Early Los Angeles City Views (1900 - 1925)

Historical Photos of Early Los Angeles

 
(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 - Western Ave"  

 

Historical Notes

In 1900, 8,065 horses called Los Angeles home, one for every 12.7 people. Inside the city, stables, saddlers, and blacksmiths occupied prime real estate along L.A. streets. Outside the city, farmers planted countless acres with the oat and alfalfa that fueled these animal engines.

And the horse-drawn vehicle was hardly a zero-emissions machine. In fact, though Southern California's millions and millions of internal combustion engines have added up to an environmental disaster, the urban horse made the automobile look like a clean technology by comparison. A single animal produced 15-30 pounds of manure and a quart of urine each day, much of which festered on the city streets, attracting flies, soiling shoes, and mingling with dirt to form noxious mud when wet and eye-stinging dust in dry weather. And when draft animals collapsed from over-exertion, their drivers often left their carcasses to rot in the roadway -- a sight that disturbed humans and spooked other horses, occasionally triggering mad stampedes through crowded streets.

City officials struggled to keep this public health menace in check, contracting with street sweepers and dead animal removers, but ultimately it took the replacement of equine by automobile power to clean up L.A.'s streets.

Horses continued to march down (and foul up) Los Angeles streets well into the 1920s. Not until 1924 had the balance of power tilted to motorists such that city leaders felt comfortable banning horse-drawn vehicles from downtown during rush-hour -- a traffic-relief measure that remains on the books to this day.**#

 

 

 
(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.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1900)^^ - Panoramic view looking south on Broadway from the LA County Courthouse.  City Hall is the tallest structure in the distance.  

 

Historical Notes

The above photograph features the following buildings: From north-west corner of Broadway and First Street: Tajo Building (1894-1938), Tally-Ho (circa 1894-1939, adjoining Tajo to north), Watauga Hotel (four-story, two buildings north of Tally-Ho), Brotherton Building, Franklin Hotel (far lower right, top of T, Broadway at Franklin Street) and Los Angeles Police Central Division (west of, and partially behind Tajo, across First Street); South of First Street: Hough Block (unknown-1956, 2nd from SW corner), Yosemite Hotel (left of the Hough Block), Newell and Rader Block (the shorter building left of Yosemite Hotel), Newell and Gammon Building (a taller building with "Smith Premier" sign), Roanoke Building (built in 1886 as Millar Building, left of Newell), C.H. Frost Building (built in 1898, north-west corner of Broadway and Second Street), California Hotel (First and Hill Streets), Hotel Lincoln (with white cupola, Hill Street at First and Second Streets), Crocker Mansion (at Bunker Hill - just above and left of Lincoln cupola, south-east of Olive Street and Third Street); South of Second Street: California Bank Building (built in 1887, south-west corner), YMCA Building (built ca.1887, left of the California Bank), B.F. Coulter Building (built ca.1888, left of YMCA Building), Bicknell Building (built in 1892, left of the Coulter Building), H. Newmark Building (left of Bicknell), Boston Dry Goods Store (built ca. 1896, J. W. Robinson's, left of Newmark), Fred J. Byrne Building (at north-west corner with Second Street). From the left side Broadway: Second Los Angeles Times Building; South of First Street: Culver Block (at south-east corner of Broadway and First Street), Hayes Block (just east of the Culver Block), Larronde Block (at north-west corner of Spring and First Streets), Schumacher Block (just north of the Larronde Block), Nadeau Hotel (First and Spring Streets), Wilson Block (north-east corner of Spring and First Street); South of Second Street: Hellman Building (north-east corner of Broadway and Second Street), Bryson-Bonebrake Building (north-west corner of Spring and Second Streets), Hollenbeck Hotel (1884-1931, south-west corner of Second and Spring Streets), Wilcox Building (1896 - shortened in 1971, south-east corner of Spring and Second Streets), Third City Hall (1888-1928); South of Third Street: Bradbury Building (built in 1893, south-east corner of Broadway and Third Street).^^

 

 

 
(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. 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. 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

The following historical timeline lists the buildings used by City Council, also known as City Hall, since 1850, when Los Angeles was incorporated as a municipality:

◆ 1850 - 1853 - used rented hotel and other buildings for City meetings

◆ 1853 - rented adobe house (aka Rocha Adobe) on Spring Street - across from current City Hall (now parking lot for Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center). The buliding was shared with the County who used it as a Court House.

◆ 1861 - moved into John Temple's Clocktower Market Building, but only stayed for less than a year before the County Court House moved-in

◆ 1861 - 1884 - relocated back to the Rocha Adobe and stayed for over 20 years

◆ 1884 - 1888 - moved to new City Hall Building at South Spring Street and West 2nd Street (site of current Los Angeles Times Building)

◆ 1888 - 1928 - moved to new Romanesque Revival Building on 226-238 South Broadway between 2nd Street and 3rd Street; demolished in 1928 and now site of parking lot between LA Times Parking structure and 240 Broadway.

◆ 1928 - moved to current City Hall Building *^

 

 

 
(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. 1905)^^ - View looking at the north side of 1st Street showing the three-story stone Los Angeles Times Building (built in 1886), N/E corner of First Street and Broadway. Next door is a rooming house above store fronts. About fifteen pedestrians are on the sidewalk. Two horse-drawn carriages are in the street. Legible signs include: "The Times", "Furnished Rooms", "Sells Everything - The Ark, 231", "The American Café”.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1900)^^ - Panoramic view of downtown Los Angeles, looking east, as seen from the rear deck of the Crocker Mansion .  The view is looking toward the intersection of Broadway and Third Street where the Bradbury Building stands on the southeast corner. 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 and the First Congregational Church at lower-left.  

 

Historical Notes

Built in 1893, the Bradbury Building was commissioned by LA mining millionaire Lewis L. Bradbury and designed by local draftsman George Wyman.

Click HERE to see more Early Views of the Bradbury Building.

 

 

 

 

 
(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.^

Click HERE to see more Early Views of the Crocker Mansion.

 

 

 

 
(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 Hotel. Pedestrians and horse-drawn wagons are seen throughout. In 1903, the 8-story Hellman Building would be built on the northeast corner of Spring and 4th.  

 

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 Hotel 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-Bonebrake Block is at center of photo (n/w corner).  

 

 

 

 
(Early 1900s)^^ - View of Spring Street looking north from Second. The Bryson-Bonebrake 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 Brighton stands on the N/E corner (left). 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.  

 

 

 

 
(1901)^#*^ – View looking north on Main Street from around 6th Street. Photo was taken on May 8, 1901, the day U.S. President William McKinley came to Los Angeles. Horse-drawn wagons, cyclists, and pedestrians share the street.  

 

Historical Notes

President McKinley, after his second inauguration on March 4, 1901, went on a six-week tour of the United States. Traveling by train, McKinley arrived in Los Angeles on May 8. On May 10, McKinley’s train headed north with stops in Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo.

 

 

 

 
(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.” *##

 

 

 

 
(ca.1900)^^ - View showing an early fire engine pulled by large muscular horses, up a hill on First Street. Several firefighters help push the fire engine as it makes its way up the hill. The horses kick up a lot of dirt and dust as it pulls the long fire engine. On the fire engine, there is one driver who steers the horses in the front of the engine, and there is one driver in the rear who appears to be holding onto a steering wheel. A large shiny bell is mounted on the engine in front of the firefighter steering the horses. A large ladder, attached to the fire engine, can be seen along the body of the vehicle. The dirt road is littered with rocks. At left, about five children can be seen playing on the sidewalk or looking at the commotion. A woman can be seen in her window in the two-story house at left. Caption reads: "Early days with the fire companies. A hard pull up First Street hill toward a fire."  

 

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Elysian Park

 
(ca. 1895)^*# - View showing a man leaning on a rail and another man sitting in front of him as they watch workers construct a retaining wall at the newly created Elysian Park. Title on photograph reads "Work for the Unemployed in Los Angeles".  

