Completed in 1904, the Hotel Pepper was arguably the most flamboyant of the many hotels built in Los Angeles’ Westlake district at the turn of the century. In addition to over one hundred rooms, the hotel boasted an observation deck on its eighth floor, offering its guests unobstructed views of the growing city’s landscape. Today’s observers may nonetheless be most intrigued by the building’s garish design, a confused blend of Moorish Revival and Italianate architectural elements. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Hotel Pepper seems to have been the only major work of its architect, C. H. Brinkhoff.
Despite some initial success, the Hotel Pepper had lost much of its status by the late 1910s, around the time it was renamed the Wesley Terrace Hotel. Like many of its Westlake neighbors, the hotel went into an irreversible decline following the Second World War; by the late 1950s, its old guest rooms were largely vacant. The building stood until 1966, when it was demolished and replaced by Foy Station, an austere Post Office branch.
1. “Doings of builders and architects.” Los Angeles Times. 4 Oct. 1903. D1.
2. “Doings of builders and architects.” Los Angeles Times. 13 Sep. 1903. D1.
3. “Fire in old hotel routs 25 guests.” Los Angeles Times. 23 Oct. 1957. 1.
4. “Lease valuable property.” Los Angeles Times. 13 Apr. 1923. II1.
5. “Private renewal project started.” Los Angeles Times. 24 Jul. 1966. N7.
Original photo: C. C. Pierce & Co. “CHS-M827 – Exterior view of the Hotel Pepper on the corner of Seventh Street and Burlington Avenue, 1905.” Title Insurance and Trust/C. C. Pierce Photography Collection. USC Digital Library. USC Libraries Special Collections. http://digitallibrary.usc.edu/assetserver/controller/view/CHS-31335.