Wednesday, May 23, 2007

No. 27 - The Castle


The Castle
Former locations: 325 South Bunker Hill Avenue, 3800 Homer Street
Declared: 5/8/64

The Castle, built around 1882 on Bunker Hill, was moved to Heritage Square in 1969 to be restored as part of the site’s collection of Victorian architecture. Unfortunately, the building was burned to the ground by arsonists on October 9, 1969, the same night as the Salt Box.

A shot of the Castle being dismantled for relocation.
Here’s a picture of the Castle and Salt Box being moved.
The 10/9/69 fire.

The artist in the above photo (from UCLA’s Digital Collections) is Mr Leo Politi. Politi (1908 – 1996) was a children’s book author/illustrator with a passionate dedication to the city of Los Angeles. Some of his more L.A.-centric books include Pedro, The Angel of Olive Street (1946), and 1989’s Angeleno Heights. He was also responsible for a few murals downtown, most notably the Blessing of the Animals at the entrance to the Eugene Biscailuz Building on Olvera Street. Today, there’s a Leo Politi Elementary School, dedicated in 1991, on West Eleventh Street, and a Montecillo de Leo Politi Park in Elysian Park.

Here’s the cover to the 1964 book, Bunker Hill, Los Angeles, which features Politi's artwork of the once exclusive, upper-class area, painted during the Hill’s last, sad days (that’s the Castle in the upper left).

"Bunker Hill, Los Angeles" by Leo Politi

In the book, Politi writes that the Castle “was also called the Armour House, because it was believed to be built by the Armour meat packing people of Chicago in 1882. Daniel Francis Donegan, an early-day grading contractor, bought it in 1893.”

The Castle by Leo Politi
"The Castle" by Leo Politi