Early Los Angeles City Views (1900 - 1925)

Historical Photos of Early Los Angeles

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(1902)^*## - View looking north on Spring Street from 3rd Street. Early model automobiles share the road with horse-drawn wagons, electric streetcars, and bicycles. A large number of pedestrians fill the sidewalk and some are seen crossing the road. A large sign on the side of the horse-drawn wagon in the foreground reads: "California Carpet Co." Also, the sign on top of the streetcar reads: "Washington St - Westen Ave"  

 

 

 

 
(1903)*^#^ -   A view looking down Spring Street from Third Street with carriages, trolley cars, pedestrians and bicycles. This photo was taken from about the same location as previous image but about one year later. The sign on the cable car reads: "Los Angeles Railway Co."  

 

 

 

 

 
(1903)*^#^ - Close-up panoromic view of Spring Street from Third Street showing a typical downtown Los Angeles day in 1903. On the right is the entrance to Citizens Bank. On

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1900)^ - The intersection at Broadway and 5th, looking south from 5th. The Los Angeles Examiner building is visible. Pedestrians line the sidewalks, and horses and buggies are on the street. A lone bicycle rider leads the pack. Signs for "Mammoth Shoe House", "United Millinery Company", and "Angelus Studio" are visible.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1900)^^ - Panoramic view of downtown Los Angeles from the Crocker Mansion (partially visible at left) looking east on Third Street from the intersection of Olive Street on Bunker Hill. Flags are flying on several buildings, including the Bradbury Building (Third Street and Broadway). The Los Angeles City Hall, with its distinguished tall tower, is seen just to the right of the mansion.  

 

Historical Notes

The Crocker Mansion was designed by architect John Hall and erected in 1886.  The ornate residence was built at a cost of $45,000 for Mrs. Margaret E. Crocker, widow of Edwin Bryant Crocker, a California Supreme Court Justice.  Later it was called the Crocker Mansion Rooming House and became the site of the Elks Club, and finally the Moose Lodge.^

 

 

 

 

 
(1900)^^ - Panoramic view of downtown Los Angeles, looking east on Third Street from the balcony of the Crocker Mansion.  There is a clear view of the intersection of Broadway and Third Street. The streets are busy with horse-drawn vehicles and pedestrians. A pile of construction supplies and debris is visible near the intersection. City Hall is at left. A church is nearby. The Bradbury Building is at right.  

 

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1900)^ - Street view of Broadway looking north from 3rd Street. Trolleys as well as horses and carriages are seen on the street. City Hall can be seen down the street on the right (tall tower and flag).  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1900)#*^^ - View looking north on Broadway from near 3rd Street showing streetcars, horse-drawn wagons, bicycles and pedesrians all sharing the roadway. City Hall stands tall on the east side of Broadway. The LA County Courthouse, built in 1891, stands in the background.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1890)^ - Close-up view of Old City Hall at 226 Broadway. Horse-drawn carriages can be seen parked in front of the building.  

 

Historical Notes

Los Angeles’ third City Hall was erected in 1888 at 226-238 South Broadway.  This grand Romanesque edifice of marble and red sandstone building stood for 40 years until 1928 when the present day City Hall was completed.^

 

 

 
(ca. 1902)^*# - Street view looking south on Broadway from near the conrner of 2nd Street. Horse-drawn carriages are seen on both sides of the street. A bicycle is moving north toward the photographer as it passes 2nd Street.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1904)^ - A view of Broadway looking south from 1st Street. A trolley marked "Boyle Heights” takes the center of the street while horses and carriages fill the sides in front of the businesses along the street. Down the street on the left can be seen the tower of the City Hall building.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1900)***# - View from Bunker Hill looking north on Grand Avenue near Third Street on an exceptionally clear day. The San Gabriel Mountains can be seen in the background.  

 

Historical Notes

This exclusive residential area, most of it built during the 1880's, was at its zenith in 1900.***#

 

 

 
(ca. 1900)^ - View of the northeast corner of Spring and 4th streets, showing pedestrians and Off & Vaughan Drug Co., Blaney's Shoe Store and part of the Van Nuys Building. Pedestrians and horse-drawn wagons are seen throughout.  

 

Historical Notes

By 1900, Los Angeles' population swelled to 102, 500. This was double the City's population of only 10 years earlier (1890).*^

The Van Nuys building was built by Isaac Newton Van Nuys, businessman, real estate developer, banker, and agricultural entrepreneur. He founded the community of Van Nuys in the San Fernando Valley in 1911. As a major figure in regional history and development, there are schools, streets, libraries, and a Liberty Ship with the name of Van Nuys.*^

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1900)^ - View of 6th Street looking west from Olive St. Pedestrians and horse-drawn vehicles are seen, and men are doing road work. A druggist is at left, and at right is Fontella Cigar Store, above which are Park View Apartments. Glengarry is a building further down the street, past several small shops.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1900)^^ - People near and far walk across 4th and Main Street past the majestic Westminster (architect, Robert B. Young). Included also are a bicycle, a car and a horse-drawn cart.  

 

Historical Notes

The Westminster Hotel was a large Victorian brick building with a six-story tower. It was designed in 1887 by Robert B. Young and was considered the grandest hotel in the city. In about 1870, this area was the site of a Chinese market. By the mid-1930s the hotel was in decline. It, however, continued to operate until 1960 when the building was razed to make room for new development.^^

 

 

 
ca. 1902)##* - View of Spring Street look north at 2nd Street. The Hollenbeck Hotel is on the left (s/w corner) and the Bryson-Broneback Block is at center of photo (n/w corner).  

 

 

 

 
(Early 1900s)^^ - View of Spring Street looking north from Second. The Bryson-Broneback Block is seen on the northwest corner of Spring and Second streets. The Hollenbeck Hotel is seen across the street (left of photo). The LA Country Courthouse can be seen in the background.  

 

Historical Notes

Two highly influential figures in 1880s Los Angeles, John Bryson, Sr., the 19th mayor, of LA and Major George H. Bonebrake, President of the Los Angeles National Bank and the State Loan and Trust Company, commissioned John Cather Newsom to erect this 126-room bank and office building. It's cost was projected to be $224,000, a staggering sum at the time. Bonebrake was one of the richest men in the city at the time, and he could afford making such an investment. He located the main headquarters of his bank in the Bryson-Bonebrake Block.*##*

 

 

 
(ca. 1900)^ - View of the intersection of Spring and Second streets. The Hollenbeck Hotel stands on the southwest corner. Across the street (right of photo) is a partial view of the Bryson-Bonebrake Block. Trolley lines cross over the intersection.  

 

Historical Notes

The Hollenbeck Hotel was constructed in 1884 at Spring and Second streets.  The hotel was named for its owner, John Hollenbeck, a prominent investor, banker, and owner of large landholdings in the Boyle Heights area.  A leading hotel in its day, it was designed by Robert Young, an architect responsible for several early downtown hotels, including the Lankershim, the Lexington, and the Westminster.^^*

 

 

 
(ca. 1900)^ - The intersection of Spring and 2nd Street, showing the Hollenbeck Block. An electric trolley car heading to the Salt Lake Station is seen. A woman appears to walking in the direction of the trolley.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1900)^ - The 234 Santa Monica/Venice streetcar is running east on 4th St. in this view of commercial, downtown Los Angeles at Hill and 4th. The Hotel Clarendon is on the southeast corner, a cigar store on the bottom floor. The Grant Building is on the center left. Deliveries are being made by horse-drawn wagons. An awning advertises ice cream sodas for 5 cents.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1900)*##- Fashionable women walk in front of a Grand Avenue trolley car.  

 

Historical Notes

This photo was published in the Jan. 3, 1950, Los Angeles Times Mid-Winter Edition as part of a photographic history of Los Angeles. The accompanied headline announced, “Century’s Early Years Brought Trolleys, Traffic and (Ah!) Fashion.” *##

 

 

 

 
(1900s)^^ - Photograph of the North Broadway entrance to Elysian Park. Here we have a panoramic view of Elysian Park hillside with an electric car approaching. A palm tree is planted in the elbow of a path as it curves up into the park. A man is standing at the railing of a landing of steps. Two other men are further into the park itself. Nearby is a decorative lamp post topped with a bird. Visible in the background are the Buena Vista Street bridge and several horse-drawn vehicles.  

 

 

 

 
(1900)* - Wooden bridge over Echo Park Lake as it looked at the turn of the century. Note the homes on the hillside behind the bridge and the woman with the hat relaxing alongside the lake.  

 

Historical Notes

Echo Park Lake didn’t start out as a man-made lake. Instead, its earliest use by the city was as a reservoir, storing water in a section sometimes known as the city’s “West End.” In those years this area was thought of as the city’s west side.**^

 

 

 
(ca. 1900)^ - View of a woman seated on a bench by Echo Park.  Behind her can be seen two men standing by their bicycles on an ornate bridge.  

 

Historical Notes

The Los Angeles Canal and Reservoir Co. formed Reservoir No. 4 in 1868. The company obtained the water by digging a ditch that sent water flowing from the Los Angeles River – in the area now known as Los Feliz – along a zigzag path that emptied into the reservoir.

Legend says the lake got its name after workers building the original reservoir said their voices echoed off the canyon walls.**^

Click HERE to see more Early LA Water Reservoirs.

 

 

 
(1911)^^ - View of Echo Park looking northwest toward Hollywood.  

 

Historical Notes

In the late 1880s, a carriage maker turned real estate developer, by the name of Thomas Kelley, teamed up with other investors to purchase about 70 acres that included Reservoir No. 4—what is now Echo Park Lake.  Kelley and his business partners sold off pieces of what they called the Montana Tract to individuals who built the business district along Sunset Boulevard and the densely packed homes and apartments that surround Echo Park Lake.**^

 

 

 
(ca. 1900)^#^ - Open air market at the L.A. Plaza, view is looking north westerly from the fire house.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1900)^^ - View of the Los Angeles Produce Market as it appeared at the turn of the century.  

 

Historical Notes

The Los Angeles Produce Market was constructed to provide a larger central marketplace for wholesale produce. 

In the upper left of the photo can be seen two buildings. The building in front (the one under construction) was the Produce Exchange Building and the one in the back has a sign which reads Towne Produce Co. These two buildings are still there and look like this today.*^^

 

 

 
(1920s)^ - Terminal Market, located at Seventh and Central as seen in the circa 1920s. The entire center area consists of cars and at least one horse & cart, parked while people walk to or from the market area around the outside.  

 

Historical Notes

Where previously the market was crowded with horses and buggies, this new site was designed to be large enough to accommodate automobile traffic.

 

 

 
(ca. 1930)^ - Long buildings in rows stretch across the picture. The Produce Market is stretched a block long between two of these rows, with double rows of stands. A warehouse in the back row carries the name "Union Terminal Warehouse Company".    

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1900)^ - A horse-drawn wagon of the A. F. Gilmore Oil Co. on a Los Angeles street, in front of an advertisement for the Belasco Theater.  

 

Historical Notes

A.F. Gilmore and his son, Earl Bell (E.B.) turned their Gilmore Oil Company into the largest distributor of petroleum products in the Western U.S.

E. B. Gilmore appears to have invented the self-serve gas station. He created a “gas-a-teria” not far from Farmers Market where customers saved 5 cents per gallon by filling their own tanks. Those who preferred to have their gas pumped by “professionals” at the gas-a-teria got unusual service for a period of time when young ladies on roller skates would glide to the pumps to gas the cars up.^**

 

 

 
(1900)^ - Teams of horses pulling stacks of planks on Santa Monica Bld. at Sawtelle Blvd. in the City of Sawtelle (now part of Los Angeles).  

 

Historical Notes

In 1896, the Pacific Land Company purchased a 225-acre tract and hired S.H. Taft to develop a new town named Barrett, after Gen. A.W. Barrett, local manager of the veterans home situated in the area. When the Pacific Land Company attempted to secure a post office for the new town, the postal authorities objected to the name "Barrett" on account of its similarity to Bassett, California. In 1899, the name of the town was formally changed to Sawtelle (for W.E. Sawtelle who superseded Taft as manager of the Pacific Land Company).*^

 

 

 

 
(1906)**^*^ – View looking east on Oregon Avenue, which was the original name of Santa Monica Boulevard in this part of Los Angeles. The line going off the left of the frame is the Westgate Line that ran down the middle of Burton Way through Brentwood Park. The exact location of this photo is somewhere near present-day Santa Monica Boulevard and Purdue Avenue.  

 

Historical Notes

Sawtelle existed as a separate city until 1922 when Sawtelle voters decided to join Los Angeles*^

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1900)^^ - View of the corner of Third Street and Santa Monica Boulevard (then named Oregon Avenue). Today the intersection is part of the popular Third Street Promenade retail district.  

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of Santa Monica

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1900)***^ - An old time camp outfit near Ventura Boulevard and Valley Circle Boulevard. Leonis Adobe is in the background to the left of the photo. On the El Camino Real sign it says, "83.9 Santa Barbara, 18 Newberry Park, 47.9 Ventura, Los Angeles 26.1, Encino 8, Hollywood 19.6, San Fernando Mission 14." The El Camino Real bells were placed along the mission routes.  

 

Historical Notes

Leonis Adobe, built in 1844, is one of the oldest surviving private residences in Los Angeles County and one of the oldest surviving buildings in the San Fernando Valley. Located in what is now Calabasas, the adobe was occupied by the wealthy rancher, Miguel Leonis, from 1880 until his death in 1889. Following Leonis' death, the property was the subject of a legal dispute between his common law wife (Espiritu Leonis), heirs, and a daughter born out of wedlock; the dispute lasted more than 15 years in the courts.^

 

 

 
(ca. 1890s)****# - Leonis Adobe as it appeared in the 1890s. The photo shows a man standing by his horse in the field. If you look closely, standing right behind the fence (center) is a woman looking at the photographer. This is purported to be Espiritu Leonis, wife of Miguel Leonis.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1961, the adobe had fallen victim to vandalism, and its owner applied for a permit to raze the structure and erect a supermarket in its place. Preservationists succeeded in having the adobe declared a Historic-Cultural Landmark (the first structure in Los Angeles receiving the designation in 1962 - Click HERE to see the LA Historic-Cultural Monuments List).

Leonis Adobe is also known as one of the most haunted sites in Los Angeles County, and it was profiled in the British paranormal television series "Most Haunted" in 2005. The adobe was restored and is operated as a living museum. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975.*^

 

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of the San Fernando Valley

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1900)^ - View of L.A. Harbor at San Pedro showing a large ship anchored alongside the Los Angeles Terminal Railway across the channel. Railroad tracks can be seen in the foreground.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1542, Juan Rodriquez Cabrillo discovered the "Bay of Smokes". The south-facing San Pedro Bay was originally a shallow mudflat, too soft to support a wharf. Visiting ships had two choices: stay far out at anchor and have their goods and passengers ferried to shore; or beach themselves.

Phineas Banning greatly improved shipping when he dredged the channel to Wilmington in 1871 to a depth of 10 feet. The port handled 50,000 tons of shipping that year. Banning owned a stagecoach line with routes connecting San Pedro to Salt Lake City, Utah and to Yuma, Arizona, and in 1868 he built a railroad to connect San Pedro Bay to Los Angeles, the first in the area.*^

 

 

 

 
(1893)^ - Map of San Pedro in 1893. Drawn and lithographed by Bruce W. Pierce.  

 

Historical Notes

San Pedro was named for St. Peter of Alexandria, a Fourth Century bishop in Alexandria, Egypt. His feast day is November 24 on the local ecclesiastical calendar of Spain, the day on which Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo discovered the bay in 1542 which would be known as San Pedro. Santa Catalina Island, named after Catherine of Alexandria, was claimed for the Spanish Empire the next day, on her feast day, November 25. In 1602–1603, Sebastián Vizcaíno (1548–1624) officially surveyed and mapped the California coastline, including San Pedro Bay, for New Spain.

The land was granted in 1784 by King Carlos III to Juan Jose Dominguez, a retired Spanish soldier who came to California with the Gaspar de Portolà expedition.

Under United States control after 1848, when the United States defeated Mexico in the Mexican-American war, the harbor was greatly improved and expanded under the guidance of Phineas Banning and John Gately Downey, the seventh governor of California.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1900)^ - View of Front Street at San Pedro Harbor showing a multitude of people disembarking from a commuter train. Commercial storefronts can be seen acroos the unpaved road to the far right of the photo.  

 

 

 

 
(1904)^ - Photo of workers building the breakwater in the San Pedro Harbor. Work was started in 1899.  

 

Historical Notes

Most of the boulders used to construct the breakwater in San Pedro Harbor came from the mountains of west San Fernando Valley. Between 1898 and 1904, Southern Pacific was grading, cutting, and tunneling through the Santa Susana Mountains near Chatsworth Park as they establshed their new Coast Line connection from Ventura to Burbank. This provided San Pedro with an ample supply of boulders for their new breakwater. Click HERE to see more in Early Views of the San Fernando Valley.

 

 

 
(1905)^ - View looking over a portion of San Pedro, toward Deadman's Island, and the beginning harbor. Building at extreme left is the Southern Pacific depot. In the distance is a dredge at work along the breakwater.  

 

Historical Notes

Deadman's Island was one of two islands near San Pedro in the 19th century. The land, sometimes referenced as Dead Man's Island, Isla Del Muerto, and Reservation Point, was dredged away in 1928 as part of a harbor development effort. Rattlesnake Island, the other islet in the area, became Terminal Island.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1907)* - Exterior view of the San Pedro City Hall. A rail yard and the Los Angeles Harbor are visible in the background on the right.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1906, the City of Los Angeles annexed the Harbor Gateway, a long narrow strip of land connecting the city to the coast, and in 1909, the city annexed San Pedro and the adjacent town of Wilmington. The odd shape is still seen in the map of the city.*^

 

 

 
(1910)^ - San Pedro waterfront looking south along Harbor Boulevard from 4th Street. City Hall is the building with the large dome; the smaller dome belongs to the Carnegie library building.  

 

 

 

 
(1913)^ - The Port of Los Angeles in 1913. The harbor appears to be filled to capacity with steam ships and train cars are full of cargo.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1912 the Southern Pacific Railroad completed its first major wharf at the port. During the 1920s, the port passed San Francisco as the west coast's busiest seaport. In the early 1930s a massive expansion of the port was taken with the construction of a massive breakwater three miles out that was over 2 miles in length. In addition to the construction of this outer breakwater an inner breakwater was built off of Terminal Island with docks for sea going ships and smaller docks built at Long Beach.*^

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of San Pedro and Wilmington

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1900)^ - View looking down West Sixth Street. Episcopal Church building is on the left. Three woman and a man are in front of the church while another man is riding a bycicle. Streetcar tracks can also be seen on the unpaved road. Note the architectural designs on the church building.  

 

 

 

 
(Early 1900s)^ - View of the corner of First Street and Vine (later renamed Central Ave.) A few pedestrians on the street, no automobiles. Hardware and furniture store on corner. Signage on building: "The Olive Flats, furnished rooms," "Owl cigar now 5 cents."  

 

Historical Notes

This is in Little Tokyo. The building at center left was later replaced by a Buddhist temple, later the Japanese-American Museum. The building further to the left later had a very famous restaurant/cafe within. View is to the northwest..^

 

 

 
(1900)^^ - Looking east down Third Street at Normandie Avenue in 1900. The unpaved street appears to be muddy.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1900)^ - View looking west on Melrose Avenue from Western Avenue. Trees were planted in the early 1880's and felled on the right side in 1922 and on the left side in 1923.  

 

Historical Notes

Melrose Avenue was named by ranch owner E. A. McCarthy after his hometown of Melrose, Mass. The McCarthy Ranch occupied most of the area bounded by Western to Wilton and Melrose to Santa Monica Blvd.^*^

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1910)^ - Tree-lined Melrose Avenue at Western Avenue. Houses and street curbs can now be seen. This was a favorite street for horse and buggy rides on Sundays.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1906)^ - Large rural area with a few houses and trees. The future site of Melrose and Normandie, 1906. Mt. Hollywood peak can be seen in the upper right of the photo.  

 

Historical Notes

The above farm is where the Hollywood Frwy crosses Melrose Avenue today. Just to the west and out of view is the location of the McCarthy Ranch. In 1887 E. A. McCarthy named Melrose Avenue after his hometown of Melrose, Mass.^*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1915)^^ - View from the E. A. McCarthy ranch showing the Hollywood Hills in the background.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1896 Griffith J. Griffith donated over 3000 acres of Rancho Los Felis to the City of Los Angeles to create a public park in his name. Mount Hollywood, the highest peak of the park, rises to an elevation of 1640 feet. Griffith Park was declared Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument  No. 942 in 2009 (Click HERE to see complete listing).^

 

 

 
(1901)^ - Panoramic view of Hollywood looking southeast from near Vista Street and Franklin Avenue. The scene is largely agricultural.  

 

Historical Notes

The Hollywood area was still very rural in the turn of the century with the first substantial residences built around farmland.

 

 

 
(1901)^ - A man walks through a sweet pea field located at about Fairfax and Sunset, in West Hollywood.  

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of Hollywood (1850 - 1920)

 

 

 

 

 
(1901)^ - A delivery truck for the Los Angeles Times in 1901. Several men are looking toward the photographer.  

 

 

 

 
(1902)^ - Two unidentified vehicles used to transport a large number of people,"Sports" is the note on the photograph. From another copy of the subject the team is identified as the "Bank baseball team, Second Street and Spring Street, 1902." Los Angeles Trust Company, engraved in the arch of the doorway to the building in the background, may be the "Bank" referred to.
 

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Baseball in Early L.A.

 

 

 

 

 
(1906)^ - Delivery vehicle of the H. Jevne Co., a wholesale grocery supplier, taken in Highland Park in 1906. The company was located at 208 and 210 South Spring Street. This early truck has no steering wheel but uses a metal post device and has no front enclosure.  

 

 

 

 
(1901)^ - President McKinley reviewing the Americus Club marching in the La Fiesta de las Flores Parade from the steps of the first Los Angeles City Hall building on Broadway.
 

 

Historical Notes

The La Fiesta de las Flores parade was first celebrated in 1894 as a means of attracting visitors to the city. La Fiesta activities were held over several days and included a parade, a grand ball, and a floral battle.  Costumed Los Angeles residents participated in the parade by decorating any moving contraption they had.^^*

City Hall seen above was LA's third. It was built in 1888 and stood until the current city hall was completed in 1928.^

 

 

 
(ca. 1901)^^ - View of the La Fiesta Parade between Broadway and Sixth Street showing President McKinley. McKinley turns the corner of the two streets in a horse-drawn carriage that has been decorated with a layer of roses while a cavalcade of police officers follow him to his side both on foot and on horseback, as well as behind him in rank. Spectators sit and stand in the bleachers in the left background. To the right, a brick business building advertises yeast for the Golden Gate Compressed Wheat Company.  

 

 

 

 
(1903)^ - View of La Fiesta de las Flores parade passing in front several large buildings along Spring Street in Downtown Los Angeles. Multitudes of people line both sides of the street and numerous others can be seen enjoying the parade from open windows and rooftops high above.  

 

 

 

 
(1903)^^ - View of Spring Street looking north from First Street during the La Fiesta Parade, Los Angeles. Spectators gather in crowds in front of the two-story Victorian shop buildings that line either side of the paved street, watching a procession of horsemen and banner-carriers make their way down the street. Small American flags decorate one of the buildings in the foreground where a few partially illegible words have been scrawled on the negative in marker. Legible signs include: "Ice Cream / Keystone [...]", "Corona Blanca", "The Hub", "Putnam", and "Dental College Infirmary / Free Dental Clinic".  

 

 

 

 
(1902)^ - This was the 1902 Tournament of Roses parade, with a butchers band marching down the Pasadena street. There was nothing spectacular about the parade then, and the spectators were few. This was also the first year of the Rose Bowl game.
 

 

Historical Notes

Members of Pasadena's Valley Hunt Club first staged the Tournament of Roses parade in 1890. Since then the parade has been held in Pasadena every New Year's Day, except when January 1 falls on a Sunday.

Many of the members of the Valley Hunt Club were former residents of the American East and Midwest. They wished to showcase their new California home's mild winter weather. At a club meeting, Professor Charles F. Holder announced, "In New York, people are buried in the snow. Here our flowers are blooming and our oranges are about to bear. Let's hold a festival to tell the world about our paradise." So the club organized horse-drawn carriages covered in flowers, followed by foot races, polo matches, and a game of tug-of-war on the town lot that attracted a crowd of 2,000 to the event. Upon seeing the scores of flowers on display, the professor decided to suggest the name "Tournament of Roses."

Over the next few founding years, marching bands and motorized floats were added.*^

 

 

 

 

 

 
(1902)^ - First Tournament East-West football game, January 1, 1902, Michigan vs. Stanford. Note the crowd of people standing in foreground, and to the right side of the football field. Horse-drawn carriages are lined along a fence beyond the crowds of people.  

 

Historical Notes

Before the Rose Bowl was built, 1923, games were played in Pasadena's Tournament Park, approximately three miles southeast of the current Rose Bowl stadium near the campus of Caltech. Tournament Park was determined to be unsuitable for the larger and larger crowds gathering to watch the game and a new, permanent home for the game was commissioned.*^

 

 

 

Click HERE to see Early Views of Pasadena

 

 

 

 

 
(1901)^ - The second building housing Los Angeles High School, located on north Hill Street between California and Bellevue. There are numerous oil derricks behind it all part of the Los Angeles Oil Field.  

 

Historical Notes

This was Los Angeles High School's second home, built in 1891 on Fort Moore Hill.

Los Angeles High School was founded in 1873 and is the oldest public high school in the L.A. Unified School District. The original building was at Temple and Broadway (the current site of the Los Angeles County Court House). In 1891, L.A. High School moved to its second building at a new location (seen above) on nearby Fort Moore Hill, located on north Hill Street between California (now the 101 Freeway) and Sunset Blvd (now Cesar E. Chavez Ave).^

Early buildings commissioned to house the Los Angeles High School were among the architectural jewels of the city, and were strategically placed at the summit of a hill, the easier to be pointed to with pride. One of the school's long standing mottos is "Always a hill, always a tower, always a timepiece."

In 1917, the school moved to its current location at 4650 West Olympic Boulevard (which incidentally is not on a hill).*^

 

 

 
(1900)^ - Group photo of members of Los Angeles High School's Kodak and bicycle club. Some hold their cameras, other stand near bicycles.  

 

 

 

 
(1899)^ - Los Angeles High School's commercial practices class, in 1899. Click HERE to see more Early Views of Los Angeles High School.  

 

 

 

 
(1901)^ - View from Broadway between Temple and California Streets, northwest. The tall building with a clock tower is Los Angeles High School. The Los Angeles Oil Field is in the background behind the school. The Broadway Tunnel can be seen in the lower right corner of this photo.  

 

Historical Notes

Discovered in 1890, and made famous by Edward Doheny's successful well in 1892, the Los Angeles City Oil Field was once the top producing oil field in California, accounting for more than half of the state's oil in 1895. In its peak year of 1901, approximately 200 separate oil companies were active on the field, which is now entirely built over by dense residential and commercial development.*^

The Broadway Tunnel (lower right corner of photo) was a tunnel under Fort Moore Hill, downtown, extending North Broadway (formerly Fort Street), at Sand Street (later California Street), one block north of Temple Street, northeast to the intersection of Bellevue Avenue (later Sunset Boulevard, now Cesar Chavez Avenue), to Buena Vista Street (now North Broadway).*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1902)^ - South approach to the Broadway Tunnel and the stairway leading up to Fort Hill. A man is riding a horse-drawn wagon into the tunnel while two men are crossing the unpaved road and appear to also be heading toward tunnel opening. There was a sign over the Tunnel which read:  “$50.00 fine for riding through this tunnel faster than a walk.”  

 

Historical Notes

The Broadway Tunnel was completed and opened for traffic on Saturday, August 17, 1901.The cost in its construction was $66,000. It was 760 feet long, 40 feet wide and 22 feet high, with a grade of 6 in 100, falling toward the east (Third Street Tunnel under Bunker Hill was also completed in 1901).

On June 2, 1949, the Broadway Tunnel was demolished for the construction of the 101 Freeway. The route cut through Fort Moore Hill and made it necessary for a Broadway overpass to be built across the freeway and the old tunnel site.*^

 

 

 

 
(1905)^^ - View looking north from Temple between Broadway and Spring Street.  The old Broadway Tunnel can be seen toward the left with a flagpole on top. A horse-drawn carriage can be seen on the road directly above the tunnel.  

 

 

 

 
(1987)^#^ - View looking north from Temple between Broadway and Spring Street.  The Hollywood Freeway now cuts through where the Broadway Tunnel used to be. Same view as previous photo but 82 years later.  

 

Historical Notes

A bridge now stands where there once used to be the Broadway Tunnel. Not only was the entire hill removed, but a freeway crossing was excavated beneath the level of Broadway at exactly the point where the tunnel used to be.^#^

 

 

 

 
(1905)^#^ - Before   (1987)^#^ - After

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1905)^^ – Panoramic view looking northwest from the LA County Courthouse.  Los Angeles High School stands tall in the background.  The Temperance Temple building is seen in the lower-left located on the northwest corner of Temple and Broadway.  The Broadway Tunnel is out of frame at right-center.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1890s)^ - Street view of the Temperance Temple of the Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU), located at 301 N. Broadway, northwest corner of Temple and Broadway. A horse-drawn carriage is shown parked along the street past the Temple and other neighboring buildings.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1901)^ - 3rd Street, looking west, with a close-up view of a streetcar near the 3rd Street Tunnel in Bunker Hill. The conductor stands outside on the streetcar steps as a woman carrying a parasol and a young boy walk by. Edwin B. Crocker's mansion is seen above. Angel's Flight has not been built yet.
 

 

Historical Notes

On July 3, 1893, residents and taxpayers presented a petition to the Los Angeles City Council asking that a tunnel be created to connect those who lived in the Crown Hill neighborhood with the business district located on this side of Bunker Hill. Their plans called for a tunnel 1080 feet long, with a twenty-six foot roadway and eight foot sidewalks. Nothing happened for five years.

In 1898 the City Council ordered the City Attorney to draw up an ordinance putting tunnel bonds in front of the public via a special election. That election was held on July 6, 1898, and funds were approved for both the Third Street and Broadway tunnels.

On January 21, 1900, a serious disaster struck. Thirteen men were "entombed" in the tunnel dig after a massive cave-in on the western end. Several were killed in the collapse, but others were trapped inside with only the air in the tunnel. Frantic efforts were made to dig into their position. Ten men were rescued, while three perished.

In March of 1901 the tunnel was opened to the public. It was unpaved and unlit. Gutters weren’t installed until 1902.*#

 

 

 
(1903)^#^ - View of the western terminus of the Third Street Tunnel. An early model automobile and a horse-drawn carriage can be seen after they exit from the tunnel while a bicycle is parked along the curb.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1901)^ - Half of a stereoptic view of 3rd Street, looking west past office buildings to the newly constructed 3rd Street Tunnel under Bunker Hill in the far distance. Horse-drawn vehicles and a streetcar are on the unpaved street. An observation tower can be seen on Bunker Hill above the tunnel.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1901)#*^^ - View of 3rd Street looking west from Spring Street. A dog appears to be drinking from a puddle of water in the street (lower left). The 3rd Street Tunnel is seen in the distance with an observation tower perched above it.  

 

 

 

 
(1901)^#^ - Photo of Angel’s Flight at the grand opening of the railway, December 31st, 1901. An observation tower was also constructed on top of the hill adjacent to the Crocker Mansion.  

 

Historical Notes

Built in 1901 with financing from Colonel J.W. Eddy, as the Los Angeles Incline Railway, Angel's Flight began at the west corner of Hill Street at Third and ran for two blocks uphill (northwestward) to its Olive Street terminus.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1903)^ - A view of Third Street looking west. A horse and carriage are seen coming out of the Third Street Tunnel. To the left is the newly constructed Angel's Flight. Two cable cars now run up and down making it easier for poeple to traverse the hill. On the right are the 123 steps built to provide an alternate route to the top of Bunker Hill.  

 

Historical Notes

Angel's Flight consisted of two vermillion "boarding stations" and two cars, named Sinai and Olivet, pulled up the steep incline by metal cables powered by engines at the upper Olive Street station. As one car ascended, the other descended, carried down by gravity.*^

For at least 25 years after Angel's Flight opened, there was an observation tower adjacent to the incline railway from which one could take in a breathtaking overlook of downtown Los Angeles.

 

 

 

 

Before and After

 
(ca. 1885)^   (ca. 1903)^

 

 

 

 

 

 
(1902)^#*^ - View looking down from the top of Angel's Flight east on Third Street.  A woman holding a small dog is posing on the stairway adjacent to the Bunker Hill furnicular.  The bottom of the observation tower is seen at right.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1907)^ - Angel's Flight - A view from a nearby roof shows 2 cars on the rail, houses, and Hill Crest Inn on the right side, the observation tower above in the middle, and the Third Street Tunnel below. There is a partial view of the Crocker Mansion on the left.  

 

Historical Notes

When the construction on the Third Street tunnel began in 1900, Mrs. Crocker filed a petition claiming that the mansion was endangered by the street tunnel which was “unsafe, improperly constructed and a veritable death trap.” According to the Los Angeles Times, “the walls of her house are settling, the foundations giving way and the plaster is falling off…Unless something is done, the building is liable to topple into a hole.” The house never did topple and was alive and well in 1902 when Angel's Flight began operating and dropping riders off practically on the Crocker doorstep.

The Victorian building was razed in June 1908 and the cornerstone for the Elk’s Annex was laid the following September.*^#*

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1910)^*## - Postcard view showing Angel's Flight and the newly construct Elk Building where the Crocker Mansion once stood. A horse-drawn wagon is about to enter the 3rd Street Tunnel.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1910)^#^ - View of Angel's Flight and the 3rd Street Tunnel. The new Elks Building has now replaced Crocker Mansion. A woman is seen walking down the stairs on the right.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1910)^#*# - View of Angel's Flight's new terminal at the top of the hill on Olive and Third St. The observation tower is seen in the background with a woman standing on its platform.  

 

Historical Notes

When Angel's Flight - "the shortest railroad in the world" - first opened in 1901, there was only a small shelter at the top; in 1910, a larger and permanent depot was built.

 

 

 

 
(Early 1900s)^ - Standing at the top of Olive Street just under the observation tower, the cable car is descending on the right of the picture. Straight ahead you can see several blocks down 3rd St., which is filled with cars.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1907)^ - Seen from directly across Hill Street are, from left to right, Marsden Drug Co., the arch for Angel's Flight, 3rd Street Tunnel with observation tower at the top of the hill, Vegetarian Cafeteria with a horse-drawn wagon in front, and the Y.W.C.A. building with top floors visible.  

 

Historical Notes

An archway labeled "Angel's Flight" greeted passengers on the Hill Street entrance, and this name became the official name of the railway in 1912 when the Funding Company of California purchased the railway from its founders.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1907)^ - View of the west side of Hill Street showing the Y.W.C.A. building.  Several horse-drawn wagons, early model cars and trucks are parked along the curb. The 3rd Street tunnel is just to the left of the 'Vegetarian Cafeteria'.  Across Third Street can be seen one of the two Angel's Flight cars stopped at the lower terminus.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1910)^#^ - Autos and horse-drawn carriage are heading toward the 3rd St. Tunnel. Angel's flight can be seen in the upper left. Cars are parked along the curb fronting commercial storefronts. A large sign for the Vegetarian Cafeteria can be seen on the building located on the northwest corner of 3rd and Hill.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1913)#^^ – Postcard view showing Angel's Flight with traffic flowing in and out of the Third Street Tunnel. Sign on right reads: LEFT TURN PROHIBITED  

 

 

 

 

 
(Early 1900s)* - Los Angeles historical view looking northeast showing the heart of downtown in early 1900s.  

 

Historical Notes

The wide avenue in the background pointing almost straight at us is Aliso Street, which today is the alignment of the 101 freeway east of the Civic Center. It turns slightly to the viewer’s left then and becomes The Slot as it passes through the site of the Baker Block - that long building at center-left with the three large cupolas.

Down at the lower right can be seen a portion of Temple Square - the "Times Square" of old L.A. And at the extreme right edge you can just barely see a corner of the Temple Block - one of the most important buildings in the early political and commercial life of the city.^^#

 

 

 
(Early 1900s)* - Looking south on Broadway from Seventh Street. Bullock's sign can be seen on building to the right. Streetcar is seen on a track in the middle of a still unpaved Broadway.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1902)^^ - View of Broadway looking north from Sixth Street.  

 

 

 

 
(Early 1900s)^ - Members of the Los Angeles Camera Club relax next to their bicycles on a dirt road. The club's outings took place at the beginning of the 20th century.  

 

Historical Notes

A Mr. Sturdevant put in a notice calling the first meeting; only three showed up. Then Carl K. Broneer put in another notice, and ten camera enthusiasts showed up at the office of the Los Angeles and Pasadena Electric Railway, 222 West 4th Street, where he was office boy. Then Mr. Valentine, assistant to Frank Wiggins, director of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, moved the meeting to the chamber director's office. From that time on the club grew by leaps and bounds and signed a lease for the top floor of the Wright & Callender Building on Hill Street.^

 

 

 
(1902)^ - Employees stand by early motorcycles and "horseless carriages" that are parked on a wooden floor in this view of Ralph Hamlin's wallpapered salesroom on Main St. Inner tubes hang on the wall in back. Photo caption reads: "This was Hamlin's salesroom in 1902, located at 1837 South Main street. Hamlin was born in San Francisco and was brought to Los Angeles by his parents at the age of six."  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1902)^ - This picture shows a man driving a Waverley Electromobile car on Spring Street (looking north from 8th Street).  Behind him on the left the Copeland Building tower (also called the Armory Building) can be seen. On the right side (east side of Spring) a sign for the Corum Paper Box Factory is visible on the side of a building.  

 

Historical Notes

By the turn of the century, America was prosperous and cars, now available in steam, electric, or gasoline versions, were becoming more popular. The years 1899 and 1900 were the high point of electric cars in America, as they outsold all other types of cars. One example was the 1902 Phaeton built by the Woods Motor Vehicle Company of Chicago, which had a range of 18 miles, a top speed of 14 mph and cost $2,000. Later in 1916, Woods invented a hybrid car that had both an internal combustion engine and an electric motor.#*

 

 

 
(1902)^ - View of a man driving a Waverley Electromobile car on Spring St. (looking south near 8th St.). Behind him on the left (east side of Spring) a sign for the Corum Paper Box Factory is visible on the side of a building.  

 

Historical Notes

Electric vehicles had many advantages over their competitors in the early 1900s. They did not have the vibration, smell, and noise associated with gasoline cars. Changing gears on gasoline cars was the most difficult part of driving, while electric vehicles did not require gear changes. While steam-powered cars also had no gear shifting, they suffered from long start-up times of up to 45 minutes on cold mornings. The steam cars had less range before needing water than an electric's range on a single charge.#*

 

 

 
(1903)^*# - View looking south on Broadway from 5th Street. Men and women are crossing the street in all directions. The sign on top of the building on the southwest corner reads: The 5 Cents Store - S & H Green Stamps  

 

 

 

 

 
(1903)^ - An early photo looking west on 6th Street from Main Street. Streetcar tracks cross at this intersection, and horse-and-carriages are seen. The Lion Cafe is at right, and houses are on both corners. Pedestrians are walking  

 

 

 

 

 
(1903)^ - A group of people standing outside of Platt's Popcorn Palace on 5th and Main Streets. The Rosslyn Hotel, located at 112 West 5th Street, later came to occupy this site.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1903)^^ - Panoramic view of downtown Los Angeles looking east from the Fremont Hotel, 4th Street and Olive Street.  Notable buildings include the Angelus Hotel (top-center), W.E. Cummings building (left), Niles Pease Furniture Co. (right). Legible signs include: "Conrad's, men's furnishings", "factory, climax, isolar [...]", "W.E. Cummings", "the Angelus", "restaurant", "Niles Pease Furniture Co.", "429, delicatessen, B.W. [...] & Co.".  

 

Historical Notes

The Angelus Hotel was built in 1901 by G.S. Holmes (also the proprietor of The Knutsford Hotel in Salt Lake City, Utah). Advertised then as the tallest building in Los Angeles, the hotel consisted of two, seven-story buildings joined by a central structure with a lobby, dining rooms, meeting rooms and other shared facilities, including a central court yard on top.^^*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1902)^ - View of the Angelus Hotel located on the southwest corner of Spring and Fourth streets. A sign with the name "Angelus" and containing a clock is located on the corner of the building. The street is filled with people and horses and carriages, and a streetcar coming from the left.  

 

Historical Notes

According to The American Globe, Independent Illustrated Monthly of 1909, The Angelus was sold circa 1903 to the Loomis Brothers, who were experienced hoteliers.

The Angelus had a Turkish-themed room in its early days, along with a bowling alley, billiards, a buffet and hair dressing parlor. Under the Loomis Brothers, the hotel later offered onsite "progressive tailoring" services by Eisner & Company.^^*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1903)^ - Spring Street between 2nd and 3rd Streets, looking north. The National Bank of California is on the northeast corner and H. Jevne Grocers at 208-210 South Spring. Two streetcars can be seen at the intersection of Spring and 2nd. Horse-drawn wagons and several bicycles are parked at the curb.  

