Early Los Angeles City Views (1925 +)

Historical Photos of Early Los Angeles

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(ca. 1925)^ - View looking west to the Hall of Records and other nearby buildings. Constructed between 1909 and 1911 to the cost of over a million dollars, the 12-story original Hall of Records at 220 N. Broadway was demolished in September, 1973. Court Flight can be seen behind, on Broadway (center of photo).  

 

Historical Notes

Opened on September 24, 1905, Court Flight was built by Attorney R. E. Blackburn of the McCarthy real estate firm and Samuel G Vandegrift. It along with Angels Flight (built in 1901) were constructed to serve the wealthy residents of Bunker Hill. ^

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1925)^ - Panoramic view of the Civic Center in the 1920s, looking north from First and Broadway, with the old Los Angeles Times Building in the foreground and the Hall of Records, the old County Courthouse, and the Broadway Tunnel beyond.  

 

Historical Notes

The third Los Angeles Times building opened on Oct. 1, 1912 — on the second anniversary of the bombing of the second Times building. It was used until the new Times Building (current location) was opened in 1935. The building was torn down in early 1938.**^

 

 

 
(1920s)^ - View looking north showing a parade on Broadway rounding the corner at 1st Street and then heading east. The LA Times Building stands on the northeast corner. In view is the Broadway Tunnel and the Hall of Records.  

 

 

 

 
(1926)^ - View looking toward the LA Times Building on 1st and Broadway. Cars, streetcars and pedestrians are seen at the busy intersection.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1935 the Los Angeles Times moved into its current building located on 1st and Spring, its 4th building since it started publishing in 1881.

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of the LA Times.

 

 

 
(1925)^ - View showing the west side of S. Grand Avenue between 6th and 7th streets, showing several shops, hotels, and the Masonic Club of Los Angeles. The visible shops are: The Meyberg Co.; Dawson's Book Shop; The Victor Hugo Hotel; The Masonic Club of Los Angeles; Cooks Travel Service; Canadian Pacific; California Southwest Farms Co.; and J.C. Edwards Petland, toward the far right. Several cars are parked in front of these shops, some are sporty 2-seaters, and the others are larger family sedans. Photo dated: December 10, 1925.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1926)*# - View of Main Street looking south from Seventh Street.  Three stores can be can be seen at the corners of the intersection: The Owl Drug Store (S/W), Liggett’s Drug Store (N/W), and Overell’s Furniture Store (S/E).  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1928)##^# - View looking at the east side of Main Street between 6th and 7th streets showing a pawnshop bookended by two coffee shops. Signs read (l to r):  5 and 10 M&S Café, Star Loan Office - Money to Loan on Everything, and Big Nickel Coffee and Donut.  

 

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Main, Spring, and 9th Street Intersection

 
(ca. 1925)^ - View showing Spring St. and Main St. at 9th St. looking southwest.  Main St. is on the left and Spring St. is seen above it on the right.  

 

 

 

 
(1925)^#^^ – Close-up view looking southwest showing the intersection of 9th and Main streets.  Note the kiosk on the corner in front of the McColloch Drug Store.  Also, look at the motorcycle in the lower-right.  The sidecar looks suspiciously like a coffin.  

 

 

 

 
(1930)^ - Looking north from 9th Street where Spring Street (left) and Main Street (right) split. The streets are shown bustling with the activity of pedestrians, automobiles and streetcars. Note the elevated kiosk at the corner.  

 

Historical Notes

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

 

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Hollywood

 
(1920s) - Looking west on Hollywood Blvd. toward Cahuenga Blvd. In the foreground is street car no. 493, in the background are 1920's cars and another street car. Over the street is a banner, reading: The Wayfarer at the Coliseum, Sept. 8-15.
 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1925)#^ - View looking north on Vine Street from Barton Avenue with the Hollywoodland Sign seen in the distance at the top of the Hollywood Hills. On the left is Vine Street Elementary School. Further up on the northwest corner of Vine and Romaine streets stands DWP's Power Distribution Station No. 6. (Click HERE to see more Early Power Distribution Stations).  

 

 

 

 
(1926)^#^^ - View of the Hollywood Hills with the Hollywoodland Sign in the background.  

 

 

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

 

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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, downtown, extending North Broadway (formerly Fort Street), at Sand Street (later California Street), one block north of Temple Street, northeast to the intersection of Bellevue Avenue (later Sunset Boulevard, now Cesar Chavez Avenue), to Buena Vista Street (now North Broadway).

The tunnel was completed and opened for traffic on Saturday, August 17, 1901. The cost in its construction was $66,000. It was 760 feet long, 40 feet wide and 22 feet high, with a grade of 6 in 100, falling toward the east.^*

 

 

 

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

 

Historical Notes

Plans were prepared by the city engineer's office for the construction of the Broadway Tunnel in early March 1895. The main argument for its construction was that a tunnel providing an additional opening on the north would decrease the constantly increasing traffic (horses, buggies and wagons), which was causing a dangerous jam at the corner of First and Spring Streets.^*

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1925)#* - View of the south portal of the Broadway Tunnel, near Broadway and Temple Street.  The ‘5 line’ streetcar 1435 can be seen headed southbound on Broadway.  

 

Historical Notes

The Broadway Tunnel was closed for reconstruction in 1915. The roadway was lowered to decrease the grade, wood block flooring was installed to provide a noiseless surface for the traffic of teams and automobiles, and a false roof built inside the original shell. Because of the lowering, it was necessary to make a cut of 14 feet in California Street, and to change the grade of North Broadway from Temple Street to the tunnel. The concrete archway of the Broadway Tunnel was 20 feet high, and the entire bore was lined with white glazed tile. The stairway on the outer face of the southern portal was extended to a rise of 65 feet to Fort Moore Hill.^*

 

 

 

 
(1926)^#^^ - traight-on view showing the full extent of the Broadway Tunnel as seen through the southern portal looking north. Several pedestrians are seen walking through the tunnel on the sidewalk adjacent to the road. A steel-frame pedestrian staircase makes its way up the front face of the tunnel.  

 

 

 

 
(1929)^ - Southwest corner of North Broadway and Sunset Boulevard, showing the north portal of the Broadway Tunnel, which later was demolished, the hill removed and the street widened. The newly constructed City Hall (1928) can be seen in the background.  

 

 

 

 
(1949)^ - View showing the north end of the Broadway Tunnel as it is being razed to make room for the construction of the Hollywood Freeway. An electric train moves along tracks just in front of the Federal Courthouse and City Hall at left. The Los Angeles County Hall of Justice is partially visible behind the tunnel.  Photo Date:  June 11, 1949  

 

Historical Notes

The Broadway Tunnel was closed on June 2, 1949, and was demolished for the construction of the Hollywood 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.*^

 

 

 
(1949)^ - View showing the demolition of the North Broadway Tunnel on September 29, 1949. A trolley car swings by on the right.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1949) – View showing the last remaining section of the Broadway Tunnel, its southern portal arch, just before its demolition.  Photo date:   Oct. 1949  

 

 

 

Then and Now

 
(1905)^#^* - View of Broadway looking north as it heads into the Broadway Tunnel.   (1987)^#^* - View of Broadway heading north as it crosses the Hollywood Freeway.

 

Historical Notes

In 1949, the construction of the 101 freeway through downtown L.A. reduced Fort Moore Hill to a stump and converted the section of Broadway between Temple and Sunset from a tunnel to a freeway overpass.^^^*

 

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Los Angeles Plaza

 
(ca. 1925)^ - The Plaza Church on Main Street across from the Plaza and Olvera Street. Behind the streetcar is the Hotel Pacific, the office of Philip Morici and Co., "Agencia Italiana," and the grocery store of Giovanni Piuma, who also made wine (Piuma Road in Malibu was named for him). The area north of the Plaza was at this time an Italian neighborhood.  

 

Historical Notes

The area’s decline as the center of civic life led to its reclamation by diverse sectors of the city's poor and disenfranchised. The Plaza served as a gateway for newly arrived immigrants, especially Mexicans and Italians. During the 1920s, the pace of Mexican immigration into the United States increased to about 500,000 per year. California became the prime destination for Mexican immigrants, with Los Angeles receiving the largest number of any city in the Southwest. As a result of this dramatic demographic increase, a resurgence of Mexican culture occurred in Los Angeles.^*

 

 

 
(ca. 1925)*# - Exterior view of the Plaza Church from across the street. An elevated LARY booth can be seen on the right edge of the photo.  

 

Historical Notes

Elevated kiosks were used by the Los Angeles Railway and the Yellow Cars (LARY) as a switchman’s tower to control the flow and path of streetcars through intersections. 

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Plaza of L.A.

 

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Knott's Berry Farm

 
(1926)^#*# - Walter Knott's roadside berry stand along Western Avenue in 1926.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1923, Walter Knott opened his first roadside produce stand on Western Avenue in Orange County. The dusty highway passing through Knott’s berry farm was fast becoming the principal route between Los Angeles and the beach cities of the Orange Coast, and beach-bound motorists discovered the farmer’s humble wooden shack—located near the midpoint of their drive—as a place to momentarily escape the automobile and sample Knott’s farm-fresh berries and preserves.^#*#

 

 

 

 
(n.d.)*##^ - Walter and Cordelia Knott, the power couple behind Knott’s Berry Farm, stand in front of one of their original stands. The license plate on the Model T dates to 1920, the year the couple came to Buena Park to farm berries.  

 

Historical Notes

Walter Knott and his family developed their Buena Park berry farm into a popular tourist attraction in the 1920s. Originally selling berries, homemade berry preserves and pies from a roadside stand, Knott built a restaurant, shops and stores onto the property by the 1930s. These were then augmented with minor attractions and curiosities until Knott gradually created Ghost Town, transforming them from a way-point to a Western themed destination in 1940.^*

 

 

 

 
(1958)^ - An older-model train near the Calico Saloon at Knott's Berry Farm. Employees of the western-theme park are dressed in period costumes.  

 

Historical Notes

The idea of an amusement park really picked up in the 1950s when Walter Knott opened a "summer-long county fair". In 1968, for the first time, an admission of 25 cents was required to get into the park. The Calico log ride was added in 1969.^*

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

 

 

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The Pike

 
(ca. 1925)^ - Aerial view of The Pike, the Municipal Auditorium, right, and the pier in Long Beach. A sign, Hoyt's Vaudeville, identifies Hoyt's Theater directly behind The Pike's roller coaster. The twelve story Heartwell Building at 19 Pine Avenue, left, is under construction. The wide boulevard following the shore is Ocean Boulevard.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1928)^ - The Pike and Pleasure Pier, center, jut out into the ocean from the shore. The ornate bathhouse with its portico sits in the midway. Advertisements for the various attractions at The Pike are on the side of the pier underneath the roller coaster. Portions of the Virginia Hotel and its tennis courts are just beyond The Pike and breakwaters and ocean vessels are on the horizon.  

 

 

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

 

 

 

There's Oil In Them Hills

 
(ca. 1940)^ - Aerial view of a fairly deserted Pike amusement park and downtown Long Beach. The large roller coaster, the Cyclone Racer (center) is the largest attraction at the park. Numerous oil derricks can be seen in the background on top of Signal Hill.  

 

Historical Notes

Signal Hill changed forever when oil was discovered. The hill would soon become part of the Long Beach Oil Field, one of the most productive oil fields in the world. On June 23, 1921, Shell Oil Company's Alamitos #1 well erupted. The gas pressure was so great the gusher rose 114 ft. in the air. Soon Signal Hill was covered with over 100 oil derricks, and because of its prickly appearance at a distance became known as "Porcupine Hill".^*

 

 

Signal Hill

 
(1922)*^#^ - Panoramic view of a residential neighborhood in Long Beach, facing north and east, with the Signal Hill oil field in the background. The neighborhood consists of hundreds of single family homes and small apartment buildings. The streets seem to be unpaved, and there are only a few automobiles parked on the street on the right. The entire horizon is lined with the oil derricks of Signal Hill.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1924)^*^# – View showing Signal Hill in 1924, the year it was incorporated.  

 

Historical Notes

Signal Hill was originally an unincorporated part of Los Angeles County. Oil was first found there in 1921, and when the city of Long Beach tried to absorb it, the oil companies banded together with the town's residents to form their own city, which was incorporated in 1924.*^#^

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1923)**^* - Postcard view of an oil well erupting into the air as a large group of people stand and watch.  

 

Historical Notes

Alamitos #1 well is one of the world's most famous wells. This discovery well led to the development of one of the most productive oil fields in the world and helped to establish California as a major oil producing state. Because of this it is designated as a California Historical Landmark No. 580 (Click HERE to see more in California Historical Landmarks in LA County).

 

 

 

 
(1926)^ - Two men sit on a car parked next to an oil field full of derricks in Signal Hill. A sign reading, "Pacific Coast Welding" is visible at the roofline of the small structure behind the car.  

 

Historical Notes

Between 1913 and 1923 an early California movie studio, Balboa Amusement Producing Company (also known as Balboa Studios), was located in Long Beach and used 11 acres on Signal Hill for outdoor locations. Buster Keaton and Fatty Arbuckle were two of Balboa Studio actors who had films shot on Signal Hill.^*

 

 

 

 
(1930)^ - Aerial view of Signal Hill's oil field, from Reservoir Hill. A sea of oil wells almost cover the entire City of Signal Hill.  

 

Historical Notes

Before oil was discovered in Signal Hill, there were large homes built on the hill itself, and in the lower elevations was an agricultural area where fruits, vegetables, and flowers were grown. Many of the truck farmers were Japanese.^*

 

 

 

 
(1931)*^#^- Panoramic view of the oil field at Signal Hill. There are hundreds of oil rigs, or derricks, most with sheds or circular structures nearby, distributed along dirt roads. There are a few houses scattered among the oil rigs. Steam is rising from some of the rigs in the immediate foreground.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1940s)*^^* - Signal Hill in the early 1940s.  

 

Historical Notes

The City of Signal Hill is completely surrounded by the city of Long Beach. It was incorporated on April 22, 1924, roughly three years after oil was discovered there. Among the reasons for incorporating was avoiding annexation by Long Beach with its zoning restrictions and per-barrel oil tax.

Signal Hill's first mayor, Jessie Nelson, was California's first female mayor.

As of the 2010 census, the city population was 11,465.^*

 

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Rose Bowl

 
(1925)^ - Aerial view of the Rose Bowl on New Years Day, January 1, 1925. The stadium is almost full, yet crowds of people are still walking in. The football score that day was: Notre Dame, 27 vs Stanford, 10.  

 

Historical Notes

After crowds out-grew Pasadena's Tournament Park, architect Myron Hunt drew up plans for the construction of the Rose Bowl stadium in 1921. The Arroyo Seco dry riverbed was selected as the location for the stadium, which was under construction from 1921-1922. The Rose Bowl was opened on October 8, 1922 at a cost of $272,198, but was officially dedicated on January 1, 1923 with the first Rose Bowl game between USC and Penn State (USC defeated Penn, 14-3).^

 

 

 

 
(1923)*^#^ - Panoramic view of the 1923 Rose Bowl Game between Penn State University and the University of Southern California at the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena. The stands are almost filled, with the exception of some of the higher areas on the far side of the stadium. Small groups of what appear to be military men are seated on chairs on the track surrounding the field. The game is in progress, with the two teams in the middle of a series near midfield. There are men positioned at several places along the near sideline with photographic cameras, and one man near midfield has a motion picture camera. There is a very tall flag pole on the far right with a large American flag. A large number of automobiles are parked on the far right, beyond the open part of the stadium, where there are also a couple hundred people watching the game over the stadium fence.  

 

Historical Notes

January 1, 1923 was the first time that the Rose Bowl Game was held at the Rose Bowl Stadium. The game featured Penn State University and the University of Southern California, with the score ending at USC 14 to  PSU 3.*^#*

The name of the stadium was alternatively "Tournament of Roses Stadium" or "Tournament of Roses Bowl", until being settled as "Rose Bowl" before the 1923 Rose Bowl game.^*

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of USC.

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1928)^ - Aerial view of the Rose Bowl after the southern stands were constructed making it a complete bowl. Though the stadium appears to be filled to capacity, people are still trickling in, and row upon row of automobiles can be seen neatly parked in the lots. View also shows the residential homes surrounding the stadium, as well as the mountains in the background.
 

 

Historical Notes

The stadium was originally built as a horseshoe and was expanded several times over the years; the design was intended to accommodate as many patrons as possible. The southern stands were completed in 1928, making the stadium a complete bowl. For many years, the Rose Bowl had the largest football stadium capacity in the U.S., and from 1972 to 1997, the maximum seating capacity was 104,594. Current official seating capacity is 92,542.

The Rose Bowl game grew to become the "granddaddy" of all bowl games, because of its stature as the oldest of all the bowl games. The Rose Bowl stadium is a National Historic Landmark, and was added to the National Register of Historic Places on February 27, 1987.^

 

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of the Rose Bowl

 

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East Hollywood

 
(1923)^ - Looking west from Olive Hill, down Hollywood Boulevard on the East side of Hollywood in what appears to be a residential area.  

 

Historical Notes

The famous street was named Prospect Avenue from 1887 to 1910, when the town of Hollywood was annexed to the city of Los Angeles. After annexation, the street numbers changed from 100 Prospect Avenue, at Vermont Avenue, to 6400 Hollywood Boulevard.^*

 

 

 
(ca. 1920s)^ - Panoramic view of a residential area in East Hollywood in the early 1920s, looking southwest from Sunset Boulevard and Edgemont Street. In the foreground are the olive trees of Olive Hill. Today, Kaiser Permanente Hospital stands at this corner.  

 

Historical Notes

Olive Hill is located in the East Hollywood district.  Barnsdall Park sits on top of Olive Hill near the intersection of Hollywood and Vermont, and is home to the famous Hollyhock House that was designed in the 1920's by the internationally acclaimed architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

 

 

 
(ca. 1925)^ - Aerial view of Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital, located at 1300 North Vermont Avenue. There is a fire station at right, and open space is seen at left and behind the hospital. Duplexes and apartment buildings are seen as well, and possibly a nursery growing ground at left.  

 

Historical Notes

Hollywood Presbytarian Hospital was founded as Hollywood Hospital in 1924.  It was later known as Queen of Angels-Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center.  In 2004, it was sold to the CHA Medical Group of South Korea for $69 million.^*

 

 

 
(1930)^ - Aerial view of Hollywood Blvd. and Vermont.  Vermont runs up and down (north/south) in this picture, while Hollywood Blvd. comes in from the left. The surrounding buildings and lawns in the Los Feliz area can be seen.  

 

 

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

 

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Downtown

 
(1925)^ - The five-story J.A. Bullard Block on Spring and Court Streets, looking north on Spring in 1925. The building is on the northeast corner of the intersection. California Importing Co. is on the southeast corner. Next to it is the L.A. Mission Cafe and California Jobbing Co., featuring dishes, glassware, silverware for restaurants and apartments. Streetcar tracks are seen on Spring, and cars are parked on the street. Behind the Bullard Block is Market Street.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1925)^ - Exterior view of the Bullard Block located on the northeast corner of Spring and Court streets. At one time the building housed the courthouse. Note the ornate 5-bulb lamps on the corners. Click HERE to see more in Ealry L.A. Street Lights.  

 

 

 

 
(1926)^ -View looking southwest showing the Barker Brothers furniture store building, located at 818 W. 7th St. Cars are moving along Seventh St. and Pacific Electric streetcar tracks are visible in the foreground. A policeman is seen standing on a box in the middle of the intersection directing traffic.  

 

Historical Notes

Barker Brothers' fine furnishings was a Los Angeles upscale furniture chain that closed in 1992 after operating for more than 110 years.

Obadiah J. Barker was a Los Angeles business man and the founder and president of the furniture company, Barker Brothers. Born in Bloomfield, Indiana, Barker moved with his family to Colorado Springs, Colorado as a young man. He attended Colorado College and also attended dental school in St. Louis. However, he did not complete dental school and moved to Los Angeles with his parents and brothers in 1880. The family began a successful furniture business on Spring Street in Los Angeles. The company became one of the world's biggest house-furnishing stores.^*

 

 

 
(ca. 1925)^ - Broadway and 7th Street, looking south.  The street is decorated with flags and signs welcoming the Shriners to Los Angeles.  

 

 

Broadway and 7th Street (Downtown's 'Busiest Intersection')

 
(1926)^ - View looking north toward the intersection of Broadway and 7th St. On the left is the Loew's State Theatre. On the corner across the street is the Sun Drug Co. (S/E corner). Also, on the east side of Broadway and further north, can be seen Bank of America, the California Furniture Company and the Palace Theatre.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1926)*# - View looking down from what appears to be the the fire escape of the Lowe's State Theatre (see previous photo) toward the intersection of Broadway and 7th Street. Thousands of people fill the streets. Three streetcars are seen near the intersection.  

