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Old Posted May 1, 2013, 1:10 AM
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Flyingwedge Flyingwedge is offline
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Quote:
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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