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ethereal_reality Nov 4, 2009 1:50 AM

Several more of the demolition of the courthouse in 1936-1937.


http://img134.imageshack.us/img134/4...thousedemo.jpg
usc digital archive





Below: This building was massive.....notice the workmen on the roof and the truncated tower.


http://img134.imageshack.us/img134/7...housedemor.jpg
usc digital archive

Los Angeles Past Nov 4, 2009 2:08 AM

These demolition pictures always break my heart. These grand public buildings were clearly built to endure through the ages, yet almost all of them were torn down within a mere few decades after their erection. What a terrible waste...

-----

I'm sure glad I found this thread while it was still active! I'm glad to have the opportunity to give back something in return for all the great info I've found here.

-Scott :-)

ethereal_reality Nov 4, 2009 2:11 AM

I hear you Scott, the demolition photos ARE heartbreaking.
Here are earlier photos of the County Courthouse in all its glory at the turn of the century.


http://img84.imageshack.us/img84/203...ourthousea.jpg
usc digital archive





http://img84.imageshack.us/img84/953...ourthousec.jpg
usc digital archive

ethereal_reality Nov 4, 2009 2:43 AM

Below: A rare view looking northeast from the County Courthouse tower, circa 1900.


http://img525.imageshack.us/img525/9...stfromcour.jpg
usc digital archive

Los Angeles Past Nov 4, 2009 5:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ethereal_reality (Post 4539386)
I hear you Scott, the demolition photos ARE heartbreaking.
Here are earlier photos of the County Courthouse in all its glory at the turn of the century.

http://img84.imageshack.us/img84/203...ourthousea.jpg
usc digital archive

This photo above is especially interesting because you can clearly see the open-air elevator shaft that was added to the building before the turn of the last century. The circular shaft can be seen just to the left of the left palm tree. If you look closely, you can see the elevator car is between the first and second floors.



And in this demolition photo above, you can see the two now-exposed pulleys at the top of the elevator shaft. (Follow the roof-line in the foreground down to just right of center.) Supposedly this elevator was only used by clerks taking court documents between floors; it was NOT meant to be for the public's usage, which is why it was only really big enough for one or two people at a time.

The photo below dates to 1890, and you can see there is no elevator on the outside of the building yet. An interesting detail even most L.A. history buffs don't know about the old Court House!

https://otters.net/img/lanoir/1989-0464.jpg
unknown

-Scott

Los Angeles Past Nov 4, 2009 6:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ethereal_reality (Post 4539435)
Below: A rare view looking northeast from the County Courthouse tower, circa 1900.


http://img525.imageshack.us/img525/9...stfromcour.jpg
usc digital archive


Excellent!!! I have an old postcard made from this exact image. I haven't seen the original photograph before now -- woohooooo! :banana: And you're exactly correct - this is the NE view from the Court House tower right around the turn of the last century.

Just to give people some bearings here - the wide avenue in the background pointing almost straight at us is Aliso Street, which today is the alignment of the 101 freeway east of the Civic Center. It turns slightly to our left then and becomes The Slot as it passes through the site of the Baker Block - that long building at center-left with the three large cupolas.

Also, down at the lower right can be seen a portion of Temple Square - the "Times Square" of old L.A. And at the extreme right edge you can just barely see a corner of the Temple Block - one of the most important buildings in the early political and commercial life of the city.

If we could look at this same scene today, the north wing of City Hall would be just out of view past the right edge of this photo.

Now, let's fly down to Temple Square and go forward in time about 30 years. This is what you'd see looking south down Main Street:

https://otters.net/img/lanoir/templesquare1927_sky.jpg
From "La Reina," published by the Security Trust and Savings Bank, Los Angeles, 1929.

In the center is the doomed Temple Block, truly dwarfed by the 1928 City Hall rising up behind it. Temple Square itself will cease to exist by the end of the 1930s. Today, there's no visible trace whatsoever that there used to be a large open downtown public square at Temple and Main Streets...