 

 

 

 
(1926)^ - A view of Broadway looking north from 7th Street. On the left, the large building on the N/W corner is the Bullock's Department Store . Beyond it is the Kress store. On the lower right can be seen the sign for the Boos Bros. Cafeteria. Note the beautiful two-lamp streetlight standing tall over the crowds of people. Click HERE to see more in Early Los Angeles Streetlights.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1926)*# -  Street view looking south from the intersection of Broadway and 7th Street.. A crowd of people are crossing the street from right to left while an automobile tries to make a right turn through them. Crowds of other people huddle together on the sidewalks. A few are gathered by two post boxes and a street lamp at the foreground left corner.  

 

Historical Notes

The Loew's State Theatre building can be seen at the right. Also in view are the Isaacs Building, Marshall Field & Company, Chicago Wholesale Dry Goods, Johnson Rass Company, Wholesale Millinery, Machin Shirt Company, Clayburgh Brothers Woolens at 745 South Broadway, a dentist's office at 706 South Spring, and the Lankershim Hotel.*#

 

 

 
(1926)^^*# - View looking southwest from above of Broadway and 7th Street, downtown's busiest intersection.  The streets are filled with streetcars, cars, and people. Loew's State Theatre is playing "Syncopating Sue" starring Corinne Griffith.  

 

Historical Notes

Loew's State Theatre was built as the west coast showcase for the product of the Loew's subsidiary Metro Pictures. The opening was on November 12, 1921 at one of downtown's busiest intersections, 7th and Broadway. Loew's State once used entrances on both streets. The 7th St. entrance was closed in 1936.^^*#

 

 

 
(ca. 1926)^ - Birds-eye view over the intersection of 7th and Broadway. At the upper-left (S/W corner) is the Loew's State Theatre. Acroos the street at upper-right (N/W corner) is Bullock's Department Store.  

 

Historical Notes

Seventh Street and Broadway was a busy junction for the Pacific Electric Railway, with southbound cars leaving on the San Diego Coast Route, stopping at Whittier, Santa Ana, Oceanside, and La Jolla. Westbound trains along Wilshire Boulevard head towards the Santa Monica Bay District and Beach Road North.*#

 

 

 
(ca. 1926)^ - Exterior view of Loew's State Theatre building. The streets are crowded with pedestrians crossing and standing along the sidewalks. Marquee reads: Now- Flapper week-Doris May in "Gay and Devilish." Occupants of the building also includes a dentist, Headquarters for Moore for Senator campaign, Star Shoe Co. and the Owl Drug Co.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1924 Marcus Loew engineered the merger of Metro with the Goldwyn Co. (which Sam Goldwyn had departed from in a 1922 power struggle) and the Louis B. Mayer group --  resulting in Metro-Goldwyn Pictures. By 1925, Mayer's name was also part of the company name, thus becoming MGM.

MGM's prestige product was well suited to the type of theatres operated by the Loew's Corporation. Although at its height in the late 1920's, the circuit totaled only about 160 theatres, they were typically lavish first runs in major cities.^^*#

 

 

 
(1926)^ - A view of Broadway looking north from the roofline above 7th Street.  On the left, the large building is the Bullock's Dept. store. Beyond it is the Kress store. And on the lower right can be seen the sign for the Boos Bros. Cafeteria. Above that is a sign for the Palace Theatre.   

 

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7th and Hill Streets

 
(1926)^ - 7th Street, east from Hill Street, with several historical buildings in view.  

 

Historical Notes

On the left: the domed building is the Pantages Theatre. It was designed by architect B. Marcus Priteca, and opened on August 16, 1920; Bullock's Department Store, built in 1906 by Parkinson & Bergstrom and founded by John G. Bullock. Bullock's grew from one building to several, encompassing real estate along Seventh and surrounding the historic St. Vincent's Court and up Hill Street. It closed in 1986, and is now the St. Vincent's Jewelry Center.

On the right: the Real Estate building, with The Sun Drug Co. occupying the ground floor, built in 1922 and designed by architects Curlett & Beelman; Loew's State Theatre, built in 1921 and designed by architect Charles P. Weeks; the I.N. Van Nuys Building, designed in the Beaux Arts style by architects Morgan, Walls and Clements, and built by Scofield-Twaits Company in 1910-1911.^

 

 

 
(1926)^ - View of 7th Street, west from Hill Street.  Crowds of people and numerous cars and trolleys can be seen lining the streets and sidewalks.  

 

Historical Notes

The prominent building on the right corner is the Pantages Theatre; its large marquee is advertising the Rin Tin Tin movie "A Hero of the Big Snows". The theater was designed by architect B. Marcus Priteca, and opened on August 16, 1920.

Directly behind the Pantages is the Los Angeles Athletic Club, built in 1911 by Parkinson & Bergstrom. This building was notable at the time for being the first in Southern California to have a swimming pool on an upper floor.

Other historical buildings visible in this photograph are: The Brack Shops, built in 1914; Union Oil Building and Roosevelt Building, both built in 1922 by Curlett & Beelman; the Real Estate Building; and The Brockman Building, built in 1911 by Barnett, Haynes & Barnett.^

 

 

 
(ca. 1926)^ - A view of the northwest corner of 7th & Hill, looking down the 7th Street side of the Pantages Theatre building. Its large marquee is advertising the Ritz Brothers movie "Marriage License". Cars, trolleys and people are seen all down the street. A horse-drawn carriage is at lower right.  

 

Historical Notes

The Pantages Theatre, a nine-story steel-framed building designed by architect B. Marcus Priteca, was the city’s second theatre (and the country’s sixteenth) built for the namesake vaudeville circuit. It is a richly ornamented Beaux Arts structure that includes a 2,200 seat theatre, shops, and offices on the upper floors.*^#

The home of the Pantages circuit prior to this was the 1910 building at 534 S.  Broadway. That theatre is now known as the Arcade.^^*#

 

 

 

 

 
(1925)#*#^ - View of the front entrance to the Pantages Theatre. Several men are seen crossing the street as a late model coupe waits to make a turn. The beautiful curved marquee reads: Irene Rich in "Compromise" and Buzington's Rube Band. Note the ornate 5-lamp streetlight posts in front of the theatre. Click HERE to see more Early L.A. Streetlights.  

 

Historical Notes

The Pantages opened as the second Pantages theater in downtown Los Angeles (the Arcade theater was the first), this B. Marcus Priteca designed theater included Greek treatments for owner Alexander Pantages. The theater’s exterior was coated in white terra cotta.##^^

Greek-born Alexander Pantages got his start in show business selling seats for readings of newspapers to miners in Alaska who were starved for information and entertainment.^^*#

 

 

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Broadway and 5th Street

 
(1926)^ - Exterior view of Walker's Department Store at the corner of Broadway and Fifth Street. A crowd of people are waiting to cross the street. A policeman is directing traffic while two streetcars pass each other.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1927)^ - Looking across the intersection of Broadway and 5th, showing the Chester Williams Building, occupied by Gensler-Lee Jewelry and Boyd's Suits and Coats. A glimpse of the Metropolitan Building at 315 W. 5th Street (far left), shows part of the sign for the Foreman & Clark's clothing store upstairs.   

 

Historical Notes

The 12-story Chester Williams Building was constructed in 1926 and located at 215 West Fifth Street.  The building also has the address 452 South Broadway.  It was designed by Architects Curlett & Beelman.

In 2012, the Chester Williams Building was converted to a 88-unit apartment complex. The opening of the renovated Chester Williams makes the intersection of Fifth Street and Broadway only the second Historic Core crossing where all four corners are occupied by residential buildings. The first such intersection, at Sixth and Spring streets, was marked in 2010 with the opening of SB Tower.

 

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Main and 4th Street

 
(1926)^ - Main and 4th streets, showing the Westminster Hotel on the northeast corner and the San Fernando Building (right) on the southeast.
 

 

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Figueroa St. and Adams Blvd.

 
(1926)^ - Figueroa Street looking northwest toward West Adams Boulevard. On the left is the Automobile Club of Southern California and St. Vincent Catholic Church.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1926)^ - View looking south on Figueroa St. toward West Adams Blvd. The Automobile Club is on the left and St. Vincent Church is to the right.  

 

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(1926)**^ - View looking west on 8th Street at Francisco St.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1926)^ - View of San Pedro Street, looking north from Washington Boulevard. Streetcars are running in both directions.  

 

 

 

 
(1926)*^ -  A crowd of listeners outside Collins' Radio Shop at 223 South San Fernando Blvd in 1926, listening to the World Series.  

 

Historical Notes

The 1926 World Series pitted the NL champion St. Louis Cardinals against the AL champion New York Yankees. The Cardinals defeated the Yankees four games to three in the best-of-seven series.

This was the first World Series appearance for the Cardinals, the first of eleven World Series championships in Cardinals history, while the Yanks were in their fourth World Series in six years, winning one for the first time in 1923. They would play in another 36 World Series through the end of the 2013 season.^*

 

 

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San Fernando Valley

 
(1926)^ - View of Van Nuys Boulevard in 1926, with Pacific Electric Railway tracks and wires in the middle of the street and cars and shops on the sides. Several car dealers are seen on the right.  

 

 

 

 
(1927)^ - View of many businesses on this main street of Ventura and Van Nuys Boulevards in Sherman Oaks, in the San Fernando Valley.  

 

 

 

 
(1927)^ - View of Lankershim Blvd. in North Hollywood, looking north from Chandler Blvd. Various small retail shops are seen, with cars parked out front. At left is a sign advising that the Lankershim Branch of Los Angeles Public Library is to the left.  

 

 

 

 
(1927)^ - Aerial view of agricultural San Fernando Valley looking north from Woodman & Chandler. Houses and agricultural buildings are interspersed among rectangular fields and orchards.  

 

 

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

 

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Flooding in Early Los Angeles

 
(1925)^ - A wet policeman directs traffic in a flooded intersection at Main and 10th Streets in 1925. He is dressed in rain gear. The Hotel Apex is on the corner, as well as W. P. Fuller & Co., paints and glass.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1926)^ - View of South Western Avenue during flood on April 7, 1926. This was a common scene after a rainstorm in the early 1900s.  

 

Historical Notes

Despite the fact that the Los Angeles County Flood Control District was formed in 1915, many streets would continue to flood decades later whenever Southern California would experience a major rainstorm.

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1927)^ - View looking north at a flooded intersection at So. New Hampshire Ave. and 5th St. The Park Lane Apartments are at 3332 West 4th St., and the Brynmoor Apartments are at 432 So. New Hampshire Ave. A car is parked in the foreground, and a barrier has been set up to stop traffic on the other side of the water.  

 

Historical Notes

Quibbling between city and county governments delayed any response to the flooding until a massive storm in 1938 flooded Los Angeles and Orange Counties. The federal government stepped in. To transfer floodwater to the sea as quickly as possible, the Army Corps of Engineers paved the beds of the river and its tributaries. The Corps also built several dams and catchment basins in the canyons along the San Gabriel Mountains to reduce the debris flows. It was an enormous project, taking years to complete.^*

 

 

 

Signs and Billboards

 
(1920s)^ – View showing the Sun Drug Co. Store on the northeast corner of Broadway and 5th Street.  Above the building is a billboard for Budweiser. On the front of the building a sign reads:  "Last Days" and "Closing Out Sale, Building Coming Down March 31st."  The large building on the left has advertisement for pianos covering the majority of its brick wall.  

 

 

 

 
(1927)^ - View of south Hill Street on the left, and west 7th Street on the right. Several business advertisements can be seen on the buildings of this southwest corner. Some are just the names of the business, such as: Coffee Dans; Payne Bros. Dentists; Kimono House, and Wetherby Shoe. And some offer a bit more information, such as: Scott Bros.; the Los Angeles Hat Co.; Autobanx; Mandel's; and the shop on the very corner announcing a sale. A billboard above Mandel's promises "Love at first light!" with its Old Gold cigarettes that sell for .15 cents. The American Telephone & Telegraph building peeks from behind all of this. Several people can be seen crossing the street and a traffic sign reading "Left turn prohibited" has been posted in the middle of the intersection facing both directions.  

 

 

 

 
(1928)*# – Signboard on the corner of Washington and Crenshaw reading: "Catalina Island - Where There’s More to Do and Least to Pay! - The Memory Lingers.” Click HERE to see Early Views of Catalina Island.  

 

 

 

 
(1929)*# – Foster and Kleiser signboard located at Washington and Hauser boulevards advertising Mission Dry Orange Sparkling in “Black Bottles.  

 

Historical Notes

The company that created Mission soft drinks went through several name and location changes over the years. Initially, California Crushed Fruit in Los Angeles produced the first soft drinks. Their Mission Orange soft drink was so successful that, in 1933, they formed The Mission Dry Corporation and started bottling Mission Orange soda in a unique black bottle. By the 1950s they had become Mission of California, Inc. with offices based in New Haven, Connecticut.

Throughout their total history, they manufactured soft drinks from about 1929 to 1970. Like many companies, Mission used cone-top cans in the ’50s. Around 1950 the company started putting their soda into 1-quart, cone-top cans. Today, some of these cans can be quite valuable. One source stated that in 2000 a Mission Root Beer quart cone top can went for over $3000 at auction. Mission also put their soft drinks in flat-top cans, but those didn’t really catch on until the ’60s. Mission soda production was based in California but was bottled all over the United States. ###+

 

 

 

 
(1941)^ - A Foster and Kleiser billboard on Jefferson Boulevard promoting the 1942 Mercury 8. The tag line reads, "More power per pound." Photograph dated December 24, 1941.  

 

Historical Notes

The Mercury Eight was the first model produced by Mercury and was produced from the 1939 through the 1951 model years. It was the only model offered by Mercury until the marque starting producing multiple series in the 1952 model year, at which point it was dropped as a model designation.

Mercury production for the short 1942 model year totaled only 1,902. Output was halted in February 1942 as American auto plants were converted to the exclusive production of war material.*^

 

 

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Aviation

 
(1927)#^#* - Charles Lindbergh in his Spirit of Saint Louis preparing to land as spectators waive.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1927, Charles Lindbergh landed The Spirit of St. Louis at the Vail Field, Montebello (outside of Los Angeles), while on a nationwide tour following his transatlantic flight (May 21, 1927).^*

 

 

 
(1927)#^#* - Charles Lindbergh in front of the Spirit of St. Louis.  

 

Historical Notes

Charles Augustus Lindbergh (1902-1974), an Army reserve officer and U.S. Air Mail pilot gained instant world fame when on May 21, 1927, he flew solo on a non-stop flight from Roosevelt Field on Long Island to Le Bourget Field in Paris in the single-seat, single-engine monoplane named the "Spirit of St. Louis". Because of this historic exploit, Lindbergh - nicknamed "Lucky Lindy" and "The Lone Eagle", was awarded the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest military decoration. In his later years, Charles Lindbergh became a prize-winning author, international explorer, inventor, and active environmentalist.^*

 

 

 

 
(1927)^ - View of a parade honoring Col. Charles A. Lindbergh, as it passes in front several large buildings along Broadway and 10th Street, in Downtown Los Angeles. Col. Lindbergh (wearing a dark suit) can be seen sitting atop the seat at the rear of the car decorated entirely with white roses; then-Mayor Porter sits next to him. Multitudes of people line both sides of the street, and colorful and patriotic banners hang across the street as far as the eye can see.  

 

Historical Notes

The parade through Downtown Los Angeles took place on September 21, 1927, four months to the day after Col. Lindbergh flew solo non-stop from Roosevelt Field to Paris aboard the "Spirit of St. Louis".^

 

 

 

 
(1927)#** - Photograph of parked automobiles at the parade for Charles Lindbergh. Approximately nine rows of cars are parked door-to-door in an alleyway flanking the parade route. Two billboards are attached to the wall at left and advertise for "Sun-Maid Raisins" and "Snowdrift for Cake". A second parking lot can be seen across the street.  

 

Historical Notes

On June 1st, 1927, the U.S Post Office issued a commemorative 10-cent "Lindbergh Air Mail" stamp depicting the Spirit over a map of its flight from New York to Paris, and which was also the first stamp issued by the post office that bore the name of a living person.^*

 

 

 

 
(1927)#^#* - Three men are in the process of fueling the Spirit of St. Louis.  

 

Historical Notes

The Spirit of St. Louis had a fuel capacity of 450 U.S. gallons or 2,385 pounds which was necessary in order to have the range to make the transatlantic non-stop flight. The large main fuel tank was placed in the forward section of the fuselage, in front of the pilot, which improved the center of gravity. While locating fuel tanks at the front reduced the risk of the pilot's being crushed to death in the event of a crash, this design decision also meant that there could be no front windshield, and that forward visibility would be limited to side windows only. A periscope was installed to provide a forward view, as a precaution against hitting ship masts, trees, or structures while flying at low altitude. Lindbergh also used special navigation instruments such as the Earth Inductor Compass as its main instrument, allowing Lindbergh to navigate while taking account of the magnetic declination of the earth.^*

 

 

 

 
(1927)#^#* - Mechanic priming propeller of the Spirit of St. Louis as Charles Lindbergh prepares to take off to continue his goodwill tour.  

 

Historical Notes

After his historic May 1st, 1927 transatlantic flight, Lindbergh flew the Spirit on promotional and goodwill tours across the United States and Latin America for over 10 months.^*

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Aviation in Early Los Angeles

 

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Downtown

 
(ca. 1928)^ - Crowds of pedestrians are crossing the street in front of the Bullock's department store. A policeman is directing traffic in the lower left of photo.  

 

Historical Notes

Bullock's was founded in 1907 at Seventh & Broadway in downtown Los Angeles by John G. Bullock, with the support of The Broadway Department Store owner Arthur Letts. In 1923, Bullock and business partner P.G. Winnett bought out Letts' interest after his death and the companies became completely separated.*^

Bullock’s flagship store proved so successful that it expanded quarters in 1912. The company purchased adjacent buildings in 1917 and 1919 for a total of 460,000 square feet. By 1920 Bullock’s and Robinson’s functioned as anchors to an elite shopping precinct that was unprecedented in Los Angeles.^##^

 

 

 
(ca. 1930)^ - Crowds of pedestrians are crossing the street in this picture of the intersection of 7th and Broadway. On the far corner (northwest corner of Broadway) is the Bullock's Department Store.  

 

Historical Notes

Between 1923 and 1928, Bullock’s added an additional 400,000 square feet through the construction of three more additions while also purchasing two adjacent buildings.^##^

 

 

 
(1951)^ - Corner of 7th and Broadway with Bullock's Department Store. A large crowd of pedestrians is in front of the store and crossing the street. Cars, including a convertible, are waiting for the pedestrians to pass in order to turn the corner.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1923, John G. Bullock and business partner P.G. Winnett bought out Arthur Letts' interest after his death and the companies became completely separated. In 1929 Bullock & Winnett opened a luxury branch on Wilshire Boulevard, named Bullock's Wilshire.^##^

Bullock’s Downtown closed in 1986.  The building is now the St. Vincent's Jewelry Center.^

 

 

 
(1929)^ - Looking north on Broadway the street is filled with pedestrians crossing 4th St. A trolley and cars can be seen waiting their turn. The Million Dollar Theatre can be seen in the distance (upper right of photo). Note the variety of stylish hats being worn.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1929)^ - A view of Variety Arts Theater located at 940 S. Figueroa which at the time of this picture was named Figueroa Playhouse. Across the view of cars and a boy on a bicycle hitching onto a truck, you can see the marquee: "Anne Nichols Abie's Irish Rose".  

 

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Mercury and Chaplin Aviation Fields

 
(ca. 1920)* - View of Mercury Aviation Field located on Fairfax Avenue (then known as Crescent Avenue) north of Wilshire Bouelvard.  

 

Historical Notes

Cecil B. DeMille founded the Mercury Aviation Company (aka Mercury Air Lines ) in 1919. Mercury was the first American airlines to carry air freight and passengers commercially on regularly scheduled runs. It scheduled service to Santa Catalina Island and San Diego, later San Francisco, with Junker-Larsen JL-6 monoplanes. Inaugurated five months before KLM began operations in Europe.**^^

Mercury’s competitor in the air travel business was across the street at Chaplin Airfield, which was founded in 1919 by Sydney Chaplin. Chaplin was a stage performer and silent film actor before becoming his far more famous sibling’s business manager.

 

 

 
(1920s)*# - Aerial view looking northeast showing Crescent Avenue (later Fairfax) heading away from the camera and making a slight turn to the north at Wilshire Boulevard. The Chaplin Airfield, seen southwest of the intersection, is having an air show. Note the oil wells in the distance.  

 

Historical Notes

Chaplin Airport opened in 1918 as Chaplin Airdrome. About 1920 it was called Rogers Airport when it came under the ownership of Emery H. Rogers, owner of Rogers Aircraft Inc.^

Sid Chaplin, the original owner, was also Charlie Chaplin's brother.

 

Click HERE to see more in Aviation in Early Los Angeles

 

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Early LA Gas Stations

 
(1920s)^^ - The Gilmore Gas Station was one of the first gas stations in Los Angeles. Located at the corner of La Brea and Wilshire Blvd.  

 

Historical Notes

Today, you can find a replica of a gas station modeled after a 1936 era Gilmore Gas Station at Farmers Market. The 1936 replica and the one shown above are very similar. The station was put in place when the Grove Shopping Center was constructed adjacent to Farmers Market in 2002.

