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Old Posted Jan 17, 2013, 2:15 PM
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MichaelRyerson MichaelRyerson is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Houston, Texas
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In search of Francisco Manza

I sometimes go searching for images without a specific purpose, just sort of surfing around and grabbing things that are interesting and reasonably high def. I typically also capture the archived caption but frequently let that be it for the moment, just letting them simmer in my photo-stream until other images appear that relate somehow and then I go back and try to make sense of them and their relationships. This photo came to me first through the Stoltz Family website as being the residence of an early 20th century relative and I liked the image so much I went looking for it at LAPL and then at USC where I found it in the C.C. Pierce collection. Then I left it sit for six months. It appeared regularly on my most-hits list and I wondered what was bringing people to view it. It had ten times the number of visitors as the pictures immediately adjacent to it in the photo-stream. Funny...


412sunset-1925 (1)

Photograph of the exterior of an adobe built by Francisco Manza at 412 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, ca.1925. The adobe, built in 1865, is pictured here from the side; a small brick kiln and a collection of other yard items stands with a small palm tree alongside the house. Farther in, a door with a mail-slat and a six-paned sliding window are visible at the back of the raised porch, from which wooden stairs descend to the right.

University of Southern California. Libraries, Title Insurance and Trust / C.C. Pierce Photography Collection, 1860-1960


Then a week ago I ran across this image...


412sunset-1920 (2)

Photograph of a dilapidated adobe built by Francisco Manza on the west side at the north end of the Broadway Tunnel, Los Angeles, 1920. A collapsing picket fence leans in towards the property of the adobe at the right, leading to the main house which is partially obscured by a hill in the foreground. The adobes have plank veneers along their walls, and the adobe at the far left has a wash basin attached to its side. Several metal poles, which appear to be supports for unused clotheslines, hang in towards the adobes. In the background, telephone poles and the lavish Cabrinic House can be seen.

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

Checking the details it was apparent they were the same house and this image gave a wide enough perspective to include a glimpse of Fort Moore Hill in the background placing it on the south side of Sunset. I don't always trust the captioned material and like to confirm the information with some visual evidence. And here we have the angle of the sun and some buildings on the top of Fort Moore Hill.

And then I ran across this mystery photograph...(I'm including the archived caption as it appears in the USC collection website)...


Adobe built by Francisco Marigo on the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Justica Street east of the Broadway Tunnel, Los Angeles, ca.1900-1909

"Photograph of an adobe built by Francisco Marigo on the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Justica Street east of the Broadway Tunnel, Los Angeles, ca.1900-1909. Debris lay along either side of the unpaved street, with the adobe pictured to the right at center. It's double doors are open out towards the street, and several plank boards appear to be nailed near the roofline. A trashcan lid lays on an overhang that extends from the building farther back. Hills are visible in the background along with part of the city."

Well this didn't seem right. The angle of the sun says this is the east elevation of the house and the slope of the hill says it backs up to Fort Moore Hill but still what are the chances two guys named Francisco could have built their adobes directly across the street (N. Broadway) from each other AND have had such similar last names? Then it occurred to me that a handwritten notation of the name 'Manza' could conceivably look like 'Marigo' so I reversed the image and voila'!


412sunset-1909 (3) (rescued)

View of the Francisco Manza adobe at 412 Sunset (most likely Bella Vue in 1909) looking east toward Broadway. This print/neg was/is stored as a reversed negative and lost and misidentified in the USC digital archive/California Historical Society Collection, 1860-1960/Title Insurance and Trust, and C.C. Pierce Photography Collection, 1860-1960 prints collection as being 'Adobe built by Francisco Marigo on the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Justica Street east of the Broadway Tunnel, Los Angeles, ca.1900-1909'. Of course, being reversed it was difficult for the archivist to properly identify. But the Francisco Manza adobe was on the west side of the Broadway tunnel which meant two Franciscos with suspiciously similar surnames would have been neighbors. I could see how a handwritten 'Manza' could have possibly been misread as 'Marigo'. But I still wanted visual evidence. The latticework on the end of the lean-to porch was a first clue. It appears in both views (east and west) check for it in 412sunset (2) and (1). But the conclusive evidence is harder to see. In this image there is what appears to be the corner of a masonry building at the extreme left edge near the center. That appears to be the northwest corner of the roof of the Colima Restaurant whose address is 400-408 Sunset Boulevard. Pay particular attention to the small decorative cornice and then check 'Sunset and North Broadway, 1929' in this photo-stream.

Now we've got it. Here we are looking at the west side (looking east) of the Francisco Manza adobe located at 412 Sunset Boulevard (most likely Bella Vue at the date of these images).

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


Here's a shot of the Colima in 1929...


Sunset and North Broadway, 1929

View looking south at Sunset Boulevard and North Broadway showing the north tunnel portal as it empties traffic into the intersection. On the left, a dirt Justicia Street winds up and around the shoulder of Fort Moore Hill. And on the right what is now the Colima Restaurant with its decorative cornice still intact.

LAPL


And here are two shots of the Colima today showing the intersection and the area which would have been the site of the Manza adobe...


Colima Restaurant, 2013

Colima Restaurant, Sunset Boulevard (W. Cesar E. Chavez Avenue) and North Broadway, 2013. One of and perhaps the most remarkable survivors on the north side. The Manza adobe would have been situated in the open area to the right of the restaurant building just at the base of the ivy-covered slope running up to Hill Street.

Google Street View

And here's a detail of the Colima showing the street addresses (the Manza adobe has been identified as being at 412 Bella Vue (Sunset Boulevard)...


Colima2 (2)

Colima Restaurant, Sunset Boulevard (W. Cesar E. Chavez Avenue) and North Broadway, 2013

Google Street View
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