Early Los Angeles City Views (1800s)

Historical Photos of Early Los Angeles

(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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(ca. 1858)^^+ – View looking southeast showing a man with a rifle standing on New High Street (later Spring Street).  At center right is the intersection of New High and Temple streets.  The brick two-story building at center is the Allen Block, at the SW corner of Spring and Temple.  Behind it can be seen the Clocktower Market/Courthouse of the Temple Block. Click HERE to see another view of New High and Temple.  




(1876)^ - View toward the old Courthouse built by John Temple for market and theater, looking east. Spring Street is on the west, Main on the east, and Market on the north and Court on the south. The courthouse occupied this building from 1861 to 1891.  


Historical Notes

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

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


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McDonald Block

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




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


Historical Notes

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


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(ca. 1876)^ - View of Main Street looking north from Arcadia, showing the Russian Electric Baths, Signoret Block, Turner Street and the Plaza Church circa 1876.  


Historical Notes

Felix Signoret was born in France on June 9, 1825, living in Marseilles before he came to the United States. By trade he was a barber, later an apartment owner. He bought a parcel of land at 125 Aliso Street in 1871 and built a "substantial brick house" about thirty feet wide with an area of nearly 1,800 square feet; the roof was "hipped on all four sides in mimicry of the fashionable Mansard shape. . . . By 1888 the Signorets . . . were long gone, and their genteel house was used as a brothel."

Signoret was elected to the Los Angeles Common Council, the governing body of the city, serving from May 9, 1863, to May 5, 1864. He was also a member of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors in 1866.

He is also known for having led a lynch mob that hanged five people in Los Angeles in 1869–70 in the aftermath of a murder resulting from 'offensive remarks (made) about the newly organized French Benevolent Society.'

In 1874, Signoret built a new hotel at Main and Turner streets, north of Arcadia Street and "opposite the Pico House," also with a Mansard pitch, which the Los Angeles Star said would be the first such roof in the city.*^



(1876)^ - On Spring near First Street. Stage depot/livery stable at left offering horse shoeing had once served as headquarters for the Butterfield Overland Stage, which arrived in Los Angeles for the first time in 1858.  


Historical Notes

In 1876, the year this picture was taken, a land boom developed in Santa Monica. Stagecoaches to the beach were abandoned in favor of the L.A. & Independence Railroad, which carried passengers for $1 a round trip, arranging their schedules to allow time for riders to swim, picnic or buy lots in the growing community.^

The Butterfield Overland Stage headquarters site has been designated as California Historical Landmark No. 744. Click HERE to see more of the California Historical Landmarks in LA.



(1876)^^ - Fourth of July, 1876: Los Angeles celebrates the centennial of American independence with a parade down a dusty Spring Street.  




(ca. 1870s)^^* - This is the earliest known photo of the Los Angeles Volunteer Fire Department. A horse-drawn fire engine followed by uniformed firemen (volunteers) parade at the corner of Main and Spring Streets.  


Historical Notes

There are discrepancies in the date and event shown. Below are two different captions related to this photo:

"The first Fire Company was organized on September 30, 1871. The boys are out celebrating the First Anniversary of the occasion with a parade.  This is the first known picture taken of the Fire Company.  The camera was pointing North from Main and Spring Streets.  The Pico House can be seen in the background.  The buildings back of the fire engine are on the present site of the Federal Building."  - The Firemen’s Grapevine (1961)

"The Los Angeles Volunteer Fire Department celebrated its first anniversary, September 30, 1872, with a parade through downtown streets.  They paused at Main and Temple Streets, where Photographer V. Wolfenstein captured the scene for posterity in a picture which was to become one of the  fire department's most famous through frequent reproductions of it." - A Century of Service (1886-1986) by Paul Ditzel



(ca. 1871)^ - Another view of the corner of Main and Spring Streets, looking north from Temple Street. Several horse-drawn vehicles are on the street as well as pedestrians milling around. Building in the center of the photograph has name Levy & Coblentz.  




