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Palmer Conner Collection of Color Slides of Los Angeles: Finding Aid
photCL 486  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Overview of the Collection
  • Access
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical Note on Palmer Conner
  • Historical Note on Bunker Hill
  • Scope and Content
  • Related materials in the Huntington Library
  • Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms

  • Overview of the Collection

    Title: Palmer Conner Collection of Color Slides of Los Angeles
    Dates (inclusive): 1950-1970
    Collection Number: photCL 486
    Creator: Conner, Palmer
    Extent: 705 photographs in 4 slides boxes within 1 box : color transparencies (35 mm Kodachrome slides)
    Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Photo Archives
    1151 Oxford Road
    San Marino, California 91108
    Phone: (626) 405-2191
    Email: reference@huntington.org
    URL: http://www.huntington.org
    Abstract: This collection consists of 705 Kodachrome slides taken by Palmer Conner (1900-1975) depicting downtown Los Angeles between 1954 and 1972. The bulk of the images in this collection were taken during the years of the Bunker Hill Redevelopment Project that began in 1955 and reflect the demolition of Bunker Hill and the reconstruction of the Civic Center area. As such, the images provide an important visual record of the rapidly changing urban core of Los Angeles over a period of nearly two decades. Images chiefly consist of views of commercial and residential building exteriors taken from the street, including images of both new construction and older buildings in the process of being demolished.
    Language: English.
    Note:
    Finding aid last updated on February 6, 2015.

    Access

    Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.

    Administrative Information

    Publication Rights

    The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Palmer Conner Collection of Color Slides of Los Angeles, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

    Provenance

    Gift of Gina Dunseth, 2004.

    Biographical Note on Palmer Conner

    Edmund Palmer Conner (1900-1975) was born in Norfolk, Virginia on January 1, 1900. He was one of three children of Charles S. Conner, a lawyer, and Theodosia Brown Conner. The family migrated west in 1901 and settled in San Diego, California, where Conner attended elementary school, later moving to Pasadena where he attended Pasadena High School.
    Palmer Conner was employed by the Title Insurance and Trust Company of Los Angeles from 1922 until 1937, working in a variety of roles as Chief Title Searcher, Plant Manager, and Assistant Secretary. During that time, he developed several innovative procedures for title searching, including the first key punch mechanical method for searching real estate titles.
    In 1937, Conner established the Land Escrow and Safe Deposit Company in Alhambra but left the company to open Land Title Insurance Company where he served as president until 1948. He founded Western Mutual Escrow Corporation in 1949 at the same Alhambra location. In 1953, Palmer Conner turned the business over to his son, Charles P. Conner, and it became the largest escrow company in California. Conner also formed Westlands Investments Incorporated in 1949, a land development firm responsible for many commercial and residential developments in Los Angeles, the Antelope Valley, Orange County and the San Diego area.
    In 1928, Conner researched and wrote a series of articles for the Los Angeles Times entitled “Romance of the Ranchos,” which told the stories of Southern California's Mexican ranchos. The Title Insurance & Trust Company published the series of articles in booklet form in 1929.

    Historical Note on Bunker Hill

    The Bunker Hill neighborhood of downtown Los Angeles, bounded by Temple, Figueroa, 6th, and Hill Streets, was once an opulent subdivision created exclusively for Los Angeles's upper class in the late 19th century. The neighborhood began to decline after World War I as its population surged and wealthy residents headed for more suburban enclaves. Mansions were subdivided and occupied by renters, and eventually blight set in. In the 1950s, the city of Los Angeles began to redevelop the Bunker Hill area through the Bunker Hill Redevelopment Project, which not only included the demolition of Bunker Hill and its Victorian mansions, but the reconstruction of the Civic Center area.

    Scope and Content

    The Palmer Conner Collection of Color Slides of Los Angeles consists of 35mm Kodachrome slides taken between 1954 and 1972. This collection of photographs taken by amateur photographer Palmer Conner documents by street the physical and social changes of Bunker Hill during the earliest stages of redevelopment. The collection is particularly strong in its depiction of the Bunker Hill neighborhood of downtown Los Angeles during redevelopment in the 1950s. Images chiefly consist of views of commercial and residential building exteriors taken from the street, including images of both new construction and older buildings in the process of being demolished.
    Note: Titles in the container list have been transcribed from the slide mounts.

    Related materials in the Huntington Library

    Arrangement

    The slides are arranged in one box in Palmer Conner's original order. Each slide has a unique number. There is no clear organizational schema, though photographs are often grouped together by street.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Huntington Library's Online Catalog.  

    Subjects

    Angels Flight (Railway) -- Photographs.
    Bunker Hill (Los Angeles, Calif.) -- Photographs.
    Los Angeles (Calif.) -- Photographs.
    Architecture, Victorian -- California -- Los Angeles -- Photographs.
    Automobiles -- Photographs.
    Bank buildings -- Photographs.
    Billboards -- California -- Los Angeles -- Photographs.
    Buildings -- California -- Los Angeles -- Photographs.
    Cityscapes -- California -- Los Angeles -- Photographs.
    Construction and demolition debris -- California -- Los Angeles -- Photographs.
    Electric railroads -- California -- Los Angeles -- Photographs.
    Historic buildings -- California -- Los Angeles -- Photographs.
    Hotels -- California -- Los Angeles -- Photographs.
    Housing -- California -- Los Angeles -- Photographs.
    Parking lots -- Photographs.
    Skyscrapers -- Photographs.
    Streetscapes (Urban design) -- Photographs.
    Urban renewal -- California -- Los Angeles -- Photographs.
    Wrecking -- California -- Los Angeles -- Photographs.

    Forms/Genres

    Photographs.
    Slides -- Color -- 1950-1970.