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Los Angeles Past Aug 28, 2011 11:35 PM

More of the Baker Block
 
Los Angeles's showpiece of its day: the Baker Block, ca.1880. In a town still consisting mostly of simple frame houses and adobes, this palace of commerce must truly have been a wondrous apparition.
https://otters.net/img/lanoir/00019199-1.jpg
LAPL/Litho. C.L. Smith & Co., Oakland, CA.


Main Street looking north from atop the Temple Block, ca.1880.
https://otters.net/img/lanoir/00013999-1.jpg
LAPL


The upscale commercial heart of the old city, ca.1880. The Baker Block at left, and the old Bella Union Hotel building at far right. Note the second Coulter's Dry Goods store in the Baker Block at lower left, having moved from the Downey Block across the street in 1879.
https://otters.net/img/lanoir/00014067-1.jpg
LAPL


Baker Block, 1880.
https://otters.net/img/lanoir/00019194-1.jpg
LAPL


Still lookin' good ca.1920.
https://otters.net/img/lanoir/00019195-1.jpg
LAPL


ca.1940.
https://otters.net/img/lanoir/00019181-1.jpg
LAPL


SE corner Arcadia and Main, 1940.
https://otters.net/img/lanoir/00019170-1.jpg
LAPL


ca.1940.
https://otters.net/img/lanoir/00019182-1.jpg
LAPL


1939. After a hundred years, the old Bella Union/St. Charles Hotel building is admittedly starting to look a bit seedy.
https://otters.net/img/lanoir/00066057-1.jpg
LAPL


ca.1937. And there goes the neighborhood – the new Federal Building begins to rise across Main Street.
https://otters.net/img/lanoir/00086914-1.jpg
LAPL/Herman Schultheis, Photographer.


-Scott

Post on my blog here.

ethereal_reality Aug 28, 2011 11:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Los Angeles Past (Post 5393702)
Temple Block (r.), looking south on Main at Temple Street, ca.1885. I don't recall seeing this detailed a view of the building's ornate facade before. Note: no streetcar tracks at all yet. Could this actually be pre-1880?
http://i699.photobucket.com/albums/v...t/00014021.jpg
LAPL




Here is a great photograph of the Temple Block as viewed from the side.
You are right Scott, the facade of this building is simply amazing.

http://img94.imageshack.us/img94/4549/templepage166.jpg
USC digital archive


What architectural style is this? Does anyone have information on the architect?

___________

Los Angeles Past Aug 29, 2011 7:12 AM

:previous:
I'm also curious to find out exactly when this particular incarnation of the Temple Block was built. This is one of the most important structures in Los Angeles history, yet I've never been able to pin down the precise year of its construction...

Los Angeles Past Aug 29, 2011 7:15 AM

Questions about the U.S. Hotel
 
On the LAPL Record page* for that pic of the Temple Block I posted yesterday, I noted that in the Summary, it says, "On the left is the United States Hotel." Initially, I dismissed this as an inaccuracy, as the building shown at the SE corner of Main and Market there (with the tall flag pole in front) is clearly NOT the U.S. Hotel I am familiar with.

https://otters.net/img/lanoir/00014021.jpg
LAPL

However, I distinctly recall that the Nuestro Pueblo column of April 27, 1939, which lamented the razing of the hotel, said it was built "before the Civil War." Yet, photos of the ornate Victorian structure I know as the U.S. Hotel clearly show the year "1886" on the front as the date of its erection. This apparent inconsistency has always bugged me.

https://otters.net/img/lanoir/00056879.jpg
LAPL/Herald-Examiner Collection

Now, I think the LAPL Record page was correct, after all – that the building shown at Main and Market in the first photo is, in fact, the original United States Hotel. (I wish I could see the signage clearer, so I could be 100% certain.) If it is, that would be an exciting revelation to me! (Heh, I'm weird, go fig.) ^^ Anyway, I know there had to be a United States Hotel at least as early as 1863, as it is mentioned in the obituary of Louis Mesmer, who apparently bought the hotel in that year (and whose name appears on the facade of the 1886 structure). So I guess that really is the original U.S. Hotel in the older photo. Yay!

I'm also now curious if descendants of Louis Mesmer were somehow connected with the Mesmer City mentioned in this post. (Mesmer's not a very common surname, you have to admit.) Who knows? I sure don't.

