Early Los Angeles City Views (1800s)

Historical Photos of Early Los Angeles

 
(ca. 1883)^ - Spring Street looking north as seen from the from 1st Street. H. Jevne, wholesale grocer, is seen at 40 North Spring at upper-right. The tall copula in the distance is part of the Baker Block. The copula of Temple Block can also be seen at upper-right. The tall pole in the distance is actually LA's 1st Electric Streetlights (installed in 1882). It was 150 feet tall.  

 

Historical Notes

Hans Jevne was in the grocery business in downtown Los Angeles from 1882-1920. At some point quite early in his operations (perhaps right from the start), he determined that if customers in the vicinity couldn’t come to him—or did come but didn’t want to tote the groceries—he’d have the merchandise delivered to them.

While free home delivery by a grocery store was certainly not originated by Jevne, he eventually provided that service on an exceptionally grand scale.

He employed deliverymen at least as early as 1893. On As of 1889, when “The Illustrated History of Los Angeles County, California” was published, H. Jevne Co. had 13 horses (and employed 27 men). His store, at 38 and 40 North Spring Street, had by then expanded from a single room in the building to both floors, according to the book.
In 1890, Jevne moved to a three-story building at 136 and 138 N. Spring St. (in the “Wilcox Block”), and in 1896 relocated to 208/210 S. Spring Street (in the newly opened “Wilcox Building”). Jevne continued to offer home delivery, shifting from reliance on horse-pulled wagons to motorized vehicles.*

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1883)^^ – View showing several people posing for the camera as they stand next to a horse-drawn wagon and in front of the Woodhead and Gay Store at 46 and 48 N. Spring Street.  The tall wall in the background is the side of the 3-story building occupied by H. Jevne Grocery (see previous photo).   The H.J. Woollacott liquor store is also visible to the right.; Signs include: "Fruit Domestic & Foreign / Green Dried and Canned Nuts and Honey", "Woodhead & Gay Commission Merchants. Wholesale & Retail Dealers in General Produce.", "Trees Fruit and Ornamental / Shrubs, Plants, Flower, Field and Garden Seeds.", and "H.J. Woollacott, Fine Liquors / Wholesale Wine & Liquor".   

 

Historical Notes

Picture File Card reads "Mr. Bell was bookkeeper, L.E. Myers was head clerk."

 

 

 

 
(1885)^ - Spring Street near First looking north. Horse-drawn wagons are seen throughout the commercial area on Spring Street. Large sign in the upper left reads: BAKERY - RESTAURANT  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1885)^^ - View of Spring Street looking north from 1st Street. Horse-drawn carriages occupy most of the parking spots along the curbs while several horse-drawn street cars travel down the street. The A. Hamburger and Son's People's Store is seen on the left. The tall copula seen in the distance is part of the Baker Block.  

 

Historical Notes

A. Hamburger and Sons was one of the first department stores to operate in Los Angeles.  Originally known as A. Hamburger & Son's People's Store, the name later changed to Hamburger's Store.   In 1908 the company relocated their store from Spring Street to a newer building located at Broadway and Eighth Street.  May Department Stores acquired Hamburger's in 1923 and renamed it the May Company.^^#

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1880s)^^ – Two men pose for the camera in front of the People’s Store.  

 

Historical Notes

People's Store (later Hamburger's Department Store) was located in the Phillips Block until 1903. It then relocated to a new, larger building located on the SW corner of Broadway and 8th Street.. At the time it was the largest department store building west of Chicago.

The store was acquired from A. Hamburger & Sons Co. by David May in 1923 and renamed the May Company.*

 

 

 

 
(1885)^ - Spring Street near First looking north. Schumacher Block is visible in left foreground. The copula of the Baker Block (built in 1878) can be seen in the distance. Horse-Drawn Streetcars and wagons are seen throughout.  

 

Historical Notes

John Schumacher was a German immigrant who became a wealthy landowner in Los Angeles and was a member of the city's governing council. He settled in Los Angeles in 1847, but in 1849 Schumacher went to Sutter's Creek, where he found a nugget of gold worth eight hundred dollars.  He then bought nearly the whole block bounded by Spring and First streets and Franklin Alley for the value of his famous gold nugget.*^

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1884)^ - Stereoscopic view of Spring Street looking north. Horse and buggy transportation is seen on the unpaved road.
 

 

 

 

 

 
(1884)^ - Looking north on Spring and east on First Streets in 1884. Horse-drawn streetcar can be seen turning onto Spring Street. The sign on the building (right-center) reads: WINES & LIQUORS. The short-lived Los Angeles National Bank Building was constructed on the NE corner in 1887. In 1906, it was replaced with the 7-story Equitable Savings Bank Building.  

