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U PS AN D DOWNS OF POSTOFFIGES AGITATION FOR A PERMANENT SITE IS OVER Although Bata and Foreigners Inhabit Wrecked Main Street Site a Mil. Hon. Dollar Building Is In Prospect The old postofflce building on South Main street is not now one of the "show places" of the city, but there was a . time when the people rejoiced that the government appropriated $160,000 to provide for ths purchase of the corner lot and the erection of the two-story brick building. Before that structure was erected in 1887 the hand ling of the mall matter in this boom- Ing city of Los Angeles was far and away the hardest proposition In the business affairs of the community. So many people were coming to the city, the commercial life was so rapidly expanding, the real estate and other propositions were so numerous that the facilities of the local postofflce were totally Insufficient to serve the pub lic promptly. There were- days when the mail matter had to be dumped Into the lot of the oftlce and route men were called In off the. trains to assist the local postmaster to sort letters and papers ready for delivery.' The bulging mall sacks came In from the east with every train and for a long time the Klerks were simply swamped. The plans provided for the building of the office in, 1887, but an attempt was^made to Induce congress to in crease the appropriation, as It was gen erally conceded that the sum of $150,000 was too small to provide for a suitable office and equipment. Building opera tions were delayed for a year,' and 'the application for the Increase of appro priation having been denied, the struc ture was erected on the original plans and the office occupied It In 1890-91. The building was vacated in March, IPOV and the temporary quarters at the corner of Seventh and Spring streets' were leased , and iflgcupled until November of the present year. What Flint. Does 'Postmaster M.H. , Flint is probably the' busiest ■ man in ... the. community every day. In the year. The position of postmaster in a city the size of Los Angeles ,is one of great and exacting responsibilities. The postmaster is a public servant and every day in the course of his routine and other work he Is reminded of the fact. He is the resident representative of the postoffice department, at Washington and the president and the postmaster genera) look to Postmaster Flint to giye the peopie of Los Angeles prompt service in the delivery and transmission of all moll matter. There is.no rest in the work.. It' is an every day task, but tho system is thoroughly arranged and the large und competent corps of as ulstnnt3 from the- chief down to the Janitor curry out the details with the precision of clockwork. More Money Wanted - The fact , that the government has made an appropriation of 5550.000 for the erection of a new postofflce build ing on the Downey premises on Spring and Temple streets,. Is a matter of general congratulation. The impor tance of Los Angeles as a commercial center, -the rapid j growth of the city and the business interests generally demands a public building that will meet all the . requirements, of the com munity for many years in the future The sum of $850,000 to, many will look like a large sum,, but there are busi ness men who have great faith In the development of Los Angeles, who be lieve that the appropriation should have been much larger. But the bill went ' through with the amount of $850,000 in the appropriation line and that is ail the money available, unless the efforts now being put forth for an increase of $250,000 for the post offlce building are successful. :■:'.;. ;.■;• '.The old postofflce lot on South Main street has been out of commission for government use ever since 1901. It is now. valued at : $250,000. It has been suggested that the lot be sold and the money derived from the sale be added to the $850,000, thus making a total of $1,100,000 • for the new building. Post master Flint and others who are working to this end believe that a bill to this efTect will go through congress. The enabling act is now in the hands of the committee and Senators Bard and Perkins and Congressman Mc- Laehlan are putting forth their best effects to secure its passage. Main Street Lot Useless Postmaster Flint said yesterday: "We ought to have all the money available for the new building. The old lot on Main street Is now of no uife for government purposes. It would be a fine site for a handsome business block Bnd if ordered sold by the gov ernment would bring a large sum of money, which should be applied to the erection of the new postofflce struc ture. We are waiting to learn the fate of the enabling act now pending in congress. It should meet with fa vor, but nothing can be done toward arranging final plans for the new building until after congress adjourns. The architects will not touch any of the plane for the building until it is known what amount of money is available. Los Angeles wants the plans to provide for a building to cost $1,100,000, but if the enabling act falls, we, will have to be content with an $850,000 structure." The postmaster has already given the new building details careful con sideration, lie has mapped out in a general way, for the information and guidance of the government archi tects,; room , arrangements in the pro posed . otructure ' and . Mr.' Flint knows now. about how the interior of the LOS ANGELES HERALD: MONDAY MORNING, JANUARY 2, 1905. HISTORIC VIEWS OF VARIOUS POSTOFFICE SITES WHICH HAVE AROUSED COMMENT new building will look. It I s probable that a perspective of the structure will be ready for publication within a few weeks after the architects attack tack the proposition. Once Historic Building The old postofflce building at the corner of South Main and Winston streets may have been regarded as a fine structure In 1890, when It wa» com pleted at a cost to the government of $i."