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1930s)**^ - View of the Gilmore Gas Station located on the southwest corner of Fairfax and Wilshire.  The building on the right still stands today.  

 

Historical Notes

Gilmore Gas Stations were eventually bought out by Mobil Oil Co.

Click HERE to see more Early Views of LA Gas Stations.

 

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Fairfax High School

 
(1927)^ - Aerial view looking southeast of Fairfax High School located on the southeast corner of Fairfax and Melrose Avenues. Mercury Aviation Airfield occupied the land in the lower-right of photo in the early 1920s (Click HERE to see earlier photo).
 

 

Historical Notes

Originally, the land around Fairfax “was a swampy area or cienaga, the home of the duck and the mudhen - a veritable hunters’ paradise during the wet season of the year. As land became more valuable, the old cienega was drained and filled and a region suitable for residence created. Because of its swampy condition, the Board of Education was enabled to buy the twenty-eight acres on which this high school stands at a very low figure. When the time came to build our school, through a friend we were able to secure gratis thirty eight thousand loads of dirt. This raised the frontage on Melrose twenty - two inches, and so we are kept out of the water most of the time. Thus we have passed by slow transition from the jungle home of the lords of the forest to the more sheltered home of the Lords of Fairfax.” Written by the first Principal of Fairfax, R.G. Van Cleve - 1963 Yearbook. #*#*

 

 

 
(1931)^ - Aerial view of Fairfax High School looking southwest. The tree-lined street running diagonally at top right is Fairfax Avenue. Melrose Ave runs east to west in the foreground. The school's "Rotunda" and auditorium can be seen at center of photo.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1924, Fairfax High School, named for Lord Fairfax of Colonial America, opened its doors. Rae G. Van Cleve, the first principal, wished to make Fairfax very “American and Democratic.” The Fairfax family (direct descendants of Lord Fairfax) in Virginia gave permission to use the coat of arms (Rampant Lion) and the motto “Fare Fax” (“Say and Do”).  The student body chose to name “Colonials.” In keeping with the Colonial backgrounds, Student Body officers bore colonial titles. The first boys’ and girls’ groups were called Lords and Ladies, and the student body president was called The Lord High Commissioner.

Fairfax was initially designed to be an Agricultural & Mechanical school emphasizing “practical” skills. With 28 Acres of campus, school programs included landscape gardening, forestry, architecture, agronomy and an arboretum. The Domestic Science unit supervised the cafeteria so that the “girls” would get practice as well as the theory of cooking and serving “food”. #*#*

 

 

 

(1926)#*#* - View showing two lily ponds in front of the Fairfax High School Rotunda and Auditorium. Both the Rotunda and Auditorium are the only two original buildings still standing today.

 

 

Historical Notes

Because the buildings were not earthquake-safe, the last year of the original campus was 1966. Brick by brick, the old structures came down, and completely new earthquake-safe building arose. New additions included a four-story administration and classroom facility, a physical education plant, an industrial arts complex and cafeteria. Students and faculty moved into the new building in 1968. Because of the unique beauty of the Rotunda and the Auditorium, a public campaign was successful in saving them, and the Auditorium was reinforced for seismic safety. Subsequently, the Fairfax Hall of Fame was established in the Rotunda. #*#*

 

 

 
(1931)^ - Interior view of the auditorium at Fairfax High School.  

 

Historical Notes

The auditorium was dedicated in 1926 and later named the DeWitt Swan Auditorium, in honor of the first Boys’ Vice Principal. The first annual in 1926 bore the dedication, “Enter to learn; go forth to serve.” In 1927, the summer graduating class dedicated the sunken gardens and the fountain that was located in front of the old building. The same year, a Fine Arts building and a gymnasium were added to the campus. By the time, Fairfax High School (containing grades 7-12) was an established, prestigious element in the Fairfax Community. #^#*

 

 

 

(ca. 1931)^ - Students standing outside the Moorish style archway of the entrance to the Fairfax High School auditorium.

“Never  say die, say do” - The Fairfax Motto, “Fare Fac”, was the subject of a 1930 contest for the best slogan and motto depicting its meaning. More than 150 entries were submitted. The winning motto: “Noble in speech, honorable in deed”. “Let your words be wise and your actions likewise”.

 

 

 

 

 

Historical Notes

When the United States entered the war, hundreds of Fairfax students and alumni joined the military. The 1946 Colonial Yearbook was dedicated to those men and women, 96 of whom lost their lives. During the war years, Fairfax students sold $90,000 in war bonds, conducted numerous recycling material drives. Also in 1946, a Fairfax drama featured Ricardo Montalban and Jim Hardy, once a Lord High Commissioner starred at football. He continued his career at USC ad professionally with Rams, Chicago Cardinals and Detroit Lions. #*#*

Click HERE for a list of Fairfax High School Notable Alumni.

 

 

 

 
(1929)#*#* – The Fairfax Varsity Baseball Team of 1929. Yearbook referred to the team as "Heavyweight Baseball".  

 

 

 

 

 
(1929)#*#* – The Fairfax Varsity Basketball Team of 1929, at the time referred to as "Heavyweight Basketball".  

 

 

 

 
(2006)*^ - Fairfax High School as it appears today, with Rotunda in the background. Photo by Gary Minnaert  

 

Historical Notes

Fairfax was the foreign language magnet school in the 1960s and 1970s, offering Hebrew, German, Chinese and Latin, among other languages. The Fairfax Magnet Center for Visual Arts opened in 1981 and remains the only visual arts magnet in the Los Angeles Unified School District.

In 1984, Dr. Virginia Uribe, an LAUSD teacher and counselor for 42 years, founded LAUSD’s Project 10 program, the first dropout prevention program specifically for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students in the United States.

Organized by a group of local theater artists, the first Melrose Trading Post was held in 1998 in the school's parking lot. Regarded as most successful on-going fund-raising activity in the LAUSD, the flea market evolved into the Greenway Arts Alliance, the Friends of Fairfax and the Institute for the Arts at Fairfax High School, all which are of immense benefit to the school and students.

In Fall 2008, Fairfax High School was reconfigured from a comprehensive high school into a complex of five new small learning communities (SLCs) and the existing Fairfax Magnet Center for Visual Arts.*^

 

 

 

 

 

The coat of arms of Thomas Fairfax, 6th Baron Fairfax of Cameron (1693–1781), which became the emblem of the County of Fairfax, Virginia, USA.^*

 

Historical Notes

There is a connection between Fairfax High School, Gilmore Gas Co., and Thomas Fairfax - a 'Lion'.

Fairfax High School and Gilmore's first oil well are located in proximaty to each other and to Fairfax Avenue. It turns out that both Gilmore's logo and Fairfax's mascot is a 'Lion' - which is more than a coincidence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fairfax High School's Mascot is a lion (left).

Gilmore Oil Company's logo was also a lion.

 

 

 

 

 

 
(1935)*^#^ – Night view of the Gilmore Service Station located at 7870 Beverly Boulevard, one block east of Fairfax Avenue. Note the lion on top of the illuminated Gilmore sign.  

 

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.

In 1944, Gilmore's 1200 filling stations became Mobil stations.^*

 

 

 
(1939)**^ - View of two men standing next to a Gilmore tanker truck.  One of the two gentlemen is non-other than Earl Gilmore.  

 

Historical Notes

Earl Gilmore, son of Arthur F. Gilmore, was president of A. F. Gilmore Oil, a California-based petroleum company which was developed after Arthur struck oil on the family property near 3rd and Fairfax. The area was rich in petroleum, which was the source of the "tar" in the nearby La Brea Tar Pits.^*

 

 

 
(1922)*# - Aerial photograph, looking east, showing the intersection of Wilshire and San Vicente boulevards. 10th Street (later Olympic Blvd) runs from lower right and parallels Wilshire Blvd.  

 

Historical Notes

San Vicente is named for the Rancho San Vicente y Santa Monica that had previously occupied the area.^*

Olympic Boulevard was originally named 10th Street. In 1932, the entire length of the street, from East L.A. to Santa Monica, was renamed Olympic Boulevard for the Summer Olympics being held in Los Angeles that year.^*

 

 

 
(1926)*# - Photograph of an aerial view looking east at the intersection of Wilshire Boulevard and San Vicente Boulevard, August 6, 1926. Wilshire is at center and runs away from the camera while San Vicente runs from the lower left corner to the middle of the right edge. The land around the two large streets is divided into small blocks by narrow residential roads, and countless small houses are filling the blocks. The only open land is La Cienega Park, visible at left, and a large open field in the bottom right corner. In the center-right of photo can be seen The Carthay Circle Theatre between San Vicente and Olympic.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1922, J. Harvey McCarthy began the development of an upscale residential district along the San Vicente Boulevard line of the Pacific Electric Railway, bounded by Wilshire Blvd. on the north, Fairfax Avenue on the east, Olympic Blvd. on the south and Schumacher Drive on the west. McCarthy originally named the district Carthay Center (Carthay being a derivative of the developer's last name). The areas to the south of Olympic Boulevard remained undeveloped until 1933, when developer Spyros George Ponty built several hundred homes in two districts later named "South Carthay" and "Carthay Square". ^*

 

 

 
(ca. 1927)^ - Aerial view, looking northeast, of Carthay Circle Theatre on San Vicente Blvd. In the background can be seen a large oil field north of Wilshire Blvd. and east of Fairfax Ave. This is the area, just north of La Brea Tar Pits, where Arthur F. Gilmore found oil in the 1890s.  

 

Historical Notes

The Carthay Circle Theatre was one of the most famous movie palaces of Hollywood's Golden Age. It opened at 6316 San Vicente Boulevard in 1926 and was considered to be developer J. Harvey McCarthy's most successful monument, a stroke of shrewd thinking that made a famous name of the newly developed Carthay residential district in the Mid-City West district of Los Angeles.^*

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1927)^ - Aerial view of the Carthay Circle Theater (center of photo), near Olympic and San Vicente, in Los Angeles.  

 

Historical Notes

Initially developed by Fox, it was called the Fox Carthay Circle Theater. The theater became better known than the development in which it was located, and this has led to confusion in the name of the area. The theater's name meant "the Circle Theater, by Fox, located in Carthay", but became incorrectly interpreted as "The Fox Theater, located in Carthay Circle." The misinterpretation has stuck, and now the region is more or less officially known as Carthay Circle, even as its theater namesake has been gone for half a century.^*

 

 

 
(1927)**^* - Exterior view of the Carthay Circle Theater as seen from across the street. A late model car is parked at the curb.  

 

Historical Notes

The Carthay Circle Theater provided the "circle" for which Carthay Circle has come to be named.The auditorium itself was shaped in the form of a perfect circle, extended vertically into a cylinder, set inside a square that fleshed out the remainder of the building. McCarthy's development was called Carthay—an anglicized version of his last name. The theater was called the Circle Theater for its unique floor plan.*^

 

 

 
(1930s)*^*^* - View of a premier night at the Carthay Circle Theater. Flood lights fill the sky.  

 

Historical Notes

The Carthay Circle Theatre hosted the official premieres of some of the more notable films of the 1930s including: The Life of Emile Zola (1937), Romeo and Juliet (1936), Walt Disney's first animated feature length film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) and Gone with the Wind (1939), among many others.

For Disney's Fantasia (1940), the most elaborate audio system in use at the time, Fantasound, a pioneering stereophonic process, was installed at this theatre.^*

Click HERE to see more early views of the Carthay Circle Theatre.

 

 

 
(1930)*# - Photograph of an aerial view looking east at the intersection of Wilshire and San Vicente Boulevards, March 11, 1930. Wilshire is at center and goes away from the camera, while San Vicente cuts across the image from left to right. La Cienega Park is visible at left, and what appears to be a school is visible in the lower right corner.  

 

 

 

Before and After

 
 

 

Historical Notes

Within a short span of 8 years, the area surrounding the intersection of Wilshire and San Vicente boulevards would see dramatic changes. J. Harvey McCarthy's 1922 Carthay Circle development would be the catalyst to the region's explosive growth.

 

 

 

 
(1927)^^ - View looking east of Pico Boulevard at San Vicente. The event taking place is the dedication of the new 1000-foot viaduct bridging Pico Boulevard. Three Pacific Electric Red Cars can be seen stopped on the new Pico Blvd. viaduct.  

 

Historical Notes

On November 2, 1927, city and county officials, together with Pacific Electric executives, gathered for the opening ceremony of the Pico Boulevard Viaduct to be used by the PE Red Cars. The viaduct was demolished only 23 years later when PE's Westside lines were abandoned and replaced with busses.^^

Pico Boulevard was named in 1855 after the 14th and last governor of California under Mexican rule, Don Pio Pico, whose grandfather and father had come to the area with a 1776 expedition. Pio Pico, who was born in 1801 at Mission San Gabriel, built the Pico House hotel, the first three-story building in Los Angeles, which still stands.^*^

 

 

 

 
(1935)*# - View looking south on La Cienega at Pico Boulevard showing a string of dual-lamp electroliers (streetlights) on both sides of the street.  

 

 

 

 
(1931)*# - View looking south on Fairfax Ave at Drexel Ave showing a Richfield Gas Station on the northwest corner. Ornate two-lamp streetlights run along both sides of Fairfax.  

 

 

 

 
(1931)*# – Close-up view showing two women followed by two girls walking south toward the intersection of Fairfax and Drexel avenues. The Richfield Gas Station on the corner is selling regular gas for 8½ cents/gal, with Ethyl going for 11½ cents.  Note the beautiful two-lamp streetlight on the corner.  

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Los Angeles Streetlights

 

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Los Angeles City Market

 
(1927)^ - Buyers create a traffic jam at the Los Angeles wholesale produce market. Building on right is the wholesale terminal, built in 1918 on Pacific Electric Railroad property for shipping produce to out-of-state customers by railroad.  

 

Historical Notes

Terminal Market, located at Seventh and Central, was constructed to provide a larger central marketplace for wholesale produce.  Where previously the market was crowded with horses and buggies, this new site was designed to be large enough to accommodate automobile traffic.^^*

 

 

 
(1920s)^ - Terminal Market (L.A. City Market) 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

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

 

 

 
(1937)^ - Buyers are lined up at the Los Angeles wholesale produce market and wholesale terminal (L.A. City Market).  

 

 

Click HERE to see more on the history of Los Angeles City Market

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1926)**^ – Panoramic aerial view looking northeasterly showing the Vitagraph Studio (today, Prospect Studios) at the corner of Prospect and Talmadge Avenues (named in honor of silent screen star Norma Talmadge), just east of Hollywood.   Prospect Avenue runs east-west and merges into Hollywood Boulevard as it heads west past Vermont Avenue.  In the upper-left can be seen the newly built (1926) Shakespeare Bridge on Franklin Avenue.  

 

Historical Notes

Opening in 1915 as The Vitagraph Studio, the original silent film plant included two daylight film stages, support buildings and many exterior film sets. In 1925, Vitagraph's founder Albert Smith sold the company to the Warner brothers. In 1927, the facility became The Warner East Hollywood Annex and was used for many large-scale films. Here, in 1927, Warner Bros. shot portions of the historical first sound film, The Jazz Singer, using the Vitaphone process which synchronized audio and picture.

In 1948, the property was sold to the newly formed American Broadcasting Company, and the film lot was transitioned into the new world of television as the ABC Television Center.

In 1996, ABC became part of The Walt Disney Company, the origins of which trace back to its first studio in Silver Lake. As the television and film industry entered the next millennium, the lot was renamed The Prospect Studios.^*

 

 

 

 
(1932)##** – Aerial view looking northeast of the community of Franklin Hills showing the Shakespeare Bridge, left-center, on Franklin Avenue.  John Marshall High School can be seen in the upper-center, located at 3939 Tracy Street.  

 

Historical Notes

John Marshall High School first opened its doors on January 26, 1931, with approximately twelve hundred students and forty-eight teachers. Joseph Sniffen, for whom the auditorium was named, served as the first Principal, while Hugh Boyd and Geraldine Keith acted as Marshall's first Vice-Principals. The football field was named in honor of Mr. Boyd, while the library was named for Mrs. Keith.^*

Franklin Hills borders Los Feliz proper on the northwest and west; Silver Lake on the northeast, east, and southeast; and East Hollywood on the south. The area is residential, boasting very well-kept homes set on the hills east of Los Feliz Village.

Franklin Hills is also home to the Shakespeare Bridge, a small 1926 built bridge on Franklin Avenue east of Talmadge Street that links Franklin Avenue between two tall, steep hills. To the east of the bridge begins the Franklin Hills public stairway system, which provides pedestrian linkages among the curvy streets, a series of 14 staircases originally built in the 1920s to provide hillside homeowners pedestrian access to the trolley lines below.^*

 

 

 
(1926)**^- Aerial view showing a closer look at Shakespeare Bridge (Franklin Avenue Bridge) and the ravine it crosses.  

 

Historical Notes

The ravine over which the bridge was built was once a perennial stream called Arroyo de la Sacatela.^*

 

 

 

 
(1926)**^** – Ground view of the Shakespeare Bridge (Franklin Avenue Bridge) looking north as seen from the dry bed of the Arroyo de la Sacatela.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1926)^- View of the Shakespeare Bridge, originally known as the Franklin Avenue Bridge, still under construction.  

 

Historical Notes

The Gothic-style Shakespeare Bridge was built in 1926 and designed by J.C. Wright of the City Engineer's Office. It is 30-feet wide and 230-feet long and is made of concrete.^*

 

 

 

 
(1928)*# – Street view showing an early model car as it begins to cross the Shakespeare bridge. The bridge is bookended by Gothic-style copula, four on each side.  

 

Historical Notes

As for why it’s called the Shakespeare Bridge, that seems to be a mystery. It was originally known as the Franklin Avenue Bridge, but the name changed at some point, with most information pointing to a neighborhood council-type decision.

 

 

 

 

(1956)^* - View of the Shakespeare Bridge through one of its eight ornate Gothic copulas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Historical Notes

The bridge was rebuilt in 1998 after the Northridge earthquake due to concerns that the structure would not be stable in the even of an earthquake in the Franklin Hills area. As part of the seismic retrofit, the deck, sidewalks, and railings were removed and reconstructed using reinforced concrete. The expansion joints were also removed, so the bridge deck is now a one-piece structural diaphragm built to transfer all seismic forces into the abutment walls at either end of the bridge. All of the rebuilding was done in an effort to preserve the historic appearance of the bridge.^*

 

 

 
(2014)#^** - View of the Shakespeare Bridge as it appears today.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1974, the Shakespeare Bridge was designated Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument #126 (Click HERE to see complete listing).

 

 

 

 
(1928)**^** – View of the construction of the Lorena Street and Fourth Street Bridge showing the centering for two west arches from the east bank of Los Angeles River.  

 

Historical Notes

The Fourth St. and Lorena St. Bridge was constructed in 1927-28 as a complex grade separation that assured the flow of traffic from Fourth Street downtown to East Los Angeles. The bridge is noted as an engineering achievement in catenary arch, reinforced concrete, bridge construction.^*#

 

 

 

 
(1928)^ - Looking westerly at the southern side of the 390' long open spandrel arch bridge located at Fourth and Lorena Streets in Boyle Heights, not long after in was built. The bridge is located in a residential neighborhood, as indicated by the various homes present in the background.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1983, the Fourth and Lorena Street Bridge was dedicated LA Historic-Cultural Monument No. 265 (Click HERE to see complete listing).

 

 

 
(2012)##*^ - View of the underside of 4th Street Bridge over Lorena Street showing its ribbed compound arches up close.  

 

Historical Notes

The 4th and Lorena Street Bridge-Built in 1928, is one of the few remaining catenary, or curved, arch bridges in the city. It is one of the most graceful of the open spandrel arch bridges designed in 1920’s.

 

 

 
(2001)^*# – Aerial view looking northwest at the 4th Street Bridge at Lorena Street.  

 

 

 

Dayton Avenue Bridge (later Riverside-Figueroa Bridge)

 
(1926)*# – View looking east showing the old 1903-built Dayton Avenue Bridge.  A thin road starts beneath the trees of a hill in the right foreground and extends over the bridge at center before continuing to the left background. A murky stream flows beneath the bridge with jagged rocks separating the water from construction workers. A steam shovel is seen cutting into the hillside with horse-drawn wagons pulling the dirt away.  

 

Historical Notes

Dayton Avenue (later N. Figueroa Street) has had four different bridges. The Riverside Drive-Dayton Avenue Bridge, first built in 1903, was replaced with a concrete one completed in 1928. In 1938, after heavy floods and the Elysian Park landslide, the Army Corps of Engineers built a replacement bridge with steel trussing, known as the Riverside Drive Bridge (Riverside-Figueroa Bridge). In 2008 eleven bridges were designated as Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monuments including the Riverside-Figueroa Bridge #908, however, because of seismic safety issues, the bridge was once again replaced by a newer one in 2014.

 

 

 

 
(1928)*# - Panoramic view of Lincoln Heights from Elysian Park, showing the newly constructed concrete Dayton Avenue Bridge.  Also seen is the new Tujunga Parkway (later Golden State Freeway).  