 

Historical Notes

Elysian Park is the city's oldest public park and, at 575-acres, the second largest after Griffith Park. It is home to numerous historic sites, including the Los Angeles Police Academy and Barlow Hospital, that are linked by miles of walking trails.

In 1769, Gaspar de Portola and Father Juan Crespi camped on the river bank opposite Buena Vista Hill near the North Broadway Bridge entrance to Elysian Park. Yang-Na Indian villagers from the creeks of Solano Canyon and the current location of the Los Angeles Police Academy greeted the Spaniards with native refreshments.

In 1781, the Pueblo of Los Angeles was officially established by Spanish California Governor Felipe de Neve with the Royal Grant of 4 square Spanish leagues (translated into 28 square miles or about 17,000 acres) of Pueblo Lands. Of this public land grant, the approximately 575-acre Elysian Park is the last remaining large piece. All else has been auctioned off or given away. Los Angeles even had to buy back the site of the present City Hall. One of the first American official acts was the Ord Survey of 1849 to record the boundaries of these Pueblo Lands so they could be auctioned to produce city revenue.

Elysian Park was then known as Rock Quarry Hills for the building stone mined in the area. But instead of being sold, the Rock Quarry Hills area were "reserved" for public purpose and withdrawn from public auction.**^

 

 

 

 
(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.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1886, the Mayor and City Council of Los Angeles dedicated the Rock Quarry Hills as a city park forever, and renamed it Elysian Park (Elysian is derived from the Greek word paradise). Subsequent city charters have protected dedicated park lands and their use for park purposes in perpetuity.**^

 

 

 
(ca. 1900)^ - A small stand with three men sets beside the road just before the Fremont entrance to Elysian Park. The hill on their left is landscaped with shrubs and flowers, and 2 horses & carriages are on the road into the park.  

 

Historical Notes

After beautification, improved access was a top priority. The extension of Buena Vista Street to the park's Fremont Gate entrance brought the park within a short carriage ride of the central city, and in 1893 a former burro trail became a trans-park road. Further improvements in 1896 -- funded by a $20,000 subscription drive and performed by an army of unemployed workers -- laced the park with footpaths and added basic facilities like restrooms.**#

 

 

 
(ca. 1909)^*# – View showing a man and woman walking down the stairs at the entrance to Elysian Park.  

 

Historical Notes

The park became even more colorful in 1893, when the Los Angeles Horticultural Society created the City Arboretum in Chavez Ravine. A haphazard planting of rare trees from around the world, the arboretum transformed Elysian Park's western canyon into an exotic forest. Some of the arboretum's trees, still growing today, remain the only representatives of their species in Los Angeles..**#

 

 

Avenue of the Palms

 
(ca. 1920s)^ - The Avenue of the Palms:  Looking down the road, palm trees only a few feet apart line both sides of a wide dirt road in Elysian Park.  A single car is coming toward the camera.  

 

Historical Notes

Around 1895, Elysian Park received its most recognizable tree planting with the creation of the Avenue of the Palms, an allee of date palms (Canary Island Date Palms) along present-day Stadium Way.**#

 

 

 
(1937)^ – Avenue of the Palms in Elysian Park.  Looking down the road, palm trees only a few feet apart line both sides. A single car is parked on the left.  

 

 

 

 
(2013)++#  - View showing Avenue of the Palms, a section of Stadium Way, as it appears today. The palm trees are over 120 years old!  

 

Historical Notes

A fatal fungus – Fusarium wilt  – that has killed off Canary Island palms from Spain to Santa Monica has also spread to the Elysian Park trees. Faced with the prospect of a forest of dead palm trees, the Citizens Committee to Save Elysian Park, a nonprofit park support group, came up with a proposal to plant disease-resistant palms. The new palms and irrigation system were paid for with a fund earmarked for Elysian Park improvements.

As of May, 2014, Elysian Park has been planted with a grove of more than 100 knee-high palm trees that will one day replace the majestic Canary Island Date Palms that are slowly dying from a fatal tree fungus.

The new trees – Chilean Wine Palms, Jubaea chilensis – were planted in between the century-old palms that have risen about 50 feet high along the  Avenue of the Palms. +*

 

 

Echo Park

 
(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.**^

 

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LA Plaza Open-Air Market

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

 

Historical Notes

Initially, the majority of vegetable selling in Los Angeles was done around the circular Olvera Street Plaza, just South of Macy Street, where Caucasian, Japanese and Chinese farmers congregated with their goods. However, the increased presence of wagons and the long hours of the makeshift vegetable market became a nuisance to the city.^^^^#

Click HERE to see more Early Views of the LA Plaza.

 

Los Angeles City Market

 
(ca. 1903)^^ - View of the Los Angeles Produce Market (Old City Market) as it appeared near the time it opened.  

 

Historical Notes

The City’s demand for fresh produce was only increasing; subsequently, it leased a vacant lot at 9th Street and Los Angeles Street to provide a more regulated space for the vegetable market. This new market, known as the Hughes Market, opened its stalls in 1901, expanding at a rapid rate until it outgrew its bounds and leased another vacant lot from the city at 3rd Street and Central in 1903, establishing the Los Angeles Market Company.^^^^#

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.*^^

 

 

 
(ca. 1910)^^ - View showing wagons loaded with food at the Old City Market at 3rd Street and Central Avenue.  The street is filled with parked carriages at right containing goods to be sold at the market. Crates of fruits and vegetables clutter the sidewalks.  

 

Historical Notes

Infighting amongst the shareholders and stall vendors led to the creation of two new markets in 1909; one was the City Market of Los Angeles on 9th Street and San Pedro, established by Mr. Louis Quan, while the other remained, in name, the Los Angeles Market Company, established on 6th Street and Alameda (the Southern Pacific railroad, wanting to run track through the 3rd and Central street location, exchanged this land for the lot on 6th street). Both markets grew at a tremendous rate, and while the City Market was able to expand three blocks south to 12th street, and 1 block west from San Pedro to Wall Street, the Los Angeles Market Company soon moved to a larger space on 7th and Central Streets.^^^^#

 

 

 
(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.

In 1926, horses were legally prohibited on streets, making wagons an obsolete method for transporting produce.^^^^#

 

 

 
(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".    

 

 

Click to see more on Los Angeles City Market

 

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(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.^**

 

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Sawtelle

 
(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*^

 

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Santa Monica

 
(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

 

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San Fernando Valley

 
(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

 

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San Pedro

 
(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 east on Sixth Street from Hill Street with the First Methodist Episcopal Church on the left (N/E corner). Three women 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.  

 

 

 

 
(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.  

 

* * * * *

 

 

Hollywood Area

 
(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.  

 

Historical Notes

Hans Jevne, in the grocery business in downtown Los Angeles from 1882-1920, didn’t want to miss a sale. At some point quite early in his operations (perhaps right from the start), he determined that if customers in the vicinity couldn’t come to him—or did come but didn’t want to tote the groceries—he’d have the merchandise delivered to them.

While free home delivery by a grocery store was certainly not originated by Jevne, he eventually provided that service on an exceptionally grand scale.

He employed deliverymen at least as early as 1893. On As of 1889, when “The Illustrated History of Los Angeles County, California” was published, H. Jevne Co. had 13 horses (and employed 27 men). His store, at 38 and 40 North Spring Street, had by then expanded from a single room in the building to both floors, according to the book.

In 1890, Jevne moved to a three-story building at 136 and 138 N. Spring St. (in the “Wilcox Block”), and in 1896 relocated to 208/210 S. Spring Street (in the newly opened “Wilcox Building”). Jevne continued to offer home delivery, shifting from reliance on horse-pulled wagons to motorized vehicles.^^^**

 

* * * * *

 

La Fiesta de las Flores Parade

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

 

Historical Notes

La Fiesta de Los Angeles which began on April 10, 1894, was a four day festival that the city threw in its own honor celebrating its many different cultures. It continued throughout the 1890s and early 1900s. The event featured parades, floats, many flowers, athletic competitions, a costume ball, and carnival attended by masked revelers. It was conceived of by a local business man as a way to attract tourism at a time when the effects of the 1893 depression were being felt.