<n,nnn, but to look at It now In Its statp of wretchedness and almost total wreckage a stranger would never Imagine that It amounted to much." The accompanying picture shows ths old building as it appeared when It was turned over to the postofflce depart ment. It was vacated In 1901, and since thnt date the building has been aban doned for all business purposes. The roof Is gone nnd the upper stories have disappeared. All that re mains are the shabby and crumbling brick walls of the lower story on the the Main and Winston street Bides of the building. On the Main street side a foreigner who cannot ppenk Kngllsh conducts a. fruit stand, occupying the old entrance, over which Is hung an awning. Behind the walls are the twelve supports for the upper floor. The old first floor, partly of wood and cement, Is littered with garbage and broken building materlnl. In the north west corner Is an old room, on the door of which are these words: "Superin tendent of Delivery— Hours 9 v. m. to 5 p. m." This room Is used by a man connected- with the fruit stand as a place of repose by night, and there are evidences on the outside of the exist ence of a crude kitchen arrangement. There are no walls standing on the east or south sides of the building, and the basement, which contained numer ous rooms for handling the mall In the old days, are places of refuge , for hoboes and the haunts of rats and cat erwauling felines. The old structure is easily accessible from the rear. A negro was prowling about In the basement when a Herald man made a tour of the wreck. He was asked If he was living there. "No, boss, I don't live here: I's just lookin' 'round. Golly! I don't think any one could stand it long cjown here. I's goin' now." South of the building Is a largo va cant lot, where until a few months ago Spellbinder Rorck held forth -and preached Socialist doctrine. Now even that ground Is abandoned, and all about the place Is an appearance . of decay and abandonment. It Is said that some of the children of the neigh borhood believe that the building Is haunted, and they hurry past if going down Winston street.' The lot is one of the most valuable pieces of property on Main street and by conservative judges of realty is con sidered worth $250,000. . The lot on the Main and Winston street fronts Is enclosed by a' high board fence. The frontage on Main street is 180 feet, on Winston street 150 feet. New Site Is Chosen The question of a new postofflce for the city of , Los Angeles, after many months of agitation and worry, was settled In February, 1904, when House bill 12,763 was passed by congress car rying an approapriatlon of $850,000 for the erection of the public building. The site was selected and the title to the ground has been approved by the legal department of the treasury department, and the warrant for the government purchase of the ground — only one dol lar — is now In possession of ' Joseph. Rlesmer, the gentleman who was main ly instrumental In interesting the prop erty owners of the "north end" In con tending for the location of the building on the property of the Downey estate, on the northwest corner of Temple and North Spring streets. . ; . The frontage of the site chosen Is 292 feet on Main street, on. the east; 131 feet on Temple street on the south; 283 feet on New High street on the west, and 172 feet on Commercial street on the north. The last named street is to be opened from Main street to New High which will give a space of forty feet in the clear on . the north side of the building. O.vvvv, The gentlemen directly active In se curing the location of the building on the Downey property were Joseph Mes rac'r, Frank P. Flint and A. C. Harper. This committee had no small taßk be fore it, for strenuous efforts were made at the time to have the new building erected on the old site on South Main street, but it was necessary for the ad vocates of that location to secure more frontage and settle for lease rights; and while the south enders were at work trying to find daylight the north enders worked like beavers, assessed 130 property owners for a sum equal' to $280,000, ninety per cent of which was paid to the committee and used to get control of the Downey frontage. Later Attorney John G. Mott was sent to Washington with documents and maps, to work with the senators and con gressmen.' The money for the purchase of the property was in hund and a tele gram was forwarded offering the. site as a gift to the government. All this work was accomplished Hubstantlally Inside of thirty days, but It was a most anxious period for all parties engaged in the enterprise. The assessments for the cash reached every property owner from Marcheesault street on the north to Third street on the south, and from Los Angeles street on the east to Broadway on the west. Work Will Begin A considerable portion of the money raised by the assessment plan Is still in possession of the committee,* and the money and that to be realized from the sale of the wrecked ; buildings on the j.ostoiilco Bite, except that part used for legitimate expenses, will be paid back to the property owners pro rata. The rebate money cannot . be handed over by the committee,' however, until all of the work is completed and the lot turned <mr.