 

Historical Notes

This concrete bridge replaced the earlier Dayton Avenue Bridge built in 1903. The new bridge was later renamed the Riverside Drive-Dayton Avenue Bridge, alternately called the Riverside Drive-Figueroa Bridge, when Dayton Avenue was renamed North Figueroa as a continuation of original Figueroa Street.**^**

 

 

 

 
(1928)+#* - View of the Riverside Drive-Dayton Avenue Bridge as seen from the LA River bed.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1928)**^** - Close-up view of the Dayton Avenue Bridge showing its arched ribs and easterly haunches, shortly after its completion.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1931)*# - Birdseye view looking west showng the Dayton Avenue Bridge and Railroad Bridge at lower right. The new Figueroa Street Tunnels (opened in 1931) and extension are also seen. Eventually a new bridge would connect Figueroa directly with Dayton Avenue, avoiding present V-shaped road.  

 

 

 

 
(1938)^#^^ - View looking east showing the new North Figueroa Street Viaduct (bridge) as it passes over the Los Angeles River with the R.R. crossing at lower-right. The Dayton Avenue Bridge can be seen in the upper left.  

 

Historical Notes

The N. Figueroa Street Bridge opened in 1937, providing a wider and direct Los Angeles River crossing than the Dayton Avenue Bridge. After passing over the river and San Fernando Road, it tied into Dayton Avenue (Figueroa Street) south of Avenue 26.^*

 

 

 
(1938)#^** – Sketch showing the new Dayton Avenue Bridge, replacing the former one in a new alignment.   

 

Historical Notes

The new (3rd) Dayton Avenue Bridge will now link Riverside Drive and San Fernando Road with a reach of about 700 feet, including approaches, over the Los Angeles River.  It will have one 238-foot steel span directly over the river.

 

 

 
(1938)*# – View looking north showing the 238-foot long steel span of the new (3rd) Dayton Avenue Bridge over a flooded Los Angeles River as seen from the new N. Figueroa Bridge. The Railroad Bridge running diagonally over the river is in the foreground.  

 

Historical Notes

The new Dayton Avenue Bridge was built, by the Army Corps of Engineers. Though the deck of the bridge retains more-or-less the character of the earlier bridge, the graceful concrete arch below is replaced by a steel truss span.

 

 

 
(ca. 2008)+++ - View looking south showing the 3rd Dayton Avenue Bridge (now Riverside Drive-Figueroa Bridge) with the RR Bridge and Figueroa Bridge in the background. Palm trees of the Dodger Stadium parking lot are seen at upper-right.  

 

Historical Notes

In 2008, the Riverside-Figueroa Bridge that links Cypress Park and Elysian Valley was designated Los Angeles Historic Cultural Monument No. 908.

 

 

 

 
(2013)+^^ - Aerial view looking northeast showing the Riverside-Figueroa Bridge with the Golden State (I-5) Freeway in the background. A new Riverside-Figueroa Bridge is being constructed to replace the old one.  

 

Historical Notes

Due to safety concerns regarding the seismic fitness of the Riverside-Figueroa Bridge, the City Council decided it needed to be replaced. In 2011, the city began construction on the widened replacement bridge seen above.

 

 

 

 
(2014)+^^ – View of the new replacement Riverside-Figueroa Bridge now open with traffic.  The old bridge is seen at bottom.  

 

Historical Notes

There was nearly a year-long effort to save the concrete and metal-truss  bridge for use as a public space similar to the Hi Line in NY. However, the courts ruled in favor of the city and the last steel truss bridge to span the LA River would be demolished (2014). +^^

 

 

 

 
(1928)^ - View of traffic traveling on Hollywood Blvd. at Cahuenga in 1928. The Security Trust & Savings Bank building is on the far left side of the photograph.  

 

 

 

 
(1928)^ - A customer gets full service at the gas pumps at Muller Bros. Service Station on Sunset Blvd.  

 

Historical Notes

The Muller family is one of Hollywood’s pioneers. Jacob Muller came to Hollywood in 1893, establishing the first meat market in Hollywood, across from the present Cinerama Dome on Sunset Boulevard. He sold the market in 1907 and established the first ice company in Hollywood, selling that business in 1913. The family’s original house was built Sunset Boulevard at Ivar. This site later became the location of  the RCA Building, built by the Muller Family in 1963. (currently the Los Angeles Film School Building).

Jacob Muller’s sons, Walter and Frank, opened the Muller Bros. Service Station in 1920.^*^*

 

 

 
(1938)**^ - View of what appears to be an Auburn Cord being attended to in "full service" at the Muller Brothers Service Station at 6380 Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood.  

 

Historical Notes

The Muller Brothers Service Station was located on the south side of Sunset Boulevard on 4 acres, where the Cinerama Dome Theater is now located. Opened in 1920 by the Muller brothers, Walter and Frank, this became the largest service station in the world (including a large automobile supply center), employing 120 people by 1937. Celebrities, from Rudolph Valentino to Clark Gable, came by regularly to get gas or just work on their cars. In 1963 the site was sold for the Cinerama Dome Theater, and, at that time, an eventual hotel.^*^*

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of Hollywood (1920 +).

 

* * * * *

 

 

Wilshire Boulevard

 
(1920s)*# – View looking toward the south side of Wilshire Boulevard between Cloverdale Avenue and Cochran Avenue.  The Dominguez-Wilshire Building(aka Myer Siegel & Co. Building) was constructed on this site in 1930.  

 

 

 

 
(1928)^ - The intersection of Wilshire Blvd. and La Brea Avenue, looking east. The Dyas-Carleton Café (which opened in 1928) is seen on the N/W corner. Across La Brea, on the N/E corner, is a Gilmore Gas Station and the future site of the E. Clem Wilson Building (built in 1930) with a branch of Security Trust & Savings Bank behind it. At right is the Sturgis Radio Co. and the Bank of Italy. Some vacant lots are seen on Wilshire, and the afternoon sunlight is highlighting the scene.
 

 

 

 

 
(1930)*# - View looking east on Wilshire Boulevard as seen from the top of the newly built Dominguez-Wilshire Building, between Cochran and Cloverdale Avenues.  The E. Clem Wilson Building can be seen on the N/E corner of Wilshire and La Brea.  

 

 

 

 
(1928)*# - Aerial night view of Wilshire Boulevard showing the original Brown Derby Restaurant at center-right. The building with the tall tower at upper-right is the Wilshire Christian Church. Note how well lit Wilshire is and the numerous signboards on both sides of the Boulevard.  

 

Historical Notes

Wilshire Boulevard was designated by The Octagon Museum of the American Architectural Foundation as one of the 'Grand American Avenues' was decorated with this Wilshire Special pole and lantern for nearly six miles of its length. Approximately 100 poles still remain over the distance of about one-and-a-half miles. The original lanterns are solid bronze and stand 7½ feet tall from the base of the lantern to the top of the finial.^^#

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1928)^*^# – Postcard view looking east on Wilshire Boulevard from S. Bronson Avenue.  At far left is the Los Altos Apartments at 4121 Wilshire. Up ahead is the Pellissier Building/Wiltern Theatre.  Note the ornate streetlights along Wilshire (called Wilshire Specials).  

 

 

 

 

 
(1934)*# - Photograph of a view of the intersection of Wilshire Boulevard and Crenshaw Boulevard, 1934. At center, a wide, two lane boulevard can be seen extending into the distance where highrise buildings can be seen while at center, a narrower road intersects the wide boulevard. To the left of the center foreground, a street lamp can be seen, beginning a procession that extends down the right side of the road.  

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Los Angeles Street Lights

 

 

 

 

 
(1928)^ - View looking west at a divided Melrose Avenue, near Detroit St. (2 blocks w/o La Brea).  The building on the right with flagpole in front is Melrose Elementary School.  

 

 

 

 
(ca.1928)^ - Cars travel in both directions through the Cahuenga Pass near the Hollywood Bowl. The roadway through the Pass, the lowest through the Santa Monica Mountains, connects the Los Angeles Basin to the San Fernando Valley. The hills are truncated where they were excavated for the road bed. On the left, a large hillside billboard advertises the The Outpost development in the Hollywood Hills. A roadside vendor is setup near the Hollywood Bowl parking sign on the right (Click HERE to see more in Early Views of the Hollywood Bowl).
 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1928)^ - A view looking east of Hollywood Boulevard from the pedestrian level with cars both parked and moving down the street, a pedestrian crossing in the middle and various businesses. A radio tower with "KFWB" on it, and Christmas tree decorations along the sidewalk can be seen.
 

 

Historical Notes

KFWB's history goes back to 1925, when it was launched by Sam Warner, a co-founder of Warner Brothers. The station launched the careers of such stars as Ronald Reagan and Bing Crosby. The station was the first to broadcast the annual Rose Parade in Pasadena.

The original KFWB studios and transmitter location were at the Warner Bros. Studios, which is now KTLA, at 5800 Sunset Boulevard. One of the two original towers still stands prominently out front. Due to RF interference getting into the movie studio's "talkies" sound equipment, the transmitter was moved in 1928 to the roof of the Warner Theater, now the Hollywood Pacific Theatre, at 6423 Hollywood Blvd. Eventually the studios were also moved to the Warner Theater. Those two towers are still there, as well.^*

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of Hollywood

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1925)^ - L. A. County Courthouse viewed from the east, with the Hall of Records on the left. The very edge of the Hall of Justice is barely visible on the right.  

 

 

 

 
(1927)^ - View is looking northwest toward three powerhouses: Hall of Records, County Courthouse, and Hall of Justice, which sit amid other equally important buildings in Downtown. An advertisement painted on the upper portion of a building (lower forefront) reads, "Los Angeles Daily Journal - official paper for City of and County of Los Angeles - Legal advertising".  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1927)^ - View is looking northwest toward three powerhouses: Hall of Records, County Courthouse, and Hall of Justice. The construction site of the new Los Angeles City Hall can be seen in the forefront.  

 

Historical Notes

The Hall of Records was built in 1906 and demolished in 1973; the County Courthouse was built in 1891 and demolished in 1936; the Hall of Justice was built in 1922 by Allied Architects and is the only one of the three buildings still standing today.^

 

 

 
(1926)*# - View of the Los Angeles City Hall construction site. Across Spring Street in the center of the photo is the County Hall of Records and, to its right, the red sandstone County Courthouse. The LA Times Building tower can be seen at upper center-left.  

 

 

 

 
(1927)^ - Preparation of the site for construction of Los Angeles City Hall. Behind are the old County Courthouse and the Hall of Justice to its right.  

 

Historical Notes

The new 28-story Los Angeles City Hall was replacing the old City Hall building located on Broadway between 2nd and 3rd Streets that had been government headquarters since 1889. That building had replaced a one-story adobe City Hall, formerly the old Rocha House, on the northeast corner of Spring and Court Streets.*^*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1927)*# – View showing steel griders going up in the early construction stages of the new City Hall. In the background, a multitude of warehouse-type buildings are visible, while at left, The Amestoy Building located at the intersection of North Main and Market streets can be seen. To its right, the U.S. Hotel is visible. Two very tall cylindrical “gas holders” (gas storage tanks) can also be seen at left.  

 

Historical Notes

Temple Block, one of the earliest buildings in Los Angeles, is seen still standing at left center. The Old Courthouse occupied Temple Block between 1861 and 1891.*

 

 

 
(ca. 1926)^ - Temple Block as it appeared just one year before construction began on new City Hall. A group of people are seen crossing Main Street. The sign on the face of the Temple Block building reads: PAINLESS DENTISTRY.  

 

Historical Notes

This site, at the intersection of Spring, Main and Temple, is where John Temple built his original two-story adbobe two-story adobe in the early 1800s.

Jonathan Temple was one of Los Angeles’ first developers, constructing the original Temple Block and the Market House, which later served as city and county administrative headquarters, contained the county courthouse, and featured the first true theater in southern California. Temple Street carries his name.^*

 

 

 
(1927)*^^# - The last stand of the historic Temple Block. As the steel frame of the new City Hall neared completion the proud building, once dominant in the business and professional life of the city, was razed.  

 

 

 

 
(1927)^ - This photo faces east, and you can make out the central tower of the Baker Block behind it, and also the framework of LA City Hall under construction. Arcadia St. is the street on the right edge of the photo, across which lies the Jennette Block.  

 

Historical Notes

Arcadia St. was just one block long, running between Main and Los Angeles Sts., and was named for Arcadia Bandini de Stearns Baker. She was first married to Abel Stearns, who built the Arcadia Block, and then after his death she married Robert Symington Baker, who built the Baker Block on the site of the former Stearns residence, a large and apparently lavish adobe (and he also co-founded Santa Monica, among other things). So both of the buildings that bordered the south side of Arcadia St. were built by Arcadia's husbands.^*#

Click HERE to read more about Arcadia in Early Views of Santa Monica.

 

 

 
(ca. 1927)*# - View of the City of Los Angeles garage. In the background from left to right can be seen the Hall of Justice, County Courthouse and Hall of Records. In the far background stands the steel framing for the new City Hall.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1927)*# - Another view showing the steel framing of City Hall as seen from the 300 block of N. Hill Street.  

 

 

 

 
(1927)*# - View of City Hall under construction, with steel framing complete.  

 

 

 

 
(1927)*# - View of City Hall looking northeast, still under construction but beginning to take form.  

 

 

 

 
(1927)**^**– View looking southeast at the Los Angeles Civic Center from near the intersection of Temple and Hill streets. City Hall, still under construction, stands tall behind (from L to R) The Hall of Justice, the Old County Courthouse, and the Hall of Records. Photo Date: 12/30/27  

 

 

 

 
(1928)**^** – View looking north toward the newly constructed City Hall Building the day of its opening ceremony.  Banners hang from the building’s south fascia.  Main Street is seen on the right.  Photo Date: 4/26/1928  

 

Historical Notes

City Hall's distinctive tower was based on the purported shape of the Mausoleum of Mausolus and shows the influence of the Los Angeles Central Library, completed soon before the structure was started.

An image of City Hall has been on Los Angeles Police Department badges since 1940.^*

 

 

 
(1928)*# - View of Los Angeles City Hall decorated with banners for its opening ceremony. A crowd of people are gathered at the curb, bleachers are full of spectators, and a parade is in progress on Spring Street. Photo Date: 4/26/28  

 

Historical Notes

The big dedication, overseen by Sid Grauman and attended by an estimated 15,000 people, featured emceeing by Joseph Schenck and speeches by Mayor George E. Cryer and San Francisco Mayor James Rolph, Jr. After Rolph spoke, Irving Berlin sang, as did “Chief Yowlache, the Yakima Indian; Elsa Alsen, the grand opera singer; the Mexican chorus of Los Angeles, in costume; Virgil Johannson, and others." *^*^

 

 

 
(April 26, 1928)* - Opening Ceremony of the Los Angeles City Hall.  

 

Historical Notes

April 26, 1928, was a day of thrills. On that date was thrown the new City Hall, a great white building towering 28 stories, and casting its shadow upon the historic spot where a century and a half before came a ragged and footsore procession, grubbed out standing room in the tangle of sage and cactus, and christened the spot “Queen of the Angels.” Past the impressive granite entrance rolled hour after hour a mighty host. There were National and State troops, cadet bodies from neighboring cities, marines, and bronzed and swaggering sailors, ex-soldiers and veteran organizations. Mounted and afoot, and on gorgeous floats, came groups of foreign-born, in gay and picturesque native costumes. The police and firemen made a tremendous showing, as did the departments of public parks, schools and libraries, water, power and harbor, the street and sanitary forces, those of the engineering and accounting departments – employees by the thousands. There was stirring music by bands and bands without number. Hour after hour the public stood rooted, amazed at the vastness of its own machinery of service and government.

From the broad steps of the great building Mayor Rolph of San Francisco – like the good neighbor that he was, spoke with eloquence and feeling. President Coolidge, at the White House, touched a button that set aglow the Lindbergh Beacon, perched festivities roared.

Los Angeles was opening one of the nation’s most beautiful and modern public buildings, on a site hallowed by a century and a half of historical association. The “city without a past,” that “has no memories, because it has nothing to remember,” was establishing anew its “capitol” on ground where it had governed itself in the days of the alcaldes and the ayuntamientos. Here it could commune with its Fathers while looking with Anglo-Saxon eyes into the future. This was possible, for does not the old Spanish proverb say that “the walls have ears”? Who knows but that from out a romantic past, the winds may carry to the great white tower the strum of guitars and the click of castanets at the Governor’s fandango; the creaking of Don Juan Temple’s ox carts; the vengeful shouts of Pico’s Vigilantes; the cheers of Hancock’s Boys in Blue; the song of paisanos laboring in Pryor’s orange groves; the laughter of children and the hum of bees under Vignes’ arbors? Do not the shades of all these mingle in the very shadow of the new yet ancient seat of City Government? Quien Sabe?**

 

 

 

 
(1928)^^ - Aerial view looking northeast of downtown on a crispy clear day. The new City Hall stands out as not only the brightest building in the civic center but also its tallest.  

 

Historical Notes

Although there are dozens upon dozens of buildings, for decades no building in Los Angeles was allowed to exceed the height of City Hall, until 1957. It remained the tallest building in California from 1928-1964, at 28 stories tall (450 feet).^

 

 

 
(1925)* - Exterior view of L.A.'s third City Hall, located at Broadway, between 2nd and 3rd streets. Within three years of this photo, the old City Hall building would be torn down.  

 

Historical Notes

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

On January 10, 1928 an auction of the furnishings and other items inside the structure was conducted on the front steps before the building was torn down later that same year. A new, larger City Hall had been built to replace this historic building that for so long was the seat of Los Angeles government.*

 

 

 
(1928)^ -View showing the demolition of old City Hall building on Broadway with the new City Hall standing tall in the background.  

 

* * * * *

 

 

Spring and Temple

 
(ca. 1928)^ - View looking northwest from City Hall toward the Hall of Records, County Courthouse and Hall of Justice. . Spring Street is in the foreground and dead ends at Temple (right-center).
 

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1928)^ - Panoramic view from City Hall looking northwest toward the County Courthouse, with banners hanging from its windows, and the new Hall of Justice. Spring Street dead-ends at Temple Street in the foreground, right where the old County Jail stands.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1928)^ – Street view looking north on Spring Street towards Temple Street where the Los Angeles County Jail stands at the end of the “T”- intersection.  

 

 

 

Spring Street Extension

 
(ca. 1928)^ - View looking north showing the proposed Spring Street extension that will cut through from Temple Street to Sunset Boulevard and create another traffic artery.  The dotted lines mark the path of the extension the will eliminate Justicia Street that goes up the hill at left.  The building first struck by the dotted lines is the old county jail. That just back of it is the old Hall of Justice.  The building on the left is the Old County Courthouse.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1928)*# – View looking northwest from the top of City Hall showing the proposed extension of Spring Street from Temple Street to Sunset Boulevard with the Hall of Justice to the left, the old County Jaiil crossed by the line at lower-left, and the Bank of Italy (International Bank Building) at lower right.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1931)*# – View looking north showing the under-construction extension of Spring Street from Temple Street (just behind the camera) to Sunset Boulevard (just ahead at the light colored building with the small billboard on the roof). Streetcar tracks will be layed in the center section of the street.  

 

Historical Notes

This will complete the Spring Street realignment which started in 1927 from 1st Street to Temple (to allow for the erection of the new City Hall, behind the camera and to the right) and now, in 1931, with this extension through to Sunset Boulevard. The north portal of the Broadway tunnel is just around the brow of Fort Moore Hill up ahead to the left. The east slope of Fort Moore Hill has been excavated and reshaped (on the left) and Justicia Street, which had traversed the shoulder of Fort Moore Hill, has been lost. Partial view of Hancock Banning's house on the hill upper left. New Hall of Justice is just out-of-frame to the left, new roadbed has swept away the old City Jail and the old Hall of Justice, which sat just about where the camera is situated. Building on the right is one of several Brunswig Drug Company outbuildings. Prudent Beaudry's house (501 New High Street) had been just this side of the Brunswig building. It has just been torn down. In the distance, on a direct line with Spring Street we can see the dark outline of the Hotel Sunset (which is not on Sunset. go figure), NW corner of N. Spring Street and Ord, with the predominant turret spire. ^#^^

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1931)*# - Birdseye view showing the completed Spring Street extension from Temple (lower-left) to Sunset (upper-right and out of view).  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1931)*# – Panoramic view looking south showing Spring Street from Sunset Boulevard.  A man is seen climbing a pole that supports streetcar cables. Below him, a traffic light extends from the median between the two paved roads that extend into the distance. Beautiful ornate streetlights run up and down Spring Street that also support streetcar wire. The tip of new City Hall is seen directly above the man climbing the pole. The Hall of Justice is seen on the west side of Spring Street.  

 

 

 

 

 
(2015)##^ - Google Earth view looking north showing Spring Street between Temple and Sunset.  The Hollywood Freeway now runs under Spring Street half way between Temple and Sunset. What once was part of Fort Moore Hill (upper-left) has been completedly leveled (see previous photos).  

