Page:Mexico, California and Arizona - 1900.djvu/444

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424
OLD MEXICO AND HER LOST PROVINCES.

a small Spanish plaza, set with pointed cypresses, and the principal hotel, the Pico House, it becomes lined with excellent buildings of the modern pattern. Of these the handsome "Baker Block" is most notable. Continuing to the ornate "Los Angeles Bank," Spring Street diverges at a small angle, and contributes, with Main Street, to give the commercial skeleton of the town the shape of a Y with a very long stem.

On Spring Street you find a common little post-office, the municipal offices, and a brown, Dutch-looking, brick building, standing free, originally constructed for a market, and now the Court-house. If you look into the lobby of the small adobe jail you will find that some leisurely prisoner of the frescoer's trade has converted it into a resemblance to a dungeon scene at the theatre. These two streets, with a shorter one, Los Angeles Street, parallel to Main, containing fruit and produce commission houses, comprise the commercial portion of the city.

New buildings are seen going up; the shops are large and well-appointed, and placards offer, in the usual shibboleth of trade, "To Reduce Stock!" "At Wholesale Slaughter," and "For the Next Sixty Days."

A serious depression afflicted Los Angeles in 1875, at the time of the general depression throughout the State, but that has been succeeded by a new reign of activity. Trim, large residences of the more prosperous merchants are seen in the outskirts of the town. Farther out yet these become villas, in the midst of plantations of orange and lemon, ruled off into formal plots by ditches for irrigation. The class of modest means abide in the side streets, in frame cottages. The German Turn-hall serves also the purpose of theatre for such companies as come this way.

It is held that Los Angeles, with its port of Wilming-