Woodbury County Court House: Sioux City, Iowa

I happened to go to the Woodbury County Court House in July of 2017. It was even more beautiful than I thought it would be.

This decal graces some of the exterior doors.

The Douglas Street entrance.

The 7th Street entrance.

I think they should rethink the color used to hold the figures together. A white or buff color would be better.

The alley side or east side of the building.

There are two buffalo on the alley side.

This is the south side of the building which faces the Sioux City city hall.

This “city hall” side still has amazing detail even though it lacks any human sculpture.

I’m unsure what the “H” stands for unless it’s a “W” then it would be Woodbury.

The cornerstone is located at the corner of 7th and Douglas streets on the Douglas street side.

This is part of the patriotic mural on the east side in the interior.

This clock is in the center of the patriotic mural and over a staircase.

This is the final part of the patriotic mural.

This is the mural on the west side of the building. It deals with justice.

The dome.

It’s a drinking fountain/fishbowl.

There is a lot more terra cotta upstairs.

You can see the staircase to the second floor behind this planter.

These benches are used throughout the building.

The place drips with all this terra cotta.

One of the courtrooms on the second floor.

The original elevator isn’t used anymore. There are modern elevators on both sides of this elevator.

We had access to most of the building and went to every floor. This is the view as you get off the elevator on the seventh floor.

The view from the window.

In the original entrance (on Douglas Street) hangs this plaque.

According to the sanctioned brochure that’s given out at the court house’s security check-point, The Woodbury County Court House is linked to the midwestern prairie style that began with Louis Sullivan in the 1890s and carried forward by Frank Lloyd Wright in the first two decades of the 20th Century. I can see how that train of thought might apply to the main structure; the first two floors — but the six-story tower seems to work against the whole prairie style aesthetic. Regardless, the architect selected for the court house project was local Sioux City architect William LeBarth Steele who submitted an ornate gothic design, which landed him the job, but after obtaining the commission he had second thoughts, tossed the gothic proposal, and enlisted the help of former co-workers William Purcell and George Elmslie who operated an architectural firm in Minneapolis.

The team’s distribution of duties were stated as follows in Western Architect: Steele who was a University of Illinois graduate in architecture, a member of the American Institute of Architects, and had worked for Louis Sullivan as a draftsman was to be the executive head and Elmslie was put in charge of design and planning. Two other men brought in for the job were Paul D. Cook as the structural engineer and B.A. Broom as the mechanical engineer.

The plan the men came up with over the spring, summer and fall of 2015 involved offices for government officials (those most visited by the public) in the four corners of the first floor, courtrooms on the second floor, and more offices for departments, department heads, clerks, and other elected officials in the six “tower” floors. A preliminary proposal of this plan was presented to the Board of Supervisors early in the year on March 23, 1915, and the Board gave their go-ahead for the work that was done over the following months by “a large force of draftsmen.” It was after the work had been completed that the attacks against the plan began at public meetings (when the proposal was discussed) and then fanned by a local press that was intent on selling papers. It was considered too controversial for many civic leaders in the community who referred to it as an “architectural experiment.” Others believed it to be too “radical” for Sioux City, Iowa. Some citizens wanted a more typical court house constructed of a tried and true muscular material, such as granite or stone, instead of Roman Brick which is different from normal brick in size and look and while the local bar association objected to the small size of the courtrooms the Sioux City trade unions endorsed the design because they understood the number of trades that would be required for its construction and the amount of work that would result from the undertaking of the enormous job.

All this began because Woodbury county had outgrown their Second Empire 1878 court house which hadn’t been built for a fast-growing community of 80,000 in mind which Woodbury county was in 1914. So, in June of that year a bond referendum was put before voters which at this early date would translate as: “voters” = men and, most likely, only white men. Fortunately, for the progress of architecture, the forward-thinking men of Woodbury county passed the referendum and provided the initial $500,000 for a new court house.