(1875)^ - View of North Main Street showing the I.O.O.F. (Independent Order of Odd Fellows) Block at right.  




(ca. 1878)^ - View of Main Street north from Temple Block, about 1878. The photograph was taken before the Farmers and Merchants Bank moved to Main and Commercial Streets in the fall of 1883. On the far right is Commercial Bank, which changed to First National Bank in 1880. A gun store is visible to the left of photo.  




(1880)^ - St. Charles Hotel, originally the Bella Union Hotel. The Bella Union became the Clarenden in 1873 and the St. Charles in 1875. Pico's building to the left was the original home of the Farmers and Merchants Bank, which later merged into the Security Pacific Bank. Also shown is the Atlantic & Pacific Telegraph Office, in the lower floor of the Backman House.  


Historical Notes

The telegraph, invented in 1832 by Pavel Schilling and Samuel Morse, didn't get to Los Angeles until 1860.*^

Phineas Banning helped to bring telegraph lines to Los Angeles. In 1860, telegraph lines were slowly making their way toward Los Angeles from San Francisco. When progress lagged, Banning ordered wire and began building from his end. Starting in Wilmington, of course, the link was completed on October 8, 1860, and Los Angeles was no longer an isolated outpost.*#

Click HERE to see more on Phineas Banning and Wilmington in Early Views of San Pedro and Wilmington.



(1880s)^^ - View showing a stagecoach (or Tally-ho) parked in front of the Pico House. Nine people sit in the uncovered stagecoach. The driver holds a whip over the hitched team of 4 horses. Nine other people stand on the boardwalk in front of Pico House looking on.  




(ca. 1880)^ - The Pico House, sometimes called "Old Pico House", built by Pio Pico in 1869-70. Standing by the Pico House on the left, horses and carriages are waiting. You can look down the block and see the Merced Theatre next to it, 2 more buildings, and then the towers of the Baker Block.  


Historical Notes

Ezra F. Kysor designed the Italianate Merced Theatre, built in 1870 by William Abbott and named for his wife. It opened on January 30, 1871 and is the oldest surviving theater in Los Angeles.

Baker Block was completed in 1878 by Colonel Robert S. Baker.^



(1880)^ - Southeast corner of Arcadia and Main Streets. The building with the three distinct towers is Baker Block.  


Historical Notes

The ornate three-story Baker Block was constructed by Colonel Robert S. Baker on the corner of Arcadia and Main streets in 1878.  It was built on the former site of the residence of Abel Stearns.

Arcadia Street was dedicated in 1872. Arcadia Bandini, born in 1823, was the daughter of prominent ranchero Juan Bandini. She came to be regarded as one of the most beautiful belles of Los Angeles and was just 14 when she married 44-year-old Abel Stearns, who had come west from Massachusetts and acquired Southern California's largest land-cattle empire. Stearns built a home for his bride one block south of the Plaza--the community's central gathering area--and the house, called El Palacio, became the social hot spot. In 1858, Stearns constructed a two-story business block on Los Angeles Street nearby and called it Arcadia Block. The street was officially dedicated one year after Stearns' death in 1871.^*^

In 1874 Arcadia married Colonel Robert S. Baker (1826–1894), owner of Rancho San Vicente y Santa Monica, and they settled in Santa Monica. The famous Arcadia Hotel in old Santa Monica was also named after her.*^

Click HERE to see the Arcadia Hotel in Early Views of Santa Monica.



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


Historical Notes

Constructed in 1835, the Bella Union Hotel (seen above after it became the St. Charles Hotel) has a long, rich history. It served as the County Courthouse until October 1851, and in 1860 was the location of a champagne fete celebrating the connection of San Francisco and Los Angeles by telegraph.^



(ca. 1880)^ - View looking north on Main Street from the Downey Building located just south of the Baker Block on the 300 block of N. Main Street. In the distance can be seen the Old Plaza Church where Main Street veers to the left. Telephone/telgraph lines can be seen on both sides of the street.  