*» ',*»<» suvernmenC&SpK Bids for the wreckage of t lie build* Ings have beeu asked, ami km iwm a* the contract is let th« work of tearing down the old structure* will begin. Bpeaklng of the work Mr. Mesmcr Mid: "The committee feels under spe cial obligations to United States Dis trict Attorney W. In Valentine for hla valuable services, for without his aid and advlre we woufd have had no end > of trouble. Senator Perkins and Con- ' gressman McLaehlan were loyal and faithful to the end. t think Senator Bard was rather uncertain at 18.1 8. critical time, but when he found that It was the Downey site or nothing he did not! wait to learn how his ' constituents stood, but said he would have to Rive In' and approve the. selection, which, ho' did." '• ;".' » Present Postofflce Location Should the "oldest Inhabitant" In 1887 dared have sntd that tho postomco would Jump from Main street to Sev enth and Grand a lunacy commission would have been ordered to Investigate the gray matter beneath the bald spot of the speaker. Vet John Brockman, who purchased tho old power house three years, ago for $53,000, thinks he has a tenant for five years at least, and before that time expires his rentals will have paid for, the land. ■', •.' ,' The site belonged to tho Los Angeles Cable company and was .used : as . a power house. Becoming useless, the ma chinery was removed and the company Jumped at the offer made by Brock man, the rich Arizona mine owner. To day the property is worth $186,000. , In closing this review the fact may prove interesting that in 1890 the post office was on South Broadway in tho building now occupied by an evening paper with a Dink edition. MUCH ACREAGE IS SOLD Tracts Taken by Investors In the AI. hambra Valley Real estate deals aggregating nearly $40,000 have been closed recently by the Service Brothers. The sales include a tract of eighty acres lying one mllo' north of Barrett station, sold for B,*'j, ; Baldwin to Elmer E. Cook f or ' $13,000: Mr. Cook bought the land for a home. He will make extensive Improvements, will grow English walnuts and estab-l; lish a fine water system. H.T. Coffin has sold twenty acres in Walnut place to Albert A. Ing-alls of Pasadena, 1 who will Improve the property. ; ; The price paid was $3300. E. J. Baldwin has sold to Mrs. Charles Mulhollnnd ten acres of land near Barrett, , which ' ls 'a/ subdl- ; vision of La Puente ranch, v A tract of seven and one-half acres, fuil bearing walnut grove, located one mile 'north east of El Monte, was sold for, E. J. Dodson to Fred McDonald of El Monte; , price $4500. For C. N. Bassett a 'tract. of five acres, three-fourths , of a, mile from Gardena, .was sold to J. W. Bradr ford of Gardona; price $1750, bought for. a home. The firm also sold a flve-foom cottage at 1214 East ■■, Twenty-second, street to E. J. Dodson for Nicholas : Hooper; price $2800. . ./ ; Popular Tracts The inquiry for lots in '< Bowen?t& Chamberlln's several tracts, j the \Maln Street Boulevard tract, the Main and Figueroa Streets tract and the ; Main and Figueroa Streets tract; No..2,ha£ been quite active during the past week and many sales were closed; There are still "left thirty-five lots in the ,last named tract at $375 each. Homeseekers and investors look with great favor on these tracts. Business Changes ■ Several, business ■ firms j will branch out or change locations with the fad vent of the new year. Harris & Frank of the London Clothing company, i ll 9 North Spring street, will have a branch store at 337 to 341 South ' Spring street. The premises at 329 South Spring street have been leased by the Campbell Curio company to Franklin Hunter, who, will vacate 339 South Spring street. j The purchase of the seven-year j lease held by the Campbell Curio company', which will retire from business temporarily., involved over $35,000,' the cash going : to E. A. Forrester & Sons, who own one third of the curio company's ; stock. Harris & Frank will have their, branch location fitted up In fine style. J.;'F. Gnu urn will remove from 841 Spring, to the corner of Sixth and Main in Feb ruary. Olcovitch & Stretcher, now -at 337 Spring, have secured a location: at 519 South Broadway. ■;' Sales by the Fidelity Company It. Beaver to R. P. Bowers,' a five- ; room cottage on ' East Twenty- fifth;: $2500. '■ ■•■■■-■'; •''' •■ •'■'.;; J. Krlm to Elmer Hauter, 1 a six-room; cottage on New England street; $2800. W. C. Guy to Thomas Mitchell, a five' room cottage on New Hampshire street; $2500. .... - '. ' ■ _.'.. ..' Forrester & Sons to Mamie Gray, .a lot on East Fifty-fifth street; $450." j \ ■ "Echo purk" is one of the most beau tiful parks in Los Angeles, covering; about thirty acres of land. with a lake in the center; a '.beautiful : sheet ; of 0 clear and silvery water. filled with fish of many varieties , which furnishes? sport for all who wish to spend Fa; pleasant day rowing about this inland' sea, surrounded by sloping', banks,'' covered with a beautiful border .of. green, with a background of beautiful flowers and shrubs of , every variety, 1 " where the and weary with'over taxed bodyT^or brain, may bask in tho sunllght midst a prof uslon : of flowers and roses, or recline upon the velvety green beneath ' the ; overhanging, branches, of the rare and varied spe-' cles of shade- trees, drinking Infthej elixir of life, and meditating' upon' the grand and, majestio, works of the Allwlse Creator. The man who is fortunate enough. to own a home upon the banks •of this beautiful lake and '. park,", may justly feel that no lord or king, in' his stately, palace, ' surrounded -_bj> • grounds j'. that cost millions, ''has a more favored'' spot to enjoy, the bounteous glfts'of God. (-: Burnett's Vanilla' Extract Used and highly indorsed by all lead ing hotels.. . The Difference Between An expertoHoeil traveler ami an amateur (• tlmt the furmar baa the knack , of properly •iiuli>i>iuif hlnwelf. We can 111 you uul wlilt trunks, drees . »ult eaeee. traveling " roll*, valUoii. bruahea, lap "tablete, ■ pucketbooke. etc, aothat your, trip ■ will be a«reeabl« throughout. Bauburu. ; VtiU 4 Co.