*(A shame we apparently can't link to those LAPL Record pages directly.)

-Scott

Fab Fifties Fan Aug 29, 2011 6:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Los Angeles Past (Post 5394014)
On the LAPL Record page* for that pic of the Temple Block I posted yesterday, I noted that in the Summary, it says, "On the left is the United States Hotel." Initially, I dismissed this as an inaccuracy, as the building shown at the SE corner of Main and Market there (with the tall flag pole in front) is clearly NOT the U.S. Hotel I am familiar with.

http://i699.photobucket.com/albums/v...t/00014021.jpg
LAPL

However, I distinctly recall that the Nuestro Pueblo column of April 27, 1939, which lamented the razing of the hotel, said it was built "before the Civil War." Yet, photos of the ornate Victorian structure I know as the U.S. Hotel clearly show the year "1886" on the front as the date of its erection. This apparent inconsistency has always bugged me.

http://i699.photobucket.com/albums/v...t/00056879.jpg
LAPL/Herald-Examiner Collection

Now, I think the LAPL Record page was correct, after all – that the building shown at Main and Market in the first photo is, in fact, the original United States Hotel. (I wish I could see the signage clearer, so I could be 100% certain.) If it is, that would be an exciting revelation to me! (Heh, I'm weird, go fig.) ^^ Anyway, I know there had to be a United States Hotel at least as early as 1863, as it is mentioned in the obituary of Louis Mesmer, who apparently bought the hotel in that year (and whose name appears on the facade of the 1886 structure). So I guess that really is the original U.S. Hotel in the older photo. Yay!

I'm also now curious if descendants of Louis Mesmer were somehow connected with the Mesmer City mentioned in this post. (Mesmer's not a very common surname, you have to admit.) Who knows? I sure don't.

*(A shame we apparently can't link to those LAPL Record pages directly.)

-Scott

Adding to the confusion or maybe clarifying the issue, I have been doing some research on Griffith J. Griffith who donated Griffith Park and the Observatory to the City of Los Angeles. Griffith was married to Louis Mesmer's daughter Christina (Tina). That is until he tried to kill her, but that's a different post.

Tina's brother Joseph Mesmer owned The Queen Shoe Store (1878-1896) in the U.S. Hotel Bldg. Since 1878 was the year he opened, it would have been in the old U.S. Hotel location. I found this fun little first-person remembrance of 19th century Los Angeles at:
http://home.earthlink.net/~nholdened...alk_around.htm

Information that I am still trying to ascertain is a. did Joe or his father build the newer U.S. Hotel in 1886 and what, if anything, did this branch of the Mesmer family have to do with Mesmer City?

One article on Tina that I came across, stated that she and her father were two of the largest landowners in the L.A. area, so it is quite possible that they or direct descendants were involved in the proposed development.

cleats Aug 29, 2011 6:29 PM

Mesmer
 
Information that I am still trying to ascertain is a. did Joe or his father build the newer U.S. Hotel in 1886 and what, if anything, did this branch of the Mesmer family have to do with Mesmer City?

Don't know about the U.S. Hotel but it appears on a map from 1894 by B.W. Pierce you can see on Library of Congress website http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/.../~ammem_oHvy::

About Mesmer City:

"The land was originally owned by Joseph Mesmer, son of pioneer Louis, a Frenchman who made his fortune in early bakeries and hotels in the city. Joseph continued his father’s success and eventually purchased the tracts where the street and city took his name."

Fab Fifties Fan Aug 29, 2011 6:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cleats (Post 5394427)
Information that I am still trying to ascertain is a. did Joe or his father build the newer U.S. Hotel in 1886 and what, if anything, did this branch of the Mesmer family have to do with Mesmer City?

Don't know about the U.S. Hotel but it appears on a map from 1894 by B.W. Pierce you can see on Library of Congress website http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/.../~ammem_oHvy::

About Mesmer City:

"The land was originally owned by Joseph Mesmer, son of pioneer Louis, a Frenchman who made his fortune in early bakeries and hotels in the city. Joseph continued his father’s success and eventually purchased the tracts where the street and city took his name."

Thanks Cleats! May I ask where you found that last last great bit of info?

Fab Fifties Fan Aug 30, 2011 1:56 AM

Chinatown
 
Went to lunch today with the Entertainment Editor from the publication where I work. He told me that one of the major studios is in preliminary discussion for a remake of Chinatown.

