 Long Beach Earthquake.  

 

Historical Notes

La Grande Station was the Santa Fe Railway's main passenger terminal in Los Angeles, until the Long Beach earthquake of 1933. After the earthquake, the station's dome was removed, but the station continued to serve as Santa Fe Railway's LA passenger terminal until the opening of the new LA Union Station on May 7, 1939. When Union Station opened in 1939, Santa Fe moved all of its passenger services there and closed the La Grande station.^^

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1890s)* - View looking north of a eucalpytus-covered, unpaved Figueroa Street. The residence of Los Angeles banker George H. Bonebrake is visible on the left at 2619 Figueroa St. The cross-street is West Adams.  

 

Historical Notes

Major George H. Bonebrake was President of the Los Angeles National Bank and the State Loan and Trust Company.*##* 

 

 

 

 
(1893)* - Exterior view of the Queen Anne style residence of Los Angeles banker George H. Bonebrake at 2619 Figueroa St.  

 

Historical Notes

George Bonebrake was partners with John Bryson, Sr., the 19th mayor of Los Angeles.  Together, they built the Bryson-Bonebrake Block, one of the more important office buildings built during the 1880s Los Angeles building boom.  It was a 126-room bank and office building on the northwest corner of Spring and 2nd street. Its cost was projected to be $224,000, a staggering sum at the time. Bonebrake was one of the richest men in the city and could afford making such an investment. He located the main headquarters of his bank in the Bryson-Bonebrake Block.*##*

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1893)* - Front view of the Bonebrake residence showing porch and entryway, located at Figueroa St. near Adams.  

 

Historical Notes

Today, the Auto Club building stands on this site.

 

 

 
(ca. 1895)* - - Exterior view of the ornate Hildreth Mansion, located at 357 S. Hope Street, as seen from across the unpaved street. A stone retaining wall is being built and the steps are not yet in place.  

 

Historical Notes

Designed by Joseph C. Newsom and built in 1891 for Rev. Edward T. Hildreth, a Congregational minister. Tthe defining features of the Victorian Shingle style home were an ornate chimney and wrought iron circular balcony on the tower.*

 

 

 
(ca. 1928)* - View of the ornate Hildreth Mansion, located at 357 S. Hope Street, a seen from the intersection with 4th Street (foreground).  

 

Historical Notes

Located at the northwest corner of the intersection of Hope and 4th streets, the exterior of the elevated house was finished off with a stone retaining wall and steps leading up the entrance.

By 1939, the eighteen rooms of the house had been converted into nine residences. Boarders paid between thirteen and thirty-five dollars a month in rent and had lived in the mansion anywhere from one to twelve years. With the exception of the eighty-seven year old resident who was killed in an auto accident in 1940, the boarders of the once stately home lived a quiet existence and dried laundry on the grand wrought iron balcony.^

 

 

 
(1950)* - Exterior of the "Hopecrest," commonly known as the Hildreth Mansion, as seen from across the intersection of Hope and Fourth streets. Numerous stairs lead up to the house, which is surrounded by palms, flowers, shrubs, and trees.  

 

Historical Notes

By 1954, the Hildreth Mansion was but a beautiful memory, destroyed by the CRA's visions of urban renewal.

Today, the 5th tallest building in Los Angeles, Bank of America Plaza (formerly Security Pacific Plaza), is located where the Hildreth Mansion once stood.^*

 

 

 
(ca. 1895)^^* - View of the Hotel St. Angelo with people standing on all three balconies. The hotel was located on the corner of Grand Avenue and Temple Street.  

 

Historical Notes

The St. Angelo Hotel at 237 North Grand Avenue was built during the boom of the 1880s when it was advertised as a European family-and-tourist rooming house. During the next few decades, the hotel and its guests were mentioned in the society pages.*#*

 

 

 
(1939)* - Exterior of the former St. Angelo Hotel as seen from across the street. A sign over the entrance announces "new management". "Grand Cleaners" occupies one of the lower floor rooms.  

 

Historical Notes

The hotel was a large Victorian structure with three stories, two balconies and a covered porch. A large cylindrical tower with a conical roof is at right, while a rectangular tower is at left. The balconies are held up by arch ways, and several rectangular windows are visible on the side of the building at left.^^*

 

 

 
(1952)^## - View of a man walking in front of the St. Angelo Hotel (Apts.) as seen from across the street. Bulldozers would soon demolish the building along with all its neighboring buildings located on Bunker Hill.  

 

Historical Notes

Despite the hotel's shabby condition, it stood proudly on the Hill until the board of health ordered it vacated in 1956. All traces of the once grand hotel were soon erased and replaced by the Music Center which was dedicated in 1964.^

 

 

 
(ca. 1895)* - Exterior view of the Bradbury Building located on the southwest corner of Broadway and 3rd Street.  

