at 108 W 2nd St, Los Angeles, 90012 United States
The Higgins Building is a proto-Modernist concrete framed building rendered in the Beaux-Arts style located in downtown Los Angeles, California. Completed in 1910 by owner Thomas Higgins, an Irish American, the 10-story building was originally used for office space. The Engineers and Architects were Albert C. Martin, Sr. and A.L. Haley. It has been designated as a historical monument by the City as Historic-Cultural Monument #873. Although designed as an 8 story high building, it was decided during the construction stage to add 2 additional floors in order to hold the reputation as being the highest building in the city centre.Background and developmentThomas Higgins was born on 12th. July in 1844 in Boyle, County Roscommon in Ireland, son of Patrick Higgins, a farmer and Hanora Flanagan. He receive some education in Ireland. He travelled out west seeking his fortune in the late 1800s. His first stop was in Troy where he worked in some iron mines. An other member of his family, Mary Keefe (née Higgins), lived there. He worked as a lumberjack in Mosinee, Wisconsin for the years 1867-1870. He worked on dock building in Chicago which was hard heavy work which was poorly paid. On hearing that all the adventurers were heading for the Klondyke looking for gold he decided that so many guys were heading that way that there would be no gold for him. He headed south down river to St. Louis. In Louisiana he met some levee contractors from Ireland, and with them became a foreman. During the summer they worked for the Iron Mountain Railway. he then decided to head west, towards the Rocky Mountains and stayed alive by avoiding Indian attacks by not sleeping beside his open fire at night. He prospected for gold and diamonds in Oregon and Washington without much success. He heard that there were fortunes to be won in Peru and Arizona and tossed a coin to decide which direction to go. There were three towns in Arizona at that time, Tucson, Prescott and Phoenix. He reached Bisbee near the Mexican border in 1877 where he found a rich vein of copper which he worked until 1900. He sold up the mining business and moved to 1199 Magnolia Avenue in L.A. from where he ran a property business. Tom Higgins visited ireland in 1907. He was a philanthropist and supported Boyle Heights Orphanage, St. Thomas's Church in Pico Heights, and St. Vincent's College. He died after a long illness in 1920.
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