Last Remaining Seats: Orpheum Theater — Los Angeles

I went to a Last Remaining Seats that was held at the oldest surviving Orpheum Theater in the United States. It’s the one in Los Angeles.

Here it is on a postcard that I bought.

The movie being show for this event was La Muerte de un Burocrata. It’s a Cuban film from 1965.

Here’s the program for the event.

Some background information on the Orpheum.

I really liked the host Betto Arcos. He was very cool and LATINO! He had a manly style about him that made me envious. Linda Dishman, who did the welcome, is hugely responsible for saving St. Vibiana’s (along with Kathryn Welch Howe) so she’s high up on my list of people to admire. Philip Graulty was a nice performer.

Here are some pictures I took that night.

I’m amazed this stenciling wasn’t whitewashed over years ago.

If you look at the archival photos (way down below) this is where the boxes were. This theater was originally a vaudeville house.

Roundels on the ceiling.

The newel post on the north staircase. She needs to be re-bronzed.

If you look at the archival photos you’ll see that this is where the ladies parlor was. The area was being used to sell beverages at the event.

I went back a couple of days later and took these pictures.

The word Orpheum has been cemented over. Why? What was the point?

The Los Angeles Times announced that a new Orpheum building would be erected on Broadway, between 6th street and 7th, on January 2, 1910. The article contained three headlines. The first said: One of the Finest. The second headline, which was the biggest, said: To Begin New Orpheum Soon and the third said: Circuit to Build Handsome Theater on Broadway. The article mentions that work would commence immediately and the building would be finished and occupied within the year.

That didn’t happen because the grand opening of the Orpheum didn’t occur until June 26, 1911, which translates into approximately eighteen months. The article also states that the building would employ all the latest techniques in theater building.

The Orpheum management took out a fifty year lease on the property. The owners of the building were: N. Bonfilio, L. J. Christopher, John R. Hayes and Harry Chandler. The original cost was estimated to be $250,000 but that amount would increase to $350,000 by the time the building opened. In this article it states the building, “has been designed by and will be put up under the supervision of R. B. Young & Sons, architects.” That’s a mistake because G. Albert Lansburgh is the architect of record on the building. Either Lansburgh replaced Young & Sons after the article was published or Young & Sons were the supervising “day to day” architects on the job. Lansburgh was based in San Francisco so it’s possible.

The theater would have 1,956 seats and the article stressed there would be an “unusual number of safe and comfortable exits…” This Orpheum Theater was built seven years after the Iroquois Theater fire in Chicago, which claimed hundreds of lives, so being able to quickly exit a theater was an important feature to mention and herald to the public. When this theater was completed it would be the thirty-sixth theater the Orpheum organization owned. It sounds like the Orpheum organization owned the theater but leased the space from the owners of the building that surrounded the theater.

My question regarding R. B. Young & Sons was answered in a Times article from August 6, 1910. The first paragraph of that article which was titled, Orpheum Contracts said, “Contracts were signed yesterday for the interior design and decoration of the new Orpheum Theater building on South Broadway, now under construction. G. Albert Lansburgh, San Francisco architect of the structure was here, and made the arrangements, together with R. B. Young, the local supervising architect.” The firm that received the contract for interior design and decoration of the auditorium was Mitchell & Halback of Chicago. They beat out a local bid from a company called McKay & Co.

At this point two-thirds of the steel frame had been erected and riveting was to begin the following week. Once again it was noted that the Orpheum would have features not found in any other theater. Three in particular were mentioned: 1) “showers for performers” 2) “a special animal room with tub and showers” and 3) “a thermostaic heating plant” which would cool “as well as maintain the air – which will be washed and filtered at an even temperature all the time though constantly changing it.” It sounds like a thermostat connected to a furnace with a ventilation system.

In February of 1911, an article appeared in the Times with the headline, How About the Old Orpheum? Speculation regarding the fate of the Orpheum on Spring Street was being bandied about by various individuals around the city. No one was sure what would happen to the old Orpheum but a New York paper “which has some inside ways of obtaining considerable theatrical information” reported that Oliver Morosco was going to take over the building and use it for Shubert “dollar shows.” When confronted with the scenario Morosco feigned surprise and wouldn’t confirm or deny the report.

Three months later, in May of 1911, a Music and Stage column detailed the progress of the new Orpheum. The scaffolding that was being used to apply gold leaf to the decorative domes would be removed within the week. Work on the proscenium arch was almost complete. The fronts of the boxes had their stucco applied but still needed to be painted. The chairs hadn’t been brought into the theater yet but they could be set up and secured to the floor very quickly. Miles of electrical wiring had been installed along with interior phone lines. The last sentence in the article stated due to the excitement the theater was generating, “It is expected that almost every high official of every Orpheum on the circuit will be here for the ceremony on opening day.”

On June 11, 1911, it was announced that the Orpheum’s opening would occur on a Monday evening, on June 26th. The date was decided upon by resident manager Clarence Drown and Lansburgh. They made their decision so, “that every detail of the fine building shall have been completed. There will be no smell of wet paint or varnish, no unfasted seats or incomplete stage.” According to the article the seats and drapery would be installed the next day.

At the Orpheum on Spring Street an auction was held for the Associated Charities on June 14, 1911. What was being auctioned were the parquet, box and loge seats for the opening night of the new Orpheum Theater. Admission to the auction was by invitation only and began at 10 am. The proceedings had to be finished by noon so the venue could be readied for an afternoon performance.

The way the auction would work is if an individual paid $4 for a seat that would normally cost $1 the Orpheum Theater would receive the $1 fee that they normally charge for the seat and the Associated Charites would receive the other $3. A large diagram of the theater was placed on the stage so everyone would know what was being bid upon. Once a seat or box was sold it was crossed off the diagram. The seats had to be paid for at the time the bidder won. Eddie Nagel and R. M. Kemp were the auctioneers and “young society debutantes and matrons” were the ushers and they collected bids (money) from patrons sitting in the auditorium.

