When it rains, it pours. Which is probably a good thing, since rain will put out all that pesky fire.
Corner of Fourth and Olive, August 29, 1962.
Van R. Alexanian, 23, was loading a barrel of rubbish into the scoop on the front of his trash-truck when the parking brake gave way. The truck ran into an electrical pole, and the live wire caught the truck debris on fire. The pole then fell onto a Mrs. Helen Stairs, 50.
The flaming truck went on to take out a traffic signal and a lamp post before crashing into a garage. This much was fortunate; the garage attendant was equipped with a fire extinguisher.
Officer L. S. Rasic commented that had the truck continued through the intersection, it would have crashed into eight cars waiting for the signal to change.
The question remains as to what garage the garbage truck plowed into, as there were in fact three at Olive and Fourth: the 1923 Mutual Garage at the NE corner, the 1919 Hotel Clark/Center Garage at the SE corner, and the 1923 Savoy Garage at the SW corner. Here’s a picture of all three, 1966:
Remarkably, the Savoy still stands. The 600-car Mutual at left in the image above is now the foundation for Cal Plaza Two. The Hotel Clark Garage, center (along with that tall white building, ironically named the Black Building) is still an empty lot, site of what was to be Cal Plaza Three. (The parking lot at foreground right was the former site of the Fremont.)
Should you wish to learn more about garages, please do so here.
Garage pic, William Reagh, Los Angeles Public Library
May 6, 1915. Mr. H. J. Robinson, of 210 South Flower, met long-time acquaintance Ernest Lightfoot at another house Robinson owned at 121 South Flower. While the two were inspecting 121–Lightfoot had proposed Robinson trade him the house for some land in the Imperial Valley–Lightfoot slugged the elderly Robinson, knocking him unconscious.
Robinson recovered consciousness enough to feel someone tugging at his diamond ring–which he‘d never been able to get off himself, though Lightfoot was able to do enough of a number on Robinson‘s finger to effect removal.
While Robinson recovered in Westlake Hospital, suffering contusions of the head and a concussion of the brain (and a bruised finger), Lightfoot was picked up by detectives. Turns out this Lightfoot was the same charmer who in 1910 was charged with rape and given five years probation, and who in 1914 was arrested for child abandonment.
…210 South Flower?
From the collective neuron firings of OBH readership comes the query where have I heard that before?
Why, you read about that just the other day, in Miss Joan‘s wonderful tale of the Fry Cook Killa.
In November 1979, the Times ran a piece about Angelus Plaza, Bunker Hill’s subsidized housing project for seniors. For the article they dug up one of the original uprooted persons, a Jim Dorr, 73, who‘d been sent a notice by the CRA to vacate the Stanley Apartments on November 15, 1965. He‘s glad he saved those displacement papers all these years: HUD will give him priority in the otherwise random lottery.
“I‘ve been around Bunker Hill off and on now for forty or fifty years. They say it was nice once. But they let it run down for years. The Stanley was a very old place, well kept, but they didn‘t spend much money on it.”
(Just for the record, despite what it says in the caption at right, the Bunker Hill Towers are not on the spot of the Stanley. The Stanley is at the red hatched box below; Dorr’s standing at the blue dot.)
Looking down 2nd toward Hope. (Needless to say, Bunker Hill Avenue has removed itself from the equation.) (But then, so has pretty much everything else.)