 

Historical Notes

Built in 1893, the Bradbury Building was commissioned by LA mining millionaire Lewis L. Bradbury and designed by local draftsman George Wyman. The building features an Italian Renaissance Revival -style exterior facade of brown brick, sandstone and panels of terra cotta details, in the "commercial Romanesque Revival" that was the current idiom in East Coast American cities. But the magnificence of the building is the interior: reached through the entrance, with its low ceiling and minimal light, it opens into a bright naturally lit great center court.^*

 

 

 
(1964)^*# - Interior view of the Bradbury Building located at 304 South Broadway.  

 

Historical Notes

The five-story central court features glazed brick, ornamental cast iron, tiling, rich marble, and polished wood, capped by a skylight that allows the court to be flooded with natural rather than artificial light, creating ever-changing shadows and accents during the day.

Geometric patterned staircases and wrought-iron railings were used abundantly throughout. The wrought-iron was created in France and displayed at the Chicago World's Fair before being installed in the building. Freestanding mail-chutes also feature ironwork. The walls are made of pale glazed brick. The marble used in the staircase was imported from Belgium, and the floors are Mexican tiles.  Cage elevators surrounded by wrought-iron grillwork go up to the fifth floor.^*

 

 

 
(n.d.)^*# - View of the intricate framework that makes up the Bradbury Building's skylight.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1970)^*# - Profile view of the Bradbury Building's ornate staircase and elevator.  

 

Historical Notes

The Bradbury Building has operated as an office building for most of its history. It was purchased by Ira Yellin in the early 1980s, and remodeled in the 1990s. In 1962, the building was designated LA Historic - Cultural Monument No. 6 (Click HERE to see the complete listing). It was also designated a National Historic Landmark in 1977.

 

 

 

 
(1978)* - A view of the interior light court's glass ceiling in the Bradbury Building, 304 South Broadway, as well as the birdcage elevators and iron wrought railings.  

 

Historical Notes

Today the Bradbury Building serves as headquarters for the Los Angeles Police Department's Internal Affairs division and other government agencies. Several of the offices are rented out to private concerns, including Red Line Tours.

The building is featured prominently as the setting in films, television, and literature (Click HERE to see detailed listing) particularly in the science fiction genre. Most notably, the building is the setting for both the climactic rooftop scene of Blade Runner (1982), as well as the set of the character J. F. Sebastian's apartment in which much of the film's story unfolds.^*

 

 

 
(1890s)* - Exterior view of the Lankershim Building, located on the southeast corner of 3rd and Spring Streets.  

 

 

 

 
(1895)* - View of Governor's Pio Pico's office, east of Pico house, 1895.
 

 

Hisorical Notes

Pío de Jesús Pico (May 5, 1801 – September 11, 1894) was the last Governor of Alta California (now the State of California) under Mexican rule.

In 1821 Pico set up a tanning hut and dram shop in Los Angeles, selling drinks for two Spanish bits (US 25 cents). His businesses soon became a significant source of his income.

John Bidwell, an early California settler, mentioned him among the people he knew: "Los Angeles I first saw in March, 1845. It then had probably two hundred and fifty people, of whom I recall Don Abel Stearns, John Temple, Captain Alexander Bell, William Wolfskill, Lemuel Carpenter, David W. Alexander; also of Mexicans, Pio Pico (governor), Don Juan Bandini, and others".

By the 1850s Pico was one of the richest men in Alta California. In 1850 he purchased the 8,894-acre Rancho Paso de Bartolo, which included half of present day Whittier. Two years later, he built a home on the ranch and lived there until 1892. It is preserved today as Pio Pico State Historic Park. Pico also owned the former Mission San Fernando Rey de España, Rancho Santa Margarita y Las Flores (now part of Camp Pendleton), and several other ranchos for a total of over one half-million acres, or 800 mi².  Also, in 1868, he constructed the three story, 33-room hotel, Pico House (Casa de Pico) on the old plaza of Los Angeles, opposite today's Olvera Street. ^*

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1895)^## - Looking west on Arcadia Street from Los Angeles Street with Fort Moore Hill in the background. The three story Jennette building is on the northwest corner of Arcadia and Los Angeles Streets with Sanchez Alley running directly behind it up to the Plaza at Republic Street. Photo is misidentified. Aliso Street did not extend beyond Los Angeles Street. This is looking up Arcadia Street.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1890s)* - Several men, including a police officer, pose in front of the Jennette Block, which was built circa 1888. The building houses the Hotel de Paris.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1920)* - Exterior view of the Jennette Block on the northwest corner of Los Angeles and Arcadia Streets, with the Hotel de Paris on the second floor.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1925)* - On the left is the Jennette Block on the northwest corner of Arcadia and Los Angeles Streets, and on the right is the Garnier Building at 415 North Los Angeles Street.  