According to reports the following day approximately 300 attended the event. “The sale was a great success,” related the Times, “and fancy prices were eagerly paid. There were many among the elegantly dressed ladies and smiling business men who felt a pang of regret at the passing of the time honored old Orpheum.” Some of the notable prices paid were by L. J. Christopher who paid $120 for the choicest box in the theater. R. B. Young & Sons bought a box for $105. I.F. Ihmsen bought a box for $150, paid for it, and then immediately turned it back to the auctioneer so it could be resold.

At the end of the auction the Times and Examiner newspapers oversaw a luncheon at the Alexandria Hotel for the matrons and debutantes who served as ushers.

Twelve days before the theater opened the Times ran an article titled, Some Wonders at New Orpheum. The paper claimed the theater was an architect’s dream and that Lansburgh had created a building that could best be described as being in the modern renaissance style. The lower stories which were composed of marble and granite were “severely plain to set off the more lace-like upper portion.” Polychrome terra cotta was being used for the first time on a building in the west along with “mat glazed tile and (a) tapestry brick in cream.” Each arch in the front of the building was outlined in polychrome and while color was used liberally on the façade it wasn’t overpowering. The structure was a “combination of beauty, modernity and practical utility” and “is a representative twentieth century American edifice.”

The Orpheum finally opened on June 26, 1911, and regarding the opening bill I was mistaken. For some reason I thought there would be a film presentation but it was all vaudeville. No opening night speeches were given on behalf of the new house instead the show simply began at 8:40 p.m. when English comedian Hal Forde stumbled out of the wings and sang a song called “Mr. Henpeck.” Forde not only sang songs but he also did stunts and impersonations. He was followed by “The Little Stranger” sketch which starred Joseph Hart and revolved around two race track men and how one takes a little stranger into his destitute home.

Up next was Henry Clive, the “droll josher,” a magician accompanied by his assistant Mai Sturgis Walker who was “petite and exquisitely shaped.” Evidently, Clive was a favorite and well known to regular Orpheum patrons. An all-girl singing group called The Boston Fadettes followed Clive. They sang and played instruments “sometimes noisy, sometimes tuneful.”

At this point there was an intermission which clocked in at thirty minutes and allowed everyone the opportunity to poke around the building and discover where everything was. Most of the men eventually found their way to the smoking room which was club-like in size. On hand in this room was “a slave” who “dispersed cigarettes which disappeared with a rapidity which was positively alarming.”

When the Orpheum orchestra’s conductor, Frankenstein (yes, that was his name — see below), called the audience back with the Jubel overture the second half of the evening began. Up first was Isabell d’Armond, a soubrette, who was described as tiny and talented, and she performed with George Moore. Her routine consisted of dancing and “patter talk.” According to Wikipedia a soubrette is a “type of operatic soprano voice often cast as a female stock character in opera or theater.” Patter talk according to Wikipedia is “any rapid manner of talking, and of a patter-song, in which a very large number of words have to be sung at high speed to fit the music.”

She was followed by a William H. Macart & Ethlynne Bradford sketch called “A Legitimate Hold-up” that was part comedy and part drama. Ed Wynn and P. O’Mally Jennings did some sort of act surrounding the word “daffydils.” It wasn’t clear to me what they did exactly. The review said they “exploited a line of daffydils of their own manufacture or cunning.” The final act was Bowers, Walters and Crooker who did a rural comedy sketch.  The man who reviewed the opening night, Julian Johnson, stated that Bowers, Walters and Crooker “concluded the program which was followed, as usual, by the “daylight pictures.” I wasn’t sure what daylight pictures were. The publication Montography refers to “daylight pictures” occasionally in its text so, maybe, short films were shown at the end of the program?

Those in attendance that night were included in a long list at the end of the review. Most were unknown to me but some stood out including: L. J. Christopher, Harry Chandler, R. B. Young, Mr. & Mrs. Oliver Morosco, Mr. & Mrs. Walter P. Story and Mr. & Mrs. Marco Hellman.

See, his name really was Frankenstein.

While Variety said he was let go. In a Times article dated October 11, 1928, it states that Frankenstein tendered his resignation several days ago. He worked for the Orpheum orchestra for “thirty years, six months and twenty-two days.” The first violinist, Edward Sullivan, would be promoted to conductor. “A long rest” was the only activity Frankenstein had planned for the immediate future.

I like the curtains on the railings.

I like his mustache.

Note: I have a book coming out in the latter half of 2018 from The History Press titled: The Architects Who Built Southern California. It will be 12 chapters with each chapter devoted to a different architect (or architectural firm) including: Harrison Albright, John Austin, Claude Beelman, Elmer Grey, Hudson & Munsell, A. C. Martin, Meyer & Holler, Julia Morgan, Morgan Walls & Clements, Parkinson & Parkinson, Alfred F. Rosenheim and Paul R. Williams.


Cline, W. H. (1911, September). The new Orpheum theater building, Los Angeles. Architect and Engineer, 26(2), 34-50.

Daylight pictures. (1911, October). Montography, 6(4), p. 198.

Events in local society. (1911, June 15). Los Angeles Times, p. II6.

Frankenstein, after 30 years let out by L.A. Orpheum. (1928, October 10). Variety, p. 29.

How about the old Orpheum? (1911, February 2). Los Angeles Times, p. II5.

Johnson, J. (1911, June 27). New Orpheum’s bright birth in sudden blaze of tungsten glory. Los Angeles Times, p. I2.

Music and stage. (1911, May 20). Los Angeles Times, p. II5.

New Orpheum opening date. (1911, June 11). Los Angeles Times, p. II8.

Nineteen bid, who’s twenty? (1911, June 14). Los Angeles Times, p. I7.

Orpheum contracts. (1910, August 6). Los Angeles Times, p. II5.

Some wonders at new Orpheum. (1911, June 14). Los Angeles Times, p. II3.

To begin new Orpheum soon. (1910, January 2). Los Angeles Times, p. V1.

Veteran of orchestra pit to quit. (1928, October 11). Los Angeles Times, p. A10.

Parkinson & Parkinson

Father and Son.

Father and Son.

