Thursday, July 26, 2018

Hang In There, Joan*

How do you make a nerdy history blogger panic? Make her favorite landmark disappear.

A couple of days ago, I reported that the Jeanne d'Arc statue that has stood outside the French Hospital since 1964 had been removed.

An overlooked statue without any historic/cultural monument status, representing a little-known, largely-vanished community, outside a defunct hospital facility. Those are not promising odds. Those are especially not promising odds in Los Angeles, which is notorious for eating its own history on a regular basis.

Would poor Jeanne end up in a scrap heap? Would she be dumped and forgotten in a cavernous warehouse like the one at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark? For three days, I couldn't stop worrying about her.

I am relieved to report that although Jeanne has been removed from the site she occupied for 54 years, she is safe.

Some of the information I have requested is very likely to take at least a couple of weeks to make its way to me. But I'll share what I do know.

The French Benevolent Society, which retained ownership of the land underneath the hospital when it became Pacific Alliance Medical Center, recently sold the entire site.** Presumably, the new owners had no use for Jeanne.

I reached out to the FBS' representative in the sale. I was told that the statue had been donated to Children's Hospital.

I contacted Children's Hospital to confirm this. They don't yet have any plans for Jeanne, but did confirm that they have the statue and will keep me posted.

Hang in there, Jeanne. We'll see you again, old friend.

*Yes, that was a Frozen reference. My blog, my rules.

**The FBS paid $5,000 for the hospital site (four lots totaling 2.5 acres) in 1869. The site sold for $33 MILLION. I heard Chinatown property values were higher than ever, but!


  1. Children's Hospital at Sunset and Vermont?

  2. Awesome. I was born in the French Hospital in 76. I was out there today and decided to visit Joan and to my disappointment, found her missing. I'm glad she is at the Children's Hospital, will have to make a trip down there sometime to visit.