Fries Avenue

This street – pronounced “freeze” – honors Amos Alfred Fries (1873-1963), the Army Corps of Engineers captain who came to Los Angeles Harbor in 1906 to oversee completion of its breakwater. Born in Wisconsin and raised in Missouri and Oregon, Amos Fries graduated from West Point in 1898 and went straight into the Engineers. His work on the harbor so impressed Wilmington’s city trustees that they officially renamed the original (not the current) C Street after him on March 29th, 1909. Fries was called away to Washington, D.C. that August, leaving behind many friends and admirers. His next big job began in 1914: managing road and bridge construction at Yellowstone National Park. During World War I, Fries headed up the Army’s chemical weapons program – a dirty job, but someone had to do it – and was appointed chief of the Chemical Warfare Service in 1920, which came with a promotion to major general. Fries retired in 1929 and spent his golden years as an outspoken and frankly obsessive anti-Communist.