I like the Parkinsons. There are so many Parkinson buildings in Los Angeles that I can’t cover all of them so I decided to concentrate on my favorite ones. I also included a couple of buildings from Seattle where John Parkinson got his start.

[Note: if you download any of these images and use them elsewhere please acknowledge my website:

misterdangerous.wordpress.com

It took a lot of research to find all these images. Thanks!]

Before John Parkinson began building in Los Angeles he worked in Seattle. He formed a partnership with Cecil Evers for roughly two years. This is the Calkins Hotel. It was built in 1889-1890. This building has been destroyed but it is a Parkinson Evers building.

Before John Parkinson began building in Los Angeles he worked in Seattle. He formed a partnership with Cecil Evers for roughly two years. This is the Calkins Hotel. It was built in 1889-1890. This Parkinson-Evers building has been destroyed. It was located on Mercer Island.

The Frank Pontius House in Seattle. (1889). This is another Parkinson-Evers building.

The Frank Pontius House in Seattle (1889). This is another Parkinson-Evers building.

Seattle National Bank in Seattle 1890-1892. This building is attributed to Parkinson only.

Seattle National Bank in Seattle 1890-1892. This building is attributed to Parkinson only.

This is the Interurban Bank today. This photograph is from Wikipedia and the photographer is Joe Mabel.

Interurban Bank today. This photograph is from Wikipedia and the photographer is Joe Mabel.

This is from Southwest Builder and Contractor. It was a publication for people in the construction industry. John and Donald's address and phone number are down near the bottom.

From Southwest Builder and Contractor. It was a publication for people in the construction industry. John and Donald’s address and phone number are down near the bottom.

This is a brochure published by the Parkinsons in 1921 to promote their firm.

A brochure published by the Parkinsons in 1921 to promote their firm.

This is the publisher's note opposite the title page.

The publisher’s note. There is no title page in this brochure. I’ve seen two different copies of it. In both the page above is followed by 2 images of the University of Southern California’s Bovard administration building on the opposite page.

—————————————————–

Hibernian Building/Braly Building done in collaboration with his partner Edwin Bergstrom.

408 S. Spring Street

In 1904 when the building was erected it was called the Hiberian Building.

This is from the Parkinson brochure.

I found this issue of Architect and Engineer and it had a lengthy article on John P. and his partner at the time.

I found this issue of Architect and Engineer and it had a lengthy article on John P. and his partner at the time. It’s from 1910.

Here are the two partners.

Here are the two partners.

Now, look at this. Here it is called the Union Trust Building in 1910 but by 1921 it's being referred to as the Hibernian Building.

Now, look at this. Here it’s called the Union Trust Building (in 1910) but by 1921 (the date of the Parkinson brochure) it’s being referred to as the Hibernian Building.

It was built in 1904 and still stands.

In 2015 it’s called the Braly Building. I keep looking for interior photos of this building but as of yet haven’t found any.

Some cornice detail.

Some cornice detail.

The article in Architect and Engineer has approximately two pages of text in an article that’s thirty-four pages long. The writer, who is not identified, states, “The illustrations of their work in this number tell the story of their success more forcibly than words.”As a result, the other 32 pages are photographs of their work. It’s a great resource. There’s a bit of information. It says Parkinson was born in Bolton, England on December 12, 1861. He took architecture and engineering courses at Bolton, came to the U.S. in 1883, spent two years in Minneapolis, moved to Napa for approximately four years, went to Seattle for five years, and moved to Los Angeles in 1894. Then it listed all his memberships which were all pretty predictable but one stuck out: he was a member of the Jonathan Club which is a swanky club in downtown Los Angeles which still exists today.

As for Bergstrom, he received even less space text-wise. In a very short paragraph it was revealed that he was 34 years old and joined Parkinson in 1905 to form their firm. He was a graduate of Boston Institute of Technology and Yale. He was a member of the Jonathan Club too.

—————————————————

King Edward Hotel done in collaboration with Edward Bergstrom

121 E. 5th Street

King Edward Hotel from the Parkinson brochure. I read an article in the Los Angeles Times from February 18, 1906 about the King Edward. It said the hotel had 150 guest rooms, two passenger elevators and two freight elevators. It was fireproof and had a telephone in every room. The furnishings for the hotel cost not less than $50,000 and that all the materials used in the building were from the Los Angeles area. The article also stated that it would be run on the European plan. The writer said The King Edward wasn't a large hotel but it was situated near the train depots for customer convenience.

King Edward Hotel from the Parkinson brochure. I read an article in the Los Angeles Times from February 18, 1906 about the King Edward. It said the hotel had 150 guest rooms, two passenger elevators and two freight elevators. It was fireproof and had a telephone in every room. The furnishings for the hotel cost not less than $50,000 and that all the materials used in the building were from the Los Angeles area. The article also stated that it would be run on the European plan. The writer said The King Edward wasn’t a large hotel but it was situated near the train depots for customer convenience.

The King Edward on a post card. It opened February 10, 1906.

The King Edward on a post card. That cool little bus went to the train station to pick up potential lodgers.

The King Edward Hotel at 5th and Los Angeles Street.

This is what The King Edward Hotel looks like in 2015.

A close up of the entrance.

A close up of the entrance.

Somehow that staircase looks wrong. Maybe the ceiling was higher at one point.

King Edward lobby. Somehow that staircase looks wrong. Maybe the ceiling was higher at one point? I’ve seen a postcard when the building was new and that staircase wasn’t there.

King Edward interior. Part of the check in desk.

King Edward interior. Part of the registration desk.

Here's a view of the King Edward interior.

Here’s a view of the King Edward interior.

This is the back of the interior's postcard.

This is the back of the above postcard.

This image shows the west side of the building. It looks like this postcard is from the time when the building was new.

An image that shows the west side of the building. The building looks new in this postcard.

That is so cool. I didn't venture in because I wasn't sure if it was open or not and I was alone.

That is so cool. I didn’t venture in because I wasn’t sure if it was open and I was alone. I figured I would get drugged and sold into white slavery if I went inside. Since I had to go to work the next day I took a picture instead. (This building is on the edge of skid row.)

