AKA: Downey Block, Downtown, Los Angeles, CA

Structure Type: built works - commercial buildings - office buildings

Designers: Davis, Charles W., Architect (firm)

Dates: [unspecified], demolished 1904

65 Main Street
Downtown, Los Angeles, CA 90012

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The Los Angeles, California, City Directory, 1883, indicated that the Downey Block stood at the corner of Temple and Main Streets.

Building History

The Downey Block pre-dated 1871, in some form; it was one of the leading addresses for professional men in early Los Angeles, CA. It seems to have grown incrementally during its 30+ years of existence. It was built in the early 1870s and an expansion occurred

The building was owned by Governor John G. Downey (1827-1894), who co-owned the 17,602-acre Rancho Santa Gertrudes, a large agricultural estate in Los Angeles County that included the present-day cities of Downey and Santa Fe Springs. (Downey, an Irish-born druggist bought the estate in 1859 with an associate, James P. McFarland.) He sought to sell the rancho in 1868. (See "To Farmers and Others Who Are Looking for Pleasant Homes in Southern California," Sacramento Daily Union, 12/12/1868. p.

Building Notes

The Don Luis Restaurant was located in the Downey Block in 1871 (advertised in the Los Angeles Star, 02/01/1871).

It housed the first branch of the Los Angeles Public Library. In 1886, Ms. Jessie Gavitt served as the city librarian. (See Los Angeles, California, City Directory, 1886, p. 137.)

Demolition

The Downey Block was being torn down in 05/1905, and took a great deal of time to remove. A new Federal building

PCAD id: 2659