 

Historical Notes

The construction of the #101 Freeway took away the Jennette Block and left the Garnier Building. The Jennette Block was built circa 1888 and the Garnier Building in 1890.*

 

 

 

 
(1895)* - Early view of the Mason Building, which broke ground in 1893 and opened in 1894. The building, owned by George Mason, was home to the Chamber of Commerce from 1894 to 1906, and boasted a frontage of 45 feet on Broadway, 275 feet on Fourth Street, and 74 feet on Lafayette Street.
 

 

Historical Notes

In 1894 LA Chamber of Commerce moved into its new quarters at the southeast corner of Broadway and 4th, in a building designed especially for its use, the then-new three-story Mason Building - which would serve as its home for twelve years. In 1906, it moved into the Southwest Building, located at 130 S. Broadway, and stayed there until January 31, 1925. In 1925 it moved to its brand new building at 1151 S. Broadway and 12th Street. It now makes its home at 350 S. Bixel and 6th streets.

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1916)* - View of the Mason Building at southeast corner of 4th and Broadway. The building would have two floors be added to it (see previous photo), be used as a Broadway Dept. Store, and later be abandoned.  

 

 

 

 
(ca.1895)* - A view of two sides of the Van Nuys Hotel building, located at 103 W. Fourth St., as a horse and carriage stand in front of one of the entrances. The awnings on the ground floor and the entrances are all extended for cooling, as well as the awnings on most of the individual rooms above.  

 

Historical Notes

The Van Nuys Hotel was designed in 1895 by Octavius Morgan and J. A. Walls in a Beaux-Arts style for Isaac Newton Van Nuys. The view above shows the hotel’s large rooftop sign, which lured customers from railroad stations to the east.*#*

 

 

 
(1905)^^* - View of the Van Nuys Hotel Building (later the Barclay) on the northwest corner of 4th and Main streets.  

 

Historical Notes

Consolidated Hotels, Inc., leased the hotel in 1929, renamed it to Barclay, and renovated it to include a high-speed elevator and a remodeled lobby.*#*

In 1985, the Barclay Hotel Building (Van Nuys Hotel Building) was designated Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 288 (Click HERE to see complete listing).

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1896)* - View of the original Hotel Baltimore located on the northeast corner of Seventh and Olive streets.  

 

Historical Notes

Built in 1907, the Hotel Baltimore was owned by mining magnate John Brockman. The hotel was purchased by the Los Angeles Athletic Club for $450,000 in 1907 and was demolished for the construction of the club’s new headquarters. The new Baltimore Hotel was built in 1910 on the southwest corner of Fifth and Los Angeles streets.*#*

 

 

 

 
(1895)* - Corner view of the second location of the First Congregational Church of Los Angeles, located on the northeast corner of Third & Hill. The sign mounted to the post in the center of the image reads, "Take cars here (pointing to the right) for Santa Fe Station."  

 

Historical Notes

The Gothic Revival building, dedicated on May 15, 1883, cost $15,000 to build and furnish. The structure includes numerous gables in which there are Sunday school rooms, a pastor's study, and a library. The auditorium, with 25 stained glass windows, seats 425. It served as the First Congregational Church until 1888, when it was sold for $30,000 to Central Baptist Church and was later sold to the Church of the Unity in 1892. After using temporary locations for approximately one year, the congregation moved into its third church building, located at 6th and Hill in 1889.*

 

 

 
(ca. 1900)* - Exterior view of the third location of the First Congregational Church, located on the corner of Third & Hill streets. The Rossmore Hotel (right, background) and various large residences surround the church building.  

 

Historical Notes

Two lots for the church building were purchased for $52,000 in 1889. When the church was sold in 1905, the building alone was worth $76,000.*

 

 

 
(1906)* - Exterior view of the fourth building of the First Congregational Church, located at 841 South Hope Street. A banner hanging over an unpaved Hope Street reads, "Pacific Coast Congregational Congress May 16-23, 1906."  

 

Historical Notes

Built in 1902, this Gothic Revival building was designed by Howard, Train & Williams, and cost approximately $50,000 to build. This building served as the First Congregational Church until the early 1930s when the fifth church building was constructed on Commonwealth.*

 

 

 
(ca. 1896)* - Exterior view of the original St. Mary Catholic Church in the Boyle Heights.  

 

Historical Notes

St. Mary’s parish dates back to 1896, when it was established in Boyle Heights.  The original church building was replaced by a newer sanctuary in 1926, located on 4th Street - one block east of Hollenbeck Park.*^*^

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1897)* - View of the Mott Market Building, located on S. Main Street, between 1st and 2nd streets, which was the second home of the L.A. Chamber of Commerce between 1890-1894. The T. D. Mott Building with its arched windows on the second floor faced Main Street, and was home to several small businesses through the years. Some of the ones pictured are Hotel Monterey, Ludwig & Matthews, and Julius Hause.  

