Structure Type: built works - dwellings -public accommodations - hotels

Designers: [unspecified]

Dates: constructed 1876

3 stories

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40 Main Street
Downtown, Los Angeles, CA

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The Grand Central Hotel billed itself as the "Cheapest First Class Hotel in Los Angeles," according to the Los Angeles City Directory of 1883, (p. 42). George O. Ford managed the three-story hotel in 1883. According to Water and Power, the Grand Central Hotel opened in 1876. (See Water and Power, "Early Views of N. Main St. (300 block)," accessed 01/25/2018.) From the 1850s through the 1880s, this 300 block of North Main Street contained some of early Los Angeles's most important businesses, included several hotels with public meeting spaces, telegraph and stage coach offices, and a significant bank, the Farmers and Merchants Bank #1. The bank stood one storefront south of the Grand Central Hotel.

Building History

In 1881, G.L. Schmidt operated the Grand Central Hotel at 38-42 Main Street in Los Angeles, CA. (See Los Angeles, California, City and County Directory, 1881-2, [Los Angeles: Southern California Directory Company, 1881], p. 172.)

Building Notes

The building had an economical, rectangular form, trimmed with Italianate ornamentation. It demonstrated a degree of ornamental richness without the turrets, bay windows or other protruding shapes popular during the later Queen Anne period. The Grand Central Hotel probably had cast-iron supports on the first floor, enabling wide spans and large windows for retail shops, with a wood structure above. Windows on the second and third floors were topped by alternating triangular and segmental pediments of wood. The parapet was trimmed by a frieze supported by ornamental brackets.

In about 1880, the Atlantic and Pacific Telegraph Company had its Los Angeles office in the first floor of the hotel.

PCAD id: 20156