 

 

 

 
(1903)^ - View looking south on Broadway from 9th St.  Several couples are seen out for a drive in their open buggies (cars).  

 

 

 

 
(1903)^ - A view of the west side of Broadway south of 9th St. A group of people are seen in their parked cars by the curb. Some of the cars have their tops down. Pennants are attached to the automobiles. On the opposite side of Broadway are homes.
 

 

 

 

 
(1904)^ – View of Glendale Boulevard, still a dirt road, with a ‘parade’ of cars near Sunset Boulevard.     

 

 

 

 
(1904)^ - Automobile Parade on Sunset Boulevard. The vehicles are going down the sidewalk past redwood electric poles with palm fronds attached. There are boards stacked to lessen the shock of returning to the road, the curbs have not yet been cut for driveways.  

 

 

 

 
(1904)^ - View of Broadway looking south from 9th St. Note the cars with signs such as "3 Daily Deliveries" lined up on one side of the street.     

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1904)^^ - View looking north on Main Street. The streets are filled with horse-drawn carriages, streetcars, and pedestrians. Large business signs can be seen throughout.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1904)^ - Scores of uniformed bicyclists (police officers) share the road with a horse-drawn buggy on Broadway and 6th Streets, west side looking north, on May 24, 1904. The Sun Drug Company is visible, as is Mackie Fredericks Company.  

 

Historical Notes

By 1900 Los Angeles had 70 police officers, one for every 1,500 people. In 1903, with the start of the Civil Service, this force was increased to 200, although training was not introduced until 1916.*^

 

 

 
(Early 1900s)^ - Five policemen in uniforms from the early part of the century pose for their picture. One holds a bicycle.  

 

Historical Notes

In the early 1900s, the office of Chief of Police became increasingly politicized. From 1900 to 1923 there were sixteen different chiefs. The longest-lasting was Charles E. Sebastian, who served from 1911 to 1915 before going on to become mayor.

In 1910 the department promoted the first sworn female police officer with full powers in the United States, Alice Stebbins Wells. Georgia Ann Robinson became the first African-American female police officer in the country in 1916.*^

 

 

 
(Early 1900s)^ - Photo of Los Angeles' first horseless patrol wagon, which also served as an ambulance. It was bought in 1904, was driven by electricity and boasted 20 miles per hour. At right is George Home, who became Chief of Police in later days. Captain C. L. Johnson is second from left. Photo dated: June 27, 1927.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1910s)^ - The Griffith Park's first motorcycle officer, Bob Brown, sits here on his vehicle, by a building in the park.  

 

 

 

 
(1904)^ - Pacific Electric Railway car number 202 stopping at North Figueroa Street in Highland Park on its way to Pasadena in 1904. A conductor on the left is flagging the car across the Los Angeles terminal tracks. An automobile is on the right.  

 

 

 

 
(1904)^ - Panoramic view looking north toward Glendale along the Pacific Electric line through the Edendale Cut.  

 

Historical Notes

The Edendale Cut was an unpaved road (some of which is now known as Silver Lake Ct.) and was the former route of the Glendale and Burbank interurban railway lines operated by Pacific Electric. The line crossed Fletcher Avenue over a viaduct before continuing along a hillside ledge to the Monte Sano stop at Glendale Blvd. and Riverside Drive. The line was constructed in 1904 and abandoned in 1955.*##^

 

 

 
(1911)##^ – View of Broadway and Brand Avenue with the Glendale and Eagle Rock Railway visible. A "Vote for Annexation" banner is stretched across the street.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1910/11, the city of Tropico petitioned to annex themselves to Los Angeles. The petition lacked the required signatures of one-fifth of the registered voters, however, and was ignored by the city. The annexation was finally successful in 1918, with the upper half of Tropico voting to go with Glendale and the lower half voting to go with Los Angeles, later making up the area of Atwater. ##^

Tropico was the name of the southern portion of Glendale, south of Windsor Road, between the late 1800s and 1918. The name "Glendale"  had originated in the 1880s and was utilized north of Windsor Road. Political factions had divided the town in two.   By the turn of the century, the commercial center of Tropico was at Central and San Fernando Road and its population was 700.^##^

 

 

 
(ca. 1904)^ - View of El Miradero, the estate of Leslie C. Brand, as seen from the entrance gates of the property.  

 

Historical Notes

Born in Missouri in 1859, Leslie Coombs Brand became the sole provider for his family at age 11. In 1886, Brand came to California to take advantage of its first boom period. #*#^

Brand was a major figure in the settlement and economic growth of the Glendale area. He had purchased land on the lower slopes of Mount Verdugo overlooking the city, and in 1904 built an imposing residence that became known as Brand Castle, also El Miradero (which today houses the Brand Library).*^

 

 

 
(1904)^*# – West side view of the newly constructed ‘El Miradero’, home of Leslie C. Brand.  

 

Historical Notes

Designed by Leslie C. Brand's brother-in-law Nathaniel Dryden, the mansion was completed in 1904 and is similar in style to that of the East Indian Pavilion built for the 1893 Columbian World Exposition held in Chicago. The architecture is considered Saracenic, with crenellated arches, bulbous domes and minars combining characteristics of Spanish, Moorish, and Indian styles.^

 

 

 
(ca. 1906)^*# – View of El Miradero Mansion standing between orange groves in the foreground and the Verdugo Hills in the background.  

 

Historical Notes

Leslie C. Brand helped develop the city of Glendale.  Together with Henry E. Huntington, he brought Pacific Electric to the town to develop it. The 'Brand Library' section of the Glendale Public Library is named in his honor. Brand Boulevard in Glendale is also named in his honor.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1906)^*# – View looking South over Glendale and Griffith Park toward Los Angeles through one of the many arches of ‘El Miradero’.  

 

Historical Notes

Just across the mostly dry Los Angeles River, Brand could see the Griffith Park Aerodrome's grass field, built in 1912. Just three years later he decided to build his own grass airstrip below his mansion.*^

 

 

 
(1921)***^ - An aerial view of L. C. Brand's airfield in front of his home, El Miradero in Glendale. The airplanes took off downhill toward Kenneth Road.   

 

Historical Notes

Brand established a grassy, well-manicured airfield in front of the mansion. The airfield consisted of a 1,200' rolled dirt runway, with a white hangar at one end and a putting green on the other. The hangar matched the architectural style of the mansion - with turrets atop each of the 4 corners.*#*#

 

 

 
1923)*#*# – Aerial view looking north at Brand Field, showing the hangar and 10 aircraft on the field, and the mansion across the street. Note the steep terrain – obviously takeoffs to the north wouldn't be advisable.  

 

Historical Notes

Only 3 aircraft are known to have been actually based at Brand Field.  However, Brand apparently bought many war surplus Jennies, some to tinker with and fly as a sport, although most languished in storage buildings.*#*#

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1920s)*#*# – View of millionaire Leslie C. Brand mowing the lawn in front of the Moorish-style hangar at his private Airfield.  

 

Historical Notes

Brand built his first hangar in 1916 and put together a fleet of planes, and held fly-in parties. The only requirement was that guests had to arrive in their own planes and bring passengers.*^

 

 

 

 
(1921)^*# – Several airplanes and guests arriving at Brand's fly-in luncheon party on April 1, 1921. El Miradero Mansion is seen in the background. Click HERE to see more in Aviation in Early L.A.  

 

Historical Notes

Brand Field was no longer depicted on a 1931 street map, but “Brand Park” was depicted, so the airfield may have ceased operation by that point.*#*#

 

 

 
(ca. 1920)^ - View of El Miradero and estate grounds, once home to Leslie C. Brand. Three vehicles are seen parked next to one another where the driveway and path to the front door meet. Four people, three men and one woman, are standing next to the automobiles.  

 

Historical Notes

It was stated in Brand's will that El Miradero would be bequeathed to the city upon his wife's death, on the condition that the property be used exclusively for a public park and library. Mrs. Mary Louise Brand retained rights of the residence from 1925, when Mr. Brand died, until her death in 1945.^

 

 

 
(ca. 1940s)#^^ - Postcard view of the entrance to El Miradero, the estate of Leslie C. Brand, located in Brand Park.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1956 the mansion became the Brand Library, the art and music branch of the Glendale Public Library. The address is 1601 West Mountain Street, Glendale.^

 

 

 
(ca. 1904)^^ - Panoramic view of downtown Los Angeles from the Melrose Hotel, looking east. Large Victorian residential buildings are in the foreground. The commercial district, city government buildings and churches are visible further back. City Hall stands in the middle of the photo.  

 

Historical Notes

The Melrose Hotel was located at 138 S. Grand Ave. on Bunker Hill.  It started as a Victorian mansion in 1881 and eventually became a hotel apartment. Click HERE to see more on the Melrose Hotel.

If still standing today, the view from the front porch of the Melrose Hotel (looking west) would be that of Disney Hall, located directly across the street, on the other side of Grand Ave.

 

 

 
(ca. 1904)^^ - View of Sixth Street looking west from Spring Street. The Hollywood hills can be seen in the distance. The large structure on the hill in the background (top-center) is the California State Normal School.  

 

Historical Notes

Sixth Street stands to the left, stretching towards the horizon from the bottom of the photo, populated with pedestrians and horse-drawn carriages. Tall two- to four-story victorian-style business buildings line it to the left and right. To the extreme right, the large, two-story mansion-style Spring Street School can be seen next to the H. Arnold Furniture House that advertises "Mattings, Linoleum & Rugs". Mountains (Hollywood HIlls) are visible in the background. The California State Normal School is the largest structure in the background.^^

 

 

 
(ca. 1902)^^ - View of  man driving on Spring Street in front of the Van Nuys family residence.  The man, dressed in a dark suit and candystriped hat, steers the topless carriage with a rod-and-stirrup device. In the background, the Victorian architecture of the I.N. Van Nuys residence can be seen, with its gingerbread roof, molded window frames and clapboard veneer. A wrought-iron fence marks the perimeter of the lawn. A woman is partially visible in the background from behind the vine-grown porch of the residence, over which hangs a sign reading "Rose Lawn Villa". Tree foliage obscures the left side of the residence.   

 

 

 

 
(1904)^^ - View of Spring Street looking north from Seventh Street featuring the I.N. Van Nuys residence, May 24, 1904. Several early automobiles drive towards the camera along the unpaved street in which trollycar tracks are visible. Only the wrought-iron fence and the top of the Victorian architecture of the Van Nuys residence is visible from behind the lush treecover surrounding it. Telephone poles are visible, as well as large signs attached to building in the background which read "Furniture and Carpets" and "Angelus Flour".   

 

 

 

 

 
(Early 1900s)^ -Side view of the State Normal School, located at Grand Avenue and 5th Street. From this location one could get a great panoramic view of downtown Los Angeles.  

 

Historical Notes

In March 1881, after heavy lobbying by Los Angeles residents, the California State Legislature authorized the creation of a southern branch of the California State Normal School (which later became San Jose State University) in downtown Los Angeles to train teachers for the growing population of Southern California. The State Normal School at Los Angeles opened on August 29, 1882, on what is now the site of the Central Library of the Los Angeles Public Library system.*^

 

 

 

 
(Early 1900s)^^ - Exterior view of the State Normal School. Residential homes sit on a cul-de-sac behind the school.  

 

Historical Notes

Through the years, the State Normal School was expanded and several new wings were added. In 1887, the school officially became known as the Los Angeles State Normal School.*^

 

 

 

 
(1904)^ - Panoramic photo of teachers and student body of the California State Normal School, located at 5th Street and Grand Avenue in Los Angeles.  

 

Historical Notes

The California State Normal School included an elementary school where teachers-in-training could practice their teaching technique on children. That elementary school is related to the present day version, UCLA Lab School.*^

 

 

 
(Early 1900s)^ - Aerial view of the State Normal School, located at Grand Avenue and 5th Street. Because the school sat impressively on the last knoll of Bunker Hill, aptly dubbed "Normal Hill". The large white building on the middle left is the Bible Institute, later to become the Church of the Open Door, that was located on Hope Street; the Key West Rooms and Apartments is visible on the lower left.  

 

Historical Notes

By 1914 the little pueblo of Los Angeles had grown to a city of 350,000 and the school, whose enrollment far exceeded its capacity, moved to new quarters -- a Hollywood ranch off a dirt road which would later become Vermont Avenue. With a view toward expansion, Director Ernest Carroll Moore proposed in 1917 that the school become the first branch of the Berkeley-based University of California. Two years later on May 23, 1919, California Governor William D. Stephens signed the legislation that created the "Southern Branch" of the University of California -- no longer merely a teacher's college but an institution that offered two years of instruction in Letters and Science. Third- and fourth-year courses were soon added, the first class of 300 students was graduated in 1925, and by 1927 the Southern Branch had earned its new name: University of California at Los Angeles (the "at" became a comma in 1958). As the student population of the University continued to increase, the need for a new site became obvious and the search was soon under way for a permanent home for UCLA.^

 

 

Click HERE to see more Early Views of the Normal School and UCLA.

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1904)^^ - Intersection of Spring Street and First Street looking south. The Hotel Nadeau (erected 1885) is visible at right (later the site of the Times Building). Most of the buildings appear to be commercial and average four-stories high. The busy street is crowded with streetcars, horse-drawn vehicles, and pedestrians. The street cars are labeled: "Alhambra and San Gabriel, 88", "Pasadena", "Pasadena, 85", "Plaza". The large cirular sign on the roof top to the right reads: "Up to date bargains, Crandall Aylsworth Company".  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1905)^ - View of Spring Street at 1st, looking south, circa 1905. The Hotel Nadeau appears on the right. Spring St. was then the center of the city's financial activities. Electric cable cars can be seen in photo.  

 

 

 

 
(1905)^ - View of Spring Street looking north toward between 4th and 3rd Streets. A large number of pedestrians are on the sidewalk, and in the street are bicyclists, carriages and trolleys, one of which is marked "University." On the left is the George J. Birkel Co., selling Steinway Pianos. Other businesses include a store selling furs, rugs and game heads. Tall office buildings are on either side of the street, including the Braly Building and the Hellman Building at right.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1905)^ - View of a very crowded Spring Street looking north from 4th Street near Barker Bros. Flat-faced commercial highrise buildings are packed closely together on the side of the street. Businesses include Barker Brothers which boasts "Furniture, Carpets, Draperies", Kunnel's Lunch, the Hotel Berwick, a bath and massage house, the Scott Brothers Building, and the Great Western Market.   

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1905)^^ - Closer view of previous photo shows a man with a moustache driving an early topless automobile while men stand next to him walking their bicycles. Horse-drawn carriages are visible parked along the sidewalk in the background while a streetcar makes its way up the street from the distance.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1905)^^ - Second Street Railroad Power Station looking west from the corner of Boylston Street. The two-story brick utility building stands next to a cleared lot in front of an unpaved road in which streetcar rails can be seen, surrounded by utility poles. Houses in the residential area of the city can be seen to the left and on the hills in the background. A horse-drawn cargo wagon makes its way down the street at left.  

 

Historical Notes

Between 1896 and 1906 the power house was in use as Edison Electric Company Steam Plant Number One.

Click HERE to see more in Early Power Generation.

 

 

 
(1905)^#^# - Central Oil field looking east from near corner of First Street and Belmont Avenue.  

 

Historical Notes

The Central Oil Field above is situated just south of the largest producing oil field in the history of the Southland called the Los Angeles Oil Field.

The Los Angeles City Oil Field is a large oil field north of Downtown. Long and narrow, it extends from immediately south of Dodger Stadium west to Vermont Avenue, encompassing an area of about four miles long by a quarter mile across. Its former productive area amounts to 780 acres.*^

 

 

 
(1906)^#^ - Los Angeles oil fields map of the wells just west of downtown in 1906.  The filled in circles represent producing wells, non-filled circles represent non-producing wells (Source:  Library of Congress).  

 

Historical Notes

Discovered in 1890, and made famous by Edward Doheny's successful well in 1892, the Los Angeles Oil Field was once the top producing oil field in California, accounting for more than half of the state's oil in 1895. In its peak year of 1901, approximately 200 separate oil companies were active on the field, which is now entirely overbuilt by dense residential and commercial development.

The fortunes made during development of the field led directly to the discovery and exploitation of other fields in the Los Angeles Basin. Of the 1,250 wells once drilled on the field, and the forest of derricks that once covered the low hills north of Los Angeles from Elysian Park west, little above-ground trace remains today.*^

 

 

 
(2011)*^ - Detail of the Los Angeles City Field, showing locations of former wells, and single active well remaining in 2011.  

 

 

 

 
(1905)^ - A large, wooden cable wheel plastered with posters stands at the ready on Hill St. looking south from 4th. To the left, a streetcar passes in front of a dance club. The sign on the building behind is for "Peck & Chase Co., Undertakers". Although tracks for the streetcars are laid, the street is unpaved.  

 

 

 

 
(1905)^ - Panoramic view of Main Street, looking south from 7th Street. At left is the Hotel Faremont, next to which is Overall's, Brent's, followed by a hardware, Hunger's Laundry, a sign shop, and Hotel Cadillac. At right is National Auto. Garage, a real estate office and other buildings. Southern California Wine Co. store no. 2 is seen on Spring Street, angling in at right, which joins Main in the distance.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1905)^ - View of the Central City from 7th Street, west from Hill Street. It shows numerous buildings, most of which are not identifiable, except for two: the tall white building that has arched windows and is wedged between two others on the second "row" in the forefront is the Los Angeles Gas and Electric Company. Behind that, on the third row, the corner two-toned building is the Hotel Baltimore.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1905)^ - View from the 200 block of South Olive St. on Bunker Hill looking northeast towards Sierra Madre and the snow-capped San Gabriel Mountains. Although the background hills have few trees, the city is a forest with palms, evergreen, and deciduous trees interspersed among the buildings. The long building behind the palm fronds (foreground) is the Mission Hotel/Apartments on the southwest corner of 2nd St. and Olive. The two larger structures, left, are rear views of the Richelieu and Melrose hotels on Grand Avenue. The Los Angeles High School tower is on the far right at the top of the picture. Although utility lines are in, the streets are still unpaved.  

 

 

 

 
(1905)^ - Three cars are parked in front of Rambler Bicycles at 207-209 W. 5th St. near Spring.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1905)* - Looking south on Broadway from 5th Street. Pacific Electric "red cars" share the street with horse carts. The sign on the electric car is marked "Boyle Hts."  

 

 

 

 
(1905)^ - Panoramic view of 5th and Olive Streets, looking south in 1905. Central Park (later Pershing Square) is seen, and there are churches at right. At left the Auditorium Building is under construction.  

 

 

 

 
(1905)^ - A man pats a horse as women pass under an awning in this view of Hill St. at 4th, looking north. In the center is the F.P. Fay Building with its prominent sign. Second building to the right is the Ville de Paris department store.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1905)^ - Two women are walking along Spring Street, near Main Street in Downtown L.A. It appears that either the man walking by or something in the store window has caught their attention. Several open cars and horse-drawn carriages are seen parked along the street.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1905)^ - This photo shows numerous pedestrians walking along Broadway near Second Street in Downtown L.A. The women can be seen wearing long skirts, long sleeved blouses and/or tapered jackets, and all are wearing hats. The gentlemen are dressed in 2-piece suits and all of them can be seen wearing bowler hats as well. Several open cars are parked along the street. City Hall can be seen in the background across the street.  

 

Historical Notes

The tall tower in the distance is the Old City Hall, located at 226 Broadway. It was LA’s 3rd City Hall.  Built in 1888, it stood until the current City Hall was completed in 1928.^

 

 

 
(1905)^^ - View looking north on Broadway from Fourth Street. Horse-drawn carriages can be seen on both sides of Broadway. On the left, heading south on Broadway, a woman is behind the stick (no wheel) of an early model car. Ornate multi-lamp streetlights adorn both sides of the street.  

 

 

 

 
(1905)^ - An early view of Spring St. with the Alexandria Hotel partially seen at the southwest corner of Spring and 5th St. (left side of picture). On the right (east side) George A. Ralphs Grocer sits below the taller Security Building.  

 

Historical Notes

Ralphs Grocery Company was founded in 1873 by George Albert Ralphs with the original store being located at Sixth and Spring Streets. The company employed notable architects in designing its stores.*^

Click HERE to see an 1886 photo of George Ralphs standing in front of his original store in the Early LA Buildings (1800s) Section.

 

 

 
(n.d.)^ - A man is standing next to a delivery truck of Ralphs Grocery Co. A sign on the side says, "Ralphs Grocery Co. Sells for Less."  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1905)^ - Firemen in their horse-drawn firewagons are seen outside of their station located at Hill and 16th (later renamed Venice Boulevard) streets.  

 

 

 

 
(1905)^ - A fire engine races east on 5th St. from Hill, about 1905. The view is looking west. The prominent building in the background is the State Normal School, on the present site of the L.A. Public Library, Central Branch. The building with awnings behind the fire engine is the California Club, at its 5th and Hill St. location, from which it moved in 1930.
 

 

Historical Notes

The State Normal School later evolved into UCLA. Click HERE to see more in Early Views of the Normal School and UCLA.

 

 

 
(1905)^ - Looking west from 5th and Hill streets, the California Club appears with awnings on the right, the trees of Pershing Square are visible on the left, and the State Normal School, on the present site of the L.A. Public Library, Central Branch shows prominently in the background.  

 

 

 

 
(1904)^^ - View of the California Club Building on the corner of 5th and Hill streets. A group of ladies are seen on the corner (lower-left) waiting to cross the street.  

 

Historical Notes

The California Club is a private social club established in 1888 in downtown Los Angeles, the oldest such club in Southern California.

The club's first location was in the second-floor rooms over the Tally-Ho Stables on the northwest corner of First and Fort (Broadway) streets, where the Los Angeles County Law Library now stands. It moved to the Wilcox Building on the southeast corner of Second and Spring streets in 1895, occupying the two top floors, the fourth and fifth. The building was distinguished as the first in Los Angeles to have two elevators — one for the public and the other for members. The men's dining room, reading room, bar and lounge were on the top floor. On the floor below was the ladies' dining room.

The club remained at the Wilcox Building for ten years, Increased membership impelled the club to seek a new location in the southward and westward direction of the expansion of the city. In 1904 the club's headquarters were moved to a new five-story building with a basement and a roof garden on the northwest corner of Fifth and Hill streets.

Beginning in the 1920s, blacks, Jews and women were barred from membership. Finally in 1987 the city of Los Angeles made discriminatory clubs illegal. Some members of the California Club then sought to maintain discriminatory membership policies, but their efforts were defeated by a majority of the members. Indeed, in the vote taken in June 1987, 90 percent of the voting members favored admitting women.*^

 

 

 
(1905)^ - View of the Pacific Electric Railway building on Main and Sixth Streets, which housed the ticket office. Passengers are seen in line waiting to board the PE electric streetcars.  

 

Historical Notes

The historic Pacific Electric Building (also known as the Huntington Building, after the Pacific Electric founder and developer, Henry Huntington) opened in 1905 as the terminal for the Pacific Electric Red Car Lines running east and south of downtown Los Angeles, as well as the company's main headquarters building. It was designed by architect Thornton Fitzhugh. Though not the first modern building in Los Angeles, nor the tallest, its large footprint and ten-floor height made it the largest building in floor area west of Chicago for several decades. Above the main floor terminal were five floors of offices and, on the top three floors, the Jonathan Club, one of the city's leading businessmen's clubs. The club moved to its own building on Figueroa Street in 1925.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1905)^ - Interior view of the Pacific Electric Building, the main streetcar station located on Main and 6th streets. Two streetcars, one bound for Long Beach, the other for Pasadena, are seen surrounded by several conductors. The Palm Garden & Buffet, a small lunch counter managed by Eugen Mächtig, is visible on the left. Another business, perhaps a men's clothier, is also present in the building. One sign on the far left reads "Mt. Lowe", once a popular mountain destination for Pacific Electric customers.  

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of Mt. Lowe Railway

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1905)^## - Westbound view of "Ivy Station" at the current location of the Culver City station of Los Angeles Metro's Exposition light rail line.  

 

Historical Notes

Located near the corner of Venice and Robertson Boulevards, the Ivy Station was later renamed Culver Junction.  It eventually closed in 1953.^##

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1905)^^ - Panoramic view looking north at the Pier at Venice Beach showing the amusement park and beach. The Ship Cafe is seen on the left.  

 

Historical Notes

Among the South Bay piers, the most notable in this period was Abbot Kinney's Venice of America pier, started in 1904 and built to rival his former partner's Ocean Park Pier. Located at the end of Windward Avenue in Venice, Kinney's pier was 900 feet long, 30 feet wide and included an Auditorium, large replica Ship Cafe, Dance Hall, Dentzel carousel, a Japanese Tea House and an Ocean Inn Restaurant. Venice soon became considered its own neighborhood.*^

 

 

 

 

 
(1905)^ - A big crowd is seen behind the large restaurant ship which was a replica of Juan Cabrillo's Spanish galleon. People can also be seen aboard the ship which was located in Venice at the Abbot Kinney Pier.  

 

Historical Notes

Venice of America was founded by tobacco millionaire Abbot Kinney in 1905 as a beach resort town. He and his partner Francis Ryan had bought two miles of oceanfront property south of Santa Monica in 1891. They built a resort town on the north end of the property called Ocean Park, which was soon annexed to Santa Monica. After Ryan died, Kinney and his new partners continued building south of Navy Street in the unincorporated territory. After the partnership dissolved in 1904, Kinney built on the marshy land on the south end of the property, intending to create a seaside resort like its namesake in Italy.*^

 

 

 

 

 
(1905)^ - Nigthtime view of Abbott Kinney's Pier in Venice. The pier was destroyed by fire in 1920.  

 

Historical Notes

When Venice of America opened on July 4, 1905, Kinney had dug several miles of canals to drain the marshes for his residential area, built a 1,200-foot long pleasure pier with an auditorium, ship restaurant, and dance hall, constructed a hot salt-water plunge, and built a block-long arcaded business street with Venetian architecture. Tourists, mostly arriving on the "Red Cars" of the Pacific Electric Railway from Los Angeles and Santa Monica, then rode Venice's miniature railroad and gondolas to tour the town.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1904)^^ - View of canal dredging in Venice, showing a large steam shovel arm protruding from the bow of a barge.  Several men are standing on the barge near the shovel arm. The arm reads "Built by the Marion Steam Shovel Co. Marion, O".  

 

Historical Notes

In 1904, Abbott Kinney completed the canals as part of a dream to transplant a bit of old Venice to California and imported Venetian gondolas with costumed gondoliers.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1905)^ - A gondolier and boat passes under one of the bridges on the canal route. At the same time a pedestrian and a bicycle rider are passing over the bridge.  

 

Historical Notes

The beautifully lit canals with gondoliers and arched bridges drew widespread publicity and helped sell lots in Kinney’s Venice development. However, as the automobile gained in popularity, the canals were viewed by many as outdated, and the bulk of the canals were filled in 1929 to create roads.*^

 

 

 
(1905)^ - A boat glides along a canal in Venice, in 1905. Notice the newly planted palm trees along the sides of the canal, and bungalows are visible at right. The sky looks overcast. The oarsman is standing at back, and men with suits and hats are sitting together at front.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1905)^ - View of the Lagoon at Venice. Groups of people pay for a boat or a gondola ride on the canal. The Antler Hotel can be seen in the background to the left of the bridge over the canal.  

 

 

 

 
(1913)#*^ – Half of a stereoscopic image showing a gondola with a gondolier in the rear rowing on the Venice Lagoon. The Antler Hotel stands in the background.  

 

 

 

 
(1905)*^#^ - View of the corner of Ocean Front and Windward Ave and the St. Mark's Hotel.  

 

Historical Notes

Ground was broken for the St. Mark's Hotel on December 5,1904. It was one of Venice's original buildings and stood until 1964 when it was demolished.

 

 

 
(1905)* - The street is filled with people strolling, and the air with banners strung from the Hunt Hotel on the left. A banner on the building to the near left declares that "St. Mark's Hotel will open in early July". This was the grand opening celebration for Venice of America, July 4, 1905. Click HERE to see more in Early Southern California Amusement Parks.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1891 Abbot Kinney built the resort of Ocean Park, which became the center of his coastal amusement paradise, Venice of America. Easily accessible by streetcar from both Santa Monica and Los Angeles, Venice, which opened in 1905, included canals, gondolas and gondoliers, Venetian-style buildings, an amusement pier, a dancehall and an auditorium.

Kinney inherited his father's tobacco business and made a substantial fortune manufacturing Sweet Caporal cigarettes.*

 

 

 
(ca. 1905)^ - There are wall to wall people filling Windward Ave. in Venice of America, all looking and moving toward the ocean. "VENICE" is strung above their heads over the street in large letters.  

 

 

 

 
(1905)^ - Swimming race at Venice of America. A large crowd is present in the amphitheater at Venice near Los Angeles to view the swimming races on July 4th. Here the 50 yard race has just begun.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1905)*#** - View of the Venice Miniature Railway train crossing over a Venice Canal bridge on its way back to Windward Street at the Venice of America Amusement Park.  

 

Historical Notes

When Abbot Kinney was building Venice in 1905, he decided that his new resort should have an internal transportation system to shuttle visitors and residents around town. He turned to John J. Coit who operated a successful eighteen inch gauge (1/3rd scale) miniature steam railroad at Eastlake Park (now Lincoln Park) in Los Angeles. He persuaded him to oversee the construction and management of a mile and three quarter long railroad that would take passengers from the Windward Avenue business district on a loop across canal bridges and through the canalled residential district, then return via a loop up Washington Boulevard, past its Lake Avenue maintenance yard and back to the Windward station along Mildred Avenue.*#*#*

 

 

 

 
(1912)^ - Postcard view of the Miniature Railway on Windward Avenue in Venice. The miniature railroad would carry passengers for trips around the Venice streets, including Windward Ave. as shown here, and around the canal area.  

 

Historical Notes

The cost of a trip around Venice was five cents, although residents could buy a book of tickets for $1.00 which made the run only two cents. At that time, it cost 15 cents to ride from Los Angeles to Venice on the Los Angeles Pacific Railway. *#**

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1920)^*## – Postcard view showing a large group of people waiting in line on Windward Avenue, Venice.  The street behind is full of parked vehicles.  

 

 

 

Click HERE to see Early Southern California Amusement Parks

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1888)#**^ - View of a steamer at the dock in Avalon Bay and the Hotel Metropole in Avalon, Santa Catalina.  

 

Historical Notes

The first European to set foot on the island was the Portuguese explorer Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo, who sailed in the name of the Spanish crown. On October 7, 1542, he claimed the island for Spain and christened it San Salvador after his ship. Over half a century later, another Spanish explorer, Sebastián Vizcaíno, rediscovered the island on the eve of Saint Catherine's day (November 24) in 1602. Vizcaino renamed the island in the saint's honor.

The first owner to try to develop Avalon into a resort destination was George Shatto, a real estate speculator from Grand Rapids, Michigan. Shatto purchased the island for $200,000 from the Lick estate at the height of the real estate boom in Southern California in 1887. Shatto created the settlement that would become Avalon, and can be credited with building the town's first hotel, the original Hotel Metropole, and pier. His sister-in-law Etta Whitney came up with the name Avalon, which was taken from Alfred, Lord Tennyson's poem "Idylls of the King," about the legend of King Arthur. Despite Shatto's efforts, he defaulted on his loan after only a few years and the island went back to the Lick estate.*^

 

 

 

 

 
(1891)#^^ – View of Avalon Bay in Catalina as seen from the hillside.  A steam boat makes its way out toward the ocean away from the pier. House-tents can be seen along the beach. A large home (Holly Hill House) can be seen on the hillside to the right.  The house still exists today and is Avalon's oldest remaining structure.  

 

Historical Notes

The sons of Phineas Banning bought the island in 1891 from the estate of James Lick and established the Santa Catalina Island Company to develop it as a resort. They had a variety of reasons for doing this. They wanted Catalina's rock to build a breakwater at Wilmington for their shipping company. They had also just built a luxurious new boat, the Hermosa, to bring tourists to the Island. If tourism failed, this investment was at risk. By owning Catalina, they would not only get their rock, but also money from tourists for their passage as well as everything on the Island.*^

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1900)^*# - View looking south at Avalon Bay on Catalina Island. The Avalon Bath House is seen on the pier. The rock formation called Surgarloaf Point is in the background.  

 

Historical Notes

The Banning brothers fulfilled Shatto's dream of making Avalon a resort community with the construction of numerous tourist facilities. Although the Bannings' main focus was in Avalon, they also showed great interest in the rest of the island and wanted to introduce other parts of Catalina to the general public. They did this by paving the first dirt roads into the island's interior, where they built hunting lodges and led stagecoach tours, and by making Avalon's surrounding areas (Lovers Cove, Sugarloaf Point and Descanso Beach) accessible to tourists.*^

 

 

 

 

 
(1903)*^ - Stereoscopic view of a woman taking a photograph of Sugarloaf Point at Avalon Bay on Catalina Island.  

 

Historical Notes

The point upon which the beautiful and historic Casino sits has always been the defining landmark of Santa Catalina Island. Before the Casino was built, sailors arriving from the mainland would use Sugarloaf Point, as it was then called, to gain their bearings on approaching Avalon Bay.**#*

 

 

 

 

 
(1908)^*# - Closer view of Sugarloaf Point in Avalon Bay. Several people can be seen on the Point's access road.  

 

Historical Notes

Sugarloaf Point was actually defined by a pair of solid granite outcroppings. Big Sugarloaf and Little Sugarloaf were connected by a narrow sawtooth ridge.**#*

 

 

 

 

 
(1901)^#^ - The steamer "Hermosa" leaving Catalina Island and making its way past Sugarloaf Point.  

 

Historical Notes

The wooden steamship S.S. Hermosa was built in San Francisco in 1888 by the Wilmington Transportation Company, owned by the Banning family, for transportation to the Island during the summer season. Off-season, the ship had been leased to other operators for use in Puget Sound and Alaska. By June of 1892, the Hermosa had returned to service on the Santa Catalina Island run, the Island then being owned by the Banning brothers.#***

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1900)^*# - Close-up view of Sugarloaf Point showing a steep stairway on the side of the rock formation and a viewing platform at the top. The steamship Hermosa is seen on the other side of the Point.  

 

Historical Notes

Like its namesake in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sugarloaf Mountain was the site of numerous festivities. Fireworks were exploded from its summit on Fourth of July. Climbing Sugarloaf was no easy task. In 1896, a stairway was built to accommodate the less adventurous.**#*

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1900)^*# - Several people are seen ascending and descending Sugarloaf Point as others stand on the rocks below observing. A couple of people have already made it to to top.  

 

 

 

 
(1905)^^ - View of Avalon Bay as seen from the hillside. The steamer "Hermosa" is approaching the pier. Close to the pier can be seen the Metropole Hotel. Beyond the pier is the Avalon Bath House and rounding the bay you get to Sugar Loaf Point.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1905)^ - Panoramic view of the Town of Avalon on Santa Catalina Island with new Metropole Hotel and Grand View Hotel, as well as the pier and many small boats in the water. The steamer S.S Hermosa is docked at the wharf.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1900)^ - View of the historic Hotel Metropole located at 205 Crescent Avenue on Santa Catalina Island. Several people take a leisurely stroll through the streets, and at least two dozen boats are 'docked' on the beach. A sign next to a small structure reads: "Bert Harding - Boats to let - Fishing, tackle, Bait, etc."  

 

Historical Notes

The Hotel Metropole, originally built in 1888 as Catalina's grande dame, was a large 3-story wooden structure with views of the bay that boasted of numerous windows, several dormers, half a dozen chimneys, and two covered patios. In 1915 this renowned landmark was completely destroyed by a devastating fire that ravaged much of Avalon. A few years later, the Hotel Metropole was rebuilt on the same site but was significantly downsized, this time consisting of only 48 rooms and a luxurious 2-bedroom Beach house.^

 

 

 
(ca.1900)***# - View of the Wilmington Transportation Company's Steamer "Hermosa," docked at the Green Peer as seen from the front of the Metropole Hotel.  Sign over the stand at center-left reads: “Boats to Let”  

 

Historical Notes

The S.S. Hermosa carried up to 150 passengers and was elegantly decorated. It carried passengers to the island for fourteen years until it was replaced by the larger Hermosa II. The first Hermosa was stripped of valuables and set afire in Avalon harbor during a July 4th in 1902. #***

 

 

 

 
(1927)^^ - View of Catalina Harbor looking seaward from behind Sugar Loaf. Sugarloaf Casino can be seen as well as several boats including the S.S. Catalina, "The Great White Steamer".  

 

Historical Notes

In 1917, “Big” Sugarloaf was leveled for a new hotel to replace the Metropole.  However, plans changed and a new site for the hotel (Hotel St. Catherine) was chosen: Descanso Canyon.**#*

When chewing gum magnate William Wrigley Jr. bought the controlling stake in Catalina Island, he used the cleared spot (originally meant for Hotel St. Catherine) to build a dance hall.  He named the new dance hall Sugarloaf Casino. It served as a ballroom and Avalon's first high school.

The new structure was short lived, however, for it proved too small for Catalina's growing population. In 1928, the Casino was razed to make room for a newer Casino. Sugarloaf Rock was then blasted away to enhance the new Casino's ocean view.*^

 

 

 

 
(1928)#**^ - View showing the construction of the second Catalina Casino at Sugar Loaf Point. The steamship S.S. Catalina is seen in the background.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1928, when the new, markedly taller casino building was completed, authorities changed their way of looking at Little Sugarloaf. What once had been a popular landmark was suddenly thought of as a view killer. Concern began to grow that climbers would injure themselves on Little Sugarloaf. The stairs were condemned and removed.

In March, 1929, Little Sugarloaf was blasted away to give what is now called Casino Point, the look that it offers today.**#*
 

 

 

 
(ca. 1929)^ - View of Avalon Bay across Crescent Bay, on Santa Catalina Island as seen from a mountain top. The Catalina Casino, surrounded by the sea on three sides, is visible at the edge of the bay. There are no signs that Sugarloaf Point, the once picturesque, cliff bound peninsula, had ever existed.  

 

 

 

 
(1931)^#^ - Seaplane landing near the new casino in Avalon. Click HERE to see more in Aviation in Early L.A.  

 

 

 

 
(1940s)^#^ - View looking down at Crescent Bay in Avalon showing Catalina Casino where Big Sugarloaf and Little Sugarloaf once stood. The S.S. Catalina is seen approaching the pier surounded by smaller boats. The Victorian-style house in the lower right is one of Catalina's oldest building.  

 

Historical Notes

Avalon's oldest remaining structure, the distinctive Holly Hill House, was built on a lot purchased from Shatto and his agent C.A. Summer for $500 in 1888.*^

The S.S. Catalina, known as "The Great White Steamer", took its maiden voyage on June 30, 1924. The 301-foot ship, originally built at a cost of $1 million dollars, was in service from 1924 and carried about 25 million passengers between Los Angeles and Avalon Harbor until she was retired on September 14, 1975.^

 

 

 

 
(ca 1905)^ - View of the Avalon Amphitheater on Santa Catalina Island. Wooden rows of seats line the hillside, and the large Victorian-style Holly House is farther back on the hill. A furnicular is seen on the incline in the background.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1905, funicular travel arrived in Catalina with the opening of the Santa Catalina Island Incline Railway.
Chewing gum magnate William Wrigley would later purchase the island twenty miles off the coast of Los Angeles, but in those days it was owned by the heirs of Los Angeles businessman and Wilmington port booster Phineas Banning. Banning's sons had purchased the island in 1891 and developed Avalon into a destination resort. When it opened in 1905, the incline railway was the latest tourist attraction along the shores of Avalon Bay.**#

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1905)^^ - View of the funicular descending from a tea house at the summit down to Pebbly Beach on Lovers Cove, Catalina Island.  

 

Historical Notes

The railway consisted of two separate funiculars. One began at the base of the now-abandoned Avalon Amphitheater and ascended the hill on the southwestern side of Avalon Bay to a point known as Buena Vista Point. The other descended the opposite side of the hill to Pebbly Beach on Lovers Cove. Passengers could disembark at the summit for refreshments in a small tea house or continue on to Lovers Cove for a ride in a glass-bottomed boat.

Variably known as the Santa Catalina Incline Railway, the Island Mountain Railway, and--confusingly--Angel's Flight, the railway closed in 1918, several years after a fire devastated Avalon and depressed the tourist business. The railway briefly reopened in the 1920s but closed finally in 1923. Its ruins are still visible along the old right-of-way to this day.**#

 

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of Catalina

 

 

 

 

 
(1902)^ - Tree-lined, unpaved Santa Monica Blvd. at Western looking west in 1902. House on the left is on the southwest corner. A few houses are shown along with a man sitting on a log. Santa Monica Blvd., with a pole line running down its center, looking very narrow in comparison to how it looks today.  

 

 

 

 
(1905)^ - View of Western Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard, below Sunset in 1905. The ornamental house seen in the background belonged to the Hampton family. Four children, two boys and two girls, stand along the road (Western Avenue) posing for the camera.  

 

Historical Notes

The highest peak in the background is Mt. Hollywood with an elevation of 1,657 feet.

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of Hollywood (1850 - 1920)

 

 

 

 

 
(1903)^^#^ - Early view of Sunset Blvd. near where UCLA is today (Click HERE to see more in Early Views of UCLA).  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1906)^ - Panoramic view looking northeast into the Eagle Rock Valley, as it was known in the 1900s. A large boulder appears protrude out from the hills (upper right) in the background.  

