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Old Posted Feb 3, 2013, 1:04 PM
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Flyingwedge Flyingwedge is offline
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Location: Los Angeles
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Originally Posted by ethereal_reality View Post
...another example of a Corinthian columned apartment.

los angeles public library

The Westmoore one last time.

That's too funny . . . I was planning on doing a post on that building and its environs, which I found when I was looking for the Westmoore. Anyway, in happier days, the Beck was known as the Schermerhorn:

LM Harnish (

I wouldn't have looked into it further, but I'd never heard of Potter Park Street. Was there a Potter Park? As it turns out, no, not exactly.

Shortly after arriving in Los Angeles in 1879, Alonzo C. Potter paid $8,000 for four acres of land stretching south and west from 7th and Figueroa (or Pearl or Grasshopper or whatever Figueroa was called then). Through the center of the property he opened Potter Park Avenue. His residence occupied grounds stretching from Potter Park Avenue to 8th and back (west) one block. The attractively landscaped grounds ("Potter Park") featured many flowers and trees, including what was reportedly the oldest rubber tree in Southern California.

Alonzo Potter belonged to the First Baptist Church, which from 1884-1898 met at 6th and Fort (later Broadway):


In 1887, Potter gave the church a Kilgen organ, at the time the largest in Southern California and the second largest in the state ( "Presented by A.C. Potter June 1887 in Memory of His Parents" is on the plaque above the organist's head in the photo below, showing the organ in its post-1898 home . . .


. . . the First Baptist Church @ 725 S. Flower, pictured here about 1910:

The organ did not move with the First Baptist Church to its current home in 1927, so I doubt it still exists.

Here's the area according to the 1909 Birdseye View of Los Angeles map:

Big Map Blog (

Here's the 1910 Baist Map. Seventh and Eighth Streets run east and west above and below Potter Park Avenue; Francisco and Figueroa are the north-south streets. Because a small square with an X indicates a stable, and because Alonzo Potter was fairly well off, I'm guessing his home was in Lot 12 on the NW corner of Potter Park and Figueroa:

Historic MapWorks (

And for good measure, here's the 1914 Baist Map. The Aberdeen is still next to the Schermerhorn, but the building next to the Aberdeen has changed from the Melville to the Covington:

Historic MapWorks (

Unfortunately, I could not find a picture of the Potter home. The closest I came was this 1907 view looking west:

USC Digital Library (
The First Baptist Church on Flower is in the middle of the picture. Perhaps the roof just to the left of the church steeple is the Potter home on Figueroa? The Westmoore can be seen in the distance, but no Schermerhorn.

After selling off most of his original four acres, Alonzo C. Potter died at his Figueroa home December 9, 1912, at age 78. His daughter, Katherine, who had been widowed November 1, 1912, subsequently married former Los Angeles Mayor (1916-1919) Frederick T. Woodman. They and Alonzo's widow, Della, were living at 514 S. Shatto Place (house no longer there) in 1930 when Della died. Sometime in the 1930s, Potter Park Avenue was renamed 7th Place.
[Potter biographical info from "A History of California and an Extended History of Los Angeles and Environs, Volume 2" by James Miller Guinn (Historical Record Company, Los Angeles, 1915) AND also here:]

Here's the 1921 Baist Map. The Potter home has been replaced by an overall factory (at first I thought, "As opposed to what, a specific factory?"):


The overall factory is the 1920 John Parkinson-designed Brownstein-Louis Building (Brownstein-Louis was a men's garment manufacturer). Here it is in 1926, looking NW at Figueroa and Eighth:


In 1929, the same year this picture was taken, it was converted into an office building. To the right of Brownstein-Louis, you can see the line of apartments on Potter Park Avenue leading down to the Schermerhorn:

USC Digital Library (

Jumping ahead to 1960, the Schermerhorn (just visible over the top of the Statler Hilton) has lost its neighbor at the east end of the block, the Owatonna (sp?):


The LA Convention Center was built in 1971, so this undated picture has to be from around that time. Another neighbor gone:


The Schermerhorn/Beck and its neighbors apparently held on until the mid-70s. Here they've been torn down so recently, no one is parking there yet:


Footprints paved for parking, 1978:


The Brownstein-Louis Building was torn down, and 7th Place vacated, in 1980 ( Now the area looks like this:

Google Earth

I'd rather have Mr. Potter and his rubber tree.

Last edited by Flyingwedge; Jan 11, 2020 at 5:19 AM. Reason: repair link
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