 

Historical Notes

The NE corner of Spring and 1st streets seen above is near to where City Hall is located today. Click HERE for contemporary view.

 

 

 

 
(1887)^ - Spring St. looking north from Nadeau Hotel located on the southwest corner of 1st and Spring. Los Angeles National Bank is on the northeast corner (on the right), near where City Hall is today. The ornate 4-story building at center-left is the Phillips Block, built in 1887. Horse-drawn streetcars and carriages can be seen throughout.  

 

Historical Notes

The 1887-built, 4-story Phillips Building replaced another large building at the same location (seen in previous photos) that housed Hamburger & Son's People's Store, at the time, LA's largest Department Store. The People's Store would remain in the new ornate Phillips Block building until 1908, when the store moved into its newly constructed building on the SW corner Broadway and 8th Street. May Department Stores would acquire Hamburger's in 1923 and rename it the May Company.

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1890)^ - View looking down Spring Street from 1st Street. Los Angeles National Bank Building is on the northeast corner on the right.  Down the block (center-left) is the 1887-built French Renaissance-style Phillips Block who's main tenant was the Hamburger & Son's People's Store.  In the far distance can be seen the main cupola of Baker Block located on Main Street.  

 

Historical Notes

Completed in 1887, the Los Angeles National Bank Building was designed by Kysor & Morgan in the "Modern Gothic" style, included a basement and cost $65,000 to build. The building materials were granite, iron and pressed brick. The bank was organized in 1883 and later merged, along with Southwestern National Bank, with First National in 1905. The Equitable Savings Bank then occupied the premises and replaced the building with a seven-story structure (Equitable Building).


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

 

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First Street (looking East from Hill Street)

 
(ca. 1880)^^ - Early view of First Street looking east from Hill Street past Broadway and Spring Street.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1884)^^ - Panoramic view looking east on First Street from Hill Street, showing the 4-story Nadeau Hotel located on the southwest corner of First and Spring streets.  

 

Historical Notes

The photograph's dominant structure is the Hotel Nadeau, while the Natick House can be seen further east on First and Main Streets. The photograph features the following buildings: De Turk's Livery, Feed & Sale Stable (built before 1880), it's a larger building at lower left, on the north-west corner of First Street and Broadway; Hotel Nadeau (1882-1931), a large building in right center, located at the southwest corner of First & Spring Streets; Larronde Block (built in 1883), located across First Street from Nadeau Hotel, on the north-west corner with Spring Street. Schumacher Block (1880 - ca.1931), to the left of the Larronde Block, on Spring Street. Natick House (built in 1883), to the left of Nadeau, on the southwest corner of First and Main Streets; Pithian Castle Block (built in 1877) can be seen directly above Schumacher Block, with tall, narrow windows, located on Spring Street just north of First Street.^^

 

 

Spring and 1st Street

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

 

Historical Notes

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

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

 

 

Spring and 2nd Street

 
(1886)^^ - View of the southwest corner of Spring and Second streets showing the B.F. Coulters store on the ground floor of the Hollenbeck Hotel. A streetcar is stopped along Second Street. A series of utility poles are visible looking up Spring Street in front of the store. Horse-drawn wagons, carriages, and pedestrians are on the dirt street and sidewalk. Legible signs include: "101, 103 & 105, B.F. Coulter, proprieter"; "Coulters Store in the Baker Block is to be closed Feb. 1 and all business of the firm will hereafter be done in the Hollenbeck block, corner Spring & Second Streets" -- 10 January 1886.  

 

Historical Notes

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

 

 

Main Street

 
(1883)^ - A group of men are seen posing for the camera in the middle of Main Street. The view is looking south on Main Street with the Pico House on the left. The tower of the Baker Block can be seen in the background.  

 

Historical Notes

The tall pole seen between the two men sitting on the wagon is not a flagpole. It is a 150-foot electric street light mast that was one of the first to be installed in the City of Los Angeles.

Click HERE to read more about it in Early Los Angeles Street Lights.

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1880s)^ - Main Street looking north from atop the Temple BlockBaker Block is just right of center. This vantage point is now occupied by City Hall. The tall poll (center right) is one of the first of seven electric light poles installed in the City of Los Angeles. They were 150 feet tall!  

 

Historical Notes

Each of the 150-foot-high masts carried three electric lights of three thousand candle-power. All seven lamps and a small power plant to provide the electricity were installed by C. L. Howland who later formed the Los Angeles Electric Company. By 1883, Los Angeles became the first city in the USA to entirely abandon gas for street lighting and replace it with electricity.

