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tracing farther back in history

By Eric Richardson
Published: Tuesday, August 31, 2004, at 05:45PM

As I was yesterday, I'm again today doing some digging into the history of the buildings that were eventually transformed into Premiere Towers. Yesterday I found the Sep.1923, LA Times article that announced the building's opening. Today I found another article from April, 1922, announcing that the building would be constructed. The article includes a reference to the "Victoria Trask" property.

Announcements of plans for a new home for the California Bank were made yesterday for the first time. Negotiations have been completed by a group of local capitalists for the erection of a twelve-story class-A building on the Victoria Trask property, on the west side of Spring Street, between Sixth and Seventh streets.

So who or what is Victoria Trask? Apparently it's Mrs. Victoria Trask. A June, 1921, article announces "Twelve-Story Structure to Rise in New Financial District." The plans were announced by H.H. Ford, President of the Redlands National Bank, and the included drawing looks almost identical to the California Bank building announced the next year.

This property, owned by Mrs. Victoria Trask, was taken under a fifty-year lease by Mr. Ford several months ago, and tentative plans were prepared at that time for a nine-story structure to be erected on the property.

So who was Victoria Trask? She was married to Walter J Trask, or at least was until he died in 1911. Mr. Trask was a local lawyer, and his obituary says that he had been president of the Los Angeles Bar Association. They lived in a house at 1321 S. Figueroa, a location that definitely does not have housing any longer. A property Mrs. Trask owned was involved in an assessment dispute with the city in 1912, though the heart of the argument was over the city widening of Sunset, so the property involved would be different than the one that became Premiere. She was also active in real estate dealings back to 1902 (and possibly before that... I think that's about where I hit the beginning of the online Times archives).

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