A Poor Choice


The Holy Trinity of Noir: the Tough Hood, the Tougher Cop, and the Dame. The Dame–in peril, and perilous to know.

Tonight”™s tale takes this Trinitarian shape, but contains, oddly, but two players.

Our first adherent is Mr. X., aka Tough Hood. He heard the clip-clop of heels reverberate throught the misty night air of February 7, 1944. He followed his prey–the Dame, in peril, to her pad, and once she was inside, he attacked!
Unfortunately for Tough Hood, Dame in peril, true to form, was perilous to know. She was playing double duty as Tougher Cop. Tough Hood had unwittingly attacked Miss Margaret Maguire, a deputy sheriff. Mr. X ended up with only a purse strap, and a heart pumping blood and terror; Maguire chased him all the way out of the neighborhood.

Maguire lived at the Carleton (across the street from the St. Angelo).


With a nod to its severe symmetry, Corinthian columns, and pointy pediment, Hill chronicler Hylen made sure to photograph Carleton’s backside as to juxtapose Neoclassical majesty with good old American tenement living:boweryboyz
Some quick views of the east side of the 200 block of North Grand:

fromthebe1909At left, from the Birdseye, the block in 1909; it”™s a bustling part of the world.

Below, the Sanborn Map, 1906.


In 1950, most of the block was gone. Only the Carleton, and a paltry few other structures, remain:



By 1952, they”™d broken ground on the Hall of Administration. So the 1953 Sanborn Map would have nothing to show for the Carleton’s time on Earth.



Carleton Apartments images courtesy Arnold Hylen Collection, California History Section, California State Library

3 thoughts on “A Poor Choice”

  1. You’d think this would be a comment on the St. Angelo, which you see here just past the fluted column…


    …because it’s really about the flutes of the columnar Carleton of course. Some time later, though not long after, Hylen went on to capture this image:


  2. grandavefacade

    One of the most lavishly-planned local government office buildings in
    the nation! This is the impression created by a visit to the new
    $24,751,000 County Hall of Administration nearing completion at Civic
    Center. This view is accented by figures showing this building cost
    $8,250 per occupant, compared with $4,369 for the nearby State Building
    No. 2, which will be completed next year. The County Building will house
    3,000 workers from ten departments, plus the Board of Supervisors and
    its staff. These constitute less than 10 per cent of the 37,000 persons
    of county employ. Viewing the Mall façade of the two-blocks [sic] long
    Hall of Administration, which also has entrances on Temple and Hill Streets and Grand
    Avenue, the visitor is confronted with a vista of gleaming red Texas
    granite (cost: $1,100,000) and white ceramic veneer (cost:$950,000).

    Monday, April 18, 1960

    (USC Digital Archives)

  3. Carletonatnight


    Dark before the dawn. Also, a raw maw has swallowed the St. Angelo across the street.


    Note the Beth Israel, in red, bg, seen at the top of this page.


    The man himself, Supervisor Kennth Hahn, dedicating the Hall of Administration that would one day bear his name. There’s already a Blue Line station named for him, and that big park in Baldwin Hills; we couldn’t have named this the Carleton Hotel Memorial Administration Building?

Comments are closed.