 

Historical Notes

T. D. (Thomas Dillingham) Mott arrived in Los Angeles in 1852, was a stable-keeper by 1860, married Maria Ascencion Sepulveda in 1861, was County Clerk from 1863-1869, became political boss of the Democratic Party in L.A. County, and became a State Assemblyman in 1871.

The Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, founded in 1888, is Southern California's largest not-for-profit business federation, representing over 1,600 businesses. The Chamber's early focus promoted the region's abundance of opportunities in agriculture and international trade. In 1967, the Chamber changed its name to the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce. The L.A. Chamber of Commerce takes up key issues that affect the business community in Los Angeles.*

 

 

 
(ca. 1920)* - View of the Mott Market Building, South Main Street. The two-story brick building seems to be overcome by signs hanging from its awnings that read "Wreden Packing and Provision Co.". In front, two automobiles are parked, one of which reads "Edendale Bakery". Farther in, a second sign reads "Sam Seelig Co. Store No. 18".  

 

Historical Notes

In 1893 the Southern California Fruit Exchange was founded in the building. An earlier record reads: "Sunkist Adventure, Part I, History, photo h. The Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce building, birthplace of the Sunkist cooperative marketing concept. Growers meeting here in the summer of 1893 founded Southern California Fruit Exchange".^

 

 

 
(ca. 1897)* - Exterior front view of the Victorian style home and carriage house of Aaron M. Ozmun at 3131 South Figueroa Street. Bradbeer & Ferris were the architects. The house was demolished in 1956.  

 

Historical Notes

Aaron M. Ozmun was president of the Columbia Savings Bank on South Broadway at the time of this photo.

 

 

 
(n.d.)* - Interior view of the grand stairway of the Victorian style home of Aaron M. Ozmun.  

 

 

 

 
(1898)* - Exterior view of the recently completed American Baptist Church, located at 28th and Sumner streets in Los Angeles.
 

 

 

 

   
  (ca. 1898)^ - Exterior view of the First German Methodist Episcopal Church at its original location on 4th Street in Los Angeles.  

 

Historical Notes

When built in 1875, the First German Methodist Episcopal Church was originally a one-story structure located on 4th Street near Hill. In 1897, the building was lifted and an additional story was placed underneath, as shown here. Four years later, the building was moved to 449 S. Olive Street. In 1910 the structure captured here was replaced by another. That church building served the German Methodist community until 1997, when the congregation relocated to 556 West Glenoaks Blvd. in Glendale. To this day, German continues to be the primary language for the church service.^

 

 

 
(1897)#^^^ - View of B’nai B’rith Synagogue on the corner of 9th and Hope streets with a group of people standing in front of the entrance. Architect Abraham M. Edelman, son of long time rabbi of Congregation B'nai B'rith, designed this synagogue.  

 

Historical Notes

The cornerstone B'nai B'rith Synagogue was laid on March 15, 1896 and it was dedicated on September 5th of the same year. The synagogue, which had seating for 600 people, was built of red brick with twin towers and pomegranate domes, its floors were carpeted in deep red with plush-cushioned pews and had a chandelier containing 60 bulbs, which made it the largest in the city. H.W. Hellman, Harris Newmark, Kaspare Cohn, and Mrs. J.P. Newmark presented the beautiful stained glass windows. This grand edifice was replaced in 1929 when Wilshire Boulevard Temple opened.*

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1898)* - Exterior view of the second B'nai B'rith Temple, located at 9th and Hope streets in Los Angeles.  

 

Historical Notes

Before moving into this building, Congregation B’nai B’rith occupied its first building at Temple and Broadway in Downtown L.A. from 1862 until 1895.*

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1905)* - Exterior view of the second B'nai B'rith Temple located at 9th and Hope streets with a very tall streetlight standing on the corner.
 

 

Historical Notes

The tall pole seen on the corner of 9th and Hope was one of Los Angeles' earliest streetlights. The circular object located on the pole at the top of the photo is NOT the light itself, but a platform used for maintenance. At 150 ft. tall, the streetlight was twice the height that is seen in this view.

Click HERE to see more in Early Los Angeles Street Lights.

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1898)* - Group portrait of people standing on the ground floor and along the balcony of the second floor of the San Pedro Hotel. Many flags are hanging around the hotel. A horse-drawn carriage is parked alongside the hotel.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1898)* - Exterior view of William Dibble Fuel and Feed store, located on the southeast corner of 6th and Main Streets in 1898. Horses and wagons stand in the street, one loaded with bales of hay.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1898)* - Frost Building, northeast corner of Second Street and Broadway, 1898, architect, John Parkinson. Horse-drawn wagons can be seen parked in front of the buildings while pedestrians cross the street.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1898)^## - View of the Larronde Block located at 211 West First Street with Bunker Hill in the background.  The Beaux Arts/Italianate style block building with sign "1882 Larronde Block" above roofline sits on the northwest corner of First and Spring streets.  Horse drawn-wagons are parked at the curb and pedestrians are seen crossing the intersection. Sign on the awning facing Spring Street reads: "Groceries Crockery Grain … "  

