ISAAC NORTON and BERTHA NORTON (nee GREENBAUM)
ISAAC NORTON, born in Warsaw, Poland in 1844 and died in 1917. ISAAC married BERTHA GREENBAUM, referred to by the family at the time as "Aunt Bettie." She was believed to be the first Jewish girl born in Los Angeles. They were married for 42 years. ISAAC was the secretary of the old Metropolitan Building and Loan Assn, one of the first in California.
ISAAC and BERTHA had the following children:
Florie Norton Desenberg (married M. B. Desenberg)
Samuel Tilden Norton, born 1/21/1877, and died in 1959, was usually referred to as S. T. Norton. He was an architect. He was the president of the Wilshire Blvd. Temple (Jewish) from about 1946 to about 1955.
Albert M. Norton, Los Angeles attorney and financier, was a son of the late Isaac and Bertha (Greenbaum) Norton, and in his personal career measured up to those standards expected of a representative of one of the oldest Jewish names in Southern California.
The following information concerning ISAAC was obtained from:
Residence, Los Angeles. Born in Warsaw, Poland, in 1844. Son of Moses Norton. Moved to New York at the age of five and was educated in the public schools of that city. After leaving school he learned the jewelry trade; subsequently clerked in a stock and bond brokers office and later engaged in the jobbing business. In 1869 moved to Los Angeles, where his brothers were located in the mercantile business. In 1881 established a retail merchandise store in a mining camp in California, which he continued successfully until 1886, when he returned to Los Angeles and entered the real estate and insurance business and was one of the organizers of the Metropolitan Building & Loan Association, of which concern he is secretary to date. He organized the Central Broadway Building Company, of which he is president. Married in 1875 to Bertha Greenbaum. Children are Samuel T., Albert M., Mrs. M. B. Desenberg of Monrovia. Was one of the organizers of the Free Loan Society Member of B'nai B'rith Congregation, for a number of years trustee and director of that synagogue ; president of Hebrew Benevolent Society, president of Hebrew Consumptive Relief Association of Los Angeles, member executive committee of Federation of Jewish Charities. Past president I. O. B. B., No. 487. and organized the first lodge in Los Angeles, known as Orange lodge. Member of Masonic order, Los Angeles Realty Board, Chamber of Commerce.
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The following information concerning Samuel Tilden Norton was obtained from:
Samuel Tilden Norton, or S. Tilden Norton as he was known (possibly to
distinguish himself from former New York governor Samuel Tilden and Olympic
wrestler Samuel Norton Gerson), was born in Los Angeles on January 21, 1877, the
son of Isaac and Bertha Norton. Isaac Norton, advantageously, was the founder of
a building and loan firm. Bertha Norton-Greenbaum is thought to be the first
Jewish child born in L.A., in 1851. A graduate of Los Angeles High School in
1895, S. Tilden Norton began his professional training at 18, apprenticing in
New York City, and for local architect Edward Neissen.
In 1902, Mr. Norton founded his own architectural practice, later teaming on some of his biggest assignments with partner Frederick H. Wallis (or F.H. Wallis).
S. Tilden Norton was a prominent Jewish citizen, serving as president of the Board of Trustees of Congregation B'Nai B'Rith, the first president of the Jewish Men's Professional Club of Los Angeles, director of the Federation of Jewish Welfare Organizations, president of the Jewish Consumptive Relief, and the Nathan Straus Palestine Society. Subsequently, many of his most prominent works were ecclesiastical : the B'Nai B'rith Lodge (9th & Union, 1923), the Jewish Orphans Home of Southern California (1924), Sinai Temple (407 S. New Hampshire, 1924), Young Men's Hebrew Association (Soto St. and Michigan Ave, 1925), Israel Temple (Franklin and Argyle, 1927), and a clubhouse for the Council of Jewish Women (1928). He was also one of three architects attributed with the iconic Wilshire Boulevard Temple, completed in 1929 at Hobart & Wilshire, and for whom he served as president in the 1950's.
Norton is further credited with several surviving downtown landmarks including the 1927 Financial Center Building (with F.H. Wallis) at 704 S. Spring St. (which housed his own office), the William Fox Building (now the Fox Jewelry Mart, 608 S. Hill St., 1929), and the opulent Los Angeles Theatre (1930 co-credit with S. Charles Lee). The Los Angeles Theatre enjoys continuing life as a prime venue during the Last Remaining Seats program. Other enduring highlights include The Greek Theatre (1913) and the Shane Building (Hollywood & Cherokee, 1930 now "Hollywood Center").
S. Tilden Norton and his family lived for many years in Fremont Place where he was known to design at least one home. He died in 1959 at 82 years of age.
Harvard Heights henchmen Danny Miller and Bob Myers contributed to this piece.
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