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  #14341  
Old Posted May 1, 2013, 1:10 AM
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Originally Posted by tovangar2 View Post
Three landmark buildings may be seen in this photo detail from 1875. On the left, at 3rd and Main, is what may be the oldest brick building in LA, first a home, later the Los Angeles Academy. To the south of it is the back of the Round House, still in George Lehman's possession at the time this photo was taken. In the right background is our old friend, The Los Angeles & Independence Railway terminal at 5th and San Pedro.


(detail)
A few more Round House photos . . .

Entrance, c. 1880. Perhaps the building was enclosed after it became a kindergarten?:

LAPL - http://jpg1.lapl.org/00078/00078756.jpg

The cactus hedge at the Spring Street entrance to the Round House, c. 1885 (and some guy who looks like a leprechaun):

USC Digital Library - http://digitallibrary.usc.edu/cdm/si...d/7122/rec/137

Cactus tree on Main Street side with kindergarten sign at left:

LAPL - http://jpg2.lapl.org/pics09/00014091.jpg

It looks like the Round House was gone by 1888 (I saw a couple sources that said 1887):

SW corner of 3rd and Main, 1888 Sanborn Map @ LAPL

Here's another view of an 1886 photo T2 posted earlier http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/show...ostcount=14219 showing the Round House and, on the right, possibly the first brick building in LA:

CA State Library - http://catalog.library.ca.gov/exlibr...IG96L1TS5N.jpg

This view of the SW corner of 3rd and Main is dated c. 1884, and the text with the photo says: "The building was erected in the late 1870's and later torn down in 1905 in lieu of the City National Bank Building." So Capt. Hunter's 1853 brick building may have been located here, but I don't think it's in this photo -- or the 1886 photo above -- unless it's the squat brick building between the Round House and the corner. The two-story porch on the west side of the Lindenfeld Bldg. even seems to match the back of the building on the corner of 3rd and Main in T2's 1875 photo looking east (at the very top of this post).

USC Digital Library - http://digitallibrary.usc.edu/cdm/si...d/2263/rec/177

This c. 1886 photo looking north on Main appears to show the same sidewalk canopy as the photo above:

USC Digital Library - http://digitallibrary.usc.edu/cdm/si...id/6015/rec/80

No more Round House. Photo is dated c. 1887, but my guess is that it's a few years later than that:

USC Digital Library - http://digitallibrary.usc.edu/cdm/si...d/3458/rec/270

Now about that first brick building . . . gosh, I never imagined that bricks could be so interesting. I wish sources were more specific than just saying the first brick building was at 3rd and Main without saying which corner, especially since, as the 1888 Sanborn Map shows, 3rd Street used to stop at Main. East of Main, Mayo was eventually remained 3rd, so this further muddies the issue of which corner people are referring to.

Captain Jesse D. Hunter -- a veteran of the Mormon Batallion in the Mexican-American War, according to text accompanying photos of his children online -- is the unanimous choice as LA's first brickmaker.

Herald's History of Los Angeles, 1901:

Google Books -- http://books.google.com/books?id=o0c...&q=295&f=false

Los Angeles from the Mountains to the Sea, 1921 (with bonus text on the Round House):


Google Books -- http://books.google.com/books?id=rhY...0brick&f=false

I could find only one contemporary reference to Capt. Hunter's brick house, in the November 12, 1853 Los Angeles Star:

USC Digital Library - http://digitallibrary.usc.edu/cdm/co...d/1605/rec/332

BTW, this notice in the August 20, 1853 Los Angeles Star may be referring to that first brick jail [see P.S. below]:

USC Digital Library - http://digitallibrary.usc.edu/cdm/co...id/1588/rec/10

But there are at least two other contenders for the title, "First brick house in Los Angeles." Here's Harris Newmark, writing in Sixty Years in Southern California, 1853-1913:

Archive.org -- http://archive.org/stream/sixtyyears...ge/n7/mode/2up
[The Bullard Block that Newmark refers to was built on the site of the old Temple Clocktower Courthouse]

FWIW, the 1872 LA City Directory lists "Jessie Hunter" at 237 Main Street:
http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb....melton/la6.jpg
This is 20 years later and could very well be a different Jesse Hunter. Or the same one, but no longer living in the first brick house. Nor does 237 Main seem to be the right address for a house on the SW corner of 3rd and Main, although sometime between 1888 and 1894 the street addresses changed (e.g., 201 S. Main became 301 S. Main).

