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Old Posted Aug 7, 2014, 7:26 PM
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MichaelRyerson MichaelRyerson is offline
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With a nod to NLA stalwart HossC and our recent conversation about the 4th Street cut...


Looking west from the Goodyear blimp 'Paegel' at Grand Avenue and 3rd Street, 1954

Looking west from the Goodyear blimp 'Paegel' from about Grand Avenue and 3rd Street in late 1954. Really a great view showing
the scourge of the 4th Street cut being applied across the southern slope of Bunker Hill. Many important structures are gone by now
(although many remain and are captured in this great image).

First the obvious: on the left, on this side of the Harbor Freeway, we have a wing of the Statler, (unfortunately no view of the
Richfield), the Rex Arms and the Jonathan Club. Still moving to the right, we find the Architects Building on the SE corner of
5th Street and Figueroa and the Monarch Hotel catty-corner on the NW corner.

Following 5th Street back to the left edge we find the back of the Sunkist and just a bitty corner of the Central Library,
then behind the Sunkist (to the right) we find the Touraine is still in business, the little Sons of the Revolution Library,
the dark and rather nondescript Santa Barbara, the Wentworth (Rubiyat), a parking lot and then the bright Barbara Worth (the Briggs).

And now a great expanse of open ground wherein we are missing the single-family residence which used to sit in the shadow
of the Barbara Worth on the SW corner of 4th and Hope Streets and the Castle Tower Apartments which had clung to the
hillside above Flower Street behind the Barbara Worth (and the now missing single family residence) are gone as well. Then the
roadbed for the 4th Street stub which overlooked Flower Street and on the north side of 4th street the now missing Hildreth Mansion
and the carriage house studio of Margrethe Mather (who had died two years earlier on Christmas Day, 1952) on the NW corner of 4th
and Hope Streets.

We have a view of the roof of the oddly contemporary Stuart K. Oliver house which will succeed in being the absolute last private
residence to go under on this side of Bunker Hill.

The 4th Street roadbed has not yet been lowered in this image but by January of 1955 they will begin dropping the grade in this
area by thirty feet or more.

Following the 4th Street right-of-way to the east (left toward the bottom of the image) across Hope Street, we find every
street-side structure missing. Across Hope Street from the Barbara Worth (south side of 4th) we have the LaBelle,
the Bronx and the Gordon all gone and at Grand Avenue all that's left of the Zelda is a surprisingly small basement cavity
(next door is a parking lot and then the Grenada).

Across Grand Avenue we can see that the Leonard Rose Mansion is finally gone, it being little more than a pilfered shell
for a decade or more.

On the north side of 4th Street, across Hope Street from the Stuart K. Oliver house we find the Gibson, the Kiernan and
the Crestholme all asunder.

The missing Crestholme brings us to Bunker Hill Avenue (which runs north from 4th Street), that storied lane of early
prominence and at what appears to be its summit we find 'The Castle', whiter than her neighbors, and awaiting a distant and fiery
end (with the Salt Box), in ignoble circumstances, having been designated for preservation, suffering the indignity of being
uprooted from this long-time perch, to be stored briefly behind chain-link only to be torched by Christine Sterling or Norris
Poulson or the Ghost of Otis Chandler or somebody.

But that's in the future, for now, with devastation all around, we go a bit further to the north (right) on Bunker Hill Avenue
and find the enormous Alta Vista (and we're looking at her short side!) standing watch over the west portal of the
3rd Street tunnel (and I'd be remiss if I didn't make the nearly de ri-guer observation that the Alta Vista was, of course,
at one time, the residence of diminutive, Los Angeles novelist John Fante. And yes, he used it in Ask the Dust, renamed
in the novel as the Alta Loma).