I want that sign.

I want this sign.

I bought this card online. It's 3 inches by 5 inches. It is very cool.

I bought this card online. It’s 3 inches by 5 inches.

This is the back of the card. As the LA Times article stated it was near the big train stations. I like this card so much and it's just a piece of paper.

This is the back of the card. As the LA Times article stated it was near the big train stations. I like this card so much and it’s just an oversize business card.

——————————————————-

The Los Angeles Stock Exchange done in collaboration with Samuel E. Lunden.

618 S. Spring St.

The Los Angeles Stock Exchange.

The Los Angeles Stock Exchange. An LA Times obit on Lunden said construction began on the building the week after the 1929 stock market crash. Despite that, no corners were cut and the building cost $1.5 million to construct. The bronze, front doors were the biggest west of the Mississippi.

Light fixture from the Stock Exchange.

Light fixture from the stock exchange.

Mantel in the stock exchange.

Mantel in the board room.

The original doors to the stock exchange.

The outer doors of the stock exchange.

The inner doors of the stock exchange.

The inner doors.

The lobby of the stock exchange.

The lobby.

A Hercules window.

A Hercules window. He doesn’t look like Steve Reeves, Kevin Sorbo or Dwayne Johnson but I still like him.

The window opposite.

The window opposite. These two windows are in the “member’s room.”

The trading floor.

The trading floor.

Another view from Southwest Builder and Contractor.

A closer view from Southwest Builder and Contractor.

There are ads like this in all these architectural journals for practically every major building constructed.

There are ads like this in all these architectural journals for practically every major building constructed.

The building today.

The building today.

This is above the door.

This is above the door.

I have no idea if these are the original doors. If they are they need a better locking system.

These original doors need a better lock.

Was there something else attached at one time?

Was there something else attached at one time? Bronze rosettes?

——————————————————-

Bovard Administration Building, Science Building, Student Union Building and Physical Education Building at the University of Southern California. Parkinson & Parkinson.

University Park

Bovard at the University of Southern California.

Bovard Administration Building at the University of Southern California from the Parkinson brochure.

It's well maintained.

IMG_1126

IMG_1129

It's Columbus.

That’s John Wesley a Methodist church founder. USC was founded by the Methodists.

It's Lincoln.

It’s Matthew Simpson who was a Methodist preacher. (Note: on the north side of the tower are Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt and on the west side it’s Cicero and Plato.)

This was the backcover for California Southland dated June 1921.

This was the backcover for California Southland dated June 1921.

All these buildings have been in constant use by faculty, students and staff for approximately 90 years. USC has renovated all of these buildings and they have new plumbing, new electrical systems, new bathrooms and new walls. They even have Wifi. They’re practically completely new inside. The exteriors, though, remain intact and unchanged.

The Parkinson's are down near the bottom.

The Parkinson’s are down near the bottom.

USC's Science Hall.

USC’s Science Hall.

I've always liked the ornament above the door and those gates.

I’ve always liked the ornament around the arch and the strip of ornament above the door. It’s very Louis Sullivan-ish.

There are two of these gates back from the arch. This is looking out. Uh, those gates are pretty nice too.

There are two of these gates beyond the arch. This is looking out.

This was not done by the Parkinsons. It was done by Jean Goodwin in 1937 as her thesis project. I just think it's beautiful and I'm not even sure what the four of them are looking at. This artwork is big. It's probably, at least, six feet high and embedded into a wall. It's through the archway and past the metal gates.

This was not done by the Parkinsons. It was done by Jean Goodwin in 1937 as her thesis project. I just think it’s beautiful and I’m not even sure what the four of them are looking at. This artwork is big. It’s probably, at least, six feet high and embedded into a wall. It’s through the archway and past the metal gates.

I like this ornament too. It's above one of the side doors.

I like this ornament too. It’s above one of the side doors.

Here's a plaque commemorating the building. This says 1927/28.

Here’s a plaque commemorating the Student Union Building. It says it was erected in 1927/28.

It's the Student Union building at USC.

The Student Union Building at USC.

Above the student union front door is this frieze.

Above the Student Union front door is this frieze.

It was erected in 1926-27.

This cornerstone says 1926-27 which contradicts the plaque above.

I've always liked this chimmeny detail.

Chimney detail.

Up near the top of the building is this likeness of Rufus B. VonKlindschmidt who was president of USC from 1918-1954 AND monkey thumbing his nose.

Up near the top of the Student Union Building is this likeness of Rufus B. von Kleinsmid who was president of USC from 1921-1947. Down a few corbels is a monkey thumbing his nose.

I found this image of the student union building in a copy of Pacific Coast Architect.

I found this image of the student union building in a copy of Pacific Coast Architect.

Another plaque commemorating this Parkinson and Parkinson building.

Another plaque this time commemorating the erection of the P.E. Building.

The Physical Education Building.

The Physical Education Building on the university park campus.

I've always liked this head on the physical education building.

That big head looks like something out of a gladiator movie.

The north side of the P.E. Building.

The north side of the P.E. Building.

Above the side door are these animals.

Above the side door are these animals.

The rams are kind of goofy looking so I like them.

The rams are kind of goofy looking so I like them.

This is the lobby of the P.E. Building. I've seen plans for this buildings renovation. The building isn't going to be used for phys ed. anymore. The interior is going to be completely redone. A new physical education building was built about ten years ago.

This is the lobby of the P.E. Building. I’ve seen plans for this buildings’ renovation. The building isn’t going to be used for phys ed. anymore. The interior is going to be completely redone. A new physical education building was built a few years back so this building’s original use is no longer warranted.

This light fixture hangs right inside the P.E. Building's front door.

This light fixture hangs right inside the P.E. Building’s front door.

The PE Building surrounds an inner courtyard. This is the view looking west.

The PE Building surrounds an inner courtyard. This is the view looking west.

This is the view looking east in the courtyard.

This is the view looking east in the courtyard.

Inside the east wing of the building is a very large swimming pool.

Inside the east wing of the building is a very large swimming pool.