-Scott

Los Angeles Past Nov 4, 2009 6:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ethereal_reality (Post 4539435)
Below: A rare view looking northeast from the County Courthouse tower, circa 1900.


http://img525.imageshack.us/img525/9...stfromcour.jpg
usc digital archive


I also wanted to point out a sobering fact. There are only two structures visible in this photo that are still standing today. Everything else you see here is completely gone, as if it were literally scraped off the face of the earth. Other great old cities of the world have been destroyed by wars and disasters, but old Los Angeles was destroyed intentionally by its own government and citizenry in the name of "progress." No earthquake or other act of God could have destroyed historic Los Angeles as thoroughly as did the hand of man itself...

-Scott

sopas ej Nov 4, 2009 7:19 AM

:previous:
Very cool pics and info, Scott! And you're absolutely right; much of old LA has been destroyed by people.

ethereal_reality Nov 4, 2009 3:50 PM

I've looked at the photos of the L.A. County Courthouse hundreds of times and never noticed the open-air elevator,
let alone the elevator car between the 1st and 2nd floors. (then you even point out the pulleys)
Amazing.....kudos to you Scott.

I also didn't know about the prominence of Temple Square.
All of this is VERY interesting.

ethereal_reality Nov 4, 2009 4:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Los Angeles Past (Post 4539837)
I also wanted to point out a sobering fact. There are only two structures visible in this photo that are still standing today. Everything else you see here is completely gone, as if it were literally scraped off the face of the earth. Other great old cities of the world have been destroyed by wars and disasters, but old Los Angeles was destroyed intentionally by its own government and citizenry in the name of "progress." No earthquake or other act of God could have destroyed historic Los Angeles as thoroughly as did the hand of man itself...

-Scott

Addendum: Here are the two historic buildings that have managed to survive into the 21st century:

http://i194.photobucket.com/albums/z...nlytwoleft.jpg

As they appear today:

http://www.lacity.org/elp/elpmh1.htm


Below: A photo of the Merced Theatre in the 1910s.
On the photo it was labeled Teatro Mercedes.


http://img402.imageshack.us/img402/5...ercedessti.jpg
usc digital archive


Below:
In this photo from the 1960s, you can also see the Merced Theatre and the Masonc Bldg
to the right of the Pico House. The beautiful Pico House also still stands today.


http://img402.imageshack.us/img402/1...seinthe196.jpg
unknown

ethereal_reality Nov 4, 2009 4:32 PM

Speaking of the beautiful Pico House, here are some photos I had in my file.
I'll put them in chronological order.....oldest first.



Below: A view of Pico House from Fort Moore Hill in Dec. 1869
You can see the Masonic Building (1858), but the location of the Merced Theatre is still an empty lot.


http://img402.imageshack.us/img402/7...efromfortw.jpg
usc ditial archive



Below: A view of Pico House and The Plaza in 1873.
I believe the odd round/octagonal structures in the lower half of the photo are water reservoirs.

http://img402.imageshack.us/img402/4...seplaza187.jpg
usc digital archive




Below: Another view from Fort Moore Hill, this time from 1876.
The Merced Theatre makes an appearance to the immediate right of Pico house.


http://img402.imageshack.us/img402/5...seandplaza.jpg
usc digital archive




Below: Pico House in 1878. Are those streetcar tracks?? I'm kind of surprised at this early date.
I also wonder what the odd curved pipe-like structure is in the foreground on the left?
It looks like a shower for horses. lol


http://img402.imageshack.us/img402/1...eplaza187y.jpg
usc digital archive




Below: Pico House in 1879. Notice the two women in the window.


http://img402.imageshack.us/img402/9...ohouse1879.jpg
usc digital archive

ethereal_reality Nov 4, 2009 4:55 PM

http://img515.imageshack.us/img515/2...zaplan1959.jpg
unknown

This map is dated 1959.
It says the area is "sacred and inviolate". So is all this still intact in the Pico House/Old Plaza area?
I know the old fire station still exists.

sopas ej Nov 4, 2009 6:00 PM

:previous:

The dotted line street pattern still exists, for the most part, except for that area to the right of the Plaza Church. Those outlined blocks, the Botica Ruiz and La Luz del Dia, those don't exist. All of that area is now a surface parking lot. Everything else still exists, I believe. Casa La Golondrina houses a Mexican restaurant of the same name, a pretty good one too, though I probably haven't eaten on Olvera Street in about a year.