 

Historical Notes

At one time, the name Larronde was a fairly well known one in the City of Angels. Pierre Larronde was a native Frenchman who landed in San Francisco in 1847 and made a killing in the gold mines. When he relocated to Los Angeles in 1851, he amassed a further fortune by successfully raising sheep on one of the Ranchos. Always the astute businessman, Larronde cashed out his sheep empire in the late 1880s and focused his energies on real estate. His holdings included prime land at the corner of First and Spring, and a parcel on North Hope Street near Temple where he built the family home.^

 

 

 
(1920s)**# - View of the Larronde Block on the northwest corner of First and Spring streets. The LA Times Building, located on the northeast corner of First and Broadway, is seen in the background. Note the elevated kiosk at the corner.  

 

Historical Notes

Elevated booths were used by the Los Angeles Railway and the Yellow Cars as a switchman’s tower to control the flow and path of streetcars through the intersection. 

 

 

 
(1895)* - - Exterior view of the Los Angeles Theatre (future home of the Orpheum Theater) located at 227 S. Spring Street. The music hall on the left was the former home of Turnverein. Horse-drawn carriages are shown parked in front.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1903)* - Exterior view of the old Orpheum Theater on Spring Street between 2nd and 3rd Streets.  

 

Historical Notes

There were four theaters named Orpheum. The first at 125 S. Main Street; the second at 227 S. Spring Street; the third at 630 S. Broadway; and the fourth (and present one) at 842 S. Broadway.*

 

 

 
(1898)* - The Los Angeles Orpheum's Audience at the "Dewey Matinee" on Wednesday, August 9, 1898.  

 

 

 

 
(1899)* - This was Los Angeles' first telephone pay station, at 228 So. Spring St., in 1899. The first telephone line between San Francisco and Los Angeles had just been opened, and long distance calls to the Bay City were being stimulated. The young man, Roy E. Jillson, was messenger boy then and was still an employee of the telephone company in 1934.  

 

Historical Notes

Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone in the late 1870's and it didn't take long for Los Angeles to adopt the new technology. In 1879, the Los Angeles Telephone Company was formed and it began offering telephone service in the area of what is now Downtown Los Angeles. This was just one year after the very first North America telephone exchange was installed in New Haven, Connecticut (January, 1878). The Los Angeles Telephone Company originally started with only seven subscribers.

In 1883, The Los Angeles Telephone Company merged with another local telephone company based in Northern California, Sunset Telephone Company. In 1906, the Sunset Telephone Company was acquired by Pacific Telephone and Telegraph, later known as Pacific Bell.^^^#

 

 

 
(1899)* - View of the Sackett Hotel and Emporium, corner Cahuenga and Hollywood Blvd. The first floor includes a post office, soda fountain, and hardware store. A horse and buggy is parked out front at left.  

 

Historical Notes

Horace David Sackett and Ellen Sackett  built the hotel in 1888 at Prospect (Hollywood Boulevard) and Cahuenga, an intersection that became an early Hollywood commercial center.  Their dauther, Mary Sackett, served as the first postmistress of the Hollywood post office located at the hotel.*

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of Hollywood (1850 - 1920).

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1890s)^^** - View of the home built for businessman Zachariah Weller in 1894. Before being moved to its current site in Angelino Heights in 1900, the structure was in the location pictured here, 401 North Figueroa (now North Boylston Street).  

 

Historical Notes

Oil was discovered by Edward L. Doheny in 1892, near the present location of Dodger Stadium. The Los Angeles City Oil Field was the first of many fields in the basin to be exploited, and in 1900 and 1902, respectively, the Beverly Hills Oil Field and Salt Lake Oil Field were discovered just a few miles west of the original find. Los Angeles became a center of oil production in the early 20th century, and by 1923 the region was producing one-quarter of the world's total supply; it is still a significant producer, with the Wilmington Oil Field having the fourth-largest reserves of any field in California.^*

In 1979 the Weller home was designated Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 223 (Click HERE to see complete listing).  Its current location is 822-826 E. Kensington Road.

 

 

 
(ca. 1900)^^* - Home of John A. Forthmann, Sr, at 18th and Figueroa Streets in L.A., its original location, circa 1900.  

 

Historical Notes

John A. Forthmann, who founded the Los Angeles Soap Company with J.J. Bergin, built the house below at 629 West 18th St. It was moved to 2801 S. Hoover in 1989 and is now the USC Community House.^*#

The Los Angeles Soap Co. was most famous for its White King brand (‘It takes so little’).  At one point its plant covered about sixteen acres of downtown L.A.

In 1972, the Forthmann House was designated Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 103 (Click HERE to see complete listing).

