Monday, May 5, 2008

No. 140 - Cast Iron Commercial Building

Cast Iron Commercial Building

Cast Iron Commercial Building
740 – 748 South San Pedro Street – map
Declared: 3/19/75

One of the city’s last remaining partly cast-iron buildings, Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 140 sits on land formerly the homestead of one of the city’s early leading native citizens.

The land used to be part of a twenty-acre ranch owned by Frank Sabichi. Sabichi was born in Mexican L.A. in 1842, married Magdalena Wolfskill, daughter of William Wolfskill and Magdalena Lugo, in 1865, and went on to become a prominent lawyer, city councilman, and land owner. The Sabichis lived on the ranch until they built a mansion at 2437 South Figueroa Street (then Pearl Street). (Although today the site of the St Vincent’s Church parking lot, part of the old Sabichi home can be seen in this picture of its next-door neighbor, HCM No. 212, the Stimson Residence).

Cast Iron Commercial Building

In September 1897, the Los Angeles Times announced the parceling of the former Sabichi spread:
The Frank Sabichi tract, of twenty acres, at the corner of Seventh and San Pedro street, will be offered at private sale on Monday next, by the Los Angeles agents of the property. The tract has been divided into 176 lots, varying from 25 to 100 feet front, and from 110 to 122 ½ feet deep. The property fronts San Pedro street, Seventh street, Crocker street, Towne avenue, Ruth avenue, Gladys avenue and Agatha street. There are alleys 12 ½ feet and 15 feet wide. The streets are all graded, sewered, curbed and sidewalked, and a four-inch water main pipe along each street. The tract is well located, being only half a mile from the postoffice. The prices asked for the property vary from $450 to $600 for inside 25-foot lots, to $800 and $900 for 25-foot lots on San Pedro street, and from $45 per foot up for frontage on Seventh street. These prices are referred to by the agents as “hard-time prices.”
Anybody know for whom Gladys, Ruth (now Stanford), and Agatha Streets were named? Sabichi girls, I bet.

In 1900, Sabichi died in his home at the age of 58 from “a stroke of apoplexy.”

Cast Iron Commercial Building

The monument is mainly Queen Anne in style with ten oriel, or bay, windows, the corner one topped with a witch’s hat. The lower floor is made of predominately flower shops, the upper floor contains apartments. The building measures 315’ x 62’.

Cast Iron Commercial Building

One final thing. So I’m there taking photos when this guy yells for me to take his picture. His name was Chad (C.H.A.D.!!) and he promised me he’d give me a great picture. He did not disappoint.

South San Pedro & Agatha


[Real Estate Record] Los Angeles Times; Sep 17, 1897, p. 8

“Frank Sabichi Dead.” Los Angeles Times; Apr 13, 1900, p. I5

“Early Days of the City are Described” Los Angeles Times; Oct 26, 1924, p. C37

Newmark, Harris. Sixty Years in Southern California 1853 - 1913 Houghton Mifflin Company 1930 Boston and New York

Up next: Chatsworth Reservoir Kiln Site


Nathan said...

You ran across a CHAD?! A Cannibalistic Humanoid Aboveground Dweller and lived to tell. That’s something. They were prevalent in the mid-1980s, as was walking like an Egyptian. Did you go through some sort of time vortex?

Floyd B. Bariscale said...

Nice try, Nathan. Clearly C.H.A.D.'s a Caribbean-Hatted Amenhotep Dancer. And, yes, his dog's name was C.H.O.M.P.S.

Darrell said...

Good timing, Floyd! I just drove by there a week or so ago, and thought, that's an interesting old building, with its bay windows but roll-up doors below. Now I know more.

Anonymous said...

Re: Sabichi girls: First child was Agatha. Other names don't show up, though -- sorry.

kt texas said...

funny on history i member the lady my dad that raised me juanita sabichi always talked bout her grandfather on his ranch would gift her raw precious stones just in plain paper & how willaim wolfskill intoroduced naval oranges into so ca from spain...

Mary said...

WOW, thanks for posting this, I am related to the Sabichis!

tiger said...

Any older pictures of this building?! I live here.