This 1897 article from the Annual Publication of the Historical Society of Southern California and Pioneer Register also supports the claim of Los Angeles Mayor (1852-53, 56-58) John G. Nichols:

Google Books -- http://books.google.com/books?id=FoA...ichols&f=false

The c. 1869 S. A. Rendall photo shows both the City Jail (#36) and the Nichols House (#60):

USC Digital Library - http://digitallibrary.usc.edu/cdm/co.../id/1001/rec/2
[Have we noticed that on the Rendall photo -- not the part shown here -- a building is marked #62 but there is no #62 in the key? Is #62 the Lugo House? Also, S. A. Rendall apparently took a lot of photos of Los Angeles in the 1860s and 1870s; that most had sadly gone missing was noted in this 1911 article: http://books.google.com/books?id=GW4...ndall&f=false]

This c. 1872 photo also shows the Nichols House:

USC Digital Library - http://digitallibrary.usc.edu/cdm/si...id/2714/rec/57

This photo of the SW corner of Main and Court is dated 1888 and may show the Nichols House still standing and being used as a restaurant (steps at lower right corner lead up to Temple Clocktower Courthouse):

CA State Library - http://catalog.library.ca.gov/exlibr...R8MDNA84VQ.jpg

Another First Brick House in LA contender is the home of John Downey, Governor of California 1860-62. Here's a c. 1883 photo of the property on Main Street between 3rd and 4th (down the block from the Round House), but these buildings look later than 1853:

USC Digital Library - http://digitallibrary.usc.edu/cdm/si...id/6032/rec/53

This article, also from the 1897 Annual Publication of the Historical Society of Southern California and Pioneer Register, votes for the Downey home:


Google Books - http://books.google.com/books?id=FoA...page&q&f=false

It's interesting what the article above said about the first wooden house in Los Angeles. Could this be it, next to the Pico House and set back from the street, in this December 1, 1869 photo?

USC Digital Library - http://digitallibrary.usc.edu/cdm/si.../id/3351/rec/1

That same house also appears in the 1860 photo ER recently posted:


P.S. Hmmm . . . I just noticed that the 1853 Los Angeles Star notice about the jail building is signed by the Committee on COUNTY Buildings (Foster was LA Mayor in '54, but not '53), so it might not refer to the first LA city brick jail after all. It mentions a lot of wood, which I don't think would fit in that little jail in the 1869 Rendall photo -- unless the plans subsequently changed. Were two jails being built in LA at the same time? Sorry to be uncertain. I hope it was at least interesting to read.

Last edited by Flyingwedge; May 1, 2013 at 9:47 PM. Reason: Amend P.S.
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  #14342  
Old Posted May 1, 2013, 2:49 AM
tovangar2 tovangar2 is offline
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Originally Posted by Flyingwedge View Post
A few more Round House photos . . .
Flyingwedge, what a wealth of material! My eyes are about to fall out of my head I've looked so much these last few days. Exploring Victorian LA has been really amazing (and a change from my obsession with my childhood LA).

First, thank you so much for the close-up of the Round House before it was enclosed. It reveals Monsieur Alexander's original adobe house at the center. Such good stuff. George Lehman built the timber frame around it and later enclosed it. What a treat to see the "Garden of Paradise" sign! It was Lehman who painted the names of the original 13 colonies + "California" over the windows after he had the frame covered in clapboard. The photo is well before 1879 when, Lehman lost everything. He owned the 1854 building from 1856, or thereabouts, until '79. The famous Spring St cactus hedge was great to see too :-)

Lovely shot of St Vibiana's.

I'm back to looking (and reading) now. Thank you again and again.

Bricks. LOL. Magic carpets for sure.

P.S.
I'm now convinced that the original wing of the Downey residence is the oldest brick building (but you can sure take that with a grain of salt). I was focused on the wrong side of the Roundhouse before. Utter confusion on my part.

Last edited by tovangar2; Jun 27, 2015 at 9:08 PM.
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  #14343  
Old Posted May 1, 2013, 3:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Flyingwedge View Post
A few more Round House photos . . .