The Los Angeles Electric Company later became the Los Angeles Gas and Electric Corporation and survived until it was bought out by the DWP in 1936.*

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1882)^ - Main Street looking north from Commercial Street. A number of horse-drawn vehicles are in the street as well as parked at the curb. The St. Charles Hotel is on the right.The City's new 150-ft. tall streetlight pole can be seen in center of photo.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1882)* - One of the first of seven electric street lights installed in the City of Los Angeles at Main and Commercial in 1882. A man can be seen standing on a platform half-way up the pole.  

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Los Angeles Street Lights

 

 

 

Spring and Temple Streets (looking West)

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

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

Main, Temple, and Spring Streets

 
(1870s)^ - A view of Temple Block at the junction of Main, Temple and Spring streets in 1870. Horse-drawn wagons and carriages can be seen on both sides of the street. The Downey Block is at the right of photo.  

 

Historical Notes

Main Street was dedicated in 1849. The community's first Calle Principal connected the San Gabriel Mission with the San Fernando Valley and many established ranchos. One section near the Plaza was known as Bath Street after, legend has it, the facilities featuring "scarlet women."

Spring Street was dedicated in 1849. As legend has it, it was named Calle Primavera by Lt. Ord to honor his sweetheart in Santa Barbara, Trinidad Ortega, whom he called "Primavera," Spanish for "Springtime." He never married Ortega, the granddaughter of Jose Francisco Ortega, the Spanish explorer who "discovered" San Francisco Bay.^*^

Temple Street was named after John Temple in 1859, who opened the first store in Los Angeles. He built a block of shops, lawyers' offices and a saloon at Main and Temple streets, where Los Angeles City Hall stands today.^*^

 

 

 
(n.d.)^^ - Temple Square (Temple Block) appears at the bottom-center of this photograph of a model of old Los Angeles. This would become the future site of the current City Hall.  

 

Historical Notes

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

 

 

 
(ca. 1876)^ - Spring Street at junction of Main Street, circa 1876. A sign on the three story building (Temple Block) at the head of the junction reads "Adolph Portugal". A few horse-drawn vehicles can be seen.  

 

Historical Notes

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

 

 

 
(ca. 1880)^ - View of the Temple Block with Adolph Portugal’s store at the intersection of Main, Spring, and Temple streets.  

 

Historical Notes

Temple Block would become the site of today’s Los Angeles City Hall.

 

 

 
(ca. 1880s)^ - Spring Street north from the junction of Temple and Main Streets, with the Temple Block on the right. A parade is being held.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1880s)^ - View of Temple Block at the junction of three streets; Temple, Spring and Main streets. A telegraph office is now in view at the southeast corner of Temple Block.  

 

 

 

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

 

Historical Notes

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

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

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

 

 

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

 

Historical Notes

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

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

 

 

 
(ca. 1885)^^ - View looking south with a good view of Main Street (left) and Spring (right). The old County Courthouse with its cupola and clock can be seen in the center of Temple Block.  

 

Historical Notes

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

Between 1860s-1884, Los Angeles City Hall shared space with the County Courthouse in the Temple Block.*^

 

 

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

 

Historical Notes

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

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

 

 

 

 
(1887)^^ - View looking down Spring Street from near where Main, Spring, and Temple streets intersect. The Downey Block with horse-drawn carriges and wagons parked in front is seen on the right. At left is the Temple Block. Further down Spring Street can be seen a 4-story building with a unique copula. That is the Phillips Block.  

 

Historical Notes

Construction on the Downey Block began in 1869. It was named for John Gately Downey, a pharmacist who served as the governor of California for two years (1860-1862) before becoming a real estate developer. Downey was also one of the founders and first president of Farmers and Merchants National Bank. The city of Downey was named in his honor after he subdivided his land holdings there and converted them into farms.

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1887)^ - View looking south on Spring Street with Temple Block seen on the left. The large 4-story building with the copula in the distance is the Phillips Block. The large, ornate four-story building housed one of the City's first department stores called Hamburger & Son's People's Store whch would evolve into May Company. The Downey Block is at right. A horse-drawn carriage crosses the tracks as a streetcar appears to be headed toward it.  

 

Historical Notes

The Phillips Block, located at 25-37 N. Spring Street, was constructed in 1887 in the French Renaissance style popular at that time for secular buildings. It was the second four-story building erected in Los Angeles and was one of the most ornately decorated.

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

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1887)^ - Photo shows the Temple Block (center) with Main Street to the left and Spring Street to the right.  

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

Click HERE to see more of Construction of Today's City Hall

 

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Hill and Temple Streets

 
(ca. 1884)^^ - View looking north at the intersection of Hill and Temple streets in downtown Los Angeles. Past Temple St. stands Fort Moore Hill, one of downtown L.A.’s “lost hills.” The Banning Mansion near the summit of Fort Moore Hill can be seen in the distance.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1906)^^ - View looking north at the intersection of Hill Street and Temple twenty-two years later in 1906. The tall tower to the upper left is that of Los Angeles High School (2nd location) which was built in 1890.  

