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Old Posted May 15, 2014, 3:56 PM
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MichaelRyerson MichaelRyerson is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Houston, Texas
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I know, too much free time. What can I say.

View looking northwest across Central Park and the southern slope of Bunker Hill, ca.1912

Stunning view. Jam packed and including the Hildreth, the Leonard Rose and the Brunson, three of the five Bunker Hill 'painted ladies', all in one image. I
believe the camera was on the roof of the new Desmond's building at 555 S. Spring Street looking northwest across Mercantile Place (out-of-frame at the
bottom) which would ultimately become the Arcade Building.

Three highlights from which we can reference other smaller images are, (one) the Pantages
Theater (w/sign) center/bottom at 534 S. Broadway, (two) the northeast corner of Central (Pershing Square) Park lower left edge at the SW corner of
5th and S. Hill Streets and (three) the large white building under construction center right is the Metropolitan Building on the NW corner of 5th Street and
Broadway.

First, the two horizons. One, the Santa Monica Mountains showing through the haze with the highest point (pretty much in the center of the
pic) being Mount Lee which will host the Hollywoodland sign in about ten years. And then the second, the urban horizon of houses and buildings, with the
Hildreth Mansion (NW corner of 4th and Hope Streets, dark outline near the left edge) and just to the right of the Hildreth, the prominent, squarish Zelda
Apartment/Hotel with the distinctive capped rooftop solarium (SW corner of 4th and Grand Avenue). Just below the Hildreth are two thin white layers.
The first, whiter layer are the backs of the Gordon and the Bronx apartments (at 618 and 624 W. 4th Street, respectively) (just visible over the top of the
Gordon can be seen the graceful curve of the fa├žade on the Gibson Apartments on the NE corner of 4th and Hope Streets) and the second, lower, slightly
darker layer is the Grenada Apartment/Hotel with the turreted and crenelated corner (at 419 S. Grand Avenue). Nestled between the Grenada and the
Zelda is the small Victorian cottage of the LeChats (partially obscured by a palm tree) who built the Zelda and graced it with the wife's name. Directly
below the Zelda is the Brown Apartments (another bright, white building, at 414 S. Grand Avenue) where someone has strung a line of laundry out to dry.

Which brings us to a tangle of turrets and gingerbread.
To the immediate right of the Zelda and above and extending to the right of the Brown Apartments is the residence of the noted vintner and horse
breeder, the ill-fated Leonard J. Rose (Mansion) at 400 S. Grand Avenue (SE corner of Grand and 4th Street). By the time of this image, Leonard Rose
has been dead for more than a decade having committed suicide in the rear yard of the mansion because of huge business reversals. The Brunson
Mansion sits behind and slightly to the right of the Rose at 347 S. Grand Avenue (NOT on the corner of 4th Street). We have a relatively clear view of the
Brunson here because we are looking directly across the property vacated by the Hershey Mansion (NE corner of 4th and Grand Avenue) which was
moved down 4th Street and wedged behind the Briggs (the Barbara Worth) Apartments, on the slope above Flower Street, and repurposed as the Castle
Tower Apartments. The Leonard Rose Mansion foreshadows the Brunson, sitting in front and slightly to the left of it. You may distinguish the Rose which
appears darker than the greyish Brunson. The Brunson will be gone in two or three years, demolished to make way for an automobile mechanic's garage.


To the right and across a small open space from the Brunson is the white Fleur-de-Lis Apartments at 333 S. Grand Avenue and next to it is the medium
grey Hotel Kenneth at 325 S. Grand. Directly below the Fleur-de-Lis is the seven story, multi-turreted Fremont Hotel (w/sign) at 401 S. Olive Street (on
the SW corner of 4th and Olive Streets) and next to it on the left is the Olive Street School with the distinctive center capped turret and next to it, again to
the left, is the Hotel Trenton (w/sign) at 427 S. Olive Street.