The City Hall building as 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.  

 

 

 

 
(1901)^^ – View looking north on Spring Street from 4th Street showing crowds of spectators observing the Chinese dragon in a parade at the Los Angeles Fiesta. One parade marcher carries a stool on which the head of the dragon sits when at rest. American flags hang from lines strung across the road. Onlookers sit on the edge of the roof in the foreground.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1901)^^ – View showing a carriage drawn by 6 horses and decorated with flowers, the Friday Morning Club float, standing at the corner of Second Street and Hill Street, during La Fiesta de Los Angeles.  

 

Historical Notes

Founded by abolitionist, suffragist, mother and homemaker Caroline Severance in 1891, the Friday Morning Club (FMC) was the largest single women's club in California, with membership of over 1,800 women by the 1920s. Women's clubs were a mainstay of middle-class women's social and intellectual life across America from the end of the Civil War until the middle of the 20th century, when their numbers declined as opportunities increased for women's equal participation in mainstream business, educational, and social institutions.*^

 

 

 
(1903)^ - View of La Fiesta de las Flores parade passing in front of 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 showing the same floats as previous photo but now Broadway. Thousands of people line the street and/or sit in the stands. Sign on building reads "Conservative Life".  

 

 

 

 
(1903)+*+ - Chinese Dragon winds its way heading north on Broadway in front of Los Angeles City Hall , at the Fiesta de la Flores Parade. The County Courthouse tower can be seen in the upper-left.  

 

Historical Notes

The 1903 La Fiesta de la Flores parade was notable because President Theodore Roosevelt was in attendance and watched as it passed this reviewing stand. On each side, flanking the Presidential stand, is the Grand Stand containing the Executive Committee, sub-committees, County and City Officials, and invited guests.  After the Floral Parade, the Presidential party entered the carriages in waiting and with military escort, drove to Sixth Street Park (later Pershing Square).+*+

 

 

 
(ca. 1910)*^ - The Wheelmen were regular participants in the La Fiesta de Los Angeles downtown parade in April.  

 

* * * * *

 

 

Tournament of Roses (Pasadena)

 
(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 more in Early Views of Pasadena

 

* * * * *

 

 

 

 
(1900)### - View looking northwest from the top of the County Courthouse located on Temple Street and Broadway. The tall building with a clock tower is Los Angeles High School. The Broadway Tunnel would be bored through Fort Moore Hill, at the end Broadway (center-right), within a year of this photo.  

 

Historical Notes

The Broadway Tunnel was a tunnel under Fort Moore Hill, built in 1901, 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).*^

Buildings seen include the Hotel Aberdeen and the Women's Christian Temperance Union building with a rounded corner and a balustrade on the cornice. Signs read: "Hotel Aberdeen" "W.C.T.U, Temperance Temple, Furnished Rooms" and "Sanitarium and Health Office." Multi-story Victorian houses have half-timbering, dormers, and turrets.

 

 

 
(1901)^ - Close-up view of 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.  

 

 

 
(ca. 1902)^ - 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 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.*^

 

 

Broadway Tunnel

 
(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 a tunnel under Fort Moore Hill 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).

The tunnel was completed and opened for traffic on Saturday, August 17, 1901. The cost in its construction was $66,000.

Third Street Tunnel under Bunker Hill was also completed in 1901.*^

 

 

 

 
(1914)+#+# – View showing the south portal of the Broadway Tunnel.  Note the pedestrian staircase on the face of the tunnel.  

 

Historical Notes

The Broadway Tunnel was 760 feet long, 40 feet wide and 22 feet high, with a grade of 6 in 100, falling toward the east.*^

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1905)^^ - Panoramic view looking northwest as seen from the LA County Courthouse (S/E corner of Broadway and Temple Street) showing a completed Broadway Tunnel at center and Los Angeles High School in the background.  

 

 

 

 

Before and After

 
 
(1900)### vs. (1905)^^ - View looking northwest from the top of the County Courthouse located on Temple Street and Broadway.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1905)^^ - Detail view showing houses, dirt road, and a horse-drawn carriage above the finished tunnel.  Note the wooden steps on the right.  Also, there is a sign above the tunnel entrance that warns of a $50 fine "For Riding Or Driving Through This Tunnel Faster Than A Walk".  

 

Historical Notes

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.*^

 

 

 

 
(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.^#^

 

 

 

Then and Now

 
(1905)^^ - Then   (1987)^#^ - Now

 

 

Click HERE to see more Early Views of the Broadway Tunnel

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1905)^^ – Panoramic view looking northwest from the LA County CourthouseLos 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 at Temple Street. A horse-drawn carriage is shown parked along the street past the Temple and other neighboring buildings.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1900)^ - View of Broadway looking south toward Temple Street, with the County Courthouse on the left.  The northern wall of the Temperance Temple Building (N/E corner of Broadway and Temple) is at center-right.  City Hall (built in 1888) stands tall in the distance.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1901)#^^ – View looking northwest showing Temple Street as seen from the LA County Courthouse.  A horse-drawn carriage and a streetcar can be seen at the intersection of Temple and N. Hill streets at center of photo. The Temperance Temple Building is at lower right.  

 

Historical Notes

At the end of Temple Street can be spotted one of Los Angeles' earliest streetlights. They were carbon-arc lamps mounted on 150-foot tall poles. Click HERE to see more in Early Los Angeles Streetlights.

 

 

 
(ca. 1905)^^ - View looking northwest from the top of the LA County Courthouse toward the intersection of Temple and North Hill streets. The Hollywood Hills can be seen in the background. Same view as previous photo but 4 years later.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1905)### - View showing the Los Angeles County Courthouse located on Poundcake Hill at the southeast corner of Temple and Broadway as seen from the Women's Christian Temperance Union Building across the street. In view are pedestrians, a cable car, horse-drawn buggies, houses and commercial buildings.  

 

Historical Notes

Constructed in 1891, the Los Angeles County Courthouse stood where the city’s first high school, Los Angeles High School, had been located. The high school was there from 1873 until 1886 when it was moved to North Hill Street to allow for construction of the courthouse.^

 

* * * * *

 

Third Street Tunnel

 
(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. Angels 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.  

 

 

 

 
(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.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1901)#^^# – Panoramic view showing a horse-drawn wagon and two horse-drawn carriages heading toward the entrance to the Third Street Tunnel shortly after it opened.  On the left can be seen the newly constructed Angels Flight, also completed in 1901.  

 

Historical Notes

Sign above tunnel entrance reads:  "Notice, $50.00 fine for riding or driving through this tunnel faster than a walk".

 

Angels Flight

 
(1901)^#^ - Photo of Angels Flight at the grand opening of the incline railway, December 31st, 1901.  

 

Historical Notes

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

An observation tower and a 'Camera Obscura' were also constructed on top of the hill adjacent to the Crocker Mansion .

A Camera Obscura (Latin: "dark chamber") is an optical device that consists of a box or room with a hole in one side. Light from an external scene passes through the hole and strikes a surface inside, where it is reproduced, rotated 180 degrees (thus upside-down), but with color and perspective preserved. The image can be projected onto paper, and can then be traced to produce a highly accurate representation.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1901)**#** – Brochure for Angel’s Flight, compliments of J.W. EDDY.  “Have You Visited the Angel’s Flight?  If Not Why Not?  It is the most unique, interesting and picturesque inclined railway in the world.”  

 

Historical Notes

Brochure reads: "It is in the heart of the city--Hill and Third Street, Los Angeles, Cal. The ride is inspiring and perfectly safe. The view from the tower--'Angel's View'--is grand beyond compare, overlooking city, sea and mountains. The Camera Obscura, the most perfect in existence, puts a beautiful living picture of Third Street and vicinity on canvas before you.

Fares 4 cents, three for 10 cents, ten for 25 cents, 100 for $1.00.  Angel’s View with Camera Obscura and Field Glasses 5 cents, 3 for 10 cents.  Best Pavilion, “Angel’s Rest,” overlooking city, Kiddy Park and Fountain Free.  Easy chairs.  Search Light at night.  Come and bring your friends and enjoy yourselves.**#**

A Camera Obscura was also installed in Santa Monica in 1898. Click HERE to see more.

