AKA: Temple, Francisco Pliny Fisk, Building #2, Downtown, Los Angeles, CA
Structure Type: built works - commercial buildings - commercial buildings
Dates: constructed 1871
The Temple Block #2 was one of the most significant office buildings in early Los Angeles of the 1870s and 1880s. Along with the Arcadia and Baker Buildings, both owned by Col. Robert S. Baker (1825-1894), these three office blocks housed many professional offices during that time. Law firms, particularly, clustered in the Baker and Temple Blocks.
The Temple Block #2 was erected for Francisco Pliny Fisk Temple (1822-1880), a politician, banker and owner of the Rancho Santa Anita. In 1878, the Newmarks puchased the Temple Block #2. An article in the Los Angeles Herald stated that this sale was one of the largest ever transacted in Southern CA to that time: "The Messrs. Newmark yesterday received title to the famous Temple Block, which they purchased, some time ago, at judicial sale, for upwards of $131,000. This is probably the largest real estate transaction which has taken place in Los Angeles since the Messrs, Newmark sold their Santa Anita ranch to Mr. E.J. Baldwin. The Messrs. Newmark propose making quite a number of improvements in their new property. When these shall be completed, considering the central location of the block, this ought to be one of the most productive pieces of real estate in California. This sale, the purchase by Senator Jones of his two-thirds interest in the San Vicente ranch and the purchase by Mr. Baldwin of the Santa Anita ranch, are probably the three heaviest real estate transactions which have ever been chronicled of Los Angeles county." (See "Deed to Temple Block," Los Angeles Herald, vol. 9, no. 98, 03/22/1878, p. 3.) The Temple Block sale of 1878 signalled the increasing importance of real estate in Los Angeles's urban core; prior to this time, the two largest deals involved agricultural rancho properties. It served as a harbinger of the enormous urban growth and real estate speculation that Los Angeles would experience in the 1880s.
The Temple Block #2 was located opposite the United States.Hotel.
Attorneys Thom and Ross occupied space in the Temple Block in 1878. (See Los Angeles, California, City Directory, 1878, p. 109.) H. Slotterbeck Guns occupied space in the Temple Block, 09/1882; M. Kremer, Insurance at Number 4, Spring Street, 09/1882; attorney Will D. Gould occupied space in the Temple Block, 09/1882.
A court case, Los Angeles (City) v. Kaspare Cohn (1839-1916), concerned a question of title to a strip of land on or near the Temple Block property, 04/1892.
PCAD id: 352