On the lower left edge, we can see the NE corner (5th and Hill Streets) of Central (Pershing
Square) Park. The street which runs in front of the two large buildings facing the park is 5th Street, of course, the northern border of the park, and Hill
Street is seen running diagonally from the lower edge of the park toward the right (or north). These two large buildings (the smaller four-story building
sandwiched between them was formerly the L.A. Business College and is now Burnett's Dance Hall) are, on the left edge of the image, Clune's Auditorium
at about 427 W. 5th Street (NE corner of 5th and Olive Streets) with a three-story base and three towers (two four-story towers on either side of a
six-story middle tower) and then Burnett's and then the California Club at 459 S. Hill Street (NW corner of 5th and Hill Streets) with a three-story base
and two two-story, hipped roof towers on either side of a roof garden.

As I've noted, the California Club sits on the NW corner of 5th and Hill Streets.
Directly behind the California Club (to the right) is the College Theater (w/sign) at 449 S. Hill Street and next to it can be seen a triangular patch of the flat
roofed Poinserttia Cafeteria (it is a really small part of the roof but it is there) and then, continuing north on Hill Street (to the right) an unidentified
two-story building with a sign reading 'Thos. C. Bundy & Co.' and then the four-story Pacific Electric Club at 433 S. Hill Street, (here sporting a large
'Coca Cola sign presumably generating some advertising revenue for the club) a 'gentlemen's club' for the executives of the P&E. Next to the club,
appropriately enough, can be seen the archway to the 5th Street P&E Station and beyond it the open air 5th Street yard of the P&E. It is on this site that
the subway building will be built and from which the tunnel leading to the Toluca yard (at Glendale and Beverly Boulevards) will be dug, spelling the doom
of the Olive Street School building (although by that time the Health Department will have taken over the building). Beyond the P&E yard is the Blue Bell
Cafeteria (w/sign).

Now we're going all the way back up to the urban horizon very near the center of the image we find the prominent Palace Hotel &
Apartments (w/sign)(it is very similar in size and shape to the Zelda) with a large dark-roofed, white sided stairwell roof-access and the front of the
building is also painted white. The Palace Hotel (formerly the Kellogg) is at 317 S. Olive Street, it is a well-known landmark being across the street and
slightly south of the upper Angels Flight landing at 3rd and Olive. Just below the Palace we can make out the tops of the Ems Apartments' twin,
Spanish-tiled turrets at 321 S. Olive Street. The Ems extends well back from the street, even farther back than the Palace, with it's sides painted white
for the first 1/4 of the building but then the facia is painted a very dark color (maybe even black) so that it looks like two different buildings but it's all the
Ems. Continuing south, we find a large Victorian home next to the Ems and then a vacant lot. Next to the vacant lot is the flat-roofed Olive Inn at 337 S.
Olive, with it's front partially hidden by a curbside tree. And then the peaked, hipped roof of the Hotel Ogden, at 343 S. Olive, with front balconies on every
floor and finally the flat roofed, rather nondescript Van Winkle Apartments at 349 (the Ogden and the Van Winkle will be lost to the Mutual Garage in
1923). There appears to be a horse-drawn delivery wagon passing in front of the Van Winkle.

Across the street from the Van Winkle (to the right of the
horse-drawn wagon and to the right of the telephone pole) we find a three or four-story apartment building with what appear to be balconies which
stretch the length of the building on each floor and go around to the front of the building as well. This little apartment building is called, appropriately
enough, The Porches at 350 S. Olive. Foreshadowing The Porches, below and slightly to the right, is the square corner of an otherwise unseen building,
with a flat, pronounced cornice and a single window with a small balcony. This is the Hotel Antlers at 423 W. 4th Street (on the NW corner of 4th and Clay
Streets).

Now we'll come down here to the Pantages Theater at 534 S. Broadway and notice Clune's Broadway Theater, at 528 S. Broadway, hunkered
down beside it with the huge steel grillwork sign on its roof. The building next door to Clune's is Quinn's Superba Theater (with the Pettebone Co. sign) at
518 S. Broadway.