 

* * * * *

 

 

 

 
(1928)^ - Broadway looking south toward Temple Street circa the 1920s. The Hall of Justice is seen on the left, after which is the Hall of Records. Sign to the right reads: APPARTMENTS $25 PER MONTH.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1930)^ - Cars parked on New High Street in front of the old County Courthouse. The Hall of Records is on the left.
 

 

 

 

 
(1930)*# -  View looking southeast at the intersection of Temple and Broadway.  The old Courthouse stands at center with the Hall of Records to its right.  City Hall towers above both in the background.  

 

Historical Notes

The old LA County Courthouse was demolished in 1936.

The Hall of Records stood until 1973.

 

 

 
(1928)^^ - Aerial view looking northeast of downtown on a crispy clear day. The new City Hall stands out as not only the brightest building in the civic center but also its tallest.  

 

Historical Notes

Although there are dozens upon dozens of buildings, for decades no building in Los Angeles was allowed to exceed the height of City Hall, until 1957. It remained the tallest building in California from 1928-1964, at 28 stories tall (450 feet).^

 

 

 
(ca. 1928)^ - Aerial view of the Los Angeles Central Library, which is located on the southeast corner of S. Flower and W. 5th streets (lower left). The trio of connected buildings in the background (upper right) make up the Biltmore Hotel, and directly behind that is Pershing Square bounded by 5th, Hill, Olive, and 6th streets. The Church of the Open Door/Biola Institute is the large white building with arches on the right, and the Engstrum Apartment building is directly to the left of the library, on Bunker Hill. Numerous other buildings are visible as far as the eye can see.  

 

Historical Notes

The Central Library building was constructed between 1922 and 1926.

Originally named the Central Library, the building was first renamed in honor of the longtime president of the Board of Library Commissioners and President of the University of Southern California, Rufus B. von KleinSmid. The new wing of Central Library, completed in 1993, was named in honor of former mayor Tom Bradley. The complex (i.e., the original Goodhue building and the Bradley wing) was subsequently renamed in 2001 for former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan, as the Richard Riordan Central Library.^*

 

 

 
(1928)^- Olive Street between 4th and 5th Streets, looking south toward Pershing Square and the Biltmore Hotel. Cars are seen, and a Savoy Auto Park is at right. Also at right is a small German-speaking church, the First German Methodist Episcopal Church (later United Methodist), founded in 1876.  

 

 

 

 
(1928)*# – View of Hill Street looking north from Fifth Street. The highly-ornamented one-story building of the College Theatre can be seen to the left while pedestrians and automobiles navigate the street. Two men at the extreme right have gotten out of and are attending to their cars. Further down on the left, the Hill Street Terminal Market and the Hill Street Subway Terminal Building can be seen along with the John Luchenbach Building.  

 

Historical Notes

The College Theatre was so named for its proximity to the nearby State Normal School on the block that is currently the site of the Los Angeles Central Library. The theatre located at 441 S. Hill Street was built in 1911 and demolished in 1929. Today, it is a parking lot.^^*#

 

 

 
(ca. 1928)*# - View of the intersection of South Figueroa Street and West 7th Street. Note the 5-bulb streetlight in the foreground. Click HERE to see more in Early Los Angeles Streetlights.  

 

 

 

 
(1928)*# – View looking north on Broadway from Fourth Street.  The Broadway Central building is prominently visible in the left foreground of the street, while the Broadway Arcade Building is visible five buildings down among other highrises.    

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1928)^ - A view of the intersection of Broadway and 7th St., looking west on 7th. On the southwest corner is the Loew's State Theatre. Four wires can be seen holding up a star on the 7th St. side of the theater. The streets are crowded with cars and tolleys and pedestrians crossing.   

 

 

 

 
(1928)^ - View looking north on Broadway at 7th Street with large crowds crossing the intersection. On the southeast corner is Sun Drug. Across the street on the northeast corner is Bank of Italy, later to become Bank of America. And on the left side (southwest) is Loew's State Theatre.  

 

 

 

 
(1929)^ - View looking north on Broadway over 7th St. On the right (east side) can be seen the Bank of Italy (later known as the Bank of America), Boos Bros. Cafeteria, and California Furniture Company. Farther north on the street one can also see the Mullen & Blett Clothing Co. sign on the side of a building and the Walter P. Story Building name on top of a site.  

 

 

 

 
(1928)^ - View of a car set up for broadcasting with microphones on the roof and above the driver's head. On the truck are the call letters of KEJK radio station of the MacMillan Petroleum Co., and the name Freeman Lang.  

 

Historical Notes

Lang was the chief engineer of the station, which he founded in 1927 under the call sign of KRLO. He sold the station in February 1928 to Ernest J. Krause, who changed the call letters to fit his initials, KEJK. Just two months later, KEJK was sold to R.S. MacMillan Petroleum Company of Beverly Hills, which owned KEJK when this photo was taken. They would change the call letters on March 14, 1930, to KMPC to fit the company name.^

 

 

 

 
(1926)****^ – View looking south on Reseda Boulevard toward the intersection with Sherman Way.  The road appears to be in the process of being widened and paved.  The Reseda State Bank building can be seen on the southwest corner of Sherman Way and Reseda.  

 

Historical Notes

Reseda originated as a farm town named "Marian" (or "Rancho Marian") that appeared in 1912. Its namesake, Marian Otis Chandler, was the daughter of Los Angeles Times publisher Harrison Gray Otis, a director of the Los Angeles Suburban Homes Company. H J Whitley was the manager of the Los Angeles Suburban Home Company.

The Western Division of the Pacific Electric Railway 'Red Cars Line' expedited development after the Los Angeles Aqueduct brought water to the City of Los Angeles in 1913. Soon, thereafter, Marion would be annexed by the City.^*

 

 

 

 

 
(1928)^ - View of the Reseda State Bank building on the corner of Reseda Blvd. and Sherman Way.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1920, Reseda was named after a fragrant North African yellow-dye plant, Reseda odorata, whose English name is mignonette and which grows in hot, dry climates—replaced Marian as a designation for a stop on the Pacific Electric interurban railway running along Sherman Way. The name "Reseda" was given first to a siding on a branch of the Southern Pacific Railroad in the south San Fernando Valley.^*

 

 

 

 

 
(2014)##^ - Google street view looking at the southwest corner of Reseda Blvd and Sherman Way.  

 

 

 

Then and Now

 
(1928)^ - Southwest corner of Sherman Way and Reseda.   (2014)##^ - Southwest corner of Sherman Way and Reseda.

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1928)#** - View of the residential area of Tujunga, looking west toward the San Fernando Valley, ca.1928. Many small houses are scattered sparsely throughout an expanse of land that sits at the foot of a mountain. The majority of the houses are frame houses, though one in the right centerground is made of stone. Orchards are visible on the distant foothills to the left of the image. Several mountains sit in the background.  

 

Historical Notes

Sunland and Tujunga were originally home to the Tongva people. In 1840 the area was part of the Rancho Tujunga Mexican land grant, but later developers marked off a plot of land known as the Tejunga Park, or the Tujunga Park, Tract. The name Tujunga is assumed to have meant "old woman's place" in the extinct Tongva language, where Tuhu "old woman" is a term for Mother Earth in Tongva mythology.

Tujunga's 1,500-foot elevation and geographic isolation from the San Fernando Valley and the Los Angeles Basin freed it from some of the air pollution that was a problem in many other parts of Greater Los Angeles. Because of this, it attracted many asthmatics early on. Coronet magazine once called Tujunga "the most healthy place in the world." In 1929, the Tujunga City Council set policy to establish zones where "sanitariums and other institutions for the care of tubercular patients" could be established.

Tujunga was consolidated by the city of Los Angeles on March 8, 1932, but only after the third election.^*

 

 

 
(ca. 1920s)*^ - Car and trailer filled with camping gear and boys from the YMCA at Camp Miller in Tujunga.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1930)*# - Birdseye view over an orchard on the Mission San Fernando, looking east from the Santa Susana Mountains towards the Cahuenga Pass. A wide swath of treetops can be seen spanning the width of the image, while other planted rows stand behind them. Still farther out, residential buildings are spaced out disparately over a large plot of flat ground. In the foreground, a cleared and unplanted patch of soil can be seen.  

 

 

 

 
(1930s)^*## - Map of the San Fernando Valley in the early 1930's. Several of the communities have changed names since this map was printed including Girard, North Los Angeles, and Granada. This was a time before freeways, and the pass through the Santa Monica Mountains, Sepulveda Pass, was still a dirt road.  

 

Historical Notes

The community of Girard is identified in the center-left of photo near the intersection of the State Highway and Topanga Canyon. In 1945 it became known as Woodland Hills.^*

Originally called Zelzah, the town that we call Northridge today was renamed North Los Angeles on July 1, 1929. In 1938, this area of the San Fernando Valley was renamed Northridge Village. Few evidences of the "village" remain.#^^#

The community of Granada was founded in 1926.  The “Hills” was added 15 years later in 1941.^*

The Ventura Freeway would not be completed across the San Fernando Valley until 1960.^

 

 

 
(1930)^^- View of a procession of cars, horses and wagons moving south through the new Sepulveda Boulevard tunnel following opening ceremonies. After eight years of road construction, the new tunnel connected the San Fernando Valley with West Los Angeles.  

 

Historical Notes

The Sepulveda Tunnel opened on September 27, 1930.  Until then, the Sepulveda Pass consisted of just a dirt road and some trails.  Most of the traffic between the Valley and the city moved over Cahuenga Pass and narrow passages like Laurel Canyon and Beverly Glen.^^#*

 

 

 
(1935)^ - View of cars about to enter the Sepulveda Tunnel through the Santa Monica Mountains shortly after the dirt road was paved for the first time.  This is part of the Sepulveda Highway connecting Ventura Blvd. to Sunset.  

 

Historical Notes

Sepulveda Pass was paved and became a state highway route in 1935.^^#*

 

 

 

 
(1939)*# – View of Sepulveda Boulevard looking south from Magnolia Boulevard before improvement. Sepulveda is at center and is a paved, two lane road with dirt shoulders. Wide ditches can be seen on both sides of the road, and several automobiles are driving on its surface. A collection of small wooden buildings can be seen at left, while at right is an open field. A line of utility poles runs parallel to the road at left.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1940)*# - View of Sepulveda Boulevard looking south from Magnolia Boulevard after improvement, June 18, 1940. Sepulveda is at center and is now a six-lane road with a dirt divider in the middle. Note: The pole line has been removed.  

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 
(1929)^ -   Aerial view of the Wilshire, La Brea district, looking north with the Hollywood Hills in the background. The Mulholland Dam and Hollywood Reservoir can be seen in the upper center-right.  Undeveloped land, middle right side of photo is the Arroyo del Jardin de los Flores, The Stream of the Garden of Flowers.  

 

Historical Notes

The Arroyo del Jardin de los Flores was a stream that flowed from the location of today's Wilshire Country Club through Hancock Park, joining another creek that eventually drained to Ballona Creek near La Brea and St. Elmo Drive. The majority of this creek was piped and filled; a portion of it remains above ground at the Wilshire County Club, and a creek running through Brookside Estates also shares this name. Third square on right bottom (dark looking ravine), possibly the continuation of Arroyo del Jardin de los Flores.^

 

 

 
(1929)^ - Panoramic view of Hollywood and its surrounding areas. Partial view of the Hollywood Playhouse at 1735 N. Vine Street, is in the lower left corner of this photo. A tall building with several storefronts, upper right hand corner, is the Pacific States Life Building. The Mulholland Dam is in the far background (upper-right)  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1928)^ - Looking towards the Art Deco style Pacific States Life Building (now Yucca Vine Tower), located at 6305 Yucca Street. To the left is a Piggly Wiggly market and the Mulholland Dam is visible in the upper center.  

 

 

 

 
(1929)^ - Front view of Mulholland dam in the Hollywood Hills, the most beautiful of a score of storage basins in Los Angeles' water system. The HOLLYWOODLAND sign can clearly be seen in the background.  

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of the Mulholland Dam and Hollywood Reservoir

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1929)^ - An overview of the hills with a Mulholland Dam and Hollywood Reservoir off on the right, partially hidden by the steamshovel setting at the top of the near hill.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1929)^ - Panoramic view of Hollywood and West Los Angeles, as seen from Mt. Lee. Lake Hollywood (Hollywood Reservoir) and “Hollywoodland” is in the foreground.  

 

 

 

 
 (1928)*# - View of Hollywood looking south from the head of Highland Avenue near Franklin Avenue. Automobiles navigate the unlined road that curves to the right through residential Hollywood. A street sign reads: "Caution Speed Limit 15 Miles".  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1903)^ - Panoramic view of Hollywood from Whitley Heights circa 1903, looking southwest from Highland and Franklin Avenues 25 years earlier. The curved configuration of Highland between the East and West sections of Franklin Ave still exists today. The larger structure, seen on the left side of the photo, is the famous Hollywood Hotel. It is situated on the Northwest corner of Hollywood Blvd. and Highland Ave. Today, this is the site of the Hollywood and Highland Center, the current home of the Academy Awards.  

 

 

 

Before and After

 
(ca. 1903)^ - Highland at Franklin Ave looking southwest.    (1928)*# - Highland at Franlin Ave looking southwestly.

 

 

 

 

 
(1929)^ - An early picture of Hollywood looking northeast from Santa Monica Boulevard and Highland Avenue.  

 

 

 

See more in Early Views of Hollywood (1850 - 1920) and (1920 +)

 

 

 

 

 
(1929)^ - View of the western facade of Los Angeles City Hall facing Spring Street, in the distance. The old Los Angeles Times newspaper building with a clock tower is located on the right, and houses are visible on the hill.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1929)*# - The tall, white City Hall building can be seen towering above every other building in downtown, at middle right. Many other buildings can be seen clustered around Los Angeles City Hall, and a view of the San Gabriel Mountains can be seen in the distance. The Broadway Tunnel and the old LA Times Building can be seen to the center-left of the photo.  

 

Historical Notes

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

The tunnel was closed in 1949, and was demolished for the construction of the Santa Ana 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.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1929)^ - Aerial view of the Civic Center, looking northeast toward City Hall, across from the Hall of Records on the left, above which is the old County Courthouse and across the street the Hall of Justice.
 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1929)*# - View of a Fokker F.10 buzzing over City Hall circa 1929. Click HERE to see more in Aviation in Early L.A.  

 

Historical Notes

At 28 stories and 454 feet high, the Los Angeles City Hall was the tallest building in Los Angeles from its completion in 1928 to 1964.*#

 

 

 
(ca. 1940)^ - Aerial view of Los Angeles Civic Center with City Hall, 200 N. Spring St., as the focal point. Several new buildings have been constructed since the preceding 1929 photo. To the right of City Hall is the Federal Courthouse and U.S. Post Office Building (1940). Across from (behind) City Hall is the Hall of Records. The Hall of Justice is next to a partially graded hill, which still contains houses on top.
 

 

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Temple and Broadway

 
(ca. 1930)^*^# -  View looking southeast at the corner of Temple and Broadway.  Several people are waiting to cross Broadway.  The LA County Courthouse is seen at right.  Behind it stands City Hall, and to the left in the background is the Old International Bank Building.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1932)*# – View looking at the intersection of Temple and Broadway as seen from the N/W corner, with City Hall, the LA County Courthouse, and the Hall of Records in the background.  

 

 

 

 
(1932)*# – View looking toward the southwest corner of Temple Street and Broadway from the front of the Hall of Justice.  In the foreground, a woman appears to be setting up a fruit stand (crates of fruit).  In the distance (center-left) can be seen the Hotel Broadway, which is adjacent to Court Flight.  

 

 

 

 
(1932)*# – Closer view looking south on Broadway from the N/E corner of Temple and Broadway.  From left to right can be seen the Old County Courthouse, the Hall of Records, and the Hotel Broadway.  

 

 

 

 
(1932)*# – View looking north on Broadway at Temple Street.  From left to right can be seen the WCTU Building, the Broadway Tunnel, and the Hall of Justice.  

 

 

 

 
(1932)*# – View looking east on Temple Street from the front of the County Courthouse.  The WCTU Building is seen across the street on the N/W corner of Temple and Broadway.  

 

 

 

1st and Spring

 
(1931)*# – View looking toward the northwest corner of 1st and Spring streets showing the new State Builiding under construction with the LA Times Building on the left and the Hall of Records Building to the right.  

 

Historical Notes

The Times building seen above is the third Times building. It was built on the same site as the second building after that was blown up in 1910. It co-existed with the State Building for several years until the Times moved into their 4th and current home, and then it was torn down about 1938.**^

 

 

 
(1931)**^* - View looking toward the northwest corner of 1st and Spring. Five of the more famous buildings in Downtown L.A. history can be seen. They are (left to right): the Old LA Times Building, the State Building (still under construction), the Hall of Records, the L.A. County Courthouse, and the Hall of Justice (the only one still standing today). The new City Hall stands to the right of photo (out of view).  

 

Historical Notes

The State Builiding was completed in 1931 at a cost of more than $2 million. It was dedicated the day before the opening of the 1932 Olympics in a ceremony that featured Amelia Earhart.*#

 

 

Temple and N. Main

 
(ca. 1930)*# - Birdseye view looking north-east showing North Main Street as seen from City Hall. The large building in the foreground is the old Federal Building and Post Office (N/W corner of N. Main and Temple streets).  The LA Plaza is seen at center of photo. Also, the historic 300 block of N. Main Street is in clear view at lower center-right.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1932)**^* - Postcard view of North Main Street as seen from the base of Los Angeles City Hall at Temple Street. The old Federal Building and Post Office stands on the northwest corner.The entire 300 block of N. Main Street, from Baker Block to the Ducommun Building, can be seen here. Further down Main Street is the Pico House, the LA Plaza and Olvera Street.  

 

 

 

Olvera Street

 
(ca. 1930)^ - Late afternoon view of Olvera Street with City Hall in the background.
 

Historical Notes

In 1930, through the efforts of activist Christine Sterling, the Plaza-Olvera area was revived with the opening of Paseo de Los Angeles (which later became popularly known by its official street name Olvera Street).

As a tourist attraction, Olvera Street is a living museum paying homage to a romantic vision of old Mexico. The exterior facades of the brick buildings enclosing Olvera Street and on the small vendor stands lining its center are colorful piñatas, hanging puppets in white peasant garb, Mexican pottery, serapes, mounted bull horns, oversized sombreros, and a life-size stuffed donkey. Today, Olvera Street attracts almost two million visitors per year.^*

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1930)^ - A painting by Chris Siemer of Olvera Street, with L.A. City Hall in the background. The painting was created for display for the L.A. Chamber of Commerce. The Plaza-Olvera Street site was designated as a California State Historic Landmark in 1953.
 

 

 

 

 
(1930s)*#^^ - Hino Josa leading a donkey. View toward City Hall-looking at Sepulveda House, donkey on Olvera Street. The Sepulveda House fronts both Olvera and Main streets.  

 

Historical Notes

The Sepulveda house was once the private home of one of the most powerful families in early Los Angeles. The Sepulveda House was built by Eloisa Martinez de Sepulveda in 1887, at a time when all predictions were that the population boom of the 1880s would last. However, Señora Sepulveda's hopes for Main Street were not fulfilled and by 1900 the area around her house was mostly industrial. Since the turn of the 20th century, Sepulveda House has been a bordello, a tearoom and the USO canteen during World War II.^*

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Los Angeles Plaza

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1928)^ - Aerial view looking south from Santa Monica Blvd to Pico Blvd. Motor Ave can be seen making a T-junction with Pico at the south end of the Fox Studios. The Rancho Country Club is on either side of Motor Ave.  

 

Historical Notes

The eastern portion of Rancho Country Club became Hillcrest Country Club. The western section became Cheviot Hills Park/Rancho Park Recreation Center. Fox Hills Drive on the Janss Westwood Hills Tract runs parallel with Fox Studios to the west.

Beverly Glen is out of shot further west. To the east is the Beverly Hills oil field, which still exists as a single, multi-well drilling platform on the Beverly Hills High School campus.

 

 

 
(1928)^ - Aerial view, looking west, of Beverly Hills where Santa Monica and Wilshire boulevards intersect.  

 

 

 

 
(1927)^ - Aerial view of Westwood on November 1, 1927, looking north of Wilshire Boulevard between Beverly Hills and UCLA. The intersection of Wilshire Boulevard and Beverly Glen is at the lower center.  

 

 

 

 

 

 
(1929)*^#^ - A panoramic view of Westwood, in Los Angeles. The area in the foreground is mostly open fields, but beyond that Westwood Village is under construction. There are several tree-lined streets laid out, but only a few large buildings are under construction. There are numerous houses in the distance beyond that, and the beginnings of the University of California, Los Angeles, campus in the distance on the left. Writing in white in the center of the image reads "Westwood Village 1929."  

 

Historical Notes

Westwood and UCLA were developed on the lands of the historic 'Wolfskill Ranch', a 3,000-acre parcel that was purchased by Arthur Letts, the successful founder of the Broadway, and Bullock's department stores, in 1919. Upon Arthur Lett's death, his son-in-law, Harold Janss, vice president of Janss Investment Company, inherited the land and developed the area and started advertising for new homes in 1922.^*

 

 

 

 

 
(1929)^ - Aerial view of Westwood Village, showing the beginning of development but a great deal of open space still. In the upper left edge of the photo can be seen the Holmby Building which was built in the California Mediterranean style--an office and retail building by architect Gordon B. Kaufmann. It was located on Westwood Blvd. between Weyburn and Le Conte.
 