 

Historical Notes

Eagle Rock derives its name from a massive boulder at the district's northern edge (visible in the upper right). The boulder contains an indentation that creates an eagle-shaped shadow everyday around noon. In the 1880s Eagle Rock existed as a farming community with grand Victorian farmhouses and many exquisite Craftsman homes in charming neighborhoods.^

 

 

 

 
(Early 1900s)^ - Panoramic view looking east into the Eagle Rock Valley in the 1900s; farming predominates in the landscape.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1906 Eagle Rock became an independent city and was incorporated in 1911 with a population of approximately 600; in 1914 it also became home to Occidental College, designed by famed architect Myron Hunt. In 1920, population had grown to 2,250. Just one year later, in 1921, this figure had leaped to 3,800. In the 1950s, newer streets were extended into the hillsides and larger homes boasting views of the city were built. Since then, the city has been experiencing gentrification as young urban professionals discover this gem between Glendale and Pasadena, minutes away from downtown Los Angeles. By 2005 Eagle Rock's population was approximately 27,875.^

 

 

 

 
(1911)^ - Photo taken at the intersection of La Roda Ave. and Colorado Blvd., looking north toward Scholl Canyon. One man and two women stand at the corner next to a horse-drawn carriage; a plum tree orchard with trees in blossom is visible behind them. The very spacious dirt roads show the east/west direction of trolley tracks in the foreground.  

 

Historical Notes

A "Dinky" ran from Glendale to the center of Eagle Rock for nearly twenty years on double tracks, later "Toonerville Trolleys" ran on single tracks.^

 

 

 

 
(1914)^ - View of the "Dinkey" that ran from Glendale to the center of Eagle Rock for nearly twenty years.  

 

Historical Notes

This photo shows the earlier double track type; later cars ran single track, "toonerville trolleys." The Bessolo residence is in the background.^

 

 

 

 
(1906)^ - Several men stand and watch as numerous others work diligently digging holes, stringing trolley wire, and laying ties and rails for the Pacific Electric "Red Cars" that would arrive into Glendora a year later, in December 1907.  

 

Historical Notes

The PE tracks entered Glendora from the west and generally paralleled those of the Santa Fe until reaching Grand Avenue, at which point they veered north and followed Electric Ave. (now Mountain View) to the Station. Glendora residents purchased the land for the right-of-way for $35,000; the PE served the city until service was discontinued in 1951.

Glendora was founded on April 1, 1887 by George D. Whitcomb and was officially incorporated as a City in 1911. In the mid-1930s, nearly all of the city's 4,500 acres of land were cultivated for citrus fruit; by the late 1950s agriculture had given way to large-scale residential development.^

 

 

 
(1915)^ - A party of men sets down to look at the first municipal water well after the incorporation of Glendora. Located at Sierra Madre and Lorraine Avenues.  

 

Historical Notes

Water was the major problem in early-day Glendora. The above photo shows the city's first well, brought in in 1915. It was located at the intersection of Lorraine Ave. and Sierra Madre Ave. and was 450 feet deep.^

 

 

 
(ca. 1903)^ - Panoramic view of Hollywood from Whitley Heights circa 1903, looking southwest toward Highland and Franklin Avenues. The neighborhood is dotted with homes. The curved configuration of Highland between the East and West sections of Franklin Ave still exists today. The larger structure, seen on the left side of the photo, is the famous Hollywood Hotel. It is situated on the Northwest corner of Hollywood Blvd. and Highland Ave.  

 

Historical Notes

Whitley Heights was named after Hobart Johnstone Whitley.  H.J. Whitley was a real estate developer who helped create the Hollywood subdivision in Los Angeles and is known as the "Father of Hollywood".  He and his wife, Margaret Virginia (Gigi) Whitley named the town while on their honeymoon in 1886.*^

Today, the Hollywood and Highland Center, current home of the Academy Awards, sits where the Hollywood Hotel once stood (left side of photo).

 

 

 

 
(1906)^ - Early view of Highland Avenue north of Hollywood Boulevard in 1906. Some buildings are visible with hills in the background.
 

 

Historical Notes

This is one of the earliest views of Highland Avenue entering Cahuenga Pass.

 

 

 

 
(1906)^ - View is looking east from the hill towards Hollywood Boulevard and Cahuenga Avenue.
 

 

 

 

 

 
(1907)^ - Panoramic view of Hollywood in 1907, looking southeast from Franklin Avenue near Orange Drive. Hollywood High School is in the center of the photo, facing Highland Avenue, with vacant lands beyond. The Hollywood Hotel is at left, facing Hollywood Blvd. Orchid Street is at left. Quite a few houses are seen, and electric power poles line the streets.  

 

Historical Notes

In September 1903, a two-room school was opened on the second floor of an empty storeroom at the Masonic Temple on Highland Avenue, north of Hollywood Boulevard (then Prospect Avenue). Hollywood was incorporated as a municipality in November 1903.*^

The original school building (above) opened in 1905 and consisted of the consolidated school districts of Hollywood City, Laurel, Coldwater, Lankershim, Los Feliz, Cahuenga, and The Pass.

In 1910, Los Angeles and Hollywood consolidated and the high school was turned over to the L.A. Board of Education.*

Click HERE to see the complete list of Notable alumni.*^

 

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of Hollywood (1850 - 1920)

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1906)^^^# - Engine Company 18 making a run past the Fire House at 2616 South Hobart Street.  

 

Historical Notes

Built in 1904, Engine House No. 18 was designed in the Mission Revival style by noted architect John Parkinson, whose later works included Los Angeles City Hall, Union Station and Bullocks Wilshire.

Fire Station No. 18 was dedicated LA Historic-Cultural Monument No. 349 in 1988 (Click HERE to see complete listing).  It is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Exceptional Children’s Foundation purchased Engine House No. 18 in 2011 with the goal of converting the cultural landmark into a fine arts training center for adults with special needs and a community creative space for the residents of South Los Angeles. The new facility was scheduled to be opened in late 2013.*^

 

 

 
(1906)^ - View looking north on Spring Street from 6th St. to the Hotel Alexandria located on the southwest corner at 5th St.  

 

 

 

 
(1906)^ - Main Street looking north from 5th Street in 1906. An electric car is heading to the Arcade Depot.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1906)^ - 4th St. looking west from Main St., circa 1906 showing a busy street scene.  

 

 

 

 
(1906)^*# - View looking west on 4th Street at the intersection with Main Street. Two men are seen in an open-air car as it travels north on Main Street through the intersection.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1906)^#** - View looking south on Broadway. The Hotel Lankershim can be seen on the southeast corner of Broadway and 7th Street. A crowd of people stand on the curb watching as if a parade is about to start. An early model car is seen straddling a streetcar rail on an unpaved Broadway.  

 

Historical Notes

The 9-story Hotel Lankershim was completed in 1905 as an imitation of the Hotel St. Francis in San Francisco--far superior to any other hotels in L.A. at the time. It had 200 servants, 250 rooms, and 160 baths.

Before the hotel was begun in 1902, there was a vineyard. The 7th and Broadway site was the home and vineyard of Judge Wilson Hugh Gray.*#*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1910)^- Horse-drawn wagons, streetcars, autos, and pedestrians all share the road in front of the Hotel Lankershim at the intersection of Broadway and 7th Street.  

 

Historical Notes

James Boon Lankershim was the son of Isaac Lankershim, a German-born Californian landowner who owned 60,000 acres in the San Fernando Valley.  James joined his father's company, the San Fernando Farm Homestead Association, together with his brother in law, Isaac Newton Van Nuys, focusing on real estate while Van Nuys focused on wheat.  In 1905, he built the Lankershim Hotel on the southeast corner of Broadway and 7th Street.  He also built the San Fernando Building on the corner of 4th Avenue and Main Street, where his name is embedded in the tiles at the entrance.*^

The building architect, Robert B. Young, also designed several other hotels including the Hollenbeck, the Lexington, and the Westminster.^^*

 

 

 
(ca. 1906)^^ - View of 3rd Street looking west from the hill on Grand Avenue (above the 3rd Street Tunnel). Pedestrians navigate the unpaved Third street to the far left, with the Rangeley Apartment Building visible in the right foreground.   The building behind Rangeley bears a sign that reads "Barbeque, Delicatessen & Bakery".  

 

Historical Notes

The Rangeley Apartments was located on the northwest corner of 3rd and Cinnabar Streets (Cinnabar runs across the bottom just out-of-frame).  The far side of the Rangeley is Flower Street and the next corner is Figueroa. The St. Regis, at 237 S. Flower, is seen right center with the flatish corner turret.  Next door to the left is just a glimpse of the top of the hipp-roofed Bozwell, at 245 S. Flower, with the single cupola and next to it (still going to the left) is the Rollin Apartments with the outsized rooftop solarium at 247 S. Flower (NW corner of Flower and 3rd). #^

 

 

 
(1907)^ - View north up Hill St. with Bunker Hill in the background. Pedestrians, cable cars, horse and buggies and delivery trucks and wagons are busy in this afternoon scene. On the right is the F.P. Fay Building, demolished in 1990.  

 

 

 

 
(1907)^^ - Photograph of carriage traffic on Los Angeles Street at First Street. Streetcar tracks can be seen embedded in the middle of the road, and a large streetcar can be seen in the foreground at center. Horse-drawn buggies and carriages can be seen parked along both sides of the street. The Zellerbach Paper Company building can be seen at left.  

 

 

 

 
(1907)^ - View of Broadway with cars, trolleys, and horse drawn wagons all sharing the road. The sign above the street reads: "UTAH vs. ST. VINCENTS at Fiesta Park". St. Vincents defeated Utah by a score of 11 to 5. Click HERE to read about the game in the next morning's Sunday edition of the Los Angeles Herald.  

 

 

 

 
(1907)^^ - View looking north on Broadway near 5th Street at dusk or dawn. Beautiful 7-lamp streetlights are illuminating the nearly vacant street. Click HERE to see more in Early L.A. Streetlights.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1907)^^ - View looking north on Broadway from mid-block between 4th and 5th streets. There is considerable more street activity than previous photo. Note the GIANT lady's shoe on top of the building on the northwest corner of Broadway and 4th. Another interesting detail is the banner across the street, looking up Broadway. The banner reads: "VOTE FOR OWENS RIVER JUNE 12"  

 

Historical Notes

In 1907, Los Angeles voters unanimously approved a $23 million bond issue for the construction of an aqueduct to bring Owens River water 233 miles south to Los Angeles.

Click HERE to see more in Water in Early Los Angeles.

 

 

 
(1907)* - The first Caterpillar tractors ever built were used to help complete the 5.5 mile Elizabeth Lake Tunnel section of the Los Angeles-Owens River Aqueduct.  

 

Historical Notes

“It crawls like a caterpillar.” And caterpillar is its name to the present day. The descriptive remark is attributed to William Mulholland while watching the first formal demonstration of the new type of tractor just purchased for hauling materials across the desert during the building of the aqueduct. It was hoped that this would be  a mechanical substitute for the mule – a departure from traditional construction methods that could lower costs and speed the progress of the great water way to Los Angeles. However, things didn’t turn out that way as the mule showed more durability.**

 

 

(1912)* - Transportation was largely by mule power when the Los Angeles Aqueduct was under construction. This photo shows a 52-mule team hauling sections of aqueduct pipe. Work on the aqueduct was started on September 20, 1907.

 

Historical Notes

Mule teams were initially deemed too expensive to use for short-distance hauling, so the aqueduct builders invested in a recent technological development, the caterpillar tractor. After an initial trial period with one tractor, the city government bought 28 more. Eventually maintenance and repair proved too costly, so the city crews reverted back to using mules.**

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Construction of the Los Angeles Aqueduct

 

 

 

 

 
(1907)^ - Tree-lined but unpaved Lake Street seen north from 12th Street. Children are seen playing in the middle of the dirt road.  

 

 

 

Before and After

 
(1907--2011)^***^ - Panoramic view of Lake Street looking north from 12th Street.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1907)^ - Looking west on Venice Boulevard (then known as 16th Street) from Western Avenue.  

 

 

 

 
(1907)^ - View looking northeast toward Westlake Park (later McArthur Park) from 7th Street.  A tree-lined walkway with benches is seen on the edge of the park.  Trolley tracks run down an unpaved 7th Street. Oil derricks are seen in the hills across the lake.  In the far background stand the Hollywood Hills.  

 

Historical Notes

The park, originally named Westlake Park, was built in the 1880s, along with a similar Eastlake Park, whose lake is artificial. Westlake Park was renamed MacArthur Park on May 7, 1942; Eastlake Park was renamed Lincoln Park in 1917.*^

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1908)^#*^ - Postcard view showing groups of people in row boats and sail boats at Westlake Park.  

 

Historical Notes

Both Westlake and Eastlake (as well as Echo Park) were built as drinking water reservoirs connected to the city's systems of zanjas (small conveyance channels/trenches). When the city abandoned the non-pressurized zanja system for a pressurized pipe system, these smaller, shallow reservoirs located at low points no longer provided much benefit. They were then converted into parks.*^

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1909)^*## – Postcard view of Westlake Park. Title on the card reads:  A Winter's Day in West Lake Park.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1907)#*#* - View showing men operating horse-drawn ploughs grading the land adjacent to the newly constructed Silver Lake Reservoir located in Ivanhoe Canyon just northwest of downtown Los Angeles.  

 

Historical Notes

To create the dam, William Mulholland first encased a wall of riveted steel plates in three feet of concrete. He then turned hydraulic jets upon the floor of Ivanhoe Canyon, sluicing away a deep trough and flinging the detritus uphill upon the concrete to create a reinforced earthen dam. Once completed, the new reservoir ensured a constant supply of water for Los Angeles. Its 767 million gallons—pumped from the ground beneath the Los Angeles River near Griffith Park—could quench the city’s thirst for three weeks uninterrupted if all other sources suddenly turned dry.

Silver Lake also doubled as a scenic and recreational asset. A stock of black bass attracted fishing, and the then-unfenced lakeshore invited Angelenos to stroll around their drinking water supply. By 1912 the city’s parks department had planted more than 2,000 eucalyptus trees on the slopes of Ivanhoe Canyon, and a utilitarian water storage facility had become a prized public space.**#^

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early LA Water Reservoirs

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1907)^#** - Postcard view showing a park employee feeding a whole chicken to an alligator at the Los Angeles Alligator Farm across from Eastlake Park (later Lincoln Park) in Lincoln Heights.  

 

Historical Notes

The Los Angeles Alligator Farm was a major city tourist attraction from 1907 until 1953. Originally situated across from Lincoln Park, at 3627 Mission Road, it moved to Buena Park, California in 1953, where it was renamed the California Alligator Farm.*^

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Southern California Amusement Parks

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1905)#^ - Panoramic view of Highland Park with the San Gabriel Mountains in the distance. On the left, the railroad tracks make a turn and then head northeast toward South Pasadena. At center, Figueroa Street also turns and parallels the tracks. The white building at center-left is the Occidental College Library building. It sits at the point where Figueroa makes its turn.  

 

 

 

 
(1906)^ - North Figueroa Street (formerly Pasadena Avenue) and Avenue 57 in Highland Park in 1906, looking north. Two electric cars marked "Sunset Junction" are seen.  

 

Historical Notes

North Figueroa was originally named Pasadena Avenue (the main road to Pasadena) and South Figueroa was called Pearl Street. Before that it was called Calle de las Chapules--the Street of Grasshoppers--because pedestrians used to leap about while sour-faced policemen whistled and chased the crowds from one corner to the other.^*^

 

 

 
(1908)^ - Panoramic view of North Figueroa Street in Highland Park near the intersection of Avenue 50. It was called Pasadena Avenue at the time. Monte Vista Avenue parallels it to the left. The three-story building in the center of the photo was the original location of Occidental College.  

 

Historical Notes

Occidental College was founded on April 20, 1887, by a group of Presbyterian clergy and laymen, including James George Bell. The college’s first term began a year later with 27 men and 13 women students, and tuition of $50 a year. Initially located in Boyle Heights, the college moved to a new campus in Los Angeles’ Highland Park neighborhood in 1898.

Despite a strong Presbyterian presence on its campus, Occidental cut ties to the church in 1910. In 1912, the school began construction of a new campus located in Los Angeles’ Eagle Rock neighborhood.*^

 

 

 
(Early 1900s)^ - Thee early buildings at Occidental College. To the left is the Chas. M. Stimson Library building. The college was built in 1898 on Pasadena Ave. (now Figueroa) between Ave 51 & Ave 52 in Highland Park. The Stimson Library Hall of Letters was the first building built.  

 

 

 

 
(1909)^ - View of the 1909 Opening Day of the L.A. and Mt. Washington Railway Co. cable car ride up to Mount Washington. The cable car transported visitors to the summit.  

 

Historical Notes

Mount Washington was founded in 1909 as a subdivision laid out by real estate developer Robert Marsh. Marsh built the Mount Washington Hotel at the summit of Mount Washington, and the Los Angeles and Mount Washington Railway Company was soon established as a funicular railway up the hill as an alternative to constructing roads up the area's steep hillsides. The railway operated until January 1919.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1910)^ - The Los Angeles and Mount Washington Railway Incline Station is a confection stand and waiting room for passengers of the Railway. The Railway was located on the southwest corner of Avenue 43 and Marmion Way and was in operation from early 1909 until January 9, 1919.  

 

Historical Notes

The railway, which opened to the public on May 24, 1909, scaled the western slope of Mount Washington. For a nickel, passengers could disembark from a Yellow Car at the intersection of Marmion and Avenue 43 and ride the funicular to the top of Mount Washington. There, they could stay at a grand hotel or explore the vacant housing lots awaiting a home.**#

The base station on Avenue 43 was declared Historic Monument No. 269 in 1983 (Click HERE to see complete listing).

 

 

 
(ca. 1915)^ - External view of Mount Washington Hotel that sits on top of the Mt. Washington Railway Incline.  

 

Historical Notes

The Mount Washington Hotel building remains standing today, having been purchased by the Self-Realization Fellowship in 1925. It was declared Historic Monument No. 845 by the City of Los Angeles on August 16, 2006 (Click HERE to see complete listing).*^

 

 

 
(1915)^ - View from top of incline, looking eastward. One of the original two cars seen to the lower left of photo, being used for storage of tools and machinery. View from the location of Mount Washington Hotel.  

 

Historical Notes

Although it had transformed Mount Washington, the railway did not operate for long. In 1918 city inspectors declared the railway unsafe, citing a worn cable. Instead of replacing the cable, Marsh closed the railway and challenged the inspectors' authority, arguing in state court that his proper regulator was the state railroad commission. Marsh lost his challenge, and despite the protests of local residents the funicular never reopened.**#

 

 

 
(ca. 1906)^^ - View showing the Los Angeles County Courthouse and Jail looking west. The flat rooftops of high rise buildings fill the foreground while the gothic architecture of the courthouse stands to the left, its clock tower reading approximately ten minutes after nine o'clock and an American flag waving from its peak.  

 

Historical Notes

The Court House was built from 1887-1891. It was damaged in the 1933 Long Beach earthquake, and declared unsafe for occupancy. Demolition started in 1935 (roof and two upper floors removed), and concluded 1936. Among the others, the photograph features the following buildings and structures: (John Anson) Bullard Block (1896-1926) can be seen between Main and Spring, Market and Court Streets; United States Hotel (1862-1939) is visible at left of upper Bullard on south-east corner of Main and Market Streets; Amestoy Building (1887-1958) is visible left of the U.S. Hotel, at north-east corner of Main and Market Streets.^^

 

 

 

 

 
(1907)^#^ – Left panel of a panoramic view of Los Angeles from the Hotel Trenton at 427 S. Olive Street. The towers of both the County Courthouse and City Hall can be seen in this frame. Caption reads: Owens River Day - Source: Library of Congress.  

 

 

 

 

 

 
(1907)^#^ – Right panel of a panoramic view, looking south, of Los Angeles from the Hotel Trenton. To the right stands the Philharmonic Auditorium on the northeast corner of 5th and Olive streets.  Central Park is across the street. In 1918 Central Park was renamed Pershing Square.  Source: Library of Congress.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1907)^ - View looking west from the corner of 5th and South Olive Street. The main entrance to the Philharmonic Auditorium is on the left (northeast corner) with Pershing Square on the right. Note the ornate streetlight on the left with a street sign attached to its post reading: S. OLIVE ST.  

 

 

 

 
(1908)^ - View of West 6th Street from Pershing Square in 1908, with the Pacific Mutual Building seen on Olive Street.  

 

Historical Notes

The Pacific Mutual Building, located at 523 W. 6th Street, was built between 1908 and 1912. From 1916 to 1926 the building was modified and expanded to include: a north side addition, another 12-story structure, a garage building, and a west side addition. In essence, it became three interconnected buildings by 1926.^

 

 

 
(ca. 1908)^ - A close-up view of the original Pacific Mutual Building, the tallest on the northwest corner of Olive and 6th Streets across the street from Pershing Square.  

 

Historical Notes

The Pacific Mutual Building still exists today but would be difficult to recognize when compared to the way it looks above. Over the years it would see a series of modifications and additions.

In 1974, the building underwent an extensive restoration by Wendell Mounce and Associates, with Bond and Steward, which brought it back to its Beaux Arts revival. And in 1985, the entire building was renovated again by the Westgroup, Inc.^

The Pacific Mutual Building is listed as Historic-Cultural Monument No. 398. Click HERE to see complete listing.

 

 

 
(1908)^#^ - Looking west on 5th street at the intersection of 5th and Hill. The California Club is on the northwest corner on the right while Pershing Square is visible on the left. The State Normal School, on the present site of the L.A. Public Library, Central Branch is seen in the background. Men and women are seen crossing the streets.  

 

 

 

 
(1908)^#^ - Close-up of the previous photo showing more details. Three women and a man are crossing 5th Street. A horse-drawn carriage is followed by an early truck followed again by a streetcar. Cars and horse-drawn carriages are parked at the curb. The Normal School tower shows prominently in the background.  

 

 

 

 
(1908)^#^ - Close-up view of the northwest corner of 5th and Hill streets showing pedestrians moving about and interacting with one another. An ornate 5-bulb streetlight in full detail can be seen standing on the corner.  

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early L.A. Streetlights

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1908)^ - View of the southeast corner of Broadway and 6th Street. The corner was occupied by a saloon for many years. In 1909, the Walter P. Story building was constructed at this site.   

 

Historical Notes

In 1894 Nelson Story bought the property at 610 S. Broadway from J.B. Lankershim for $48,000.  He built the Walter P. Story Building on this sight in 1909 as a gift to his son Walter.  It was one of the first skyscrapers in Los Angeles and still stands today as The New Story Building.*^

 

 

 

 

 
(1908)^ - Looking south at Hill Street from Temple before the Hill Street Tunnel was bored. The Montana Grocery (S. Kinderman, grocer) advertises fresh fruit, cigars & tobacco, laundry and "Delicious Coca-Cola". Although the streets are unpaved, streetcar tracks are visible in the foreground.  

 

 

 

 
(1909)^ - Pacific Electric Railway Hollywood car via the Hill Street Tunnel in 1909. Its sign says, "Beverly, Sawtelle, Ocean Park, Venice." Click HERE to see more in Early Views of Hollywood.  

 

Historical Notes

The Hill Street Tunnel was bored through a part of Bunker Hill in 1909 by Los Angeles Pacific (a predecessor of Pacific Electric). It connects Hill Street from First to Temple. In 1913, a second tunnel was bored for streetcar traffic.^

This subterranean shortcut shaved tens of minutes off travel time between Hollywood and downtown Los Angeles. On September 15, 1909, local citizens celebrated its opening with a Tunnel Day joyride down Sunset Boulevard, motorcars and horse-drawn carriages racing alongside the Los Angeles Pacific’s streetcars.**#

 

 

 
(1909)^^ - Carriages and street cars moving west along Sunset Boulevard on Tunnel Day, Los Angeles, September 15, 1909. Four horse-drawn carriages are pictured to the left of the unpaved road while an automobile and a streetcar are pictured making their way down the road in the right background. Utility poles line it to either side in through the center. Hills are visible in the background.  

 

Historical Notes

Picture file card reads: "Before the tunnels, the electric line operated to Hollywood via Spring Street, Main Street and the Plaza, but with the arrival of the tunnels this changed. Also, the gauge was broadened. The view is looking east of Vendome. Sunset swings to the left behind the hill where the new Silver Lake crossing bridge is now being built." ^^

 

 

 

 

 
(1909)^#^ – Left panel of a panoramic view looking west from the roof line over 2nd and Spring streets. City Hall is on the left at 226 S. Broadway. The stylish California Bank Building can be seen on the southwest corner of 2nd and Broadway.  Photo Source: Library of Congress  

 

 

 

 

 

 
(1909)^#^ – Right panel of a panoramic view looking northwest from the roof line over 2nd and Spring streets. Two buildings stand out because of their distinguished-looking towers.  In the far distance Los Angeles High School sits on top of Fort Moore Hill, located on north Hill Street between California (now the 101 Freeway) and Sunset Blvd (now Cesar E. Chavez Ave). Closer in is the Los Angeles County Courthouse, located on the corner of Temple and Broadway. Photo Source: Library of Congress  

 

 

 

 

 

 
(1909)^ - A view of Broadway looking north towards 4th Street. A Huntington Los Angeles Railway Co. street car waits in the street as cars, horse & wagon and bicycles go by. The sidewalks are crowded with pedestrians.  

 

Historical Notes

For more than 50 years, Broadway from First Street to Olympic Boulevard was the main commercial street of Los Angeles, and one of its premier theater districts as well. It contains a vast number of historic buildings and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Before World War II, Broadway was considered by many to be the center of the city, where residents went to ornate movie palaces and shopped at department stores. Some historically significant buildings include the Bradbury Building and the Julia Morgan-designed Los Angeles Examiner building.*^

 

 

 

 
(1909)*^^* - All Aboard! Bliss to Los Angeles Line, 1909.  

 

Historical Notes

According to old rail maps, Bliss was a station located north of Glendale.*^^*

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1910)^ - View of a crowded shore in front of the Ocean Park Bathhouse at Ocean Park Beach. A photographer is seen standing by his camera and tripod in the foreground.
 

 

Historical Notes

When it was built in 1905, the Ocean Park Bath House was one of the most elaborate structures on Santa Monica's beach. It was Moorish in style, 3 stories high with 5 domes. An ad from 1906 claimed it had the largest swimming pool in the US. #*^*

 

 

 
(ca. 1910)^ - Heavy crowd day on the beach and in front of the Ocean Park Bath House.  

 

Historical Notes

Looking more like a movie set, the Ocean Park Bath House was one of the most talked about buildings of its day-and a great draw for the beach area. The lavish indoor plunge (heated for those who didn’t take to cooler ocean swimming) was built by A.R. Fraser. #^^*

In 1903 Alexander Rosborough Fraser built the Ocean Park Casino, and in 1905 erected the Ocean Park Bath House. In 1906 he built the Ocean Park Auditorium, the Masonic Temple and the Decatur Hotel. In 1911 “Fraser’s Million Dollar Pier,” was completed, extending 1000 feet over the ocean and housing a multitude of amusements, including a beautiful dancing pavilion. Destroyed by fire in 1912. Fraser built numerous improvements in Ocean Park, and is responsible for the construction of the concrete promenade which joins Ocean Park with Venice. #^**

 

 

 
(1910)^ - View shows two automobiles driving on the l400 block of 3rd Street in Santa Monica (now the Third Street Promenade).  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1912)^ - Two-man race cars take a turn at a race in Santa Monica. The course covered San Vicente Boulevard, Ocean Avenue and Wilshire Boulevard (then named Nevada Avenue).  

 

Historical Notes

Auto racing became popular in Santa Monica. Drivers would race an 8.4-mile loop made up of city streets. The Free-For-All Race was conducted between 1910-1912. The United States Grand Prix was held in Santa Monica in 1914 and 1916, awarding the American Grand Prize and the Vanderbilt Cup trophies. By 1919, the events were attracting 100,000 people, at which point the city halted them.*^

 

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of Santa Monica.

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1908)^^ - Panoramic view looking northeast toward the Santa Monica Mountains from near Beverly Glen and Santa Monica Boulevard. Two oil siphons can be seen along the left side of the road in the distance, while a small farm homestead shows its barn, stables and windmill just beyond the hill in the right foreground.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1910)^^ - View of Sunset Blvd. and Crescent Drive in Beverly Hills. Early model car is seen on an unpaved Sunset.  

 

Historical Notes

Sunset Boulevard stretches from Figueroa Street in Downtown Los Angeles to the Pacific Coast Highway at the Pacific Ocean in the Pacific Palisades. Approximately 22 miles in length, the famous boulevard roughly mimics the arc of the mountains that form the northern boundary of the Los Angeles Basin, following the path of a 1780s cattle trail from the Pueblo de Los Angeles to the ocean.

The portion of Sunset Boulevard that passes through Beverly Hills was once named Beverly Boulevard.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1910)^- Panoramic view of Coldwater Canyon and residential homes of Haines and Sheffler.  

 

Historical Notes

Coldwater Canyon is a canyon running perpendicular to the Santa Monica Mountains. The canyon is traversed by Coldwater Canyon Drive and Coldwater Canyon Avenue (linked by a short section of Mulholland Drive), which connect the city of Beverly Hills with the community of Studio City in the San Fernando Valley.*^

 

 

 
(1910)^ - A composite view of six biplanes and one blimp-shaped airship flying over a large crowd of spectators at the Los Angeles International Air Meet at Dominguez Airfield.  

 

Historical Notes

The Los Angeles International Air Meet (January 10 to January 20, 1910) was among the earliest airshows in the world and the first major airshow in the United States. It was held in Los Angeles County, California at Dominguez Field in present day Carson, California. Spectator turnout numbered approximately 254,000 over 11 days of ticket sales. The Los Angeles Times called it "one of the greatest public events in the history of the West”.*^

The Dominguez Hills airshow site has been designated as California Historical Landmark No. 718.

 

 

 
(1910)^ - Spectators (or farmers) watch as Louis Paulhan flies a Bleriot monoplane at the nation's first Air Meet at Dominguez Field.  

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Aviation in Early L.A.

 

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1910)^^ – Panoramic view of Los Angeles looking northwest, likely from a captive balloon. At center-right can be seen the Hall of Records still under construction without a roof. Furth right (right-center) stands the International Bank Building next to the Federal Building. #^  

 

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1910)^ - Temple Street at the junction of Spring and Main Streets. At left is the International Bank Building across the street from the Federal Building. An early open car and a trolley car are seen on the street.  

 

Historical Notes

The International Bank Building stood at 226 North Spring Street, the intersection of Temple and Spring, (sometimes referred to as Temple Square) across from the Main Post Office and was featured in several postcards from the 1920s.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1910)^ - Looking north towards Spring (left) and Main (right) from 9th St. The traffic consists of mainly horse and buggies interspersed with electric Red Cars and bicycles. Business signs include, left to right, Powell's Bakery; Wilson Whiskey, That's All!; The English Steam Dye Works; Los Angeles Furniture Co.; Anheuser-Busch.  

 

 

 

 
(1910)^ - A horse-drawn Bekins Van & Storage (shippers of household goods) vehicle is parked at the curb on Hill Street looking south from 3rd. A millinery shop (2nd building from left) is at the corner. Several carriages are parked and pedestrians are crossing the cable car tracks in the middle of the street.  

 

 

 

 
(1907)*^^^* - View showing a Los Angeles City horse-drawn flusher used for street cleaning at the early part of the century.  

 

Historical Notes

Until the 1870’s, there were no graded streets in Los Angeles.  Every citizen was his own sweeper. On Saturdays, residents swept and cleaned up the street in front of their property.

On April 15, 1872 the position of superintendent of streets and highways was created and Jasper Babcock was appointed at a salary of $50 a month.*^^^*

 

 

 
(1910)^#^ - View showing a steamroller on a Los Angeles street adjacent to a horse-drawn flusher. The sign on the back of the flusher reads: Studebaker Patent Sprinkler  

 

Historical Notes

In 1910 the Los Angeles Bureau of Street Maintenance and Inspection was created.*^^^* 

 

 

 
(1910)^#^ - View showing one worker standing in the back of a steamroller and another leaning on its rear wheel. The sign on the side of the steamroller reads: Los Angeles Street Department.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1998, the Bureau of Street Maintenance changed its name to the Bureau of Street Services.*^^^*

 

 

 
(ca. 1910)^ – Group of people are posed outside an early day Los Angeles movie house called "The Vendome". Writing at front reads, "The Vendome, better than some and as good as the best." Banner on left reads, "Vaudeville tonight, Big 5 cents show, Sunday Special."  

 

 

 

 
(1910)^ - An evening crowd gathers under the marquee of the Hyman Theater on the southwest corner of 8th and Broadway. A lone bicycle leans on the curb in front.  

 

Historical Notes

The theater was built in 1910 by Los Angeles theatrical promoter Arthr S. Hyman. Within just one year, 1911, the theater became the Garrick, a motion picture theater. The original facade was designed by the Los Angeles architect firm, Train & Williams. In 1921 it was remodeled to a design by architect George Edwin Bergstrom. The building was replaced by the Tower Theater in 1927.^          

 

 

 

 
(1910)^#^ – View showing both older and newer building as Spring Street was in the process of developing into the Wall Street of the West.  In the foreground is the All Night And Day Bank at the northeast corner of Sixth and Spring.  In the background are two early limit-height buildings, the Security Building to the left and the Kerckhoff Building on Main on the far right, indicators of what was to come on Spring Street.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1910)^*# - View looking north on Broadway from 5th Street. Horse-drawn carriages share the street with autos and streetcars.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1910)^#^ - View looking north on Broadway from 7th Street. The Walter P. Story Building at 610 S. Broadway appears to be the tallest building on the east side of the street. City Hall is seen in the distance. Note the odd shaped vehicle in the lower left. It is an all-electric car built by Baker Motor Vehicle Company.  

 

Historical Notes

Women favored electric automobiles because they did not require cranking and had no exhaust fumes. Electrics could travel up to 20 MPH and had a range of 20 to 50 miles on one charging of the batteries. Several manufacturers produed electric vehicles including Riker, Woods, Detroit Electric, Columbia and of course, Baker.

From 1910 to 1915 the popularity of the electric car peaked and shortly thereafter gasoline powered vehicles took their place. Electric cars were expensive costing between $2,550 and $3,000 in 1914. #^#^

 

 

 

(2011)#^#^ - View of Jay Leno waving toward the camera as he drives his 100 year old Baker electric vehicle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Historical Notes

Baker Moter Vehicle Company was a manufacturer of Brass Era electric automobiles in Cleveland, Ohio from 1899 to 1914.  The first Baker vehicle was a two seater with a selling price of $850. One was sold to Thomas Edison as his first car.

In 1906 Baker made 800 cars, making them the largest electric vehicle maker in the world at the time. By 1907, Baker had seventeen models, the smallest being the Stanhope and the largest the Inside Drive Coupe. There was also the $4,000 Extension Front Brougham with the driving seat high up behind the passengers mimicking a Hansom cab. Baker also introduces a range of trucks with capacity of up to 5 tons.

In 1913 Baker was overtaken in sales by Detroit Electric and in 1914 merged with fellow Cleveland automaker Rauch and Lang to become Baker, Rauch & Lang. The last Baker cars were made in 1916, but electric industrial trucks continued for a few more years. #^#^

 

 

 
(ca. 1910)^ - View of busy Broadway looking north from 7th Street. Visible on the right hand side of the street are: California Furniture Company, located at 644-646 S. Broadway; Orpheum Theatre #3, located at 630 S. Broadway; and the Walter P. Story building, located at 610 S. Broadway. Farther north on the same side of the street one can also see the Pantages Theatre. Large crowds of people are visible on the sidewalks, and streetcars and trolleys are lined up along Broadway. A policeman directs traffic at the intersection.  

 

Historical Notes

By 1910, Los Angeles' population was 319,200, three times what it was in 1900 (102,500).*^

 

 

 
(1910)^ - Horse-drawn carriages and pedestrians share the road at the intersection of Broadway and 7th Street. Bullock's Department Store can be seen across the street.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1910)^ - View of the east side of Hill Street between 4th and 5th.  The Occidental Hotel is seen with horse buggies and early automobiles in front. The mixed-use building has commercial stores on the ground floor with hotel rooms above. "E. Wilson" is engraved on building just below the roof line.
 

 

Historical Notes

In 1914, the relatively humble building was dwarfed by the 11-story Hotel Clark, which rose on the adjacent plot on its north side. The Occidental Hotel was eventually acquired and demolished by its neighbor and replaced by a two-story annex in 1937. #^*#

 

 

 
(ca. 1910s)##^^ – Postcard view showing the free shuttle from La Grande Station to the Occidental Hotel.  

 

Historical Notes

Back of postcard reads: "Occidental Hotel. Rates, $1.00 to $2.50. Through the "Block" from Hill Street, to Broadway. Main Entrance, 428 So. Hill Street Los Angeles." ##^^

 

 

 
(ca. 1910)^^ - Auto showroom in 1910 showing the latest Dodge model.  

 

 

 

 
(1911)^^^# - Resting, but ready for Action! Two fireman sit on a horse-drawn fire ladder wagon as a boy walks by admiring the horses.  

 

Historical Notes

Not seen here, however, Dalmatians were often used as a coach dog. These 60 lb dogs were used to guard the ladder wagon from theft and to keep the horses calm during the excitement of the fire. The fire-ladder wagon was loaded with attractive brass items that were easy pickings for boys looking for a souvenir.^#^

 

 

 
(ca. 1910)^^- View of horse-drawn Engine No.14 running past the Engine House at 3401 S. Central Ave.  

 

Historical Notes

On a cool day 50 MPH was easy for these horses when pulling the 6000 lb steamer pump. They would always use the best horses for the pump engine. Horses of the Morgan breed were most typically used.

Often when the old fire engine horses were retired out to pasture, from blocks away they would hear the fire bell and run to the station house, ready to pull the wagon. The bell meant "get ready to be in harness". This was how loyal they were.^#^

 

 

 
(ca. 1910)^ - Hose Company No. 4 opened on February 22, 1900 and was originally located on Jefferson Street, between Thirty-Second and McClintock Streets.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1906-07, Hose Co. No. 4 closed and moved to its new location (pictured) at 137 S. Loma Drive (previously Belmont), which had formerly been occupied by Chemical Engine Co. No. 2, known as "The Hill". In 1924, Hose Co. No. 4 closed, and Engine Co. No. 58 opened in this same building.^

 

 

 
(Early 1900s)^ -  A man on horseback stops on the streetcar tracks outside of the L.A. Riding Academy, located on the corner of Hoover and W. 31st Street. Above the entrance, the sign reads, "saddle horses for hire" and "boarding and training." Writing on the image includes transportation instructions, "take University Yellow Car", on the bottom right of the image and the telephone numbers "West 2120" and "Home 21872" in the upper right corner.   

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1910)^ - Panoramic group photo taken in front of the A. F. Gilmore Oil Co. building. View also shows the oil field and oil well drilling rigs in the background.  

 

Historical Notes

In the 1890s, dairy farmer Arthur F. Gilmore found oil on his land, probably in the vicinity of the La Brea Tar Pits. The field was named after the Salt Lake Oil Company, the first firm to arrive to drill in the area. The discovery well was spudded (started) in 1902.

Development of the field was fast, as oil wells spread across the landscape, with drillers hoping to match the production boom taking place a few miles to the east at the Los Angeles City field. Peak production was in 1908. In 1912, there were 326 wells, 47 of which had already been abandoned, and by 1917 more than 450, which had by then produced more than 50 million barrels of oil. After this peak, production declined rapidly. Land values rose, corresponding to the fast growth of the adjacent city of Los Angeles, and the field was mostly idled in favor of housing and commercial development. The early wells were abandoned; many of their exact locations are not known, and are now covered with buildings and roads.*^

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1910)^ - Standing on the edge of a small pond tar we can look across it to the old Hancock Ranch House. Off to the left in the distance are the oil fields.  

 

Historical Notes

La Brea Avenue was named in 1869 with the Spanish word for tar, which was found in nearby pits and used for waterproofing the sod roofs of the adobe houses in the Plaza. The street was part of the 4,439-acre Rancho La Brea, which in 1860 was purchased by Maj. Henry Hancock for $2.50 an acre.^*^

As a lawyer, Henry Hancock worked for the Rocha family to aid them with their efforts to prove their claim to Rancho La Brea. The Rochas finally won their claim, but like so many other rancheros, their legal expenses left them broke. In 1860 Jose Jorge Rocha, the son of Don Antonio Jose Rocha, deeded Rancho La Brea to Henry Hancock.

After the Civil War, Hancock engaged in the commercial development of the asphaltum deposits on Rancho La Brea. He promoted its use for sidewalk and paving purposes, and shipped considerable quantities to San Francisco by schooner. The brown asphaltum was also used as fuel by Los Angeles manufacturing establishments during the 1880s.*^

 

 

 
(1911)^ - A view of the Los Angeles Museum excavations for pleistocene animal remains at Rancho La Brea. This picture shows the progress in the field after 2 years of work. Beyond lay the Hancock Oil fields and the Hollywood Hills. Several men are working down in the pit.  