PHENOMENAL old Main Street images! So many are completely new to me. I, too, really appreciate that photo of the adobe core structure of the Round House. Thankyouthankyouthankyou!
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  #14344  
Old Posted May 1, 2013, 3:21 AM
shadyguy shadyguy is offline
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The House on 4th Street

Thanks MR,
It took me a while to locate that corner on the google maps but finally succeeded ! Is the long viaduct/bridge on 4th st. still there or was that area all filled in ?
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  #14345  
Old Posted May 1, 2013, 4:51 AM
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Wild accusations in old Los Angeles...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyingwedge View Post
A few more Round House photos . . .


I could find only one contemporary reference to Capt. Hunter's brick house, in the November 12, 1853 Los Angeles Star:

USC Digital Library -
Evidently eminent baker Augustus Ulyard was very annoyed in 1853 when some competing bakers accused him of using "Saleratus" in his baked goods. Good grief...someone using Saleratus. Scandal!

Saleratus is baking soda and was generally considered a cheap substitute for yeast. Saleratus was a chalk-like powder used as a chemical leavener to produce carbon dioxide gas in dough. Often it was course and one could actually see flecks of the chalk in the bread.

I suppose things have improved since then. Today the big baker in Los Angeles is BIMBO, which is a... Mexican company with worldwide sales in the billions.

Thank you Flyingwedge for the clipping, most interesting.

Last edited by CityBoyDoug; May 1, 2013 at 5:08 AM.
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  #14346  
Old Posted May 1, 2013, 4:42 PM
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MichaelRyerson MichaelRyerson is offline
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Originally Posted by ethereal_reality View Post
"Christmas" -quite odd for a postcard

old cd of mine/most likely found on ebay


old cd/ebay
__
e_r, you have a couple of shots of the old Sunset Hotel at 703 San Fernando (N. Spring) Street (NW corner of Ord) back when she had her turrets striped, probably before it was called the Sunset. Right next door (actually across the street, east side of San Fernando/N. Spring Street) you can see the less imposing brick San Fernando Hotel. Later the Sunset would be called the N. Spring Hill Hotel which always struck me as funny that they never could actually get what streets they were on. It ain't on Sunset and it ain't on Hill Street. But never mind, at some point they began to pull in a little extra revenue with the well known Wrigley's advert thus becoming a well known landmark. Here are some other shots of the Sunset (and usually the San Fernando as well)...

Nice clear Pierce image (is there any other kind?), earliest of the Sunset and San Fernando I know of...



Birdseye view of Sonora Town on Buena Vista (North Broadway) Street from Fort Moore Hill, C.C. Pierce, ca.1898

Photograph of a birds eye view of Sonora Town on Buena Vista (North Broadway) Street from Fort Moore Hill, ca.1898. Tenement and commercial buildings stand closely packed along either side of Buena Vista (Broadway), fronted by a row of telephone poles. Deeper into the town to the left, in the distance, two four-story, Romanesque brick buildings are standing next to one another. What would become the Sunset Hotel, at San Fernando (N. Spring) Street and Ord, can be seen by it's three striped turrets. The San Fernando Hotel is the three story brick building immediately to the right of the Sunset. What appears to be a tall flagpole stands toward the end of the street to the left of the photo is most likely one of C. L. Howland's 150 foot streetlights. Hills and mountains are visible in the distance. Photographer C.C. Pierce must have been standing in Mary Hollister Banning's front yard when he took this shot.

USC digital archive/Title Insurance and Trust / C.C. Pierce Photography Collection, 1860-1960



El Adobe Cafe, Sonora Town, 1940

here we see the Wrigley's sign and just the bottom of the black background of the hotel name...

The part of the city called "Sonora Town" was an old adobe village north of the Plaza and Church of Our Lady, Queen of the Angels. It was Los Angeles' first Mexican quarters, or barrio. The area was named for the numerous miners and families who came from Sonora, Mexico. This early adobe home located at the NE corner of New High and Ord Streets in Sonora Town, was built between 1850 and 1860. It shows a New England influence; its Georgian door and window frames were brought from that section by ship. This dwelling was abandoned in 1936 and a year later became a restaurant named the El Adobe Cafe. A sign promoting "The New Peppermint Gum - Wrigley's Doublemint" is painted on the back wall of the Sunset Hotel. A man stands at the corner and appears to be looking up at the name of the cafe.

Photograph dated: February 16, 1940.

