AKA: Bernard's Block, Downtown, Los Angeles, CA

Structure Type: built works - commercial buildings - restaurants

Designers: Parkinson, John, Architect (firm); John Parkinson (architect)

Dates: constructed 1883-1884

3 stories

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110 West 1st Street
Downtown, Los Angeles, CA United States 90012

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The Natick House was located at East 1st Street and North Main Street


Opened in the mid-1880s, the Natick House had eighty guest rooms and a first-floor dining room that could accomodate 125 patrons. Located on the corner of Main Street and 1st Street, its main entrance faced the latter. It functioned as one of the leading hotels serving a middle- and upper-class clientele for a decade after its opening. Between its construction in 1884 and 1899, the hotel had two stories. A single story was added in mid-1899. The building also housed commercial offices in addition to guest rooms.

Building History

The Natick House was founded by M.S. Rowell and George F. Dewing in 1883. By 04/1884, the two had announced the dissolution of their partnership: “Notice is hereby given that the copartnership heretofore existing between M.S. Rowell and George F. Dewing, as proprietors of the Natick House, in the city of Los Angeles, is hereby dissolved by mutual consent, George F. Dewing retiring from said business. Mr. M.S. Rowell remaining in charge of said house, who will collect and pay all bills of said firm (of Rowell & Dewing) from and after this date. [Los Angeles, April 22d, 1884.]” (See “Dissolution Notice,” Los Angeles Herald, vol. 21, no. 65, 05/02/1884, p. 6.)

By 1885, a "Natick House" hotel also operated in San Diego, CA. (See Natick House ad, San Diego Union and Daily Bee, vol. XXIX, no. 4586, 08/11/1885, p. 3.)

In 1886, Natick House billed itself as "...the most centrally located house in the city; it is opposite the Grand Opera House, only half a block from the Post-Office, Telegraph and Telephone Offices, and but one block form the City Hall. This House has been opened for two years, and has won for itself a good reputation with the traveling public." (See Los Angeles Public Library.org, Natick House advertisement in Southern California Illustrated, c. 1886-1887, p. 41, accessed 01/25/2021.) The proprietor contonued to be M.S. Rowell in 1886-1887.

Rowell had, by 01/1887, created another hotel in Riverside, CA. The Los Angeles Herald reported on its grand opening: "“The grand opening of the new Rowell’s Hotel will take place at Riverside on Friday next. Mr. Rowell is the owner of the Natick House in this city, which is a guarantee that the Riverside Hotel will be an acquisition to that lovely settlement. The Herald acknowledges an invitation to the event.” ( See “News Notes,” Los Angeles Herald, vol. 26, no. 80, 01/04/1887, p. 8.)

An announcement in the Los Angeles Herald indicated that J.S. Chadwick had leased the Barnard Block, the building in which the Natick House operated. It stated: “J.S. Chadwick has leased the Barnard Block, (Natick House), for a term of five years, commencing December 1st. At the expiration of the lease of the Natick House, Chadwick will add two more stories to the building. The lease of the Natick House lasts one year longer.” (See “News Notes,” Los Angeles Herald, vol. 29, no. 65, 12/06/1887, p. 10.)

In 1899, the Bernard Estate owned Natick House. The Hart Brothers managed the Natick House in 06/1903.

In 1916, the Natick House advertised itself as “renovated and now up-to-date.” J.S. Thoma was the manager at the time. Of the 150 rooms available, rates ranged from 75 cents to $2.00 daily. It offered a “free bus to and from all trains.” (See Natick House advertisement, Western Journal of Education, vol. XXII, no. 5, 05/1916, p. 22.)

Building Notes

In 1883, Dupuy and Hicks, Commission Merchants occupied Room #12 of the Bernard Block. (See DuPuy and Hicks advertisement, Los Angeles Herald, col. 19. no. 120, 07/11/1883, p. 4.)

In 1886, Natick House was a two-story, Italianate building with glazed storefronts located on the first floor, and rooms above. Most rooms were illuminated by arched Italianate windows. Two signs just below cornice line, announced the hotel's name.

Owners of the Natick House faced a boycott by the Trades Council for hiring Chinese-American workers in their hotel. It was boycotted along with the Saint Charles Hotel, Brown's Restaurant (on Main Street), and French-Italian Restaurant (28 East 1st Street) in 05/1886. (See Trades Council boycott ad, Los Angeles Herald, vol. 25, no. 62, 05/15/1886, p. 2.) Since the late 1860s, nativist attacks on Chinese-Americans occurred periodically in Los Angeles, building to a terrible lynching incident on 10/24/1871. The Los Angeles Almanac said of the 1871 lynching: "On the evening of October 24, several white constables entered Chinatown to break up an argument between members of the tongs. Whether by anger or accident, a white man ended up dead by gunshot wound. Shortly thereafter, a mob of 500 non-Asian Angelenos began hunting down and assaulting every Chinese they could find. After five hours, the mobs had killed at least 17 Chinese men and boys (only one of the victims might have been implicated in the death of the white man). Chinese homes and businesses had also been looted. Eleven white men including Sheriff James Burns and prominent Angeleno Robert Widney had attempted to stop the mobs but were themselves overwhelmed. The mob even shot and killed one of the white men who was trying to protect the Chinese." (See Los Angeles Almanac.com, "1871 Chinese Massacre," accessed 01/29/2021.) Problems continued well into the 1880s, as the 1886 anti-Chinese boycott in Los Angeles attested. Earlier that year in Seattle, betwen 02/06/1889 until 02/09/1886, mobs had menaced Chinese-American residents, resulting in the violent expulsion of a high percentage of the city's ethnically Asian inhabitants.

In 1892, rooms at the Natick House ranged in price between $1.25 and $2.00, and meals cost 25 cents. (See Los Angeles City Directory and Gazetteer, 1892, p. 639.)

During the 1900s, hoteliers George and Dwight Hart, who also owned the larger Hotel Rosslyn #1, operated the Natick House.


Los Angeles architect John Parkinson (1861-1935) undertook "extensive improvements on the property." These included installation of another story adding 75 more rooms, an elevator, and a steam-heating plant. The interior was also to be completely remodeled in 02/1899. (See "Addition of Third Story," Los Angeles Record, 06/13/1899, p. 2.)

The hotel was renovated around 1916, as well.


The Natick House was demolished.

PCAD id: 3177