 

Historical Notes

Union Oil geologist W. W. Orcutt is credited with first recognizing fossilized prehistoric animal bones preserved in pools of asphalt on the Hancock Ranch in 1901. These would be the first of many fossils excavated from the La Brea Tar Pits. In commemoration of Orcutt's initial discovery, paleontologists named the La Brea coyote (Canis orcutti) in W. W. Orcutt's honor.*^

W.W. Orcutt would go on to retire at his ranch in the northwest San Fernando Valley. In 1965, the Orcutt Ranch estate and gardens was be designated Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 31.

 

 

 

 
(1911)^ - A view of the center of Chatsworth, now Topanga Canyon Boulevard looking north. On the left is Graves and Hill General Merchandise and Post Office. Horses and cars share the street.  

 

Historical Notes

In the late 1800s the San Fernando Valley was divided into thirteen ranches, seven of which were located in the southern half of the valley and six in the northern half.  The Granger Ranch, owned by Benjamin F. Porter, became Chatsworth Park.

Chatsworth is located to the southeast of the Santa Susana Pass, an extremely steep mountain pass that stagecoaches had to traverse when travelling the Overland Stage Road from Los Angeles to San Francisco.  Santa Susana became a relay station for the stagecoach lines where the drivers would trade in their tired horse before attempting to cross the Overland Stage Road.  Being located near a relay station made Chatsworth an important town in term of transportation history in California.  As late as 1891, Chatsworth remained an active relay station for the stagecoach lines.*##*

 

 

 

 
(1910)^ - View looking north across the San Fernando Valley. Vast amounts of farmland can be seen throughout. Road on top left running diagonally is Lankershim. Road that comes straight down on the right is Vineland, which curves into Ventura Boulevard in the foreground.  

 

 

 

 
(1910)^ - View of the San Fernando Valley in 1910 (Same as previous photo with street names annotated).  

 

Historical Notes

As the City of Los Angeles authorized building 'William Mulholland's' Los Angeles Aqueduct from the Owens Valley to the city and valley, land speculation plans for the Los Angeles Farming and Milling Company property in the San Fernando Valley were developed. Construction began in 1905. Dryland farming could now be turned into crops, orchards and residential towns. In the "biggest land transaction ever recorded in Los Angeles County", a syndicate led by Harry Chandler, business manager of the Los Angeles Times, with Isaac Van Nuys, Hobart Johnstone Whitley, and James B. Lankershim acquired "Tract 1000", the remaining 47,500 acres of the southern half of the former Mission lands—everything west of the Lankershim town limits and south of the old furrow (present day Roscoe Boulevard) excluding Rancho Los Encinos and Rancho El Escorpión.*^

 

 

 

 

 
(1911)^ - Site of the future Van Nuys in 1911 looking north, showing work being done on Van Nuys Boulevard. Virginia Street (later Sylvan Ave.) is marked, behind which is an oil derrick. Tracks and a railcar are seen in the foreground.
 

 

Historical Notes

In anticipation of the Owens River Aqueduct and cheap water, Moses Hazeltine Sherman, H.J. Whitley, Harry Chandler and others began the great San Fernando Valley developmnet by buying out the Van Nuys-Lankershim land in 1910. The land was sub-divided and soon there would be a great land sale.*^

 

 

 

 

 
(1911)^^^* - "Opening of the new town of Van Nuys" - February 22, 1911. This panoramic view shows a long procession of people walking away from the train depot toward the camera, some carrying luggage. A train unloading passengers is seen in the background. On the right, an early model car is seen heading toward a second train.  

 

Historical Notes

On February 22, 1911, lot sales began. This sparked a population boom and marked the founding of Van Nuys.*^

 

 

 

 
(1911)^ - Tracks are being built through the hills of the Cahuenga Pass as shown on the right side of this picture. On the lower road can be seen supplies coming and going by teams of horses and wagons  

Historical Notes

In 1911, General Sherman (as he was called) added an extraordinary streetcar line. Built over Cahuenga Pass, through North Hollywood to the 1911 town site of Van Nuys, and on to the 1912 town site Owensmouth, now Canoga Park.*^

 

 

 

 

 
(1911)^ - View of a crowd of people in Van Nuys waiting for the arrival of the first Pacific Electric "Red Car." American flags are drapped over lines that run over the tracks.  

 

Historical Notes

The Hollywood-Van Nuys Extension was completed in December, 1911, and the first car entered Van Nuys on December 16, 1911.*^

 

 

 

 
(1911)^ - Crowds gathers to welcome the first street car to arrive in Van Nuys, December 16, 1911.  

 

Historical Notes

Built over Cahuenga Pass, through North Hollywood to the 1911 town site of Van Nuys, and on to the 1912 town site Owensmouth, now Canoga Park, the streetcar line and the "$500,000 boulevard" named Sherman Way next to the tracks were the key to the development. By 1912, 45 minute streetcar service from Van Nuys to downtown and the "no speed limit" paved road (if you could get your "Model A" to do 30 mph) were key selling points.

This entire grand highway was called "Sherman Way" in his honor and while the "naming" of parts of this grand highway was changed, the road and electric railway right of way survives in what is now called Chandler Boulevard, turning into Van Nuys Boulevard through Van Nuys, turning on Sherman Circle, and then on to Canoga Park (right of way lost to progress) in the middle of what remains a street still called Sherman Way.*^

 

 

 

 

 
(1912)^ - Opening of the first tract office in Van Nuys at North Sherman Way (later Van Nuys Boulevard) and Virginia Street (later Sylvan Street) in 1912, with two carfulls of eager salesmen waiting. W.P. Whitsett was the sales manager of the office. Lots started at $350. Electric car service and water from the Owens Valley entered the San Fernando Valley in 1913. Click HERE to see the Opening of the LA Aqueduct.  

 

Historical Notes

Whitsett Avenue was named after William P. Whitsett who is remembered by some as the "Father of Van Nuys." He was a major land developer and water official in Los Angeles. The street was first known as Encino Avenue.^*

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1912)^ - View of Van Nuys Boulevard, looking north, showing how Van Nuys was beginning to grow and flourish. (Note the ornate lamp posts along the sidewalks and the power lines situated in the center of the boulevard with tracks running on either side).  

 

Historical Notes

The new Los Angeles Aqueduct changed the dynamics of growth in the San Fernando Valley.  Land become more valuable and as a result towns began to grow and so did the number of farms. Valley farmers offered to buy the surplus aqueduct water, but the federal legislation that enabled the construction of the aqueduct prohibited Los Angeles from selling the water outside of the city limits. For the Valley communities, the choice was consent to annexation or do without. On March 29, 1915, by a vote of 681 to 25, residents of 108,732 acres of the San Fernando Valley (excluding Rancho El Escorpión and the communities of Owensmouth, Lankershim, Burbank and San Fernando) voted to be annexed by the City of Los Angeles. Owensmouth was annexed in 1917, West Lankershim in 1919, Chatsworth in 1920, and Lankershim in 1923. Small remote portions of the north and west Valley were annexed piecemeal even later: most of Rancho El Escorpión in 1958 and the remainder of Ben Porter's ranch as late as 1965. Burbank and San Fernando remain independent cities to this day.*^

Click HERE to see more in Construction of the LA Aqueduct.

 

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of the San Fernando Valley

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1912)^ - View looking toward the intersection of Olive and 7th Streets. The United States Hotel is at near left, and the Los Angeles Athletic Club building at 431 W. 7th Street is across Olive St. at the former site of the Hotel Baltimore. A few cars are seen and some retail shops are at right.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1912)^ - View looking east on 7th Street at Olive Street. The large building to the left is the Los Angeles Athletic Club.  

 

Historical Notes

For decades, 7th Street was a thriving and busy shopping street, traversing all of the major named streets in Downtown. By the looks of this photograph, the same was true when this image was captured. Some of the businesses pictured here are, on the left: the Los Angeles Athletic Club, located at 431 West 7th Street, built by Parkinson & Bergstrom in 1911. This building was notable at the time for being the first in Southern California to have a swimming pool on an upper floor; Owl Drug Co., which became Owl Rexall Drugs in the 1940s; and the R.D. Bronson Desk Co., self-proclaimed as "The only exclusive dealers in Office Furniture in Los Angeles". And pictured on the right side: Southern California Wine Co.; and I.N. Van Nuys Building, designed in the Beaux Arts style by architects Morgan, Walls and Clements, and built by Scofield-Twaits Company in 1910-1911, the building is located on the southwest corner of Spring and 7th Street.^

 

 

 
(ca. 1912)*^^ - The Los Angeles Athletic Club located on the northeast corner of 7th and Olive at 431 West 7th Street.  The Beaux Arts style building opened its doors in 1912.  

 

 

 

 
(1912)^ - Looking west on 7th St. at Hill, about 1912. The L.A. Athletic Club is the large building on the right. In the foreground from the club appears a sign identifying the "Seventh and Hill St. Branch" of All Night and Day Dentist.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1912)* - Construction crews in cars and horse-drawn wagons in front of the City's first Water Department building located on the northwest corner of Marchessault and North Alameda streets (across from where Union Staion stands today). Click HERE to see more in Water Department's Original Office Building.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1868, the City of Los Angeles approved a franchise water agreement on a 30 year lease basis with the private Los Angeles City Water Company.

In 1899, after the end of the lease, a $2.09 million bond measure for the purchase of LA City Water Co.’s system was approved by city voters by a margin of nearly eight to one.  After over two years of litigation the City of Los Angeles finally regained control of its water system on February 3, 1902. A new department was created called the Los Angeles Water Department.

Click HERE to see a more detailed timeline in Water in Early Los Angeles.

 

 

 
(1912)* - Bureau of Water Works and Supply^ forces leaving Water Works Yard at 510 East Second Street (Second and Rose Streets). ^Click HERE to see Name Change Chronology of DWP.  

 

Historical Notes

The man behind the wheel in the middle car of the second row is non other than William Mulholland.

 

 

 
(1911)*^#^ – View showing two men sitting in a "Buick" electric appliance delivery truck, #29, in front of the Fourth Street General Office Building of Southern California Edison Company.  Various electric appliances are sitting on the curb.  Address on the side of the truck reads: 120 East 4th Street, which is on the south side of 4th Street between Main and Los Angeles streets (the building still exists today).  

 

Historical Notes

In 1911, there were three electric utilities serving the City of Los Angeles: Southern California Edison, Pacific Light and Power, and LA Gas and Electric Corporation. In 1916, the City formed its own municipal electric utility and called it Bureau of Power and Light.  In 1937 the name changed to LA Department of Water and Power (DWP).  By 1939 DWP became the sole electrical service provider for the City of Los Angeles.

 

 

Click HERE to see more in First Electricity in Los Angeles

 

 

 

 

 
(1914)^ - View looking East on Compton Boulevard at Tamarind Street. General stores and businesses can be seen on both side of the street.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1867, Griffith Dickenson Compton led a group of thirty pioneers to the area. These families had traveled by wagon train south from Stockton, California in search of ways to earn a living other than in the rapid exhaustion of gold fields. Originally named Gibsonville, after one of the tract owners, it was later called Comptonville. However, to avoid confusion with the Comptonville located in Yuba County, the name was shortened to Compton.*^

 

 

 
(Early 1900s)^ - Compton Bank at the southwest corner of Compton Boulevard and Tamarind Street. Pedestrians and automobiles can be seen at both left and right of the photo.  

 

Historical Notes

On May 11, 1888 the city of Compton was incorporated, it had a total population of 500 people. The first City Council meeting was held on May 14, 1888.*^

 

 

 
(1912)^ - A crowd of men and women attend the dedication of a water fountain, at Compton Boulevard and Tamarind Street, in 1912. It stood in front of the present site (1992) of the Security-First National Bank.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1910s)^ - View of Beverly Hills looking north over Wilshire Boulevard. Some of the street names have been marked on the photo including Wilshire, Santa Monica, Sunset, and Crescent Drive.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1900, Burton Green, Henry E. Huntington, and a syndicate of investors formed the Amalgamated Oil Company, bought the Hammel and Denker ranch, and began looking for oil. They didn't find enough to exploit commercially by the standards of the time, though. In 1906, therefore, they reorganized as the Rodeo Land and Water Company, renamed the property "Beverly Hills," subdivided it, and began selling lots. The development was named "Beverly Hills" after Beverly Farms in Beverly, Massachusetts and because of the hills in the area. The first house in the subdivision was built in 1907, although sales remained slow.*^

 

 

 
(1970)^ - Aerial view of Beverly Hills in 1970 from a similar angel as seen in previous photo. The row of taller (high-rise) buildings seen across the middle of the picture are along Wilshire Blvd.  

 

 

 

Beverly Hills (Before and After)

 
Aerial view of Beverly Hills, circa 1910s  

Aerial view of Beverly HIlls, 1970

 

 

 

 

 
(1912)^#^ - View of looking southwest across Lexington and Crescent Drives.  The Beverly Hills Hotel and the still undeveloped surrounding area can be seen in the background. Sunset Boulevard is beyond the hotel.  

 

Historical Notes

In September, 1911, work began on the Beverly Hills Hotel. It was opened on May 12, 1912 by Margaret J. Anderson and her son, Stanley S. Anderson, who had been managing the Hollywood Hotel.  The visitors drawn by the hotel were inclined to purchase land in Beverly Hills, and by 1914 the subdivision had a high enough population to incorporate as an independent city.

That same year, the Rodeo Land and Water Company decided to separate its water business from its real estate business. The Beverly Hills Utility Commission was split off from the land company and incorporated in September, 1914, buying all of the utilities-related assets from the Rodeo Land and Water Company.*^

 

 

 

 
(1915)#^*^ - View looking northwest on N. Crescent Drive from Lomitas Avenue. A large mansion can be seen on the right and the recently completed Beverly Hills Hotel is in the upper left.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1918)^ - Aerial view of Beverly Hills early on in real estate development. Seven roads meet just before the Beverly Hills Hotel.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1919, Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford bought land on Summit Drive and built a mansion, finished in 1921 and nicknamed "Pickfair" by the press. The glamor associated with Fairbanks and Pickford as well as other movie stars who built mansions in the city contributed to its growing appeal.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1918)^^ -  Aerial view of Beverly Hills showing the new Beverly Hills Hotel. The hotel is visible at center, its t-shaped main building surrounded by trees. There are two tennis courts and several smaller buildings on the hotel grounds as well. In front of the hotel is a triangular park that would later become Will Rogers Memorial Park, after the first mayor of Beverly Hills. The streets in this neighborhood curve irregularly and there are three six-way intersections visible, one at each of the corners of the park.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1918)^^ - View of the Will Rogers Memorial Park (then called Sunset Park) in front of the Beverly Hills Hotel, designed by Elmer Grey. Neither has mature landscaping at this time. Note the PE streetcar at center-left.  

 

Historical Notes

Will Rogers Park opened in 1915 as the first municipal park in the Beverly Hills, at that time called Sunset Park. In 1926, entertainer Will Rogers was appointed first "Honorary Mayor" of Beverly Hills and, in 1952, the City renamed the Park, Will Rogers Memorial Park.***^^

 

 

 
(ca. 1918)^^ - View of Beverly Hills looking south from Sunset Park (later Will Rogers Park), showing a Pacific Electric Station. An oasis-style fountain stands in the foreground surrounded by trees, a sidewalk lining it in front. Behind this, the Pacific Electric station can be seen with a departing streetcar at left, on the corner of Beverly Drive and Santa Monica Boulevard.  

 

 

 

 
(1921)^ - Looking south from a vantage just above the Beverly Hills Hotel.  

 

Historical Notes

By the early 1920s the population of Beverly Hills had grown enough to make the water supply a political issue. In 1923 the usual solution, annexation to the city of Los Angeles, was proposed. There was considerable opposition to annexation among such famous residents as Mary Pickford, Will Rogers, Douglas Fairbanks, and Rudolph Valentino. The Beverly Hills Utility Commission, opposed to annexation as well, managed to force the city into a special election and the plan was defeated 507 to 337.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1912)^ - A trackless trolley, 'The First in America,' traveling to and from 'Bungalow Land' in Laurel Canyon, Hollywood. Fare was 10 cents. Sign in the background reads: Welcome to Bungalow Inn.   

 

Historical Notes

In 1912 Charles Mann, a realtor, and Richard Shoemaker, an engineer, introduced these trackless trolleys to stimulate land sales in Laurel Canyon. The trolleys operated from Sunset Blvd. to the Tavern at the junction of Laurel Canyon and Lookout Mt. Road.  They were discontinued in 1918.^^

Mann and his partners bought property along Laurel Canyon Boulevard and up in the hills. Some of the first tracts to be developed in the Lookout Mountain bowl were Bungalow Land and Wonderland Park, both of which were moderately priced with narrow lots and a network of interconnecting lanes and foot paths. #^*^#

 

 

 
(ca. 1912)^ - View showing two trackless trolleys passing each other on Laurel Canyon.
 

 

Historical Notes

The trolley ran along Laurel Canyon's dirt road and connected Sunset Boulevard to the base of the current Lookout Mountain Avenue where there was a small inn. The Laurel Tavern served lunch to tourists and prospective customers of Mann's Bungalow Land properties. The ride cost 10¢. More adventurous travelers could continue up Lookout Mountain Avenue for a breathtaking view of Hollywood from the area around the current Appian Way.#**^#

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1912)#^*^# - View showing Charles Mann’s Bungalow Inn nestled in the lowland valley across a little spring fed stream near the present day intersection of Laurel Canyon Blvd and Lookout Mountain Avenue.  

 

Historical Notes

Travel to the newly subdivided lots and cabins further up the canyon was at first made on foot or by mule. As the roads were improved access was possible by automobile.*^

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1912)#** - View showing a maintenance crew working on the overhead wires of the nation's first trackless trolley on Laurel Canyon.  

 

Historical Notes

The trolley was actually a large automobile (1912 Oldsmobiles) converted to run on an electric engine connected to overhead wires, which frequently dislodged. It had an approximate 10-passenger capacity. After about 5 years of traveling up and down the treacherous narrow road, the poor old trolley buses fell apart.

The overhead wires came down and the service was replaced by Stanley Steamers about 1915. **^*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1912)#^*^# - View showing the road leading up to the Lookout Mountain Inn, also built by Charles Mann to promote his Laurel Canyon properties.  

 

 

 

 
(1916)^ - View of Lookout Mountain Inn perched high on the Hollywood Hills. It offered spectacular views of the city below.  

 

Historical Notes

Lookout Mountain Inn lasted only four years, burning down in 1920.

Charles Mann, the original developer of Laurel Canyon, is not the same Charles Mann who founded the real estate office at Kirkwood and Laurel Canyon Blvd, and there is no relation. Just a coincidence of history.#**

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1916)#^*^# - Once at the top, visitors to the Lookout Mountain Inn could enjoy a broad view of the farmlands and oil fields stretching out to the ocean.  

 

 

 

 
(Early 1900s)^#^ - View looking southeast from Lookout Mountain towards Hollywood.  If the camera were turned about 45 degrees to the right, we would be looking almost straight down La Cienega, which "points to" Lookout Mountain from West Hollywood and mid-Wilshire.  

 

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of Hollywood (1850 - 1920)

 

 

 

 

 
(Early 1900s)^ - An early view down the unpaved Pier Avenue in Ocean Park. Several rail lines can be seen in the street. A bank has been built on the left and other multi-story commercial buildings on the right. The cross street may be Trolley Way.  

 

 

 

 
(1905)^ - The same view down Pier Avenue a few years later, with buildings on both sides of the street, and cars and horse drawn carriages parked in front of the stores.  

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of Santa Monica

 

 

 

 

 
(Early 1900s)^^ - Postcard view of Windward Avenue in Venice (Venice of America at that time).  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1906)* - A corner view of the exterior of a business building on Windward Avenue in Venice which includes the St. Mark's Hotel.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1905, the founding year of Venice, Windward Avenue was two blocks long, stretching between the canal system and the pier, lined with hotels that featured hot salt water in every room.****

 

 

 
(ca. 1906)^^ - View of the Saint Mark's Hotel on Windward Avenue in Venice Beach. An outdoor corridor houses a street arcade. A man with a beard stands in the foreground near one of the many pillars and arches forming the corridor.  

 

Historical Notes

The colonnade, made up of dozens of Corinthian columns supporting Venetian-style arcade buildings on Windward, Pacific, and Market avenues, still serves as the gateway to the city and is one of Venice's most recognizable landmarks.

 

 

 
(ca. 1912)^#^ - A corner view of the St. Mark’s Hotel and the colonnade with its Corinthian columns extending two blocks down Windward Avenue.  

 

 

 

 
(1913)^ - Looking from a roof at the end of Windward in Venice, one can see the street below and in the distance the piers along the ocean. A banner across the street announces a baseball game between the Chicago White Sox and the Venice Tigers. On the right hand side of the street you can enter attractions such as the Daredevil Race for Life and the Merry Widow.  

 

 

Click HERE to see more on the Venice Tigers in Baseball in Early L.A.

 

 

 

 

 
(1913)^ - An aerial view taken where Spring St. and Main St. split at 9th St. Looking north we have Spring St. on the left and Main on the right.
 

 

 

 

 
(1913)^ - View of South Hill Street from below 6th Street. A trolley may be seen on the tracks in the middle of the road. Note the ornate streetlights running on both sides of the street.  

 

 

 

 
(1913)^ - View of 6th Street looking east from Broadway. On the left corner is the Silverwood's men's clothing store, next to which is The Meyberg Co., sellers of lighting fixtures, and Robert Marsh & Co. Real Estate. Behind it is Los Angeles Trust and Savings Bank. In the right foreground is H. Jevne Co. Cars are parked on the street next to streetcar tracks.  

 

 

 

 
(1913)^ - View looking east on 7th Street toward Hill Street as seen from the Los Angeles Athletic Club building. At the end of 7h Street can be seen a 300-foot tall LA Gas and Electric Co. gas silo.  

 

Historical Notes

For decades, 7th Street was a thriving and busy shopping street, traversing all of the major named streets in Downtown. Some of the historical buildings pictured in this photograph are, on the left: Union Oil Building, built in 1922 by Curlett & Beelman; Bullock's, founded in 1907 by John G. Bullock; the R.D. Bronson Desk Co., self-proclaimed as "The only exclusive dealers in Office Furniture in Los Angeles". And pictured on the right side: the Hotel Lankershim, a large tripartite building erected in 1905 by one of Los Angeles' wealthiest and largest landholders in the state of California, Col. James B. Lankershim and designed by architect, Robert B. Young. The Hotel Lankershim, one of the last additions to the Los Angeles' hotel list and filled with everything that could in any way render it a perfect dwelling place, was yet another early 20th century landmark which is now gone, having been demolished after one of the earthquakes in the 1980s; and seen in the far distance on the right is Cooper, Coate & Casey Dry Goods Co., owned and operated for 38 years by Harry B. Coate.^

The above 300-foot tall gas holder or silo was located east of the Civic Center. It was built in 1912 by the LA Gas and Electric Co. and it's not clear when it was torn down. Shots of Downtown up through 1960 seem to show these structures in the background.

In 1936 Los Angeles city voters approved a charter amendment authorizing the Bureau of Power and Light to issue revenue bonds in the amount of $46 million and purchase the electric system of Los Angeles Gas and Electric Corporation, the last remaining privately-owned system in LA. Click HERE to see more in Los Angeles Gas and Electric Co.

 

 

 
(ca. 1913)^ - View of the Central City looking northeast over Central Park (Pershing Square) from 6th and Olive.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1867, St. Vincent's College, present day Loyola Marymount University, was located across the street, and the park informally became called St. Vincent's Park.

In 1870, it was officially renamed Los Angeles Park.

In 1886 it was renamed 6th Street Park, and redesigned with an "official park plan" by Frederick Eaton, later the mayor.

In the early 1890s the park was renamed Central Park, which it was called for decades.

In November 1918, a week after Armistice Day ended World War I, the park was renamed Pershing Square, in honor of Gen. John Joseph "Black Jack" Pershing.*^

 

 

 
(1913)^ - Panoramic view of Olive Street looking north from 6th Street in 1913 toward snow-capped mountains. At left is the Pacific Mutual Life Insurance Building, and at right is Pershing Square. Beyond it is the Auditorium Building. Various other buildings are seen in this view taken from the Los Angeles Athletic Club building on 7th and Olive. The afternoon sun bathes them in a strong light.
 

 

 

 

 
(1913)^ - Closer view of buildings facing Pershing Square on Fifth Street: from left to right, Auditorium Building (at Olive corner) and California Club (at Hill Street corner).  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1914)^#^ - View looking east on 5th Street at the corner of 5th and Olive. The Clune's Auditorium is seen on the north side of 5th Street across from Pershing Square. A horse-drawn carriage is seen parked by the curb while a streetcar is in the middle of the road. Note the details on the ornate streetlight on the corner. Click HERE to see more in Early Los Angeles Streetlights.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1914, the theatre was leased to pioneer showman Billy Clune and became the grandest movie palace west of New York. There was (still) church on Sundays, lots of concerts, and feature films with elaborate prologues.**^*

 

 

 
(1915)^*# - View looking west on 5th Street toward Olive. The tall building in center of photo is Clune's Auditorium. The California Club is at right and across the street is Central Park (Pershing Square). The State Normal School building with its pointed towers can be seen at the end of 5th Street at Grand Ave (Current location of the LA Central Library).  

 

Historical Notes

Clune's Auditorium was much influenced by the design of Sullivan's Auditorium Theatre in Chicago. The eight story building had retail on the 5th Street side, a basement banquet hall, two 950 seat halls on the second floor, 118 office/studio spaces plus the main auditorium. The theatre was used on Sundays by the Temple Baptist Church.**^*

 

 

 
(ca. 1920)^*# - View of Central Park (Pershing Square) looking north. The tall building with the arched sign on the roof (behind the flagpole) is the Clune's Auditorium located on the northeast corner of Olive and 5th streets.  

 

Historical Notes

The building was known until 1920 as Clune's Auditorium and (sometimes) Clune's Theatre Beautiful. Even though its movie career was brief, given the size of the theatre, the impressive architecture and Clune's dazzling productions, this building ranks as the first true Los Angeles movie palace. Clune used a 20 piece orchestra and reserved the biggest pictures he could get for this venue.**^*

 

 

 
(ca. 1920)^ - View looking south on Olive Street at 5th Street. The Auditorium Building (also known as Clune's Auditorium) is seen on the southwest corner of the intersection, across the street from Pershing Square.  

 

Historical Notes

This is where the LA Philharmonic played until the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion opened in the mid-1960s. This building replaced an older building called Hazard's Pavilion and was dedicated in 1906. For a while, silent films were shown there, and it was known as Clune's Auditorium. It became the Philharmonic Auditorium in around 1920.

In 1920, the Los Angeles Philharmonic moved into this building in its second year of existence.*^

 

 

 
(1912)^^ - View looking west on Fourth Street showing three engineering students and a professor from USC surveying at the intersection of Fourth and Olive streets. The Fremont Hotel stands on the southwest corner and the Zelda Apartments can be seen in the background on top of the Bunker Hill.  

 

 

 

 
(1913)^^ - View looking east on 4th Street from the roof of the Zelda Apartments. The intersection of 4th and Olive can be seen at center of photo.  

 

Historical Notes

The ornate roof with open turret in the immediate right foreground is the private residence of businessman, horse-breeder and noted vintner Leonard J. Rose on the SE corner of Grand and 4th (400 S. Grand), beyond it is the distinctive multi-turreted (only two are visible here but there are three and they are distinct from each other) roof of the Fremont on the SW corner of 4th and Olive. Just peeking over the top of the Fremont we have the top floor of the Wright & Callender Building at SW 4th and Hill Street and to the left of that we have the Black Building (ironically the big white building) NW 4th and Hill. Behind the Black Building (nearer the camera) is the red brick Antlers Hotel and then, at the corner of 4th and Olive, a vacant lot which will soon be occupied by the Hotel Clark parking garage (The Hotel Clark, still under construction, appears above and to the right of the Fremont roof line and seems to be three or four floors short of topping out). #^

 

 

 
(ca. 1913)^^ – Closer view looking southeast from Fourth Street and Grand Avenue.  Fourth Street runs vertically (at left) with Olive Street intersecting it horizontally (visible at left). In the lower right is the Rose Mansion, on the SE corner of Fourth and Grand. Beyond it is the distinctive multi-turreted roof of the Fremont Hotel, on the SW corner of 4th and Olive.  

 

 

 

 
(n.d.)^ - Postcard view of the Fremont Hotel on the southwest corner of 4th and Olive, showing the 6 story building, with corner turrets and balconies on one side for the 2nd and 3rd floors. Architect, John Austin.   

 

Historical Notes

The Fremont Hotel, located in the Bunker Hill suburb, was built and designed by the architect John C. Austin and developed by Thomas Pascoe. The plans for building the hotel were developed in November 1901 and initially faced resistance from the next door Olive Street School establishment. It was designed by the architect in the Mission style, and had some 100 rooms. It opened on September 9, 1902 and was named after John C. Frémont. When newly built it was billed as "the newest and most elegantly appointed family hotel in Los Angeles.” The hotel also held dinners in tribute to Frémont. Frémont's widow, Jessie, was the first registered guest. She also designed and executed the hotel's crest. Frémont's motto, "Eternal vigilance is the price of safety" was adopted as the hotel's motto, paraphrased into "Eternal vigilance is the price of success in the hotel business".

The hotel was demolished in 1955 by the Community Redevelopment Agency, and what remained was only the retaining wall next to the Olive Public School.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1913)^^ -  View of Grand Avenue looking northeast from 4th street. A majority of the buildings are homes, hotels or apartment buildings. Legible signs include: "the Minnewaska", "Hotel Fleur-de-lis", "tailoring", "millinery".  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1913)^^ - View of the Los Angeles Fire Department fighting a fire on Broadway just north of Third Street. Fire hoses lay in a tangle on the street in the foreground, while firefighters blast a burning building with water to the left. A water pump with spoked wheels stands at left, with a larger pump surrounded by firefighters standing to the right. A third machine appears to be connected to the streetcar cables that hang over the street. City Hall stands to the right in the background.  

 

 

 

 
(1913)^^ - View of a 3-alarm fire on the west side of Broadway north of Third Street. Four steam water pumps surround hoses which are spread all over the street as firefighters shoot streams of water at the burning building.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1914)^^ - Fighting a fire on Broadway in downtown Los Angeles. A policeman watches as a group of firefighters operate two steam driven water pumps. In the background another group of firefighters shoot water at the fire.  

 

 

 

 
(1913)^^ - View lookng northwest from the roof of the Bryson Apartments showing Sunset Park (later La Fayette Park).  The angled street at the left-hand side is Wilshire; the street across the center (near top of the park) is Commonwealth, which intersects with Sixth Street (street car is at the corner). A white sign board seen in the center left is the future site of the Town House Hotel; a large vacant lot at Sixth, Commonwealth and Hoover is the future site of the First Congregational Church; and a clump of trees in the middle distance on the right is the future site of Felipe de Neve Branch Library.  

 

Historical Notes

Clara R. Shatto donated 35 acres of land that now makes up Lafayette Park to the City of Los Angeles in 1899. The land consisted of tar seeps and oil wells and Shatto requested that it be developed into a park. Shatto was the wife of George Shatto, then-owner of Santa Catalina Island. Canary Island palm trees and jacaranda were planted in the area of what became known as Sunset Park.*^

 

 

 
(1917)^ - View looking southeast of Sunset Park (later La Fayette Park). The Bryson Apartment Building, located at 2701 Wilshire Boulevard, is on the far side of the park. This part of the park was located on West 6th between Benton Way and South Commenwealth Avenue.   

 

Historical Notes

Local groups requested that the park's name be changed to commemorate Marquis de Lafayette, a military officer of the American Revolutionary War. The name was officially changed in 1918. A statue of him was erected in 1937, close to the Wilshire Boulevard entrance.*^

 

 

 
(1914)^ - Pacific Electric's new El Segundo line, which began operations in August 1914. This line offered passenger service until 1930. A man is walking along the railroad track as another leans against a rail car.  

 

Historical Notes

El Segundo was founded in 1911. Later it became the fastest growing town in California. El Segundo's greatest growth took place in the 1940-1950 decade." The city of El Segundo was actually incorporated in 1917. The area was originally part of Rancho Sausal Redondo (Ranch of the Round Clump of Willows). It was named El Segundo because it was to be Standard Oil's second oil refinery in California.^

 

 

 
(1914)^ - A young boy on a bicycle waits as a bus passes by on Washington Boulevard. This early type of motor coach transportation shows a double-decker bus; the upper deck filled with passengers. This bus travels from Los Angeles to Venice.  

 

 

 

 
(1914)^ - Early type of motor coach transportation between Los Angeles and Venice.  The double-decker bus appears to be filled to capacity with passengers.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1920s)^## - This double-decker bus no. 610 was part of the Los Angeles Motor Bus line, built by Fageol in 1924.  

 

Historical Notes

Los Angeles Motor Bus (later renamed the Los Angeles Motor Coach Company) was a joint venture of Pacific Electric and Los Angeles Railway that existed from 1923 until 1949.

It began in 1923 as Wilshire Boulevard's transit service from the MacArthur Park area to La Brea Avenue and was extended further down Wilshire as the service gained in popularity.

Wilshire has an interesting distinction, it was the only street that was banned by the City of Los Angeles from having street rail on it. The elites of early 20th century Los Angeles who built their mansions in the area were the region's first "NIMFYs" (Not in My Front Yard). The clanging bells and masses who rode streetcars were not welcomed on Wilshire, but buses were.^##

 

 

 
(1914)^#^ - View of a 3-lamp streetlight on the corner of Wilshire and Windsor boulevards. Two large homes can be seen in the background. This shows the west side of the 600 south block of Windsor Blvd. in Windsor Square.  

 

Historical Notes

Both houses in the above photo, dated November 7, 1914, amazingly resemble in design some of the newer large homes being built today.  The house on the left was built in 1911 and the house on the right in 1914.^#^

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early L.A. Streetlights

 

 

 

 

 
(1915)^*# - Looking west on Santa Monica Boulevard with Mount Lee in the background. This may be very near the eastern terminus at Sunset Boulevard. #^  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1915)* - View of Hill Street between 4th and 5th. Victorian houses converted into businesses are sandwiched between the Hotel Leroy on the right and Hotel Sherman, corner of 4th and Hill, on the left. The Los Angeles Water Department (Later DWP) is to the left of Hotel Leroy. A bicycle is unattended at the curb. In the background is the Grant Building which later became the site of Hotel Clark. Click HERE to see more Early DWP Branch Offices.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1914)^^ - View of Spring Street looking south from 6th Street. Pedestrians are crossing the street and walking on the sidewalk. A man in what appears to be a uniform is riding a bicycle and cars are parked along both sides of the street. The Hotel Grant is seen in the center of the photo. A beautiful 5-lamp streetlight stands on the corner.  

 

 

 

 
(1914)*^#^ - View of rush hour showing Los Angeles Railway trolley cars lined up on East 7th Street, waiting their turn to cross the equally busy Main Street.  

 

Historical Notes

All of these trolleys, and much of downtown Los Angeles, was receiving electricity from the new Big Creek power plants which were built and owned by Pacific Light and Power Corporation.  In 1917, the Edison Company (SCE) bought out the Pacific Light and Power Corp.

1922, the Bureau of Power and Light purchased SCE’s  distribution system within the Los Angeles city limits. SCE’s distribution lines were limited to the territories annexed to the city since 1922, but still furnished a proportion of the power distributed by the LA Bureau of Power and Light. After the construction of Hoover Dam (1935), the Bureau of Power and Light (later DWP) had more than enough electricity to furnish the entire city of L.A.

Click HERE to see more in First Electricity in Los Angeles.

 

 

 
(1915)^ - A view of 7th St. as it crosses Spring St., looking west. Far down on the right side (north side) of 7th the sign for Bullock's Dept.  Autos, electric streetcars, horse-drawn wagons, and pedestrians all share the streets.  

 

Historical Notes

Note the elevated kiosk/booth on the northwest corner of 7th and Spring streets. These were used by the Los Angeles Railway and the Yellow Cars as a switchman’s tower to control the flow and path of streetcars through the intersection. 

 

 

 
(ca. 1915)^ - Cable cars, cars, bicycle riders and pedestrians can be seen along Broadway. On the right side is the old Mason Building located on the southeast corner of Broadway and 4th Street.  

 

Historical Notes

The tall tower in the distance is the Old City Hall, located at 226 Broadway. It stood from 1888 until 1928. This was Los Angeles' third City Hall.

 

 

 
(ca. 1916)^ - View of the intersection of 4th and Broadway where the Mason Building stands on southeast corner. A policeman is directing traffic while standing in the middle of the intersection and pedestrians are seen crossing 4th Street.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1894, the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce moved into its new quarters at the southeast corner of Broadway and 4th, in a building designed especially for its use, the then-new three-story Mason Building - which would serve as its home for twelve years. The building would later be enlarged and used as a Broadway Dept. store but eventually abandoned.^

 

 

 
(ca. 1925)^^ - Photograph of women working with machinery at the Broadway Department Store, 4th and Broadway.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1916)^ - 6th Street looking west from Olive Street. At right is the Pacific Mutual Life Insurance Co. building. Pershing Square is at close right. In the distance is the Jonathan Club. A streetcar bears the destination of Bimini Baths. At left is a sign, "Edwards Wildey."  

 

Historical Notes

The Pacific Mutual Building, located at 523 W. 6th Street, was built between 1908 and 1912. From 1916 to 1926 the building was modified and expanded to include: a north side addition, another 12-story structure, a garage building, and a west side addition. In essence, it became three interconnected buildings by 1926.^

The Pacific Mutual Building is listed as Historic-Cultural Monument No. 398. Click HERE to see complete listing.

 

 

 
(1916)^ - View looking east along 6th Street from Flower Street. Large structure on Hope Street is the Church of the Open Door/Bible Institute.  

 

Historical Notes

The Church of the Open Door was conceived by R. A. Torrey who had come to Los Angeles to start a Bible institute (now known as Biola University) similar to Moody Bible Institute. For 70 years the church was located in downtown Los Angeles on Hope Street. It relocated to Glendora, California in 1985.

Originaly financed by Union Oil magnate Lyman Stewart, the Bible Institute Church was to be strictly non-denominational, though Evangelical.

Stewart also founded the Pacific Gospel Mission (now the Union Rescue Mission) in 1891.*^

 

 

 
(1926)^^ - Exterior view of the Bible Institute as seen from the front of the Central Library's South entrance. The light-colored building has two bookend towers and a row of archways across its center.  The name of the institute appears over the entryway.  

 

Historical Notes

The Bible Institute building was designed by Walker & Vawter in Renaissance Revival style and had an auditorium that seated 3,500. It was flanked by two thirteen-story dormitories. A large 1935 neon sign which says, "Jesus Saves," sits at the top of the building. The building was constructed in 1915 and demolished in the late 1980s after the church moved to Glendora.*

The historic "Jesus Saves" sign from the original building can now be seen atop the Los Angeles University Cathedral. It was relocated there by the late William Eugene Scott, the owner of the building at the time of earthquake, who took it with him when his church relocated following the 1987 Whittier Narrows earthquake.*^

 

 

 
(1916)* - Little could the crowd that assembled at Pasadena Ave (now N. Figueroa St.) and Piedmont Street on March 30, 1916 know that they were seeing the start of the municipal electric distribution system that one day would be the largest city-owned electric utility in the Nation (Click HERE to see more in L.A.'s First Municipal Power Pole).  

 

Historical Notes

In 1910, the City of Los Angeles issued a municipal power bond for preliminary work in connection with electrical power development. City voters approved the project and authorized the $3.5 million bond to finance it. The Bureau of Power and Light (Now DWP) was thus created in 1911 to provide electrical power to the City of Los Angeles.

The pole line installed above was used to bring power to LA from the neighboring City of Pasadena. Things would change dramatically after the completion of the LA Aqueduct in 1913. A new hydro power plant (completed in 1917) would now harness the water flowing on the aqueduct and generate more than enough power to meet the demand of a growing city for years to come (Click HERE to see more in First Electricity in Los Angeles).

 

 

(ca. 1912)* - A view of workmen posing in front of a new section of the pipeline for the Los Angeles Aqueduct.

 

Historical Notes

In 1907, Los Angeles voters unanimously approved a $23 million bond issue for the construction of the LA aqueduct.  The plan to construct the aqueduct originated with ex LA City Mayor,  Frederick Eaton, and LA Water Department Chief, William Mulholland (Click HERE to read more).

In 1908, The Bureau of Los Angeles Aqueduct (Click HERE to see DWP Name Change Chronology) began construction of the Los Angeles Aqueduct to bring Owens River water 233-miles south to Los Angeles.  The LA Aqueduct was completed in 1913.

 

 

 
(ca. 1913)#^#* - A man is seen behind the wheel of an early model car sitting on top of a completed section of the LA Aqueduct.  

 

Historical Notes

The completion of the Los Angeles Aqueduct in 1913 provided surplus water to the city and accelerated the development and growth of the San Fernando Valley.

Click HERE to see more in Construction of the L.A. Aqueduct.

 

 

 
(November 5, 1913)***^ - It is estimated that over 30,000 people attended the opening day ceremonies of the Los Angeles Aqueduct. They came to watch the Owens Valley water cascade into the reservoir. The caption of this picture was that the automobile was "here to stay" in the San Fernando Valley. You can make out some horse and buggies to the rear of the image.  