Oh, and the immediate area around the Plaza itself is now closed to street traffic, and so is Sanchez Street.

This pic you posted is interesting to me because apparently as late as the 1960s, you could still literally drive around the Plaza:
http://img402.imageshack.us/img402/1...seinthe196.jpg
unknown

This is what that area looks like today, courtesy Google Earth:
http://img503.imageshack.us/img503/9...azaandmain.jpg

The tour buses get in the way but you can see that the area around the Plaza is closed to traffic with those concrete bollards.

Los Angeles Past Nov 4, 2009 7:51 PM

The Bryson-Bonebrake block (1888-1934)
 
Yesterday I mentioned the Bryson-Bonebrake block. At the time of its construction in 1888, it was certainly the most attractive office building in Los Angeles.

https://otters.net/img/lanoir/295985...9a80dd98_o.jpg

Floyd Bariscale quotes a contemporary source describing the new Bryson-Bonebrake block at the NW corner of Spring and Second Streets.

"Designed by Joseph Cather Newsom in 1888, located on the northwest corner on 2nd and Spring in Los Angles. From a 1981 reprint of J.C. Newsom's Artistic Buildings and Homes of Los Angeles:

"Bryson-Bonebrake Block, commissioned by John Bryson, Sr., Los Angeles Mayor, and Major George H. Bonebrake, banker, this huge office building was Newsom's most ambitious and commercial structure. The Los Angeles Times, September 17, 1888 reports: "At the corner of Second and Springs streets, is one of the largest and most substantial in Southern California, and is most ornamental in appearance. It is six stories and a basement in height, and will contain four stories, one bank, 126 rooms, and a lodgeroom on the sixth floor. It has 120 feet frontage on Spring street and 103 feet frontage on Second steet. The rooms are all large and well ventilated, and the halls are wide and lighted by light wells. The principal features of the building are the massive and elegantly carved stone entrance, with its beautifully grained Colton marble shafts, carved stone caps and base of Moorish design, and the court in the center of the building throwing light into the corridors and inner rooms. The steps of the entrance are of the best granite, and the entrance is tiled and has marble wainscoting. On one side is a large bulletin-board, and on the other a richly-carved staircase with marble steps... The interior of the building is finished in cedar, and the plumbing is of the best... All the offices are heated and lighted with gas, and there are electric bells from each room to the bulletin board on the first floor. The elevator runs from the basement to the sixth floor. There is a fine [sic] hose reel on each floor for use in case of fire. Its cost will be $224,000."

More 19th century views of the Bryson block...

Note how Spring Street originally veered to the right after its intersection with First Street.

https://otters.net/img/lanoir/CHS-278.jpg
USC Digital Archives

https://otters.net/img/lanoir/Sp2n1.jpg
unknown


Looking west on Second Street from Spring.

https://otters.net/img/lanoir/1989-0103.jpg
unknown

1905 - A nice close view showing the intricate exterior decorative elements of the Bryson block. Note the entire ornate top of the building has been removed by this time.

https://otters.net/img/lanoir/CHS-5289.jpg
USC Digital Archives

1934 - Only 46 years after its construction, demolition of the Bryson block is underway. An annex building of the Los Angeles Times occupies the site today.

https://otters.net/img/lanoir/EXM-P-...IT-BUI-035.jpg
USC Digital Archives

Post on my blog here.

ethereal_reality Nov 4, 2009 8:18 PM

Thank for the information about the Old Plaza Sopas_ej
I really appreciate it. :)

Scott, the Bryson-Bonebrake Block was a phenomenal building.
The photos you posted are the best that I've seen of this beautiful structure.

ethereal_reality Nov 4, 2009 8:57 PM

http://img515.imageshack.us/img515/2...zaplan1959.jpg
unknown


Below: In this 1949 photo, the view is looking east over Spring Street.
You can pick out the Merced Theatre, (it has the word SIGN painted on it)
and to its left is Pico House. In the distance is Union Station with its prominent clock tower.