There is an appropriate amount of school spirit in the pool area.

There is an appropriate amount of school spirit in the pool area. I’ve never swam in the pool but I’ve used the locker room on numerous occasions to shower and change.

——————————————————–

Hotel Alexandria done in collaboration with Edwin Bergstrom.

501 S. Spring Street

From the Parkinson brochure.

Hotel Alexandria from the Parkinson brochure. It opened in 1906. It cost over 2 million dollars to construct. The furnishings were from Baker Bros. and cost upwards of $300,000.00

Here's the Alexandria Hotel on a post card.

Here’s the Hotel Alexandria on a post card.

The Alexandria Hotel is where all the silent film stars went in the teens before everyone moved to Hollywood and Beverly Hills.

The Hotel Alexandria is where all the silent film stars went in the teens before everyone moved to Hollywood and Beverly Hills.

A griffith behind the sign.

A Griffith behind the sign on the Spring Street side.

Another Griffith on the other side.

Another Griffith on the other side.

Detail from the top of the Alexandria.

Detail from the top of the Alexandria.

The lobby from a postcard.

The lobby from a postcard.

The mezzanine from a post card.

The mezzanine from a postcard.

A resting room? I wonder if it was just for women? It seems so Victorian.

A resting room? I wonder if it was just for women? It seems so Victorian.

One of the dinning rooms.

One of the dinning rooms.

Another dinning room in the Hotel Alexandria.

The Franco-Italian dinning room.

Another dining room

Another dining room. It could be the same room as the previous card but with different chairs. The ceiling is different though. Oh, and the balcony doesn’t appear to be in the first card. Plus, in the first card the wall and ceiling “curve” together. They don’t in the second one. These two cards are like one of those cartoons where you spot the five differences.

This grill. Those tables don't look big enough for a meal so I suspect they only sold snacks or light fare. The candlestick telephone on the far booth makes me think people were self consumed with communication even back then.

The grill. Those tables don’t look big enough for a meal so I suspect they only served snacks or light fare. The candlestick telephone, on the far booth, makes me think people were consumed with communication even back then.

With the exception of that 2nd Empire bookcase on the left wall everything in the room appears to be mission style.

With the exception of that 2nd Empire (?) bookcase on the left wall and the lamps everything in the room appears to be mission style. A room after my heart.

I don't want to sound bitchy but couldn't they decide on one style. It's all over the place. I was thinking maybe it's just "contemporary" furniture? As for that bed: it looks like a full size. That's big enough for one large man but where would the bride sleep?

I don’t want to sound bitchy but couldn’t they decide on one style? It’s all over the place visually. I was thinking maybe it’s just “contemporary” furniture for the time? As for that bed — it looks like a full size. That’s big enough for a large man but where would the bride sleep?

The postmark on the back of this postcard is May 27, 1925. I love this postcard because the individuals look so Edwardian but considering the date on the postcard shouldn't they be flapper types?

The postmark on the back of this postcard is May 27, 1925. I like this postcard because the individuals look so Edwardian but considering the date on the postcard shouldn’t they be flapper types?

I had always thought from afar that whatever had been done to the Alexandria's interior could be undone. This postcard tells me I was wrong.

Hotel Alexandria lobby. I had always thought, from afar, that whatever had been done to the Alexandria’s interior could be undone. This postcard tells me I was wrong.

I bought this online. Along with the brochure came a letter to travel agents dated July 1955.

I bought this online. Along with the brochure came a letter to travel agents dated July 1955.

Here's the inside of that brochure.

Here’s the inside of that brochure.

Here's a great envelope with the Alexandria on it.

Here’s an envelope with the Alexandria on it.

$_57 (1)

I’m only including the back because of the graphic and so everyone can see that the glamorous Alexandria was owned by the same people who owned the Hotel TallCorn.

Here's an envelope from 1906 the year that the Alexandria opened.

Here’s an envelope from 1906 the year the Alexandria opened.

I found this tiny brochure online.

I found this tiny brochure online.

Here's the other side.

Here’s the other side.

It's a baggage label.

It’s a baggage label.

The Hotel Alexandria rents out their ballrooms for events and film shoots. This decal was on one of the doors up to the ballroom.

The Hotel Alexandria rents out their ballroom for events and film shoots. This decal was on one of the exterior doors that leads to the ballroom.

He was the manager of the Alexandria.

He was the manager of the Alexandria.

—————————————————-

Rosslyn Hotel and Annex. Parkinson & Parkinson.

112 W. 5th Street

The Rossalyn Hotel from the Parkinson brochure.

The Rosslyn Hotel from the Parkinson brochure.

This is the original one.

This is the original building.

I read an article in the Los Angeles Times concerning the Rosslyn. It was from October 8, 1922 and titled: Giant Hotel Planned: Owners of Rosslyn Lease Site on Opposite Corner for New $1,000,000 Hostelry. The article stated that a 99 year lease was signed between the Edwards’ estate (the owners of the land) and Dwight H. and George H. Hart (the owners of the Rosslyn). The lease deal was for $4, 148,200. The article went on to say that the Edwards’ family bought the land at Fifth and Main Streets in 1868 for $500. The Times said there would be no dining room in the new hotel because the dining room in the current hotel across the street was sufficient. It also stated that the exterior would be an exact duplicate of the present Rosslyn. At first I was unsure what this sentence meant, “Each room will be served with ice water through a modern ice water circulation system.” Then I realized it was air-conditioning or the precursor to air-conditioning. Another thing of note in the article was: there was a small, three story hotel already occupying the site and all tenants had been given notice to vacate the property by January 1, 1923. The new Rosslyn Hotel was scheduled to open in October of 1923. I don’t know if they built it in 10 months, or not, but that was the plan.

Rossalyn today.

The Rosslyn in 2015. The one on the right was built first. The other one is identical and the two are connected by a tunnel under the street.

Letterhead from the Rosslyn.

Letterhead from the Rosslyn.

A Rosslyn Hotel envelope.

A Rosslyn Hotel envelope.