 

Historical Notes

Over 30,000 Los Angeles residents came to the San Fernando Valley to see the opening ceremony of the Los Angeles Aqueduct, where the first water from the Owens Valley completed its journey to Los Angeles. William Mulholland presided over the ceremony and called out for the water gate to be opened with five of the most famous words in Los Angeles history: ''There it is, take it"

 

 

 
(1913)*## - Men, women, and children stand in awe as water runs down the cascades at the opening ceremony of the LA Aqueduct. Many of the spectators are waving American flags. The man with the hat rising above the flag on the right is non other than William Mulholland.*^  

 

Historical Notes

The remarkable photo above was taken from the grandstand a minute and a half after the LA Aqueduct water gates were opened.  The view is exactly as the camera caught it, without so much as the touch of a pencil added.  The front of the water wall was black from the dust and sediment that had accumulated at the head of the cascade.

Click HERE and see more in the Los Angeles Aqueduct Opening Ceremony.

 

 

 

 
(November 5, 1913)* - Crowds watch as the water gates are opened and the Los Angeles Aqueduct water starts to flow down into the San Fernando Valley.  

 

Historical Notes

With the completion of the Los Angeles Aqueduct the City had a new source of water. Los Angeles then proceeded to annex the outlying communities attracted by the promise of an abundant water supply. The flurry of annexations began even before the aqueduct was complete.

Between 1910 and 1930, the area of Los Angeles increased from 115 sq. miles to  442 sq. miles through annexations of surrounding areas (i.e. Hollywood was annexed in 1910, the San Fernando Valley in 1915). The City's population increased from 533,535 (1915) to 1,300,000 (1930).

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Opening of the LA Aqueduct

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1916)* - What appears to be a gigantic truck wheel is actually the rotor of a new turbine-generator to be installed at Los Angeles's first hydroelectric power plant located in San Francisquito Cyn, 40 miles north of Los Angeles.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1911, the Bureau of Los Angeles Aqueduct Power began construction of the San Francisquito Power Plant No. 1 to generate power from the anticipated water flow of the yet to be completed LA Aqueduct (The LA Aqueduct was completed in 1913). This new source of electric energy coupled with new water via the LA Aqueduct helped spur the growth of Los Angeles and of Southern California.

 

 

 
(ca. 1916)* - Interior view of San Francisquito Power Plant No. 1 during construction and installation of the Pelton wheels. The Pelton wheel was a form of a water wheel connected to the rotor-shaft of a generator.  

 

Historical Notes

The above view shows the internal mechanism of the turbine-generators at San Francisquito Power Plant No. 1. When completed, The new hydro power plant would generate enough electricity to meet the needs of Los Angeles for years to come.

 

 

 
(ca. 1916)* - View of an early model truck hauling a section of penstock for Power Plant No. 1.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1916)* - View of Power Plant No. 1 construction site where the penstocks are seen being assembled. A rail-car to the left of the penstocks is full of workers carrying them to the top of the incline.  

 

Historical Notes

The water, being tapped from the newly constructed LA Aqueduct, will flow through the two penstocks down 940 feet of head into Power Plant No. 1.

 

 

 
(1917)* - Opening of the San Francisquito Power Plant No. 1 on March 18, 1917. Construction of the plant began six years earlier in 1911.  

 

Historical Notes

On March 18, 1917 the San Francisquito Power Plant No. 1, Unit 1 was placed in service and energy was delivered to Los Angeles over a newly constructed 115 kV transmission line. The 200 kilowatts generated by Unit 1 were the first commercial kilowatts generated by the Los Angeles Bureau of Power and Light.

The LA Bureau of Power and Light now had a source of low cost electricity and more than enough power to meet the City's needs.  It would sell its excess San Francisquito generated power to Pasadena over two newly constructed 34 kV lines between the two cities. By 1917, World War I had forced the price of fuel oil to rise making the new lower cost hydroelectric power extremely desirable.

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Electricity on the Aqueduct

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1915)^^** - An early model truck is seen towing a tree-planting rig and also a palm tree. The rig is similar to those once used by the Bureau of Power and Light to install power poles. Click HERE to see more in Early Power Distribution.  

 

Historical Notes

California's eighteenth century Franciscan missionaries were the first to plant palms ornamentally, perhaps in reference to the tree's biblical associations. But it was not until Southern California's turn-of-the-twentieth-century gardening craze that the region's leisure class introduced the palm as the region's preeminent decorative plant. Providing neither shade nor marketable fruit, the palm was entirely ornamental.

Palm trees soon appeared throughout Los Angeles, from the front yards of the mansions along Figueroa Street to public spaces like Pershing Square, Eastlake and Westlake Park, and the historic central plaza near Olvera Street.**#

 

 

 
(ca. 1920s)^ - Workers plant palm trees on Wilshire Boulevard between Western Avenue and Wilton Place.  

 

Historical Notes

Despite the diversity of palms in the Los Angeles area, only one species—Washingtonia filifera, the California fan palm—is native to California. All of L.A.'s other palm species, from the slender Mexican fan palms that line so many L.A. boulevards to the feather-topped Canary Island date palm, have been imported.**#

 

 

 
(ca. 1915)^## - The Echo Mountain incline railway transported Southern Californians into the San Gabriel Mountains. Catalina Island can be seen in the distance.  

 

Historical Notes

At the turn of the century (1893 - 1938) one of the most famous excursion in Southern California was the Mt. Lowe trip. Sightseers from all around the Los Angeles area took a Pasadena car to Altadena and Rubio Canyon. They then transferred to a cable car on the Incline Railway that went up a 62% grade to Echo Mountain. From there they would take a narrow-gauge trolley car winding its way up the rugged San Gabriel Mtns. and finally would arrive at Alpine Tavern on Mt. Lowe, a nearly 7 mile railway ride from the base of the mountain. The views of the valley floor and beyond were spectacular.^

 

 

 
(1930)^ - Caption on the verso of the image reads, "Redondo High School students arrive at Mt. Lowe Tavern for a snow battle royal."  

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of Mt. Lowe Railway

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1916)^ - The grand entrance to the privately owned zoo, located at 3800 North Mission Road in Eastlake Park (later Lincoln Park).  

 

Historical Notes

Opened to the public on June 20, 1915, the Selig Zoo, also served as a film production studio for the Selig Polyscope Company, and briefly the Louis B. Mayer Pictures Corporation. Dramatic entrance gates featuring statues of elephants and lions were designed by Italian sculptor Carlo Romanelli, with interior structures by Arthur Burnett Benton.^

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1915)^*# - View of the front entrance to the Selig Zoo. Admission Price: 10 Cents!  

 

Historical Notes

As well as being open to the general public, Selig Zoo provided a habitat for exotic animals used in motion pictures produced by Selig Polyscope Productions. It was headquartered in the old Indian Exposition Building in Lincoln Park, off Mission Road in East Los Angeles. "Selig Place" still intersects Mission Road today. This area later became "Luna Park," a popular amusement area and zoo.^*#

Selig Polyscope became insolvent in 1918, and over the years the zoo changed names and ownership. It was known as the Selig Zoo (1915-1925), Luna Park Zoo (1925-1931), L.A. Wild Animal Farms (1931-1932), the California Zoological Gardens (1932-1936), and Zoopark (1936-1940). The zoo officially closed in 1940 and many of the animals were relocated to the Los Angeles Zoo in Griffith Park.^

 

 

 
(ca. 1915)^*# - View of a woman in a cage holding a leopord in her arms at the Selig Zoo and Wild Animal Farm.  

 

Historical Notes

The first Tarzan movie was filmed at the zoo. It was the only zoo south of San Francisco. In time, it became the largest collection of wild animals in the world.^^##^

 

 

 
(1962)^ - The once grand entrance to the old privately owned zoo in Lincoln Park shows signs of decay and neglect. Zoo closed following a flood in the early 1930's.  

 

Historical Notes

The Mission Road grounds of the Selig Zoo would subsequently serve as the Lincoln Speedway and the Lincoln Amusement Park, before being redeveloped in the 1950s. The entrance gates would remain standing into the 1960s, before being dismantled and moved to an Inland Empire junkyard.^

 

 

 
(1955)^^*# - Close-up view of the entrance gate to the old Selig Zoo showing two lion sculputers. Note the detail design on the arch.  

 

Historical Notes

When the structure was demolished, some of the concrete sculptures disappeared into storage until they resurfaced sometime in 2000. Seven lion sculptures (including these two beauties) were restored and now live in the Los Angeles Zoo. #^

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of Southern California Amusement Parks

 

 

 

 

 
(1916)***^ - Postcard photograph of a street scene in Lankershim, Calif. outside of the Lankershim Bank. On the street are horse drawn carriages and wagons and an automobile.  

 

Historical Notes

The town of Lankershim (first called Toluca, now North Hollywood) was named after its founding family. Isaac B. Lankershim grew wheat on a wide swath of the Valley floor on his Lankershim Ranch. North Hollywood was established by the Lankershim Ranch Land and Water Company in 1887. It was first named Toluca before being renamed Lankershim in 1896 and finally North Hollywood in 1927.*^

 

 

 

 
(1915)#^* - View of the Universal City opening day ceremony, March 15, 1915.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1913, the same year the LA Aqueduct was completed, the Universal Company purchased 12,000 acres of land in the San Fernando Valley near the railroad station of Lankershim and about eight miles from Los Angeles.^*#^

A year earlier, on April 30, 1912, Carl Laemmle merged the Independent Motion Picture Company with five smaller companies to form the Universal Film Manufacturing Company. After visiting his newly acquired west coast operations of Nestor Studios and Nestor Ranch, he renamed the studio "Universal Studios" and the leased Oak Crest Ranch became the first "Universal City" in the San Fernando Valley.

The first Universal/Nestor Ranch (Providencia Land and Water Development Company property Oak Crest Ranch) is presently the site of Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills).

In 1915, Universal moved its operations at the Hollywood/Nestor studio and Universal/Nestor Ranch to its new Lankershim Blvd. location before the official opening of Universal City (Lankershim Blvd).*^

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1915)^*# - Postcard view of the entrance to Universal City: "Capital of the Film World" and the "City of Wonders".  

 

Historical Notes

After the gala opening, Carl Laemmle continued to let the general public visit his Movie City - "The City of Wonders."

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1916)*^^ - View showing the Lankershim Blvd. entrance to Universal Studios. Two security gaurds in uniform stand at watch under the large archway. A tall castle-like tower is seen on the left. Passengers sit in the back of an early model vehicle, possiblly the precursor to today's tram ride.  

 

Historical Notes

Carl Laemmle invited members of the public to watch films being made (in exchange for a 25 cents admission fee). A chicken lunch box was also available for a nickel; the first step towards the Universal Studios theme park we know today.^*#^

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1915)^^ -  View showing the filming a western movie on the Front Lot Stage at Universal City.  A bar scene can be seen at center, and several men and women are visible in western clothing. A man and a woman are seated at a table in the foreground at right. At left, the director and cameraman can be seen, along with several other assistants. People can be seen sitting on a high balcony at left, in an area labeled "Visitor's Observatory".   

 

Historical Notes

Guests sat in outdoor bleachers and were encouraged to cheer for the heroes and boo the villains! The advent of sound meant the end of the early Universal Studio tour (as the noise the visitors made now disrupted filming) and Universal closed its gates to the general public. Three decades would pass before the studio gates would open again.^*#^

 

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of Southern California Amusement Parks.

 

 

 

 

 
(1918)^^ - Aerial view of the City of San Fernando, 1918. In the foreground is a residential neighborhood composed of small houses on tree-lined streets. At the center of the image is a commercial area composed of mostly two-story square buildings that appear to be shops. One building on the right side of this area has an awning running the length of its façade. In the background are open agricultural fields occasionally bordered by lines of trees.  

 

Historical Notes

The City of San Fernando was named for the nearby Mission San Fernando Rey de España, and was part of the Mexican land grant of Rancho Ex-Mission San Fernando. In 1874 Charles Maclay, San Fernando founder, bought 56,000 acres of the Rancho. In 1882, cousins George K. Porter and Benjamin F. Porter of future Porter Ranch each received one-third of the total land.*^

 

 

 
(1918)^ - Aerial view of Northridge, then known as Zelzah, in 1918. Number one is Reseda Boulevard, number two is the Southern Pacific Depot, and number three is Parthenia Street. The remaining numbers are not identified.
 

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of the San Fernando Valley

 

 

 

 

 
(1917)^ - View of the southeast corner of New High and Ord streets, showing the fronts of S. Peluffo's stores, founded in 1894.  

 

Historical Notes

One store is on the ground floor of a two-story, brick building. The other store, a one-story, wooden structure, is next door. The storefront advertises California wines as well as imported and domestic groceries. The store's telephone number is prominently displayed. Early automobiles, one a Peluffo delivery car, and a truck are parked in front and pedestrians, customers and drivers are all posing for the camera. Two children, one on a tricycle and the other in a toy car, are playing while a watchful adult shops. Sacks and cartons of merchandise lie at the curb.^

 

 

 
(1917)^^ - View looking west on 7th Street towards Hill Street. The empty lot on the northwest corner of 7th and Hill would be occupied by the 9-story Pantages Theatre building (built in 1920). The tall building west of the empty lot is the LA Athletic Club Building (built in 1912).  

 

 

 

 
(1917)^ - View is looking west on 7th from between Broadway & Hill streets. For decades, 7th Street was a thriving and busy shopping street, traversing all of the major named streets in Downtown.  

 

Historical Notes

Some of the historical buildings pictured in this photograph are, on the left: Smith's Hotel, which was replaced in 1921 by the Loew's State Theatre; Platt Music Co., built in 1927; Ville de Paris Department Store, founded in 1850 in San Francisco by the Verdier brothers, immigrants from France. This store branch was built in 1916 by architects William J. Dodd & William Richards; and at the far left is the John Brockman Building, built in 1911 by Barnett, Haynes & Barnett, it was one of the first reinforced concrete and steel buildings, and with 12 stories, it was also one of the tallest in Los Angeles. And pictured on the right side: B.H. Dyas Co. Department Store with an American flag hanging from the building. This sporting and dry goods store took over the original Ville de Paris Department Store. Looking down at street-level, numerous cars, trolleys, and pedestrians can be seen bustling along.*

 

 

 
(1917)^ - Main Street at 4th looking south in 1917, showing Farmers & Merchants National Bank and other buildings, busy street scene.  

 

Historical Notes

Designed in the Classical Revival style, the Farmers and Merchants Bank remains one of Southern California's finest examples of the early "temples of finance" which were popular at the turn of the century. Its two-story facade, reminiscent of a Roman temple, is punctuated by an entrance framed with Corinthian columns topped by a large triangular pediment. Built in 1905, the bank was designed by the firm of Morgan and Walls.

The Farmers and Merchants Bank was the first incorporated bank in Los Angeles, founded in 1871 by John G Downey, the seventh governor of California and Isaias W. Hellman, a successful merchant, real estate speculator and banker, and brother of Hermann W. Hellman. Downey was named the first president. Isaias later served as president of the bank till his death in 1920.*^

 

 

 
(1917)^ - View looking north on Main Street near 6th Street, 1917. The Rosslyn Hotel with the large sign on roof is on the northwest corner of Fifth and Main Streets (451-459 South Main Street).  

 

Historical Notes

In 1913 the Rosslyn Hotel constructed its new building at the northwest corner of 5th and Main Streets, a major expansion of the hotel from its earlier home on Main Street between 4th and 5th Streets.

The Hotel Rosslyn has a history unique in all of the city of Los Angeles.  Once the tallest building in LA, the 12-story Rosslyn boasted in it's large rooftop sign as being the "Fireproof Million Dollar Hotel."

At that time, the area around Main Street was truly the center of Los Angeles. Through the teens and twenties, the financial, commercial, and entertainment center of Southern California was based in Downtown Los Angeles, and the Rosslyn Hotel was one of its premier destinations.**^^

 

 

 
(1924)^ - Hotel Rosslyn and Hart Brothers Rosslyn Hotel Annex, Los Angeles  

 

Historical Notes

In 1923, as a result of the prosperity enjoyed by the Rosslyn and the surrounding district, the Rosslyn Annex was built across 5th Street, and today is still called the Rosslyn Hotel. The two buildings were connected by an underground marble tunnel, portions of which survive to this day.

Both buildings were designed by architect John Parkinson, who was one of the most prolific architects in Downtown Los Angeles, responsible for much of the area's finest architecture, including Union Station, Bullock's Wilshire, the Title Guarantee Building, the Continental Building, the Alexandria Hotel, the Los Angeles Athletic Club, Security Bank (now the Los Angeles Theatre Center), the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, and Los Angeles City Hall.**^^

 

 

 
(ca. 1917)^^ - Intersection of Main, Spring, and 9th streets in downtown Los Angeles circa 1917. Note the elevated kiosk at the corner.  

 

Historical Notes

Elevated booths were used by the Los Angeles Railway and the Yellow Cars as a switchman’s tower to control the flow and path of streetcars through the intersection. 

 

 

 
(1917)^ - Looking north up Spring Street (left) and Main Street (right) from 9th Street in downtown Los Angeles.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1918)*^ - The Los Angeles Railway's P Line trolley crossing Alameda Street at 1st Street in Little Tokyo as it heads for Boyle Heights in circa 1918.  

 

Historical Notes

The Los Angeles Railway (also Yellow Cars, LARy, latterly Los Angeles Transit Lines) was a system of streetcars that operated in central Los Angeles and the immediate surrounding neighborhoods between 1901 and 1963. The company carried many more passengers than the Pacific Electric Railway's 'Red Cars' which served a larger area of Los Angeles.

The system was purchased by railroad and real estate tycoon Henry E. Huntington in 1898 and started operation in 1901. At its height, the system contained over 20 streetcar lines and 1,250 trolleys, most running through the core of Los Angeles and serving such nearby neighborhoods as Echo Park, Westlake, Hancock Park, Exposition Park, West Adams, the Crenshaw district, Vernon, Boyle Heights and Lincoln Heights*^

 

 

 

 
(Early 1900s)^ - Two women attempting to cross the street in front of Court Flight Cable Railway.  

 

Historical Notes

Opened on September 24, 1905, the Court Flight was built by Attorney R. E. Blackburn of the McCarthy real estate firm and Samuel G Vandegrift, to serve the wealthy residents of Bunker Hill. The line was entirely double tracked, using a pair of thirty-inch gauge counterbalanced cars, and ran for a distance of 180 feet up a 42 per cent grade between Broadway and Court Streets, in the middle of the block between Temple and First Streets. A fire on October 20, 1943 damaged the line and put it out of commission.^

 

 

 

 
(Early 1900s)* - Court Flight Cable Railway, next to the New Hotel Broadway, located at 205 North Broadway, opposite the Hall of Records and Courthouse.  

 

 

 

 
(Early 1900s)^ - Looking west from the Hall of Records (right) towards Bunker Hill. The Court Flight funicular is present in the center. There is also a partial view of the Hotel Broadway.  

 

 

 

 
(1924)^ -  Aerial view looking north up Main, Spring and Broadway Streets from a point just over 1st Street. Both Court Flight Cable Railway and Hotel Broadway can be seen at lower center-left.  

 

Historical Notes

In the above photo, the new Hall of Records (1910), the newer Hall of Justice (nearing completion here) and the old (1888) County Courthouse are seen in the center as is the Hancock Banning house on Fort Moore Hill, the Prudent Beaudry house on New High Street and the Court Flight funicular up Court Hill. Future city hall site is to the right.^#^

 

 

 
(1918)^^ - Aerial view looking east. The intersection of Crenshaw and Pico is in the upper left corner of the photo; Crenshaw and Venice is in the upper right corner.^#^  

 

Historical Notes

Established in 1908 by ""nineteen substantial citizens" as an "exclusive residential enclave", the Victoria Park neighborhood is one of only two neighborhoods in the entire city of Los Angeles where the homes are arranged on a circular street. This design is based on the ideas of Frederick Law Olmstead, who felt that circular shapes would break up the usual linear look of urban areas. The area was intended to be upscale, e.g. the streetlights were custom-designed and registered with the city as the "Victoria Park Fixture." *^

Click HERE to see the "Victoria Park Fixture" in Early Los Angeles Street Lights.

 

 

 
(1940)^^ - Aerial view looking north of the Victoria Park area.^#^  

 

Historical Notes

Many of the homes in the Victoria Park neighborhood were built between 1910 and 1915 and serve as fine architectural examples of The American Arts and Crafts Movement. The area was intended to be all single-family homes, but was rezoned in the 1920s and some duplexes were built.

The Holmes-Shannon House at 4311 Victoria Park Drive, built in 1911, was added to both the National Register of Historic Places and the list of Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monuments in 2008 (No. 885); it is described as "a residential building designed in the Tudor-Craftsman style by a prominent firm and reflective of the development of Victoria Park." The Craftsman home at 4318 Victoria Park Place, built in 1912 was also designated a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument (No. 654) in 1998. Click HERE to see complete listing.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1918)^^ - Aerial view looking north showing Windsor Square and part of Hancock Park.  

 

Historical Notes

Sometime between 1900 and 1910 a prominent financier named George A.J. Howard envisioned a beautiful tranquil park as a setting for family homes such as one sees in the English countryside in what was then an undeveloped and rural area about halfway between the city center (now Downtown LA) and the coast. Howard pushed the early city fathers to make his vision come true, and in 1911, Mr. Robert A. Rowan was able to initiate a unique residential development and called it Windsor Square.

The development was constituted as a private square. Both the homes and the streets would be privately owned. At that time there were dense groves of bamboo in the area that needed to be destroyed before trees and gardens could be cultivated. Intervening walls or fences were discouraged so that one garden ran into another, creating a park-like setting.

Windsor Square was the first area in the city to have the power lines below grade--an extraordinary innovation for 1911.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1918)^#^ - Same photo as above but with annotations. Windsor Square is at center of photo, while Wilshire Country Club and Hancock Park are to the west (left). The Marlborough School can be seen at the corner of 3rd Street and Rossmore (on the left).  

 

Historical Notes

Windsor Square was later expanded to the north, east, and west. Today, Windsor Square runs from Wilshire to Beverly Boulevards, and from Arden Boulevard to Van Ness Avenue. This is inclusive of the one-block strip of Larchmont Village, between First Street and Beverly Boulevard. Windsor Square is often mistakenly called "Hancock Park," even by long-time residents. But in fact, Hancock Park is the neighborhood immediately to the west. Windsor Square's homes have the same historic value as in Hancock Park, but most of the homes are built on bigger lots.

Many of the city's elite moved west to Windsor Square, including George Howard (his daughter still lives in his home on Windsor Blvd) and Norman Chandler, who took up lifelong residence with his wife Buffy on Lorraine Blvd. Oil magnate John Paul Getty bought a property on Irving Blvd. that is now Los Angeles's official mayor's residence.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1918)^^ - Aerial view looking northwest from 5th Street and Windsor Boulevard at Hancock Park and Hollywood. Third Street is visible running horizontally near the middle of the image, while at left is Marlborough School on Rossmore Avenue. The area north of Third Street on both sides of Rossmore is open fields for several blocks, and beyond the city in the background are large mountains.  

 

Historical Notes

Hancock Park was developed in the 1920s by the Hancock family with profits earned from oil drilling in the former Rancho La Brea. The area owes its name to developer-philanthropist George Allan Hancock, who subdivided the property in the 1920s.  Hancock, born and raised in a home at what is now the La Brea tar pits, inherited 4,400 acres, which his father, Major Henry Hancock had acquired from the Rancho La Brea property owned by the family of Jose Jorge Rocha.*^

Marlborough School is a private, all-girls, college-preparatory secondary school for grades 7th through 12th located at 250 South Rossmore Avenue in the Hancock Park neighborhood of Los Angeles.  Marlborough was founded in 1889 by Mary Caswell and is the oldest independent girls' school in Southern California.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1918)^ - Aerial view looking northwest from Wilshire and Rossmore. Today, the Wilshire Country Club is situated just to the right (east) of the oil fields.  

 

Historical Notes

The large square of undeveloped land showing two mounds (right of oil field) is El Arroyo del Jardin de los Flores, The Stream of the Garden of Flowers. The stream flowed from the location of today's Wilshire Country Club through Hancock Park, joining another creek that eventually drained to Ballona Creek near La Brea and St. Elmo Drive. The majority of this creek was piped and filled; a portion of it remains above ground at the Wilshire Country Club, and a creek running through Brookside Estates also shares this name.^

 

 

 
(1918)^^ - Aerial view of Hollywood looking north.  Highland Avenue runs straight up from center-bottom and then snakes its way to Cahuenga Pass.  The intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue is at center of photo.  The Japanese estate and gardens of brothers Charles and Adolph Bernheimer is perched high on a hill in the upper-left corner.  Hollywood High School is seen at lower center-left , on the northwest corner of Sunset Boulevard and Highland Avenue.  

 

 

 

 
(1921)^ - Aerial view of Hollywood High School and surrounding area in 1921.  

 

Historical Notes

Hollywood High School with a student body of 2500 was three blocks from Charlie Chaplin's studio and six blocks from Mary Pickford's and Douglas Fairbanks' studios. The homes bordering the upper side of the campus were just condemned by the city to make room for additional buildings. The original 1905 building is on the bottom right, the Household & Fine Arts building is in the middle of the quadrangle, and the gymnasium is top, center.^

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of Hollywood (1850 - 1920)

 

 

 

 

 
(1919)^ - Aerial photo of the Beverly Hills Speedway located at Wilshire and Santa Monica Boulevards.  

 

Historical Notes

The Beverly Hills Speedway (also called the Los Angeles Speedway) was a 1.25-mile wooden board track for automobile and motorcycle racing in Beverly Hills. It was built in 1919 on 275 acres of land that includes the site of today's Beverly Wilshire Hotel, just outside of the "Golden Triangle". The former site is bounded by Wilshire Boulevard, South Beverly Drive, Olympic Boulevard and Lasky Drive.*^

 

 

 

 

 
(1919)^ - Early race cars are lined up at the Beverly Hills Racetrack.  

 

Historical Notes

The Beverly Hills Speedway project was financed by a group of racers and businessmen that called itself the Beverly Hills Speedway Association. The track was the first in the United States to be designed with banked turns incorporating an engineering solution known as a spiral easement.*^

 

 

 

 

 
(1919)^ - View of two race cars racing past the finish line at the Beverly Hills Racetrack.  

 

Historical Notes

At the time, the wooden racetrack was ranked second in race quality only to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.^*^*

 

 

 

 
(1922)^**^ - Durant Racing team, Beverly Hills Raceway . . . Harry Miller Designed and built. Cliff Durant was William Durant's son (General Motors President). He had the most highly funded team of the day with the best drivers.  

 

Historical Notes

Many race cars had paint jobs that read Durant Racing on the sides. Durant was an American race car driver, the son of William C. Durant, a founder of General Motors who was also the co-owner and president of the Beverly Hills Speedway.

Durant Drive in the City of Beverly HIlls was named after these Durants.^*^*

 

 

 

 
(1919)^ - View of the spectator stands from outside the Beverly Hills Racetrack on Pico Boulevard, near Rodeo Drive.  

 

Historical Notes

The Speedway operated for four years and attracted many historically significant competitors including Ralph DePalma, Jimmy Murphy, and Tommy Milton. It was also the site of a racing accident that killed National Champion and Indianapolis 500 winner Gaston Chevrolet in 1920.*^

Gaston Chevrolet was the younger brother of Louis Chevrolet, who in 1911 co-founded the Chevrolet Motor Company.^*^*

 

 

 
(ca. 1921)^**^ - Motorcycles line up and wait for the starting gun to go off.  

 

Historical Notes

Motorcycle board track racing also took place at the short lived Beverly Hills Speedway (1920 - 1924).^^^^

 

 

 
(1921)^**^ - Aerial view looking east on Wilshire Boulevard from where Santa Monica Boulevard intersects. Vast open fields can be seen between the Beverly Hills Speedway and the City of Los Angeles.  

 

Historical Notes

Because of rapidly increasing real estate values, the Speedway became an uneconomical use of property. The track was torn down and the Association moved its racing operation a few miles away to Culver City, in 1924.*^

 

 

 

 
(1925)*^#^ - A view of Beverly Hills Heights, a development by Frank Meline, shown at the start of the subdivision. A man stands near a parked automobile on a wide, unpaved road in the foreground. There are a few houses already constructed, but most of the land is undeveloped.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1919)^ - View of Main Street from 4th Street, looking east. Streetcars can be seen running down the center of the road.
 

 

 

 

 

 
(1919)^ - This is the site of the former Los Angeles State Normal School, and future site of Central Library of the Los Angeles Public Library. The area has been dug out for the foundation and work will soon be under way. The dark building in the background is the Biltmore Hotel, the large white building on the right is the Pacific Mutual Building. The visible streets are 5th and Grand Avenue.
 

 

Historical Notes

The California State Normal School was a teaching college that was founded on May 2, 1862 in San Jose. In March 1881, after heavy lobbying by Los Angeles residents, the California State Legislature authorized the creation of a southern branch of the school to be built in downtown Los Angeles, which would train teachers for the growing population of Southern California.

On August 29, 1882, the State Normal School at Los Angeles opened its doors, and in 1919 it became part of the "UC system" after moving to a larger campus on Vermont Ave., in Hollywood (the present site of L.A. City College). The University of California, Southern Branch would eventually come to be known as the University of California, Los Angeles.

The L.A. Public Library would take the old Normal School site, which was located on 5th Street between Grand and Flower streets. Designed by architects Bertram G. Goodhue and Carlton M. Winslow, it would eventually be constructed between 1922-1926.^

 

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of the Normal School and UCLA

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1920s)^ - A busy scene with pedestrians and city traffic in this view of Broadway and 5th looking north, showing the many retail stores that line the street. Hotel California, The Broadway, Edison building and California building are visible on the left side. Several trolleys have stopped in the middle of the road, cars line both sides of the street, and an overflow of pedestrians fill the sidewalks as far as the eye can see. Notice everyone wears hats - men, woman and children alike.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1920)^ - A view looking south on Broadway near 2nd St. On the near left corner (southeast) is Coast Drugs. On the far right corner (northwest) is The Owl Drug Co. City Hall can be seen in the background.  

 

 

 

 
(1920)^ - Broadway and 1st Streets are seen from the southwest corner. A policeman stands on a box in the middle of the intersection to direct any traffic, including streetcars and cars.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1920)^ – View looking north on Spring Street at First.  Security Trust & Savings Bank on the right side of photo. Spring Street does appear to curve in those days, which it no longer does.   

 

 

 

 
(1920)^ - Exterior view of the Security Trust and Savings Bank on the northeast corner of First and Spring Streets, in the 7-story Equitable Building.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1906, the seven-story Equitable Savings Bank replaced the Los Angeles National Bank building on the northeast corner of First and Spring streets.  The building didn't last too long, being demolished in the late 1920s. The site today is the corner of the park next to City Hall.^

 

 

 
(2014)##^* – View looking at the northeast corner of Spring and First Streets where the Equitable Bank Building once stood, now a park next to City Hall.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1920)^ - View of Spring Street looking north at 2nd Street. A traffic cop stands on a soap box and directs traffic between Second and Spring Street.  

 

Historical Notes

On the left is the first floor detail of the Bryson-Bonebrake Block, (northwest corner). The block was commissioned by John Bryson, Sr., Los Angeles mayor, and George H. Bonebrake, banker. The building was six stories plus a basement and contained a lodgeroom on the sixth floor. There was a court in the center of the building. The architects were Joseph Carter Newsom and Samuel Newsom and the building was completed ca. 1888.^

 

 

 
(n.d.)^ - Drawing of the west side of Spring Street, including the Bryson Block on the left, between 1st and 2nd Streets as it appeared in ca.1888.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1920)^ - View of Spring Street looking south from 2nd Street. At right, a portion of the Hollenbeck Hotel shows; further right, center distance, the Lyceum Theatre (with tower); Douglas Block. At left, the Wilcox Building, southeast corner. Note the ornate five-lamp streetlights. Click HERE to see more in Early LA Streetlights.  

 

 

 

 
(1920)^ - Exterior view of the Lyceum Theatre, the original Los Angeles Theater, which opened in 1888 and located at 227 South Spring Street.  

 

Historical Notes

Opened in 1888 as the Los Angeles Theatre. The theatre was built by William Hayes Perry and the building containing it was known as the Perry Building.

In 1903 this interesting Richardsonian Romanesque building became the Orpheum - the second home of Orpheum Circuit vaudeville in Los Angeles. Previously they'd been at the Grand Opera House.

The Orpheum moved on in June, 1911 to their new home at 630 S. Broadway (now the Palace Theatre).

In 1912 this building became known as Fischer's Lyceum, operated by the Mr. Fischer of Fischer's Theatre on 1st St. Later it was just known as the Lyceum Theatre. It was listed as the Lyceum in the 1916 city directory and onward.*#*

 

 

 
(1919)^ -  View of an early model car parked in front of the entrance to the Lyceum Theatre on Spring Street. Signs in front read: "Biggest and Best Show in the City" and "America's Most Popular Family Theatre".  

 

Historical Notes

By the early 30s the Lyceum Theatre was exclusively a movie theatre. In 1941, the building was demolished to make way for a parking lot.*#*

 

 

 
(1920)*^ - A rainy night image looking south on Broadway between 5th and 6th streets. The dazzling Superba Theatre illuminates the wet pavement.  

 

Historical Notes

The Superba theatre was opened on July 30, 1914 by pioneer theatreman John A. Quinn.  Earlier (1909 or 1910) Quinn had moved from Arizona and leased the Ideal Theatre (134 S. Spring St.). This was followed by a partnership with G.H. McLain that acquired the Bijou (553 S. Main St.) and the Banner (456 S. Main St.). 

By the end of 1910 the partners had split with Quinn retaining the Banner.  In 1911 Quinn took over the Garrick Theatre (former Hyman Theatre) at 8th & Broadway.

In 1912 Quinn was running Tally's (833 S. Broadway) and was later involved on Broadway in the Rialto Theatre (1917).*#*

 

 

 
(ca. 1915)^ - Exterior view of the front of Quinn's Superba Theatre, with a view down the street where signs can be seen for the Pantages Vaudeville.  

 

Historical Notes

Quinn’s Superba Theatre was located on the site where the Roxie Theatre is today on Broadway in Downtown Los Angeles. It was next to the Cameo and the Pantages.^^^*

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1915)*#* - Close-up view of the Quinn's Superba Entrance, 518 South Broadway in downtown Los Angeles.  

 

Historical Notes

The Superba Theater was later sold and converted to a coffee house before being razed in 1931 to make way for the Roxie, which was the last theater built on Broadway.*#*

 

 

 

 
(1923)**# - View of the Macy Street bridge over the Los Angeles River. A banner above the roadway reads: VOTE VIADUCT BONDS - APRIL 5.  

 

Historical Notes

Over the years there have been several bridges connecting Macy Street with Brooklyn Avenue (previously Pleasant Avenue) in East Los Angeles.  In fact, the first span over the Los Angeles River was a covered bridge, lit with kerosene lamps, built on this spot in 1870. 

By 1923, you would cross the L.A. River at Macy on the metal truss bridge. While crossing, cars would have to contend with trains of both the Santa Fe (on the eastern side) and the Union Pacific (on the western), as the tracks for each were at the same grade as the bridge’s.*^*^

 

 

 

 
(1925)^ - Profile view of the old Macy Street Bridge prior to its demolition.  

 

Historical Notes

On April 5, 1923, the City's electorate voted for a $2 million bond issue to be put toward a new bridge initiative.  The construction of the new Macy Street Viaduct eventually started in mid-1925.*^*^

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1926)* - Profile view of the new Macy Street Bridge, constructed 1925-26.  

 

Historical Notes

The Macy Street Viaduct (Bridge) is the second bridge built during large bridge-building program in Los Angeles during the 1920s. The program started in 1923 with lobbyists pushing for the replacement of several of the city's outdated bridges and viaducts. The Macy Street truss bridge was problematic for motorists due to its narrow width and two railroad mainlines (the Santa Fe and Union Pacific) located on either side of the span.

The new bridge formally opened on April 17, 1926. The bridge's Spanish Colonial elements are a nod to El Camino Real, the route of which Macy Street/Cesar Chavez Avenue follow. It is also why the bridge is dedicated to Father Junipero Serra.

In 1995, Macy Street, which was named after Los Angeles pioneer Dr. Obed Macy, was changed to Cesar E. Chavez Avenue in honor of the former labor leader. So, too, was the name of the bridge changed.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1929)^ - View of the 1st Street Bridge as a trolley and several cars drive across. On the other side of the bridge some businesses can be seen: National Ice & Cold Storage Co. and a large tank marked L.A. Gas.
 

 

Historical Notes

The First Street Viaduct opened in 1929, and is one of the series of classic Los Angeles River bridges designed by Merrill Butler.

Special ornamentation was common on bridges constructed between 1900 - 1929.  These poles serve two purposes:   1) to hold the decorative streetlight lantern and  2) to support the overhead for the Los Angeles Railway (LARy) streetcars that used this viaduct.^^

Click HERE to see more in Early Los Angeles Streetlights.

 

 

 
(ca. 1924)^^ - View of the Buena Vista (North Broadway) Bridge over the Los Angeles River.  

 

Historical Notes

Originally built in 1911, the Buena Vista-Broadway Bridge is one of the oldest of the bridges crossing the Los Angeles River. Strategically, the bridge connects Lincoln Heights with Chinatown and gets heavy use as an alternative to the Pasadena Freeway. Culturally and historically, the over 100-year-old bridge has served as an important symbolic link connecting the Latino and Chinese communities as well as being a favorite passage to Elysian Park for generations of Eastside families.*##

 

 

 
(1937)^^ - View of a congested North Broadway bridge taken from the entrance to Elysian Park.  Electric streetcars are in the midst of traffic.  

 

Historical Notes

The Buena Vista-Broadway Bridge underwent an 18 month, $20-million dollar renovation and seismic retrofitting that was completed in 2000.*##

 

 

 
(1920)*^^ - Looking north over Highland Park towards the San Gabriel Mountains on a clear day.  

 

Historical Notes

The white building at center-left of the photo was once the Library building of the Occidental College Highland Park Campus in the early 1900s.

 

 

 
(ca. 1908)^^ - Photograph of the Chas. M. Stimson Library, built in 1904 on the Occidental College Highland Park Campus. The two-story building has an extended porch where above it is a pediment displaying the name of the building. Multifoil tracery outline the windows the walls. Above the roof is a turret-like tower. A stone masonry wall creates a perimeter around the front yard. Heavy tracks line the dirt road in front of the building.  

 

Historical Notes

After the College moved to its present campus in Eagle Rock in 1914 the Library building was used for a short time as a Los Angeles City Branch Library. The building has since been demolished.^^

 

 

 
(ca. 1920)^ - Pasadena Avenue (later North Figueroa Street) in Highland Park. The Sunbeam Theater is on the left, and Highland Park Herald newspaper office on the right. The theater, located at 5722 N. Figueroa Street, was designed by A. Lawrence Valk.  

 

Historical Notes

The Sunbeam Theatre was a 1296 seat theater built in 1914. It was purchased by the owners of the Highland Park Theater and closed to remove competition. After that it was re-purposed for a variety of businesses. In the late 1980s, part of it was utilized by the theater group Outback Theater. The space is still occasionally used for events.*^^^

 

 

 
(ca. 1920)^ - Exterior view of the Sunbeam Theater in Highland Park, with a sign advertising a promotion by Cy Perkins Country Store. An early model motorcycle is parked in front of the theater.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1920)^ - Two men are pumping gas into their cars from "Crouse Clear Vision: see what you pay for" pumps at the System Service Station at 618 South Figueroa St. One car, left, has its top down. Both cars have spare tires attached to the back. The small, brick, one-story service station is painted in three stripes with "Lubricating Engineers" under the station name and a painted advertisment for "Paravision" on the side. The service area is paved in gravel and far right is a partial sign for "Simonizing". Multi-storied buildings are directly behind the station and in the background, left, is a hotel advertized as "fire proof".
 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1920)^ - View of North Main Street at Arcadia Street in the Plaza area circa 1920. From left to right: Pico House, Merced Theater, Masonic Temple, and Hotel Orchard on the corner of Arcadia Street. Small shops are at street level, and cars are parked along the curb. Streetcar tracks are in the foreground.  

 

 

 

  (ca. 1920)^ - View of a busy North Main Street in front of the Azteca Restaurant as seen from across the street. The restaurant is located on the street floor of the old Bella Union Hotel. A sign on the second floor reads: Office Room For Rent.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Historical Notes

Constructed in 1835, the Bella Union Hotel has a long, rich history. It served as the County Courthouse until October 1851, and in 1860 was the location of a champagne fete celebrating the connection of San Francisco and Los Angeles by telegraph.^

 

 

 
(1939)^ - Exterior view of the old Bella Union Hotel, located at 314 North Main Street. Taken on May 4, 1939, the hotel had become a shadow of its former self.  

 

Historical Notes

The Bella Union Hotel is considered to be the first hotel in Los Angeles. The building no longer exist, however the site it stood on was designated California Historical Landmark No. 656 (Click HERE to see more in Califronia Historical Landmarks in LA).

Below is what the hotel looked like in the 1860s.

 

 

 
(ca. 1867)^ - The Bella Union at 314 N. Main St. later became the St. Charles Hotel. To the left is the original home of Farmers and Merchants Bank, later merged into Security Pacific Bank. Standing on the balcony is Mrs. Margarita Bandini Winston, owner of the hotel.  

