'I want you to come on, come on, come on, come on and take it,
Take another little piece of my heart now, baby!
Oh, oh, break it!
Break another little bit of my heart now, darling, yeah, yeah, yeah.'
Bruno was short and used to hard work. He knew the railroads and the brickyards and the steel rimmed wagon wheel, the hand carts and the rag men, the drunks and the prostitutes, the gamblers and the con-men. Jack Johnson may have crossed these stones and perhaps Jim Jeffries too. And the ladies from Madame Van's.
Map of Bruno Street, Sanborn fire insurance map, 1906
Shows the relationship to the Union Warehouse (formerly Naud's Warehouse until 1906) which will burn to the ground in September, 1915.
from Big Orange Landmarks, Floyd B. Bariscale
Looking northwest across Bruno Street between Main Street and Alameda, 2011
General view of the granite paving stones of Bruno Street with Alameda crossing at the far end of the street and the Gold Line above. In this area Main Street (behind the camera) is actually east of Alameda. The granite paving stones have been in-place at least a century.
This is a view of the granite cobblestones of Bruno Street which date to the early twentieth century. Unlike fired or red paving bricks these are hand-hewn from solid granite and have lasted quite without apparent wear over a hundred years. May they be in-place for another hundred. What company or what individual was responsible for producing these paving stones is lost to history. Claude B. Bariscale estimates their installation to 1913. I've asked him for a source for that date (as it seems somewhat late to me) but haven't heard back.
Periodically, in their wisdom, the Street Department feels the need to uproot parts of Bruno Street in the process of top dressing the roadbed with asphalt. I was able to retrieve these two for my modest collection of Los Angelesiana. The smaller brick is perfect in every way, small, squared off and hefty. One side (side nearest the camera) shows traffic wear and a bore hole from the quarry is apparent on an off-side. The larger stone (according to an older woman at Hollywood Beauty Supply) apparently was uprooted from an area of a gutter drain since closed off.
And lastly, a shot of what I image to be the bore hole (now filled with excess asphalt) with which the granite was quarried.
And now to Mignonette...recently E-R talked about the Los Angeles Pressed Brick Company...
Los Angeles Pressed Brick Co.
Charlie Frost organized the Los Angeles Pressed Brick and Terra Cotta Company in 1887. The company office was located at 204 South Spring Street until 1896, when it was moved to 119 South Broadway. In 1900, the office was moved to the Frost Building at 145 Broadway. The entire sixth floor of the Frost Building was where the company had its products showroom. The original brickyard (shown here) was located on three acres of land at Cleveland and College (very near the French Hospital). They used clay taken from this location (and supplemented it with clay brought in from Riverside County) until they closed this yard in 1916 and moved into a new, expanded (13 acres!) operation on Date Street right where it makes that 90 degree turn to run up to Alhambra Street. Interestingly, at least to me, you can find the second yard by starting at the first yard at College and Cleveland and simply running your finger down the map (Baist 1921), (and in running your finger down College passing within a block of Bruno Street) following College to where it turns into Date Street. The Los Angeles Pressed Brick yard is south of Date Street.
In 1926, Howard Frost decided to retire and this caused a large block of his holdings to be transferred to the Gladding, McBean & Company, which took control of the Los Angeles Pressed Brick Company. Frost retained a large number of shares and remained a director for four more years. The offices of the two companies were combined on February 22, on the top floor of the Pacific Finance Building in Los Angeles. Atholl McBean became the new president, replacing Howard Frost, and F.B. Ortman the vice-president and general manager, replacing Richard D. Hatton. Gladding, McBean & Company allowed the Los Angeles Pressed Brick Company to continue to operate independently, except for the terra cotta sales, which Gladding, McBean & Company wanted to control. The total gross sales of the two companies were estimated to range between $6,000,000 and $7,000,000 annually. Gus Larson remained the plant manager of the company plants
image ebay via NLA founder e-r
Mignonette was somewhat longer and more refined than Bruno and sat at the western edge of what promised to be more fashionable homes as the city expanded west from Bunker Hill. She was meant for surreys and Packard automobiles. Less than two blocks from the Sam Kee Laundry on Figueroa Street it is likely Anna May Wong and her little sister would have steered their horse-drawn wagon through this intersection to pick up or deliver laundry on and around Court Circle.
Planned construction of a massive condo complex means the approaching loss of any physical evidence Mignonette ever actually existed...
Mignonette at Fremont, brick retrieval
Captain of the Brick Recovery Team indicates the precise location for other team members...
Looking north toward Temple Street with Fremont on the right.
The construction is underway! Are we too late??
At the northwest corner of Fremont and Mignonette...
Evil construction trailers and a clue on the ground...
Initial reconnaissance turns up two large construction trailers and a friendly watchman...
Mignonette and Fremont brick recovery underway...
Members of the Brick Recovery Team begin the resurrection...note the brick recovery tool (maxi) in the upper left corner of the image...
Here is an image of one of the Los Angeles Pressed Brick Company's products...
Brick, LAPBCo. paver-lugs
Brand name: L.A.P.B.CO. (many lugs)
Company: Los Angeles Pressed Brick Company
Location: Cloverfield and Colorado, Santa Monica, Los Angeles County, CA.
Operating Years: 1906-1926
Years Brick Made: unknown
Description: Abbreviated company name impressed into the face between two rows of rectangular-shaped protruding lugs.
And here are the jewels we were able to pull from the intersection of Fremont and Mignonette...
Los Angeles Pressed Brick Co., Mignonette
Interestingly, this one in the foreground actually has a radius which was placed in the roadbed near the curb to follow the curve of the road.
Los Angeles Pressed Brick Co., Mignonette II
Gently cleaned and placed in the morning sun to show the imprint and color of the brick.
Bruno and Mignonette