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Exposing History at the Hayward

By Eric Richardson
Published: Friday, June 06, 2008, at 10:56AM
Hayward Plaque Eric Richardson [Flickr]

This plaque on the 1925 addition to the Hayward Hotel was covered in metal panels.

When workers started tearing a mid-century metal facade off the 6th street addition to the Hayward Hotel, they uncovered a great link to Los Angeles history. At ground level on the eastern edge of the building was a plaque commemorating its original owner, H.C. Fryman, and its architects, John and Donald Parkinson.

The Parkinson name is hardly an obscure one. The list of monuments designed by John Parkinson and his son Donald includes dozens of Downtown structures, including City Hall and Union Station.

The pair designed the fourteen-story addition for Fryman in 1925. Business was booming. It was the Hayward's second expansion, after the 1918 Spring street addition. The main hotel building had also received an extra floor in 1916. The 1925 addition added 180 rooms to the hotel.

H.C. Fryman was born in St. Mary's, Ohio. He started his hotel life as a bellboy. He rose quickly from there, and in 1905 built the Hayward on the site where George A. Ralphs had opened his first grocery store (which then moved to 514 S. Spring). Fryman owned the Hayward until 1943, was part of the development of Huntington Park, Watts and Culver City. He died in 1946, at the age of 70.

Like so many buildings Downtown, the facade of the Hayward got a rework sometime around the 1960's. A metal facade covered up the original exterior, and this bit of history got tucked away. Now that it's out, rest assured it won't be disappearing again.

Recently: Hayward Facade Work Looks to Enliven 6th & Spring Retail

Historical information compiled from L.A. Times archive stories.


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