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early LA Buildings (1800s)

 

 

 

 

 
(1920)*#^^ -  View of Main Street, includes the Old Plaza Church and Brunswig Building (Brunswig Drug Company) on the right and the Plaza and Pico House on the left. Heavy traffic, antique cars and trolley cars.
 

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1920)*#^^ - View of the Pico House as the National Hotel from the Plaza circa 1920.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1880, Pio Pico lost the hotel by foreclosure. From 1892-1920 the building was called the National Hotel.^#^^

 

 

 
(1921)^ - View of Sanchez Street, lined with brick buildings, looking north toward the Plaza in 1921. The first building at far left is the rear side of the Pico House and the rear side of the Merced Theater.  

 

Historical Notes

Sanchez Street juts south from the plaza, opposite its more famous twin, Olvera Street, on the north side. It's just a block long, but it's seen a lot of history.

In the 1880s and '90s, it was the scene of several crimes reported in The Times. Most involved the local saloons and Chinese gangs of the day, including the 1889 shooting death of the "Peruvian Princess," a woman whose tortured life took her from Lima to China to San Francisco and finally to her death in a Sanchez Street boarding house.

In 1914 police fought protesters on Sanchez Street during the Christmas Riot. A member of the International Workers of the World, or Wobblies, was shot and killed.*^##

 

 

 
(1920s)** - View looking south toward the L. A. Plaza on Olvera Street before improvement. On the left the Avila Adobe is seen. To the right is the Sepulveda House with a gas pump on by its side.
 

 

Historical Notes

The Avila Adobe was built ca. 1818 by Don Francisco Avila, alcalde (mayor) of Los Angeles in 1810. Used as Commodore Robert Stockton's headquarters in 1847, it was repaired by private subscription in 1929-30 when Olvera Street was opened as a Mexican marketplace. It is the oldest existing house in Los Angeles.

The Sepulveda House is a 22-room Victorian house built in 1887 in the East lake style. The original structure included two commercial businesses and three residences and fronts both Main and Olvera streets.*^

 

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of the Los Angeles Plaza

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1920)^ - Pedestrians and a traffic cop face off at the intersection of Hill and 8th St. According to the Union Bank & Trust clock, it's 1:30 in the afternoon. On the left, awnings from The Owl Drug Co., Van de Kamp's Bakery and Ted's Tie and Robe Shop shade the sidewalk. "Herberts Cafe" vertical sign edges the Jewelers Building, center. The Alhambra Theater in the Edward D. Silent Building advertises the "Love Doctor, a Talkie" in its marquee. Another vertical sign, this one for Birch and Smith Furniture Co., is just before the theater.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1920)^ - The Rueder Block No. 2, 1892, building houses the Salt Lake Hotel and various retail stores, such as Winsel Gibbs Seed Co. and M. Wright & Son, who claims "we buy & sell everything from a needle to a battleship". A shooting gallery, vaudeville theater (all seats 10 cents) and an auto park (entrance on 3rd) are some of the retail businesses active on this busy street.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1920)^ - "Vote for Water, May 20" banners span Hill Street as a white-gloved cop waves traffic through Hill & 4th intersection. Buildings are: Pershing Square Building, left; Subway Terminal Building, center; National Bank of Commerce Building next to Subway.
 

 

Historical Notes

In 1913 the Los Angeles Aqueduct was completed and the City had a new source of water. L.A. proceeded to annex outlying communities attracted by the promise of an abundant water supply. The flurry of annexations began even before the aqueduct was complete.  

Between 1910 - 1930, The area of Los Angeles increases from 115 sq. miles to 442 sq. miles through annexations of surrounding areas (i.e. Hollywood is annexed in 1910, the San Fernando Valley is annexed in 1915). The City's population increased from 533,535 (1915) to 1,300,000 (1930).*^

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Water in Early Los Angeles

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1920)^ - Streetcars, automobiles, horse-drawn carriages, and pedestrians clog the intersection of Broadway and 7th Street.  

 

Historical Notes

Traffic jams in downtown Los Angeles started early in this century. This picture was taken sometime in the 1900's to 1920's, and already the trolleys, cars and horses and carriages are going every which way they can in the middle on the street. On the far (northwest) corner of Broadway is the Bullock's Dept. store.^

 

 

 
(1920s)^ - A view of the intersection of 7th and Broadway taken from directly overhead showing throngs of people crossing the street. On the top left (southwest) corner is the Loew's State Theatre.   

 

Historical Notes

Traffic jams in downtown Los Angeles started early in this century. This picture was taken sometime in the 1900's to 1920's, and already the trolleys, cars and horses and carriages are going every which way they can in the middle on the street. On the far (northwest) corner of Broadway is the Bullock's Dept. store.^

 

 

 
(ca. 1922)^ - View of 6th Street and Mariposa Avenue, looking toward the Hotel Normandie, across a lake of water.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1920)^ - Vehicles in the flooded intersection of 6th Street and Mariposa Avenue before the building of a storm drain.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1927)^*^** – View showing the construction of a storm drain on Mariposa Avenue, looking north from Wilshire Boulevard.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1920s)^ - Panoramic view of the intersection of Olive and 7th Streets, looking south. At right is the building originally built as the Ville de Paris Department Store circa 1917, then remodeled in 1940 as the Merchandise Mart to accommodate various wholesale businesses. At left is the Los Angeles Athletic Club building. A number of streetcars, as well as cars, are on the street.  

 

 

 

 
(1922)^^ - View looking south on Olive between 7th and 8th streets.  The new Pacific Telephone Co. building is under construction on east side of Olive Street.  

 

 

 

 
(1930)*^^* - “Operator, may I help you".  Before you had to press a zillion buttons to get through to a human, these women did it for you on a switchboard!  View is of the switchboard at Pacific Telephone Company in Los Angeles located at 716 S. Olive Street.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1925)^^ - Photograph of women operating the communication switchboard at the Broadway Department Store located on the corner of 4th and Broadway.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1930s)* - Early Telephone Exchange in the Bureau of Power and Light commercial building in downtown L.A., with telephone operators Alma McKnight (left) and Doris Scott (right).  

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of Commercial, Bureau of Power and Light (DWP)

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1920)^ - View of Ventura Boulevard in Sherman Oaks, in the San Fernando Valley.
 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1920s)^ - Aerial view of farms and fields in Canoga Park in the San Fernando Valley.
 

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of the San Fernando Valley

 

 

 

 

 
(1915)^ - View of Inceville, on Sunset Boulevard (Santa Ynez Canyon) at the Pacific Ocean, where Ince Studios filmed location scenes.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1911, film director Thomas Ince created his Western film factory, "Inceville," which at its peak employed nearly 600 people.*^

Ince leased 18,000 acres of land extending from the seashore up Santa Ynez Canyon and into the mountains for 7-1/2 miles. While he was building the frame-structured studio buildings, situated where Gladstone’s Restaurant is today, he also hired Miller’s 101 Ranch Wildwest Show, including many cowboys, animals and a Sioux Indian tribe, who set up their teepees on the property.^#^

 

 

 
(ca. 1916)^#^ - The mouth of Santa Ynez Canyon at the Pacific Ocean was once home of Inceville, an early 1900s film studio built by film director Thomas Ince.  

 

Historical Notes

Most of the cowboys, Indians and assorted workmen lived at Inceville, while the actors came from Los Angeles and other communities as needed, taking the red trolley cars to the Long Wharf at Potrero Canyon, where buckboards conveyed them to the set. Ince lived in a house that overlooked Inceville, the location of Marquez Knolls today.^#^

 

 

 
(n.d.)*^ - Map showing the location of Incville relative to where Sunset and PCH are situated today.  

 

Historical Notes

By 1916, Ince was supervising eight directors and releasing one five-reel picture (about 50-minute films) each week at an average cost of $40,000. His film ‘Civilization,’ which employed over 25,000 extras, was by far his most ambitious endeavor. The set for the mythical city stood alone on the barren hills, where Marquez Elementary School is today. It was built by 60 carpenters over a period of three months at a cost of $80,000 and was used for only 100 feet of film.^#^

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1916)*^ - View of houses and stage sets at Incville. Large sign on one of the buildings reads: Triangle Ranch.  

 

Historical Notes

Incville's cost continued to rise as moviegoers enjoyed the more expensive feature films, which used five reels or more.  Ince, through his alliance with Triangle, a production company founded by D. W. Griffith and Mark Sennett, built a new studio in Culver City to use for indoor movies, while retaining Inceville for outdoor locations and Westerns.

Ironically, on January 16, 1916, a few days after opening of his Culver City studio, a fire broke out at Inceville, the first of many which would eventually destroy all of the dry frame buildings. That same year, Ince gave up on Inceville and sold it to Hart, who renamed it Hartville.  Three years later, Hart sold the lot to Robertson-Cole, which continued filming until 1922.^#^

 

 

 
(ca. 1912)^^ - View of Santa Monica Canyon and Long Wharf.  The entrance to the Santa Monica Canyon is to the right. Railroad tracks and a pole line can be seen running parallel to the beach. The mountains along the Pacific coastline are visible in the distance.  The long dock extends from the beach on the right to a large ship in the open ocean on the left.  

 

Historical Notes

When the Southern Pacific Railroad arrived at Los Angeles, a controversy erupted over where to locate the city's main seaport. The SPRR preferred Santa Monica, while others advocated for San Pedro Bay. The Long Wharf was built in 1893 at the north end of Santa Monica to accommodate large ships and was dubbed Port Los Angeles. At the time it was constructed, it was the longest pier in the world at 4700 feet, and accommodated a train.*^

However, just a short four years after the Long Wharf's construction, San Pedro Bay was chosen over Santa Monica to be the main seaport of Los Angeles. The Long Wharf was demolished in 1920.

See more in Early Views of Santa Monica and/or Early Views of San Pedro and Wilmington.

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1927)^ - View of the Santa Monica Bay coastline, showing a lighthouse and bathhouse near the Pacific Palisades. The lighthouse stands at the spot where the Long Wharf used to extend out into the ocean.  

 

Historical Notes

The Pacific Palisades lighthouse was built as a bathhouse with a working light in 1927. In the early 1930s the structure along with the beach was sold to Will Rogers and later the beach was given to the state of California and renamed the Will Rogers State Beach.^

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1920s)^ - Looking south along Roosevelt Highway, later renamed the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH), in Pacific Palisades. The highway runs parallel with the ocean where visitors enjoy the sun and surf. Visible in the distance, the landmark Lighthouse bathhouse that stood on Pacific Coast Highway at the point where the Santa Monica Mountains come down to the shore. In the far background can be seen a pier.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1922, the Rev. Charles H. Scott and the Southern California Methodist Episcopal Church bought the land where Incville Studios was located. That same year Scott founded Pacific Palisades, envisioning an elaborate religious-intellectual commune. Believers snapped up choice lots and lived in tents during construction. By 1925, the Palisades had 100 homes. In one subdivision, streets were named for Methodist missionaries. The tents eventually were replaced by cabins, then by bungalows, and ultimately by multimillion-dollar homes.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1920s)^ - Photo shows the buildings along the ocean front on Santa Monica beach. A continuous stream of cars can be seen as they travel along PCH. The pier and amusement park can be seen in the background. The large building with the numerous chimneys is Marion Davies' famous beach house.  The guest house closest to the camera still exists.  

 

Historical Notes

In the 1920s, William Randolph Hearst commissioned William Edward Flannery to construct a grand beach house for his longtime companion, actress Marion Davies. In 1926, architect Julia Morgan was hired to complete the design and oversee construction of the estate, which featured an ornate swimming pool, several houses, gardens and an opulent 110-room mansion. The beach house served as Davies’ primary residence from 1929 to 1942.

In 1947, Davies sold the estate and it was converted into the Oceanhouse Hotel and Sand & Sea Beach Club. The main mansion was demolished in 1956, and the property was sold to the State of California in 1959. The Sand & Sea Club remained popular with regulars all the way through until the 1990s.*^*#

 

 

 
(ca. 1920)^ - Hillside view of Santa Monica. The buildings, cars parked on both sides of the highway and Santa Monica beach can be seen. The amusement park and La Monica's ballroom on the pier is in the background.
 

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of Santa Monica

 

 

 

 

 
(1918)*#^# - Walking over Santa Monica. Aerial view of a bi-plane flying over Santa Monica. A woman is standing on the wing looking down. Ocean Park Pier with its amusement park appears just below the plane and Venice Pier is seen in the distance.  

 

 

 

   
  (1920s)^ - Aerial view looking north all along the coast of Venice and the whole Santa Monica Bay area. At least 6 or 7 piers can be seen extending out into the ocean. Venice Pier and amusement park can be seen in the foreground. Ocean Park Pier, with its own amusement park, is the next pier over. Beyond that, the long pier at the top of the photo, is the Santa Monica Pier. It also had an amusement park.  

 

Historical Notes

The Venice, Ocean Park and Santa Monica amusement piers were within a mile and one half of each other and they competed directly with each other for the tourist's entertainment dollars. Fourteen coasters were built there from 1904 to 1925.^*^*^

 

 

 
(1924)^ - The Santa Monica Pier, with the La Monica Ballroom, captured from above.  

 

Historical Notes

The Spanish and French Renaissance style La Monica Ballroom was designed by T.H. Eslick; it opened in 1924 and was demolished in 1963.^

More than 50,000 people attended the July 23, 1924 grand opening of the La Monica Ballroom, enough to cause the first traffic jam recorded in Santa Monica history. Its 15,000 square-foot hard maple floor and exquisite “submarine garden” interior made the La Monica the hottest ticket in town.*^*^*

 

 

 
(1924)^ - Cars are parked outside the La Monica Ballroom on the Santa Monica Pier.  

 

Historical Notes

The La Monica Ballroom was located at the end of the 1,600-foot long Santa Monica Pier. It was especially popular during the Big Band Era of the 1920s & 30s, up to 2,500 couples could kick up their heels in this grand ballroom located at the end of the Pier.*^*#

It’s success was short-lived as the Great Depression effectively ended the dance hall days. By the mid-1930’s it became a convention center, lifeguard headquarters and, for a short interim period, the City Jail.*^*^*

 

 

 
(ca. 1924)^ - View shows an Ocean Park, complete with wooden roller coaster, on the Santa Monica pier.  

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of Southern California Amusement Parks

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1925)^ - The ocean water is filled with people swimming or playing, and the beach is likewise filled with people and umbrellas (to keep off the sun). The view is looking north towards Ocean Park.  

 

 

 

 
(1921)**^*# - Aerial view showing Playa del Rey, Bluffs and Playa Vista. The center-right area became Mines Field and later LAX. The beach area at botom would become a new housing development called Surfridge.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1921 the Minneapolis-based firm of Dickinson & Gillespie billed this stretch of coastline as "The Last of the Beaches". Situated between Venice and Hermosa beaches, it is now part of Playa del Rey.^

A southern portion of Playa del Rey became known as "Surfridge". Today, this area is bounded on the East by Los Angeles International Airport, on the north by Waterview and Napoleon streets, on the South by Imperial Highway, and on the West by Vista del Mar. The beach to the west of the area is Dockweiler State Beach.*^

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1920s)^ - On the winding road up the cliff, a billboard advertises the "Palisades del Rey" dream of a house by the beach.  

 

Historical Notes

Surfridge was developed in the 1920s and 1930s as "an isolated playground for the wealthy." In 1925 the developer held a contest to name the neighborhood and awarded the $1,000 prize to an Angeleno who submitted the winning name. The Los Angeles Times wrote that Surfridge was chosen "due to its brevity, euphony, ease of pronunciation ... but above all because it tells the story of this new wonder city." *^

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1920s)^ - Another view of the "Palisades del Rey" beach area. A grandstand is opposite the real estate office, bottom right. A picnic area to the left of the office is busy with an event. A pier extends past the breakwater.  

 

Historical Notes

Salesmen pitched tents on the sand dunes and sold lots for $50 down and 36 monthly payments of $20. House exteriors could only be stucco, brick or stone; frame structures were prohibited. Development was slowed by the onset of the Great Depression, but in the early 1930s the wealthy began to buy lots to build large homes.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1920s)**^*# – Close-up view showing the real estate building of Dickinson & Gillespie Co. on Culver Blvd. near Vista del Mar. They were promoting the new residential beach development of Surfridge.  

 

Historical Notes

The Dickinson & Gillespie Co. real estate building was originally the Hotel Playa, built in 1905.  It was on Speedway Boulevard, (today called Culver Boulevard), at more or less the location of the modern Tanner’s Coffee Co. ##*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1920s)^ - Aerial view of Playa Del Rey showing the area called "Surfridge".  

 

Historical Notes

A small airfield opened to the east of Surfridge in 1928. It became a popular location for residents to see air shows.

The growing number of commercial flights into Los Angeles following World War II meant a higher number of planes flying low over Surfridge. Many residents learned to co-exist with the noise from propeller planes, but jet engines were impossible to ignore.*^

 

 

 

 
(2004)*^ - The old Surfridge area sits vacant to the west of LAX, on the left side of photo.  

 

Historical Notes

In the 1960s and 1970s, the Sufridge area was condemned and acquired by the City of Los Angeles in a series of eminent domain purchases to facilitate airport expansion and to address concerns about noise from jet airplanes. Homeowners were forced to sell their property to the City. Several homeowners sued the City and remained in their houses for several years after the majority of houses were vacated. Eventually all the houses were either moved or demolished.*^

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1929)^ - Aerial view of Marina del Rey, with oil wells prevalent throughout the area. Surfridge is at lower right.  

 

Historical Notes

Ever since the legendary oil tycoon Edward L. Doheny and his partner, Charles A. Canfield, struck oil northwest of downtown Los Angeles in 1892, extracting petroleum from the land beneath Southern California has been a major part of the Southern California economy and its landscape. That included the beach areas as well.**#

 

 

 
(1938)**^*# – Aerial view showing part of Venice Oil Field and Playa del Rey. The area at center would become today's well known Marina del Rey harbor. Ballona Creek can be seen running horizontally from left to right at top.  

 

Historical Notes

Prior to its development as a small craft harbor, the land occupied by Marina del Rey was a salt-marsh fed by fresh water from Ballona Creek, frequented by duck hunters and few others. Burton W. Chace, a member of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, referred to the area as mud flats, though today the area would more properly be referred to as wetlands.*^

 

 

 
(1964)**^*# – Aerial view showing the Marina del Rey with its first boats docked. Ballona Creek runs diagonally from lower-center to upper-left.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1953, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors authorized a $2 million loan to fund construction of the marina. Since the loan only covered about half the cost, the U.S. Congress passed and President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed Public Law 780 making construction possible. Ground breaking began shortly after.*^

 

 

 
(1965)**^*# – View of Marina del Rey as it appeared in 1965 with the Inland Beach (Mother’s Beach) at lower right.  

 

Historical Notes

With construction almost complete, the marina was put in danger in 1962–1963 due to a winter storm. The storm caused millions of dollars in damage to both the marina and the few small boats anchored there. A plan was put into effect to build a breakwater at the mouth of the marina, and the L.A. County Board of Supervisors appropriated $2.1 million to build it. On April 10, 1965 Marina del Rey was formally dedicated. The total cost of the marina was $36.25 million for land, construction, and initial operation.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 2012)**^*# - Aerial view showing the Marina del Rey as it appears today.  

 
(2007)*^ - Aerial view showing Marina del Rey and Ballona Creek looking south.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1900)^ - View of residential homes in Hermosa Beach, about 1900.  

 

Historical Notes

Hermosa Beach was originally part of the 1884 Rancho San Pedro Spanish land grant that later became the ten-mile Ocean frontage of Rancho Sausal Redondo. In 1900 a tract of 1,500 acres was purchased for $35 per acre from A. E. Pomroy, then owner of the greater part of Rancho Sausal Redondo. Messrs. Burbank and Baker, agents, bought this land for Sherman and Clark who organized and retained the controlling interest in the Hermosa Beach Land and Water Company.*^

 

 

 

 
(1918)^ - Photo of Hermosa Beach in 1918. View shows residences along the beach and the pier in the background.  

 

Historical Notes

Hermosa Beach's first pier was built in 1904. It was constructed entirely of wood even to the pilings and it extended five hundred feet out into the ocean. The pier was constructed by the Hermosa Beach Land and Water Company. In 1913 this old pier was partly washed away and later torn down and a new one built to replace it. This pier was built of concrete 1,000 feet long, and paved with asphalt its entire length.*^

 

 

 
(1923)^ - Beachgoers enjoy the day at Hermosa Beach. Crowds of people relax under an umbrella on the sand, while others enjoy swimming or wading in the cool water. Building on the right is the Strand Bath House.  

 

Historical Notes

The first city election for city officers was held December 24, 1906. On January 14, 1907, Hermosa Beach became the nineteenth incorporated city of Los Angeles County.*^

The name Hermosa comes from Spanish and means "beautiful."

 

 

 
(1923)^- View of the Bath House building located in Hermosa Beach. Several storefronts around the bathhouse are also seen. Some of them are: Hermosa Lunch Room, Riley's Salt Water Candies, Charlie's Barbecue and The Bath House.  

 

 

 

 
(1924)^ - Aerial view is looking northeast at Hermosa Beach. The Surf and Sand Club is the large building left of the pier. Many dwellings can be seen along the oceanfront with sparsely populated areas in the background.  

 

Historical Notes

The Los Angeles Pacific Railway, a "trolley" system, was the first railway in Hermosa Beach, running the entire length of Hermosa Avenue on its way from L.A. to Redondo Beach. A few years later it was merged with most all other "trolley" companies in the region to form the new Pacific Electric Railway Company, informally called the Red Cars. The Santa Fe Railway was next through Hermosa Beach. It was seven blocks from the beach. The street that led to the tracks was called Santa Fe Avenue, but was later renamed Pier Avenue. There was no Santa Fe railway station for Hermosa, but Burbank and Baker built a railway platform on the west side of the tracks near Santa Fe Avenue, and later the Railroad Company donated an old boxcar to be used as a storage place for freight. In 1926, the Santa Fe Company built a modern stucco depot and installed Western Union telegraph service in it.*^

 

 

 
(1924)^ - Aerial view of the Surf and Sand Club on the oceanfront of Hermosa Beach. Several residential homes are next to the club, and in the surrounding area. A Bath House can be seen in the lower right corner of photo.  

 

Historical Notes

One of the most ambitious projects attempted in the city came in the mid-1920's with the opening of the above building, which later became the Hermosa Biltmore Hotel. The Hotel was located between 14th and 15th Streets on the Strand. In those days it was the headquarters for the Surf and Sand Club, and was run on a private club basis. A number of wealthy persons backed the project and for several years the building, a notable achievement in those days, was the showplace and social center of Hermosa. The private club idea proved to be a losing proposition, however, and a few years later the founders and owners sold out to the Los Angeles Athletic Club. This group, with better financing, attempted to run the property on more or less the same basis but finally sold out to hotel interests about 1930.

During World War II, for a short time the building was taken over by the federal government and used as a youth training center. This property was torn down in the late 1960's for development, and is now the site of a public park.*#^

 

 

 
(1925)^ - Aerial view of Hermosa Beach and part of Redondo Beach. The Hermosa pier may be seen in the center of this photo. The large white building at the bottom of the photo is a power plant built by Pacific Light and Power Corp.  

 

Historical Notes

This Pacific Light and Power Company power plant was built in 1902 to provide electricity for the Pacific Electric Red Car system in Los Angeles and the surrounding Redondo Beach area. In 1917, Southern California Edison Co. (SCE) purchased Pacific Light and Power Company.

In 1946, SCE constructed another power plant at the same site. Today a modified version of this new plant is owned and operated by AES.^

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Power Generation

 

 

 

 

 
(1932)^ - Aerial view of Hermosa Beach Pier. The Surf and Sand Club is the large building on the oceanfront. The dwelling density is already increasing, however the areas in the backround are still sparsely populated.  

 

 

 

 
(1924)^ - Aerial view of Redondo Beach in 1924.  

 

Historical Notes

Redondo Beach was originally part of the 1784 Rancho San Pedro Spanish land grant of the 43,000-acre Dominguez Rancho that later became the ten-mile Ocean frontage of Rancho Sausal Redondo (Ranch of the Round Clump of Willows).*^

In 1890 Redondo Beach was becoming “The Place” for tourists. Railroads and steamships brought people by the thousands, not to mention freight loads of oil and lumber. At this time, Redondo was the first port of Los Angeles County. Steamers from the Pacific Steamship Company stopped at Redondo four times a week, at one of its three piers, as part of regular runs between San Francisco and San Diego. The Redondo Railway Company and the Santa Fe Railroad left Los Angeles daily for Redondo at regular intervals. Eventually the City was served by Henry Huntington’s Big Red Electric Cars.

On April 18, 1892, Redondo voters adopted cityhood by a vote of 177-10. The first City Hall was built in 1908 at Benita and Emerald Street.^#*

 

 

 
(1937)^ - View of the main pier at Redondo Beach on May 27, 1937.  

 

Historical Notes

The pier started out as a disjointed group of wharves near the end of the 19th century, but evolved into an interconnected structure after a series of storms and demolitions throughout the 20th century.*^

 

 

 
(1939)^## - The Redondo Beach via Del Rey streetcar is making its way up the grade. Sun bathers are seen enjoying a sunny day on the beach, their cars parked at the top of the bluff. Oil derricks are seen in the far distance.  

 

 

 

 
(1924)^ - Aerial view of the Palos Verdes Peninsula, looking southeast towards Point Fermin.  San Pedro Harbor can be seen in the background.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1924)^ - Aerial view of Point Fermin, Palos Verdes and hills, government breakwaters and the outer harbor. Ships can be seen in the harbor.  

 

 

 

 
(1929)^ - Aerial view of San Pedro, the LA Harbor, and the coastline.  

 

 

 

 
(1926)^ - Panoramic photo of San Pedro Harbor in 1926. The United States Battle Fleet is anchored in the harbor.  

 

 

 

 
(1921)^ - Aerial view of San Pedro Harbor in 1921. The port continued to expand and would become the busiest seaport on the west coast.  

 

Historical Notes

During the 1920s, the Los Angeles Port passed San Francisco as the west coast's busiest seaport. In the early 1930s a massive expansion of the port was taken with the construction of a massive breakwater three miles out that was over 2 miles in length. In addition to the construction of this outer breakwater an inner breakwater was built off of Terminal Island with docks for sea going ships and smaller docks built at Long Beach.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1920)^*^* - An early model auto is being loaded onto a ship in the San Pedro Harbor.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1920)^ - Scenic view of 6th Street in San Pedro. This street is a busy area with many retail stores on both sides of the street. There are two banks, two pool halls, a cafe, shoe store, drug store, a dentist, and even rooms for rent. Automobiles can be seen parked up and down the street.  

 

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of San Pedro and Wilmington

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1920s)^ - The Pike and Pleasure Pier, center, jut out into the ocean from the shore. The ornate bathhouse with its portico sits in the midway. Advertisements for the various attractions at The Pike are on the side of the pier underneath the roller coaster. Portions of the Virginia Hotel and its tennis courts are just beyond The Pike and breakwaters and ocean vessels are on the horizon.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1920s)^ - Ocean Boulevard winds its way north following the shore in this aerial view of Long Beach. It passes the Municipal Auditorium at the end of Pine Avenue by the pier and The Pike amusement park just north of the auditorium. The roller coaster at the amusement park is on a pier that juts out into the ocean.  

 

Historical Notes

The tall building topped by a cupola on the beach side of Ocean Boulevard is the Breakers Hotel. In front of and between the auditorium and the Breakers is the Capitol Theatre. The sign for the West Coast Theatre at 333 East Ocean Boulevard is visible on the facade of the large building, right. A sign for the theater is also on the water tower at the back. Several cars are parked at the front of the theater. The Robinson Hotel Apartments with its circular driveway is opposite the West Coast Theatre.^

 

 

 
(ca. 1920)^ - A view of The Pike amusement park in Long Beach. The roller coaster extends down the pier; underneath it is the Long Beach bath house. The Hotel Arlington is bottom, left. Next to the hotel is the Crystal Cafeteria and next to the cafeteria is the Ambassador ballroom dancing establishment. Hoyt's Theatre abuts the Ambassador. On the horizon are several naval or Coast Guard ships.
 

 

 

 

 

 
(1930)^#^* - A group of people look across the beach toward the Cyclone Racer at the Pike Amusement Park. A lone sailor is looking in a different direction toward perhaps some different scenery.  

 

Historical Notes

The Pike was most noted for the Cyclone Racer, a large wooden dual-track roller coaster, built out on pilings over the water. It was the largest and fastest coaster in the U.S. at the time.  They called it 'racer' because there were two trains on two separate tracks that raced one another from start to finish.^

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of Southern California Amusement Parks

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1920)^ - Aerial view looking north of the intersection of Main, Spring and Temple Streets, with Commercial Street in the upper right. Main extends from top to bottom of the photograph. In the center is the Temple Block.  

 

Historical Notes

The U. S. Post Office is seen on the left. The Ducommun Building is on the northeast corner of Main and Commercial Streets. In the extreme upper right is the first of many buildings erected by Isaias W. Hellman, on the northwest corner of Los Angeles and Commercial Streets. On the southeast corner of Main and Commercial, being renovated, is the Hellman Building.^

 

 

 
(ca. 1920)^ - View looking south on Main Street. At left is the southeast corner of commercial Main Street; street car tracks bend at right, to Temple Street. The building at left is the former home of the Farmers and Merchants Bank.  

 

Historical Notes

The Farmers and Merchants Bank was the oldest bank in Southern California from 1871 until 1956 when it was merged into the Security First National Bank of Los Angeles. Later, the Security First National Bank of Los Angeles became the Security Pacific National Bank and is now Bank of America.^

 

 

 
(1920s)^#^ - Interior view of a LARy streetcar showing the driver sitting on a stool with a partial curtain separating him from the passengers.  

 

 

 

 
(1920)^^*# - Inside view of a Pacific Electric streetcar showing passengers and conductor.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1920)^ - Mercantile Place, looking west from Spring Street, south of 5th Street.  

 

Historical Notes

This walkway between two sets of buildings was razed in 1923, and the Arcade Building was built in its place. The Arcade Building has entrances from Spring Street and from Broadway, and retains the feel of a passageway.

 

 

 
(1920)^ - Looking east on 5th and Hill street. Several buildings such as the Spinks, Metropolitan and Bath Building can be seen. As well as several storefronts like Dr. Beach, Dentist. Many automobiles, pedestrians and street cars can be seen throughout the photo. Sign on building reads: "PUBLIC LIBRARY FREE TO ALL".  

 

 

 

 
(1920)^ - View of the Los Angeles County Courthouse looking across Broadway from between buildings, an area being used as a parking lot.  

 

Historical Notes

The building on the right is the 'New' Hotel Broadway and on the left is the Broadway Christian Church. The 'New' Hotel Broadway survived many, many years, the 'New' becoming ever more ironic. The church is about to be replaced by the Owl Drug Company which would, in its turn, survive until the CRA bulldozers and the coming of the Hollywood Parkway. The 1888 County Courthouse would be doomed in the Long Beach earthquake of 1933. #^

 

 

 
(ca. 1920)^^ - View of the Los Angeles County Courthouse and Hall of Records circa 1920.  

 

Historical Notes

The LA County Courthouse was built in 1888-1891 at the old site of LA High School. The building was demolished in 1933.

The Hall of Records was built in 1906 and demolished in 1973.^

 

 

 
(ca. 1920)^ - A view east down busy 4th St. and its intersection at Hill in downtown Los Angeles. A crowd of pedestrians and autos wait to cross Hill. United Cigars, left, is below the fanciful Brighton Hotel. Center is the Grant Building with the Broadway Dept. store opposite. The Teague Drug Co., opposite United Cigars, is below the Hotel Sherman. Other businesses include clothing stores, cafeterias, and dentists.  

 

 

 

 
(1913)*## - Contractors drive a car out of the Hill Street tunnel at 1st Street, a few minutes after a steam shovel had removed the last foot of dirt. LA Times Photo – March 23, 1913  

 

Historical Notes

This tunnel was the second of twin bores through the northeastern section of Bunker Hill. The hill was also referred to as Court Hill. The tunnel connected Temple St. with 1st Street.*##

 

 

 
(ca. 1920)^ - Looking south at Temple to the Hill Street Tunnel. It connects Hill Street from First to Temple. The right tunnel is for streetcar traffic (notice the tracks) and the left for automotive. A group of pedestrians in the median are peering into the tunnel. On the left at the bottom of the hill is a city garage with a poster urging "Vote Yes, Fire & Police pay increase!".  

 

Historical Notes

The first of the two Hill Street Tunnels was bored through a part of Bunker Hill in 1909 by Los Angeles Pacific (a predecessor of Pacific Electric). It connects Hill Street from First to Temple. In 1913, the second tunnel (on the left) was bored for streetcar traffic.^

 

 

 
(ca. 1923)^^ - View from the other side of the tunnel. Hill Street and 1st looking north.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1949)^*^# - View of a streetcar running inbound on the Hollywood Boulevard streetcar line, which runs through Court Hill in a tunnel.  

 

Historical Notes

The Hill Street tunnels ran through a hill called Court Hill. Both Hill Street and Broadway had tunnels through Court Hill. In the photo above we're looking southwest towards First and Hill. First Street comes in behind the streetcar. At this point First Street is in a valley between Bunker Hill and Court Hill. The apartment houses in the center are on Bunker Hill. The hill at right is Court Hill.^*^#

 

 

 

 

 
(1953)^*# - The #11 Temple Street bus enters the Hill Street tunnel heading south.*^^  

 

 

 

 
(1954)*## – Hill Street tunnels seen from Temple Street on a fogbound night. The tunnels connected Temple with 1st Street. Photo by the LA Times on Oct. 12, 1954  

 

Historical Notes

Within two months of the above photo, construction work to enlarge the Los Angeles Civic Center began. By June, 1955, the two Hill Street tunnels were gone.*##

 

 

 

 
(1955)^ - View of the side-by-side Hill Street tunnels, looking north from 1st Street. Two autos and a bus are exiting the left side tunnel, even though the entire surroundings have been demolished, in preparation for future buildings.  

 

Historical Notes

The Hill Street tunnels and the hill above them were removed in 1955 to make way for the current Los Angeles Civic Center.^

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1900)^ - Before Exposition Park, Los Angeles had Agricultural Park, at the same spot. Right here.
 

 

Historical Notes

Exposition Park was originally created in 1872 as an agricultural park, and 160 acres were set aside for the Southern District Agricultural Society. In 1913, it was renamed Exposition Park according to the “City Beautiful” movement with 4 anchor tenants: California Museum of Science and Industry (Exposition Building), National Armory, Domed National History Museum and the Sunken Garden (which in 1928 was later renamed the Rose Garden).^###

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1900)^ - Partial view of the racetrack at Agriculture Park (Exposition Park) in the early 1900s. Photograph shows the grandstand with three open towers, an adjacent smaller structure, possibly a concession stand, and another unidentified structure on the extreme left.  

 

Historical Notes

Originally, this piece of land served as an agricultural fairground from 1871 to 1911. Farmers sold their harvests on the grounds, while horses, dogs, camels, and later automobiles, competed along the racetrack (seen). In the late 1800s and early 1900s, the city's most influential families moved into the neighborhood but did not appreciate the racing and gambling that came with it. As a result, this racetrack was transformed into the now-famous Exposition Park Rose Garden.^

 

 

 

 
(1893)^^ - Agricultural Park (later renamed Exposition Park) Start of 25 mile bicycle race, October 3, 1893.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1909, plans were nearly complete for the building of the Natural History Museum (only then it was the Museum of History, Science, and Art) and a state armory. Bids were solicited. The next year, the site changed its name from Agricultural to Exposition park.^

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1915)^ - Sunken gardens, also called Rose Garden, at Exposition Park, formerly called Agricultural Park, with museum buildings in the background. This photo shows a view of the History, Science and Art Building.  

 

Historical Notes

November 6, 1913, marked the beginning of a two-week, city-wide celebration that opened Exposition Park and its facilities (also the LA Aqueduct). Click HERE to see the Commemorative of the Official Opening of the LA Aqueduct and Exposition Park.

 

 

 

 
(1920)^ - Sunken gardens, also called Rose Garden, at Exposition Park, formerly called Agricultural Park, with State armory building. This photo shows Pershing Day, Jan. 26, 1920, at the Sunken Gardens at Exposition Park.  

 

Historical Notes

The old Agricultural Park had a racetrack for cars that was moved during the construction so that the sunken rose garden with a central fountain could be planted between the two buildings--the museum and armory. Long range plans, even in 1909, called for a memorial statue at the fountain to celebrate the bringing of water to Los Angeles from the Owens River.

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1930s)^ - Jets of water converge in the center of the fountain situated in the center of the Sunken Gardens in Exposition Park. The fountain was installed in 1913. Symbolically, it represents the terminus of the new LA Aqueduct, opened on Nobember 5th, 1913.  

 

Historical Notes

On November 6, 1913, Exposition Park was formally dedicated, and became the home to a state Exposition Building and the county Museum of History, Science and Art. Senator John Works dedicated the fountain as a commemoration of the Owens River/Los Angeles Aqueduct whose grand opening coincided with the opening of Exposition Park. As the Senator left the platform, a jet of water shot up 30 feet.*

Click HERE to see the Opening Ceremonies of the LA Aqueduct.

 

 

 

Click HERE to see the Commemorative of the Official Opening of the LA Aqueduct and Exposition Park.

 

 

 

 

 
(1918)*#^* - This aerial photo was taken five years after Nov. 6, 1913, when Exposition Park first opened. Note the mile-long auto track, a feature that disappeared after the Coliseum was built in 1923.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1922)^ - Aerial view of Expositon Park in 1922. On the left can be seen the Rose Gardens surrounded by the state Exposition Building and the county Museum of History, Science and Art (later Natural History Museum). On the right is the Coliseum under construction.  

 

Historical Notes

The Coliseum was commissioned in 1921 as a memorial to veterans of World War 1 (rededicated to veterans of all wars in 1968). The official ground breaking ceremony took place on December 21, 1921 with work being completed in just over 16 months, on May 1, 1923. Designed by John and Donald Parkinson, the original bowl's initial construction costs were $954,873.*^

 

 

 

 
(1922)^ - Aerial view of the Coliseum still under construction.  

 

Historical Notes

When the Coliseum opened in 1923, it was the largest stadium in Los Angeles with a capacity of 75,144. In 1930, however, with the Olympics due in two years, the stadium was extended upward to seventy-nine rows with two tiers of tunnels, expanding the seating to 101,574. The now-signature torch was added. For a time it was known as Olympic Stadium. The Olympic cauldron torch which burned through both Games remains above the peristyle at the east end of the stadium as a reminder of this, as do the Olympic rings symbols over one of the main entrances.*^

 

 

 

 
(1932)^ - Aerial view of Los Angeles, looking north, with the Coliseum in the foreground. Taken from the Goodyear airship. Downtown LA is in the distant background. Between downtown and the Coliseum can be seen the University of Southern California (USC).  

 

 

 

 
(n.d.)^ - Aerial view of the University of Southern California (foreground) and the L.A. Memorial Coliseum.  

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of U.S.C.

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1921)^ - Two men seated in the cabin of a Bucyrus backhoe operate the machine as steam rises from the top. One man holds onto the rope that leads to the pulleys. Another man operates the levers that dumps a mouthful of dirt into a dump truck. Another dump truck can be seen leaving the hill. They are digging out Bunker Hill to construct the 2nd St. tunnel that will easily connect the northern part of downtown L.A. with the San Fernando Valley, Glendale and other parts north. Once completed, commuters and commercial traffic will no longer need to go around Bunker Hill to reach their destinations. In photo right, men pack the sidewalk to watch the construction.  

 

Historical Notes

The 2nd Street Tunnel was built to relieve congestion on the earlier 3rd Street Tunnel. Construction began in 1916.*^

Delays plagued the tunnel’s construction, the start of which was itself stalled five years by litigation. Steam shovels didn’t begin tearing into the hillside until April 11, 1921.**#^

 

 

 
(ca. 1923)^^ - Hill Street entrance to the Second Street tunnel under construction.  A ditch filled with lumber stands in the foreground, quickly meeting an archway under which an automobile can be seen parked. A small workman's shack has been erected to the left, and scaffolding lines the street on the bridge above and the road leading up to it on the left side. Two men in suits stands amidst the building materials at the right side of the ditch. High rise buildings and an inclined street can be seen in the background.  

 

Historical Notes

For a time, it seemed the tunnel would never open; it became the laughingstock of the city. But by July 25, 1924, workers had finally bored 1,502 feet through Bunker Hill’s shale and sandstone.**#^

 

 

 
(1924)**^ - Grand opening of the 2nd Street Tunnel on July 25, 1924. A procession of dignitaries await the start of the parade while police on horseback maintain crowd control.  

 

Historical Notes

Construction of the 2nd Street Tunnel began in 1916, and wasn't completed until 1924, with its formal opening on July 25 of that year. The distinctive white tiles, which give the tunnel its glow, came from Germany, which caused controversy at the time due to the legacy of World War I and protectionist feelings.*^

 

 

 
(1950s)*^^ - View of 2nd Street tunnel showing the deterioration of the neighborhood’s boarding houses and residential hotels. Bunker Hill would soon be scraped clean to make way for “redevelopment”.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1920)^ - Looking south at an intersection of Los Feliz Blvd. and San Fernando Rd. Various cars and trucks are traveling on the street. There are businesses on right side of the street some include: "Geo. V. Black prescription Druggist" and "Baker's Hardware". Information provided with the photograph states that Los Feliz Blvd. was formerly called Tropico Boulevard.   