Sopas_ej, are most of the other buildings now gone? I believe they are...but I'm not too sure.


http://img222.imageshack.us/img222/5...rsringst19.jpg
usc digital archive

Los Angeles Past Nov 4, 2009 9:13 PM

Temple Square and the "Million-Dollar Post Office"
 
The 1910 U.S. Post Office at Temple Square was actually the building that sparked my initial interest in vanished Los Angeles years ago.

1920s - The post office/federal building, Temple Square, and Temple Street (left).

https://otters.net/img/lanoir/CHS-31328.jpg
USC Digital Archives


1930s - A portion of the new Hall of Justice (1928) can be seen at left.

https://otters.net/img/lanoir/DW-3-224-1-ISLA.jpg
USC Digital Archives


Postcard view of the marble and gilt interior of the post office. Note the spitoons set into the floor!

https://otters.net/img/lanoir/oldlap...interiorpc.jpg


Some old postcard views of Temple Square.

https://otters.net/img/lanoir/newpoa...lesquarepc.jpg

https://otters.net/img/lanoir/templesquarepc2.jpg

The County Court House can be seen up Temple Street here.
https://otters.net/img/lanoir/newpoa...bankbldgpc.jpg


1938 - After only 27 years, the grand marble post office was razed (empty lot at right), and Temple Square was reduced to just another downtown intersection by the realignment of Main and Spring Streets. (Photo posted previously in this thread by sopas_ej. Thank you!)

https://otters.net/img/lanoir/postof...ot00075427.jpg
LAPL

-Scott

Post on my blog here.

Los Angeles Past Nov 4, 2009 9:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ethereal_reality http://i699.photobucket.com/albums/v...t/viewpost.gif
Thank for the information about the Old Plaza Sopas_ej
I really appreciate it. :-)

Scott, the Bryson-Bonebrake Block was a phenomenal building.
The photos you posted are the best that I've seen of this beautiful structure.

I want to thank both you and sopas_ej for all of the excellent images you've been able to find! I've spent hundreds of hours going through all of the online archives, yet so many of these photos are completely new to me. I can't keep track of the number of times I've said "Wow!" out loud seeing something new in this thread. It's so great!

ethereal_reality Nov 4, 2009 9:30 PM

^^^I'm really glad you appreciate the thread Scott.
It makes it all worthwhile.....thanks for letting us know.

I don't know if you noticed, but only a handful of people visit or contribute to this thread.
It's really disheartening at times.....because I know there are a lot of Los Angeles members on this forum.





^^^The Post Office photos are great.
The first photo really shows the vitality and 'hustle bustle' of Temple Square.
I really get a sense of place in that photo especially.


Scott, you might want to sit down for this next photograph. :(





http://img509.imageshack.us/img509/7...officeatte.jpg
usc digital archive

Los Angeles Past Nov 4, 2009 9:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sopas ej http://i699.photobucket.com/albums/v...t/viewpost.gif

Also one of my faves. According to the LAPL website, a year after the current City Hall opened, the furnishings of the 1888 City Hall were auctioned off in January of 1928 before the building was demolished later in the year. It also gives the address as having been 226 S. Broadway. Municipal departments, as well as the offices for: Clerk and Council, Tax Collector, Treasurer, Chief of Fire Department, Zanjero, Building Inspector, Board of Education, Board of Health, Health Officer, Board of Public Works, Mayor's office, Council Chambers, City Attorney, Superintendent of Streets, Assessor, Public Library, and City Surveyor, among others were housed here from 1888 until 1928; a courtroom and several private offices were also located here.
sopas_ej: I'm really curious - what search terms did you use to find this info and photos? For the longest time I've been trying to find pictures of old City Hall in its twilight years, and nothing like these images has ever come up for me. (Except the photo of the truncated tower - that one I'd seen before.) I've also been going batty trying to find out the exact street address of old City Hall... and here it is! I guess I've just been looking in the wrong place... or using the wrong search terms... :shrug:


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