LAPL



View looking south on New High Street

El Adobe Café at the corner of Ord, just beyond the Model T. Sunset Hotel at the left, sporting the Wrigley's sign.

LAPL



An old adobe in Sonora Town, ca.1920

This little ramshackle adobe is not the El Adobe Café. This little guy sits on the south side of Ord, on the east side of New High Street. But this shot gives one of the better views of the Sunset Hotel, including the Wrigley's sign and the actual hotel signage at the very top of the wall. "Sunset Hotel, Rooms, Free Bath"

USC digital archive/Title Insurance and Trust, and C.C. Pierce Photography Collection, 1860-1960



Intersection of North Broadway and Sunset Boulevard showing traffic congestion, Los Angeles, 1922

One of my favorite shots of the area, here is Sunset Boulevard and N. Broadway before the Colima




View of North Broadway and Sunset from Fort Moore Hill, 1946


Here's a shot of Sonora Town from Fort Moore Hill in 1946, the turretless Sunset Hotel center, slightly left and painted white, the San Fernando to it's right. Shot from a point just to the east of the north portal of the Broadway tunnel (facia seen at left).

LAPL




View looking west on Ord Street, 1948

Now here we are in 1948 looking west on Ord Street up past the San Fernando on the right to the turretless Sunset Hotel up there at N. Spring Street. Interesting how steep Ord is at this block. Also interesting to note the ground floor of the Sunset is distinct from it's upper floors. Interesting, hold that thought.

California State Library, the California History Room



Sunset Hotel city directory, 1939


Here's a partial page from the 1939 city directory showing the Sunset Hotel's manager, an Edith M. Frye and showing the hotel's address at 703 N. Spring Street. Also, off topic, but interesting to note the gentleman whose name appears just above Ms. Frye's.


Anyway, back to the Sunset...



N. Spring and Ord (2)

Here's N. Spring and Ord today via GSV...Look at the footprint of the building on the northwest corner...


Here's a tighter shot...



N. Spring and Ord

GSV


Let's drop down and look at it from down Ord Street...



N. Spring and Ord (3)
GSV


I think we may be looking at the ground floor of the old Sunset/Hill Hotel late of the Wrigley's sign...


Interesting side view...


N. Spring and Ord (4)
GSV



Interesting because of these...



N. Spring and Ord (5)
GSV


I think those bricks may be over a hundred years old. And I think, for all intents and purposes, the Sunset Hotel lives.

Last edited by MichaelRyerson; May 2, 2013 at 12:24 AM. Reason: added image and info.
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  #14347  
Old Posted May 1, 2013, 8:25 PM
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Originally Posted by ethereal_reality View Post
...another rarity, an adobe across from the courthouse. (no date)


old cd of mine.

I wonder what hotel that is at far right? (notice the rooftop sign)
__

I found this image in the USC digital archive, C.C. Pierce collection although their copy is reversed (the 'hotel' sign reads backwards). In their caption material this is identified as the Bilderain Adobe. With the image in it's correct orientation, we're looking south down Buena Vista or Justicia across Temple Street at the north elevation of the courthouse. Which places the hotel at or near the intersection of Temple and Broadway. 'The Aberdeen' or 'The Buena Apts'? Although in both cases I believe they would have supplanted this adobe.
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  #14348  
Old Posted May 1, 2013, 9:43 PM
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Originally Posted by MichaelRyerson View Post
....
Here's N. Spring and Ord today via GSV...Look at the footprint of the building on the northwest corner...


Here's a tighter shot...



N. Spring and Ord

GSV


Let's drop down and look at it from down Ord Street...



N. Spring and Ord (3)
GSV


I think we may be looking at the ground floor of the old Sunset/Hill Hotel late of the Wrigley's sign...


Interesting side view...


N. Spring and Ord (4)
GSV



Interesting because of these...



