Sometimes it is hard to give away the location of a place. One might reveal a secret to others who then come and take away what is so unique about this little hideaway. But with St Vincent Court I’ll make an exception.
The history behind this tiny little court is just so utterly fascinating. This is the site of the very first institution of higher learning in Southern California. In 1865 the Vincentian Fathers founded Saint Vincent’s College, which operated here from 1868 till 1887. Later it became Loyola University, still here in Los Angeles.
Then came another first – in 1907 the first Bullocks department store opened here. Yes, the first of John G. Bullocks’ department stores, of that Mr. Bullocks who later constructed his temple to art and commerce on Wilshire which today houses another institute of learning.
With the deterioration of Downtown Bullocks also suffered and closed in the middle of the ’80s. Today the building houses mostly jewelry businesses inside, like most structures in the area. Just as an aside to the nifty shopper, apparently the quality of the gems offered here is quite up to par to those in other parts of the city, but at much more favorable prices.
When one is a bit tired from walking around Downtown, when the hustle and bustle and the noisy of people, cars and music gets a bit too much, then St Vincent Court is the place to retreat to. With every step down the quite uniquely decorated alley there is less noise; one only hears the murmur of people sitting at the sidewalk tables, the cooing of the odd pigeon, and the chink of cups of coffee or tea being set down on their saucers. The next sensual impact is the scent of food, not overwhelming, but oh so appetizing. Most of the cafes and bistros serve Middle Eastern cuisine of a fine quality. So one can have it all in St Vincent Court, which was declared a historical landmark in 1957: History, food, relaxation.
I hope that I will never have to regret giving away one of the most quaint little corners in Downtown. But then I really didn’t reveal the exact address – the interested wanderer will have to find it for him/herself.