In 1989, about a year after the Los Angeles Soap Co. finally closed its doors, the house was picked up and relocated to its current location on Hoover. Today the home – one of the oldest in the city – is the headquarters for USC’s Real Estate Development Corp.*^^^

 

 

 
(ca. 1900)* - Home of Antonio Feliz, originally built in 1855 on Rancho Los Feliz, it was situated on the east side of the rancho near the river. The adobe is located at 4730 Crystal Springs Drive in Griffith Park and now serves as the Park Ranger Headquarters.  

 

Historical Notes

Rancho Nuestra Señora de Refugio de Los Feliz as it was called, was better known as Rancho Los Feliz. This 6,647-acre rancho was granted to Corporal José Vicente Feliz as early as 1795, one of the first land grants in California; it remained in Corporal Feliz' possession as late as 1816. When Corporal Feliz died his children inherited the rancho, and they built an old adobe house on the property sometime in the 1830s.

Rancho Los Feliz had a succession of owners: Doña María Ygnacia Feliz (daughter-in-law of Corporal Feliz) inherited the rancho in 1843 when her husband died. In 1853, Doña Maria divided the rancho among her own daughters; they inherited it in 1861, after their mother's death. Sadly, the daughters failed to improve the land and sold their portions for a mere $1.00 per acre. In 1860, Antonio Feliz, brother-in-law of Doña Maria acquired the property which included the adobe near the river, and which he kept until his death in 1863. Later that same year, Don Antonio Franco Coronel came into the ownership of Rancho Los Feliz. At some point, Don Antonio deeded the rancho to James Lick, a wealthy businessman from San Francisco.

In 1882, Colonel Griffith Jenkins Griffith acquired 4,071 acres of the rancho, and on December 16, 1896 Griffith donated 3,015 acres to the city of Los Angeles to be used as a park; other sections of the rancho were developed and became the communities of Los Feliz and Silver Lake. The old adobe, which still exists today, stands within the park boundaries at 4730 Crystal Springs Drive in Griffith Park.*

 

 

 

 
(1936)* - Restored home of the Feliz family, originally built in the 1830s on Rancho Los Feliz.  

 

Historical Notes

Now located in Griffith Park, the Feliz Adobe was remodeled in 1925 and 1936 it was occupied by William H. Johnson, superintendent of the golf courses at Griffith Park.*

In 1988, the Feliz Adobe was designated Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 401 (Click HERE to see the complete listing).

 

 

 
(ca. 1900)* - View of the John Anson Bullard Block on Spring and Court streets, looking north on Spring. Southern California Savings Bank is on the southeast corner across the street. Streetcar tracks are seen on Spring, and a carriage is parked at left. A lighted sign above the turret announces the bar in the building.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1900)* - View of the intersection of Spring and Court streets. The Bullard Building stands on the northeast corner. The building was designed by Architects Morgan & Walls.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1925)* - Exterior view of the Bullard Block located on the northeast corner of Spring and Court streets. At one time the building housed the courthouse. Note the ornate 5-bulb lamps on the corners. Click HERE to see more in Ealry L.A. Street Lights.  

 

 

 

 
(1925)* - The five-story J.A. Bullard Block on Spring and Court Streets, looking north on Spring in 1925. The building is on the northeast corner of the intersection. California Importing Co. is on the southeast corner. Next to it is the L.A. Mission Cafe and California Jobbing Co., featuring dishes, glassware, silverware for restaurants and apartments. Streetcar tracks are seen on Spring, and cars are parked on the street. Behind the Bullard Block is Market Street.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1888)#**^ - View of a steamer docked at a pier in Avalon Bay in front of the newly constructed Hotel Metropole, Catalina Island.  

 

Historical Notes

The first owner to try to develop Avalon into a resort destination was George Shatto, a real estate speculator from Grand Rapids, Michigan. Shatto purchased the island for $200,000 from the Lick estate at the height of the real estate boom in Southern California in 1887. Shatto created the settlement that would become Avalon, and can be credited with building the town's first hotel, the original Hotel Metropole, and pier. His sister-in-law Etta Whitney came up with the name Avalon, which was taken from Alfred, Lord Tennyson's poem "Idylls of the King," about the legend of King Arthur.^*

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1888)^^* - Photograph of an exterior view of the Hotel Metropole at Avalon Bay. The long, three-story hotel is pictured at center, just off the beach, featuring both a porch on which several people are visible, and second-floor balcony. More people stand at the end of the paved walkway from the hotel, watching two boatmen pull their boat ashore. Several other boats are in their vicinity. Mountains are visible in the background. Part of the wharf, on which a steaming trunk can be seen, is visible in the left foreground. A windmill stands to the right of the hotel.   

