View Single Post
Old Posted May 9, 2018, 8:50 AM
Flyingwedge's Avatar
Flyingwedge Flyingwedge is offline
Registered User
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 1,081
Horticultural Pavilion, 1878-1882

Originally Posted by tovangar2 View Post

Looking up something else in Sarah Bixby Smith's Adobe Days, I read again her very brief description of her childhood memory of the visit of President and Mrs. Hayes to Los Angeles in 1880, the first US president to come to California. A grandstand was set up in front of the Baker Block and, after the speeches, Mrs Hayes was taken across to the "fashionable parlors" of the St Elmo Hotel by the ladies of the town for tea. That evening there was a public reception followed by a formal dinner at the Horticultural Pavilion "destroyed a few years later by fire". Smith recalled seeing Gilbert & Sullivan's comic opera, "HMS Pinafore", at the Horticultural Pavilion just a year after its 1878 debut in London.

Smith wrote that the Pavilion, "a barn-like, wooden building", forerunner of Hazard's and the Auditorium Building, was opposite from her first LA home, a house on Temple near Charity. The Pavilion was across Temple "on top of a hill that is now gone". It was built under the auspices of the Horticultural Society. Prudent Beaudry donated the land for it in 1878. E.F. Kysor was the architect.

I don't recall ever seeing a picture of the Horticultural Pavilion before, but found one taken ca 1878-1879 from our first high school on Poundcake Hill.
The Pavilion is on the southern slope of Fort Moore Hill on the right. This is an early shot of the building as it's not landscaped yet and the steps have yet to be built down to Temple. :

uscdl (url)

Sand St runs behind the Pavilion, out of shot to the right in the image above, with the Protestant Cemetery north of that. The Pavilion was built on it's own little block, with two small access streets running south off Sand Street which met in front of the building. The one on the west was "Pavilion" and the one on the east was named "Stockton".

Horticultural Pavilion, looking south. Temple is at top with Sand st running along the bottom edge, separating the Pavilion from the cemetery. Stockton is on the left (east) side of the Pavilion and Pavilion St on the right:

I believe t2 posted the only extant photo showing the short-lived Horticultural Pavilion, although different versions
of the image exist. Here is a close-up of the Pavilion from the same photo at the California State Library. The two
towers look unfinished on top. Left of center appears to be a steep stairway from Temple Street up the bluff face.
The house cut off in the lower right corner is on the NW corner of Temple and Hill:


Although it is widely held that the Pavilion burned down, it was actually torn down due to a foreclosed mortgage,
even though the land for the Pavilion was, as t2 noted, donated by Prudent Beaudry, whose offer was formally
accepted June 8, 1878. In addition, the Pavilion, constructed by the Southern California Horticultural Society,
was not completely built to plan. The SCHS also published the Southern California Horticulturalist.

This is what the Horticultural Pavilion was supposed to look like, but never did (this image was printed many times,
and this was the clearest copy I found):

Sep 14 1878 Pacific Rural Press @ CDNC

Here is a description of the above illustration from another newspaper (only the main central hall is being built,
and the directors are firmly resolved to incur no indebtedness):

Oct 19 1878 LA Herald @ CDNC

The ground floor plan; as far as I can tell, only A, B, C, D, E, and maybe I were built:

Sep 4 1878 LA Herald @ CDNC

The second floor plan; again, I don't think M or R were ever built. The upstairs galleries are described as being
18 feet wide here:

Sep 4 1878 LA Herald @ CDNC

More background and information on the Horticultural Society and the Pavilion:

Sep 4 1878 LA Herald @ CDNC

After the lot was sufficiently graded, construction of the Pavilion probably began on Monday, August 26, 1878.
Here is an advertisement for the Pavilion's grand opening exhibition:

Sep 1878 Southern California Horticulturalist @ Hathitrust

The October 15, 1878, Los Angeles Herald described the events at the Pavilion from the previous evening
and listed the exhibitors. In the spring of 1879, there was talk of finishing the Pavilion's towers:

May 4 1879 LA Herald @ CDNC

The SCHS reported in December 1880 on the results of the 1880 Horticultural Fair, noting that the Pavilion could
not be finished because of debts incurred the previous year. President Hayes was at the Pavilion during the fair on
his one-day visit to Los Angeles on October 23, 1880.

The mortgage that ultimately spelled the Pavilion's doom was taken out because . . . well, I'm not sure why, or when.
But by the spring of 1881, things were getting dicey (the guy's name was actually Stinson, not Stensen):

Apr 6 1881 LA Herald @ CDNC

There was still some optimism, however:

Apr 7, 1881 LA Herald @ CDNC

The Horticultural Fair of September 1881 was the Pavilion's last:

Sep 9 1881 LA Herald @ CDNC

After the 1881 fair, the Horticultural Society was still having money problems. I believe John H. Shields,
one of the SCHS directors, wrote this description of and plea to save the Pavilion:

Nov 15 1881 LA Herald @ CDNC

The drama continued:

Dec 7 1881 LA Herald @ CDNC

A little more detail:

Dec 9 1881 LA Herald @ CDNC

This shows the Pavilion lot going from Stinson to Hubbell, as described above (I guess):

Dec 7 1881 LA Herald @ CDNC

Eventually, time to save the Pavilion started to run out:

Feb 16 1882 LA Herald @ CDNC

This Thursday, March 2, 1882, LA Herald article is titled "The Doomed Pavilion":


I guess Mr. Hubbell had had enough:

Mar 4 1882 LA Times @ ProQuest via LAPL

May 10 1882 LA Times @ ProQuest via LAPL

So perhaps Hubbell sold some of his Pavilion land to Loomis:

Jul 28 1882 LA Times @ ProQuest via LAPL

It would be interesting to know which residences were constructed with materials from the deconstructed Pavilion:

May 25 1882 LA Times @ ProQuest via LAPL

Perhaps this was one of them, although I'm not sure where it was:

Sep 2 1882 LA Times @ ProQuest via LAPL

The 1888 Sanborn doesn't seem to show the actual site of the Horticultural Pavilion, which is just off the top of the
map below. North is at the top. Temple runs left to right, and Olive ends at Temple in the center. Hill Street is at
the right edge:

ProQuest via LAPL

The 1894 Sanborn shows what I'll call matching two-story double homes at the south end of the old Pavilion site,
between Sand (in front of the school), Stockton, Pavilion, and the narrow drive on the south. Temple runs along
the bottom:

ProQuest via LAPL

This photo is c. 1895 and looks west on Temple from about the same spot as the first photo in this post. In fact, the home
in the lower right corner of the photo below -- on the NW corner of Temple and Hill -- is also in the lower right corner of the
close-up of the Horticultural Pavilion that I posted above. Right of center and behind the buildings on Temple you can see the
brightly lit south sides of those matching two-story double homes at the south end of where the Pavilion was:

Originally Posted by ScottyB View Post


If you can't see all the images above, try clearing your browser's cache then reloading the page.

Last edited by Flyingwedge; Oct 6, 2018 at 3:22 AM. Reason: stupid photobucket and its "~original" extension
Reply With Quote