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.^*^*^




(1880s)^ - View looking south on Main Street from near the Pico House. Temple Block can be seen in the distance. A large number of people are on the sidewalks and quite a few horse-drawn vehichles are on the street. The population in Los Angeles had grown to 11, 200 by now. Telegraph/Telephone poles and wires are seen on both sides of the street. The wording 'SUNSET' can be read on one side of the pole to the left.  


Historical Notes

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.^*^*^




(1888)^## – View looking south, showing the west side of the 300 block of Main Street as seen from the Pico House.  A horse-drawn streetcar shares the street with pedestrians, horse-drawn wagons, and a man on horseback (center-left).  


Historical Notes

In the 1940s and 1950s, the historic buildings on the 300 block of North Main were demolished to extend Aliso Street from Los Angeles Street to Broadway. Several years later the Hollywood Freeway (Route 101) would be constructed over this new Aliso Street extension.

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of the Historic 300 Block of N. Main Street.



(1880)^ - View of Los Angeles looking northeast from First Street.  The old county courthouse with its distinctive clock tower can be seen at the upper right of photo.  




(ca. 1880)^ - Aerial view of Los Angeles, between 1874-1880. Some of the identifiable buildings are the Hotel Des Princes, Farmers and Merchants Bank, the St. Charles Hotel (formerly the Bella Union Hotel), and the magnificent Baker Block, marked by towers and located along Main Street.  


Historical Notes

The ornate three-story Baker Block was completed around 1877 by Colonel Robert S. Baker. For a number of years, the building housed offices, shops, and apartments. Goodwill Industries of Southern California purchased it in 1919. Despite plans to relocate the structure for another purpose, the city purchased the Baker Block from Goodwill in 1941 and demolished the building a year later. U.S. Route 101 now runs beneath where these buildings once stood.^



(1880)^^ - Exterior view of L. Lichtenberger's carriage factory, Los Angeles, 1880. A picture of a carriage and the name L. Lichtenberger is displayed on a billboard-like sign centered in front the building between the first and second floors. At the roof, another displayed sign reads: "Carriage Manufactory". Several carriages are parked out front as a handful of workers pose nonchalantly in front of the building.  


Historical Notes

As of 1880 the city of Los Angeles had one large carriage and wagon factory, owned by L. Lichtenberger, that had been in operation since 1864, producing up to 300 vehicles a year.  There were also seven other smaller carriage/wagon producers. #^^#




(1880)^ - Men and carriages in front of Louis Roeder's dealership in wagons, carriages and buggies at Spring and 2nd Street.  





(1880)^ - Exterior view of Moody's Variety Store on Spring Street, in Los Angeles, in 1880.  




(ca. 1880)^^ - View of people standing outside the Woodhead & Gay general store, headquarters for Milton Thomas Nurseries, Los Angeles.  At center, a man tends a horse-drawn wagon while five children sit to his right on the wooden sidewalk.  An overgrown lot to the right of Woodhead & Gay contains the sign for Milton Thomas which reads "Headquarters of Milton Thomas and the Co-operative Nurseries and Fruit Growing Association Southern California Agency for Trumbull's Garden Flower Field and Tree Seeds."  





(ca. 1880s)^ - Exterior view of Laggart & Bosch wholesale liquor dealers on New High Street (later Spring Street) between Franklin and Temple, with a number of men standing in front. A sign indicates there is a sample room in the rear. Next door is the office of J.M. Davidson, attorney at law.  





(1880)^ - New High Street (later Spring Street), north of Temple Street, with First Congregational Church and Kimball Mansion, where Helen Hunt Jackson stayed.  