 

Historical Notes

The Hotel Metropole was completed in 1888 and became Catalina's grande dame. It was a large 3-story wooden structure with views of the bay that boasted of numerous windows, several dormers, half a dozen chimneys, and two covered patios.*

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1890s)^^ - Panoramic view looking southeast showing Hotel Metropole and steamer Hermosa. The large boat is docked at the pier with smaller boats in the water. Tents are visible close to the beach as well as buildings. Women are wearing high collared long sleeved dresses and gloves. On the right can be seen a windmill and clothes hanging on a clothesline.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1898)^## - View looking south toward Avalon from the top of a mountain above Sugarloaf Point. Two steamboats can be seen in the bay near the pier. The Hotel Metropole is the largest structure in town, however more and more buildings are beginning to spring up near the hotel. A large number of tents occupy the land between the hotel and the mountains.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1900)* - View of the historic Hotel Metropole located at 205 Crescent Avenue on Santa Catalina Island. Several people take a leisurely stroll through the streets, and at least two dozen boats are 'docked' on the beach. A sign next to a small structure reads: "Bert Harding - Boats to let - Fishing, tackle, Bait, etc."  

 

Historical Notes

The Hotel Metropole was such a success that additions to it were made in 1893 and 1897. The 1897 addition gave the hotel 58 more rooms as well as a large reception area and a ballroom.^##*

 

 

 
(ca. 1900)* - View of the Hotel Metropole on Santa Catalina Island. The E.E. Beeson & Co. building, selling general merchandise, bakery and delicacies, is to the right of the hotel, and Troy Laundry Co. is to the right of that. Several people can be seen taking a leisurely stroll through the street, as others sit at the base of the beach, watching swimmers.  A horse-drawn wagon is seen "parked" in the background.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1900)* - Postcard view showing the historic Hotel Metropole on Santa Catalina Island. Several smaller buildings are seen in the distance with the rugged Avalon mountainscape standing in the far background.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1901)## – View of the Hotel Metropole in Avalon, Catalina Island.  Two horse-drawn wagons are seen parked in front of the hotel.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1900)* - Front view of the historic Hotel Metropole. Several men and women gather in and around a horse-drawn carriage, which is 'parked' at the front of the hotel, while a few more people are visible at the hotel's entrance. The stage coaches would take hotel guests to various spots around the island such as Lover's Cove and Descanso Beach.  

 

Historical Notes

After the Banning brothers bought Catalina in 1891, they had better luck in developing the island to accomodate tourism.  They developed Avalon into a proper resort community, made roads into the island’s interior for stagecoach tours and access to hunting lodges. The new roads also enabled tourists to get to Descanso Beach, Lover’s Cove, and other locations, from the town of Avalon.*#*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1905)* - Close-up view of the Town of Avalon showing the Metropole Hotel and Grand View Hotel, as well as the pier and many small boats in the water. The steamer S.S Hermosa is docked at the wharf.  

 

 

 

 
(1904)#^ –  View of the Hotel Metropole from the bay. People are seen sitting on benches while others walk on the road in front of the hotel.  The Victorian structure has gables, a columned balcony, and front porch. A sign reads, "Metropole." Stairs lead down to the bay in front of the hotel.   

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1907)^^ - View showing a large group of people looking out toward the bay at possibly some type of water event.  The Hotel Metropole is seen in the background.  

 

Historical Notes

The Metropole continued to thrive during the early years of the 20th century, right up until the disastrous early morning hours of Nov. 29, 1915.  Between 3:30 and 4:00 a.m., a fire started mysteriously near the rear of the hotel. Avalon’s small fire department quickly was overwhelmed by the blaze, which spread until it had destroyed fully half of the town’s hotels and buildings. Many residents were left homeless.^##*

A few years later, the hotel was rebuilt on the same site but was significantly downsized, this time consisting of only 48 rooms and a luxurious 2-bedroom Beach house.*

A 52-room Hotel Metropole now stands on the site of the original structure in Avalon at the center of the Metropole Market Place development.^##*

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of Catalina

 

 

 

 

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References and Credits

* LA Public Library Image Archive

**DWP - LA Public Library Image Archive

*^LADWP Historic Archive

^^Calisphere: University of California Image Archive

*# Mojave Desert.net: Remi Nadeau

#* Ancestory.com - Margarita Bandini Winston

#^ Huntington Digital Library Archive

^# KCET - The Lost Hills of Downtown Los Angeles

## Library of Congress Image Archive

#**OUTPOSTPreserving Historical Data by W. S. Broke

#^*Early Downtown LA - Hollenbeck Hotel

#^^theeastsiderla.com: Boyle Hotel

#*^LA Conservancy: Boyle Hotel

^^*USC Digital Library

**^Los Angeles Fire Department Historical Archive; Belmont Hotel Fire

^^#The Museum of the San Fernando Valley

*^#CSULB - A Visit to Old LA: Hamburger Dept. Store; Main Street

**#Tumblr.com - LA History: LA Times; Leonis Adobe; Larronde Block

^#*The Department Store Museum: J. W. Robinson's

***Los Angeles Historic - Cultural Monuments Listing

*^*California Historical Landmarks Listing (Los Angeles)