 

 

 

 

Before and After

 
(ca. 1884)^^   (1906)^^

 

 

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Temple Block

 
(1885)^ - View showing the Temple Block with clock-tower, home of the Los Angeles County Courthouse. Further back are two three-story Victorian-style buildings: the Amestoy Building and the United States Hotel located at the intersection of Main Street and Requena Street (later Market Street). The intersection of Market and Spring streets is at lower left.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1880s)+^ – View looking northeast showing the Los Angeles County Courthouse with its clock tower.  The corner of the courthouse closest to the camera is on the southwest corner of Spring and Court streets.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1891)^.^ – View looking toward the Temple Block from Spring Street with Court Street on the right and Market Street at left.  Main Street can be seen in the distance on the right.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1891)^.^ – Blow-up view of previous photo showing Court Street looking east toward Main Street as seen from Spring Street.  A young man is seen on a donkey in the middle of the street while several horse-drawn wagons are parked along the curb.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1891)^*# - View of Market Street looking west from the cupola of the United States Hotel, soon after the construction of the New Courthouse on Poundcake Hill (background). The old market and Courthouse of Temple Block can be seen at left.  

 

Historical Notes

On the north side of Market was the south portion of the Temple Block; on the south side was the original market building erected in 1859 by John Temple, which later became a County Courthouse (LA's 5th).

The Bullard Block (Building) would replace the old Clocktower County Courthouse (NE corner of Spring and Court streets) in the late 1890s. Today, City Hall stands at this location.

 

Click HERE to see 'From Temple Block to City Hall'

 

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(ca. 1885)^ - Showing what was primarily a residential area at the time is the Schumacher residence located on Spring and 1st Streets. This would later be the site of the current LA Times Building.  

 

Historical Notes

John Schumacher was a German immigrant who became a wealthy landowner in Los Angeles and was a member of the city's governing council. He settled in Los Angeles in 1847, but in 1849 Schumacher went to Sutter's Creek, where he found a nugget of gold worth eight hundred dollars.  He then bought nearly the whole block bounded by Spring and First streets and Franklin Alley for the value of his famous gold nugget.*^

 

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Broadway and 3rd Street

 
(ca. 1882)^^ -  View looking north on Fort Street (later Broadway) from Third Street. The spire of the First Presbyterian Church can be seen above the trees at right.  

 

 

 

 
(1886)^ - View looking north on Fort Street (later Broadway) from 3rd Street. The streets are unpaved and appear to be residential. The tall spire in the distance is the First Presbyterian Church on the southeast corner of Fort and 2nd Streets. LA's 3rd City Hall would be built on this block in 1888 on the east side of Broadway between 2nd and 3rd streets. Over the course of the next several years the west side of the street would also be built up with commercial buildings.   

 

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Broadway and 2nd Street

 
(ca. 1887)^ - View looking northwest from the top of City Hall (under construction - completed in 1888) on Broadway. The intersection of 2nd and Broadway is at lower-right where the California Bank Building stands on the southwest corner. The 3-story white building with the balconies (top-center) is the Highland Villa (n/w corner of 1st and Hill).  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1887)^*# - View looking west on 2nd Street at Broadway. Three women are seen walking by the front of the California Bank Building on the southwest corner with horse-drawn carriages parked at the curb.  

 

 

 

 

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

 

Historical Notes

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

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

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1889)^^- View looking at the SW corner of Broadway and 2nd Street showing the California Bank, the YMCA and in the distance (lower-left) can be seen the Fort Street Methodist Episcopal Church. Note: Broadway was known as 'Fort Street' until 1890.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1889)#^ – View looking south on Broadway at 2nd Street showing the California Bank Building on the southwest corner. City Hall (built in 1888) is across Broadway out of view on the left. In the distance (on the left) can be seen the Fort Street Methodist Episcopal Church  

 

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Bunker Hill

 
(ca. 1886)^ - Panoramic view of Bunker Hill, showing various public buildings and private residences, including the Bradbury Mansion on the far right. The three-story Highland Villa is seen at center (white building). Broadway runs diagonally south(left)/north in the lower left quadrant of the photo. The steep slope with the stairs next to it is the future site of Court Flight, Angels Flight's sister funicular railway. Court St. dead ends at the top of the slope. The Bradbury mansion (built 1886, demolished 1928) is the large house on top of the hill, facing east on to N. Hill St. The house directly across from it (partially hidden by trees), at 138 N. Hill, is the third Los Angeles home (built circa 1881, demolished 1955) of Sarah Bixby Smith, author of "Adobe Days" (1931). The Hill Street Tunnel was put through in 1908 after 1st St. was extended to the west. Court Hill (between Bunker Hill and Poundcake Hill) was removed entirely in the mid- to late 1950s.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1867, a wealthy developer, Prudent Beaudry, purchased a majority of the hill's land. Because of the hill's excellent views of the Los Angeles Basin and the Los Angeles River, he knew that it would make for an opulent subdivision. He developed the peak of Bunker Hill with lavish two-story Victorian houses that became famous as homes for the upper-class residents of Los Angeles. Angels Flight (built in 1901), now dubbed "The World's Shortest Railway", took residents homeward from the bottom of the 33% grade and down again.*^

