The Ezra Wilson Building, also known as the Occidental Hotel, was completed around 1898 at 428 South Hill Street. Though never one of the city’s landmark establishments, it was one of the earlier commercial buildings to venture into Pershing Square’s vicinity, at the onset of its rapid transition from residential district to downtown center. In 1914, the relatively humble building was dwarfed by the 11-story Hotel Clark, which rose on the adjacent plot on its north side. The Occidental Hotel was eventually acquired and demolished by its neighbor, replaced by a two-story annex in 1937, pictured above.
In 1950, the annex was handed to the Salvation Army for use as a servicemen’s club, which was then transferred to the Los Angeles USO the following year. Though it appears that the USO stayed at this location for at least two decades, both the Hotel Clark and its annex have remained vacant since the early 1990s. Fortunately, both structures are included in the Chetrit Group’s ongoing renovation of the of the historic hotel complex.
Long Renovation of the Hotel Clark Continues [blogdowntown]
1. “Festive night at the Clark.” Los Angeles Times. 25 Jan. 1914. III7.
2. “Fire sears hotel, one heroic rescue.” Los Angeles Times. 28 Dec. 1908. 14.
3. “House and lot.” Los Angeles Times. 28 Oct. 1897. 6.
4. Insurance Maps of Los Angeles California: Volume 1. New York: Sanborn Map Company, 1953.
5. “New serviceman club to be dedicated today.” Los Angeles Times. 27 Nov. 1950. 23.
6. “Salvation army service center goes to USO.” Los Angeles Times. 13 Apr. 1951. A2.
Original photo: “chs-m1291-Occidental Hotel on the east side of Hill Street between Fourth Street and Fifth Street, ca.1910.” Title Insurance and Trust/C. C. Pierce Photography Collection. USC Digital Library. USC Libraries Special Collections. http://digitallibrary.usc.edu/assetserver/controller/view/CHS-2431.