 

Historical Notes

Westwood Village was created by the Janss Investment Company, run by Harold and Edwin Janss and their father, Peter, in the late 1920s as an autonomous shopping district and headquarters of the Janss Company. Its boom was complemented by the boom of UCLA (which selected the Westwood Hills as its new home in 1926), developed as a shopping district not just for the residents of Westwood but also for the university.^*

 

 

 
(1929)^ - Aerial view of UCLA's Westwood campus while the campus was under construction in 1929, looking from Beverly Boulevard. Large homes can be seen to the north and east of the campus.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1919 UCLA obtained university status and became the Southern Branch of the University of California, located at 855 N. Vermont Avenue. In 1927 the name was changed to the University of California at Los Angeles. On May 31, 1929 the university opened its new campus in Westwood on land sold for $1 million dollars. In 1958, the name changed slightly again when the "at" was dropped, and became simply University of California, Los Angeles or UCLA.^

Even before it was situated on the Vermont campus, UCLA was evolving from another school, California State Normal School, founded in 1881. Click HERE to see more in Early Views of UCLA.

 

 

 

 
(1929)^ - An aerial view of the new U.C.L.A. Westwood campus, looking west, as construction was completed in 1929. Buildings from left to right: Moore Hall, then called the Education Building, left; Physics Building, foreground center; Powell Library, back center; Royce Hall, back right; and Haines Hall, far right. The main campus quadrangle appears at the center. In the foreground is the bridge which connected the campus to Hilgard Avenue. The gully which the bridge crossed was filled-in after World War II.
 

 

 

 

 
(1929)^ - Opening Day on the new U.C.L.A. Westwood campus, September 20, 1929. Construction activity continued while classes began. The area shown is the original campus quadrangle. View above shows students walking along the pathway. Royce Hall, in the background, was built 1928-29 in a northern Italian Romanesque Revival style, designed by Allison and Allison, Architects.  

 

 

 

 
(1930)^ - A panoramic view of the UCLA Westwood campus, shortly after it opened. View is looking from the golf course of the Bel Air Country Club. The body of water shown is the Sawtelle Pressure Break Resevoir. The twin towers of Royce Hall may be seen in the middle of this photo. Click HERE to see more Early Views of LA Water Reservoirs.  

 

 

 

 
(1930)^***- Aerial view of UCLA showing the full range of residential development to the southeast of campus. There is a clear view of the bridge and gully, later filled in, between the campus and the community to the east.  

 

 

 

 
(1929)^ - View looking at the bridge which connects Hilgard Avenue to the main campus quadrangle at the U.C.L.A. Westwood campus.  

 

Historical Notes

In May 1927, ground was broken at UCLA’s new Westwood campus and the first priority was to construct a bridge to cross the deep arroyo. The bridge was necessary for transporting construction supplies over the ravine that divided the east and west parts of the site.

In the summer of 1947, the gully was filled to increase the amount of useable property on the campus. Today, the bridge’s arches remain hidden underground at Dickson Plaza.^*^*^

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of UCLA

 

 

 

 

 
(Late 1920s)^ - Aerial view all along the coast of Venice and the whole Santa Monica Bay area. At least 6 or 7 piers can be seen extending out into the ocean.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1920s)^ - View looking north of a very crowded shoreline at Ocean Park Beach in Santa Monica.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1930)^ - View of the coastline along Pacific Coast Highway looking north to Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades and Malibu. This is a photograph of a Chris Siemer painting created for a display by the L.A. Chamber of Commerce.  

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of Santa Monica

 

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Malibu Pier

 
(1937)^ – View showing two people enjoying the day on Malibu Pier.  In the background can be seen the beach and the Rindge Ranch train shed south of the pier. Photo by Herman Schultheis  

 

Historical Notes

The Malibu Pier was originally built in 1905 to support the operations of Frederick Hastings Rindge's Malibu Rancho. Hides, grains, fruit, and other agricultural products were shipped from the pier either directly or by transfer to larger vessels. Building materials and other Rancho necessities arrived at the pier. The Rindge private railroad, used for freight movement within the ranch, had a terminus near the pier.

In 1934, the pier was opened to the public for pier and charter fishing. Fishermen were also shuttled back and forth from the pier and the barge Minnie A. Caine anchored a mile off shore. After the bankruptcy of Marblehead Land Co. (the Rindge's land operation) in 1936, the Malibu Pier was taken over by bondholders who had helped finance Malibu development. The pier was extended to its current 780-foot length, and the first small bait and tackle shop building was constructed at the ocean end by 1938. #++

 

 

 
(2015)##^ – Same view 78 years later showing a slightly different landscape.  

 

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Marina del Rey and Playa del Rey

 
(ca. 1929)^ - Aerial view of Marina del Rey, California, circa 1929. Oil wells are prevalent throughout the area.  

 

Historical Notes

Ever since the legendary oil tycoon Edward L. Doheny and his partner, Charles A. Canfield, struck oil northwest of downtown Los Angeles in 1892, extracting petroleum from the land beneath Southern California has been a major part of the Southern California economy and its landscape. That included the beach areas as well.^^^*

 

 

 
(ca. 1930)^ - View of the Venice Oil Field, located south of Venice, in what is modern day Marina del Rey, sometimes called Playa del Rey.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1930s)*# - People frolic along the Playa del Rey beach, the skyline dominated by oil derricks.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1930)^ - Oil wells line both sides of the street at Venice Beach.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1930, oil was discovered on the Venice Peninsula. Within a year, 148 oil wells were producing over 40,000 barrels of oil daily. Jobs were created, but environmental destruction was wide spread and polluting the surrounding residential area and beaches.*#*

 

 

 
(ca. 1950s)^ - A view of Grand Canal in Venice with its tubes and pipes, surrounded by oil derricks. A foot bridge, in poor condition, appears in the distance.  

 

Historical Notes

By the end of 1942 the Venice oil field had pumped a total of 47,488,128 barrels, but by then production was only 688 barrels per day.*#*

 

 

 
(1953)^ - View of debris in a canal and oil derricks in the background, on the Venice Peninsula.  

 

Historical Notes

The unsightly oil derricks on the Venice Peninsula were slowly removed as people began to settle the promising beach area again. In 1959 only 64 derricks remained and the last one was removed in 1962. There was still oil in the ground, and these remaining oil wells, mostly owned by Graner Oil Company of Signal Hill, still pumped like bobbing grasshoppers a few dozen barrels a week each. As property values rose in the 70's, the land was sold or developed and the last of the oil wells were capped.*#*

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1924)^ - Panoramic view of the First National Pictures studio and the surrounding Burbank area, as seen from Griffith Park.    

 

Historical Notes

The First National Exhibitors' Circuit was founded in 1917 by the merger of 26 of the biggest first-run cinema chains in the United States, eventually controlling over 600 cinemas, more than 200 of them so-called "first run" houses (as opposed to the "second run" neighborhood theaters to which films moved when their first-run box office receipts dwindled).

First National was the brainchild of Thomas L. Tally, who was reacting to the overwhelming influence of Paramount Pictures, which dominated the market.  Between 1917 and 1918, First National made contracts with Mary Pickford and Charlie Chaplin, the first million-dollar deals in the history of film.^*

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1928)*# - Closer panoramic view of First National Pictures the year it was bought by Warner Bros.  

 

Historical Notes

With the success of The Jazz Singer and The Singing Fool, Warner Bros. purchased a majority interest in First National in September 1928. Warner Bros. acquired access to First National's affiliated chain of theaters, while First National acquired access to Vitaphone sound equipment. But the trademarks were kept separate, and films by First National continued to be credited solely to "First National Pictures" until 1936.

Although both studios produced "A" and "B" budget pictures, generally the prestige productions, costume dramas, and musicals were made by Warner Bros., while First National specialized in modern comedies, dramas, and crime stories. Short subjects were made by yet another affiliated company, The Vitaphone Corporation (which took its name from the sound process).^*

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1929)^ - Aerial view of the studios of First National Pictures in Burbank. Warner Bros. bought First National in 1928, and the Warner Bros. sign is seen on the north stage. Note that stage 7 has not yet been built. The backlot is seen behind.  

 

 

 

 
(1929)*# - Graf Zeppelin over Leimert Park area of Los Angeles, August 1929.  

 

Historical Notes

The Zeppelin was a type of rigid airship pioneered by the German Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin in the early 20th century. It was based on designs he had outlined in 1874 and detailed in 1893. His plans were reviewed by committee in 1894 and patented in the United States in 1899. Given the outstanding success of the Zeppelin design, the term zeppelin in casual use came to refer to all rigid airships.

Zeppelins were first flown commercially in 1910 by Deutsche Luftschiffahrts-AG (DELAG), the world's first airline in revenue service. By mid-1914, DELAG had carried over 34,000 passengers on over 1,500 flights. After the outbreak of World War I, the German military made extensive use of Zeppelins as bombers and scouts.^*

 

 

 
(1929)*# - View of the 776-foot-long Graf Zeppelin docked at Mines Field, the present-day site of the Los Angeles International Airport.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1929, Graf Zeppelin made perhaps its most famous flight; a round-the-world voyage covering 21,2500 miles in five legs from Lakehurst to Friedrichshafen, Friedrichshafen to Tokyo, Tokyo to Los Angeles, Los Angeles to Lakehurst, and then Lakehurst to Friedrichshafen again.^*

 

 

 

 
(1929)*# - Photograph of the Graf Zeppelin and the small Goodyear pony blimp floating (or parked?) next to each other, 1929. The Graf Zeppelin is about ten times the size of the Goodyear blimp. Both the blimps are on the other side of the fence in the foreground. Several warning signs are posted up including a no-parking sign.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1930, the Graf Zeppelin began regular transatlantic commercial flights. It had 20 sleeping berths for passengers and a crew of 36. Its first flight was in 1928, its last in 1937, after 590 total flights. The Graf Zeppelin was retired one month after the Hindenberg disaster.^*

 

 

 

 
(1929)^## - Closer view of the Goodyear Blimp alongside the Graf Zeppelin showing the size disparity. Click HERE to see more in Aviation in Early Los Angeles.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1929)^#^* - View of the Maddux Air Lines fleet at Mines Field.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1927 Jack L. Maddux, an owner of a Los Angeles Ford and Lincoln car dealership, founded Maddux Air Lines. The airline’s inaugural flight was on September 22, 1927 when the airline’s Ford 4-AT Tri-motor carrying 12 passengers flew from San Diego to Los Angeles.  This flight was to a small dirt landing strip that would later become Los Angeles International Airport, then Mines Field, although the landing strip, called Inglewood Site, was not suitable for the airline, and Jack Maddux chose instead Rogers Airport, with improved facilities, and later Grand Central Airport in Glendale.

On August 26, 1929 a Maddux Tri-motor, along with other aircraft, escorted the famous LZ 127 Graf Zeppelin airship to Mines Field where it stopped during its around the world flight.

Among the famous aviators who were involved with Maddux were Charles Lindbergh and Amelia Earhart. Maddux also had a publicity department that advertised the celebrities who flew with the airline. These included Will Rogers, who rode on the inaugural flight, and Hollywood actors Arthur Edmund Carewe and Dolores del Río.^*

 

 

 
(1930s)^ - Adminstration building in foreground and hangars in background at Mines Field (later to become the L.A. International Airport).  

 

Historical Notes

In 1928, the Los Angeles City Council selected 640 acres (1.00 sq. mile) in the southern part of Westchester as the site of a new airport for the city. The fields of wheat, barley and lima beans were converted into dirt landing strips without any terminal buildings. It was named Mines Field for William W. Mines, the real estate agent who arranged the deal.^*

 

 

 
(1930)^ - Dedication of Mines Field (later L.A. International Airport) watched by large crowd and with lots of planes flying overhead.  

 

Historical Notes

Mines Field was dedicated and opened as the official airport of Los Angeles in 1930, and the city purchased it to be a municipal airfield in 1937. The name was officially changed to Los Angeles Airport in 1941, and to Los Angeles International Airport in 1949. The main airline airports for Los Angeles had been Burbank Airport (then known as Union Air Terminal, and later Lockheed) and the Grand Central Airport in Glendale. By 1940 most airlines served Burbank only; in late 1946 most airline flights moved to LAX, but Burbank always retained a few.^*

 

Click HERE to see more in Aviation in Early Los Angeles

 

 

Eagle Rock

 
(1925)^ - Eagle Rock is a neighborhood in northeastern Los Angeles that derives its name from a massive boulder (seen here) at the district's northern edge. In this photo looking east toward Pasadena, the outline of a flying eagle is clearly shown on the face of a massive boulder that locals call "The Rock". Created from local hot springs millions of years ago, this impressive rock looms above the valley below, creating an eagle-shaped shadow every day around noon.  

 

Historical Notes

In the mid to late 1770s, Native Americans inhabited the caves at the base of The Rock, formerly known as La Piedra Gorda (which translates to "Fat Rock"). 100 years later, in 1874, desperadoes used these same caves, including the infamous bandit Tiburcio Vasquez, who was said to have used The Rock as a hideout and to store his loot.

In 1906 Eagle Rock Valley, as it was known then, became an independent city and was incorporated in 1911 with a population of approximately 600; in 1914 it also became home to Occidental College, designed by famed architect Myron Hunt. In 1962 this Eagle Rock landmark was appraised at $250,000 and on November 16th of that same year, The Rock was declared Los Angeles Historic Cultural Monument #10 (Click HERE to see the LA Historic-Cultural Monuments List), but it did not actually belong to the community until 1995 when the city of Los Angeles officially purchased it for close to $700,000.^

 

 

 

 
(1920s)^ - Panoramic view looking northeast along Colorado Boulevard, which is a major east-west thoroughfare that runs through Eagle Rock; commercial buildings and residential homes are on either side.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1921 a circular pavilion nicknamed "The Merry-Go-Round" was built in the center of the city at the intersection of Colorado and Eagle Rock Blvd (seen toward the right, where the street bends). This structure was to shelter and protect streetcar travelers; it was razed in the 1930s as automobile traffic became heavier.^

 

 

 
(1920s)^ - View of the "Merry-Go-Round" Pavilion at the intersection of Colorado and Eagle Rock boulevards.  

 

 

La Cañada Flintridge

 
(1927)^ - Panaromic view showing Crescenta Valley, the location of La Cañada Flintridge. Crescenta Valley is located between the San Gabriel Mountains (background) and the Angeles National Forest.
 

 

Historical Notes

Prior to incorporation in 1976, La Cañada and Flintridge were two distinct communities. Flintridge was named after Republican Senator and developer Frank Putnam Flint.^

 

 

 

 
(n.d.)^ - View of La Cañada after a snow storm  

 

* * * * *

 

 

Downtown

 
(ca. 1925)*# - Birdseye view of Los Angeles looking south from Sixth Street between Figueroa Street and Olive Street.  Figueroa is pictured to the far right, angling off in the distance toward the left horizon. Progressing farther left, Flower Street is shown, the blocks between the two streets enclosing what appears to be mainly industrial warehouses or office buildings. The Hotel Ritz can also be seen on this strip, along with a parking lot near the foreground. In the blocks between Flower and the following Hope Street, the buildings for an unidentified hotel and an installation of the YMCA are visible. The next strip, held between Hope and Grand Street, the Union Oil building can be seen, along with the Hotel Trinity a little farther back. To the extreme left, between Grand Street and Olive Street, the Hotel Stillwell and the Walker building can be seen.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1929)^ - Intersection of Flower Street and Pico Boulevard, showing street traffic, churches, and various businesses. Notice the decorative street lighting fixtures and traffic stop.  

 

* * * * *

 

 

Wilshire Boulevard

 
(ca. 1929)*# - View looking east on Wilshire Boulevard toward its intersection with Fairfax Avenue. The northeast corner with the billboard  is where the May Company Department Store would go about 10 years later.  On the opposite corner where the little white house is, was once Rogers Airport, and would later become the iconic circular Simon's Drive-in restaurant.  It is now the Johnies 50s diner.  Oil wells are spread out where Park La Brea is now.  

 

Historical Notes

In the late 1930s the 1.5-mile stretch of Wilshire Boulevard between Fairfax and Highland Avenues would be named the Miracle Mile.

 

 

 
(1930)^ - Aerial view looking west down Wilshire Boulevard from above Sycamore. The widest street visible, Wilshire, became known as the Miracle Mile, where most high rises were built through the years. The Salt Lake Oil Field is at right, La Brea Tar Pits in upper-center, and Carthay Theater in the upper left-center in the distance.  

 

Historical Notes

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

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

 

 

 
(1929)^ - Ridgeley Drive and Wilshire Boulevard, showing the Wilshire Tower with Silverwoods on the ground floor.  

 

Historical Notes

Wilshire Tower was the first Art Deco landmark tower on the street. Over the years stores such as Desmond's and Silverwoods occupied the ground floor while doctors and dentists had offices in the eight-story tower. Located at 5514 Wilshire Boulevard, the Zig-Zag Moderne building was designed by architect Gilbert Stanley Underwood and built in 1928.^

Note the ornate streetlights on Wilshire Blvd. Click HERE to see more in Early Bureau of Power and Light Streetlights.

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1930)**^* - Close-up view of the intersection of Wilshire and Burnside looking sourtheast.  

 

Historical Notes

Silverwood's was founded in 1894 by Francis Bernard ("Daddy") Silverwood, Los Angeles clothier, merchant, and businessman, originally from Canada, near Lindsay, Ontario. The first store was located at 124 South Spring St. in Los Angeles, and soon moved to larger quarters at 221 South Spring St. The flagship store was established in 1904 at Sixth & Broadway in downtown Los Angeles.^#*^

Hartmarx, one of the nation's largest clothing manufacturers and retailers, bought Silverwood's in 1941 and kept thee name. The Silverwood's chain of clothing stores folded in the 1990s.^*

 

 

 
(ca. 1930s)**^* - Looking east at the neon signage of the Silverwoods in the Wilshire Tower building.  

 

Historical Notes

The Wishire Tower Building was declared Los Angeles Historic Cultural Monument No. 332  in 1987 (Click HERE to see complete listing).

 

 

Wilshire and La Brea

 
(ca. 1929)^*# - View looking east along the Miracle Mile.  The prominent brick structure (center-left) is the telephone switching center still is existence on La Brea Avenue just north of Wilshire.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1928)^ – View looking east on Wilshire Boulevard toward La Brea Avenue.  Note the Gilmore gas station on the northeast corner; the following year it would be demolished to make way for the E. Clem Wilson Building. The white building at upper left is the Dyas-Carleton Café, built in 19285. The Bank of Italy (sign upper right corner) would become the Bank of America.  

 

 

 

 
(1928)*# – View of the Gilmore gas station on the northeast corner of Wilshire Boulevard and La Brea Avenue. The brick building on the left is the telephone switching center. Click HERE to see more Early Views of LA Gas Stations.  

 

Historical Notes

The gas station was demolished the following year to make way for the construction of the E. Clem Wilson Building.

The brick-clad building facing La Brea Avenue in the left background housed an office and switching station for the Southern California Telephone Company, completed in 1925 to serve the city’s western neighborhoods. It was enlarged from three to five floors in 1942 and given a complementary Art Deco facade by architects John and Donald Parkinson. It continues to operate today under the ownership of AT&T. #^+

 

 

 
(1930)^ - Wilshire Boulevard looking east from Tower Building west of La Brea in 1930. Ritz Theatre is visible on the right. The new high rise E. Clem Wilson Building on the northeast corner of La Brea and Wilshire is under construction.  

 

 

 

 
(1932)*# – View looking west on Wilshire Boulevard from Detroit Street.  Ornate streetlight lanterns called “Wilshire Specials” line both sides of boulevard (See Early LA Streetlights).  The E. Clem Wilson Building is seen in the distance.   

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1930)*^^ - View of the intersection of Wilshire and La Brea. The new E. Clem Wilson Building is seen standing on the northeast corner. An Owl Drug store occupies the ground floor on the corner.  

 

Historical Notes

Built in 1929 - 1930, the E. Clem Wilson Building was designed by architects Meyer and Holler in Art Deco (Zigzag) Moderne style. It is also known as the Wilson Building. Corporate names that adorned the Wilson Building included (in chronological order): General Insurance, Mutural of Omaha (until 1990), Asashi, and Samsung.^

 

 

 
(1931)^ – View showing the intersection of Wilshire Boulevard and La Brea Avenue with the Fox Ritz Theatre on the southeast corner. Note the double-deck bus on the left.  

 

Historical Notes

The Fox Ritz Theatre at 5214 Wilshire Boulevard (S/E corner of Wilshire and La Brea) was designed by architect Lewis A. Smith.  The 1600-seat theatre opened in 1926 and was demolished in 1977.^

 

 

 
(1926)^ – View looking at the southwest corner of Wilshire and Sycamore showing the Ritz Theatre.  Opened in 1926, it joined the Fox theatre chain soon thereafter. The theatre building was on the south side of Wilshire and occupied the block between La Brea and Sycamore.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1929)^ - Looking west along Wilshire Boulevard at La Brea Avenue. The Ritz Theatre is on the left; on the right the Security-First National Bank Building (the first Art Deco structure on the Miracle Mile) is under construction.  