One of the lobbies. It looks like it's from the 1930s.

One of the lobbies. It looks like it’s from the 1930s.

I like how these brothers incorporated their name into their advertising.

I like how these brothers incorporated their name into their advertising.

This lobby looks like it's from the 20s.

This lobby looks like it’s from the 20s.

That's not carpeting. That's a tile floor.

That’s not carpeting. That’s a tile floor. It doesn’t make the room look very elegant but it’s probably more hygienic.

It's a postcard. That's a pretty decent price since it cost 2 cents to send a postcard.

It’s a postcard. That’s a pretty decent price since it cost 2 cents to send a letter.

The one on the south side appears to retain it's original .....

The one on the south side appears to retain it’s original glass marquee. It is now a SRO Hotel that has been beautifully restored. The lobby had a large skylight and most of the original architectural details. (There was a lot of gilding!) They wouldn’t let me take photographs but they let me look around.

The one on the north side, the older one, has been converted to lofts and has a replaced .....

The one on the north side, the older one, has been converted to lofts and has a replaced marquee.

A baggage label that incorporates the Hart Bros. last name without ever stating it.

A baggage label that incorporates the Hart Bros. last name without ever stating it.

A marble subway and a drive-in lobby.

A marble subway and a drive-in lobby.

I found this tiny brochure online. It appears to be from the 1920s.

I found this tiny brochure online. It appears to be from the 1920s.

This page from the brochure describes the underground link.

This page from the brochure describes the underground link.

I found this blue heart online and bought it. I like the blue one even more than the red one.

I found this blue heart online and bought it. I like the blue one even more than the red one.

I found this old brochure online. It looks like it’s from the 1920s.

The Inside.

I like this old painted sign.

The old painted sign is great.

————————————————–

Banks-Huntley Building. Parkinson & Parkinson.

634 S. Spring Street

This building is on Spring Street south of the Stock Exhange.

This building is south of the stock exchange.

According to a Los Angeles Times article from July 24, 1996 titled: Group Restores Historic Building. Maldef (The Mexican-American Legal Defense Fund) moved into the building in 1984 and then agreed to purchase the building in 1991 for $8.5 million dollars. Maldef still occupies two floors of the building and leases out the other floors.

I couldn't get it all in one shot. Here's the top.

Here’s the top of the building.

This is street level.

This is street level.

This is from across the street in a parking lot. I've lived in Los Angeles for more than 20 years and this is the first time I remember it raining in July. I took this picture in the rain.

Photo taken from a parking lot across the street. I’ve lived in Los Angeles for more than 20 years and this is the first time I remember it raining in July. I took this picture while standing in the rain. I was hoping I wouldn’t get any rain drops on the lens because I was tilted up.

One of the security gates.

One of the security gates.

A light fixture inside the lobby.

A light fixture inside the lobby.

The building's elevator doors. Nice. Not amazing but nice.

The building’s elevator doors. Very understated.

This is to the right of the entrance.

This is to the right of the entrance.

This is to the left of the entrance. I like that metal detail.

This is to the left of the entrance. I like that metal detail.

I love this image from Architectural Record. It looks so 1930s. This looks like a movie set.

From Architectural Record. It looks so 1930s; like a movie set. I expect Irene Dunne or Katherine Hepburn or Carol Lombard to pull up in a car and step out.

They must have taken this photo from the building across the street.

They must have taken this photo from a building down the street and from one of the upper floors.

An Architectural Record photo of the elevator from 1932.

An Architectural Record photo of the elevator from 1932.

————————————————–

Los Angeles City Hall done in collaboration with Albert C. Martin and John C. Austin.

200 N. Spring Street

From American Architect before the building was built.

A rendering from American Architect around the time of construction.

This image is from Western Architect (vol. 37, 1928).

This image is from Western Architect. Look how small Spring Street is in the photo.

I went on a tour of City Hall. I took this shot in the morning before the tour. The photo has a hazzy look to it that I kind of like.

I went on a tour of City Hall. I took this shot in the morning before the tour. The photo has a hazy morning look to it.

I was standing in the courtyard of the building looking west.

I was standing in the building’s courtyard —  looking west.

A more expansive view from the same location.

A more expansive view from the same location. The shadow on the left side of the photo is from the building itself.

The front door. I think it should be bigger and monumental considering the scale of the building.

The front door. I think it should be bigger considering the size of the building. The doors should be as big as the Wizard’s door in the The Wizard of Oz. Just sayin’.

Western Architect has a nice shot of the front door.

Western Architect has a nice shot of the front door.

The cornerstone.

The cornerstone.

Looking toward the front door.

Looking toward the front door.

This is inside the front door.

This is inside the front door.

Identical hallways go to the north and south of the building.

Identical hallways go to the north and south of the building.

Above the center rotunda is this light fixture.

Above the center rotunda is this light fixture.

A close up on the light fixture.

A close up on the light fixture.

This is on the floor of the rotunda.

This is on the floor of the rotunda.

This ceiling fresco is on the north side of the building (down that long hallway) above the staircase.

On the north side of the building is this artwork above the staircase. (Down one of those long hallways.)

This is above the south staircase. Shouldn't it be naked women? Wouldn't that make logical sense?

This is above the south staircase. Shouldn’t it be naked women? Wouldn’t that make logical sense? Maybe, my mind is too symetrical?

This is above the bank of elevators on the main (3rd) floor. It's Mercury but I don't know who the woman is.

It’s Mercury but I don’t know who the woman is. She’s riding Pegasus. This is above the bank of elevators on the main (3rd) floor.

The door to the city clerk's office. The bear is a nice touch.

The door to the city clerk’s office. The bear is a nice touch.

This amazing ceiling is outside the clerk's office door.

This amazing ceiling is outside the clerk’s office door.

This City Council Chamber was locked but this room was open.

The City Council Chamber was locked but this room was open.

Here's part of the room.

Here’s part of the room.

Here's the ceiling of the room.

The ceiling.

This is behind the benches in the first photo.

This is behind the benches in the first photo.

The City Council Chamber?

The City Council Chamber?