As I have said before, contemplating a foreshortened view of the city can be daunting if not overwhelming. Consider two buildings
we've already looked at, the Metropolitan Building and the Palace Hotel & Apartments. The visual compression here is enormous, the Palace, the Ems,
the Black Building, the Wright & Callender Building, the Hotel Clark and the Metropolitan Building, a veritable wedding cake of note-worthy buildings. Let's
start at the Palace Hotel (w/sign) on the urban horizon near the center of the image and directly below it the twin, Spanish-tiled turrets of the Ems. Sitting
directly in front of the Palace and to the immediate right of the Ems is what appears to be a large, black, roof-mounted tank (there are actually two of
these tanks). This tank is mounted on the roof of the Black Building (which is paradoxically a white building) at 359 S. Hill Street (NW corner of 4th and Hill
Streets). The Black Building cornice-work is supported by a series of evenly spaced small masonry blocks. You can visually trace this cornice as it appears,
disappears and re-appears from behind various other objects. It, along with the tank(s) and the two, white, roof access shacks, are about all you can see
of the Black Building. The Wright & Callender Building at 401 S. Hill Street (SW corner of 4th and Hill) fairly shouts at us though, what with its roof-top sign,
we have a pretty clear view of the southwest corner of the building as it comes out from behind the Clark and extends beyond the corner of the
Metropolitan Building and can be seen running nearly all the way to ground level (near the mid-point on this corner of the Wright & Callender is where we
can see a single balconied window of the Hotel Antlers). And now the Hotel Clark, which sits directly behind the Metropolitan Building, its south and east
walls showing light grey and nearly windowless, on the corner of the roofline can be seen two decorative 'urns' (one 'touching' the Wright & Callender sign)
and a partial view of a vertical sign reading 'Abso(lu)te(ly fireproof). If you look closely through the supporting structure of the construction crane on the
roof of the Metropolitan Building you can see the words 'Hotel Clark'. The Hotel Clark is nearly brand new in this image, established by our ability to see
The Porches apartment building. The Hotel Clark is going to build a large parking garage next to the Hotel Antlers on the NE corner of 4th and Olive
Streets. Once that is up, we will no longer be able to see The Porches from this angle.

About mid-way down the left edge of the Metropolitan Building we
can see the sign on The Blue Be(ll) cafeteria. Between this sign and the edge of the Metropolitan we can see the partial sign for the Occ(idental) Hotel at
428 S. Hill Street. The Occidental Hotel is next door to the Clark at 418. Interesting sign lower down on the Hotel Paxton (323 W. 5th Street)
saying 'Transient or Permanent'. Good to know.

Now all the way back up to the Palace Hotel & Apartments. To the left of the Palace we have a clear view of the Nugent at 259 S Grand Avenue (NW
corner of 3rd and Grand)with its conically topped turret and three floors of recessed front balconies. To the right of the Palace and a bit further back,
we can see the minareted turret of the Minnewaska topped with a very tall flagpole (later to be called the Dome) at 201 S. Grand Avenue (SW corner
of 2nd and Grand). Farther to the right we can pick out the sign on the Hotel Cumberland at 243 S. Olive Street. The Cumberland sign seems to float
above the New Maryton at 314 S. Olive, which is right across the street from the Palace at 317. To the right of the New Maryton and the Cumberland
is the pyramidically topped solarium of the Astoria at 248 S. Olive and directly above it, so much directly that it seems to rise from it, is the smaller,
dark minaret of the Melrose at 130 S. Grand Avenue. The small white building to the immediate right of the Astoria solarium is the back of the Richelieu
at 142 S. Grand Avenue. And finally, nearer the right edge we have the signs clearly identifying the Hotel Northern at 422 W. 2nd ( SW corner of 2nd
and Clay Streets), the (Young) Women's Christian Association at 253 S. Hill Street and the F.P. Fay Building at 534 W. 3rd Street (SE corner of 3rd
and Hill).



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

Last edited by MichaelRyerson; May 16, 2014 at 12:40 AM.
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