Personally I think that would be a crime, but if they do go through with it, I think they need to contract the contributors on this thread as location consultants!!!

That being said, I would love to hear from all of you who you think should/could play the roles that Jack and Faye did such an exemplary job on????

http://img15.imageshack.us/img15/295...lgermanmov.jpg
Photo pertsonal collection

-F3

Albany NY Aug 30, 2011 2:10 AM

Does the Hotel Santa Rita Still Survive?
 
http://img405.imageshack.us/img405/9...insantarit.jpg
I know this goes back awhile, but back in February of 2008 ethereal_reality posted some pics of the Hotel Santa Rita at 1110 South Main. Checking Google street view, it looks like the building that is now on that spot is the same, but with the top 3 floors lopped off. If you look at the minor trim detail it all seems to match. Being a newbie (and a New Yorker, at that) I'm wondering....would they really have demolished 3/4 of the building just to save 1 floor? What do you think? Look at the building with the Franciscan Merchandise awning in the Google street view link below. Same? For reference, the building next door (the cool radio store with drive-in service) is still there.
http://g.co/maps/cp69
Also, how the heck do I post a decent screen shot from Google street view without a link? I want to make it easy for you to compare images, but I'll be darned if I know how! Thanks in advance. Garry

Muji Aug 30, 2011 4:35 AM

Albany NY, I know next to nothing about the Hotel Santa Rita, but you're almost certainly correct that it's the same building but with its upper stories demolished. Unfortunately, it's a common fate that has befallen old buildings not only in LA, but in every American city. A few years back, I photographed a block of Philadelphia that's a particularly tragic example:http://briangoestotown.blogspot.com/...king-east.html

gsjansen Aug 30, 2011 10:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Albany NY (Post 5394913)
http://img405.imageshack.us/img405/9...insantarit.jpg
I know this goes back awhile, but back in February of 2008 ethereal_reality posted some pics of the Hotel Santa Rita at 1110 South Main. Checking Google street view, it looks like the building that is now on that spot is the same, but with the top 3 floors lopped off. If you look at the minor trim detail it all seems to match. Being a newbie (and a New Yorker, at that) I'm wondering....would they really have demolished 3/4 of the building just to save 1 floor? What do you think? Look at the building with the Franciscan Merchandise awning in the Google street view link below. Same? For reference, the building next door (the cool radio store with drive-in service) is still there.
http://g.co/maps/cp69
Also, how the heck do I post a decent screen shot from Google street view without a link? I want to make it easy for you to compare images, but I'll be darned if I know how! Thanks in advance. Garry

good catch A NY! it does appear that the santa rita still exists, (well kinda........)

http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6182/...a23d6e87_b.jpg

there are other examples of building throughout los angeles that have had their upper floors lopped off for varying reasons. mostly due to earthquake damage.

here's an image looking east on 11th street from main, past the north elevation of the santa rosa

http://digitallibrary.usc.edu/assets...-3-8-ISLA?v=hr
Source: USC Digital Library

the same view today using googlemaps

http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6193/...df270e80_b.jpg


the way to capture an image from google maps, is to hit print screen, (hold the control, (Ctrl) key and the print screen, (prntscr) simultainuosly). this copies the image to your clipboard. then paste the image into any image editing program, (paint comes with all windows os). then save the image as a jpg........viola!

cleats Aug 30, 2011 8:23 PM

Mesmer
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Fab Fifties Fan (Post 5394451)
Thanks Cleats! May I ask where you found that last last great bit of info?

I quote an essay on Mesmer City in "Los Angeles in Maps" p. 162 but also found mention of Louis and the first U.S. Hotel when he purchased it during the Civil War, 1864 from Mr. and Mrs. Strassforth and flew the Union flag which was controversial.(Pioneers and Entrepeneurs: french immigrants in the making of LA 1827-1927) Even though Louis was Catholic he made his pile baking matzo for Jewish angelenos which lead to his buying the hotel. He made a lot of dough off the hotel and in 1869 he rented it to mssrs. Gray and Adams. He also built St. Vibiana cathedral in 1874 and built the new U.S. Hotel in 1886. There is an extensive obituary on him in the Times August 19, 1900 The estate is described including the hotel on August 30.

