Embracing the old world charm of countryside palaces and romantic Mediterranean villas, the Pico House has a timeless Italianate Victorian design. This style is a 16th century Italian Renaissance inspiration that started in Britain around 1837-1901. Ezra Kysor, an American architect, possibly studied early Victorian era architecture since he was 35 in 1870 when the Pico House completed.
LA’s first luxury hotel
This is the design that embodies urbanity, grandeur, and romance. The Pico House is a modernized Italianate Victorian: 3 stories of architectural splendor.
Italianate Victorian design
Occupying an entire city block, a French restaurant in the courtyard and 80 bedrooms with running water and gas lighting, as well as 21 parlours for entertaining and socializing.
Once a governor of Alta California, Pio Pico invested $80,000 in building the most luxurious hotel in LA. Today’s cost would be $2,021.96. By the 1880s, the new railroad connected more customers.
Transfer of ownership
Pico was the richest man in Alta California, but lost his riches because of scams and gambling. He had to let it go for $16,000 which is $323,513 in today’s money. The hotel n 1953 became the property of California.
A San Francisco bank got rich
The San Francisco Savings & Loan Company became the owner of the Hotel in 1876 because of all the debts Pico accumulated. If you didn’t know, at the time San Francisco was the 8th largest city in the United States. Entrepreneurs opened banks because of the gold rush, so the bigger banks in California were in San Francisco.
The United States had its centennial in 1876 and the transcontinental train arrives Los Angeles for the first time from San Francisco. Los Angeles was no longer a small outpost. In 1885, Santa Fe Railroad arrives for the first time and people filled into Los Angeles. In 1880 the population was 5,000 and 1890, the population grew 50,000. By 1900, the population rose to 100,000. If Pio Pico still had his hotel who knows how Los Angeles will be today.
All images above are shot by me and copyrighted.