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Old Posted Mar 13, 2013, 10:05 PM
tovangar2 tovangar2 is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: West Los Angeles
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"Double Indemnity"/Walnuts/St Francis Dam disaster anniversary

Originally Posted by sopas ej View Post
Raymond Chandler cameo in "Double Indemnity"
Video Link
Thank you so much sopas ej, that had never come to my attention before :-)
A real treat for me.

Does anyone know the story on the set/location (?) shown in the above screen grab?


I think the decorative element on two sides of the California Walnut Growers Assoc (a cooperative, rather like Sunkist) Building tower must be glazed terra cotta, not paint, e_r. The vividness hasn't varied through time.

It cost $250K in 1921 on a $45K lot. Loopnet currently pegs it at $6.7 million. It looks like it was built to last, and has:


Curbed Los Angeles reports on the building's lofting here:
It's to be called "The Walnut".

And thank you GW for the article on the previous building's collapse (oh, if only cameras had been rolling!). Unforgettable. Do you know anything about the clean up? Were the nuts saved? I hope the building was insured and that Mr Frazen made a successful recovery (wouldn't be near as funny otherwise)


We needed a little comic relief on this anniversary ( of the St Francis dam tragedy (the third of Mulholland's dams to fail) two years after it was built. Mulholland didn't lose his job as Chief Engineer over it (that the city was aware of the dam's danger prior to its collapse may explain his retention). Mulholland retired in '29 aged 74, although he kept his offices and was retained and paid as Chief Consulting Engineer. He died in 1935. Neither the St Francis Dam nor Mulholland's prior engineering of the double hoodwinking of both the Owen's Valley farmers and the citizens of Los Angeles have impacted his public legend much (going by what my kids were taught in school). His cronies successfully circled the wagons around him (and themselves).

The Mulholland Memorial Fountain, just one of the memorials to Mulholland, built five years after Mulholland's death by one of LA's famous Committees of powerful businessmen and civic leaders:


The St Francis Dam victims (sources cite as many as 600. Some bodies were found in the ocean as far south as the Mexican border), mostly poor workers of Mexican ancestry, are buried in an unmarked, mass grave at Ivy Lawn Memorial Park in Ventura County.

Collecting the dead at Harry Carey Ranch:


The St Francis Dam probably would have collapsed earlier but the water level was low much of the time because of the continued dynamiting of the Los Angeles Aqueduct by saboteurs. The dam was back at full capacity the night it collapsed. The last attack on the Aqueduct was in 1976, the same year someone tried (and failed) to blow up the Mulholland Fountain.

Last edited by tovangar2; Sep 24, 2015 at 5:53 PM. Reason: add image
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