Completed in 1935, the Times building is a cenotaph for the twenty-one press operators and linotype operators who were blown up in October 1910 and flung into fire and collapsing masonry by a union-laid bomb. But the Times building is more than the memory of a crime in stone. It was intended to be a blunt assertion of the paper’s victory in bending the politics of Los Angeles toward conservative reaction.
For the Times and the paper’s business allies in the Merchants and Manufacturers’ Association, industrial freedom would mean freedom from organized labor.
Dynamite in Ink Alley wrecked more than the adjacent Times building in 1910. Reputations were wrecked, too, principally Clarence Darrow’s, the crusading lawyer who defended the two union organizers implicated in the Times plot. Also in ruins was a coalition of socialists and union members whose representative was the charismatic Job Harriman, who might have become the city’s first socialist mayor. More