Prudent Beaudry served as the 13th Mayor of Los Angeles, California from 1874 to 1876. Beaudry Avenue was named after him.*^

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1895)^^ - View of Bunker Hill from the Court House roof.   The Court Street cul de sac is seen (before the installation of Court Flight). Bradbury Mansion is shown at the intersection of Hill and Court Streets. The Bixby house (two story directly across Hill St. from Bradbury) appears at the center of frame.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1899)#*** - Similar view of Bunker Hill as previous two photos but several years later. Note the new buildings on Broadway in the foreground.  

 

Historical Notes

The steep slope with the stairs next to it is the future site of Court Flight (1905), Angels Flight's sister funicular railway. Court St. dead ends at the top of the slope.

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1900)^^ - Closer view of Bunker Hill showing the staricase leading up to the end of Court Street. The magnificent Bradbury Mansion sits on top of the hill as well as Sarah BixbySmith's home across the street (left of photo).  

 

Historical Notes

After Lewis Bradbury's widow moved out of the Bradbury Mansion, it was used as a club for judges, then as the Rollin Film Studio and finally, as a rooming house before being demolished in 1928.

 

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Hill and 3rd Street

 
(ca. 1880s)^ - An unpaved 3rd Street, looking west past houses to the Crocker Mansion atop Bunker Hill in the distance. Horse-drawn vehicles are on the street. A bakery is at left and the steeple of the First Congregational Church at right.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1885)^ - View of Bunker Hill, looking west from 3rd and Hill streets. On the right is the First Congregational Church, built in 1883. It later became the Central Baptist Church and then the Unitarian Church. The Crocker Mansion is seen in the background.  

 

Historical Notes

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

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1885)^ - View of Bunker Hill, looking west from 3rd St. and Hill. On the right is a closer look at the First Congregational Church, built in 1883. The Crocker Mansion, located at 3rd and Olive, was later called the Crocker Mansion Rooming House became the site of the Elks Club (later the Moose Lodge).  

 

Historical Notes

By 1901, city and private engineers would come up with two different ways to traverse the steep hill...they built an 1080-foot long tunnel and a 33-percent grade funicular at the intersection seen above.

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Angels Flight and the 3rd Street Tunnel

 
(1901)^*# - Photo of Angels Flight at the grand opening of the railway, December 31st, 1901. An observation tower was also constructed on top of the hill adjacent to the Crocker Mansion. Third Street Tunnel was also opened in 1901.  

 

Historical Notes

Built in 1901 with financing from Colonel J.W. Eddy, as the Los Angeles Incline Railway, Angels Flight began at the west corner of Hill Street at Third and ran for two blocks uphill (northwestward) to its Olive Street terminus.^*

Click HERE to see more Early Views of Angels Flight.

On July 3, 1893, residents and taxpayers presented a petition to the Los Angeles City Council asking that a tunnel be created to connect those who lived in the Crown Hill neighborhood with the business district located on this side of Bunker Hill. Their plans called for a tunnel 1080 feet long, with a twenty-six foot roadway and eight foot sidewalks. Nothing happened for five years. But work finally started and by March of 1901 the tunnel was opened to the public. It was unpaved and unlit. Gutters weren’t installed until 1902.

Click HERE to see more Early Views of the Third Street Tunnel.

 

 

Before and After

   
   
(1885) vs. (1903) - View looking west on 3rd Street near Hill Street.    

 

 

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Temple Street (w/o Bunker Hill)

 
(1876)^ - View of an unpaved Temple Street looking west from Bunker Hill in 1876, with various houses visible there and on the hill in the background. Court Circle, as laid out, is at the left. Temple Street curves, following the contour of the land.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1870s)^ - View of a field of wheat growing on a ranch in the vicinity of Temple Street and north Vermont Avenue. A house, farm buildings and a windmill are seen.  

 

 

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Victor Heights

 
(1877)^^ - Detail of E.S. Glover’s View of Los Angeles from the East showing what was to become Victor Heights.  