 

Historical Notes

Tropico was the name of the southern portion of Glendale, south of Windsor Road, between the late 1800s and 1918. The name "Glendale"  had originated in the 1880s and was utilized north of Windsor Road. Political factions had divided the town in two.   By the turn of the century, the commercial center of Tropico was at Central and San Fernando Road and its population was 700.^##^

 

 

 
(ca. 1920s)^ - A view of San Fernando Rd. looking north at an intersection of Los Feliz Blvd. Various cars and trucks have stopped at the intersection. There are businesses that run along both sides of the street some include: a drug store, a sports equipment store, the "Piggly Wiggly", "Tavern Buffet", "Glenwood Hotel" and a service station with gasoline pumps.  

 

Historical Notes

On March 15, 1911, the City of Tropico formally incorporated as a separate municipality adjacent to Glendale. By 1914, Tropico’s population was a booming 3,200. Tropico's City Hall was at the corner of Brand and Los Feliz Blvds. (then called "Tropico Boulevard").  The vast majority of Tropico would later become southwest Glendale, and eventually the undeveloped area evolved into today's Adams Hill.

Tropico was annexed to Glendale in 1918, and then became known as The Tropico District of Glendale. This district, 861 acres, was bound by Garfield on the north, city limits on the south and east, and the Southern Pacific Railroad on the west.  There were parts of Tropico, however, that remained unincorporated and eventually became the Atwater Village portion of Los Angeles.^##^

 

 

 
(1919)^ - View of Brand and Lexington and the surrounding area. The Glendale Press building is on the left. The train in the distance is stopped to pick up passengers waiting along the way.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1920s)^ - View shows several automobiles travelling up and down the business section of Brand Boulevard, in Glendale. Note train stopped in the middle of the road to pick up and drop of passengers.  

 

 

 

 
(1924)^ -  View of the corner of Brand and Broadway in Glendale. Note there are no street lights as pedestrians and automobiles cross the streets. Many businesses may be seen on both sides of the street including railroad tracks which run down the middle of this wide street. A large seven-story building is on the right.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1920s)^##- Downtown Glendale, looking south on Brand Boulevard from Broadway.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1920s)^ - View of the Business Block on Brand Boulevard, in Glendale. The Palace Grand Theatre may be seen on the right.  

 

Historical Notes

The Palace Grand Theatre was originally built and owned by Henry C. Jensen, who would later build the more palatial Raymond Theatre in Pasadena. The neo-classical building was designed by architect Robert G. Kitts. Construction on the Palace Grand began in August, 1914.^

 

 

 

 
(1921)**# - View of the highway through the Cahuenga Pass in 1921. A car is parked on the side of the road next to what appears to be a Eucalyptus tree.  

 

Historical Notes

The Cahuenga Pass connects the Los Angeles Basin to the San Fernando Valley and is the lowest pass through the mountains. It was the site of two major battles, the Battle of Cahuenga Pass in 1831 (a fight between local settlers and the Mexican-appointed governor and his men, two deaths), and the Battle of Providencia or Second Battle of Cahuenga Pass in 1845 (between locals over whether to secede from Mexico. One horse and one mule killed) both on the San Fernando Valley side near present-day Studio City, and cannonballs are still occasionally found during excavations in the area.

Along the route of the historic El Camino Real, the historic significance of the pass is also marked by a marker along Cahuenga Blvd. which names the area as Paseo de Cahuenga.^

 

 

 

 

 
(1882)^ - Before roads and rail lines were built, traveling through the Cahuenga Pass was by wagons and horses or on foot. This picture was taken at the summit. There is a saloon concealed among the trees.  

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of the San Fernando Valley

 

 

 

 

 
(Early 1900s)^ - Site of present day Hollywood Bowl as it appeared at the turn of the century.  

 

Historical Notes

The site of the Hollywood Bowl was chosen in 1919 by William Reed and his son H. Ellis Reed, members of the newly formed Theatre Arts Alliance who were dispatched to find a suitable location for outdoor performances.*^

 

 

 
(1922)^ - Rotary Club meeting held at the Hollywood Bowl prior to its official opening.  

 

Historical Notes

At first, the Bowl was very close to its natural state, with only makeshift wooden benches for the audience, and eventually a simple awning over the stage. Not until 1926 did the Hollywood Bowl get permanent seating when a group known as the Allied Architects was contracted to regrade the surrounding, provide permanent seating and to construct a shell.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1922)^ - Concert by Rosa Paniella at the Hollywood Bowl. Note the location of the parked cars.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1922 the price of admission to the Hollywood Bowl was only 25 cents.

 

 

 
(1922)^ - Hollywood Bowl at the first Symphony Under the Stars. This was the "Bowl's" official opening and was on the site of a natural amphitheater formerly known as the Daisy Dell.  

 

Historical Notes

On July 11, 1922, with the audience seated on simple wooden benches placed on the natural hillsides of Bolton Canyon, conductor Alfred Hertz and the Los Angeles Philharmonic inaugurated the first season of music under the stars at the Hollywood Bowl. The Bowl was very close to its natural state, with only makeshift wooden benches for the audience, and eventually a simple awning over the stage.

The Hollywood Bowl has been the summer home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, since its official opening in 1922.*^

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of the Hollywood Bowl

 

 

 

 

 
(1922)^^ -  Engineering notebook photo print of unrepaired pavement over recent excavation on Vermont Avenue 100 feet south of 54th Street, Los Angeles. In the background can be seen businesses with signs reading:  “Hoffs Dry Goods – Mens Wear” and “Jewler, Optician”  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1922)^^ - View of Western Avenue looking north from Pico Street. Billboard signs can be seen along the street advertising various business from gasoline to real estate.  

 

 

 

 
(1922)^ - View of the Arnold Building on the northwest corner of 7th and Figueroa. Several banners hang outside of the building. They read: "Hudson and Essex motor cars. Greatly reduced. Effective immediately", and "Hudson and Essex. At it again. Lower prices. Easier terms". Electric car tracks and wiring can be seen on the streets and above, and a police officer stands in the middle of the street directing traffic, although there is none.  

 

Historical Notes

The Arnold Building seen above served as the framework for the Statler Hotel in 1951.^

 

 

 
(1922)^ - Exterior view of Loew's State Theatre building located at the intersection of Broadway and 7th Streets. Entrance to the theatre is on the left of this photo. Marquee reads: Now- Flapper week-Doris May in "Gay and Devilish." Occupants of the building also includes a dentist, Headquarters for Moore for Senator campaign, Star Shoe Co. and the Owl Drug. Co. The streets are crowded with pedestrians crossing and standing along the sidewalks.  

 

Historical Notes

Loew's State Theatre was built as the west coast showcase for the product of the Loew's subsidiary Metro Pictures. The opening was on November 12, 1921 at one of downtown's busiest intersections, 7th and Broadway. Loew's State once used entrances on both streets. The 7th St. entrance was closed in 1936.**^#

 

 

 
(1920s)^^ – View of the Loew's State Building (Loew's State Theatre) at the southwest corner of Seventh Street and Broadway. Many streetcars can be seen operating here as thousands crowd into the theatre.  

 

Historical Notes

The Loew's State Theater is noted for the seated Buddha located in a niche above the proscenium arch. The exterior has an elaborate "silver platter" chased ornamentation above the ground story.

In 1998, Metropolitan Theaters stopped showing movies at the State and leased the space to the Universal Church. As of 2008, the State was being operated as a Spanish-language church.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1922)^ - Cars are lined up in both directions on Broadway and pedestrians are numerous in this view of Broadway looking towards 7th St. On the corner of 7th (upper left side in the picture) is the Bank of America.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1922)^^ -  Photograph (engineering notebook photoprint) taken at the head of 5th Street on Fremont Avenue looking east, showing possibilities of extending 5th Street through to Olive Street. The State Normal School is seen in the background where 5th Street would need to go through to complete the extension.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1922 the State Normal School was demolished and 5th Street was straightened to run through the property.  The remainder of the site was eventually occupied by the Los Angeles Central Library (1925). 

Click HERE to see the connection between the State Normal School and UCLA.

 

 

 

 
(1923)^ - An unpaved West 1st Street at Alvarado Street on January 10, 1923. The Alvarado Heights house lots are for sale for $3000 and up by Gillette Realty Co. Gillette Manor lots are also available. Other existing homes are in the distance.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1920s)^ - William Wrigley's two-story, L-shaped home rests atop a grassy hill, overlooking Avalon and beyond. Small houses as well as various tourist-oriented businesses, office buildings and several larger apartment complexes are nestled in the hills. The first Catalina Casino, Sugarloaf Rock, and numerous small boats are visible at the edge of the bay on the right, surrounded by the sea on three sides.
 

 

Historical Notes

William Wrigley, Jr. (1861-1932), chewing gum industrialist and founder of the William Wrigley Jr. Company, played an instrumental role in the history of Catalina Island. He bought the island from Joseph and Hancock Banning in 1919, and improved it with public utilities, new steamships, a hotel, the Casino building, and extensive planting of trees, shrubs, and flowers. Wrigley was the owner of the Chicago Cubs baseball team, which held its annual spring training on the island.

In 1920, William Wrigley Jr. and David M. Renton had a small casino built to serve as an entertainment and gathering place for Catalina Island's visitors. In a short period of time though, this establishment - the Sugarloaf Casino, proved to be too small to accommodate the growing number of guests, and in February 1928 it was demolished to make room for a much larger building. The Catalina Casino Ballroom, also known as Avalon Ballroom, was built on the same spot - adjacent to Sugarloaf Rock by architects Sumner A. Spaulding and William Webber. Sugarloaf Rock was eventually blasted away in order to enhance the view from the Casino. Wrigley's budget for the design and construction of the Catalina Casino was $600,000, but when all was said and done, he ended up spending $2 million.^

 

 

 

 
(1920s)^ - View of Avalon Bay across Crescent Bay, on Santa Catalina Island as seen from a mountain top. The Catalina Casino, surrounded by the sea on three sides, is visible at the edge of the bay on the right along with several boats along with the S.S. Catalina, "The Great White Steamer".  

 

Historical Notes

The S.S. Catalina, known as "The Great White Steamer", was laid down on December 26, 1923, christened on May 3, 1924, completed in 1924, and took its maiden voyage on June 30, 1924. The 301-foot ship, originally built at a cost of $1 million dollars, was in service from 1924 and carried about 25 million passengers between Los Angeles and Avalon Harbor until she was retired on September 14, 1975.^

 

 

 
(1920s) - View of the dock, or ferry slip, which is full of passengers that appear to be unloading out of the S.S. Catalina, nicknamed "The Great White Steamer". Dozens of people wait for these travelers, making a pathway for them to walk through. The Post Office and Island Gift Shop can be seen on the left, and several small boats are visible to the right of the wharf.
 

 

Historical Notes

The S.S. Catalina has been recognized as a Historic-Cultural Monument, No. 213 (Click HERE to see the LA Historic-Cultural Monuments List) and also California State Historic Landmark No. 894 (Click HERE to see more California Historic Landmarks in LA). She was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.

 

 

 

 
(1920s)^ - Partial view of the "first" Wrigley Field - home for the Los Angeles Angels of the Pacific Coast League. The bleachers are practically bursting at the seams with eager spectators cheering on their favorite teams.
 

 

Historical Notes

Wrigley Field, built on 10 acres of land in South Los Angeles between San Pedro Street (on the west), Avalon Blvd (to the east), E. 41st Place (to the north), and E. 42 Place (to the south), served as host to minor league baseball teams in the region for over 30 years, and was the home park for the Los Angeles Angels of the Pacific Coast League. Chewing gum magnate, William Wrigley, Jr. purchased the Angels in 1921 for the (then) astronomical sum of $150,000 and then built a stadium for the team a few years later.

Construction for Wrigley Field began in 1924 and the 21,000-seat, million-dollar stadium opened on September 29, 1925. For 33 seasons (1925-1957) the park was home to the Angels, and for 11 of those seasons (1926-1935 and 1938) it had a second home team in the rival Hollywood Stars. The Stars eventually moved to their own new ballpark, Gilmore Field. Prior to 1925, the Angels played at their former home at Washington Park, and before that, at Chutes Park.^

 

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Baseball in Early Los Angeles

 

 

 

 

 
(1920)^ - Aerial view of Crescent Avenue (later Fairfax) and Wilshire Boulevard showing undeveloped land with many oil derricks as far as the eye can see. Wilshire is the tree-line street running from lower left to upper right in the photo while Crescent Avenue runs from upper left to lower right. Rogers Airfield can be seen in the northwest corner of Wilshire and Crescent Ave.  

 

Historical Notes

Rogers Airport, operated by Rogers Aircraft, Inc., opened in 1918 (as Charles Chaplin's Chaplin Airdrome) at the northwest corner of Wilshire Boulevard & Crescent Avenue (now Fairfax Avenue).

Crescent Avenue's name changed to Fairfax Avenue sometime in the 1920s. Fairfax is named for Lord Fairfax of Colonial America.

Wilshire Boulevard was dedicated in 1895. Serving as a pathway from the Indian Village Yang Na (believed to have been where City Hall is today) to the Pacific Ocean, it originally was called Calle de los Indios. In 1895, H. Gaylord Wilshire, a real estate investor, subdivided a tract of land just west of downtown near MacArthur Park and renamed the street after himself. In 1922, lots on Wilshire Boulevard sold for $54,000.^*^

 

 

 
(1922)^^ - Aerial photograph, looking east, showing the intersection of Wilshire and San Vicente boulevards. San Vicente Boulevard is one of the few major streets in this area of Los Angeles that runs diagonally.  

 

Historical Notes

The main reason that San Vicente Boulevard runs diagonally as it does is because it was built on the Los Angeles Pacific Electric Railway Right-of-way in the early 1900s.  Named for the Rancho San Vicente y Santa Monica that had previously occupied the area, it begins at Venice Boulevard between Crenshaw Boulevard and La Brea Avenue and travels in a northwesterly direction towards Beverly Hills. The roadway splits into two streets past La Cienega Boulevard, with the western branch becoming Burton Way, which eventually becomes Santa Monica Boulevard South and connects directly to downtown Beverly Hills. San Vicente Boulevard itself continues north into West Hollywood and ends at Sunset Boulevard.

A separate stretch of road with the same name, San Vicente Boulevard, runs from Brentwood to Santa Monica. Originally, this  boulevard ran from the Soldiers' Home (Sawtelle Veterans Home) in Los Angeles to Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica. This tree-lined street was 130 feet wide, with trolley lines used by the Los Angeles Pacific Electric Railway running down its center.*^

 

 

 
(1922)^ - Aerial view of Carthay Center, looking west across field of the first Rogers Airport at Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue (lower right of photo). Wilshire Boulevard is the tree-lined street seen in the center of the image. The diagonal line running from lower left to upper right is the San Vicente line of the Pacific Electric Railway, later to become San Vicente Boulevard.
 

 

Historical Notes

In 1922, J. Harvey McCarthy developed an upscale residential district along the San Vicente Boulevard line of the Pacific Electric Railway, bounded by Wilshire Blvd. on the north, Fairfax Avenue on the east, Olympic Blvd. on the south and Schumacher Drive on the west. McCarthy originally named the district Carthay Center (Carthay being a derivative of the developer's last name). The areas to the south of Olympic Boulevard remained undeveloped until 1933, when developer Spyros George Ponty built several hundred homes in two districts later named "South Carthay" and "Carthay Square." *^

 

 

 

 
(1922)*#*# - View looking west down Wilshire Boulevard at Crescent Avenue (later Fairfax Ave). Rogers Airfield can be seen in the lower right on the northwest corner of Wilshire and Crescent. The diagonal street would become San Vicente Boulevard.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1922)^^#^ - Ground view of Rogers Airfield on the northwest corner of Fairfax and Wilshire. The Mercury Aviation Company sign can be seen on a hangar in the upper left of photo. The oil derricks seen in the background are part of the Salt Lake Oil Field.  

 

Historical Notes

In the 1890s, dairy farmer Arthur F. Gilmore found oil on his land, probably in the vicinity of the La Brea Tar Pits. The field was named after the Salt Lake Oil Company, the first firm to arrive to drill in the area. The discovery well was spudded (started) in 1902.

Development of the field was fast, as oil wells spread across the landscape, with drillers hoping to match the production boom taking place a few miles to the east at the Los Angeles City field. Peak production was in 1908.  By 1912, there were 326 wells, 47 of which had already been abandoned, and by 1917 more than 450, which had by then produced more than 50 million barrels of oil.  After this peak, production declined rapidly. Land values rose, corresponding to the fast growth of the adjacent city of Los Angeles, and the field was mostly idled in favor of housing and commercial development. The early wells were abandoned; many of their exact locations are not known, and are now covered with buildings and roads.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1922)^##* - View looking north over the wing of a plane showing the intersection of Crescent Ave (Fairfax) and Wilshire Blvd. A crowded airfield is seen below. In the distance oil derricks straddle Fairfax where 6th Street is located today. In the far background at the foothills can be seen a built-up Hollywood.  

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Aviation in Early L.A.

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1922)^##* - View looking north shows numerous cars parked on a lot (center of photo) near the airfield as well as along Wilshire Blvd. and Crescent Ave (Fairfax). Large sign on building in the lower-right center at the intersection of Fairfax and the San Vicente line of the Pacific Electric Railway reads: Albers Oats.  

 

 

 

 
(1922)^ - Aerial view looking north of Wilshire at La Brea. Oil wells may be seen throughout the area while Hollywood and the Hollywood HIlls can be seen in the distance.  

 

 

 

 
(1922)^^ - Aerial view of Santa Monica Boulevard looking northeast from Sherman (now, West Hollywood). The buildings in the bottom-left stand at the present-day site of the Pacific Design Center. Santa Monica Boulevard runs left-right, intersecting with Holloway Drive at roughly the center of the photograph. Hollywood is visible in the top-right.  

 

Historical Notes

During the final decade years of the nineteenth century, the first large land development in what would later become West Hollywood—the town of "Sherman"—was established by Moses Sherman and his partners of the Los Angeles and Pacific Railway, an interurban railroad line which later became part of the Pacific Electric Railway system. Sherman became the location of the railroad's main shops, railroad yards, and "car barns". Many working-class employees of the railroad settled in this town. It was during this time that the city began to earn its reputation as a loosely regulated, liquor-friendly (during Prohibition) place for eccentric people wary of government interference. Despite several annexation attempts, the town elected not to become part of the City of Los Angeles.  In a controversial decision, in 1925 Sherman adopted "West Hollywood", "...a moniker pioneered earlier in the decade by the West Hollywood Realty Board" as its informal name. though it remained under the governance of Los Angeles County.*^

 

 

 
(n.d.)* - Residential neighborhood near Santa Monica Blvd. and Gardner Ave. A house with greenery on each side is in the foreground and the background shows additional houses, trees and open spaces.
 

 

 

 

 
(1922)^ - Aerial view overlooking Westwood. Photo dated: 1922.
 

 

Historical Notes

Westwood and UCLA were developed on the lands of the historic 'Wolfskill Ranch', a 3,000-acre parcel that was purchased by Arthur Letts, the successful founder of the Broadway, and Bullock's department stores, in 1919. Upon Arthur Lett's death, his son-in-law, Harold Janss, vice president of Janss Investment Company, inherited the land and started to develop the area in 1922.*^

Click HERE to see more of Westood and UCLA in Early Views of UCLA.

 

 

 
(ca. 1925)^ - View of part of the old Wolfskill Ranch, also known as the Rancho San Jose de Buenos Aires. The house, shown here on the extreme left, occupied the present corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Beverly Glen, and UCLA occupies part of the rancho.  

 

Historical Notes

Rancho San Jose de Buenos Ayres remained intact until John Wolfskill's death in 1913, the last of the ranchos to do so. In 1919 the Wolfskill heirs sold much of the rancho to Englishman Arthur Letts, of The Broadway and Bullock's fame. A huge $2 million investment. He planned to subdivide and develop the northern portion into estates, but died without being able to realize his vision.^#^

 

 

 
(1922)^ - Aerial view of the Westwood area in 1922 looking north from Pico Boulevard.  

 

Historical Notes

The view above, from about the time of the Letts purchase, shows the land with the Wolfskill ranch house center left, facing the P.E. tracks which run parallel with the site of the as-yet to be built Santa Monica Blvd. Several springs form streams which gather and pass under a bridge over Pico Blvd. at lower left. The line of trees running diagonally toward the hills is Brown's Canyon Road (now Beverly Glen).^#^

Pico Boulevard was named in 1855 for the 14th and last governor of California under Mexican rule, Don Pio Pico, whose grandfather and father had come to the area with a 1776 expedition. Pio Pico, who was born in 1801 at Mission San Gabriel, built the Pico House hotel, the first three-story building in Los Angeles, which still stands.^*^

 

 

 
(1922)^ - Three men with plans in hand examine the area to become Santa Monica Boulevard. Taken in 1922, the photo also shows a billboard announcing Westwood, now open, by Janss Investment Co., in addition to the sign reading, "New 50 Foot Boulevard Starts Here."  

 

Historical Notes

Harold Janss of Janss Investment Company, Arthur Letts son-in-law, was more interested in middle-class homes, as opposed to estates. He started with the southern part of the parcel, diverted the springs into underground pipes, filled in the streams and platted 1,000 home and business lots in a development he named Westwood Hills. "Janss Investment Company" was stamped repeatedly in the wet concrete of the sidewalks. It was known as a "country district". Many families bought three house lots, particularly south of the P.E. tracks, where they were cheaper, using the extra space to grow vegetables and raise chickens and rabbits. Some wealthier homeowners added a tennis court to one extra lot and a swimming pool to the other. Homes had fireplaces for heat and backyard incinerators for trash. With rising land prices after WWII, most of these extra lots were sold off for new houses. One can still notice the pattern in the ages of the homes.

Model homes were built, the usual CC&R's were added, including, as well as the racial ones, the restriction of architecture styles to English, Spanish or Mediterranean, and lots offered for sale as early as 1922. Westwood Village, very large home lots and UCLA will be developed in 1928-29 north of Wilshire.^#^

 

 

 
(1924)^ - View of the new development reaching from Wilshire on the north to Pico on the south and from Westwood Blvd on the west to Fox Hills Drive on the east, with a further small section running SW from Patricia and Pico.
 

 

Historical Notes

The large empty parcel, upper left, within the platted area is the Wolfskill ranch house, on the P.E. route, at the T-junction with Overland Ave, standing alone on twenty-five plus acres. The Harold Lloyd Motion Picture Company's Westwood studio ranch occupied this site a bit after this photo was taken. The northern portion was sold off to build the Saint Paul the Apostle RC church and school circa 1930. Lloyd's declining fortunes caused him to sell the rest to the LDS church in 1937. The church finally built the LDS temple there in 1956.

The area immediately to the east of Fox Hills Drive, once Tom Mix' ranch, will become the present home of 20th Century Fox Studios, stretching from Pico on the south, where it forms a T-junction with Motor Ave. to Santa Monica Blvd on the north. The northern half of the studio will become Century City in the early 1960s. The Los Angeles Country Club, at its third home since 1911, is above the future home of Fox Studios and slightly to the east. Rancho Country Club, taking up the lower quarter of the photo will become Rancho Park Recreation Center and Cheviot Hills Park, to the west of Motor Ave, and Hillcrest Country Club to the east. Beverly Hills and the Beverly Hills Oil Field are on the right margin.^#^

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of UCLA

 

 

 

 

 
(Early 1920s)^ - A couple can be seen relaxing and enjoying a nice sunny day as their canopied boat floats across Lincoln Park lake, its surface giving a lovely reflection of the trees in the surrounding area. Several people can be seen on shore at the other end of the lake.  

 

Historical Notes

Lincoln Park was originally created by the City of Los Angeles in 1881, from land donated by John Strother Griffin. It was one of Los Angeles' first parks. It was originally called East Los Angeles Park. By 1901 it had become a major amusement center for the people of Los Angeles, and it was at this time that the name was changed to Eastlake Park. On May 19, 1917, the park was renamed Lincoln Park after Lincoln High School.^

 

 

 

 
(1924)^ - Aerial view of the Selig Zoo. The zoo's entrance is marked by the two arches (right of center), where N. Mission Road (running from upper left to lower center) meets Selig Place (running right center to lower center). This was originally opened as a private zoo in 1885 in downtown Los Angeles.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1911 William Selig opened a zoo on the northern edge of Eastlake Park, and this became one of the main attractions; in 1914 a carousel was added, which drew 150,000 riders a year; and a short while later, an arboretum was erected on the premises that housed a large greenhouse (hothouse) with rare and exotic plants.

On May 19, 1917, the City Council responded to a petition from nearby residents and renamed it Lincoln Park, named after Lincoln High School.^

On April 21, 1976 the carousel was designated Historic Cultural Monument No. 153 by the City of Los Angeles, but was destroyed just a few months later. Click HERE to see the LA Historic Cultural Monuments List.

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Southern California Amusement Parks

 

 

 

 

 
(1922)^ - Passengers getting on streetcar at Santa Monica Boulevard and Gower Street.  

 

 

 

 
(1922)^ - View of two streetcars running down the center of Santa Monica Boulevard near Western Avenue.  

 

 

 

 
(1920s)^ - View of Western Avenue looking north at its intersection with Santa Monica Boulevard. The Security Trust & Savings Bank Building is on the left hand side; billboards and businesses are across the street. Mt. Lee, tallest peak in the Hollywood Hills, can be seen in the distance.  

 

 

 

 
(1923)^ - View of the intersection of Western Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard. Pedestrians are seen crossing the street despite the heavy traffic. Note the sporty roadster convertible heading north on Western Ave.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1924)^^ - View of Santa Monica Boulevard looking east toward Western Avenue, Hollywood. At left, the Security Trust & Savings Bank Building can be seen on the northwest corner of Western and Santa Monica. On the right, southwest corner, is the Taft Public Market.  

 

 

 

 
(1923)^ - View of Hollywood Blvd. at Cahuenga with traffic and pedestrians waiting to cross in 1923. The Security Trust & Savings Bank building is on the left side of the photograph.  

 

 

 

 
(1922)^ - An aerial view of Hollywood High School from the southwest. There is practice of some kind on the athletic field. Palm trees line the campus on Sunset and Highland. The original 1905 building is on the bottom right. The Household & Fine Arts building is in the middle of the quadrangle and the gymnasium is to its left when facing Highland.  

 

Historical Notes

The school with a student body of 2500 was three blocks from Charlie Chaplin's studio and six blocks from Mary Pickford's and Douglas Fairbanks' studios. The homes bordering the upper side of the campus were just condemned by the city to make room for additional buildings. The original 1905 building is on the bottom right, the Household & Fine Arts building is in the middle of the quadrangle, and the gymnasium is top, center.*

 

 

 
(ca. 1922)^ - Looking west from Sunset Boulevard where it meets Highland Avenue. Hollywood High School can be seen on the northwest corner to the right.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1925)^^ - View of Vine Street looking north from Barton Avenue towards the "Hollywoodland" sign.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1925)^^ - Panoramic view of Hollywood looking north on Vine Street from Clinton Street. Residential blocks full of one-story houses fill the foreground, turning into high rise hotel buildings as Vine Street approaches the mountains.  A single “H” as well as the “Hollywoodland” sign are visible.  

 

Historical Notes

The Mulholland Dam, built in 1924, can be seen at left-center. The dam still exists today but can no longer be seen from this view or from just about anywhere in Hollywood. Click HERE to see more in Mulholland Dam and Hollywood Reservoir.

 

 

 
(ca. 1920s)**^** - Aerial view of the Hollywoodland Sign showing the newly developed land in the foreground. Beyond the Hollywood Hills can be seen the vast amount of open space and farmland of the San Fernando Valley. The HOLLYWOODLAND sign sits below Mt. Lee. Another sign ( just the letter 'H') is seen to the left on top of Mt. Cahuenga.  

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of Hollywood (1920 +)

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1924)^* - Aerial view overlooking the Hollywood Hills and HOLLYWOODLAND sign into Burbank in the east San Fernando Valley. Farmland and open fields can be seen throughout.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1924)^#^ - Panoramic look over the “Hollywoodland” Sign and over the ridge of the Hollywood Hills showing a detailed view of Burbank with streets annotated. Note the vast amount of farmland and open fields.  

 

 

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of the San Fernando Valley

 

 

 

 

 
(1920s)^ - View of the original Mercury Aviation Field located on Fairfax and Melrose streets.  

 

Historical Notes

Cecil B. DeMille founded the Mercury Aviation Company (aka Mercury Air Lines ) in 1919. Mercury was the first American airlines to carry air freight and passengers commercially on regularly scheduled runs. It scheduled service to Santa Catalina Island and San Diego, later San Francisco, with Junker-Larsen JL-6 monoplanes. Inaugurated five months before KLM began operations in Europe.^^^

 

 

 
(1920s)* - Aerial view of Muir Junior High School taken from the east.
 

 

Historical Notes

John Muir Junior High School, located at 5929 S. Vermont Avenue and 62nd Street, was built in 1922 and named for American conservationist John Muir. It served as a junior high school for approximately 72 years, from 1922 to 1994. In September 1994, the school was reconfigured to serve grades 6-8 and renamed John Muir Middle School.*

 

 

 
(1920s)* - Front view of John Muir Junior High School. The sprawling school shows numerous windows, partly opened, and a nicely manicured lawn with young trees planted along the front sidewalk. Three people can be seen walking along the side of the building, probably 62nd Street, and three antique cars are parked on the street.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1923)^^ - Motorcycle stuck in mud at intersection of West Adams Boulevard and Caldwell Avenue (now Ridgley Drive).  Real estate sign behind them reads: WALLECKS WEST ADAMS TRACT - LOTS $850 - EASY TERMS.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1923)^ - View of the intersection of 4th and Main streets. Passengers are making their way onto a streetcar on Main Street (lower left) while pedestrians are seen crossing 4th Street. The ornate Classical Revival style Farmers and Merchants Bank of Los Angeles stands on the southwest corner.  

 

Historical Notes

The Farmers and Merchants Bank was the first incorporated bank in Los Angeles, founded in 1871 by 23 prominent Los Angeles businessmen.  The three largest subscribers were Isaias W. Hellman, former California Governor John G. Downey, and Ozro W. Childs who in later years became the founders of the University of Southern California. Other investors included Charles Ducommun, I.M. Hellman and Jose Mascarel. Downey was named the first president. Isaias later served as president of the bank till his death in 1920.*^

 

 

 

 
(1923)^^ - View looking northeast from the balcony of the Dining Room at the Automobile Club Building, showing congestion at the intersection of Adams and Figueroa. The empty lot on the northwest corner is where the St. Vincent Church would be built the next year.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1923)^ - View looking South on Figueroa Street near Adams Blvd. There is heavy traffic in both direction. The Automobile Club of Southern California is seen on the southwest corner. Across the street (n/w corner) is the construction site for the new St. Vincent Church.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1924)^ - A construction fence and temporary buildings surround the St. Vincent Catholic Church, 621 W. Adams Blvd., as it is being built. Scaffolding is on the dome and sides. Limestone blocks for the facade lie on the ground in front of the entrance. The surrounding neighborhood has stately homes with extensive grounds.  

 

Historical Notes

The St. Vincent Catholic Church was built in the 1920s and designed by architect Albert C. Martin, Sr. Dedicated in 1925, it was located in what was then one of the wealthiest sections of the city, on land adjacent to the Edward Doheny Mansion and Stimson House. It was the second Roman Catholic church in Los Angeles to be consecrated.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1925)^ - View of a newly completed St. Vincent Catholic Church located at the northwest corner of Adams and Figueroa St.  

 

Historical Notes

St. Vincent de Paul Roman Catholic Church was a gift from oil magnate and benefactor Edward Laurence Doheny I, who drilled Los Angeles' first oil well in 1892.^

In 1971, Saint Vincent de Paul Church was dedicated Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 90 (Click HERE for complete listing).

 

 

 
(1926)^ - Figueroa Street looking northwest toward West Adams Boulevard. On the left is the Automobile Club of Southern California and St. Vincent Catholic Church.  

 

Historical Notes

The building pictured here originally served as the Auto Club's main office. It was built between 1922-1923 by architects, Sumner P. Hunt, Silas R. Burns, and Roland E. Coate in the Spanish Colonial Revival style. Today, this building serves as the Los Angeles district office, but the administrative offices are now located in Costa Mesa.^

 

 

 
(1930)^ - Exterior view of the Automobile Club of Southern California, located at 2601 S. Figueroa St. on the southwest corner of Adams and Figueroa. Three cars can be seen waiting for the traffic signal (located in the center of the intersection) to change.
 

 

Historical Notes

The Automobile Club of Southern California, one of the nation's first motor clubs dedicated to improving roads, proposing traffic laws, and improvement of overall driving conditions, was founded on December 13, 1900 in Los Angeles. The Auto Club was responsible for producing state road maps, as well as posting thousands of porcelain-to-steel traffic signs throughout the state to create a uniform signing system - which it continued to do until the task was taken over by the State of California in the mid-1950s.^

The Automobile Club Building was designated LA Historic-Cultural Monument No. 72 (Click HERE to see complete listing).

 

 

 

 
(1924)^ - View looking west toward the intersection of Sunset Boulevard and Figueroa Street. A Gilmore service station can be seen on the southwest corner. The Orsini Apartment Complex is now situated at this site.  

 

Historical Notes

The portion of Sunset Boulevard east of Figueroa Street was renamed Cesar Chavez Avenue in 1994 along with Macy Street and Brooklyn Avenue in honor of the late Mexican-American union leader and civil rights activist.*^

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1924)^^ – View looking north on Broadway from 3rd Street. On the northeast corner is United Cigars, a store with a sign advertising Tareyton Cigarettes, 20 for 25¢.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1924)#** - View of a busy Main Street looking north from 4th Street. Notice the decorative 5-bulb lamp posts running along both sides of the street. Click HERE to see more in Early Los Angeles Street Lights.  

 

Historical Notes

Prominent buildings are the Van Nuys Hotel (at left), Hotel Westminster (at right), and the [...] National Bank building (at left). The bank building features Greek-like architecture while the other buildings along the street are more contemporary. #**

 

 

 
(ca. 1924)^^ - View of Spring Street from below 6th Street. The street is busy with pedestrian, automobile and street car traffic.  

 

Historical Notes

The Mad-House Lunch room (ground floor of the Bixby Building) on the extreme right next door (going north or to the left) to the Seaboard National Bank Building with the lovely arched portico, the Western Union Office and the Grosse Building on the corner. Across the street we've got the very dark (appearing) Hotel Hayward on the SW corner of Spring and 4th Streets and across 4th Street the bright, white collumned Trust &Savings Building with the short, formal Desmond's Building next door and up the block, in the shadows, the Arcade Building at 541 S. Spring Street.#^

 

 

 
(ca. 1924)^^ - View of the 700 block of Spring Street looking north from 8th Street. The street is busy with pedestrian, automobile and railway car traffic.  

 

Historical Notes

Legible signs include: "W.A. Douglass, merchant tailor", "auto park", "Chas H. Clark Co., Jewelers", on a railway car "Moneta Ave. via [...] to 116th St.", "I.N. Van Nuys building", "United Cigar Stores", "State Mutual Building and Loan Association", "Republic Life", and "Blue Prints".^^

 

 

 
(ca. 1923)^  -  View looking north on Broadway at 8th Street showing a streetcar sharing the road with early model cars, most of them with their tops down.  Barker Bros. is seen in the foreground on the right.  In the distance, on the northwest corner of Broadway and 7th Street, stands the Bullock's Department Store with large flag above its roof.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1924)^^ – View looking north on Broadway at Seventh Street. The Bullocks Department Store stands at the northwest corner. The sidewalks are crowded with pedestrians, while streetcars and automobiles can be seen in the road.  

 

 

 

 
(1925)^^ – View looking north on Broadway toward 7th Street.  American flags hang on wires that cross the street in preparation for the Shriner’s parade. The streetlight posts have been decorated to look like palm trees. The sidewalks that border the street are packed with pedestrians.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1920s)^ - Exterior view of Yit Sing, a Chinese merchant at 757-1/2 North Alameda Street.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1924)^ - Aerial view of the Los Angeles Plaza and surrounding buildings. The streets from top to bottom are: Alameda Street running diagonlly at the upper left, Los Angeles Street, and Main Street. Nearly half the buildings to the right of the Plaza (south of the Plaza) were demolished in the 1950s to make way for the Hollywood Freeway.  

 

Historical Notes

The sole occupant of the entire city block bounded by Los Angeles, Marchessault, and Alameda streets (upper left corner of the photo) was a sturdy, square, two-story brick structure. Built originally for a furniture factory, it was later remodeled to serve as a headquarters of  the Los Angeles Water Department’s predecessor, the Los Angeles City Water Company.

Click HERE to see more in Water Department's Original Office Building.

 

 

 
(ca. 1925)^ - The Plaza Church on Main Street across from the Plaza and Olvera Street. Behind the streetcar is the Hotel Pacific, the office of Philip Morici and Co., "Agencia Italiana," and the grocery store of Giovanni Piuma, who also made wine (Piuma Road in Malibu was named for him). The area north of the Plaza was at this time an Italian neighborhood.  

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of the Los Angeles Plaza

 

 

 

 

 
(1924)^ - Aerial view of Downtown Los Angeles as seen from 6th Street and Grand Avenue. Pershing Square can be seen in the center of the photo. Some identifiable buildings include: The Brack Shops on the lower right, the Bible Institute and Hotel Savoy on the lower left, the Detwiler Building center right, and Biltmore Hotel center left.
 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1924)^ - Aerial view looking northwest of Pershing Square, the Biltmore Hotel, and preparation of the State Normal School site for the construction of Los Angeles Central Library (upper-left corner).  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1924)^ - This is the site of the former Los Angeles State Normal School, and future site of Central Library of the Los Angeles Public Library. The area has been dug out for the foundation and work is well under way. The dark building on the left is the Biltmore Hotel, the large white building in the background is the Pacific Mutual Building, and the building on the extreme right is Hotel Savoy.
 

 

 

 

 
(1925)^ - Photograph shows construction of the Los Angeles Public Library, located at 630 W. Fifth Street; view is looking north on Hope Street. The structure, which is almost complete, shows scaffolding along the entire south side as well as surrounding the tower at the top. A sign posted above the tunnel entrance, at the end of this street reads: "Weymouth Crowell Co. - General Contractors". The Wayland Apts. offering "low rates" is visible on the left corner next to Savoy Auto Park, whose rates are .25 cents all day, or $5.00 per month. The large white building on the right is the Bible Institute, later to become Church of the Open Door/Biola Institute, located at 555 S. Hope Street. Numerous automobiles are parked on both sides of the street.  

 

 

 

 
(1920s)^ - A man enjoying the afternoon in a canoe at Westlake Park (later MacArthur Park).  

 

Historical Notes

Westlake was one of the first areas of Los Angeles west of Figueroa Street to see residential development. By the 1920s Westlake resembled the Upper East Side of Manhattan (complete with a large Jewish population). Wealthy businessmen commuted to downtown, Wilshire Center (now Koreatown), Hollywood, and the Miracle Mile from the district's Spanish Revival and Art Deco mansions. The district's less affluent northeastern blocks also became the home of Los Angeles' Filipino population, much of which remains in Westlake and nearby neighborhoods to this day.**

Westlake Park was renamed MacArthur Park on May 7, 1942.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1923)^ - Aerial view of Westlake Park looking east. 6th Street runs from bottom to top at the left of photo. 7th Street runs from lower-right to right-center. Wilshire dead-ends at the lake between 6th and 7th at center bottom-right. Orange Street picks-up on the other side of the lake, opposite the Wilshire dead-end, and extends to downtown Los Angeles.  

 

 

 

 
(1924)^ - Aerial view of the northwest corner of Westlake Park showing the new Elks Club Building (built in 1923-24) and surrounding area. At lower-left can be seen Wilshire Boulevard which dead-ends at the lake. 6th Street runs diagonally from lower-right to upper-left.  

 

Historical Notes

The Elks Club Building was originally designed for the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks (B.P.O.E). by renowned Art Deco architect Claud Beelman, during the time he was a Senior Partner at the prestigious firm he co-owned in the 1920s, Curlett and Beelman.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1925)^ - Aerial view of Westlake Park looking east toward downtown Los Angeles from a higher elevation. 6th Street runs from bottom to top on the left of photo. Wilshire Boulevard ends at the west side of the lake (lower center). Orange Street picks-up on the other side of the lake and extends to downtown Los Angeles. 7th Street is on the south (right).  

 

Historical Notes

Wilshire Boulevard formerly ended at the lake on its west side, but in the early 1930s a berm was proposed to be built to cross and link up with the existing Orange Street (which ran from Alvarado to Figueroa) into downtown Los Angeles. Orange Street was later renamed Wilshire and extended east of Figueroa to Grand Ave. This divided the lake into two halves; the northern one was subsequently drained.*^

 

 

 
(1931)^ - Drawing of the proposed bridge to carry Wilshire Boulevard across Westlake Park. The plan was also to widen Orange Street between Alvarado and Figueroa and then rename it Wilshire Boulevard.  