Historical Notes

Helen Maria Hunt Jackson (1830 – 1885) was a poet and writer who became an activist on behalf of improved treatment of Native Americans by the U.S. government. She detailed the adverse effects of government actions in her history A Century of Dishonor (1881). Her novel Ramona dramatized the federal government's mistreatment of Native Americans in Southern California and attracted considerable attention to her cause, although its popularity was based on its romantic and picturesque qualities rather than its political content. It was estimated to have been reprinted 300 times, and contributed to the growth of tourism in Southern California.*^



(1880)^ - Another view of the First Congregational Church and Kimball Mansion on New High Street near Temple Street. Wagons and horses can be seen in the foreground next to a barn.  


Historical Notes

The First Congregational Church building was dedicated on June 26, 1868 by the Rev. Alexander Parker and was used until 1883, when a new building was constructed at Third & Hill streets.^

Click HERE to see more early Views of the First Congregational Church (Oldest Continuous Protestant Church in Los Angeles).



(ca. 1880)^ - View of Hill Street, looking north from 3rd. A man walks by the Mines & Farish real estate and insurance office. Palm trees at the side shade a bit of the office building. Although the street has electric railroad lines it is still unpaved  




(ca. 1880)^ - Hill Street looking south towards 3rd Street from Bunker Hill. In the middle of the photo is the First Congregational Church at 3rd and Hill streets. The spire to the left of the Congregational Church belongs to the German Methodist Church on 4th Street.  


Historical Notes

Hill Street was originally laid out in 1849 by Edward Ord. At that time, the street's northern end was near 4th Street, the roadway being obstructed by its namesake, Bunker Hill. The northern section of the street was originally named Castelar Street, and several institutions along this end of the street still bear that name.*^



(ca. 1880)^ - Hill Street looking south from 2nd in the early 1880s. Residential buildings are interspersed with churches and vacant lots.  


Historical Notes

In the middle of the photo is the First Congregational Church at 3rd and Hill. It was built in 1883. Reverend A.J. Wells, the pastor at that time, sold it to Central Baptist Church for $40,000 in 1889. Unable to pay the full amount, $30,000 was eventually settled on. It was later sold to the Unitarian Church. To the left of the Congregational Church is the German Methodist Church on 4th St.^




(ca. 1881)^^- Panoramic view looking south on Fort Street (later Broadway) near Temple Street. Los Angeles High School is seen to the left at the future site of the LA County Courthouse. The church with the tall spire in the distance is the First Presbyterian Church located on the southeast corner of Fort and 2nd streets.  


Historical Notes

Los Angeles High School was one of the architectural jewels of the city, and was strategically placed at the summit of a hill (Poundcake Hill), the easier to be pointed to with pride. One of the school's long standing mottos is "Always a hill, always a tower, always a timepiece." *^



Click HERE to see more Early Views of Los Angeles High School





(ca. 1880)^^ - Panoramic view looking southwest of the residential area surrounding Broadway, Temple Street and Hill Street. Two-story victorian-style houses fill the frame, situated on top of or at the foot of the hill in the background on which several of the roads converge. The houses are interspersed with trees.  





(1885)^ - Looking west towards Bunker Hill as it appeared in 1885. Hill Street runs through the center, with 3rd Street (not shown) to the left of the First Congregational Church (left) which later became the Central Baptist Church and then the Unitarian Church.  




(1880s)^ - An unpaved Olive Street, looking north from approximately 7th or 8th Street in a time when it was a residential area. Bunker Hill and the San Gabriel Mountains can be seen in the distance. Horse-drawn vehicles are also visible.  





(ca. 1881)^^ - Photograph of a lithograph by E.S. Glover depicting the left panel of a panoramic view of Los Angeles, looking southeast.   





(ca. 1881)^^ - Photograph of a lithograph by E.S. Glover depicting the right panel of a panoramic view of Los Angeles, looking southwest.  


