Monday, October 27, 2014

Downtown Los Angeles's Oldest Civic Monument Has Vanished - And It May Have Been Destroyed - Even Though it Had a Bronze Historic Marker and It Was Standing in Front of the Country Hall of Justice

Mesmer flagpole not long after it was erected in front of the US Hotel on Main Street across from is now City Hall.
Up until a few months ago - the oldest standing civic structure in Downtown LA (not counting the Plaza area north of the freeway) was the 1860's wooden Mesmer flagpole that stood on the west side of the south facing door to the Los Angeles Country Hall of Justice, along Temple Street.  A newer metal pole stood on the other side of the door.  And at the base of the Mesmer flagpole was a hihgly visible bronze marker describing its importance to the history of Los Angeles.   A historic marker that was... impossible... to miss seeing if you stood by the flagpole.

It was also the only thing left standing of what was the old civic and business center of Los Angles when it was centered around the intersection of Main, Temple and Spring.  And now its gone - and nobody can tell me where it is which makes it seem likely that it has been destroyed.  But on the off chance it is lying in some storage yard - or in some one's back yard - or has been chopped up for fire wood, but not yet burned - I am going public to encourage whoever does know what happened to it - to speak up .

Now I was going to post its history here now, but I can not physically access all my research, so I will be doing that tonight or tomorrow.  Meanwhile - here are some early photos.
1869 Photo of flagpole on the upper left hand side of photo.
Later photo of flagpole after US Hotel was rebuilt.
Another photo of flagpole in front of the newer US Hotel.


MB said...

If you go in to the new Google maps street view -- the one that allows you to go back in time -- and pick "Jun 2014" on the time slider, you can clearly see part of the flagpole laying on it's side to the left of the door. I don't know how long it's supposed to be, but this piece looks short, which would mean the pole has been hacked up. Sad.

brady westwater said...

I am pretty sure it was still standing during early summer at least - or at least I think it was. Exactly what terms did you use in your search?

AimlessInLA said...

150-year-old flagpole cut down and thrown in the trash? Nothing like that surprises me in this town.

It's too small for a parking lot, but seeing how many historic buildings have given way to asphalt in the past, perhaps they'll put in a very tiny lot for Hot Wheels or something.

brady westwater said...

There were also not one, but two metal/bronze plaques - one on either side of the door - each one next to one of the missing flagpoles - and no one could have mistaken them for anything else - and yet they are also both missing and no one seems to know - or is willing top admit - what happened to them, either,