Detailed photograph shows building’s facade and streetscape details
This original photograph shows the New St. Charles Hotel in San Bernardino, California, circa 1888–1895, on a bright, sunlit day.
When studied with care, a variety of details emerge. The study of architecture per the building’s facade is notable. Within the masonry above an arch is the name of the unified building which appears to occupy an entire city block: the “Harris Block.” Advertisements on buildings, painted and/or signs, show marketing for the hotel and for J. C. Littlepage Paints, chewing tobacco, Pond’s Extract, furnished rooms available at The Occidental, a drug store, etc.
The photograph appears to be composed for the hotel’s benefit. Men stand in front of the hotel with a carriage marked, in part, “St. Charles” and stare directly towards the camera. Above them is the sign for the “New St. Charles Hotel.” The hotel was originally across the street, the site for which is just outside the view shown here.¹
Telephone poles with their multiple old-fashioned individual lines, crisscross above, horses and wagons line the street, the blurred image of two people walking, wooden barrels, two men on a balcony under the words “Harris Block” are also seen.
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