 

 

 
(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 Angels 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

Angels 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 Angels 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 Angels 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.  

 

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1903)^^ - View showing Angels Flight and observation tower at the 3rd Street tunnel. A horse-drawn carriage approaches the tunnel opening and several pedestrians are on the sidewalk at left. Legible signs include: "Angels Flight", "S. Hill St.", "Notice, $50.00 fine for riding or driving through this tunnel faster than a walk".  

 

 

 

 
(1907)^ - Angels 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 Angels 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 Angels 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 Angels 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)^#f - View of Angels 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 Angels 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.  

 

 

 

 
(Early 1900s)^#^ – Postcard view looking east on 3rd Street as seen from the observation tower at the top of Angels Flight.  

 

 

 

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

 

Historical Notes

An archway labeled "Angels 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 YWCA 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 Angels Flight cars stopped at the lower terminus.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1910)^#^ - Autos and horse-drawn carriage are heading toward the 3rd St. Tunnel. Angels 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 Angels Flight with traffic flowing in and out of the Third Street Tunnel. Sign on right reads: LEFT TURN PROHIBITED.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1915)#^ – View showing a newspaper boy standing next to a traffic officer in the middle of the intersection at 3rd and Hill streets.  Angels Flight and the Third Street Tunnel are in the background.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1922)^^ – View looking looking east along 3rd Street from east portal of the Third Street Tunnel with Angels Flight on the right.  

 

 

 

* * * * *

 

 

 

 
(Early 1900s)^ - Los Angeles historical view looking northeast showing the heart of downtown in early 1900s. Aliso Street runs diagonally away from the center of photo.  

 

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, located on the 300 block of Main Street.

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.^^#

 

 

 
(ca. 1900)^ - View looking northeast along Aliso Street from San Pedro Street. Street cars and a gas storage tank are seen in the background. On the left is a Los Angeles Fire Station. On the right, second building, is a barber shop. A few horse and buggies are waiting at the curb. Today, the 101 Freeway runs in alignment with Aliso St.  

 

 

 

 
(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.#*

 

 
(ca.1903)^^ -  View showing two women crossing the street at Spring and Fifth Street looking west toward a group of buildings at a distance.  The buildings are located on the west side of Broadway just south of Fifth Street with the Los Angeles Examiner building visible at center.  

 

Historical Notes

The Los Angeles Examiner was founded in 1903 by William Randolph Hearst as a union-friendly answer to the Los Angeles Times. At its peak in 1960, the Examiner had a circulation of 381,037. It attracted the top newspapermen and women of the day. The Examiner flourished in the 1940s under the leadership of City Editor James H. Richardson, who led his reporters to emphasize crime and Hollywood scandal coverage.*^

 

 

 
(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  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1903)^ - The intersection at Broadway and 5th, looking south from 5th. The Los Angeles Examiner building is visible on the right. 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. 1903)^ - View showing a horse-drawn wagon and three bicycles parkd in front of the Los Angeles Examiner building located at 509 South Broadway.  

 

Historical Notes

The Herald Examiner would move into a new, larger building in 1914, located at the southwest corner of Broadway and 11th Streets. Click HERE to see the Examiner's 2nd buidling located at 1111 South Broadway.

 

 

 
(ca. 1908)^^ - View looking south on Broadway from Fifth Street showing two streetcars heading in opposite directions.  One streetcar sign reads “Boyle Hts” and the other “Downey Ave". On the left can be seen several horse-drawn carriages and on the right a young man is riding a bicycle with a package under his arm. Also at right, commercial buildings line the street, including the Los Angeles Examiner building.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1967, Herald Examiner employees began a strike that lasted almost a decade and resulted in at least $15 million in losses. The paper never recovered from the strike and went out of business November 2, 1989, leaving the Los Angeles Times as the sole city-wide daily newspaper.*^

 

 

 

 
(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 Street.  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.
 

 

 

 

Sunset Boulevard's Grand Opening

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

 

Historical Notes

Sunset Boulevard had its grand opening on May 14, 1904.  A parade of a dozen or so automobiles — accompanied by horse-drawn carriages, tally-hos, and electric rail cars — puttered over the freshly macadamized roadway that now connected Los Angeles with the then-independent city of Hollywood. Crowds of well-wishers gathered along the route. **#

 

 

 

 
(1904)**# - The procession at the intersection of Sunset and Glendale (then Lake Shore Avenue).  This view looks west toward the present-day site of the Echo and Echoplex music venues.  Courtesy of the Automobile Club of Southern California Archives.  

 

Historical Notes

Property owners in the hilly area now known as Silver Lake and Echo Park soon realized that the road would catalyze development and boost the value of their holdings. In 1892, led by the Los Angeles and Pacific Railway and a Confederate Civil War veteran named George H. Smith, they petitioned the city to open Sunset Boulevard through their land. The city council mapped out a route the following year, tracing the path of the defunct Ostrich Farm Railway. Actual work, however, didn't begin in earnest until April 18, 1903, when contractor Charles Stansbury and his workers began carving the boulevard's meandering path into the area's soft sandstone hills. **#

 

 

 

 
(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.  

 

Historical Notes

When the new boulevard finally opened in the spring of 1904, its future as one of L.A.'s iconic automobile routes might have seemed unlikely. The road surface was uneven in places, and there had been no effort to plant shade trees — an oversight that celebrants hastily remedied by fastening palm fronds to telegraph poles. Furthermore, the boulevard didn't yet extend to the sea and wouldn't until 1934, when sinuous Beverly Boulevard was remade into the westernmost stretch of Sunset. **#

 

* * * * *

 

 

 

 
(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)^ - At the intersection of Main (foreground) and 9th streets, a bicycle group prepares to depart for Griffith Park.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1904)^^ – Portrait of veterans "Teddy's Terrors" at First Street and Broadway.  Soldiers from the Spanish-American War who served under Theodore Roosevelt stand in front of a two-story brick corner building in their cavalry uniforms with a group of young boys standing with their bicycles to the left. More onlookers are visible to the right and peering out of the windows above. These soldiers were campaigning for the soon-to-be President Roosevelt at the time.   

 

 

 

Los Angeles Police

 
(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 in front of the prison.  

 

Historical Notes

Los Angeles' first patrol wagon was also used as an ambulance. It was bought in 1904, was driven by electricity and boasted 20 miles per hour.^

 

 

 
(Early 1900s)^ - View showing police officers in front of Los Angeles' first horseless patrol wagon. 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.  

 

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.*^

 

 

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

 

 

 

 
(1919)*^#^ - A group portrait of Los Angeles police officers standing in front of the Stephen M. White statue, with the LA County Courthouse building behind them. At center, in front row is police chief George K. Home, wearing hat that says "Chief." The man second from left, front row, is Alexander W. Murray.  

 

* * * * *

 

 

Pacific Electric Interurban Lines (Pasadena and Glendale-Burbank)

 
(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.  

 

Historical Notes

Pasadena, twelve miles northeast of Los Angeles, early became the second largest city in the county and retained that distinction for many years; in more recent times, staid Pasadena has been surpassed by other cities, but during most of PE's time, Pasadena ranked second only to Los Angeles in passenger traffic importance.

 

 

 
(ca. 1904)^ - View of a Pacific Electric Railway car making its way south on its track near what is now called Riverside Drive, traveling south from the Silver Lake and Los Feliz areas. The 5 Freeway is now located at this spot. Griffith Park is visible in the background and a few homes can be seen as well.  

 

Historical Notes

The Glendale-Burbank Line was for many years PE's finest example of suburban rail service. It presented multiple unit PCC cars, considerable private way and the subway entry into downtown Los Angeles. PE brought such crowds to Glendale that in 1906 the incorporation of the city was effected.**#**

 

 

 
(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 Drive over a viaduct before continuing along a hillside ledge to the Monte Sano stop at Glendale Blvd. and Riverside Drive.*##^

 

Fletcher Viaduct

 
(1904)^ - View showing the construction of the Fletcher Viaduct at Riverside Drive in Silver Lake. It was built for the PE Glendale-Burbank Line through Edendale.  