^*^LA Street Names - LA Times

^^^Oviatt Library Digital Archives

*#^Picture Gallery of Los Angeles History

^**UCLA-DWP Library Collection: Map of the City of Los Angeles as it Appeared in 1850

*#*Historic Hotels of Los Angeles and Hollywood (USC - California Historic Society); U.S. Hotel

^##California State Library Image Archive

*^^Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles: Bradbury Building

*^*^St. Mary's Catholic Church

^^**Flickr.com - Floyd B. Bariscale Photostream; Dodson Residence

^*^*TheZephyr.com: O.T. Johnson

***^Historical Buildings - boyleheightsbeat.com

^^^*UC Davis: Bradbury Family Papers

*^^^Big Orange Landmarks: Forthmann House and Forthmann Carriage House

**^^Boyle Heights History Blog: Occidental College

^***Homestead Museum: Workman and Temple Family

*^^*Los Angeles Past: Temple and Main Streets, Los Angeles - Then and Now; City Hall (ca. 1895)

*^**Paradise Leased: Arcadia Hotel

**^*Santa Monica Beach Stories

^**^Wilmington Historic Society

^*^^San Fernando Valley Historical Society/Facebook.com: Burbank Villa Hotel; Hotel Cecil

**#^LAPL-El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument Photo Archive

^^^#Los Angeles Telephone

^#^#Big Orange Landmarks

^**# LMU Digital Collection: Arcadia Hotel

^*^#Uncanny.net: Bunker Hill

***#Salvation Army History: Southern California

**## Mojave Desert.net: Remi Nadeau

^^*#Jewish Museum of the American West: Jacoby Brothers

^^##UC Irvine - The White City by Miles Clement

^#*^LA Times: Amestory Building; Newmark Fountain; Demolition of Old Times Bldg; Don Antonio Maria Lugo

*#*^University of Maryland Digital Archive

*#*#Flickr.com: Michael Ryerson

*###Historic Alhambra

^###Electronic Scrapbook of Alhambra History

*#^#Los Angeles Athletic Club History

^#*#Online Archive of California: Barlow Medical Library

*##Pacific Coast Architecture Database (PCAD): Bryson-Bonebrake Block

^##*South Bay Daily Breeze: Hotel Metropole; Spring Training with the Cubs on Catalina

^##^Los Angeles Downtown News.com: A True Soap Opera

*##^Pinterest.com: California Places of the Past

#***LAUSD.net

#**^LA County Library Image Archive

#^**Google Maps

#^*^Point Fermin Lighthouse

#^^^The Art Institute of Chicago: B'nai B'rith Synagogue

#*^^Flickr.com: Views of Los Angeles

#*#*Walk N Ride LA: Exposition Park

#^#^St. Vincent's Medical Center: History

#**#Santa Monica Local History: blogspot.com

##**LAist: A Park a Day: Point Fermin Park, San Pedro

##^^The Department Store Museum: J. W. Robinson's

##^Santa Monica Conservancy

^ On Bunker Hill: The Zahn Family; Crocker Mansion; Hershey Residence; St. Angelo Hotel; Hildreth Mansion; Larronde Block and Residence

^*#Noirish Los Angeles - forum.skyscraperpage.com; Arcade Palm Tree; Temple Block; Ruber Home; Villa Brunner; LA County Courthouse; Angels Flight; Hotel Cecil; Wilson Block; Barlow Medical Library Interior; LA City Hall; Robinson Manison and Teed Street

^* Wikipedia: Abel Stearns; Pío Pico; Workman-Temple Family; Jonathan Temple; Los Angeles Herald-Examiner; Charles Maclay; Los Angeles High School; Cathedral of Saint Vibiana; John Edward Hollenbeck; Foy House; Isaias W. Hellman; Isaac Newton Van Nuys; Wells Fargo; Los Angeles Plaza Historic District; Harrison Gray Otis; Harris Newmark; Hazard's Paviolion; Los Angeles Athletic Club; Fort Moore; The Church of Our Lady the Queen of Angels; Compton; Los Angeles and Independence; Bradbury Building: LA Oil Discover; Boyle Heights; Phineas Banning; UCLA; History of UCLA; Arcade Station; Garvanza, Los Angeles; Highland Park; Avila Adobe; Stimson House; Ozro W. Childs; Ducommun; Los Angeles City Hall; James H. Dodson Residence; Burbank; Domingo Amestoy; Angelino Heights; Bank of America Center; History of Los Angeles Population Growth; Boyle Hotel - Cummings Block; YMCA; Spring St. School; La Grande Station; Fort Moore; Harris Newmark; Santa Catalina Island; Pt. Fermin Lighthouse; Loyola Marymount University

 

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