The Holy Trinity of Noir: the Tough Hood, the Tougher Cop, and the Dame. The Dame—in peril, and perilous to know.
Tonight’s tale takes this Trinitarian shape, but contains, oddly, but two players.
Our first adherent is Mr. X., aka Tough Hood. He heard the clip-clop of heels reverberate throught the misty night air of February 7, 1944. He followed his prey—the Dame, in peril, to her pad, and once she was inside, he attacked!
Unfortunately for Tough Hood, Dame in peril, true to form, was perilous to know. She was playing double duty as Tougher Cop. Tough Hood had unwittingly attacked Miss Margaret Maguire, a deputy sheriff. Mr. X ended up with only a purse strap, and a heart pumping blood and terror; Maguire chased him all the way out of the neighborhood.
Maguire lived at the Carleton (across the street from the St. Angelo).
With a nod to its severe symmetry, Corinthian columns, and pointy pediment, Hill chronicler Hylen made sure to photograph Carleton’s backside as to juxtapose Neoclassical majesty with good old American tenement living:
Some quick views of the east side of the 200 block of North Grand:
At left, from the Birdseye, the block in 1909; it’s a bustling part of the world.
Below, the Sanborn Map, 1906.
In 1950, most of the block was gone. Only the Carleton, and a paltry few other structures, remain:
By 1952, they’d broken ground on the Hall of Administration. So the 1953 Sanborn Map would have nothing to show for the Carleton’s time on Earth.
Carleton Apartments images courtesy Arnold Hylen Collection, California History Section, California State Library