Part of the mayor's office.

Part of the mayor’s office.

On one of the top floors there is an exhibit of mayoral portraits. It contains portraits of all the mayors of Los Angeles. This is Cryer. He was mayor when city hall was built. He looks great.

On one of the upper floors there’s an exhibit of mayoral portraits. It contains portraits of all the mayors of Los Angeles since 1851. This is George E. Cryer. He was mayor when the present city hall was built. He’s right out of The Great Gatsby.

Here's his bio.

His bio.

The only other mayoral photo I took was of this guy because I liked the way he looked and I liked his name. His name was Henry T. Hazzard and he was mayor from 1851-1853.

The only other mayoral photo I took was of this guy because I liked the way he looked. His name was Henry T. Hazard and he was mayor from 1889-1892. I’d vote for him.

There was a surprise for me on the tour. The tour guide who reminded me of George Jefferson's mother on The Jeffersons said,

There was a surprise for me on the tour. The lady tour guide, who reminded me of George Jefferson’s mother on The Jeffersons, said, “Now, let’s go up to the Observation Deck.” My response was, “What?” I didn’t know there was an observation deck. This is the view of the entrance to the Observation Deck when the elevator doors opened.

From the observation deck looking toward Bunker Hill.

From the observation deck looking toward Bunker Hill.

From the observation deck looking south.

Looking south.

From the observation desk looking west. That's the Department of Water building straight ahead. You can seen Frank Gehry's Disney Hall at 11 o'clock.

Looking west. That’s the Department of Water building straight ahead and you can see Frank Gehry’s Disney Hall at 11 o’clock.

Looking north east. That's Union Station.

Looking northeast. That’s Union Station.

Observation deck. One of the columns.

One of the columns.

Observation deck. This shot was taken with my back against the wall and shooting straight up/

This shot was taken with my back against the wall and shooting straight up.

A plaque from the observation deck.

A plaque on the observation deck.

This is the back of the building.

The back of the building.

City Hall on a stereoptical card.

City Hall on a stereo-optic  card.

Union Station: Parkinson and Parkinson

700-888 N. Alameda Street.

Union Station.

Union Station.

It's very modern.

It’s very modern looking but opened in 1939.

The information booth near the entrance.

The information booth near the entrance.

This is above the entrance.

This is above the entrance.

South of the information booth is this walkway to the old Fred Harvey restaurant.

South of the information booth is this walkway to the old Fred Harvey restaurant. I’m a fan of the Judy Garland movie The Harvey Girls and I have the song The Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe on my iPod. It’s a G-R-E-A-T song.

The old ticketing area (north of the information booth) which isn't used anymore.

The old ticketing area (north of the information booth) which isn’t used anymore.

The waiting area. Looking west toward the front door.

The waiting area. Looking west toward the front door.

It's art deco seating.

It’s art deco seating.

This clock is above a doorway that leads to an outside patio.

This clock is above a doorway that leads to an outside patio.

This is how you get to the trains.

The way to the trains.

OBITUARIES

John Parkinson's obit from Architect and Engineer.

John Parkinson’s obit from Architect and Engineer, January 1936.

The Currier Building is one of the first buildings John Parkinson designed in Los Angeles.

The Currier Building, mentioned in the above obit, is one of the first buildings John Parkinson designed in Los Angeles.

Donald's obit from Architect and Engineer, January 1946. He deserved better.

Donald’s obit from Architect and Engineer, January 1946. It’s rather brief.

My book The Odd Fellows was released on December 16, 2013.

Public art in Los Angeles. This mural is on Sunset Boulevard about a block away from Dodger Stadium. My book The Odd Fellows was released on December 16, 2013.

Okay, after I poster this post, a month later I was going through some journals and stumbled upon this. I had to attach the article and pictures. More pages follow.

Okay, after I posted this post, about four months later I was going through some journals and stumbled upon this article. I had to attach some of the article and some of the photos. They follow.

Bullocks cover

bullocks title page

bullocks whos who

Bullocks Page 2

Bullocks Page 3

bullocks page 5

An interior view of the store from a marble advertisement.

An interior view of the store from a marble advertisement.

Below are some photographs I took of the building on January 1, 2016.

100_5822

100_5800

100_5792

There were three hanging light fixtures at the front of the store over window and door openings but none of them were the same. I found that interesting. The other two follow.

There were three hanging light fixtures at the front of the store (over window and door openings) but none of them were the same. I found that interesting. The other two follow.

100_5815

100_5819

This bronze decoration was above one of the doors. Bullocks Wilshire did have a department where patrons could buy riding clothes.

This bronze decoration was above one of the doors. Bullocks Wilshire did have a department where patrons could buy “riding clothes.”

This bronze panel was adhered to one of the storefront windows.

This bronze panel was adhered to one of the storefront windows.

I went into this store when I first moved to California. It was still a department store and it was very nice.

I went into this store when I first moved to California back in 1988. It was still a department store and it was very nice.

In August of 2016 I went to Bullock’s Wilshire for a book signing. It was for Stephen Gee’s book on the Los Angeles Public Library. While there I took some more photographs of Bullock’s Wilshire. They follow.

We entered through the back.

We entered through the back.

The porte cochere.

The porte cochere.

Overall view of the mural followed by sections of the mural.

Overall view of the mural on the ceiling of the porte cochere.

DSCN0260

DSCN0258

DSCN0259

Porte ochere entrance detail.

Porte cochere entrance detail.

The book signing and lecture were held on the 5th floor.

I took this elevator to get up to the 5th floor.

I took this elevator to get there.

This clock was in the elevator waiting spot on the 5th floor.

This clock was in the area where one waits for the elevators.

There were large windows that looked out onto the surrounding neighborhoods. Two views from those windows.

DSCN0269

DSCN0270

This grill was in the ante-room to the lecture spot.

This grill was in the ante-room to the lecture hall.

The ceiling of that ante-room.

The ceiling of that ante-room.

Adjacent to the ante-room and the lecture hall was this 1940s cafeteria.

Adjacent to the ante-room and the lecture hall was this 1940s style cafeteria.

