Capitol Milling Company, Los Angeles, CA

Photo by Albert Novak, Andrew Novak and Bruce Petty

The Capitol Milling Company was one of the oldest businesses in Los Angeles and was located at 1231 North Spring Street. Some of the mill buildings dated from 1881 until it closed in the early 1990s. It was served by the Southern Pacific from spur track #104, directly from the old River Station Yard.

This 1880s view of the Capitol Milling Company and the old Central Pacific (later Southern Pacific) freight house can be seen in the distance. At that time this was the center of activity for the city. Amazingly, the building with the company name still stands in 2004. The new Los Angeles to Pasadena light rail line (The Gold Line) passes directly in front of the building on an elevated structure, with the Chinatown station located just to the left of the cable cars in the photo above. LA Public Library

This is a general view showing the size of the Milling Company, the photo was taken in the early 1980s. Albert Novak photo

Looking westward at the Mill showing how it had became a sprawling complex.Albert Novak photo

This 1959 photo shows how the spur track went through the building. The end of a box car can be seen poking out through the doors in the end of the building.

Here in this photo taken in the early 1980s by Albert Novak, a pair of Southern Pacific switch engines are working trackage on Spring Street in front of the Mill.

This is a closer view of the Spring Street side of the mill taken in 2003 showing the truck loading dock. Bruce Petty photo

Another 2003 view taken after the modern metal processing equipment had been removed. The large door opening was for the SP spur track from the yard. Bruce Petty photo

By the late 1990s, the mill had closed and moved to Colton, Ca. Some of the non-historic portions of the plant were removed, but the early core structures were left. A sign above the old spur track door advertises that the buildings are available for use as a movie set, a common use for unused factory buildings in downtown Los Angeles these days. To the right of the buildings can be seen the Gold Line's Chinatown station under construction in 2003.Andrew Novak photo

Albert Novak Collection