Los Angeles Past Aug 30, 2011 10:51 PM

:previous:
Thank you for the fascinating information!

-Scott

Fab Fifties Fan Aug 30, 2011 11:24 PM

Thank you Cleats! More items for me to locate and read:D

~F3

Fab Fifties Fan Aug 30, 2011 11:45 PM

Ciro's was THE place to be seen!
 
I was poring through the amazing collection of Maynard L Parker photographs on Calisphere and found these beautiful noir shots of Ciro's from opening night in 1940

We have already seen this exterior shot on the thread, but it is definitely worth repeating!
http://img155.imageshack.us/img155/4...terior1940.png

Dining Room
http://img9.imageshack.us/img9/1881/...terior1940.png

Dancefloor
http://img710.imageshack.us/img710/5...efloor1940.png

Bar
http://img843.imageshack.us/img843/7...rosbar1940.png

Stage
http://img856.imageshack.us/img856/7...dstand1940.png

The interior was designed by one of the city's most in-demand designers, Tom Douglas. In the late 30's or early 40's the decor was changed to more of a subdued ambiance with substantially darker textiles and furnishings.

~F3

Calisphere

Fab Fifties Fan Aug 30, 2011 11:54 PM

and this was HER place!
 
A few great Maynard Parker shots of the Paul Revere Williams designed Perino's on Wilshire, 1964.

Exterior
http://img233.imageshack.us/img233/6826/perinos1964.png

Dining Room and Lounge
http://img4.imageshack.us/img4/1395/...terior1964.png

Lounge
http://img195.imageshack.us/img195/3...lounge1964.png

Much more Margaret Drysdale French Provencial than I thought it would be.

~F3

Calisphere

ethereal_reality Aug 31, 2011 1:33 AM

Wow, I am amazed the Santa Rita Hotel still exists as a one story building. Kudos to Albany_NY for his initial discovery.



below: Another survivor...the Doria Apartments at Pico & Union circa 1971.

http://img98.imageshack.us/img98/115...counionin1.jpg
lapl




http://img194.imageshack.us/img194/5...nionsocalm.jpg
SO CAL METRO

above: I am delighted that "The Doria Apartments" sign (upper right) has survived after all these years. I wonder if it still lights up?!?


__________

Also...I love those interior photos of Ciro's and Perino's Fab_Fifties_Fan.

malumot Aug 31, 2011 5:35 PM

Somehow I doubt if The DORIA lights up. (It probably didn't even back in '71, but at least the building looked as though it had some life). Kind of reminds me of the Angels Flight Pharmacy, right down to the typeface of the signage and the market next door.

Looking at that present-day photo, (especially that charming first-floor retail) The Doria should just be put out of its misery.

I see they planted a few trees and put utilities underground over the past forty years! Yippee!......like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.)



Quote:

Originally Posted by ethereal_reality (Post 5396030)
Wow, I am amazed the Santa Rita Hotel still exists as a one story building. Kudos to Albany_NY for his initial discovery.



below: Another survivor...the Doria Apartments at Pico & Union circa 1971.

http://img98.imageshack.us/img98/115...counionin1.jpg
lapl




http://img194.imageshack.us/img194/5...nionsocalm.jpg
SO CAL METRO

above: I am delighted that "The Doria Apartments" sign (upper right) has survived after all these years. I wonder if it still lights up?!?


__________

Also...I love those interior photos of Ciro's and Perino's Fab_Fifties_Fan.


GaylordWilshire Aug 31, 2011 6:19 PM

:previous:

IMHO L. A isn't the Titanic-- if it was I wouldn't bother to visit this site.... I for one don't think the Doria is in any sort of misery that it needs to be put out of... it looks good, in fact.

jg6544 Aug 31, 2011 10:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fab Fifties Fan (Post 5395938)
A few great Maynard Parker shots of the Paul Revere Williams designed Perino's on Wilshire, 1964.

Exterior
http://img233.imageshack.us/img233/6826/perinos1964.png

Dining Room and Lounge
http://img4.imageshack.us/img4/1395/...terior1964.png

Lounge
http://img195.imageshack.us/img195/3...lounge1964.png

Much more Margaret Drysdale French Provencial than I thought it would be.

~F3

Calisphere

Isn't the decor what they used to call "Hollywood Regency"?


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