 

Historical Notes

Canadian brothers Prudent and Victor Beaudry first increased their fortunes (having been born wealthy) in Northern California with a variety of business pursuits before moving to Los Angeles where Prudent entered politics (from 1874 to 1876 he served as Los Angeles’s thirteenth mayor). Victor mined, developed water works, and worked in real estate before moving to Los Angeles in 1855. He and his mining partner (and fellow Quebecois) Damien Marchessault built an ice house in Los Angeles in 1859 — the year Marchessault became mayor — and sold ice to saloon keepers and others.

In the 1860s, the Beaudrys bought land in and around the French Town section — an historic neighborhood centered around Alameda and Aliso streets whose existence today is mainly seen in street names like Bauchet, Ducommun, and Vignes. Beaudry went on to increase his fortunes in silver mines and simultaneously earned the nickname the “water king” as he developed water transportation systems for both mines and in town. After the mines began to prove less profitable, Victor moved to Montreal in 1876 where he married Angelica Le Blanc. The couple and their family moved back to Los Angeles in 1881 where he remained until 1886.

In Los Angeles, the Beaudry brothers built a water reservoir in the Elysian Hills and used it to hydrate their properties there including Bunker Hill (subdivided in 1876), and what would become Angeleno Heights and Victor Heights. To make their properties more appealing to potential homebuyers, the Beaudrys created two parks, Bellevue Terrace and Beaudry Park. Beaudry Park was a 7.4 acre oval property designed by landscape architect/gardener Francis Tamiet and included many Mexican limes, gums, cypresses, oranges, and Monterey pines.*

Ultimately, the Beaudrys placed their two gardens on the market soon after they liquidated the surrounding real estate tracts. In 1881 the state purchased Bellevue Terrace for the site of the California Branch State Normal School, a teaching college that eventually became UCLA. When the Los Angeles Central Library replaced the college in 1926, construction crews graded the hill out of existence. Beaudry's Park, meanwhile, was purchased in 1883 by the Sisters of Charity. On that site (now occupied by The Elysian apartment building and Holy Hill Community Church) the sisters placed their new infirmary, repurposing Beaudry's fruit trees and cypresses into a soothing backdrop for their patients.^

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1887)^ - View looking northwest showing St. Vincent's Infirmary (aka Sisters Hospital) located near Sunset Blvd and Beaudry Ave as seen from across a sparse field. Several trees can be seen to the right of the grand hospital, which boasts of numerous windows, dormers, an irregular roof, a cupola or tower, and several chimneys.  

 

Historical Notes

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

 

 

 

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

 

Historical Notes

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

In 1883 they purchased six and a half acres of land at Beaudry Park at a cost of $10,000, and a new hospital building was erected a year later at Beaudry and Sunset, on a hillside overlooking Sonora Town.

By 1898, Los Angeles Infirmary had come to be known as Sisters Hospital, but both names were used interchangeably in reference to the same hospital; in 1918, the name was officially changed to St. Vincent's Hospital. In 1924 a new building was erected on 3rd and Alvarado, which was built by John C. Austin and Frederick M. Ashley. For 47 years, the hospital had such a steady growth that they were forced to expand yet again, and groundbreaking for a newer, larger building took place in 1971 - this time, located at 2131 W. 3rd Street. With a "new" hospital came a new name, and in 1974, it changed again, this time becoming St. Vincent Medical Center.

 

 

 

 

 
(1909)^.^ - Detail of Worthington Gates’s birdseye map of Los Angeles, showing Victor Heights. The Sisters Hospital is seen at lower center-left at Sunset and Beaudry.  

 

Historical Notes

Beaudry Park was located near the intersection of Beaudry Ave. and Sunset Blvd. When acquired for a hospital by the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, the park was an oval-shaped parcel of open land.

Sisters Hospital (originally St. Vincent's Infirmary) was built in 1884 on six and half acres of what was then known as Beuadry Park (developed by brothers Prudent and Victor Beaudry in 1876).

 

 

 

 
(2010s)^.^ - Pendersleigh & Sons Cartography‘s Map of Victor Heights. Photo Courtesy of Eric Brightwell  

 

Historical Notes

In Victor Heights the most visible reminder of the neighborhood’s once strongly-Italian character is Eastside Market and Deli. It was opened in the 1920s by Puglia-born Domenic Pontrelli across the river in the Eastside (Lincoln Heights) before moving to its current location (1013 Alpine Street) in 1929. Back then Alpine Street was home to three other Italian Markets.  It was from within Eastside Deli that Pontrelli’s son-in-law launched Pontrelli & Laricchia Sausage Company which moved out of the neighborhood in 1973. Shortly after, a former clean-up boy for the sausage company, Johnny Angiuli, took over the market with his brother, a former delivery driver, and they reorganized the establishment around a new deli counter, which is its focus today

