Mystery Building

Last year Edith did a fun series of posts where you were asked to guess where a photo was taken. I’m going to revive the idea and have you guess where the location of one of my favorite buildings – almost on the Eastside – might be. (You just got a big hint!)

In case you can’t figure it out, this photo is another clue. I love how the old road is peeking through this nearby street.

There’s no prize except the satisfaction of being so intimate with the city you can identify buildings randomly. Oh, and maybe one day an LA Eastside t-shirt.

Good luck!

9 thoughts on “Mystery Building

  1. Great photos Chimatli, I remember that building almost my whole life. It is different now with the garden and vegetation, the new color of the brick and the additional wooden parapet wall coping. That whole area (and the whole surrounding area for that matter!), used to be a very heavy industrial section with the railroad yards and all the factories,where people used to once make a good living.
    Curious but as a young apprentice roofer I helped re roof that building many years ago. It was a motor oil warehouse and commericial sales outlet for different oil products. I can’t recall the name of the place now but Chevron comes to mind. The mostly dirt and gravel area surrounding the building was completely saturated with oil and petroleum spill and it’s a wonder that anything will grow in that old polluted soil.
    I recall that when we roofed that building we had to be extremely cautious with our hot tar kettle and any flame. We were not allowed to smoke on the roof (and in those days all the roofers smoked!). I remember thinking that this building that had been a part of my environment all my life was now conquered by me as I stood on top of it’s roof!
    By the way I’m pretty sure this building is in at least a few movies. In the classic noir film “D.O.A. with Edmund O’Brien it is shown along with the old narrow wooden pedestrian bridge that would allow you to walk all the way accross the railroad yards, above the trains, from N. Broadway at the Portola entrance of Elysian Park to N. Spring and into Dogtown.
    This area of the LA River, the huge railroad yards, and all the industrial buildings used to be the playground for many of us kids. We would crawl through the hole in the fence at Downey Playground and walk down accross the railroad tracks ,always being on the lookout for any bullshit from the hobo’s and wino’s who were living and hanging out under the N. Broadway and Spring St bridges, and also in the caves (yes someone mentioned those caves in another of your posts Chimatli!), on the other side of the N. Broadway bridge below the entrance to Elysian Park, we would then spend hours in the river fooling around, climbing under the bridges high above the concrete river bottom, catching young squab pidgeons for our coops, catching toads, throwing wet moss bombs at each other, investigating and boosting shit from the boxcars and cabooses if they were left open, all the while keeping an eye out for the railroad cops who were meaner and more brutal than the LAPD, well maybe not that bad! The railroad yards and all that industrial activity was always a part of the community background environment. Anybody who lived in Lincoln Hts or around the river and rail yards will remember the train horns blowing in the night, the smells of diesel smoke, and most of all the continuous loud explosive sounds that those trains made when backing up and hooking up a line of boxcars, a loud Booom!`Sometimes when bored we would count the boxcars on those trains for fun, I remember once counting over one hundred open boxcars, all carrying sugar beets.
    And I like seeing the old brick street pavers in your photo Chimatli, before the urban renewal project called the #5 Golden State Freeway destroyed half of Lincoln Hts there were a number of streets that were still using those old brick pavers as a surface.
    You know I remember as a kid working as a bicycle messenger downtown in the early sixties, that the streets around the office on 4th and Winston St were all still old bricks and the iron rings that were once used to tie up peoples horses were still anchored into the concrete curbs in many places of skid row.
    I wonder if any still exist? Maybe someone could check it out, a search for the old iron horse rings on Winston St.

  2. Hey DQ — on living in LH and the smells…..How about the smells of the Pabst Brewery…those Hops….those barley smells……continuously 24/7. Man oh Man I can smell it now in my head after a 1/2 Century gone by ……. I lived on Workman right above Main St. in the ’50’s. Then got kicked out of the local Catholic school and went on to “Bella Vista” elementary school East of Atlantic Blvd. Bella Vista may have had the “views”, but it didn’t have the “smells” of the ‘ol Pabst Brewery!! From the Hills of Virginia — Eating up some good Eastside Memories.

  3. Right on Danny! I went to Sacred Heart Elementary School myself in the 50’s. And also got kicked out before going to Albion St. school. You must remember the Principal at SH, “Sister Annunciada” who with only one arm could still swing that wooden paddle full of holes so hard she would make you jump and holler “hey”.
    And the smells of Lincoln Hts are burned into my conciousness forever. The Pabst/Eastside Brewery especially after a rain, and the concrete of the bridges and river and buildings after being washed clean by a good rain, the smell of Barbara Ann or Log Cabin or Foix or 4 S bakerys at dusk when that baking bread smell would hit a hungry kid in the stomach like an uppercut. The smell of the wet green grass and licorice in the hills above Thomas St or Happy Valley, the smells of the many bars and cocktail lounges along N Broadway where I sold newspapers to customers, old school drinks like Highballs, Tom Collins, Greyhounds, Martini’s, all so pretty in thier special glass’s, clear crystal ice cubes rattling, and those pretty red mixing straws.
    The smell of the Pastrami’s on a cold night at Pax’s Pastrami Stand.

  4. Thanks Chimatli, the cave below flatop is a mystery that I must help solve! Right now though I’m in Los Alamos NM working on a project, (talk about creepy places), it will be done after the first of the year and then on a full moon night, with a couple of blessed candles of San Francisco and a bottle of red wine made from the first spring pressing we will rediscover the famous cave of Lincoln Hts. Be prepared for anything!

  5. By the way, I may be the only person (other than my crybaby brother and Dodi Lujan who I haven’t seen in many years), that can claim to have actually been in the lost cave.
    And when I was in there it almost turned into a tragedy.
    Think about it carfully.

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