Monday, March 19, 2007

No. 5 - The Salt Box

The Salt Box
Former locations: 339 South Bunker Hill Avenue, 3800 Homer Street
1880, destroyed by fire in 1969
Declared: 8/6/62

If you’re thinking of visiting Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 5, the Salt Box, don’t bother. It’s long gone.

Built as a residence in 1880 at 339 South Bunker Hill Avenue, part of the upscale Bunker Hill subdivision, it was, according to a nifty, magenta booklet put out by the city’s Cultural Heritage Commission in the mid-90s listing the then 588 declared monuments, “destroyed by fire after relocation to Heritage Square in 1969.”

Ray Hebert, in a Los Angeles Times article dated 10/10/69, reports the Salt Box, along with LA HCM No. 27, the Castle, was burned to the ground in the early morning hours of the previous day, Thursday, October 9, 1969. The buildings were to be the first two homes in the nascent Heritage Square. A picture with article shows the Castle “in total ruins” and the two remaining exterior walls of the Salt Box. Also of note, the article says the Salt Box was built a few years after 1883, the year the Castle was put up. I went with the 1880 date used in that booklet issued by the city’s Cultural Heritage Commission mentioned above. However, Patrick McGrew and Robert Julian’s Landmarks of Los Angeles, published the same year, says the Salt Box was built in 1887. Conclusion? Cheeseburgers are awesome!

What I do know is the Salt Box was the fifth of five monuments designated by the Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Board on its first day of business, August 6, 1962.

I also now know that the name ‘Salt Box’ refers to the architectural style, in this case a two-story front, a one-story rear, connected by one, slanting roofline in the back. (Admittedly, that roofline is tough to make out in the picture here, from the L.A. Department of City Planning website.)

And, no, I don’t know what make of car that is.

*** Update: The Big Orange Landmarks research staff is reporting it's a 1949 Ford Club Coupe. ***

Up next: The Bradbury Building


Anonymous said...

The Salt Box does live on, however, on the cover of Taj Mahal's 1967 debut album:

Floyd B. Bariscale said...

What!!! What a great find, Anonymous. (And it's a great album, too.) How many times have I held that album; I'd never have made the connection. Thanks a billion. This may be better than the Crabby Appleton lp featuring HCM No. 11, the Rochester, or the Jackson Browne album with No. 106, Abbey San Encino.