A vanished city lives again...

Friday, November 10, 2017

Temple Square, c.1897

A remarkable photo I found just today on the Huntington Digital Library website shows a bustling Temple Square circa 1897.

Courtesy of The Huntington Library, San Marino, CA. Link to full-res image.

Some notable landmarks: at center is the Temple Block (1871-1926), down Spring Street to the right can be seen the ornate cupola of the Phillips Block (1887-1912), in the distance is the grand four-storey Hotel Nadeau (1883-1932) at Spring and First, and even farther away, peeking out from behind a line of telephone poles is the pyramid-topped tower of City Hall (1888-1927) on Broadway. At far right on the NW corner of Main and Temple is the Downey Block (1872-1904), the first home of the Los Angeles Public Library.

The HDL page gives a date range of 1880s-1890s, but I can say with reasonable assurance that it is probably 1897 or late 1896 due to the presence of two 45-star US flags (and one 44-star) that can be seen in the detail below. (The flag officially gained its 45th star on July 4, 1896.)

What puzzles me a bit is that part of the landmark Newmark Fountain (1882) is still in place in front of the Temple Block (red oval). The fountain was reportedly "smashed to pieces" by a collision with a horse carriage in 1892, but this photo clearly shows that at least the base of Newmark's gift to the city remained in situ after Utah entered the Union.

One-hundred-and-twenty years later...