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Old Posted Feb 19, 2013, 2:27 AM
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Mr.Swink Mr.Swink is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 21
This Hotel Pepper postcard started it all for me.

As I stated in another post, staying at the Park Plaza Hotel in 1986 as a kid made me fall in love with Los Angeles architecture. But about a decade ago a friend of mine, Roger, randomly sent me this post card of the Hotel Pepper. I thought I would try and find out if it still existed. So began my obsession with researching the architecture, history, lay out and photography of Los Angeles. I started out a decade ago looking at the LAPL archives and moved on to the USC and UCLA, doing the LA Conservancy Tours and reading blogs like the 1947 Project noir crime blog. But I opened a book today and came across the postcard that started it all.

Photo by Mr. Swink

I remember when I finally found these images below of the Hotel Pepper online, it was like finding a hidden treasure.

USC Digital Collection

But looking at the post card and photos today I realized I didn't know that the Hotel Pepper was that old (1905). I figured it was at least 10 years later just because of it size and location. This must have been a huge hotel way out in Westlake for it's day.

Notice the dirt roads and horse carriage in this detail...

USC Digital Collection

Also the architecture is Spanish Revival/ Moorish. I know Moorish architecture was popular in Southern California because of it's connection with Spanish Architecture. And I know that the businesses and government in Southern California often pitched the area as a sun filled Mediterranean style get away. But I wonder if any one else knows if there are other reasons Moorish style architecture is so prevalent in Los Angeles area?

Moorish Details...

USC Digital Collection

I guess the Hotel Pepper stood until 1966, at one time it was called the Wesley Terrace. This photo from 1964 by William Reagh is the Hotel on it's last legs and the first photo I researched on the LAPL digital archives all those years ago.

LAPL Digital Archives

I mention William Reagh because any one who has researched the LAPL photo archives has seen some of his photographs. He shot tens of thousand of photos of Los Angeles for about 60 years. And he wasn't a "professional" He just did it. Today I went back up to Ocean View Ave after Ethereal Reality posted some 1890's photos that showed Ocean View Ave to see if I could find any pre-1900's architectural or oil well remnants from that period. I didn't but I found this...

Hidden on the other side of Ocean View Ave along 4th street is the Photographic Center named for Mr. Reagh.

Photo by Mr. Swink

It's a big city but a small world.

So thanks to William Reagh for his photographic documents of Los Angeles and thanks to my friend Roger for sending that postcard all those years ago.

Here is a little article on Reagh...
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