 

* * * * *

 

 

Vermont near Wilshire

 
(1931)*# – View looking south on Vermont Avenue at Fourth Street.  Cars are stopped at the intersection with traffic signal indicating “STOP”.  Caliente Golf Park is seen on the west side of Vermont.  

 

 

 

 
(1931)*# – View showing the same intersection (Vermont and 4th) as in previous photo, but here a woman is seen heading toward a stopped streetcar in the middle of the street.  The traffic signal just changed to “GO”.  

 

* * * * *

 

 

Wilshire and Vermont

 
(1930)^ - View of the northeast corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Vermont Avenue (foreground) in a neighborhood of large 2-story homes, including the 23-room Italian Renaissance Revival mansion, Villa Madama, seen on the left. In the center of the image is Villa Florist, a floral shop.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1908, architect John C. W. Austin was hired by by Ida Hancock, widow of Major Henry Hancock, to create Villa Madama, which was based on Florence’s Villa Medici. In 1909, the Villa Madama was by built in a subdivision called Shatto Place.^

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

 

 

 
(ca. 1936)*# – View looking east on Wilshire Boulevard from the corner of Vermont Avenue showing the bustling activity of cars and pedestrians at the intersection. Seaboard National Bank is seen on the south side of Wilshire as well as the Bullock's Wilshire two blocks further east.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1936)++* - View looking west on Wilshire Boulevard from Vermont Avenue. The signboard on the southwest corner is an advertisement for Bullock's Wilshire. To its left (out of view) is the Roberts Bros. Drive-in. The large home at upper-center is the Cole House. In the distance can be seen the Talmadge Apartments and the Immanuel Presbyterian Church at Berendo Street.  

 

 

 

 
(1939)*# – View looking south showing the Roberts Bros. Sandwich Drive-in, located near the southwest corner of Wilshire and Vermont. Sign in front reads:  Fried Oyster Sandwich 25¢. The Cole House is out of view to the right located on the site where I. Magnin would be built the year of this photo.  

 

 

 

 
(1930s)++* – Closer view showing the Cole House located at 3240 Wilshire Boulevard standing next to Switzer's department store on the southwest corner of Wislhire and New Hampshire. The Cole House would be demolished in the late 1930s to make room for the I. Magnin store.  

 

Historical Notes

Associated with a number of successful Los Angeles businesses and very active in community affairs, Louis Maurice Cole was a member of the extended Hellman banking family, several of whom built houses within two blocks of each other on Wilshire Boulevard. Cole's wife, née Frida Hellman, was the sister of Marco of 3350 Wilshire and of Mrs. Sollie Aronson—Amy—of 3325.++*

 

 

 
(ca. 1939)* - View looking east on Wilshire towards New Hampshire showing the newly constructed I. Magnin store at the site of the old Cole House.  Switzer's department store (3250 Wilshire Boulevard, now demolished) is seen to the right.  

 

 

 

 
(1939)++* – View looking west on Wilshire Boulevard from Vermont Avenue.  On the left is the I. Magnin store which just opened that year.  It replaced the Cole House at 3240 Wilshire Boulevard. Note the service station across the street with the mosque-like tiled roof.  

 

 

 

 
(1930s)*# – View showing the Texaco Service Station located across the street from the Cole House and later the I. Magnin store, southeast corner of Wilshire and New Hampshire Avenue.  Note the Green T Café on the left  

 

 

 

 
(1940)*# - View looking west on Wilshire Boulevard from the sidewalk in front of the Texaco Service Station located across the street from I. Magnin.  

 

 

Click HERE to see more Early Views of LA Gas Stations

 

* * * * *

 

 

Compton
 
(ca. 1930s)^ - An aerial view of the City of Compton, looking south to Long Beach. Long Beach Boulevard is at left, and Alameda Street is at right. Photo taken by Spence Air Photos  

 

Historical Notes

Spence Air Photos was a one-man company ~ photographer, "Robert Earl Spence". He began shooting aerials in 1918. In the 1920s he had numerous clients hiring him to shoot homes and businesses. Spence would shoot images at an angle, not straight down, showing many additional building details. Spence was not a pilot, he hired an airplane pilot to fly him overhead while he leaned out from the cockpit with a bulky camera to get angled shots of the landscape. His method captured the details of the homes and their surroundings all the way to the horizon. He continued to photograph homes for 50 years.

In 1971, Spence retired and donated his collection of 110,000 negatives to the University of California Geography Department. He passed away in 1974.****^

At UCLA, the Spence Collection is part of The Benjamin and Gladys Thomas Air Photo Archives.

Click HERE to see more Early Views of Compton.

 

 

 
(1930)^ - Aerial view of Downtown Los Angeles looking north on a clear day. Pershing Square is in the center of the photograph, the Los Angeles Central Library tower is visible two blocks to the left, and City Hall is visible on the upper right.  

 

Historical Notes

Although there are dozens upon dozens of buildings, for decades no building in Los Angeles was allowed to exceed the height of City Hall, until 1957. It remained the tallest building in California from 1928-1964, at 28 stories tall (450 feet).^

 

 

 
(1927)^ – View looking at the northwest corner of 5th Street and Grand Avenue showing a full parking lot. The Ayers Apartments are on the right and the Barrone (later Engstrum Apartments) in the background left.  

 

Historical Notes

The Ayers Apartments will be demolished with the construction of the Edison Building in 1930-31 and the Baronne, originally the Westonia, will change it's name one last time and become the Engstrum Hotel/Apartments.^#^^

 

 

 

 

 
(1930)*# - Panoramic view of downtown showing the Los Angeles skyline as it appeared in 1930.  City Hall, built in 1928, is the tallest building in the horizon. The building under construction at center-left is the Edison Building located on the northwest corner of Grand Avenue and 5th Street.  The pyramid-shaped tower of the Central Library is in the center-foreground.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1930, Los Angeles' population was 1,238,048. This was more than double its population just 10 years earlier (576,700).^*

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1930)^ - View of the Civic Center looking northeast from 5th Street at Hope, across Central Library. A new Edison Building is under construction on 5th and Grand, next to which are the Engstrum Apartments. City Hall is in the background, to the right of Bunker Hill.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1939, Southern California Edison (SCE) and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (DWP) completed negotiations on the division of territory between the two utilities. SCE would supply the unincorporated areas within Los Angeles County and all other municipalities except for Pasadena, Glendale, and Burbank, while the DWP became the sole electrical service provider for the City of Los Angeles.

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

 

 

 
(1930)*^#^ - View looking north of the Edison Building under construction at the corner of 5th Street and Grand Avenue.  

 

Historical Notes

The above photo was taken from the roof of the Central Library, the still under-construction Edison Building is taking shape. Next door to the left is the handsome, symmetrical Engstrom Apartment Hotel and on the corner of Hope Street is a single family residence and behind it the Pierce apartments which will soon give way to the Engsrtrum's need for on site parking. Up Hope Street the white Barbara Worth Apartments shown on the left.^#^^

 

 

 
(1930)^ - View shows the Southern California Edison Company Building in the final stages of constrution.  

 

Historical Notes

Located on the corner of Fifth Street and Grand Avenue the building opened on March 20, 1931 as the Southern California Edison Company corporate headquarters.*

The Edison Company Building was one of the first all-electrically heated and cooled buildings constructed in the western United States. Now known as One Bunker Hill, the Art Deco building located at 601 W. 5th Street was designed by James and David Allison.^

 

 

 
(1931)^ – View looking north from 5th Street on Occidental Boulevard in the Westlake area.  The Precious Blood Roman Catholic Church is seen on the left behind a palm tree.  

 

Historical Notes

The church building stands on a v-shaped corner of Occidental Blvd. and Hoover St.  This one of the archdiocese's architectural gems, showing a beautiful rose window above the main entrance. It was dedicated in November 1926.  The Italian Romanesque structure has three rose windows that offer a dim and religious life. Twelve large stained glass windows, six yellow windows and the Stations of the Cross Mosaics are over the nave.^*

 

 

 
(1929)^ - A view looking east down Wilshire Boulevard past the painted arrow on the street telling traffic to "Slow - Crossing". On the right side is the Estrada's Spanish Kitchen Restaurant, and on the left side is the Wilshire Christian Church. On past the church is the Gaylord Apartment Building.  

 

Historical Notes

Wilshire Christian Church was the first church on Wilshire Boulevard in 1911. The church property on the northeast corner of Wilshire and Normandie was donated by the Chapman Brothers, owners of Chapman Market, whose historic building remains nearby on Sixth Street.^*

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1935)##^* –  Postacard view looking east on Wilshire Boulevard near Normandie.  The Wilshire Christian Church is to the left and in the distance can be seen the Gaylord Apartment Building.  Directly on the other side of the church stands two radio transmitting towers belonging to the KFAC Radio station.  

 

Historical Notes

The Gaylord Apartment Hotel was named after Henry Gaylord Wilshire, who founded the famous boulevard; the 14-story building officially opened its doors in 1924. The entire area near the Gaylord became the site of New York style apartment buildings, and many film stars lived in these elegant high rises. Among them were the Ambassador, Asbury, Langham, Fox Normandie, Picadilly, and Windsor. In the mid-sixties, the Gaylord Apartment Hotel was converted into a charming apartment community.^

 

 

 

 
(1933)*# - View looking over the intersection of Western Avenue and Wilshire Boulevard from on top of the Pellissier Building (location of the Wiltern Theatre).  

 

 

 

 
(1929)**^ - Traffic on Wilshire Boulevard at the intersection of Western Avenue. The offices of real estate developer Henry de Roulet are seen on the southeast corner.  

 

Historical Notes

De Roulet described the intersection as one of the busiest in the world. In 1930-31 he built the Wiltern Theater and Pellisser Building complex at southeast corner. The buildings are now on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.**^

 

 

 
(ca. 1929)*# - View looking southeast at the interesection of Wilshire and Western, already showing signs of being one of the busiest intersections in Los Angeles.  

 

 

 

 
(1929)^^ - Close-up view of the southeast corner of Wilshire and Western, future home of the Wiltern Theater and Pellisser Building.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1930)^ - View of Wilshire Blvd. looking east near Western Avenue circa 1930. The buildings at left in Art Deco and Spanish Colonial Revival styles hold various shops and offices. Amid the cars is a double-decker open-air bus labelled "Wilshire. Beverly Hills." In the background is the domed Wilshire Boulevard Temple at Hobart Boulevard..
 

 

 

 

 
(1931)++# - View of traffic at the intersection of Wilshire Boulevard and Western Avenue, looking east. This was then the busiest intersection in Los Angeles.  

 

 

 

 
(1930s)^ - A double deck Los Angeles Motor Coach, no. 717, passes parked cars on Wilshire near Ardmore. Note the advertisements on the building to the left--for butter and for ale. The Wilshire Boulevard Temple can be seen in the background.  

 

Historical Notes

Los Angeles Motor Bus Company was formed in 1923 as a joint venture between both the Pacific Electric Railway and Los Angeles Railway to institute a comprehensive new motor bus service for major arteries in the rapidly expanding metropolis.

The even numbered buses belonged to Los Angeles Railway and the odd numbered buses belonged to Pacific Electric Railway.#*

 

 

 
(ca. 1932)#* - Los Angeles Motor Coach double-deck bus, no. 604. The Morgan Hotel, 629 W. 8th Street, can be seen in the background.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1930)^ - Exterior view of Wilshire Boulevard Temple, at 3663 Wilshire Boulevard at Hobart Blvd. People are seen on the steps, and cars are parked on the streets.  

 

Historical Notes

Wilshire Boulevard Temple, founded in 1862 as Congregation B'nai B'rith, is the oldest Jewish congregation in Los Angeles. One of the country’s most respected Reform congregations, Wilshire Boulevard Temple's magnificent sanctuary, with its famous dome and Warner Murals, is a City of Los Angeles Historic Cultural Monument and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.^*

 

 

 
(ca. 1939)^ - Another view of the Wilshire Boulevard Temple, at 3663 Wilshire Boulevard at Hobart Blvd. People are seen on the steps in front of the temple.  

 

 

 

 
(1931)^ - Outside view of the Art Deco style Warner Bros. Western Theater, at the time of its 1931 opening.
 

 

Historical Notes

The Wiltern Theatre opened its doors on Oct. 7, 1931, as the Warner Theatre -- part of Warner Bros.' chain of first-run movie houses -- with a screening of Alexander Hamilton, starring George Arliss. A brass band played, as movie stars and other stylish guests walked the temporary "Bridge of Stars" across Wilshire Boulevard to the theater's front doors. The bridge was decorated with lights and flowers.*##

 

 

 
(1931)*# - The Pellissier Building and the Warner Brothers Western Theatre (now Wiltern Theatre). The above view shows the opening night of the Warner Brothers Western Theatre on the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Western Avenue, Oct. 7, 1931.  

 

Historical Notes

Originally built in 1931, the Wiltern was designed by architect Stiles O. Clements of Morgan, Walls & Clements, the city’s oldest architectural firm.

The Wiltern Theatre was originally designed as a vaudeville theater and initially opened as the Warner Brothers Western Theater, the flagship for the theater chain. Quickly closing a year later, the theater reopened in the mid-1930s and was renamed the Wiltern Theatre for the major intersection which it faces (Wilshire Boulevard and Western Avenue.)^*

Both the Wiltern Theatre and the Pellissier Building have been named to the National Register of Historic Places and declared a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument by the City of Los Angeles (No. 118). Click HERE to see complete listing.

 

 

 
(1931)* - A closer view of the Pellissier Building and the Warner Brothers Western Theatre on opening night.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1931)^ - Looking east down Wilshire Boulevard from Ingraham Street. Various structures, including the Wiltern and the Wilshire Boulevard Temple, as well as numerous billboards can be seen.  

 

Historical Notes

Many structures as seen above, including the Churrigueresque style commercial building at 3771 Wilshire Boulevard (across from the Wiltern) have since been demolished.^

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1934)*# - Panoramic view looking east on Wilshire Boulevard at Western Avenue.  The intersection is full of cars and a double-decker bus.  The Wiltern Theatre stands on the southeast corner with a large sign in front: “25 cents for Two Major Features”  

 

Historical Notes

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

 

 

 

 
(1938)^ - View of Wilshire Boulevard on October 18, 1938, looking east, toward Western Avenue; the Wiltern Theater can be seen. To the right of photo is a sign reading CARWASH 50 cents and 10 and 15 cent parking.  

 

 

 

 
(1929)^ - Looking east down Wilshire Boulevard where it crosses Wilton. Several homes are seen on both sides of the street, and in the background on the left is the newly completed Wilshire Professional Building, designed by Arthur E. Harvey.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1932)^ - Wilshire Professional Building, looking east on Wilshire Boulevard. The art deco structure, located at 3875 Wilshire Boulevard, was designed by architect Arthur E. Harvey and built in 1929. On the left is a partial view of the St. James' Episcopal Church.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1935)^ - Exterior view of St. James' Episcopal Church, located on Wilshire Blvd. and St. Andrews Place, taken from across Wilshire Boulevard. A line of palms are seen on St. Andrews Place.  

 

Historical Notes

The Gothic revival style church was designed by Benjamin C. McGougall and is considered to be one of the finest examples of Gothic Revival architecture in Southern California.^

 

 

 
(1937)^ - View of the Wilshire Professional Building on Wilshire and St. Andrews Place and St. James' Episcopal Church on the right.  

 

Historical Notes

The Gothic revival style church was designed by Benjamin C. McGougall in the 1920s and the art deco office building at 3875 Wilshire Boulevard was designed by architect Arthur E. Harvey and built in 1929.^

 

 

 
(1929)^ - Aerial view of an early "mini mall" at 3649 Beverly Boulevard, consisting of Barkies Sandwich Shops, which features a puppy's head on the roof and paws by the entrance. Also shown are the Tip-Top Drive in Market and a bodyshop.  

 

Historical Notes

Barkies Sandwich Shops was a 1920s Los Angeles restaurant chain, featuring a larger than life mascot named “Ponderous Pup.” These types of shops were an early precursor to the mini-mall idea.

 

 

 

 
(1930)^ - Closer view of Barkies Sandwich Shops located on the northeast corner of Vermont and Westmoreland Ave. A larger than life image of a mascot named the 'Ponderous Pup', graces the entrance way with his head on the roof and paws on either side of the door, a huge sign hanging from his mouth which reads: "Toasted Barkies Sandwich Shops, No. 4"; and on the right of the photo, Tip-Top Drive In Market. Crates of oranges, grapefruit, lemons, and other fruit have been placed next to the sidewalk, giving cars enough space to drive between those and the market entrance.  

 

Historical Notes

In the 1920s and 30s, as the automobile was becoming the default way to get around Los Angeles, buildings and structures in the area became more unique, often resembling the merchandise or services they hawked.  These “hey-you-can’t miss-me!” buildings (referred to as Novelty or Programmatic architecture) were made to pull automobile drivers right off the road.

Click HERE to see more examples of Early Los Angeles Programmatic Architecture.

 

 

* * * * *

 

 

Sonora Town

 
(1930)^ - View of Sonora Town as seen from Fort Moore Hill, looking north on Castelar Street (now Hill Street).  

 

Historical Notes

The part of the city called Sonora Town was an old adobe village north of the Plaza and Church of Our Lady, Queen of the Angels. It was Los Angeles' first Mexican quarters, or barrio. The area was named for the numerous miners and families who came from Sonora, Mexico, and may have still been around in the 1930s. Now it is Los Angeles' Chinatown District.^

Click HERE to see more Early Views of Sonora Town.

 

* * * * *

 

 

 

 
(1930)^ - View looking northwest toward Pershing Square from the corner of 6th and Hill streets. The Pacific Mutual Building is seen in the distance on the left. The Biltmore Hotel is on the right.  

Historical Notes

In 1867, St. Vincent's College, present day Loyola Marymount University, was located across the street, and the park informally became called St. Vincent's Park. In 1870, it was officially renamed Los Angeles Park. In 1886 it was renamed 6th Street Park, and redesigned with an "official park plan" by Frederick Eaton, later the mayor. In the early 1890s it was renamed Central Park, which it was called for decades.

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

 

 

 
(1931)^ - Exterior view of the Pacific Mutual Building. 6th Street is on the left and Olive Street on the right.  

 

Historical Notes

The Pacific Mutual Building, located at 523 W. 6th Street, are actually three interconnected buildings built between 1908 and 1929. The original structure was designed and built between 1908-1912 by John Parkinson and Edwin Bergstrom.

The original structure has seen many changes over the years: a North Side addition was built in 1916 by William J. Dodd; a twelve-story structure was built in 1921 by William J. Dodd and his associate William Richards; the Garage Building was added in 1926 by Schultze and Weaver; and the West Side addition was erected in 1929 by Parkinson and Parkinson. The building underwent Moderne remodeling in 1936 by Parkinson and Parkinson.^

The Pacific Mutual Building is still there today, but the facade of the building on the corner has been modernized. It is listed as Historic-Cultural Monument No. 398 (Click HERE to see complete listing).

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1930)^#^^ - View looking west on 6th Street at Olive. Pedestrians are seen crossing Olive while streetcar and autos are moving along 6th Street.  The Pacific Mutual Building is seen at right on the northwest corner of the intersection.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1930)*# - View looking north on Spring Street from above 3rd Street showing downtown Los Angeles with City Hall rising tall in the background.  Legible signs in the foreground include: "Hollenbeck Hotel" and "Hear every word / 15 cents / Lyceum Theatre / Our sound is incomparable".  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1930)^ - Looking south down Spring Street near 3rd Street (left, with cluster of cars), showing various structures, including the Douglas Building (left of center) and the ornate Lyceum Theatre (right of center).  

 

Historical Notes

Designed as an office building by James and Merritt Reid, the Douglas Building was completed in 1898.

The Lyceum Theatre, located at 227 S. Spring Street, was designed by J. Lee Burton and opened in 1888 as the Los Angeles Theater. It later became the second Los Angeles Orpheum Theater, and when it closed in 1941, it was known as the Lyceum Theatre.^

All of the structures seen from the Douglas Building to the right have been demolished.

 

 

 
(1935)^ - Side view of the Lyceum Theatre located at 227 S. Spring Street. Signboards in front of building read "Talking Pictures".  

 

Historical Notes

By the early 30s the Lyceum Theatre was exclusively a movie theatre. In 1941, the building was demolished to make way for a parking lot.^^*#

 

 

 
(ca. 1930)^ - Spring Street looking south at 4th Street. Angelus Hotel and Bank of Italy are on the southwest corner. Also shows Dan Parker, United Cigars, cars and pedestrians.  