N. Spring and Ord (5)
GSV


I think those bricks may be over a hundred years old. And I think, for all intents and purposes, the Sunset Hotel lives.
Great post on the Sunset Hotel, Michael! Back in the 1960's thru the early 90's the building housed some fairly large, well-known Chinese restaurants. The third of the building bordering New High was The Limehouse. It had large, rounded archways trimmed in brick as entrances. I don't recall if there was a patio/garden/courtyard...The middle third of the building facing Ord was a family style cafe/dinner called Chung Mee Cafe. It served American/Chinese dishes, and I recall it having a long counter with barstool seating as you entered, with 2-3 banquet rooms off to the side. It was fairly modern inside, so I doubt if any remnants of the Sunset were obvious. On the other hand, the ceilings were unusually high (though you can't tell from the current photo), and the rooms separated by relatively thick weight bearing walls. I believe The Limehouse closed in the mid '90s, and Chung Mee shortly thereafter. ABC Seafood later subdivided inside again, into a sit down section and take out section. I frequented both restaurants quite often in the past; next time I'm down there, you can be sure I'll be looking around for surviving clues!
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  #14349  
Old Posted May 1, 2013, 9:53 PM
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Great post on the Sunset Hotel, Michael! Back in the 1960's thru the early 90's the building housed some fairly large, well-known Chinese restaurants. The third of the building bordering New High was The Limehouse. It had large, rounded archways trimmed in brick as entrances. I don't recall if there was a patio/garden/courtyard...The middle third of the building facing Ord was a family style cafe/dinner called Chung Mee Cafe. It served American/Chinese dishes, and I recall it having a long counter with barstool seating as you entered, with 2-3 banquet rooms off to the side. It was fairly modern inside, so I doubt if any remnants of the Sunset were obvious. On the other hand, the ceilings were unusually high (though you can't tell from the current photo), and the rooms separated by relatively thick weight bearing walls. I believe The Limehouse closed in the mid '90s, and Chung Mee shortly thereafter. ABC Seafood later subdivided inside again, into a sit down section and take out section. I frequented both restaurants quite often in the past; next time I'm down there, you can be sure I'll be looking around for surviving clues!
Actually, I don't think the old Sunset reaches all the way through to New High Street. I believe it ends at the west edge of the red awning on Ord Street. Remember, in the old days, the Sunset backed up to the El Adobe Café which faced New High Street. I'm glad someone has some direct experience with this hidden relic. Next time you're there look around for signs it's being taken care of or is deteriorating. Thanks.
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  #14350  
Old Posted May 1, 2013, 10:14 PM
KevinW KevinW is offline
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Just wondering what people think of the plan to tear down the Historic LACMA buildings to build a new building.

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment...,7229648.story

Personally, once they built the horrendously ugly Art of the Americas building that cut it off from Wilshire, they ruined it. It used to look like the LA version of Lincoln Center and now it's just a big mess. Here's hoping they actually improve it this time.
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  #14351  
Old Posted May 1, 2013, 10:19 PM
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City Market on San Pedro and environs

This is a view of the City Market wholesale produce complex, bordered by San Pedro, 10th Street, San Julian, and 9th Street. It was founded in 1909 (architects: Morgan & Walls) and was once a bustling center of commerce until supplanted by newer, larger facilities that opened on Olympic and Central in the early 1980's (?).


http://you-are-here.com/downtown/market.html

The structure has been torn down in preparation of a massive re-development effort expect to be completed over the course of 20 years.


my photo

Additional details about the mixed use project can be found here: http://articles.latimes.com/2013/jan...trict-20130125

While the Mission style buildings are gone, here is a subtle reminder of the facility's long history:



This driveway/entrance to the open center of the complex was once covered with concrete, matching the typical material for the rest of the sidewalk. But one can see that beneath that was a layer of asphalt, and then a layer of bricks. Given the age of the facility and the previous discussion of the brick pavement found near the unused portion of Court Street near the 110 Freeway, can we assume these bricks similarly date back 100 years? As a kid by in the early 1960's, my dad would double-park at this very driveway entrance while he ran errands directly across the street at the Chinese grocery. I clearly recall sitting in the car, looking all around, and I definitely do not remember seeing any brickwork...just something to ponder...
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  #14352  
Old Posted May 1, 2013, 10:24 PM
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Originally Posted by lemster2024 View Post
This is a view of the City Market wholesale produce complex, bordered by San Pedro, 10th Street, San Julian, and 9th Street. It was founded in 1909 (architects: Morgan & Walls) and was once a bustling center of commerce until supplanted by newer, larger facilities that opened on Olympic and Central in the early 1980's (?).


http://you-are-here.com/downtown/market.html

The structure has been torn down in preparation of a massive re-development effort expect to be completed over the course of 20 years.


my photo

Additional details about the mixed use project can be found here: http://articles.latimes.com/2013/jan...trict-20130125