 

Historical Notes

The Pacific Electric Glendale and Burbank interurban railway lines, including the Fletcher Viaduct, was constructed in 1904 and abandoned in 1955.*##^

 

 

 
(Early 1900s)^## – View showing two PE cars of the Glendale-Burbank Line on top of the Fletcher Drive timber bridge.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1904, a nearly 454 foot long bridge, the Fletcher Viaduct, was built over Fletcher Drive, which ran forty feet below. The viaduct stood until 1928 when it was replaced by a steel structure bridge.**#

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1920)#+ – View looking northeast from the intersection of Fletcher Drive and Glendale Boulevard showing the Fletcher Drive Viaduct in the distance.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1928)*^#^ - Pacific Electric Railway streetcar going over the Fletcher Drive trestle on the Glendale-Burbank.  Currie’s Ice Cream (large cone on top of building) can be seen in at center-left.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1928, when Fletcher was paved, the original timber bridge was replaced with a steel structure mounted on concrete footings. The newer structure soared more than 60 feet above the street. **#

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1938)^ - View of the Fletcher Drive Viaduct seen here with steel trestles that replaced the wooden bridge in 1928.  The ice cream cone shaped sign for Currie's Ice Cream* (2500 Riverside Drive) can be seen on the left just past the bridge. Atwater Village, Glendale, and the San Gabriel Mountains are seen in the center.  

 

Historical Notes

*People still fondly remember the Currie’s chain and its “mile-high cone” whose replica was often displayed billboard-style on roofs. The chain was started in 1927 by three brothers named Kuhns. After WWII they sold it to the Good Humor Company who later sold it to Lipton in the 1960s. In 1964 the chain opened its 87th store, in North Hollywood. Although Currie’s anticipated launching units in every community in Southern California, only three outlets were listed in the 1967 Los Angeles phone book and the chain had disappeared by the 1980s. +##+

 

 

 
(ca. 1939)^ - Ground view of the steel-framed Fletcher Drive Viaduct that replaced the original wooden bridge.  

 

Historical Notes

The 1928-built steel trestle remained in place until 1959, when it and the nearby Riverside Drive Viaduct at Glendale Boulevard were demolished.**#

 

 

 
(1955)^## – View showing Pacific Electric Railway car no. 5008 inbound at the Fletcher Drive trestle. The steel-framed viaduct would be torn down in 1959 leaving behind only its concrete footings.  

 

Historical Notes

Today the Fletcher Viaduct's concrete footings and pylons are still there and have been designated as LA Historic-Cultural Monument No. 770 (Click HERE to see complete listing).

 

 

 

 
(1950s)#+ – View looking northwest down toward the intersection of Fletcher and Riverside drives as seen from a Glendale Red Car on top of the Fletcher Viaduct.  Currie’s Ice Cream store sign is visible on the left and the I-5 (Golden State Freeway) is at the excavation stage.  The chapel at Forest Lawn can be seen in the distance (upper-right).  Richfield Gas Station is the foreground.  Click HERE to see more Early LA Gas Stations.  

 

 

 

 

Edendale Glendale-Burbank Line

 
(ca. 1914)^## – View showing Pacific Electric City Car No. 227 on the Edendale Glendale-Burbank Line, circa 1914.  

 

Historical Notes

Edendale referred to the neighborhood located in what's now Echo Park and Silver Lake that was famous for being the center of film production on the west coast. Today few reminders exist, although the local post office is still called the Edendale Station, there's still Edendale Place, and the former Mack Sennett Studio where Keystone Kops films were shot still stands behind a Jack in the Box -- although it's been repurposed as a Public Storage facility.**#

 

 

Mack Sennett Studios

 
(ca 1917)*^ - A high view of the Mack Sennett Studios showing many open-roofed studios with cloth diffusers. A huge sign reads: "Paramount-Comedies-Mack Sennett-Comedies." Paramount Pictures distributed Sennett's silent films from 1917 to 1921. The present address of the site is 1712 Glendale Boulevard, Echo Park.  

 

Historical Notes

Keystone Studios was an early movie studio founded in Edendale (which is now a part of Echo Park) on July 4, 1912 as the Keystone Pictures Studio by Mack Sennett with backing from actor-writer Adam Kessel and Charles O. Baumann, owners of the New York Motion Picture Company.  The company filmed in and around Glendale and Silver Lake for several years, and its films were distributed by the Mutual Film Corporation between 1912 and 1915.*^

The original main building, the first totally enclosed film stage and studio in history, is still standing at Glendale Blvd. between Aaron and Effie Streets in Echo Park, although it's been repurposed as a Public Storage facility

 

 

 
(ca. 1917)#+ – Two men stand at the entryway to the Mack Sennett Studios while another two men are by an electric vehicle parked at the curb.  The entrance was located at 1712 Allesandro Street (later Glendale Boulevard around 1922-23) in Edendale (later Echo Park).  

 

Historical Notes

The studio is perhaps best remembered for the era under Mack Sennett when he created the slapstick antics of the Keystone Cops, from 1912, and for the Sennett Bathing Beauties, beginning in 1915. Charles Chaplin got his start at Keystone when Sennett hired him fresh from his vaudeville career to make silent films.

Other important actors worked at Keystone toward the beginning of their film careers, including Marie Dressler, Harold Lloyd, Mabel Normand, Roscoe Arbuckle, Gloria Swanson, Louise Fazenda, Raymond Griffith, Ford Sterling, Ben Turpin, Harry Langdon, Al St. John and Chester Conklin.

Sennett departed the studio in 1917 to produce his own independent films (eventually distributed through Paramount). Keystone's business decreased after his departure, and finally closed after bankruptcy in 1935.*^

 

* * * * *

 

 

Glassel Park and Cypress Park

 
(1900)^ - The Los Angeles River and a farming area looking northeast from Elysian Park. The view is looking toward Cypress Park and Glassell Park.  

 

Historical Notes

Glassell Park is bordered on the north by Glendale, on the northeast and east by Eagle Rock, on the southeast by Mount Washington, on the south and southwest by Elysian Valley and on the west by Atwater Village.*^

 

 

 
(1926)^ - Panoramic view of residential areas bordering the Los Angeles River as seen from Elysian Park, looking northeast toward Glassell Park, Cypress Park and Mt. Washington. Compare to previous photo.  

 

Historical Notes

Cypress Park is situated near the confluence of the Los Angeles River and Arroyo Seco, less than 2.5 miles north of Downtown Los Angeles. It lies within a historic alluvial floodplain shared with the Elysian Valley neighborhood, which is bounded by Elysian Park and Mt. Washington.*^

 

* * * * *

 

 

Glendale

 
(ca. 1900)^ - Panoramic view from Griffith Park of the site of the later city of Glendale as it appeared sometime between the partition of the great San Rafael Rancho in 1870 and the founding of the town in the middle eighties. The Verdugo Hills and San Gabriel Mountains are seen in background.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1884, residents gathered to form a townsite and chose the name "Glendale" (it was bounded by First Street (now Lexington Drive) on the north, Fifth Street (now Harvard Street) on the south, Central Avenue on the west, and the Childs Tract on the east). Residents to the southwest formed "Tropico" in 1887. The Pacific Electric Railway brought streetcar service in 1904.

Glendale incorporated in 1906, and annexed Tropico 12 years later.*^

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1910)^ - Panoramic view of Glendale, taken from Forest Lawn Hill.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1915)#*^ - Panoramic view of Glendale showing the Pacific Electric Railway running north and south on Brand Boulevard.  

 

Historical Notes

The Pacific Electric Railway brought streetcar service to Glendale in 1904.

