Early Los Angeles Historical Buildings (1800s)

Historical Photos of Early Los Angeles

(ca. 1890)* - View of the second LA Times Building on the northeast 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.^*

Today, the LA Times occupies its 4th building since it started publishing back in 1881. Click HERE to see more in Early Views of the LA Times.


(ca. 1903)* - The intersection at Broadway and 5th, looking south from 5th. The Los Angeles Examiner building is visible on the right. Pedestrians line the sidewalks, and horses and buggies are on the street. A lone bicycle rider leads the pack. Signs for "Mammoth Shoe House", "United Millinery Company", and "Angelus Studio" are visible.  


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.^*



(ca. 1903)* - Exterior view of the Los Angeles Examiner building at 509 South Broadway, in Los Angeles.  


Historical Notes

The Herald Examiner moved into a new building in 1914, located at the southwest corner of Broadway and 11th Streets. Click HERE to see LA Examiner's Second Building.

In 1967, Herald Examiner employees began a strike that lasted almost a decade and resulted in at least $15 million in losses. The paper never recovered from the strike and went out of business November 2, 1989, leaving the Los Angeles Times as the sole city-wide daily newspaper.^*



(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.^*



(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





(ca. 1890)^^* - View showing the first building erected on the corner of Fifth Street and Hill Street in Los Angeles. The small, two-story clapboard house is at center. It has a small balcony with an open doorway at center, as well as a covered porch on the first floor. Large vines have grown up the side of the porch, hiding much of the front of the house from view. Four people are on the sidewalk in the foreground, including two young children at left and a girl and a woman walking at center.  


Historical Notes

The building, the home of Mary E. Taft, was moved to face Fifth Street. Later this block would become part of the center of Los Angeles' financial district.^^*




(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.*


Bradbury Mansion

(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.  





(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.  



Westminster Hotel

(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.^^*




(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. 1900)^^* - People near and far walk across 4th and Main Street past the majestic Westminster (architect, Robert B. Young). Included also are a bicycle, a car and a horse-drawn cart.  




(ca. 1924)^^* – View looking north up Main Street.  The Westminster Hotel is seen on the northeast corner of 4th and Main Streets.  


Historical Notes

The four prominent buildings seen above at the intersection of 4th and Main are the:  Van Nuys Hotel (N/E corner), Westminster Hotel (N/E corner), Farmers and Merchants Bank Building, and San Fernando Building (S/E corner).^^*



(1926)* - Main and 4th streets, showing the Westminster Hotel on the northeast corner and the San Fernando Building (right) on the southeast.




(1954)##*^ – View of the Westminster Hotel, northeast corner of Main and 4th Streets.  


Historical Notes

By the mid-1930s the Westminster Hotel was in decline. It, however, continued to operate until 1960 when the building was razed to make room for new development.^^*



(1959)^## – Close-up view showing the Westminster Hotel one year before it was demolished.  




(ca. 1960)* - Viewed from a parking lot across the street, past the sign advertising 65 cents maximum for all day parking. Across the street is the Hotel Westminster as seen shortly before it was razed.  


Historical Notes

The O.T. Johnson Corporation owned the Westminster until 1952. The Westminster is the only historic building to have been razed at the corner of Fourth and Main Streets (February 1960). Remaining today on the other three corners are the Barclay (Van Nuys) Hotel, the Farmers and Merchants bank, and the San Fernando Building.^#**



(ca. 1890)^^* - View of Figueroa at Sixth Street looking south circa 1890. 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 in 1891. 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





(1887)* - Lithograph of the expansive Italianate style estate, identified as the Isaias W. Hellman residence, located on the southwest corner of Main and 4th streets. Isaias was the brother of Herman Hellman, a well-known banker and financier in Los Angeles during the late 1800s/early 1900s.  