While the Mission style buildings are gone, here is a subtle reminder of the facility's long history:



This driveway/entrance to the open center of the complex was once covered with concrete, matching the typical material for the rest of the sidewalk. But one can see that beneath that was a layer of asphalt, and then a layer of bricks. Given the age of the facility and the previous discussion of the brick pavement found near the unused portion of Court Street near the 110 Freeway, can we assume these bricks similarly date back 100 years? As a kid by in the early 1960's, my dad would double-park at this very driveway entrance while he ran errands directly across the street at the Chinese grocery. I clearly recall sitting in the car, looking all around, and I definitely do not remember seeing any brickwork...just something to ponder...
I used to work here. I unloaded and reloaded trucks here from Midnight till about 8:30 am. Stopped at The Pantry couple of times a week. About 1961-'63ish. Used to walk over these very bricks.
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  #14353  
Old Posted May 1, 2013, 10:29 PM
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Actually, I don't think the old Sunset reaches all the way through to New High Street. I believe it ends at the west edge of the red awning on Ord Street. Remember, in the old days, the Sunset backed up to the El Adobe Café which faced New High Street. I'm glad someone has some direct experience with this hidden relic. Next time you're there look around for signs it's being taken care of or is deteriorating. Thanks.
Any ideas/thoughts on how wide the Sunset might have been? On the Spring Street side now are a couple of small store fronts, one being a Chinese BBQ place. What's a little bit interesting is the recessed part (visible in the overhead view)right next to that frontage...it's a loading dock now...I wonder if it's always been that, or maybe it could have been some kind of approach to the Sunset...shame there isn't a photo of the opposite side. It's 20 minute ride on the Metro for me, so I will definitely be snooping around there soon...will keep you posted!
___________

My uncle and my dad worked at the old Central Avenue Market...S&D Produce...My uncle was one of the partners of the business, my dad working there for a short time in the early 50's. I know a lot of people used to go to the Pantry before/after work; my uncle & dad would go to Vickman's for coffee & pie...In the early 80's I actually met Mrs. Vickman at a Thrifty where I worked, and she was so surprised/impressed that I recognized the name & restaurant, she had her son bake me a couple of fresh stawberry pies and brought them to me!

Last edited by lemster2024; May 1, 2013 at 10:38 PM. Reason: added comment
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  #14354  
Old Posted May 1, 2013, 10:31 PM
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Originally Posted by KevinW View Post
Just wondering what people think of the plan to tear down the Historic LACMA buildings to build a new building.

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment...,7229648.story

Personally, once they built the horrendously ugly Art of the Americas building that cut it off from Wilshire, they ruined it. It used to look like the LA version of Lincoln Center and now it's just a big mess. Here's hoping they actually improve it this time.
I pretty much agree with your take. The cantilevered design kind of grew on me even though I could feel myself digging in my heels. Then they pretty much ruined it and I found, to my surprise, my earlier ambivalence had changed to some kind of vague affection. I have a friend/acquaintance who is a curator at the A+D Architecture and Design Museum right along there on Wilshire, I'm going to send him an email to see what their sense of it is.
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  #14355  
Old Posted May 1, 2013, 11:31 PM
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As of 2013, it is still in place!


my photo
That's fantastic lemster2024. It looks even better now! Thanks for finding it for us.
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Old Posted May 1, 2013, 11:53 PM
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I enjoyed looking through this information and find it interesting how many buildings were cut-down to only one or two floors? I'm guessing earthquakes are the reason? I was trying to see the base of the structure, but could see enough details to know it matches the upper floors. I can also see where the turrets were striped under what I'm guessing is paint in the ca.1920 image. Thank you for researching this and sharing it.

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Originally Posted by MichaelRyerson View Post

Birdseye view of Sonora Town on Buena Vista (North Broadway) Street from Fort Moore Hill, C.C. Pierce, ca.1898

Photograph of a birds eye view of Sonora Town on Buena Vista (North Broadway) Street from Fort Moore Hill, ca.1898. Tenement and commercial buildings stand closely packed along either side of Buena Vista (Broadway), fronted by a row of telephone poles. Deeper into the town to the left, in the distance, two four-story, Romanesque brick buildings are standing next to one another. What would become the Sunset Hotel, at San Fernando (N. Spring) Street and Ord, can be seen by it's three striped turrets. The San Fernando Hotel is the three story brick building immediately to the right of the Sunset. What appears to be a tall flagpole stands toward the end of the street to the right of the photo. Hills and mountains are visible in the distance. Photographer C.C. Pierce must have been standing in Mary Hollister Banning's front yard when he took this shot.