An important civic booster of the era was Leslie Coombs Brand, who built an estate in 1904 called El Miradero featuring an eye-catching mansion whose architecture combined characteristics of Spanish, Moorish, and Indian styles (today’s Brand Library and Art Center). Brand partnered with Henry E. Huntington to bring the Pacific Electric Railway, or the "Red Cars," to the area. Today, he is memorialized by one of the city's main thoroughfares, Brand Boulevard.*^

 

 

 

 
(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.  

 

 

 

Then and Now

 
 
(ca. 1910) vs. (2009)*^ - View of Glendale from Forest Lawn Memorial Park  

 

Historical Notes

When incorporated in 1906, Glendale consisted of only 1,486 acres.  By 1920, the City had grown through nine annexations to over 7,000 acres. From 1920 to 1930, ten annexations brought the total area to 12,294 acres.
The period 1930 to 1950 established many small annexations culminating in the 2,160 acre Whiting Woods and Verdugo Mountains annexations. This brought the area of the City to 15,140 acres or 23.6 square miles. Two major annexations, New York Avenue (in the La Crescenta area) and Upper Chevy Chase Canyon, and several smaller annexations enlarged the City to 29.2 square miles by 1952. Since 1952, twenty-seven annexations have occurred. The largest of these was the 662.8 acre Inter-Valley Ranch, now known as the George Dukemejian Wilderness Park. Currently the City consists of 30.5 square miles with a population of over 200,000. ###*

 

Click HERE to see more Early Views of Glendale

 

* * * * *

 

City of Tropico

 
(1903)#+++ – A map of Tropico showing rail lines and surrounding area.  

 

Historical Notes

Tropico was put on the map as a fertile agricultural spot in the late 1800s. Shortly thereafter, the town began distancing itself from the rest of Glendale. In 1918, the neighborhood formally succeeded in becoming an independent entity for a short time.

 

 

 
(ca. 1900)^^ – View showing a "Tropico & Glendale" electric car outside Casa Verdugo adobe (Catalina Verdugo Adobe) in Glendale. The conductor stands outside of his electric car on the right with the tracks in front of him leading to the left foreground. Two more men stand next to an electrical pole at center while others sit under the shade of trees at left. The adobe can barely be seen through the trees.  

 

Historical Notes

Rancho San Rafael was granted to José María Verdugo on October 20, 1784. Don José died April 12, 1831, leaving his estate to his son Julio and his blind daughter Catalina. This adobe was built for Dona Catalina in the 1830s; she lived here until her death in 1861. Still in excellent condition, the Catalina, or Original Mud Block, Adobe is now in private ownership. Location: 2211 Bonita Dr, Glendale

The Catalina Verdugo Adobe is registered as California Historical Landmark No. 637 and the California Parlor No. 247. Click HERE to see more California HIstorical Landmarks in LA.

 

 

 
(n.d.)*^ – Map view showing the boundaries of Tropico.  

 

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. ^##^

 

 

 
(1911)##^ – A banner in support of the annexation of Tropico to Glendale in 1911 hangs outside the measure's headquarters on Broadway near Brand Boulevard in Glendale. The measure failed to pass, with Tropico instead voting for its own incorporation as a city. The issue would be revisited in 1918, when the upper half of Tropico would become a part of Glendale.  

 

Historical Notes

Tropico was just a sleepy little village in the early 1900s. The business district included a few wooden buildings containing a general store, a blacksmith shop, meat store, livery stable, real estate offices and a few other small concerns. The buildings were all clustered near the intersection of San Fernando Road and Central Avenue. But within a few short years, the wood-frame buildings were replaced with brick, business boomed and the community became vibrant. The Tropico Art Tile Works stood just west of the railroad tracks, employing many people, and Tropico also became the shipping center for the strawberries raised in the area.

Because of its proximity to Los Angeles, the area became a popular residential spot. The Tropico Chamber of Commerce organized in 1910, along with the Bank of Tropico, and soon the community realized it needed a city government.

With so many of its residents commuting into Los Angeles, many favored annexing to Los Angeles. Others, seeing Glendale's successful example of home rule, wanted to be part of Glendale, which had incorporated in 1906. #+#+

 

 

 

 
(1910s)#+++ - View looking N/W on San Fernando Road at Central Ave with the Bank of Tropico located on the triangular lot at right.  

 

Historical Notes

With so many of its residents commuting into Los Angeles, many favored annexing to Los Angeles. Others, seeing Glendale's successful example of home rule, wanted to be part of Glendale, which had incorporated in 1906.  They felt that since the two communities were adjacent and in the same valley, they should be affiliated. Those favoring annexation with Glendale (mainly in the northeast part of Tropico) approached Glendale officials in 1911 and asked that an election be called.

The publishers of the Tropico Sentinel vehemently opposed annexation, and the issue failed. Instead, Tropico incorporated as its own city, with Elkanah W. Richardson, son of Tropico's founder, W.C.B. Richardson, serving as a member of the board of trustees.

The new city government immediately embarked on a badly needed improvement of the roads, but the annexation issue didn't go away.  Petition after petition was filed, each one eventually failing, until finally, in 1918, the annexation proposal passed.  The upper half of Tropico voted to go with Glendale, and the lower half voted to merge with Los Angeles. Today, that portion makes up the area known as Atwater. #+#+

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1910)#+++ – View showing a woman standing in front of the Tropico Post Office, with a bicycle parked by the curb.  

 

Historical Notes

The Tropico Post Office building was owned by WCB Richardson and was located near the corner of Central Avenue and San Fernando Road.

 

 

Then and Now

 
 
(1910s) vs. (2015)##^^ – View looking N/W on San Fernando Road at S. Central Avenue.  

 

 

 

El Miradero

 
(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.^

 

* * * * *

 

 

Downtown Los Angeles

 
(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. 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".   

 

* * * * *

 

 

State Normal School

 
(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)^^ – View looking north showing the Downey Block on the N/W corner of Spring Street and Temple Street at the intersection of Spring, Main, and Temple streets. Men and women stand along the sidewalks and in the street in front of the Romanesque Downey Block, a building which houses several commercial interests; The Hazard and Harpham Patent Office advertises on the top floor, while signs on the bottom floor advertise all types of alcoholic beverages.  

 

Historical Notes

The Downey Block was demolished in 1904. Since then the corner has been the site of two Federal Buildings: the Federal Building and Post Office (1910 - 1937) and the Federal Courthouse and U.S. Post Office Building (1940 - Present).

The Hazard and Harpham Patent Office moved to a building on the southeast corner of Fifth and Spring streets (see next photo).

 

 

 
(ca. 1905)^^ – View showing the southeast corner of Fifth and Spring Streets. At center, the Hazzard and Harpham Patent Office can be seen with a ladder leading to its roof on the second floor. Pedestrians are visible in the street as well as a horse and carriage at left. Further right, the George A. Ralphs Grocery Company can be seen, with a sign that reads "Poinsettia" on its visible wall.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1905)^^ - View looking west on Fifth Street toward Spring Street. A short, one-story row of shopfronts terminates to the right of the photograph with the two-story brick Hazard & Harpham Patent Office building. A horse-drawn cart and a horse-drawn wagon stand along the sidewalk outside, along with three bicycles. A fourth bicycle is partially visible in the left foreground. A group of four men can be seen in the distance to the right, as well as a fifth that can be seen walking alone at the extreme left. Legible signs include: "Poinsettia", "Chicago Cyclery.", "Geo. A. Ralphs", "L.A. Bird Store" , "Wheels Sold as Easy Payments and Repaired", "General Repairing", "Boot / Shoe", and "Tin Shop and Jobbing".  

 

* * * * *

 

Spring Street

 
(ca. 1904)^^ - Intersection of Spring Street and First Street looking south. The Nadeau Hotel (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 circular 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 Nadeau Hotel 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 looking south on Spring Street from near 3nd Street. Horse-drawn carriages share the street with early model cars.  

 

 

 

 
(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.  

 

* * * * *

 

 

Boylston Street

 
(ca. 1900)^^ - View of Second Street looking east toward Boylston Street showing the Edison Electric Company Steam Plant No. 1.  A man with a horse-drawn tanker wagon is making his way away from the camera along the unpaved road, with the Edison Electric power house behind a picket fence to his left.  

