Dredging up a couple posts from September about the old county courthouse cornerstone:
Originally Posted by MichaelRyerson
your cornerstone is on the move...
A crowd has gathered to remove the cornerstone of the old Los Angeles County Courthouse on May 20, 1936. The first Los Angeles County Courthouse was built in 1891(?) and is also as known as the "Red Sandstone Courthouse." Located at Spring and Temple, this building served as the courthouse until 1933, when it sustained damage in the Long Beach earthquake, and was demolished in 1936.
Originally Posted by Los Angeles Past
Wow, most excellent! Thank you for the great find! I'm still curious to know what items they found inside it...
Another question that's been bugging me: Where do you suppose the cornerstone was kept for the 36 years between the demolition of the old Court House and the erection of the present Justice Center on that site in 1972? That's a long time to keep something that large and that heavy in storage.
I have some partial answers to these questions. I came across a book called "Courthouses of California: an Illustrated History" in Google Books. I was published in 2001.
Excerpts from pages 287-288:
"In May 1936, when the building was nearly demolished, the Historical Society of Southern California invited Los Angelenos who had been present at the laying of the cornerstone in 1888 to witness its removal. Among those who attended was former State Senator R. F. Del Valle, a member of a prominent Spanish family and then the oldest practitioner at the local Bar.
The original cornerstone was located and the box placed in it nearly 50 years earlier was opened. A contemporary account of the ceremonies reports, "Golden California sunshine poured down, making it a typical California day. As the various mementos, newspapers, cards and programs came out of the box and were read by the Chairman, it was evident that the members of the crowd were stirred; applause and audible comments greeted many of the old mementos. Old men and ladies hugged and nudged each other when a program of a great dance held in Turnverein Hall appeared. The belles and beaux of yesterday certainly remembered that occasion."
The cornerstone of the old courthouse was kept in storage until the new courthouse was completed in 1959. It was then installed in a place of honor on the lawn of the new courthouse. A subsequent landscaping project removed the lawn and relocated the cornerstone to an elevated planter box. There was nothing to call attention to it or identify it. When someone turned it upside down, the date carved on it (1888) was obscured. There it sat for years, unnoticed. Only the curiosity of Superior Court Judge Gary Klausner led to its rediscovery in 1998. Plans are being made for the old cornerstone to be suitably displayed, perhaps in the criminal courts building, which now occupies the site of the old red sandstone courthouse."
As it was not yet in place when the book was published in 2001, it seems that the cornerstone has been in its current location next to the criminal courts building for a scant 11 years or less!
I searched the LA times web site for any mention of its placement but found nothing. However, on a different subject I did find a series of 4 blog posts from July 2008 featuring a wealth of vintage photos of Spring Street:
Spring Street, July 20, 2008
Spring Street Revisited, July 27, 2008
Spring Street Revisited, July 28
Spring Street Revisited, July 29
Perhaps they've been linked in the thread before, I dunno.
One of them mentions the cornerstone in its new location, so it was placed some time between 2001 and 2008.
Larry Harnisch's Daily Mirror blog has been linked here before in both incarnations - at the LA times for 4 years until 2011, and subsequently at www.ladailymirror.com