Also located within the Victor Heights is the Art Deco-style Navy and Marine Corps Reserve Center Building, designed to be the largest enclosed structure without walls in the world by architects Robert Clements and Associates. It was constructed by the WPA between 1938 and 1941 as one of the country’s largest naval armories, its secluded location chosen to shield it in the event of an air attack. During World War II, more than 20,000 sailors passed through the training center. In 1980, an electrical fire heavily damaged the interior, which reopened in 1986 after a renovation. It was designated California State Historic Landmark #972 in 1989. The military left in 1995 and it’s now home to the LAFD’s Frank Hotchkin Memorial Training Center, named after the firefighter who died fighting the 1980 conflagration.*

 

* * * * *

 

 

City Garden

 
(1880s)^*# - Photo of an illustration showing the City Garden of Eberle Bros. located at San Pedro St. & Kohler (later 8th Street). The scene in the upper left corner shows an outdoor bowling alley. Source: The History of Los Angeles County - 1880  

 

Historical Notes

The 1888 Sanborn Map shows: The tracks in front of the property on San Pedro Street as Southern Pacific R.R. (Wilmington Branch); the large bulding in the rear as the 'Dancing Pavilion'; and the garden on the right as the 'Beer Garden'.^

 

 

 

 
(1880s)^*# – Detail view showing City Garden of Eberle Bros. located on the corner of San Pedro Street and Kohler (now 8th Street). Each arched entryway says City Garden. The large building in the rear has a sign reading: City Garden Pavilion - 1877.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1896)^ - View showing the City Gardens with windmill located on the southeast corner of San Pedro and 8th streets.  

 

 

* * * * *

Longstreet Mansion (and the Longstreet Palms)

 
(1870s)^*** - View looking north showing the Longstreet Mansion at the end of a palm-tree lined drive (later known as Palm Drive) . Amazingly the Longstreet Palms seen above are still alive today.  Along with the Arcade Depot Palm, they are considered to be the oldest trees in Los Angeles.  

 

Historical Notes

In December 1873, Charles Longstreet came out to Los Angeles, probably for health reasons and likely because of tuberculosis.  In fact, the greater Los Angeles region was known, as one book title referred to it, as a “health-seeker’s paradise.”  The balmy and dry climate attracted many who suffered from lung ailments and other problems and sanitaria were established throughout the region.

After a stay in a Los Angeles hotel, Charles purchased for $2,500 his 35-acre spread, bounded by Grand Avenue, Figueroa Street, Adams Boulevard and 23rd Street.  On his property, he built a substantial Italianate mansion that was projected to cost $20,000, a large amount, in a 1 January 1875 newspaper article about new buildings in town.^

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1880s)^^ - View of Palm Drive north from Adams Boulevard, showing the residence of Charles A. Longstreet (not to be confused with Confederate General James Longstreet, a distant relative of Charles).  

Historical Notes

After acquiring the 35 acres northeast of the corner of Figueroa and West Adams streets, Longstreet did what was possibly up to that time the most extensive grading job done in Los Angeles. He made a pleasing slope up to where the house was to be built, a slope such as we used to read about in southern love stories. He built a mansion of Southern grandeur and elegance and made the entrance from West Adams, between the palms which he planted, a southern romance. He planted the whole place with orange trees and it became the showplace of Southern California.*^^*

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1886)^^ - Path through Charles Longstreet's homestead on Palm Drive north of Adams Boulevard.  

 

Historical Notes

One of the hottest areas of the city for development was to the south and west of downtown, an area that first became known when Agricultural Park (now Exposition Park) was established there by 1870.  A decade later, the Methodist-affiliated University of Southern California opened its doors.  However, with the completion of the Santa Fe Transcontinental Railroad Line directly to Los Angeles, the floodgates were opened for the great Boom of the Eighties that rose up in 1886 and peaked the following two years.  Large estates and mansions lined Figueroa Avenue, Adams Boulevard and other nearby streets and some of these had very impressive landscaping.^

Charles Longstreet had died in 1877 and his widow and 3 sons lived in the mansion until 1884, when the land was subdivided.

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1895)^^ - View showing women sitting on the porch of the north side of the Longstreet Mansion.  The home, whose column at left is overgrown with vines, was built circa 1874. The area later became Singleton Court and then Orthopedic Hospital.  

 

Historical Notes

Between 1880 and 1925, West Adams was a fashionable neighborhood for the very wealthy, and many of Los Angeles' finest architects designed homes there.

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1910)^ - View looking south on Palm Drive toward Adams Boulevard through the Singleton Court entrance gate.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1900, the former Longstreet property was purchased by 53-year-old John Singleton, a mining tycoon who then rechristened the plot as Singleton Court. 