 

Historical Notes

Photo Caption reads, "This plan for a bridge to carry Wilshire Boulevard across Westlake Park was under consideration by the city park board today. The drawing shows how the structure, with a 70-foot boulevard-width roadway and 6-foot sidewalks, would curve across the park and an arm of the lake. The plan, developed by Lincoln Rogers, former New York park board architect, and submitted by the Wilshire Boulevard Association, would cost approximately $250,000. Its advocates say that the cost would be less than a suspension bridge, straightaway bridge or tunnel". ^

The plan: widen and rename Orange Street, bridge the lake to link the two sections of Wilshire, and then extend the boulevard through several dense city blocks into the heart of downtown.

Local residents protested, and the dispute made its way to the state supreme court, which eventually allowed the construction to proceed.**#

 

 

 
(1931)^^ –  View of Orange Street (later Wilshire Boulevard) looking west from Bonnie Brae Street before widening, March 2, 1931. Orange Street is at center and is a narrow paved street with early automobiles parked on both sides. The eight-story Wilshire Medical Building can be seen at right, while another tall building can be seen at left. Tall trees can be seen in the distance at center which are on Alvarado Street fronting Westlake Park.  

 

Historical Notes

Despite enormous costs, the city completed the downtown portion first. Beginning in late 1930, workers demolished buildings, took up foundations, and filled in basements to extend Wilshire Boulevard three blocks between Figueroa and Grand. By the time it opened in September 1931, the 971-foot extension had cost $3.2 million -- all but $67,000 spent on demolishing the buildings that stood in the way and compensating their owners.**#

After widening, Orange Street was renamed Whilshire Boulevard between Alvarado and Figueroa streets.

 

 

 
(1937)^^ - View of Wilshire Boulevard (previously Orange Street) at Bonnie Brae Street looking west toward Westlake Park after street widening and building renovation. The eight-story Wilshire Medical Building can still be seen on the north side of Wilshire (right). The south side of Wilshire looks completely new.  

 

Historical Notes

The widening of what had been Orange Street (between Figueroa and Westlake Park) left wounds. Workers either tore down structures fronting the street, or, in the case of the Rex Arms apartment building, cleaved off the fronts of the buildings to accommodate the wider road.**#

 

 

 
(1934)^^ - View looking East. Completed in 1934, a causeway connected Wilshire Boulevard with Orange Street, linking the grand boulevard with downtown Los Angeles. Orange was renamed Wilshire.  

 

Historical Notes

On December 7, 1934, city officials celebrated the opening of the Wilshire causeway through Westlake Park. Millions of dollars had been expended, residents and businesses had been displaced, and one of the city's preeminent public spaces had been sacrificed, but Wilshire Boulevard finally linked downtown to the sea.**#

 

 

 
(1934)^ - Panoramic view of Westlake Park looking west on Wilshire from Alvarado shortly after the bridge over the lake was constructed.  

 

Historical Notes

Some have called Wilshire Boulevard “The backbone of Los Angeles.” The city used to pretty much end at MacArthur Park, which at the time was called Westlake Park. Then they built a causeway over the lake and extended Wilshire to meet the former Orange Street, which was re-named, and now reaches the ocean. It’s probably the busiest street in Los Angeles.**#

 

 

 
(ca. 1940s)^ - Aerial view of the Westlake and Wilshire District, looking west. MacArthur Park with its large lake is visible in the foreground and a smaller lake, also part of MacArthur Park, is on the right. Wilshire Blvd., which is the curved street (lower middle), has separated the park and lake. Wilshire now runs 15.8 miles from Grand Avenue in Downtown Los Angeles to Ocean Avenue in the City of Santa Monica. Click HERE to see more in Early Views of Santa Monica.  

 

Historical Notes

MacArthur Park was designated city of Los Angeles Historic Cultural Monument #100. Click HERE to see the LA Historic-Cultural Monuments List.

 

 

 
(1924)^ - A aerial view of the intersection of Wilshire Blvd. (running bottom left to upper right) and Western Avenue (running upper left to lower right). Both corners on the right side of the picture are so far undeveloped, although there is a real estate office on one corner.  

 

Historical Notes

By the 1930s and 1940s, Wilshire and Western would become the nation's busiest intersection, and the Miracle Mile would emerge as an important retail center.**#

 

 

 
(ca. 1924)^^ - View of the intersection of Wilshire Blvd. and Western Ave., looking north up Western.  

 

Historical Notes

The traffic signal device in the middle of the intersection is a remnant of a failed experiment to introduce traffic circles in L.A.'s busiest intersections.^^#

The Wiltern Theatre, southwest corner of Wilshire and Western (lower right), wasn't built until seven years later in 1931. Click HERE to see more in Early LA Buildings (1925 +).

 

 

 
(ca. 1924)^^ - View looking north on Western Avenue at 6th Street.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1924)^^ - View of Western Avenue looking north from 1st Street toward the Hollywood Hills.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1924)^^ - View looking north on Western Avenue at Beverly Blvd. This intersection looks like its in need of a traffic signal. Note the unusual triangular sign attached to a power pole on the upper right. It reads: CAR STOP.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1920s)^ - View of Western Avenue, looking north from Beverly Blvd. toward the Hollywood Hills. Several businesses and automobiles can be seen along Western with residential homes riddling the rest of the view.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1924)^ - View showing the intersection of 3rd and Rampart with a billboard in the background advertising for Desmond’s Clothing Store.  

 

 

 

 

 

 
(1924)^^ - View of a man standing in the doorway of Burrows & Johnson Hardware Store, at 3755 S. Vermont Ave.  Another man is leaning on a truck parked diagonally against the curb.  

 

Historical Notes

The Burrows & Johnson Store on the corner of 37th St. and Vermont Ave. was one of many businesses lining Vermont near the University of Southern California (USC).  A tailor’s shop is seen next door.  This building and the house behind it are now a gravel empty lot.^*#*

 

 

 
(1925)^*#* - View from the USC Student Union building, looking north at Bovard and University Avenue (now Trousdale).  

 

Historical Notes

Behind the line of graduates can be seen some of University Avenue before USC took over.  There is a row of stores along the street, and the roof of the Shrine Auditorium is visible in the background.  The two story commercial building on the corner is now where Von Kleinsmid Center is located.^*#*

 

 

 
(1926)^^ - View of the USC Academic Serpentine of '26 at the LA Coliseum. The President, deans and faculties advance through the rows of graduates who are about to receive their diplomas in the stadium, June 5th, 1926.  

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of USC

 

 

 

 

 
(1924)^ - Panoramic view of Rancho Cienega O' Paso de la Tijera located on the 2400 block of S. Crenshaw Boulevard in the Baldwin Hills area, looking east. It shows an adobe, as well as several small buildings and a few trees, clustered inside a fenced-in area.  

 

Historical Notes

Rancho La Cienega O' Paso de la Tijera was a series of adjoining adobe structures located on the eastern side of the Baldwin Hills in an area determined to be approximately 4,481 acres.

The unusual title of the Rancho is actually two names combined: "La Cienega" ("The Swamp"), refers to the marshes in the area between Baldwin Hills and Beverly Hills; the latter half of the name "Paso de la Tijera" ("Pass of the Scissors"), was a name used by the early Spanish to describe the pass through the nearby hills that resembled an open pair of scissors.^

 

 

 
(1924)^ - View of Rancho Cienega O' Paso de la Tijera shows two adobes, a single-story on the left, and a two-story on the right; another smaller building is visible in the background between the adobes.  

 

Historical Notes

The Rancho La Cienega O' Paso de la Tijera area remained unclaimed for many years following the first Spanish settlements in California. Squatters from the pueblo considering these lands public and built the La Tijera adobe as early as 1790 or 1795 for the purpose of raising cattle on surrounding land. In 1843, Manuel Michaeltorrena (then Mexican Governor of Alta California) formally granted Rancho La Cienega O' Paso de la Tijera to Vicente Sánchez.

In more recent years, a portion of Rancho La Cienega O' Paso de la Tijera became the center of Sunset Fields public golf links located at 3725 Don Felipe Drive, off Crenshaw Boulevard. In 1959, Bernadette Fathers sold the property to Park View Women's Club.^

Rancho La Cienega O' Paso de la Tijera was declared Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 487 on May 1, 1990 (Click HERE to see complete listing).

 

 

 
(ca. 1924)^ - La Brea Tar Pits - Seen from the air you have to look carefully at the foreground (across the road from the buildings) to see the pits among the trees, along with a building in the trees. A few pits can be seen in open area. At the top of the picture are a few of the derricks from the oil field.  

 

 

 

 
(1924)^ - Aerial view looking east from Western, towards Olympic Boulevard, La Cienega and Carthay Circle.
 

 

 

 

 
(1924)^ - Another aerial view looking east from Western, towards Olympic Boulevard, La Cienega and Carthay Circle.
 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1924)^ - A panoramic view of Beverly Hills and neighboring cities, seen from an airplane. Especially noticeable is an area where 6 roads all meet. To the left of that intersection the Beverly Hills Hotel can be seen.  

 

Historical Notes

Two years before Beverly Hills became an incorporated city, the Beverly Hills Hotel opened on May 12, 1912; the hotel initially included the main building and twenty-three separate bungalows in the Mediterranean Revival style, designed by Elmer Grey. In the 1940s, a new wing was added to the east side of the main building. Eighty years after it opened, the hotel closed for two and a half years for a complete restoration. The hotel was named the first historic landmark in Beverly Hills on September 12, 2012.^

 

 

 
(ca. 1924)^ - Aerial view of Beverly Hills, with the Beverly Hills Hotel in the foreground, located on Sunset Blvd. A number of homes have been built in the development. Elmer Grey was the architect of the hotel, built in Mission Revival style in 1911-1912.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1924)^ - Aerial view of Point Fermin, Palos Verdes and hills, government breakwaters and the outer harbor. Ships can be seen in the harbor.  

 

Historical Notes

After the Panama Canal opened in 1914, the Port of Los Angeles became the natural port-of-call for most transpacific and coastal users.^^##

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of San Pedro and Wilmington

 

 

 

 

 
(1924)^ - Aerial view of the Palos Verdes Peninsula, looking southeast towards Point Fermin.  San Pedro Harbor can be seen in the background.  

 

 

 

 
(1923)^ - Panoramic view from Palos Verdes Drive North looking southwestwardly toward the early construction of Malaga Cove Plaza.  

 

Historical Notes

The plaza, library, and original homes were built starting in the late 1920s. At the center of the historic plaza is the King Neptune Fountain which is a copy of a famous statue in Bologna, Italy that was presented as a gift to the City of Palos Verdes Estates.^***

At the time of the city's incorporation in 1939, the business and shop area around Malaga Cove had most of the Peninsula's earlier buildings. The Malaga Cove Plaza building of the Palos Verdes Public Library, designed by Pasadena architect Myron Hunt, was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1995.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1937)^ - The 19th century white marble fountain in the center of the Malaga Cove Plaza is decorated with dolphins, sea shells and a mermaid, and topped by the heroic figure of Neptune, the god of the sea who looks out at the ocean.  

 

Historical Notes

This 19th century white marble fountain in the center of the Malaga Cove Plaza in Palos Verdes Estates, is a replica of the famous bronze Neptune fountain in Bologna, Italy, and was part of an old villa in Venice for more than a century before it was donated to the city in 1930. It was restored in 1997.^

 

 

 
(1925)^ - Aerial view of Palos Verdes.  Most of the land on the peninsula and beyond is yet to be developed. The white building in the center of the photo is the La Venta Inn, first structure to be built on the peninsula.  

 

 

 

 
(1926)^ - A scenic point of the Palos Verdes Peninsula, showing La Venta Inn in Palos Verdes Estates and the coastline from Redondo Beach on.  

 

Historical Notes

Built in 1923, La Venta Inn was the first structure on the peninsula. Architects Walter and Pierpont Davis designed the building and the famous landscape architects, the Olmstead brothers.^

 

 

 
(1930)^^ - Exterior view of the La Venta Inn at night, Palos Verdes, April 1930.  

 

Historical Notes

In the 1920's, the La Venta Inn became a famous black-tie restaurant and in the 1930's, a weekend tourist retreat for such notable people as Charles Lindberg, Tyrone Power, Cary Grant and Gloria Swanson. During World War II, La Venta's tower was utilized as a 24 hour lookout point for the US Coast Guard.**##

 

 

 
(ca. 1924)^ - Aerial view of Playa Del Rey showing the area called "Surfridge".  

 

Historical Notes

A small airfield opened to the east of Surfridge in 1928. It became a popular location for residents to see air shows.

The growing number of commercial flights into Los Angeles following World War II meant a higher number of planes flying low over Surfridge. Many residents learned to co-exist with the noise from propeller planes, but jet engines were impossible to ignore.

In the 1960s and 1970s, the Sufridge area was condemned and acquired by the City of Los Angeles in a series of eminent domain purchases to facilitate airport expansion (LAX) and to address concerns about noise from jet airplanes. Home owners were forced to sell their property to the City. Several homeowners sued the City and remained in their houses for several years after the majority of houses were vacated. Eventually all the houses were either moved or demolished.*^

 

 

 
(1924)^ - Looking straight ahead at the houses you see a complex of rental bungalows known as United States Island. It was accessible only by the foot bridges seen on either side of it. In this view, looking north, Altair Canal is on the left and Cabrillo Canal on the right.  

 

 

 

 
(1924)^ - View shows an amusement park, complete with wooden roller coaster, on the Santa Monica pier.  

 

Historical Notes

The Santa Monica Municipal Pier opened in 1909 and was the first pier on the west coast to use reinforced concrete pilings. It was thirty-six feet wide and stretched 1200 feet into the Pacific Ocean. In 1916, Charles I.D. Looff constructed a Moorish-Byzantine hippodrome, which housed a merry-go-round with 44 hand-crafted horses, a billiards and bowling hall, a two-track Blue Streak Racer wooden roller coaster along with The Whip and the Aeroscope thrill rides, a "What Is It?" maze, and several smaller rides. Looff's opening day, July 4, 1917, drew over 100,000 people; the biggest crowd in the city's history.^

In 1987, the Santa Monica Looff Hippodrome was added to the National Registry of Historic Places.

 

 

 
(ca. 1925)^ - Aerial view of Venice, its beach and pier. The canals are visible at the extreme right.  

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of Southern California Amusement Parks

 

 

 

 

 
(1925)^ - The ocean water is filled with people swimming or playing, and the beach is likewise filled with people and umbrellas (to keep off the sun). The view is looking north towards Ocean Park where some buildings and part of Lick Pier are visible.  

 

 

 

 
(1924)^ - Aerial view of Woodland Hills (Girard) in 1924.  

 

Historical Notes

Victor Girard Kleinberger was a land huckster with big dreams. Born in Kentucky, he began his sales career peddling Persian rugs -- fakes, of course -- door to door. Girard's modus operandi was to shove the rolled-up rug into the door frame (thus preventing the door from being slammed shut on him) and begin coughing profusely -- all the while mumbling about tuberculosis and priceless rugs.

It was a ruse that apparently worked, and by 1899, with his fortune already made, the 18-year-old Girard (he had dropped his last name) headed west to Los Angeles, where he branched out into other enterprises, including real estate.*##

In 1922, Girard Kleinberger bought 2,886 acres in the west San Fernando Valley and founded the town of Girard. He sought to attract residents and businesses by developing an infrastructure, advertising in newspapers, and planting 120,000 trees.  His 300 pepper trees forming an arch over Canoga Ave. between Ventura Boulevard and Saltillo St. are Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument #93 in 1972 (Click HERE to see the LA Historic-Cultural Monuments List***).

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1924)^ - This is the intersection of today's Ventura Boulevard (foreground) and Topanga Canyon Boulevard, in the real estate development of Girard.  

 

Historical Notes

Although Girard Kleinberger's early efforts were criticized as providing only a dubious facade of economic activity (local lore has it that in order to attract development he erected false store fronts on Ventura Boulevard, for which he spent time in jail), the Girard Golf Course completed in 1925 continues to operate today as the Woodland Hills Country Club, and his scheme was ultimately successful in attracting interest in the community.

In 1941 the community was renamed Woodland Hills. Harry Warner, of the Warner Bros. Studio, bought 1,100 acres in the area in the 1940s for a horse ranch, named Warner Ranch. The modern Warner Center commercial zone is named for Harry and features high-rise buildings, hotels, and shopping centers.*^

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of the San Fernando Valley

 

 

 

 

 
(1920s)*^#^ - William Mulholland (far left), Moses Sherman (2nd from left), Harry Chandler (center) and a group of men posing next to a "Mulholland Highway" sign while out examining the Mulholland Dam site.  

 

Historical Notes

Mulholland Highway (later Mulholland Drive) has its origins in 1921 as a scenic drive, with the “working name” of Skyline Drive, engineered by DeWitt Reaburn.  The scenic drive was engineered in small sections, with work actually beginning at several points along the route simultaneously.  The road was originally planned to encompass a right of way of 200 feet and intended to be 20 miles long, taking a mere two years to complete. 

For reasons, some to honor Mulholland, but mostly to use his stature and accomplishments to silence opposition, the most traveled scenic highway conceived as Skyline Drive became Mulholland Highway. ##**

 

 

 

 
(1924)^^ - View of over a dozen early model cars clustered at the opening of the Mulholland Highway. Three rows of early automobiles make their way up the hill and through the mountains on the Mulholland Highway. Rocks and scrub vegetation cover the slopes to either side, a parked car and a wooden platform visible to the right, just off the road. At the peak of the hill, a banner is hung between two trees.  

 

Historical Notes

This winding ridgeline road in the Santa Monica Mountains was dedicated in honor of William Mulholland, the water engineer who designed the Los Angeles Aqueduct, on Dec. 27, 1924. Originally dirt and called Mulholland Highway, the name was changed to Mulholland Drive in 1939. Portions of the original road remain unpaved.^*

 

 

 

 
(1924)^#*^ – Closer view showing dignitaries assembling near a banner which reads:  Welcome Mulholland Highway - December 27, 1924 – 55 Miles of Scenic Splendor – The Gift of Los Angeles to her 1,250,000 Inhabitants  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1924)^*## – Postcard view showing two early model cars near the intersection of Mulholland Highway (later Drive) and Franklin Canyon.  

 

Historical Notes

Curving ingeniously through the eastern Santa Monicas, the Mulholland Drive motorway once brought a heavy slew of Angelenos into the Valley. In the early 1970s, however, 5,000 local activists successfully prevented the cement paving of most of that stretch. To this day, that section is known as 'Dirt Mulholland', and is only open to cyclists and pedestrians. From the famous Mulholland Bridge east, Mulholland Drive completes its creator's vision, and winds through the affluent Hollywood Hills to Mulholland Drive's easternmost terminus at Cahuenga Boulevard, near Universal Studios, until again becoming an unpaved footpath to Griffith Park.

The paved road begins again east of Topanga Canyon Boulevard at Santa Maria Road. Shortly thereafter, the thoroughfare splits into Mulholland Drive and Mulholland Highway. Mulholland Drive terminates at U.S. Highway 101 (the Ventura Freeway), where it becomes Valley Circle Boulevard. Mulholland Highway continues to the southwest until it terminates at State Route 1 (PCH) in Leo Carrillo State Park at the Pacific Ocean coast and the border of Los Angeles and Ventura counties.*^

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Mulholland Monuments

 

 

 

 

 
(1924)#^ - Open Fruit Stand, 812 E. 5th Street, Los Angeles. Sign reads: 'Rainbow Tacoma Brew - 5 Cents'  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1920s)^## - Pacific Electric Hill Street Station & Masonic Bldg. West side of Hill St between 4th & 5th Streets.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1922)^ - The Pacific Electric Hill Street station, located at 427 South Hill Street, between 1922 and 1925.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1920s)^ - The Hill Street station for electric cars during 1922 to 1925, before the Subway Terminal Building was built, looking west toward Bunker Hill.  

 

Historical Notes

As street traffic increased in downtown Los Angeles, the Pacific Electric Railway undertook its most ambitious project, a dedicated right of way into downtown through a subway - the existing terminal in the Pacific Electric Building at Sixth and Main was reached by shared street running. Responding to the traffic congestion that clogged the streets, the California Railroad Commission in 1922 issued Order No. 9928, which called for the Pacific Electric to construct a subway to bypass downtown's busy streets.*^

 

 

 
(1925)^ - View of the Subway Terminal Building and the Pacific Electric Railway Passenger Station in 1925, the year they were built. View is of the Hill Street side south of 4th Street.  

 

Historical Notes

The Subway Terminal Building was built to conform to the 150 foot height limit imposed on all downtown construction. The other end of the subway line emerged at the surface at the Belmont Tunnel / Toluca Substation and Yard.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1925)^## - View of the Subway Terminal main hall.  

 

Historical Notes

After 18 months of construction and $1.25 million in expenditures, the Subway officially opened to the public on December 1, 1925. The trains, which traveled a distance of slightly over one mile, transported passengers between the tunnel's mouth near the intersection of Beverly and Glendale Boulevards in Westlake, and the Subway Terminal Building.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1925)^ - Interior view of the Subway Terminal Building in downtown Los Angeles, showing Pacific Electric car tracks running in various directions in the subway.  

 

 

 

 
(n.d.)^## - View of the symmetry in the tracks within the Pacific Electric Subway Building. The subway was in operation from 1925 to 1955.  

 

 

 

 
(1924)^^ - Construction of the western portal of the Pacific Electric subway tunnel at 1st and Glendale.  

 

Historical Notes

Plans for the "Hollywood Subway," as the project came to be known, were drafted as early as February 1924, and ground was broken in May of the same year.*^

 

 

 
(1925)^ - Ceremonies commemorating the opening of the Pacific Electric tunnel under Bunker Hill, from Beverly Boulevard to 5th and Hill Street. The "Hollywood Subway" officially opened to the public on December 1, 1925.  

 

 

 

 
(1927)^## - View of Glendale bound No. 583 exiting from the Pacific Electric Subway Portal.  

 

Historical Notes

The Subway emerged as one of Los Angeles's most popular modes of public transit throughout the 1920s and 1930s. Ridership hit an all-time high during the World War II-era; in 1944 – considered to have been the Subway's peak – trains carried an estimated 65,000 passengers through the tunnel each day.*^

 

 

 
(n.d.)^ - Two Pacific Electric Railway cars leaving the tunnel at Beverly Boulevard, from downtown Los Angeles. One car is bound for Burchett Street in Glendale; the other for Hollywood Boulevard.   Photo by Tom LaBonge  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1924)^ - View of the Silver Lake Reservoir and surrounding area, with streets readied for houses. View is looking north.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1896 Herman Silver was elected to the Los Angeles City Council and was soon voted its President – acting often as the Mayor pro tem of the city.

In 1902, he City Council created a the 1st Water Commision and named Herman Silver as its Chairman. Silver was instrumental in planning a reservoir Northeast of Downtown that would combine stored water with a development of nice homes and parks.

The next Mayor came into office and failed to re-appoint Silver to the Water Board – for political reasons. The City Council reacted – praising Herman Silver by naming the new water project after him. The area has been known, ever since, by the name – Silverlake.^**#

 

 

 
(1930)* - Silver Lake Reservoir - Silver Lake Reservoir was named for Herman Silver, first president of the Board of Commissioners, Domestic Water Works System. He served from 1902-1903. The reservoir is a earth fill dam, asphalt concrete, with paved slopes. It was put into service in May 1908.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1989, the Silver Lake Reservoir was designated LA Historic-Cultural Monument No. 422 (Click HERE to see complete listing).

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early LA Water Reservoirs

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1920s)* - Service station on north Vermont Avenue shows three automobiles parked next to the gas pumps as two attendants fill them up with "filtered gasoline". Other services such as polishing and simonizing are offered at this station, possibly named "Ventura Gasoline".  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1925)^^ - Exterior view of a Richfield Service Station. Four gasoline pumps stand below a large covering which reads "Richfield Service Station, Richfield Oil Company". Between the gasoline pumps a man in a lightly-colored uniform can be seen in the doorway of the shop which stands behind the station with the label "Open day and night". A second man in an identical uniform tends to an automobile on the right.  

 

 

 

 
(1925)^ - A wet policeman directs traffic in a flooded intersection at Main and 10th Streets in 1925. The Hotel Apex is on the corner, as well as W. P. Fuller & Co., paints and glass.  

 

 

 

 
(1925)^ - Aerial view of the Legion Ascot Speedway located along Soto Street from Valley Blvd. to Multnomah St. The speedway operated between 1924 and 1936 in the Lincoln Heights area.  

 

Historical Notes

The five-eighths mile Ascot Speedway began life as the New Ascot Speedway on January 20, 1924. The banked oval that was originally dirt but constant applications of road oil soon produced a surface that was similar to pavement. The cars that raced at Ascot throughout the years were the ancestors of what we today call "sprint cars".

In 1928 the Glendale American Legion Post took over the promotion and brought in the cars and drivers of the American Automobile Association (AAA). The AAA was the leading racing organization in the country and controlled all the major speedways including Indianapolis.

From 1924 to 1936, a multitude of crashes resulted in loss of life.  Some two dozen drivers lost their lives at Ascot. The death toll was one reason the Glendale American Legion bowed out of race promotion in early 1935---the other reason was the diminishment of crowds due to the emergence of midget auto racing at the time.  Eleven years after it opened, the Ascot Legion Racetrack was shut down. Eight months later the grandstands of the abandoned speedway burned to the ground. The land was soon subdivided and sold off.

Today, Multnomah Elementary School and a housing tract sit on the old Ascot Speedway site.*^#

 

 

 

 
(1927)^- Crowds look on as drivers prepare to begin the 100 mile race at the Legion Ascot Speedway, located on Soto Street in Los Angeles.  

 

 

 

 
(1918)^^ - Aerial view of the Goldwyn Studios in Culver City looking south. At the bottom of the photo is the front entrance of the studio known as the Colonnade Building. The Colonnade runs parallel to Washington Boulevard. To the right of the studio buildings is what was known as Lot #2 where sets were constructed for the many films produced at Goldwyn Studios. The Main Gate (circled) and part of the Colonnade still stand today, most everything else has been replaced.  

 

Historical Notes

Samuel Goldwyn purchased the studio from Triangle Studios, the first motion picture studio in Culver City, which was founded by Thomas Ince in 1915.^^

Behind the studios are empty fields which became home the the Culver City Speedway in 1924.

 

 

 
(ca. 1920)^ - Close-up view of the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer front entrance and main gate.  

 

 

 

 
(1920s)^ - Aerial view of Ince Studios or the Pathe Exchange Studios (also known as Culver Studios) located on 9336 Washington Blvd. in Culver City. An elegant convertible is parked in front of the Colonial style building. Less elegant cars are in the street. Formal gardens front the Colonial Revival building that houses the offices, behind which are the actual studios. Culver City is still rural at this time; an orchard faces the studio on the left.  

 

Historical Notes

Name changes: 1919-1924, The Ince Studios; 1925-1928, Pathé Exchange Studios; 1928-1935, RKO Studios; 1935-1948, Selznick International Pictures; 1948-1955, Howard Hughes Studio; 1955-1957, General Tire and Rubber Company; 1957-1968, Desilu Studios; 1968-1969, Perfect Film and Chemical; 1969-1977, Culver City Studios; 1977-1986, Laird International Studios; 1986-1991, The Culver Studios; 1986-, Sony Corporation.^

 

 

 
(1935)^ - Exterior view of Selznick International Pictures offices, located on Washington Boulevard in Culver City.  

 

Historical Notes

The Colonial style building has a long history: it was part of the Thomas Ince Studio, which Ince actually used as a movie set, was then converted into an office building by Cecil B. DeMille during his independent years and in 1935, it became the Selznick International Studio. In the 1950s, the lot was sold to Desilu productions.

The studio was planned by Meyer and Holler of the Milwaukee Building Company and completed ca. 1918.^

 

 

 
(ca. 1930s)^#^ - Close-up view of the Colonial style Ince Studio (later Selznick International Studios) offices.  

 

 

 

 

Before and After

 
(1918)^^ - Aerial view of the Goldwyn Studios in Culver City looking south. At the bottom of the photo is the front entrance of the studio known as the Colonnade Building. The Colonnade runs parallel to Washington Boulevard. To the right of the studio buildings is what was known as Lot #2 where sets were constructed for the many films produced at Goldwyn Studios. The Main Gate (circled) and part of the Colonnade still stand today, most everything else has been replaced.   (1960)* - Aerial view of the Metro Goldwyn Mayer Studio lot, located at 10202 Washington Boulevard in Culver City; view is looking southeast. Venice Boulevard is horizontally at foreground; Washington Boulevard is horizontally at center; Culver Boulevard is horizontally behind the studios; Overland Avenue is vertically along the right, followed by (r to l): Keystone Avenue, Mentone Avenue, Le Bourget Avenue, Motor Avenue, Vinton Avenue and Jasmine Avenue; Ballona Creek flows horizontally in the distance. Several soundstages, sets and other buildings are tightly, yet neatly, situated throughout the center.

 

Historical Notes

The top two photos show how the Culver City landscape was transformed over the years. However, there was one intermediary development that occurred between the time that these to images were taken. It was called the Culver City Speedway.

 

 

 

 
(1924)^ - Aerial view of the Culver City Speedway (aka Los Angeles Speedway) looking southeast. The racetrack was located at the intersection of Culver Blvd and Overland Blvd, right across the street from MGM Studios. It operated from 1924 to 1927.  

 

Historical Notes

Jack Prince and Art Pillsbury original built a speedway in Beverly Hills. It was funded by a group of actors and others in the industry known as the Beverly Hills Speedway Syndicate. The track was inaugurated on February 28, 1920, but after only four years the 70,000-seat stadium was disassembled to make room for other improvements in the newly incorporated city of Beverly Hills.

The same developers moved the racetrack to Culver City, and it was located at the intersection of Culver Blvd and Overland Blvd, right across the street from MGM Studios. It was at this "new" location and "new" track where Red Cariens was involved in a fatal crash on November 29, 1925. It was also at this location where Mickey Rooney's classic racing movie "The Big Wheel" (1949) was shot.^

 

 

 
(1924)^ - Aerial view of the Culver City Speedway looking north toward Beverly HIlls. The large, gray, slanted structure on the right of the racetrack is the grandstand, and another one appears to be directly across on the other side. Hundreds of homes are visible past the racetrack, scattered throughout the city.  

 

Historical Notes

The site of the Culver City Speedway initially had a horse racing track in 1923, but that only lasted about a year. On December 14, 1924, it re-opened as a board racing track called the "Speedway." It was very well known, but much of the written information on it refers to it as the Los Angeles Speedway.*^

 

 

 
(1924)^ - Aerial view of the Culver City Speedway showing a cluster of cars neatly aligned behind a white "hash mark" that is most likely the finish line. The large structure with multi-color tile is the grand stand and the smaller building to the right of it might be a clubhouse or restaurant under construction.  

 

Historical Notes

The Culver City Speedway was built at a time when car races were popular, so popular in fact, that there were radio broadcasts from the speedways. California had approximately six wooden track speedways, also known as "toothpick track" speedways. Culver City Speedway operated from December 14, 1924 to March 6, 1927.^

 

 

 

 
(1924)*^#^ - View of the short-lived Culver City Speedway showing the banked board track near the corner of what are now Culver Boulevard and Overland Avenue.  

 

Historical Notes

After its closing in 1927, the Culver City Speedway was eventually removed to make way for movie studios, housing and a public park. 

The city council approved the founding of the first park in Culver City on this land. The park was originally named Victory Park by the mayor's wife because "it was a victory to get a park", but later renamed Carlson Park. Dr. Paul Carlson, a Culver City native, was a medical missionary martyred in the former Belgian Congo.*^

 

 

 

 
(1927)^ - Partial view of the Culver City Speedway (also called Los Angeles Speedway), which was in existence as an auto racing venue from December 14, 1924, until March 6, 1927. This photograph shows car number 1 pursuing car number 2 on a steep bank of the track.  

 

 

 

 
(1927)^ - Photo taken of a driver sitting in his race car, on the Los Angeles Speedway in Culver City.  

 

 

 

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References and Credits

* DWP - LA Public Library Image Archive

^ LA Public Library Image Archive

**LADWP Historic Archive

^^USC Digital Library

^*The Valley Observed: Street Name Origins; Timeline of Valley History

*# blogdowntown: Third Street Tunnel

#* About.Com: History of Electric Vehicles

#^Flickr.com: Michael Ryerson

#**California Historical Society Digital Archive

#^^Calisphere Digital Archive

#^*San Fernando Valley Relics - valleyrelics.com: Universal Studios Tour Opening Day

#*^Library of Congress: Venice Lagoon

##*A Visit to Old Los Angeles: CSULB

##^CSUN Oviatt Library Digital Archives

*##LA Times: Dig Into History You'll Find Snake Oil; Historic Bridge to Downtown Reopens; Building the LA Aqueduct; 1900 Fashion; First Car Through Hill Street Tunnel

^##Metropolitan Transportation Library and Archive

*#*Historical Los Angeles Theatres: The Philharmonic Auditorium; Downtown Theatres; Quinn's Superba; Lyceum Theatre

*^#LincolnHeightsLA.com: Legion Ascot Speedway

*#^History of Hermosa Beach - Maureen Megowan

^#*City of Redondo Beach HIstory

^*#California State Library Image Archive

^^#L.A. as Subject

^^*Early Downtown Los Angeles - Cory Stargel, Sarah Stargel; Hollenbeck Hotel

***Los Angeles Historic - Cultural Monuments Listing

**^Historicechopark.org: Echo Park Lake

^**FarmersMarketla.com

*^*California Historical Landmarks Listing (Los Angeles)

*^^Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles: losangelespast.com; Pinterest: losangelespast.com

^*^LA Street Names - LA Times

^^^Aerofiles - US Aviation First

****Windward Avenue - virtualvenice.info

**^^History of the Rosslyn Hotel

^**^Pinterest: Splinters n Speed; Cars - Bertrand Lacheze; Beverly Boards Motorcycle Racing; Snapshots - Avalon Bay

***^Oviatt Library Digital Archives

*^^^Highland Park - amoeba.com

^*^*Beverly HIlls Patch: The Beverly Hills Speedway

**^*Historical LA Theatres: The Philharmonic Auditorium

*#*#Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields – Paul Freeman

#*#*UC Riverside Image Archive

*#^#Flickr.com: Walking Over Santa Monica

^#^#U.S. Geological Survey Photographic Library

*##*Chatsworth Historical Society

^##^Glendale Historical Society

^***Malaga Cove Plaza

^^**Gary Kennemer Collection: Palm Tree Truck

^^^*Cinema Treasures: Quinn's Superba Theatre

***#Pinterest.com: 1890's to 1920's Los Angeles - Anna Blanc's LA; Snapshots - Avalon Bay

**##La Venta Inn History

*^*#Santa Monica Beach Stories

*^##LA Times: What's in a name? A family's history, Sanchez Street

*###Pacific Coast Architecture Database (PCAD): Bryson-Bonebrake Block

^###Exposition Park History - Expositionpark.org

^^##SanPedro.com: Fishing Industry

^^#^Facebook.com - Great Photos from Los Angeles' Past: Western Ave; Rogers Airfield; 1903 Sunset Blvd.

^^*#UCLA Library Digital Archive

*#**Los Angeles Westerners Corral: Venice Miniature Railway

*#^*USC Facebook.com

**^#Historical LA Theatres: Loew's State Theatre

^#^^El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monuments Listing

*#^^LAPL-El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument Photo Archive

*^*^Big Orange Landmarks: Cesar E. Chavez Avenue Viaduct; Los Angeles Athletic Club

*^^*Vintage Los Angeles - Facebook.com: Bliss Station; Pacific Telephone Switchboard

^^*^Restaurantwarecollectors.com: Angelus Hotel

^^^^Beverly Hills Board Track Racing

^^^#Los Angeles Fire Department Historical Archive

^#**Facebook.com - City of Angels: Alligator Farm; Lankershim Hotel

^#*#Angels Flight Goes to the Movies

^#*^Facebook.com - Bizarre Los Angeles

^*^#Uncanny.net: Bunker Hill

*^#*On Bunker Hill: Crocker Mansion

**#*Creating a Landmark: the Historic Casino Point

**#^LA Magazine: How Ivanhoe Canyon Became Silver Lake; 2nd Street Tunnel

*#*^HistoryLosAngeles.blogspot.com: Lankershim Hotel

^**#Jewish Museum of the American West: Herman Silver

^*##Calisphere: University of California Image Archive

^*#*Before USC

*^#^Huntington Digital Library Archive

^*#^Studiotour.com

*##^Wikimapia: Pacific Electric Edendale Cut

^#^*Facebook.com - City of Angels: Cyclone Racer

^##*Pinterest: Bygone Los Angeles

#*^^Flickr.com: Views of Los Angeles

#***S.S. Hermosa: pasadenastarnews.com

#**^LA County Library Image Archive

#^^^Santa Monica Beach Stories

##**Canyon News: Mulholland HIghway

##^^City of Angels: 1910s - Facebook.com

##*^Ballona Blog

##^*Google Maps

#^*#Urban Diachrony - Occidental Hotel

^^^*San Fernando Valley Relics: Facebook.com

#^#^Zotzelectrical.com: Baker Motors

#^^*Oceanpark.wordpress.com: Ocean Park Time Line

#^**Ocean Park History: oceanpark.wordpress.com

#^*^Pinterest.com: Old Hollywood

#*#^Brand Park and Studios: glendale.ca.us

#^#*A History of the San Fernnando Valley: lahistoryarchive.org

#^*#Urban Diachrony - Occidental Hotel

*#*#*Venice Miniature Railroad - Jeffrey Stanton

^^##^LincolnHeightsLa.com: Selig Zoo

#^*^#Laurel Canyon Association

**^**Retronaut - Hollywoodland Sign

***^^Will Rogers Memorial Park

****#Tumblr.com: LA History - Leonis Adobe

**^*# PlayaVistaProperties.com

^*^**Los Angeles City Historical Society

**^*^Pacific Electric Historical Society

^*^*^Venice History: Roller Coasters and Carousels

^***^Ow.ly: Lake and 12th - Before and After

*^^^*LA Bureau of Street Services: bss.lacity.org

*^*^*SantaMonicaPier.com

**# KCET - Lost Tunnels of Downtown LA; Three Forgotton Incline Railways; A Brief History of LA Bridges; A Brief History of Palm Trees; When L.A.'s Most Famous Streets Were Dirt Roads; How Oil Wells Once Dominated Southern California's Landscape: Urban Surgery: Wilshire Extension

^#^Noirish Los Angeles - forum.skyscraperpage.com; Windsor-Wilshire Streetlight; Sixth and Spring Streets (CHS); Windsor Square Aerial; LARy Driver; Inceville - Inceville - palipost.com; Fire Station Horses and Dogs; Broadway Tunnel; Sugarloaf Point; Angels Flight; 1907/1909 LA Panoramic; 1910 Broadway; Ince Studios; Avalon; Aerial of Burbank and Hollywoodland Sign; Lookout Mtn. View; Steamroller

*^ Wikipedia: H.J. Whitley; Occidental College; Beverly Hills; Beverly Hills Hotel; Los Angeles Railway; Pershing Square; Broadway Tunnel: Isaac Van Nuys; Sawtelle; Port of Los Angeles; Tournament of Roses Parade; Angels Flight; Occidental College; Mt. Washington, LA; Broadway, LA; Hancock Park; La Brea Tar Pits; Los Angeles City Oil Field; Deadman's Island (San Pedro); Moses Sherman; Rose Bowl Game; Hollywood Hotel; Hollywood HIgh School; California Club; San Pedro; Salt Lake Oil Field - Gilmore Oil Field; Westwood; 2nd Street Tunnel; Hermosa Beach; Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum; Redondo Beach Pier; Redondo Beach; West Hollywood; Pacific Palisades; 1910 L.A. International Air Meet at Dominguez Hills; Hancock Park; Marlborough School; Subway Terminal Building; Pacific Electric Building; Farmers and Merchants Bank; North Hollywood; Beverly Hills Speedway; Santa Catalina Island; Sunset Boulevard; Coldwater Canyon; History of the Los Angeles Police Department; Palisades del Rey; Macy St. Bridge/Caesar Chavez Viaduct; Hollywood Bowl; Rodeo Drive; Compton; North Hollywood; City of San Fernando; Carthay Circle; Farmers and Merchants Bank of Los Angeles; Ford Model T; History of Los Angeles Population Growth; Palos Verdes Estates; Selig Polyscope Company; Quinn's Superba Theatre; Los Angeles Athletic Club; Nelson Story; Los Angeles Plaza Historic District; Windsor Square; Victoria Park; Avalon Bay Stereoscopic View; Los Angeles Philharmonic; International Savings & Exchange Bank Building; Engine House No. 18; Los Angeles Alligator Farm; James Boon Lankershim; History of UCLA; Carlson Park, Culver City; Universal City; History of Santa Monica (Long Wharf); Church of the Open Door; KFWB; Leslie Brand; MacArthur Park; St. Vincent Church; The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks; Venice Canal HIstoric District; History of the San Fernando Valley; Leslie Brand; Grand Central Airport; San Vicente Boulevard; Salt Lake Oil Field; Fremont Hotel; Mulholland Drive/Highway; Lafayette Park; Marina del Rey; Leonis Adobe; Laurel Canyon

 

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