Historical Notes

A sweeping view of the city is shown above, with more hilly, rural land visible in the foreground. At the center foreground, a windmill is pictured, just to the left of a circle of trees. Farther right, the silhouettes of two purveyors can be seen atop the swell of one of the hills. Major streets such as Temple Street, Alameda Street and Main Street are labeled. An earlier record reads "Panoramic view of Los Angeles from hill back of Sisters Hospital on Sunset Boulevard”.^^



Pershing Square Area

(ca. 1880)^^ - Panoramic view showing Los Angeles City Park (later Pershing Square) from Fifth Street and Grand Avenue, downtown Los Angeles. A rectangular-shaped park can be seen at center surrounded with trees. Pathways can be seen in the park amongst grass lawns. Dirt roads line each side of the park, while one- to two-story residential buildings are visible around the park. Most of the buildings have yards and trees nearby. The flat land in the background is mostly devoid of buildings.  


Historical Notes

In the 1850s, the Pershing Square location was used as a camp by settlers outside of the Pueblo de Los Angeles, which was to the northeast around the La Iglesia de Nuestra Señora Reina de los Angeles church, the plaza, and present day Olvera Street. 1850s surveyors drew the site as 10 individual plots of land, but in practicality it was a single 5-acre parcel. Canals distributing water from the Zanja Madre (Click HERE to read more about the Zanja Madre) were adjacent.*^

In 1866 the park site's block of plots was dedicated as a public square by Californio and new Mayor Cristobal Aguilar, and was first called La Plaza Abaja, or "The Lower Plaza." *^

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




(ca. 1880)^ - Close-up view of City Park (now Pershing Square) taken from Bunker Hill, looking southeast.  





(ca. 1883)^^ - View looking southeast from the State Normal School (current location of Central Library) showing St. Paul's Pro-Cathedral (lower-right) with Los Angeles Park (now Pershing Square) across the street.  





(ca. 1883)^^ - Closer view of Los Angeles City Park (now Pershing Square) looking southeast as seen from the State Normal School showing the newly built St. Paul's Pro-Cathedral (lower-right) at the present site of the Biltmore Hotel.  The multi-story building on the right is St. Vincent's College located on Hill Street between 6th and 7th Streets.  


Historical Notes

In 1867, St. Vincent's College, present day Loyola Marymount University, was located across the street, and the park informally became called St. Vincent's Park. In 1870, it was officially renamed Los Angeles Park. In 1886 it was renamed 6th Street Park, and redesigned with an "official park plan" by Frederick Eaton, later the mayor. In the early 1890s it was renamed Central Park, which it was called for decades until after World War I when it was finally named Pershing Square.*^




(ca. 1880s)^ - View looking south on Olive from between 4th and 5th Streets. At the right is the tower of St. Paul's Pro-Cathedral. At the left is the old St. Vincent's College building, later temporary headquarters of the Y.M.C.A. In the middle is Central Park, later Pershing Square.  


Historical Notes

St. Paul's Pro-Cathedral was built in 1883 on Olive Street. It was sold in 1922 to make way for the Biltmore Hotel.*^




(ca. 1885)^ - Panoramic view of 5th and Olive Streets, looking south in the early 1880s. Central Park (later Pershing Square) is seen, and St. Paul's Pro-Cathedral is at right. St. Vincent's College is at left. Horse-drawn vehicles travel the unpaved street. Same view as previous photo but a couple of years later (note the addition of telephone poles along Olive Street).  





(ca. 1888)^^ - View of two women walking along a walkway in Sixth Street Park (formerly known as St. Vincent's Park). Today, this is the site of Pershing Square.  





(ca. 1890)^^ - View of Pershing Square, then called Sixth Street Park. Later it would be called Central Park and then Pershing Square (post World War I).  


Historical Notes

The following is a chronology of name changes the park has seen before becoming Pershing Square:

◆ 1866 – La Plaza Abaja or "The Lower Plaza"

◆ 1867 – St. Vincent Park

◆ 1870 – Los Angeles Park

◆ 1886 – 6th Street Park

◆ 1890s- Central Park

◆ 1918 – Pershing Square ^*




(1886)^ - View of Sixth Street Park (later Pershing Square) circa 1886, looking northwest toward St. Paul's Pro-Cathedral on Olive Street and the State Normal School, on the southwest corner of Grand and Fifth Street (Click HERE to see more views of the State Normal School). The slopes of Bunker Hill are on the right.  





