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Boyle Heights in Los Angeles County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Boyle Hotel

Cummings Block

 
 
Boyle Hotel Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Baker, June 1, 2021
1. Boyle Hotel Marker
Inscription.  

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,
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By Craig Baker, June 1, 2021
2. Boyle Hotel Marker
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where he established the Cummings Ranch in the 1850s. George and his bride lived there for only a short time, returning to Sacramenta's beloved Paredón Blanco in the mid-1870s. During that time, Los Angeles was experiencing its first growth period, and Boyle Heights was growing as well. George and Sacramenta, who had seven children, built a spacious two-story Queen Anne home on Cummings' property. There, they cultivated a large orchard with over two thousand orange trees and fifteen hundred other fruit trees.

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
Boyle Hotel Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Baker, June 1, 2021
3. Boyle Hotel Marker
the area at that time. The building was designed by prominent architect W.R. Norton, who had become popular after his work on "Wynyate" — a home that was built in 1887 for the first mayor of South Pasadena.

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.
Boyle Hotel and Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Baker, June 1, 2021
4. Boyle Hotel and Marker
This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: AgricultureArchitectureIndustry & CommerceSettlements & 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 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. General Hospital (approx. 1.1 miles away); In Memory of Our Ancestors (approx. 1.1 miles away); Honoring The Lives (approx. 1.1 miles away); Los Angeles Union Passenger Terminal (approx. 1.1 miles away); Union Station (approx. 1.1 miles away); San Antonio Winery (approx. 1.1 miles away); Japanese-American Soldiers (approx. 1.2 miles away); Bell of Dolores (approx. 1.2 miles away).
 
Also see . . .  Angels Walk L.A.
Boyle Hotel / Cummings Block image. Click for full size.
By Craig Baker, June 1, 2021
5. Boyle Hotel / Cummings Block
Self-guided walking tours of historic neighborhoods in Los Angeles. The Boyle Hotel / Cummings Block marker is part of the Boyle Heights walk. (Submitted on June 5, 2021.) 
 
Photo on Marker image. Click for full size.
California State Library / William H. Fletcher, Photographer, circa 1895
6. Photo on Marker
Looking west down a dirt-paved First Street, a cable car cruises by the Cummings Block, c.1895. In the distance, horse-drawn carriages, early buildings, and parts of the bridge connecting downtown to Boyle Heights can be seen.
Boyle Hotel Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Baker, June 1, 2021
7. Boyle Hotel Marker
Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 891.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 5, 2021. It was originally submitted on June 5, 2021, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California. This page has been viewed 72 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on June 5, 2021, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California.

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Jun. 13, 2021