Singleton Court was located on 3 1/2 acres at 2400 South Flower Street in what was the Colonial Revival style home and residence of John Singleton. Sometime before 1918, the house was destroyed by fire, leaving only the brick stable building.

A later owner, John Brockman, deeded the property to the Los Angeles Orthopaedic Foundation, and the stables were converted into a clinic. The clock tower was removed to Brockman's estate in Glendale. *^^*

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1920)^^ - Palm Drive after the turn of the century. View looking north from Adams Boulevard.  

 

Historical Notes

The text accompanying this photo gives the account that, at the time, these were the "tallest palms in the city." If these were the tallest, then they were also likely the oldest. The more famous palm-lined avenues of Beverly Hills were just being planted in the late 'teens/early '20s. The trees of Palm Drive were already about 60 years old by then.*^^*

 

 

 
(ca. 1930)^ - A view of Palm Drive north from Adams Boulevard, with two-story houses on either side and cars parked on the street. The building at the end of the street is the Los Angeles Orthopaedic Hospital located on the site of Charles Longstreet's former home.  

 

Historical Notes

Many of the palm trees seen above still exist and our now situated within the grounds of the Los Angeles Orthopaedic Hospital (Flower St. and Adams Blvd). These, along with the Arcade Depot Palm, are considered to be the oldest trees in Los Angeles.

The Los Angeles Orthopaedic Hospital (LAOH) was founded in 1911 by Charles LeRoy Lowman, as a clinic for children with crippling disorders. The first LAOH building was constructed in 1922 at the above site. It was replaced in 1959 by a second hospital, and today a third hospital nears completion on the Westside of Los Angeles.^^^

 

 

 

 
(2010)*^ - The oldest Mexican Fan Palms (Washingtonia robusta) in Los Angeles. Located on what was Palm Avenue at Adams Boulevard (now on grounds of the Los Angeles Orthopaedic Hospital). Planted circa 1875. Along with the Arcade Depot Palm, they are considered to be the oldest trees in Los Angeles.  

 

Historical Notes

Today, only 23 palms remain standing from Longstreet’s original trees, and a children’s park now stands alongside them on the Orthopaedic Hospital’s campus. Now, the playground’s curved commemorative sign is an unexpected reminder of the property’s long-gone curved iron gates that once beckoned the city’s nineteenth century elite.^

 

 

 

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References and Credits

* DWP - LA Public Library Image Archive

^ LA Public Library Image Archive

**LADWP Historic Archive

^^USC Digital Library

*# Historical Society of Southern California: Eternity Street; Phineas Banning

+# A Visit to Old Los Angeles - CSULB.edu

+^ Old Los Angeles and Environs blogspot

#^ Huntington Digital Library Archive

***Los Angeles Historic - Cultural Monuments Listing

*^*California Historical Landmarks Listing (Los Angeles)

*^#Public Art in LA: Campo Santo

^*^LA Street Names - LA Times

^^^LA Times: Newmark Fountain

*##Metro.net - Los Angeles Transit History

^##California State Library Image Archive

**#The Cable-Car-Guy.com: The Los Angeles Railway

*#*KCET - When the Cahuenga Pass Was Rustic

^*#Noirish Los Angeles - forum.skyscraperpage.com; 2nd and Broadway

^^#CSULB - A Visit to Old LA: Hamburger Dept. Store; Main Street

**^History Matters: Calle de los Negros, 1880s

^^*LA Fire Department Historical Archive

^***Homestead Museum: Workman and Temple Family

^^*#Jewish Museum of the American West: Jacoby Brothers

*^^^Los Angeles Orthopaedic Hospital

*^^*Los Angeles Past: Temple and Main Streets, Los Angeles - Then and Now; Longstreet Palms; Palm Drive Then and Now

*#^#Los Angeles Athletic Club History

**## Mojave Desert.net: Remi Nadeau

#***Photos of Vintage Los Angeles - Facebook.com: 1899 Bunker Hill

#^^#Cal State Pomona Archive: Lichtenberger's Carriage Factory

^*^*^Los Angeles Telephone

*^ Wikipedia: Arcadia Bandini de Stearns Baker; Bunker Hill; Prudent Beaudry; Jonathan Temple; Los Angeles High School; Joseph Widney; Pershing Square; Port of Los Angeles; Belmont High School; Hollenbeck Park; Ducommun; Isaias W. Hellman; Abel Stearns; Sawtelle Veterans Home; Arcade Station; Alhambra; Fort Moore; History of Santa Monica; History of Los Angeles; Burbank; John Schumacher; History of Los Angeles Population Growth; Telegraphy; Felix Signoret; Helen Hunt Jackson; Hill Street; Cahuenga Peak; Angelino Heights; LA's Oldest Palm Trees; Cathedral of Saint Vibiana; Harris Newmark

 

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