USC digital archive/Los Angeles Examiner Collection, 1920-1961


Bunker Hill, going away piece by piece, 1954

Archived caption material perpetuates long-standing error concerning Hildreth house. First the caption: "Time is catching up with Bunker
Hill--it's going away piece by piece. This is the west end of Fourth Street cut, newest inroad into the Hill. Arrow points to Stuart K. Oliver
home, site of Dr. Ed(win) Hildreth's old "House of Sorrows." Photograph dated December 7, 1954." The problem with the caption is Stuart
Oliver's house was not built on the Hildreth property (357 S. Hope Street), it was built next door (at 351-53 S. Hope Street), one property
to the north of the Hildreth house. The Hildreth house would have stood just about where this steam-shovel's cab is now sitting albeit
perhaps fifteen or twenty feet straight up, as much of the Hildreth lot has been excavated. Margrethe Mather's beloved studio, in the
Hildreth carriage house, would have been about sixty or eighty feet to the left of the steam shovel. A slight variation on this pernicious
rumor is that the Oliver house was built next door on the site of the Hildreth carriage house! But, of course, we all know the Hildreth
carriage house was on 4th Street (715 W. 4th Street), due west of the house NOT on Hope Street north of the house. The Hildreth
carriage house was leased to Margrethe Mather in about 1916-17 and that lease remained in effect until her death in 1952 (property was
demolished in 1954). In those later years, Mather's health failing, it served primarily to store her belongings. She lived over in Glendale
with George Lipton.

LAPL


4th Street cut from Bunker Hill, January 16, 1955

Steam shovel is parked approximately on the corner of 4th and Hope Streets. Looking west across the Flower/Figueroa draw,
a corner of the Stuart K. Oliver house can be seen at the right edge behind the shovel. The Hildreth Mansion (or more properly in 1955,
Hopecrest) is gone, it's last resting place the pile of rubble in the shadow. Fitting. Adieu Margrethe.

Huntington Digital Library,Palmer Conner Collection of Color Slides of Los Angeles, 1950 - 1970


4th Street cut at Grand Avenue, 1955

Looking generally south on Grand Avenue across the excavation of 4th Street. North side of the Sherwood Apartments and beyond it the
Edison Building at 5th and Grand and the white Engstrum Apartments on upper 5th Street peeking over the shoulder of the Sherwood. Pile
of rubble in the right foreground is all that's left of the Grenada and the Zelda (which would be nearer the camera) has been carted away.
They're breakin' up that old gang of mine.

Huntington Digital Library, Palmer Conner Collection of Color Slides of Los Angeles, 1950 - 1970


Looking south from 4th and Grand Avenue, 1960

Looking south across the 4th Street cut at the exposed back of the Edison Building, Grand Avenue running south on the left. The 4th
Street roadbed is perhaps fifty feet below the original grade, so that we would be looking pretty much directly into the side of the Zelda
whose entrance would be twenty or thirty feet above those parked cars. The photographer has his back to the 4th Street garage which is
situated on the site of the Brunson, all those years ago.

USC digital archive/Automobile Club of Southern California collection, 1892-1963


Looking north on Grand Avenue from the south side of the 4th Street cut, 1956

Looking across the 4th Street cut from the approximate location of the Zelda. 4th Street Garage on the site of the Brunson Mansion,
Biltmore Apartments dark building directly above the Ford station wagon, the bright white Judd Apartments on the right and far up the
street, the white Lovejoy Apartments at Grand Avenue and 3rd Street.

LAPL


Extension of 4th Street through Bunker Hill, 1956

Looking west over 4th Street where half a mile extension will carry it from Hill Street under Grand Avenue (middle distance) and Hope
Street (Hildreth house is gone, only shrubs appear to remain) and over Figueroa and Flower (which cannot be seen) to the Harbor
Freeway, part of which can be seen in the background. Camera appears to be situated on the south east corner of Olive and 4th Streets
probably on the upper floors or roof of the Subway Building. Lovely curved staircase at center/bottom is from the now demolished Fremont
Hotel. The $1,256,085 project is scheduled to be finished Jan. 1st, 1956. 135,400 cubic yards of dirt are in the process of being moved
and work can be seen from the Harbor Freeway.

Last edited by MichaelRyerson; Aug 8, 2014 at 10:56 AM.
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