Boyle Heights in Los Angeles County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
Cummings Comes To California
The stately brick building, with its projecting turret and other distinctive Victorian-era details, is one of the reminders of early Boyle Heights; and the Cummings Block, completed in 1889, represents another fascinating story of one of Los Angeles' first suburbs.
María del Sacramento's (Sacramenta) grandfather, Estévan López, was given the land known as Paredón Blanco (White Bluff) by city officials in 1835. Sacramenta was the daughter of Francisco "Chico" López and Rosario Almenares, and was raised on that family land.
In 1869, she married George Cummings, an Austrian immigrant, who ten years before had purchased forty acres in Paredón Blanco, where the newlyweds built their home. Later, Cummings developed the Mount Pleasant subdivision on this land.
Cummings came to California in 1849 as one of the hordes of men seeking their fortunes in the Gold Rush. He had some luck mining but made his way more successfully as a farmer and cattle rancher. His success was so great that he was able to purchase three thousand acres of land in Tehachapi,
Building the Cummings Block
When the boom of the 1880s revived the fortunes of Boyle Heights, George Cummings took part by building a brick commercial block at the northwest corner of First Street and Boyle Avenue (formerly López Street). Its construction was timed with the opening of the Los Angeles Cable Railway, which came from downtown, along First Street, and ran right by the new structure as it transported riders through Boyle Heights. Both the streetcar and the Cummings Block were instrumental in encouraging the rapid growth of this new suburb.
Designed in the Queen Anne-Italianate style and costing $22,000, the four-story structure included first-floor storefronts, decorative brickwork, and a distinctive corner turret. The building housed the Cummings Hotel and served the influx of families and businessmen flocking to
George and Sacramenta continued to maintain their Boyle Heights and Tehachapi properties; however, George died tragically in a hotel fire in Kern County in 1903. His large funeral was held at St. Mary's Catholic Church and attended by William H. Workman and many other early Boyle Heights pioneers. Sacramenta survived her husband by almost thirty years and during that time wrote a short historical novel based on the life of her great-grandfather, Claudio López, majordomo of the San Gabriel Mission and mayor of Los Angeles (1826), called Claudio and Anita: A Historical Romance. She died in 1930, at the age of 80.
In the years that followed, the building became a residential hotel (Boyle Hotel), serving many local mariachi musicians — so much so, that it became known as "Mariachi Hotel." In 2007, the non-profit East LA Community Corporation purchased the building, and later that year it was declared a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument. Following a major restoration by ELACC, the Boyle Hotel-Cummings Block reopened in 2012.
Erected 2007 by City of Los Angeles. (Marker Number 891.)
Topics and series. Agriculture • Architecture • Industry & Commerce • Settlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the City of Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monuments series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1889.
Location. 34° 2.852′ N, 118° 13.197′ W. Marker is in Boyle Heights, California, in Los Angeles County. Marker is at the intersection of Boyle Avenue and 1st Street, on the left when traveling north on Boyle Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 101 N Boyle Ave, Los Angeles CA 90033, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within one mile of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Hollenbeck Park (approx. half a mile away); Santa Fe Coast Lines Hospital (approx. 0.6 miles away); El Aliso (approx. 0.8 miles away); General Hospital (approx. 1.1 miles away); In Memory of Our Ancestors (approx. 1.1 miles away); Sylmar Tunnel Disaster (approx. 1.1 miles away); Los Angeles Union Passenger Terminal (approx. 1.1 miles away); Ford Factory Los Angeles (approx. 1.1 miles away).
Also see . . . Angels Walk L.A.(Submitted on June 5, 2021.)
Credits. This page was last revised on May 3, 2022. It was originally submitted on June 5, 2021, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California. This page has been viewed 180 times since then and 78 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on June 5, 2021, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California.