 

Historical Notes

Between 1897 and 1906 the power house was in use as Edison Electric Company Steam Plant No. 1. This was Edison's first power plant located in the City of Los Angeles.

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1906)^^ - View showing the 'old' Edison Electric Steam Plan No. 1 located on the northwest corner of 2nd and Boylston streets. The auxiliary buildings with clapboard veneers and smokestacks that once were attached to the corner brick building have been removed.The two-story brick utility building now stands next to a cleared lot in front of an unpaved road in which streetcar rails can be seen, surrounded by utility poles.  

 

Historical Notes

At the time of this photo the brick building at the corner of 2nd and Boylston streets, once part of Edison Electric Steam Plant No. 1, was no longer being used as a power plant. It now was serving as an Edison Electrical Sub-Station.

In 1909, Los Angeles Edsion Electric changed its name to Southern California Edison (SCE).

 

 

 
(1912)^#^ – View looking north on Boylston Street from above 2nd Street. The 'old' Edison Steam Plant No. 1, later converted to a Sub-Station, is on the N/W corner. A newer, more modern Sub-Station stands a couple hundred feet behind the old one at center of photo. The hill in the background is filled with apartment buildings and homes. Today this same hill is occupied by Belmont High School.  

 

Historical Notes

Over the years the Boylston facility has been used by the West Side Lighting Company, Los Angeles Edison Electric, Southern California Edison, and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, which has occupied the site since 1940.

Click HERE to see more in Early Boylston Street Yard.

 

* * * * *

 

Los Angeles and Central Oil Fields

 
(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.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1890s)^ - Oil field east from the corner of 1st Street and Belmont Avenue.  

 

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.*^

 

 

 
(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

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.  

 

 

 

Before and After

 
 
(1898 vs. 1904)^#^ – Before and after views looking northwest from the County Courthouse showing how quickly the landscape has changed (six years) as a result of Edward Doheny’s discovery of oil .  Note the numerous oil derricks in the background with Los Angeles High School seen at right.  

 

 

Click HERE to see more on the Los Angeles Oil Boom of the 1890s

 

* * * * *

 

 

Early Downtown LA

 
(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 Schooltower 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.  

 

 

 

 
(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)^^ - 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.  

 

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.^

 

 

 
(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.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1905)^^ - View looking south on Broadway between 2nd and 3rd streets showing the old Los Angeles City Hall . Early model cars are seen throughout and streetcar tracks run up and down Broadway.  

 

 

 

 
(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)^ - 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. Note the ornate streetlight behind the women. Click HERE to see more in Early Los Angeles Street Lights  

 

 

 

 
(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.*^

 

 

 

 
(1904)^^ - Panoramic view of downtown Los Angeles, looking west on 6th street from the top of the still under construction Pacific Electric Building (6th Street & Main Street).  

 

Historical Notes

The city is thriving with multi-storied commercial and residential buildings. Both, the large two-story mansion-style Spring Street School next to the H. Arnold Furniture Store building and the California State Normal School can be seen. Prominent buildings or landmarks include: Pershing Square (center right), Saint Paul's Episcopal Church, State Normal School (upper center) and the Metropolitan Building (still under construction -- behind the Los Angeles Examiner building).  Mountains are visible in the distance: the Santa Monica Mountains to the left; the Hollywood Hills, center right; and a mix of the Verdugo and San Gabriel Mountains to the right.

 

 

 

 
(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. The building at center-left with the conical-style roof is the First Methodist Episcopal Church. It's located on the NE corner of 6th and Hill, across the street from Central Park (later Pershing Square).  

 

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. 1905)^^ – View looking west on 7th Street from the Lankershim Hotel (SE corner of 7th at Broadway.  The Hotel Baltimore (NE corner of 7th and Olive) can be seen at center-left.  

 

 

 

Pacific Electric Building

 
(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 customer (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

Named after the Ivy Park housing development, the Ivy station stop along the Santa Monica Air Line served present-day Culver City. Located near the corner of Venice and Robertson Boulevards, the Ivy Station was later renamed Culver Junction.  It eventually closed in 1953.^##

 

* * * * *

 

Venice of America

 
(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)^^ - 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.*^

 

 

 

 
(1908)^^ - Venice Pier on a crowded day with the Dance Hall seen in the background.  

 

* * * * *

 

 

Venice Canals

 
(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.*^

 

 

 
(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.  

 

Historical Notes

The original Venice of America canals contributed to the success of Kinney's real estate development. Lots fronting the canals became a favorite choice for owners of the local amusement concerns or out-of-town tourists looking for a place to pitch a summer cottage.***##

 

 

 
(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. *^

 

 

 
(ca. 1909)^ – Postcard view showing gondoliers and row boats on the Aldebaran Canal. This would later become Market Street in Venice.  

 

Historical Notes

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.*^

 

 

 
(1924)^ - View showing 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.  

 

Historical Notes

When it opened on July 4, 1905, Venice of America boasted seven distinct canals arranged in an irregular grid pattern. Totaling nearly two miles and dredged out of former saltwater marshlands, the canals encircled four islands, including the tiny triangular United States Island. The widest of them, appropriately named Grand Canal, terminated at a large saltwater lagoon. Three of the smaller canals referred to celestial bodies: Aldebaran, Venus, and Altair.***##

 

 

 
(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.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1910)^^ – View showing a crowd of people stretched from left to right between two pavilions at the Venice lagoon.  The three story building in the distance (left) is the Antler Hotel.  Next to it is a small bridge extending over a canal.  At center, a Venice lagoon can be seen with a number of row-boats in it. What appears to be a watch tower stands in the middle of the lagoon. In the background, at center, another canal can be seen extending towards an extreme background.  

 

 

 

 

 
(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.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1910s)^ - Panoramic view showing a gondola being rowed across the canal towards the sign "Gondola" and another sign offering motor boat rides. On the left next to the water is the Hotel Antler.  

 

Historical Notes

The canals converged on a large saltwater lagoon that later became a traffic circle. The bulk of the canals were filled in 1929 to create roads.*^

 

 

 

 
(1918)^^ – Aerial view of the pier in Venice, looking west.  At bottom of photo can be seen the Venice Lagoon and Canals. The Hotel Antler with its new large roof-mounted signboard can be made out at lower-left next to the lagoon.  

 

Historical Notes

Before 1929, the area covered by canals was approximately three to four times as large as today. The entire area between Abbot Kinney, Pacific, and Venice Blvd. were canals. These canals were: Coral Canal (now Main St.), Cabrillo Canal (now Cabrillo Ave.), Venus Canal (now San Juan Ave.), Lion Canal (now Windward Ave.), Altair Canal (now Altair St.), Aldebaren Canal (now Market St.), and Grand Canal (now Grand Boulevard).

Today, the traffic circle at Pacific and Windward Avenues is located on top of what once was the Venice Lagoon.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1920s)^ - View of gondola with several ladies on it, and a gondolier to steer, works its way across the canal. Behind them is the Hotel Antler.  

 

* * * * *

 

 

 

Venice Miniature Railroad

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

 

 

 

 
(1910s)+#+ – View looking west down Windward Avenue towards the ocean showing the Venice Miniature Railroad.  

 

Historical Notes

Kinney installed the Venice Miniature Rail Road (V.M.R.R.) as both a tourist attraction and as a means to escort potential home builders and buyers to look at the subdivided parcels he was promoting. The train was very popular for its time, but it interfered with traffic, and was shut down in 1925 when Venice was incorporated into Los Angeles.+#+

 

 

 
(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. *#**

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Southern California Amusement Parks

 

 

 

Windward Avenue

 
(ca. 1905)^^ - Panoramic view showing a streetcar passing by a crowded pier in Venice.  A wide walkway intersects perpendicularly with the train tracks, and hundreds of people can be seen walking on the road. This would be called Windward Avenue, also known as "The Gateway to Venice."  

 

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. 1905)^^ - Postcard view looking east on Windward Avenue in Venice.  

