ALWAYS KEEP THE SUN AT YOUR BACK is a cardinal rule of photography, but sometimes it's not possible. This Rozelle aerial lacks his usual clarity because of that (I think). It was taken in 1947, when the Bank of America (excuse me, Home Federal, excuse me Washington Mutual, excuse me Chase) building was the tallest one on Broadway. The downtown post office, at the lower left, caught my eye and then I looked across the street. It was the old Carnegie main library, torn down in 1954 for the "new" main library.

This brings back memories. My family purchased the Hotel Churchill at 9th & C (bottom left corner) in 1972. It was built in 1915 as a 6-story building. Someone convinced Mr. Churchill (no relation to Winston) to add a ballroom and penthouses to the top during the Roaring ‘20s, so they added the 7th floor, increasing the room count to 92. They had a total of ONE dance before they realized it was a bad idea, due to the teeny elevator and teeny public restrooms. They turned the ballroom into a big guest lounge. My involvement started right away as Assistant Manager, which meant I worked the front desk, elevator, houseman, and night auditor on everyone else's days off. Hand operated 500VDC Otis Elevator. We acquired the building to the right of it a year later, and the building behind it in the '80s. We put together 1/3 of a block, and we sold the whole shebang in 1997. My dad had his office on the 7th floor in the old ballroom until he passed in 1995. If you look at the bottom right of the picture, extreme corner, you will see parts of our other main hotel, the New Plaza Hotel, which is on 4th Avenue in the middle of the block. We bought that one in 1973, and I became the General Manager at the ripe old age of 20. It was 192 rooms in two buildings. I had 19 employees, all older than me. One clerk was in his 80's. The first building was built in 1906 as the Waldorf Hotel, and had a couple of cool restaurants on the ground floor and basement. In 1926 they built a 9-story annex with an updated elevator, still called the Waldorf Hotel. Sometime after the crash it was renamed the New Plaza Hotel, due to its close proximity to Horton Plaza. It was across the street from the east entrance of the US Grant Hotel. I lived in the penthouse on the roof for many years. That was back when there weren't enough people downtown on a Sunday to have a fight. I parked my cars across the street at the US Grant. We sold the Plaza around 1984. I sure learned a lot about people and business in those years -- George Fish Jr. '71


"North" La Mesa

Paradise Hills

San Diego Bay to the desert

East San Diego to Point Loma

Lemon Grove

Ocean Beach Pier

Sorrento Valley

East Pacific Beach

Solar Aircraft

Montgomery Field

La Jolla

Balboa Stadium

Amaya Drive

San Diego DMV

Roseville

More Rancho Drive-In Aerials

San Diego All City Catholic Boys Concert

Lomita Village

Naval Training Center

San Diego/National City

Pacific Beach

San Diego Rowing Club

East San Diego

University City and Clairemont

I-15 Completion

Street & Sons Auto Wrecking

D & H Auto Service

Mystery Aerial

Lake Murray

Rancho Drive-In

Mrs. Conkling's Delivery Truck

Balboa Park

Mission Valley Center

East San Diego (and a lot more)

Blessed Sacrament Church

Balboa Stadium

32nd Street Mothball Fleet

Mission Valley Center West

Ferry Landing

Lindbergh Field

Allied Gardens

32nd Street Quonset Huts

Wabash & Highway 94

Westgate Park

Highway 101 & 80

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