In December of 1915 the matter to proceed or not with construction was settled when the Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to accept the design. According to Western Architect the reason the opposition failed was due to the fact that they lacked a “sound and convincing argument” for their opposition. “Something else” wasn’t a good enough reason. The construction contract was awarded to the Minneapolis firm of Splady, Albee, and Smith in February of 1916 and the cornerstone was laid on July 10, 1916. E. C. Copeland, the Chairman of the Board of Supervisors, oversaw the event. The final cost of the building was $825,641.43 and it was completed on March 1, 1918.

On the exterior Douglas Street side of the building the huge central figure, with the big hands, big feet, and very long beard, symbolizes the spirit of the law. The freize of figures that extends outward from him, on both sides, is a representation of the community. Above them is the text: “Justice and Peace Have Met Together — Truth Hath Sprung Out of The Earth.” Western Architect described the huge figure of Law as “aged and slumbrous but strong armed and mighty.” Standing underneath the figure and looking up at him it’s difficult to disagree with that assessment.

Alfonso Iannelli was the sculptor of the figures on the building. He’s the same man who did the sprites at Midway Gardens for Frank Lloyd Wright in 1914. Western Architect said of the sculpture, “We are impressed by the splendid spiritual quality of his work. It is worked out with fine dignity and restraint. It is not applied sculpture. It is organic and belongs in very truth to this building and nowhere else. What higher praise can be given to architectural sculpture?”

On the other street facing side, 7th Street, are figures representing a man and a woman who have their backs to each other. The woman holds a baby and this is, according to various sources, a depiction of an idealized family unit circa 1918 though visually it reads as a father who has turned his back on his wife and child. Above them are the words: “Justice and Humanity.” The back of the building, which faces an alley, holds a surprise under its fire escape for there are sculptural bison’s heads which gaze down upon the alley and the building’s small, shallow loading dock. According to the blueprints this also serves as the entrance for prisoners. The south side of the building, which is separated from Sioux City’s city hall by a single row of parking spaces and driveway, lacks any awe inspiring monumental sculpture and as a result is a “let down” as one walks around the building in discovery but I suspect Steele and company were deliberately exhibiting restraint and designing on a less flashy scale. Still, the plain city hall side has many of the decorative elements that the street facing sides have: ornate terra cotta, stained glass, and intricate metal work.

The first two-stories of the court house are 57 feet tall. To the top of the building’s tower it’s 152 feet and the tower is graced, near its pinnacle, by another Iannelli sculpture of a large eagle that looks to the west with outstretched wings.

John Warner North who lived from 1876 to 1934 was responsible for the murals which have a sparseness about them that give them a Japanese quality. North stated that the design of the murals evolved slowly and he changed them repeatedly. It wasn’t the subject matter that changed though but rather the “arrangement of spaces and color.”

In the court house’s interior, above the Douglas Street entrance, is a mural which deals with the purpose of the building itself: the courtroom. Yet, in John Warner North’s (though he’s referred to as John W. Norton in Western Architect) depiction of justice, Justice, who stands on the right near the bottom, is not blindfolded but open-eyed and she carries a human heart in her hand. On the south wall, is a depiction of contented farm workers toiling earnestly. On the east wall is a split patriotic mural that endorses America’s commitment to World War I with the text: “Our liberties we prize, our rights we will maintain.” The final mural, on the north wall, depicts the evolution of time with an old woman representing the past, a youthful couple depicting the present, and adolescent boys looking at a rising metropolis as the future.

Norton painted the murals in his studio in Lockport, Illinois and they were hung in the court house in 1919. In 1973 the court house was placed on the National Historic Register, and in 1996 it was designated a National Landmark which is reserved for structures which have a national significance.

Below are images from Western Architect from 1921.

That’s the mural that represents the passage of time on the left.

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Clausen, S. (1997). Woodbury County Court House.

Erickson-Puttmann, P., O’Kane, J. D., Townsend, L.W. & Zimmer, J. L. (n.d.). A statement in American architecture: Woodbury County Court House, Sioux City, Iowa.

Woodbury County Court House. (1921, February). Western Architect, 30(2), 13-20, plates 1-24.


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, Claud Beelman, Elmer Grey, Hudson & Munsell, A. C. Martin, Meyer & Holler, Julia Morgan, Morgan Walls & Clements, Parkinson & Parkinson, Alfred F. Rosenheim and Paul R. Williams.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.