Historical Notes

Hellman became Los Angeles' first banker almost by accident. As a courtesy, he stored his customers' gold and valuables in a safe. One day, Hellman got into an altercation with a customer who had been coming in and out of the store gloriously drunk, withdrawing gold each time from a pouch stored in the safe. When the man sobered up, he was angry to discover he had spent most of his funds, and he lunged at Hellman. That interaction prompted Hellman to stop his informal banking operations. He got slips printed up that said I.W. Hellman, Banker, and started buying people's funds and issuing deposit books.

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 of Los Angeles, 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 A. Canfield to drill for oil.^*



(1887)* - Panoramic view of the Isaias W. Hellman residence in foreground, southwest corner of Main and 4th streets. This would be the future site of the Farmers and Merchants Bank of Los Angeles.  




(1890)* - View of the spot where the Isaac & Herman Hellman residence once stood on the corner of 4th and Main Streets. For the move, the house was cut into four sections, with the last section to be moved visible in the center of the image on the left. The house was moved to make way for his family's bank building - Farmers and Merchants Bank of Los Angeles. Dan W. Graybill, standing in the foreground on the right, donated this photograph. A couple street cars are seen traveling on the right.  


Historical Notes

The Farmer's and Merchants Bank was founded by 23 prominent Los Angeles businessmen, with an initial capital of $500,000. The three largest subscribers were Isaias W. Hellman ($100,000), former California Governor John G. Downey ($100,000), and Ozro W. Childs ($50,000) who in later years became the founders of the University of Southern California. Other investors included Charles Ducommun ($25,000), I.M. Hellman ($20,000) and Jose Mascarel ($10,000.) The Farmers and Merchants Bank was the first incorporated bank in Los Angeles, founded in 1871 by John G Downey, the seventh governor of California and Isaias W. Hellman, a successful merchant, real estate speculator and banker, and brother of Hermann W. Hellman. Downey was named the first president. Isaias later served as president of the bank till his death in 1920.^*



(ca. 1890s)* - Street view of Herman Hellman's residence, located at 958 So. Hill St. Faintly visible are various members of the Hellman family, including: Irving (on the far left), Frida (later Mrs. Louis Cole), Herman and Amy (later Mrs. Sollie Aronson). Joining them is the coach driver, Oscar Leuschner.  


Historical Notes

Herman W. Hellman was born on September 25, 1843 in Reckendorf, Bavaria. He emigrated to the United States with his brother Isaias W. Hellman, arriving in Los Angeles on May 14, 1859 as a sixteen-year-old.

He started working as a courier from Wilmington to Los Angeles. In 1861, he worked for his uncle, Samuel Hellman, who had a store in Los Angeles. Shortly after, he opened his own store at Downey Block.

He established a wholesale grocer's called Hellman, Haas, & Co. with Jacob Haas, the brother of Abraham Haas. They sold groceries in Southern California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. As his business prospered, he became one of the wealthiest men in Los Angeles by the 1880s. The company later became known as Baruch, Haas, & Co.

In 1890, he became Vice President and General Manager of The Farmers and Merchants Bank, a bank established by his brother. He was later demoted by his brother, who found his lending practices too lenient. He resigned in 1903, and became the President of the Merchants National Bank instead. He also became a co-founder of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce.

In 1903, he hired architect Alfred Rosenheim to design the Hellman Building named in his honor. The eight-story building in Downtown Los Angeles still stands today, on the corner of Fourth Street and Spring Street.

He served as President of the Congregation B'nai B'rith, later known as the Wilshire Boulevard Temple.^*



(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 home of George R. and Clara Shatto, built approximately in 1892 at Lucas 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.*##^


Bradbury Building

(ca. 1895)* - Exterior view of the Bradbury Building located on the southeast 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.^*



Lankershim Building

(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.^


B'nai B'rith Temple (2nd Location)

(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

In 1896, the B'nai B'rith congregation moved into its new larger brick Victorian synagogue at 9th and Hope. It was designed by A.M. Edelman (also designed 1st temple), and had tall flanking towers capped with large onion domes.*^

The cornerstone of 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.