(ca. 1890)^ – View looking west on 5th Street from Hill Street showing Hazard's Pavilion on the right, NE corner of 5th and Olive.  On the left is 6th Street Park (now Pershing Square).  In the distance can be seen the State Normal School, future location of the Los Angeles Central Library.  


Historical Notes

The 4,000 capacity Hazard's Pavilion opened in 1887 and did everything from citrus shows and political rallies to grand opera. It was demolished in 1905 for construction of the Philharmonic Auditorium Building.




(ca. 1900)^ - View of the Central City looking northwest over Pershing Square toward Bunker Hill and the Hollywood Hills. Later the Biltmore Hotel replaced St. Paul's Episcopal Church and boarding houses in the foreground. This is a similar view to the photo above but 14 years later. Part of the Normal School can be seen in the center-left.  




(ca. 1913)^^ - View looking southeast showing St. Paul's Episcopal Church in the foreground, Pershing Square, and part of the city skyline.  




Before and After





Click HERE to see more Early Views of Pershing Square





(ca. 1882)* - A view of 6th St. looking west with Spring St. crossing in the foreground. The Spring Street School is in the right foreground. This would later be the site of the Arcade Building.  




(1882)^ - View looing north on Main Street, with the Downey Block on the left, followed by the second location of the Farmers and Merchants Bank from June 15, 1874, to October 29, 1883, followed by the Cosmopolitan Hotel (previously Lafayette Hotel). On the right is the Ducommun Building, Bella Union-Clarendon-St. Charles Hotel, Pico Building (the first home of Farmer's and Merchants Bank), the Grand Central Hotel, and the Baker Block (with towers).    




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




(ca. 1882)^ - Hardware Store of C. Ducommun, dry goods store of S. Prager and a furniture store at 204 N. Main Street (after 1890 at 304 N. Main Street) are shown.  


Historical Notes

Photograph taken between 1870 and 1883. The 1883-4 edition of the city directory lists C. Ducommun Hardware at this location.^




(1882)^ - View of a parade on Main Street, looking north. Later on the right corner would be the Civic Center Plaza, at the left City Hall.  



Click HERE to see more Early Views of the Historic 300 Block of N. Main Street






(1882)^ - Before roads and rail lines were built traveling through the Cahuenga Pass was by wagons and horses or on foot. This picture was taken at the summit. There is a saloon concealed among the trees.  


Historical Notes

The Cahuenga Pass connects the Los Angeles Basin to the San Fernando Valley and is the lowest pass through the mountains. It was the site of two major battles, the Battle of Cahuenga Pass in 1831 (a fight between local settlers and the Mexican-appointed governor and his men, two deaths), and the Battle of Providencia or Second Battle of Cahuenga Pass in 1845 (between locals over whether to secede from Mexico. One horse and one mule killed) both on the San Fernando Valley side near present-day Studio City, and cannonballs are still occasionally found during excavations in the area.

Along the route of the historic El Camino Real, the historic significance of the pass is also marked by a marker along Cahuenga Blvd. which names the area as Paseo de Cahuenga.^

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





(1882)^ - View of the summit of Cahuenga Pass with a saloon, Cahuenga Tavern, situated between the tall eucalyptus trees.  


Historical Notes

Cahuenga is the Spanish name for the Tongva village of Kawengna, meaning place of the mountain.*^





(n.d.)^ - View of Cahuenga Tavern, also known as Eight Mile House, situated between eucalyptus near the summit of Cahuenga Pass.  


Historical Notes

In the 1870s, a primitive hotel -- named the Eight Mile House because Los Angeles was eight miles down the road -- rose among a stand of eucalyptus trees inside the canyon.*#*





(n.d.)^ - View of early Cahuenga Pass. The road runs around and through a cultivated area.  


