Christina Rice


  1. nathan
    December 20, 2008 @ 1:37 pm

    The view from the Fremont–background center, the Alexandria way out at Fifth and Spring.




  2. nathan
    December 24, 2008 @ 4:57 pm


    Archtetypal early shot of the Fremont (trees at right where the Mutual Garage would go in 1923, and to the left, the Olive Street Public School, which would be replaced by a parking lot/underground garage for the Subway Terminal Bldng ca. 1926).

    Then there’s this postcard of the now-neon’d Fremont, ca. 1940:


    …which has the nifty little inset of the patio area.


    …which was down there ’round about where the word Fremont was, one supposes:



  3. nathan
    December 25, 2008 @ 12:16 pm


    Looking up Fourth, 1912. Theodolite-peering USC engineering students, their derbied prof on the right, practice surveying.

    On the Hill in the bg, the Zelda.


    From the USC Digital Archives


  4. nathan
    March 2, 2009 @ 6:56 pm

    Another chapter in the What’s Left of Bunker Hill bestiary. There’s the dirt patch of Second and Hill; there’s the Savoy Garage, which doesn’t exactly reek classical BH; there’s the 1924 Telephone Building that’s been 60s-ized beyond recognition. And then there’s the premier archaeological site of the Hill: the south flank of the Fremont retaining wall. If Bunker Hill is our Acropolis (Teddy Roosevelt, our Pericles), then the Fremont’s limestone wall is the Parthenon’s limestone foundation. (Granted we lack so much as a standing stick of our Parthenon, the Fremont. The Greeks would have torn down the Parthenon too if they needed the parking on the Crecropia.)

    In images of the Fremont one can see the wall that wrapped around the building. It looked like this:


    thewallupfourthJohn C. Austin may have had a hand in the retaining wall, but probably just the building proper. (“Hey John, you want a pitch-faced ashlar limestone block wall ‘round this?” Austin: “Mmm.”) At left, note the stonework on the pier at the steps.

    It was the retaining side of the wall that the Fremont Hotel Company and the Board of Education and City Engineers wrangled over through the summer of aught-two; neither the Olive Street School nor the hoteliers wanted to lose land or money in the deal. But settled it was, the wall was built and stands:


    Where the rest of the world uses Indiana limestone, I’m assuming this has come from the limestone pits of the Mojave…pulled from the Mitchell Caverns, for all we know, back when helictites were just things that got in a quarryman’s way.


    That this wall is in near-perfect shape after one-hundred plus years is perfectly understandable. Every stone wall built in this town in the last forty is falling apart; who today knows the proper mix of lime (softer mortar necessary when using a sedimentary rock) to sand and cement, or seal their mortar with boiled linseed oil, or abhor shag pointing a join?



    And let’s not forget the retaining wall behind the Fremont’s neighbor-down-Olive, the Olive Street School:



    But that’s another tale of urban archaeology.


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