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.*

Click HERE to see first location of B'nai B'rith Temple.




(ca. 1898)* - Exterior view of the second B'nai B'rith Temple, located at 9th and Hope streets in Los Angeles.  


Historical Notes

Sigmund Hecht became rabbi in 1899, and in 1903 the congregation joined the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, the national organization of the Reform movement. Edgar Magnin was hired as an assistant rabbi in 1915, and took over as senior rabbi upon Hecht's retirement in 1919. Both Hecht and Magnin implemented the Reform practice of the time, including heavier use of the English language and organ and choir music.*^




(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. It was one of Los Angeles' first electric streetlights.

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



(1926)* - Exterior view of the second B'nai B'rith Temple on the corner of 9th and Hope streets. Neighboring businesses, hotels and apartment buildings are visible all along Hope Street, which runs from the foreground to the left side of the image.  


Historical Notes

This grand edifice was replaced in 1929 when Wilshire Boulevard Temple opened.*

Click HERE to see the 3rd location of B'nai B'rith (Wilshire Boulevard Temple).




(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. 


Orpheum Theatre

(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.  


Historical Notes

Opened in 1888 as the Los Angeles Theatre. The theatre was built by William Hayes Perry and the building containing it was known as the Perry Building.

In 1903 this interesting Richardsonian Romanesque building became the Orpheum - the second home of Orpheum Circuit vaudeville in Los Angeles. Previously they'd been at the Grand Opera House. *##



(ca. 1903)* - Exterior view of the old Orpheum Theater on Spring Street between 2nd and 3rd Streets.  


Historical Notes

The Orpheum moved on in June, 1911 to their new home at 630 S. Broadway (now the Palace Theatre). The existing building became the Lyceum Theatre in 1912. *##

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 the 1830s 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.^##*



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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

^^*USC Digital Library

**^LA Fire Department Historical Archive

**#Tumblr.com - LA History: LA Times; Leonis Adobe; Larronde Block

*##Historic Los Angeles Theatres: Grand Opera House; Orpheum Theatre

^^^Oviatt Library Digital Archives

^^#The Museum of the San Fernando Valley

***Los Angeles Historic - Cultural Monuments Listing

*^*California Historical Landmarks Listing (Los Angeles)

^*^LA Street Names - LA Times

^*#Noirish Los Angeles - forum.skyscraperpage.com; Ruber Home; Villa Brunner; LA County Courthouse; Barlow Medical Library Interior; Robinson Manison and Teed Street

*#*Historic Hotels of Los Angeles and Hollywood (USC - California Historic Society)

^##California State Library Image Archive

*^^Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles: Bradbury Building

^*^*TheZephyr.com: O.T. Johnson

*^*^St. Mary's Catholic Church

^^^*UC Davis: Bradbury Family Papers

*^^^Big Orange Landmarks: Forthmann House and Forthmann Carriage House

^^**Flickr.com - Floyd B. Bariscale Photostream

^^^#Los Angeles Telephone

^^##UC Irvine - The White City by Miles Clement

^#**Historic Hotels of Los Angeles and Hollywood (USC - California Historic Society)

^#*#Online Archive of California: Barlow Medical Library

^##*South Bay Daily Breeze: Hotel Metropole; Spring Training with the Cubs on Catalina

*###Historic Alhambra

^###Electronic Scrapbook of Alhambra History

*#*^University of Maryland Digital Archive

*##*Pacific Coast Architecture Database (PCAD): Bryson-Bonebrake Block

*##^On Bunker Hill: The Zahn Family; St. Angelo Hotel; Hildreth Mansion

***#Salvation Army History: Southern California

#**^LA County Library Image Archive

#^*^Point Fermin Lighthouse

#**#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

^* 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; Bradbury Building; LA Oil Discover; Stimson House; Alhambra; Bank of America Center; La Grande Station; Santa Catalina Island; Pt. Fermin Lighthouse; Herman W. Hellman; Farmers and Merchants Bank of Los Angeles


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