Historical Notes

As late as 1914, filmmaker Cecil B. DeMille rented a wooden cabin in the pass as his home. He rode daily into his studio on horseback -- with a revolver on his hip.*#*

Click HERE to see more Early Views of Cahuenga Pass.



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(ca. 1878)^^ -  View looking east showing the intersection of Second Street and Broadway where the First Presbyterian Church, with its impressively tall spire, can be clearly seen on the southeast corner.  In the distance, on the east side of Main Street just south of Second Street, stands St. Vibiana's Cathedral.  




(1880s)^ -  View looking north on Main Street near 3rd Street showing a large Cactus tree in front of the "Round House", with a kindergarten sign seen on the left. In the distance, on the right, can be seen St. Vibiana's Cathedral.  


Historical Notes

The Round House was once a popular beer garden and later became LA's first kindergarten



(ca. 1884)^ - Main Street near 3rd, looking north. Workers are laying double tracks down for the horse-drawn street car line. St. Vibiana's Cathedral is seen in the distance.  





(1884)^ - Main Street looking north toward 2nd Street, showing the Cathedral of St. Vibiana on the right side. Horse-drawn streetcar can be seen heading South on Main Street.  


Historical Notes

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




(ca. 1887)+# – View looking north on Main Street toward 2nd Street showing numerous horse-drawn wagons and including a horse-drawn streetcar in front of St. Vibiana's Cathedral.  


Historical Notes

Electric-powered streetcars did not begin operating until 1887.*##^



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


Historical Notes

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

Click HERE to see more Early Views of St. Vibiana's Cathedral.


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(ca. 1880s)^ - A horse-drawn street car stands on the street near the Post Office and Federal Building. Its route is between the Southern Pacific Depot, Main and 5th Streets, and Temple Block.





(ca. 1880)^ - J.P. Wanvig stands outside his feed store located at 408 Main Street. The signs on the sidewalk advertise barley, hay, oat hay, alfalfa, wood, coal and bran are for sale within the establishment.  





(ca. 1880s)^ - Exterior view of Los Angeles Laundry Co. located at 633 San Fernando Street, near Bellevue Avenue. To the right is the William McLean & Co., "Staff and Composition Ornamentations", at 635 San Fernando. Numerous horse-drawn carriages are parked on the unpaved street.  




(ca. 1880s)^ - A team of horses and a wagon with men on it stand on an unpaved street in front of the general jobbing carpenter shop of A. Papesghi at #10 of an unidentified street, probably in the Plaza area. He is a cabinet maker, does carpenter work, and makes store and office counters and shelving fixtures. A sign above the door reads, "La Plaza Shop." Next door to the left is Hing Kee shoe making and repairing, and beyond that a restaurant selling meals for 15 cents, and a barber shop. To the right is Mathis Brewing Company.  




(ca. 1883)^ - Spring looking north from 1st Street circa 1883. H. Jevne, wholesale grocer, is seen at 40 North Spring.  




(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  





(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  





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





(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 People's Store is seen on the left .  


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.^^#




(1885)^ - Spring Street near First looking north. Schumacher Block visible in left foreground. Horse-drawn cable cars 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. 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.^^




(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.**##



(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.^^




(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





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




(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.   




(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.*^



(ca. 1880s)^ - View looking south on Spring Street. Temple Block is seen on the left and Baker Block is in the distance. A horse-drawn carriage crosses the tracks as a streetcar appears to be headed toward it.  





(ca. 1880s)^ - 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


* * * * *




(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.”  




(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 which was built in 1890.  




Before and After

(ca. 1884)^^   (1906)^^



* * * * *




(1885)^ - View showing the Temple Block and surrounding area in 1885. 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.  





(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 Pound Cake 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).

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


* * * * *




(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.  





(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.   




(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. 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.  


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. 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.  





(ca. 1885)^ - View of Bunker Hill, looking west from 3rd St. and Hill. On the right is 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).  




(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.  




(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).  


Historical Notes

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.



(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.


* * * * *



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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