DSCN0266

A sconce in the cafeteria.

A sconce in the cafeteria.

A place for trays and trash.

A place for trays and trash.

On the second floor were two showrooms where woman could sit and watch models walk around the room and model clothes. This was the first room.

On the second floor were two showrooms where woman could sit and watch models walk around the room and model clothes. This was the first room.

Another view of the room.

dscn0300

The other room used for this purpose.

The other room used for this purpose.

The entrance on the main floor from the porte corche.

The entrance on the main floor from the porte cochere.

The clock above the door.

The clock above the door.

Looking toward the Wilshire Boulevard entrance.

Looking toward the Wilshire Boulevard entrance.

Oh, and then I found this. The article seems more like an advertisement for the tradesmen mentioned. It's for the Gas Company Building.

Oh, then there is this. The article seems more like an advertisement for the tradesmen mentioned. It’s for the Gas Company Building.

gas company page one

gas company page two

gas company page three

In the top photograph the text states that a dictograph is the most “wonderful of wonderful” inventions.

In December of 2015 I discovered this article on the Title Insurance Building in Pacific Coast Architect.

img381

img382

img374

img375

img376

img377

img378

img379 (1)

img380

The Los Angeles Athletic Club.

I found this image and the image below in an article about terra cotta.

This image and the image below were in an article about terra cotta.

Unfortunately, this stone entrance has been removed. I wonder what happened to it?

Unfortunately, this terra cotta entrance has been removed. I wonder what happened to it?

The building still stands on 7th street in Los Angeles.

The building still stands on 7th street in Los Angeles.

100_5775

100_5780

100_5778

Here's the building on a postcard.

Here’s the building on a postcard.

An interior photograph of the Beef Steak room.

An interior photograph of the Los Angeles Athletic Club’s Beef Steakroom.

The back of the postcard.

The back of the postcard.

I found this image in a book called, Our First Century: The Los Angeles Athletic Club 1880-1980. It's filled with photographs. According to the book the statue had been damaged and was removed around 1964-1965.

I found this image in a book called, Our First Century: The Los Angeles Athletic Club 1880-1980 by Betty Lou Young and Thomas Young. It’s filled with photographs. According to the book this figural group was removed around 1964 for two basic reasons: 1) it had sustained some damage and was “crumbling” and 2) the board wanted to upgrade the entrance and make it more appealing to potential members. The model for the central figure was Dick Retzer who was the winner of a “perfect man” contest.

Retzer was part of a gymnastic troupe. He's pictured on the bottom.

Retzer was part of a gymnastic troupe. He’s pictured on the bottom. The name of the member’s publication that the Los Angeles Athletic Club produced was called The Mercury.

I found a John Parkinson Building in an advertisement for Terra Cotta.

A John Parkinson Building in an advertisement for Terra Cotta.

I'm not sure if this building is still there or not but I like the advertisement.

I’m not sure if this building is still there or not but I like the advertisement.

I was looking for information on Morgan, Walls & Clements and came across this.

Next time I'm in Pasadena I'll look around for this store.

Next time I’m in Pasadena I’ll look around for this store.

JOHN PARKINSON STORE BUILDING TWO

I found this image in a Western Architect from 1911.

I found this image in a Western Architect from 1911.

Here's the place on a postcard.

Here’s the place on a postcard.

This oversize postcard shows what the interior of the bank looked like.

This oversize postcard shows what the interior of the bank looked like.

———————————————————————————————————————-

Banks-Huntley office building, Los Angeles. (1932, February). Architectural Record. 71(2), 114-116.

Bullock’s Wilshire store, Los Angeles. (1929, December). Architect and Engineer. 99(3), 44-52.

California Southland. (1921, June). (19), 24.

Directory of practicing architects. (1930, December 5). Southwest Builder and Contractor. 76(22), 11.

Field, W.S. (1994). Parkinson centennial, 1894-1994: 100 years of the Parkinson architectural firm in Los Angeles. Los Angeles: Los Angeles Conservancy.

Gee, S. (2013). Iconic vision: John Parkinson, architect of Los Angeles. Santa Monica: Angel City Press.

Giant hotel planned: owner of Rosslyn lease lot on opposite corner for new $1,000,000 hostelry. (1922, October 8). Los Angeles Times.

Group restores historic building. (1996, July 24). Los Angeles Times.

Jones, F.W. (1931, March). The Los Angeles stock exchange. Architect and Engineer of California, Pacific Coast States. 104(3), 24-45.

Karl, J. (1994). Shaping Seattle architecture: a historical guide to the architects. Seattle: University of Washington Press.

Los Angeles city hall, Los Angeles, California. (1928, July). Western Architect. 37(7), plates 109-121.

Noted Los Angeles architect dies. (1946, January). Architect and Engineer. 164(1), 30.

Obituary. (1936, January). The Architect and Engineer. 124(1), 57.

Oliver, M. (1995, June 16). Samuel E. Lunden: veteran LA architect. Los Angeles Times.

Parkinson, D. (1928, December). Title insurance building, Los Angeles. Pacific Coast Architect, 33(12), 27-33.

Parkinson, J. & Parkinson, D. B. (1921). John Parkinson and Donald B. Parkinson: architects, Los Angeles. Columbus: Denny A. Clark.

Store building, Pasadena, California. (1920, February). The Western Architect, 29(2), plates 1-2.

Student union building, university of southern California, Los Angeles, John Parkinson and Donald B. Parkinson, architects. (1928, October). Pacific Coast Architect, 33(10), 41-42.

Terra cotta buildings clean like new. (1930, January). Architect and Engineer. 100(1), 14.

The king Edward hotel: a new hotel, magnificently planned on the corner of Los Angeles and fifth streets. (1906, February 18). Los Angeles Times. p. 24

The work of John Parkinson and Edwin Bergstrom. (1910, September). The Architect and Engineer of California, Pacific Coast States. 22(2), 35-69.

Young, B.L. & Young, T. (1980). Our first century: the Los Angeles athletic club 1880-1980. Los Angeles: LAAC Press.