 

Historical Notes

The Venice, Italy-inspired architecture of Windward Avenue was the whole advertising gimmick which brought Angelinos from downtown out to the Venice Beach area in the first place (back in 1905! It was quite a trek back then; a good gimmick was definitely NEEDED to pull folks away from the then-popular Downtown LA district.

 

 

 
(1905)^^ - View showing the newly constructed Saint Mark's Hotel on Windward Avenue at Ocean Front in Venice. The 3-story building has a two colonnades topped with arches supporting the roof over the sidewalk on two sides. Streams of banners fly from the roof of the 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.

 

 

 
(1906)^ - View looking west on Windward Avenue with the St. Mark's Hotel at left. A horse-drawn wagon is in the foreground.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1906, Windward Avenue was built-up on the north side, but not the south side. The south side didn't really come into its own until prohibition came along and fancy basements were constructed.^

 

 

 
(ca. 1906)### - View of the colonnade at St. Mark's Hotel in Venice showing pedestrians on the sidewalk, a horse, wooden benches, and a man behind a window. Signs read: "(?) Drug Co." "Ice cream" "Hotel Saint Mark."   

 

 

 

 
(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. 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

When Venice was constructed in 1905, the business district utilities were placed underground in two tunnels running beneath the alleys on either side of Windward Avenue. The two tunnels originated at the heating plant and powerhouse located on Windward near the lagoon (current site of the B of A building near the traffic circle). In addition, some hotels along Ocean Front Walk constructed tunnels beneath the promenade to the beach because an ordinance forbid bathing suits on the boardwalk. The St. Mark's Hotel at the corner of Windward was one. During Prohibition in the 20's, rum runners would unload their booze from boats beneath the pier and sneak them into the St. Mark's tunnel. #**#

 

 

 
(ca. 1910)^^ – View showing a large gathering of people in front of the St. Mark's Hotel.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1910)### - Pedestrians walk in the street near St. Mark's Hotel.  The Romanesque style building has arched windows and an arched colonnade. Signs read: "Venice Events, Dancing" and "Venice."   

 

 

 

 
(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. Click HERE to see more on the Venice Tigers in Baseball in Early L.A. On the right hand side of the street you can enter attractions such as the Daredevil Race for Life and the Merry Widow.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1915)^^ – View looking west on Windward Avenue showing well-dressed men and women walking down the center of the street. Buildings on the right have yet to be completed.  

 

 

 

 

 
(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.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1914)*^#^ – View looking west on Windward Avenue showing a Turkish Bath House, theaters, an apartment house, automobiles, motorcyle, and bicycles parked along the street.  The Hotel Omar is seen at left.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1914)*^#^ – Detailed view looking west on Windward Ave with double decker bus seen on the left.  Autos, motorcycle, and cars are parked on the right in front of the Windward Apartments.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1929)^^ -  View looking west of Windward Avenue in Venice Beach, showing cars parked diagonally along the side of the road.  The two-lane paved street runs is lined by two-story buildings at left and three-story buildings at right. Both sets of buildings have covered arcades in front of them. The buildings are light-colored and house shops, hotels, and restaurants. A sign that says "Venice" is suspended over the street. Legible signs include, from left: "Sebastian Café Ming Dancing Cabaret Dorsey Orc.", "The Florsh Shoe", "United", "Mars Café", "Ladora Hotel", "W. L. Douglas Shoes", "Hotel Del Mar", "Men's Wear", "Humpty Dumpty", "Beach Soft Water Laundry Cigar Stand".   

 

 

 

 
(1939)^^ – View showing a brightly lit Windward Avenue at night.  Photo by Dick Whittington  

 

 

 

 
(1953)**^*# – View looking west at Windward Avenue in Venice – Looking towards site of pier.  

 

* * * * *

 

 

Catalina

 
(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.  The steamship S.S. Hermosa 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--Angels 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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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

+*The Eastsider LA: Avenue of the Palms

*# blogdowntown: Third Street Tunnel

#* About.Com: History of Electric Vehicles

#*^Library of Congress: Venice Lagoon

#^^Calisphere Digital Archive

##*A Visit to Old Los Angeles: CSULB

*##LA Times: Dig Into History You'll Find Snake Oil..Victor Girard Kleinberger ; 1900 Fashion

^##Metropolitan Transportation Library and Archive

##^CSUN Oviatt Library Digital Archives

###Denver Public Library Image Archive

*#*Historical Los Angeles Theatres: The Philharmonic Auditorium; Downtown Theatres

*^#LincolnHeightsLA.com: Legion Ascot Speedway

**#KCET - Lost Tunnels of Downtown LA; Three Forgotten Railway Inclines; Edendale Red Car Line; The Origins of Elysian Park; When L.A. Was a Horse-Powered Town; How L.A. Celebrated Sunset Boulevard's Opening in 1904

^*#California State Library Image Archive

^^#forum.scraperage.com: Aliso St; Hill Street Tunnel, 1903; Broadway Tunnel

*#^History of Hermosa Beach - Maureen Megowan

^#*City of Redondo Beach HIstory

^#^Noirish Los Angeles - forum.skyscraperpage.com; Broadway Tunnel; Sugarloaf Point; Angels Flight; Avalon; Boylston Yard; Angels Flight Observation Tower View

+#+Silentlocations.wordpress.com: Venice Minitiare Railroad

++#Everydayarmour.blogspot.com/

^^*Early Downtown Los Angeles - Cory Stargel, Sarah Stargel; Hollenbeck Hotel

***Los Angeles Historic - Cultural Monuments Listing

**^Historicechopark.org: Echo Park Lake; Elysian Park

^**FarmersMarketla.com

*^*California Historical Landmarks Listing (Los Angeles)

*^^Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles: losangelespast.com

^*^LA Street Names - LA Times

^^^Aerofiles - US Aviation Firsts

***^Oviatt Library Digital Archives

***#Pinterest.com: 1890's to 1920's Los Angeles - Anna Blanc's LA; Snapshots - Avalon Bay

#***S.S. Hermosa: pasadenastarnews.com

#**^LA County Library Image Archive

#*#^Brand Park and Studios: glendale.ca.us

*^#*On Bunker Hill: Crocker Mansion

*^#^Huntington Digital Library Archive

^^*^Restaurantwarecollectors.com: Angelus Hotel

^^^#Los Angeles Fire Department Historical Archive

#*^^Flickr.com: Views of Los Angeles

^*##Calisphere: University of California Image Archive

^##^Glendale Historical Society

^#^#U.S. Geological Survey Photographic Library

*#**Los Angeles Westerners Corral: Venice Miniature Railway

^#*^Facebook.com - Bizarre Los Angeles

*#*#Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields – Paul Freeman

^#*#Angels Flight Goes to the Movies

*##*Chatsworth Historical Society

+##+Restaurant-ing Through History: Ice Cream Parlors

**#*Creating a Landmark: the Historic Casino Point

*###Pacific Coast Architecture Database (PCAD): Bryson-Bonebrake Block

###*Glendalecagov.org: Glendale History

*##^Wikimapia: Pacific Electric Edendale Cut

#**#Debunking Venice's Historic Myths

#^^#Facebook.com: Garden of Allah Novels, Martin Turnbull

****#Tumblr.com: LA History - Leonis Adobe

#+++Facebook.com: West San Fernando Valley Then And Now

#+#+Glendale News-Press: Tropic

+#+#Silent Film Locations

**#**Electric Railway Historic Association: Angel's Flight

**^*^Pacific Electric Historical Society

^^^**Metropolitan News: H. Jevne Co. Offers Free Home Delivery

^^^^#A History of the Los Angeles City Market

*#*#*Venice Miniature Railroad - Jeffrey Stanton

*^ 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; Pacific Electric Building; History of the Los Angeles Police Department; History of Los Angeles Population Growth; Avalon Bay Stereoscopic View; History of UCLA; Leslie Brand; Venice Canal HIstoric District; Leslie Brand; Grand Central Airport; Leonis Adobe; Los Angeles Herald-Examiner; Camera Obscura; Friday Morning Club

 

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