Framework

Capturing the world through photography, video and multimedia

This 1896 photo by C.C. Pierce shows Spring Street, looking south from Temple toward 1st Street, before it was realigned to make way for City Hall. The Nadeau Hotel, now the site of The Times building, is in the center of the photo.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: C.C. Pierce

A rare photograph of C.C. Pierce, a Los Angeles-based photographer who chronicled the city's rapid growth from the late 1800s to the early 1920s.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: C.C. Pierce Collection / The Huntington Library

A photo of Spring Street looking north from 2nd Street, about 1895, with courthouse on left. The Nadeau Hotel, at 1st and Spring, was torn down to make way for The Times building.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: C.C. Pierce & Co.

Oct. 1, 1910: This was taken by commercial photographer C.C. Pierce after daylight on the morning of the bombing of the Los Angeles Times at Broadway and 1st, showing police keeping a few people away as men use a hose to water down smoking embers.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: C.C. Pierce Collection / The Huntington Library

1910 photo of bathers on the Long Beach strand.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: C.C. Pierce

A 1901 photo of the La Fiesta celebration in Los Angeles.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: The C.C. Pierce Collection

Bicyclists head north on Spring Street from around 8th Street about 1899.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: C.C. Pierce & Co.

1850s: This is what we know today as Pershing Square, as seen from 5th and Olive streets. The Biltmore Hotel now stands on the corner in the lower right. From the C.C. Piece Collection and Title Insurance and Trust Co. Collection of Historical Photographs.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: C.C. Piece Collection and Title Insurance and Trust Company Collection of Historical Photographs

Circa 1885: A drawing rephotographed by C.C. Pierce shows Grand Avenue looking north from the Normal School. The object on the tall pole in the center of the image was the city's first attempt at street lighting. The site is now the location of the Central Library.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: C.C. Pierce

Circa 1885: Panorama of Los Angeles looking east on 5th Street. This is a drawing rephotographed by C.C. Pierce.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: C.C. Pierce

Circa 1907: downtown Los Angeles looking west on 7th Street from Broadway.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: C.C. Pierce & Co.

Los Angeles in 1873: Photo published on Page 4, Part 3 of the Dec. 4, 1931, Los Angeles Times 50th anniversary edition. The numbers locate residences and businesses of that era.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: C.C. Pierce

Los Angeles, 1880: The Plaza looking east from Fort Hill. Most of Fort Hill was removed in 1949 for the construction of the Hollywood Freeway. The large three-story structure right of center is the Pico House. The photo was published in the Dec. 4, 1931, 50th anniversary edition of the Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: C.C. Pierce

Circa 1885: 4th Street looking west from Main Street, showing the large homes on Bunker Hill.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: C.C. Pierce

1876: Los Angeles, looking southeast from Court House Hill. The ornate building in the upper center of the picture is the Baker Block, according to Pierce's notations on the back of the print.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: C.C. Pierce

Circa 1890: 3rd and Spring streets, looking southeast.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: C.C. Pierce

Circa 1885: Los Angeles with Calle Corta - now Sunset Boulevard - in foreground.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: C.C. Pierce

Circa 1895: Photo of Los Angeles taken from top of courthouse.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: C.C. Pierce

Circa 1895: Main Street in Los Angeles looking north from 5th street.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: C.C. Pierce

1910: An aerial photo of downtown Los Angeles taken from a captured balloon. The street running from middle to lower right is 1st Street. The next parallel street to the left is 2nd Street. The main cross street at the lower right is San Pedro Street.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: C.C. Pierce / C.C. Pierce

In addition to photographs, C.C. Pierce copied artwork, like this 1880s image of Wolfskill's home and groves of lemons and oranges, located in what is now downtown Los Angeles between Alameda and San Pedro streets, and 5th and 7th streets.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: C.C. Pierce

Sonora Town looking north from Fort Moore Hill. The hill in the center of the photo is now the home of Dodger Stadium. Date of photo is unknown.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: C.C. Pierce

A photo taken about 1895 looking west from the courthouse at Temple and Broadway.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: C.C. Pierce

A photo taken about 1890 looking east from Olive and 3rd streets.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: C.C. Pierce

A photo taken about 1899 at 4th and Spring streets.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: C.C. Pierce

Undated photo of Los Angeles looking east on Sixth Street from Flower.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: C.C. Pierce

A photo taken about 1905 from 2nd Street and Grand Avenue looking southeast shows the old City Hall, the building with the tower, on Broadway. The Bradbury Building is partially visible to the right.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: C.C. Pierce

A photo taken before 1905 shows the Los Angeles Express building in the center-right, portion of the picture. The building with two towers at the extreme left is Hazard's Pavilion at 5th and Olive.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: C.C. Pierce

1903 photo of Los Angeles taken from the Fremont Hotel, showing Hill Street looking north from 4th Street. The building on the extreme left is the old City Hall on Broadway.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: C.C. Pierce

A photo taken about 1905 of Los Angeles looking southwest from the Pacific Electric Building. The Hotel Lankershim is in the center of the picture.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: C.C. Pierce

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C.C. Pierce Photography Collection [updated]

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C.C. Pierce Photography Collection [updated]

Photographer C.C. Pierce – Charles Chester Pierce – recorded the boomtown growth of Los Angeles from 1886 through the early 1920s. Before he died in 1946, the Huntington Library obtained his collection of photographs.

In addition to his own images, Pierce obtained the negatives and prints from several other regional photographers. He also rephotographed artwork and drawings of historical importance.

Most of the images in this photo gallery are from the Los Angeles Times archives – images the paper purchased directly from C.C. Pierce.

For more on C.C. Pierce, check out Larry Harnisch’s article L.A.’s boomtown years captured in photos.

[Updated July 12, 2012 with ten additional photos by C.C. Pierce.]

3 Comments

  1. July 11, 2012, 11:41 am

    I see a lot more trees and more diversity of trees than I do now in DTLA? Also, what happened to all these nice big brick buildings I see in the photos? Hardly see them today.

    By: jessepaul@gmail.com
  2. July 16, 2012, 9:43 am

    The Baker Block, what a loss to the city! Read more about it her: http://urbandiachrony.wordpress.com/2011/04/25/th

    By: rafaelc@racen.com
  3. January 8, 2013, 12:34 pm

    "nice big brick buildings" fell victim to enhanced building codes.

    This is a good thing when living in an earthquake prone area.

    By: kushwow@gmail.com

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