USC digital archive/Title Insurance and Trust / C.C. Pierce Photography Collection, 1860-1960
If I'm not mistaken, this is a streetlight. They are from the early 1880s. I think the idea was using a higher elevation for the light, it could cover the city with fewer poles and more closely replicate actual sunlight. I've read these lights had inconsistent brightness, but many report it was almost like the middle of the day. I wish we had a photograph of this (these lights at night). I would love to see how bright these lights were and what it looked like from a distance.
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  #14357  
Old Posted May 2, 2013, 12:10 AM
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MichaelRyerson MichaelRyerson is offline
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Originally Posted by Matthew View Post
I enjoyed looking through this information and find it interesting how many buildings were cut-down to only one or two floors? I'm guessing earthquakes are the reason? I was trying to see the base of the structure, but could see enough details to know it matches the upper floors. I can also see where the turrets were striped under what I'm guessing is paint in the ca.1920 image. Thank you for researching this and sharing it.



If I'm not mistaken, this is a streetlight. They are from the early 1880s. I think the idea was using a higher elevation for the light, it could cover the city with fewer poles and more closely replicate actual sunlight. I've read these lights had inconsistent brightness, but many report it was almost like the middle of the day. I wish we had a photograph of this (these lights at night). I would love to see how bright these lights were and what it looked like from a distance.
yes, I also think it is. see post number 8581 on page 430 for a longish discussion of early streetlights. Also see waterandpower.org for a huge photo collection and lots of good written material.
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Old Posted May 2, 2013, 12:16 AM
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  #14359  
Old Posted May 2, 2013, 12:26 AM
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Originally Posted by MichaelRyerson View Post
e_r, you have a couple of shots of the old Sunset Hotel at 703 San Fernando (N. Spring) Street (NW corner of Ord) back when she had her turrets striped, probably before it was called the Sunset. Right next door (actually across the street, east side of San Fernando/N. Spring Street) you can see the less imposing brick San Fernando Hotel. Nice clear Pierce image, earliest of the Sunset and San Fernando I know of.
MR, thanks for the information on the Sunset Hotel & San Fernando Hotel. The two postcards are much more interesting with your help.

Also...I now know the two buildings that are looming in the background of these China City photographs.


The Sunset/Hill Hotel

detail



The San Fernando Hotel

detail

-note the back porch that we saw in MR's photograph looking west on Ord Street.





the complete postcard

http://www.lmu.edu/






one more

ebay

It looks like the huge CHINA CITY sign is on the roof of the San Fernando Hotel. (is it?)


I've always been a bit perplexed by the parameters of China City. Was it directly across the street from these two aging hotels, or are the photographs misleading? It would be great if someone could outline China City on this aerial.


google aerial

P.S. It's amazing that the Sunset/Hill Hotel might still exist as a one story building. -good sleuthing MichaelRyerson.
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Last edited by ethereal_reality; May 2, 2013 at 1:09 AM.
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  #14360  
Old Posted May 2, 2013, 12:29 AM
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Still poking around City Market & San Pedro

Almost directly across the street from the City Market is this 1914 hotel, currently named the Market Hotel. Prior to that, it was called simply the San Pedro Hotel, 966 S. San Pedro. The fire escapes, signage, and the Coca Cola ghost sign are still notable.


my photo


my photo


my photo

Adjacent to the Market/San Pedro on its north side is a shorter building dating from roughly the same time frame. However, it is more notable for being the location of Man Fook Low, a Cantonese cuisine restaurant known during its time for its wide selection of dim sum specialities as well as for its "Mandarin steak". Also nearby was the Modern Cafe, a throwback to old style diners, with a long counter and barstool chairs, a couple of padded booths, and a large round table for older Chinese men to read the papers and discuss world events, all in Cantonese...(MR, do you recognize which of the current storefronts corresponds to each of the old time places? I walked it the other day, but there isn't much left to ID specific locations, and the address numbers might now be off, since they added "A", "B" -stall like desginations. Anything would be of help!)

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