 

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.^^*^

The Bank of Italy was founded in San Francisco, in 1904 by Amadeo Giannini. It grew by a branch banking strategy to become the Bank of America, the world's largest commercial bank with 493 branches in California and assets of $5 billion in 1945.^*

 

 

 
(ca. 1930)^ - View looking south on Spring from 4th Street, with the Bank of Italy and the Angelus Hotel at right. They were demolished in 1956 for a parking lot. Next to them is the Title Insurance Co. building. Pedestrians, automobiles and trolleys are seen. What stands out are the exterior fire escapes on the Angelus Hotel.  

 

Historical Notes

Fire Escapes date back to the turn of the 20th century, when fire safety became a major concern and building owners were required by law to provide fire escape routes in their new property. The fire escape invention seemed to be a simple and cost-efficient way to address this requirement.

As far as a patented fire escape, the first credited person for such an invention was Anna Connelly in 1887. She invented the exterior staircase, used specifically for a fire escape. Many companies saw advantages to using this system and decided to incorporate that patent into their own buildings. These exterior staircases were cheap to build and could be added to the existing construction very easily, without the need to restructure the walls.*^#*

 

 

 
(ca. 1930)*# - Birdseye view of Hill Street, looking south from Seventh Street. A large group of pedestrians are seen crossing Hill Street.  

 

Historical Notes

Hill Street is at left and is crowded with both vehicle and pedestrian trafic. At center and right are several large buildings, including the Garfield Building and the RKO Theatre, which was formerly the Hill Street Theatre and part of the Orpheum Circuit. A very tall skyscraper is in the foreground at right and legible signs include, "Scott Bros", "Furs", "Foreman & Clark", "Upstairs from coast to coast", "Cost to coast Foreman & Clark World's Largest Makers and Retailers of Men's Clothes", "Gifts for Mother", "Mothers Day May 11th".

 

 

 
(ca. 1930)*# - Close-up view of Hill Street, just south of Seventh Street. Hill Street is crowded with an assortment of automobiles, buses, streetcars, and also pedestrians on the sidewalks.  

 

Historical Notes

Several large buildings can be seen, including the Garfield Building and the RKO Theatre, which was formerly the Hill Street Theatre and part of the Orpheum Circuit. Legible signs include, from left to right, "Professional Courses in [...] Secretarial Training", "Belasco Theatre", "Hotel", "RKO Theatre", "Herbists Café", "Garfield Building", "Birch Smith Furniture Co.", "Alhambra Bill Haines Marie Dressler", "Hardman Piano", and "Coffee Dan's".

 

 

Broadway

 
(1930)#* – View showing a very busy Broadway with a LARy streetcar in the middle of the street.  

 

 

 

 
(1930)^ - The streets are very crowded with people, cars and trolleys at the intersection of 7th and Broadway where the traffic sign says "GO". The view is looking norh on Broadway. On the right is the sign for Boos Bros. Cafeteria. On the left is the Bullock's department store and further up the street is Kress dime store.  Note the ornate lamp poles with traffic information signs on each corner.  

 

 

 

 
(1930)^#^^ - View showing throngs of people at the intersection of Broadway and 7th Street with the Loew's Theatre at left. Note the tall ornate two-lamp streetlight on the corner.  

 

Historical Notes

The ornate streetlight seen above is also referred to as the 'Broadway Rose'. It was so named for the distinctive climbing rose design on the post. The Broadway Rose only appeared on Broadway. 

 

 

 

 
(1930)*# – View looking north on Broadway at 7th Street showing the beautiful 2-lamp Streetlamps running up and down Broadway. Click HERE to see more Early Views of Los Angeles Streetlights  

 

 

 

 

 
(1930)*# -  View of the intersection of Broadway and 7th Street, crowded with pedestrians and Los Angeles Railway cars.  

 

Historical Notes

Seventh Street and Broadway was a busy junction for the Pacific Electric Railway, with southbound cars leaving on the San Diego Coast Route, stopping at Whittier, Santa Ana, Oceanside, and La Jolla. Westbound trains along Wilshire Boulevard head towards the Santa Monica Bay District and Beach Road North.*#

 

 

 
(ca. 1931)^ - View looking south on Broadway from 8th Street, showing (left to right):  The Tower Theatre, Southern California Music Company, Wurlitzer Building, Rialto Theater, Platt Music Company, and the Orpheum Theater.  A very large and prominent Baldwin Pianos sign sits on top of the Southern California Music Co. Building.  

 

 

 

 
(1928)*# – Street view looking south on Broadway at 8th Street showing the Tower Theatre at the end of the street to the left (S/E corner), its clock tower reading approximately thirty-nine minutes after two o'clock, behind which the Southern California Music Company building, Wurlitzer building, Platt Music Company building and the New Orpheum can be seen, respectively. Automobiles, pedestrians and a cable-car navigate the street to the right.  

 

 

 

 
(1931)*# - View looking toward the Tower Theatre at 8th and Broadway. Traffic is stopped as people cross the intersection in all directions. Photo by Dick Whittington  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1930)*# – View looking north on Broadway from just north of 10th Street (later Olympic Boulevard*).  The United Artists Theater Building is at left along with the Texaco Building.  On the right is the L.L. Burns Building and Radio Supply Co. The streets are aligned with dual-lamp streetlights and Christmas trees.  

 

Historical Notes

*In 1932, the entire length of the 10th Street, from East L.A. to Santa Monica, was renamed Olympic Boulevard for the Summer Olympics being held in Los Angeles that year.^*

 

 

 

 
(1930)*# – Night view looking north on Broadway from 10th Street (now, Olympic Boulevard).  The street is illuminated by streetlights, electric signs, and lights on the Christmas trees.
 

 

 

 

 

 
(1930)*^^ - A 5-lamp ornate streetlight and the Hamilton Diamond Co. store lighting help illuminate the northeast corner of Broadway and 9th Street.  

 

 

Click HERE to see more Early LA Streetlights

 

 

 

 

 
(1929)**^** – View looking at the east side of Main Street showing the Liberty Theatre bookended by the Harris Hardware Company and the Gray Hotel.  

 

Historical Notes

The Liberty Theatre was described at length in a Moving Picture World article:

The 'Liberty' is one of the city's eight first-class moving picture theaters. The selection of the theater site was chosen with exceptionally good judgment. The theater is located in the heart of the business district at 266-68 South Main Street, near the intersection of Third and Main Streets.**^

 

 

 
(1930)^ - View of looking west on 5th Street at Main Street showing the Rosslyn Hotel and Annex on the west side of Main. Various buildings and storefronts such as the Rosslyn Drug store and the United Cigar Store can also be seen. Two men are standing near a traffic signal which reads: STOP.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1930)*# - Panoramic view looking east from the City Hall tower. What stands out is the enormously large gas tank owned by the LA Gas and Electric Corporation. The street on the left running diagonally is Aliso, where the 101 Freeway (Hollywood Freeway) is located today.  

 

Historical Notes

The above 300-foot tall gas holder or silo (aka gasometer) was located at the corner of Ducommon and Center, east of the Civic Center. It was built in 1912 by the LA Gas and Electric Corp. and it's not clear when it was torn down. Shots of Downtown up through 1960 seem to show these structures in the background.#^^*

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

 

 

 

 
(1931)^ - View of Los Angeles Street, looking north from 1st Street. Many automobiles are travelling on this busy road and also parked along the curbs.  The traffic signal on the corner reads:  “GO”  

 

 

 

 

 
(1931)^#^^ – View showing a Sparkletts delivery truck in the 200 block of S. Los Angeles Street.  Sign on truck reads:  “Sparkletts for the Discriminating”. Click HERE to see more on the Sparkletts Water Bottle Corp.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1931)*# - Transferring mail from an ocean liner to the Goodyear Blimp in the Los Angeles Harbor. Click HERE to see more in Early Views of San Pedro and Wilmington.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1932)**^ - Aerial view looking north up Broadway. The Goodyear blimp is hovering over downtown Los Angeles and City Hall is seen in the distance. Click HERE to see more in Aviation in Early Los Angeles.  

 

 

 

 
(1930s)* - Air view of the University of Southern California with the Coliseum in the background.  

 

Historical Notes

The University of Southern California (USC) was founded in 1880, making it California's oldest private research university. USC's development has closely paralleled the growth of Los Angeles, and the university historically has educated a large number of the city's business leaders and professionals.^*

 

 

 

 
(1930s)^*## - Postcard view of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum filled to capacity, 105,000 people.  

 

Historical Notes

For many years the Coliseum was capable of seating over 100,000 spectators. In 1964 the stadium underwent its first major renovation in over three decades. Most of the original pale green wood-and-metal bench seating was replaced by individual theater-type chairs of dark red, beige, and yellow; these seats remain in place today, though the yellow color was eliminated in the 1970s. The seating capacity was reduced to approximately 93,000.^*

 

 

 

 
(1931)*# - USC graduation ceremony at the Coliseum, June 6, 1931. Note that the torch at the end of the Coliseum has not been installed yet.  

 

Historical Notes

The now-signature torch was added during the renovations for the 1932 Olympics. It is still being lit during the fourth quarters of USC football games.^*

 

 

 
(1932)* - View of the colonnade and newly installed torch at the front end of the Coliseum.  

 

Historical Notes

The colonnade on the east end of the Coliseum is composed of a triumphal arch, flanked by 14 smaller arches and a central torch, rising 107 feet above street level. The torch, which was built for the tenth Olympiad, is constructed of concrete and capped with a bronze fixture that was kept illuminated throughout the games.^

 

 

 
(ca. 1936)*# - Fireworks light the night sky over the Coliseum. Photo by Dick Whittington.  

 

 

 

 
(1932)^ - Aerial view looking northeast toward Los Angeles. The Coliseum is in the foreground with the USC campus just behind it. The LA downtown skyline can be seen in the background in the upper right of the photo.  

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of U.S.C.

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1930)^ - A view of Palm Drive north from Adams Boulevard, with two-story houses on either side and cars parked on the street. The building at the end of the street is the Los Angeles Orthopaedic Hospital located on the site of Charles Longstreet's former home.  

 

Historical Notes

Many of the palm trees seen above still exist and our now situated within the grounds of the Los Angeles Orhopaedic Hospital (Flower St. and Adams Blvd). These are considered to be the oldest trees in Los Angeles. The trees date back to the 1870s.

The Los Angeles Orthopaedic Hospital (LAOH) was founded in 1911 by Charles LeRoy Lowman, as a clinic for children with crippling disorders. The first LAOH building was constructed in 1922 at the above site. It was replaced in 1959 by a second hospital, and today a third hospital nears completion on the Westside of Los Angeles.^^^

 

 

Click HERE to see more of L.A.'s Oldest Trees

 

* * * * *

 

 

Figueroa St and Washington Blvd (Then and Now)

 
(ca. 1927)*# - View looking north on Figueroa from just south of Washington Boulevard.  A paperboy dressed in light-colored clothing stands at the center of the street to the right hawking papers while cars pass him on either side.  The large building in the background is the Patriotic Hall.  Note the beautiful two-lamp streetlight on the left.  

 

Historical Notes

Patriotic Hall was built in 1925 and the building opened its doors in 1926 to serve the public. When it was built, the 85,000-square-foot building was the tallest building in the city. Patriotic Hall was rededicated to honor of Bob Hope and renamed "Bob Hope Patriotic Hall" in 2004.^*

 

 

 
(2015)##^ – Google street view looking north on Figueroa St. from s/o Washington Boulevard, showing the Bob Hope Patriotic Hall.  In the distance is the Santa Monica Freeway.  

 

 

 

 
(1931)*^^ - The See’s Candies delivery motorcycle and van outside the store at 519 W. Washington in Los Angeles, near the corner of Figueroa St. The large building in the background is Patriotic Hall. Alleyway to the right is S. Lebanon Ave.  

 

Historical Notes

Charles Alexander See II (1882–1949) arrived in the United States from Canada in 1921 with his wife Florence MacLean Wilson See (1885–1956), and his widowed mother Mary Wiseman See (1854–1939). Mary See had developed the recipes that became the foundation of the See's candy business while helping run her husband's hotel on Tremont Island in Ontario. The family opened the first See's Candies shop and kitchen at 135 North Western Avenue in Los Angeles in November 1921. They leased the shop from the French Canadian pioneer of Los Angeles Amable La Mer. They had twelve shops by the mid-1920s and thirty shops during the Great Depression. In 1936 See's opened a shop in San Francisco.

In 1972 the See family sold the company to Berkshire Hathaway Inc. In 2007, Warren Buffett called See's "the prototype of a dream business". ^*

 

 

 
(2014)##^ – Google street view showing the location where See’s Candy once stood, 519 W. Washington. It is now a Chevron gas station. The ‘Bob Hope’ Patriotic Hall is seen in the background.  

 

* * * * *

 

 

Farmers Market

 
(1930)^ - Several rows of cars are parked on a dirt lot with some parking lines marked. A building has a sign "Supermalts 10 cents" where Farmers Market is located in a section of low buildings. In the background another sign reads "GILMORE" which is on the face of the Gilmore Stadium where early football and baseball games were played.
 

 

Historical Notes

Farmers Market started when a dozen nearby farmers would park their trucks on a field to sell their fresh produce to local residents. The cost to rent the space was fifty cents per day.

In 1870, when they moved west from Illinois, Arthur Fremont (A.F.) Gilmore and his partner bought two sizable farms, one of which was the 256-acre dairy farm at the corner of 3rd Street and Fairfax Ave. Gilmore gained control when the partnership dissolved later.

Gilmore Oil Company replaced the dairy farm when oil was discovered under the land during drilling for water in 1905. Earl Bell (E.B.) Gilmore, son of A.F. Gilmore, took over the family business. The younger Gilmore started midget car racing and brought professional football to Los Angeles. He built Gilmore Field for the Hollywood Stars baseball team, which was owned by Bing Crosby, Barbara Stanwyck, and Cecil B. DeMille.^*

 

 

 

 
(1942)##^* – Postcard view showing two women, pulling straw weaved baskets carts, shopping near the fruit stands at Farmers Market.  

 

Historical Notes

Farmers Market was created in July 1934 by Roger Dahlhjelm, a businessman, and Fred Beck, an advertising copywriter. They asked the owners of “Gilmore Island,” the former dairy farm at 3rd & Fairfax, if they could invite local farmers to park trucks on vacant Gilmore land to sell fresh produce to local shoppers.

Originally called the “Farmers Public Market,” the concept was so popular that within months, permanent stalls were erected to provide the farmers with a more convenient way to provide their produce. The “Public” was dropped from the name almost immediately. #**

 

 

 

 
(1938)*# - View looking north showing the Gilmore Stadium near the corner of Fairfax and Beverly (upper left). Farmers Market is in the foreground close to the intersection of Fairfax and 3rd Street (lower left). A new baseball field, Gilmore Field, will be built within a year of this photo in the empty lot at center-right of photo.  

 

Hsitorical Notes

Gilmore Stadium was used for American football games at both the professional and collegiate level. The stadium was the home of the Los Angeles Bulldogs, the first professional football team in Los Angeles. Gilmore Stadium was also the site of two 1940 National Football League (NFL) Pro Bowls. It was opened in May 1934 and demolished in 1952, when the land was used to build CBS Television City.^*

 

 

 

 
(1949)**^# - View looking southeast of Gilmore Stadium (center) and Gilmore Field (top). The intersection of Fairfax Avenue and Beverly Boulevard is in the lower left of the photo. Herberts Drive-In Restaurant can be seen on the southeast corner. Farmers Market is in the upper right.  

 

Historical Notes

Gilmore Field opened on May 2, 1939 and was the home of the Hollywood Stars baseball team until September 5, 1957. The ballpark was located on the south side of Beverly Boulevard between Genesee Avenue and The Grove Drive, just east of where CBS Television City is currently located. A couple hundred yards to the west was Gilmore Stadium, an oval-shaped venue built several years earlier, which was used for football games and midget auto racing. To the east was the famous Pan-Pacific Auditorium. Click HERE to see more in Baseball in Early L.A.

Both facilities were built by Earl Gilmore, son of Arthur F. Gilmore and president of A. F. Gilmore Oil, a California-based petroleum company which was developed after Arthur struck oil on the family property. The area was rich in petroleum, which was the source of the "tar" in the nearby La Brea Tar Pits.^*

 

 

 
(ca. 1940s)*# - The windmill sign on top of Farmers Market, with the Hollywood Hills in the distance.  

 

Historical Notes

When CBS Television City opened next door in 1952, the Farmers Market provided those working or visiting that television studio a convenient place to shop or eat.

In the 1970s The Country Kitchen, a restaurant owned and operated by Jack and Eileen Smith (located next to the still-operating Du-par's), was popular with stars and their fans alike. Mickey Rooney could sometimes be found working behind the counter. Other customers included Elvis Presley, Regis Philbin, Rip Taylor, Mae West, Johnny Carson and even The Shah of Iran on his visit.^*

 

 

Click HERE to see more early views of Farmers Market.

 

 

 

 

 
(1930)^ - Aerial view looking west down Wilshire Boulevard from above Sycamore. The widest street visible, Wilshire, became known as the Miracle Mile, where most high rises were built through the years. The Salt Lake Oil Field is at upper-right and the La Brea Tar Pits at upper-center.  

 

Historical Notes

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

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

 

 

 
(1931)*# - View looking north on Fairfax Avenue at Drexel Avenue.  A couple of oil derricks are seen in the distance around 3rd and Fairfax. The multi-story building on the left, now occupied by Sandy’s Camera, is still under construction.  

 

 

 

 
(1931)*# - View looking east on Drexel Avenue at Fairfax Avenue with oil derricks of the Salt Lake Oil Field in the background. Both corners on the west side of Faifax are occupied by gas stations.  

 

 

 

 

 
(2009)^* - Detail of the Salt Lake and South Salt Lake Oil Fields, showing their position within Los Angeles and surrounding cities, and also showing the locations of the active drilling islands.  

 

Historical Notes

After its first oil well in 1902, the Salt Lake Oil Field developed quickly in the following years and was once the most productive in California.  Over 50 million barrels of oil have been extracted from it, mostly in the first part of the twentieth century, although modest drilling and extraction from the field using an urban "drilling island" resumed in 1962. As of 2009, the only operator on the field was Plains Exploration & Production (PXP). The field is also notable as being the source, by long-term seepage of crude oil to the ground surface along the 6th Street Fault, of the famous La Brea Tar Pits.

The adjacent and geologically related South Salt Lake Oil Field, not discovered until 1970, is still productive from an urban drillsite it shares with the nearby Beverly Hills Oil Field, also run by Plains Exploration and Production.^*

 

 

Then and Now

 
 
(1931 vs. 2015)##^ - View looking east on Drexel Ave toward Fairfax Ave. Today, a Jack in the Box is at the southwest corner (right) and Park La Brea is on the other side of Fairfax.  

 

 

 

 
 
(1931 vs. 2015)##^ - View looking north on Fairfax Ave at Drexel Ave.  

 

 

 

 
(1931)*# - View of an oil well in the middle of La Cienega Blvd. near Beverly, Feb. 16, 1931.  

 

Historical Notes

One of Los Angeles' most unusual drilling was a well that stood in the middle of La Cienega Boulevard from 1930 to 1946, forcing drivers to zigzag around it.  The oil island was located between Beverly Boulevard and 3rd Street.^^

 

 

 
(ca. 1931)**^ - Oil island on La Cienega just south of Beverly Blvd. The view is looking north.  

 

Historical Notes

When the wooden derrick was constructed in 1907, it wasn't in the middle of La Cienega Boulevard. It was in the middle of a bean field. La Cienega didn't run that far north at the time but in 1930 the City extended La Cienega to Santa Monica Blvd. leaving the oil derrick in the middle of the roadway.^^

 

 

 
(1937)^ - View, looking north, of the oil well sitting in the center of the street.  It is one of the oldest wells in this vicinity of La Cienega. A large billboard stands at the front of the oil well.  

 

Historical Notes

Today, there is derrick tucked inside the Beverly Center not too far from where the above photo was taken.  It is near the parking area for Bloomingdale’s.^^

 

 

 

 

 
(1933)*^#^ - Panoramic view of the intersection of Pico and La Cienega in Los Angeles. On the far side of the street is the Pico Fairway, a driving range that has a billboard advertising a "Free Exhibition; Stan Kertes; Babe Didrickson; Wed Eve Aug 23rd". At the corner there is a tract office for the Olympic Beverly Plaza. Across the street there are a few cafes and shops. There are rows of houses at the far side of the driving range.  

 

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1936)*#- Aerial view of the intersection of Fairfax Avenue, Olympic Boulevard, and San Vicente Boulevard. The Green Spray Market can be seen in the upper left.  

 

Historical Notes

Fairfax runs from the upper left to the bottom center right of the photo. San Vicente is the wider street with the streetcar tracks. Olympic runs from the bottom left to the upper right corner of the phone. Von's Market is in the lower right corner and the Green Spray Market is at the upper left on the northeast corner of Fairfax and San Vicente. *#

Olympic Boulevard was originally named 10th Street. In 1932, the entire length of the street, from East L.A. to Santa Monica, was renamed Olympic Boulevard for the Summer Olympics being held in Los Angeles that year.^*

 

 

 
(1936)*# - Aerial view from a slightly different angle of  the intersection-San Vicente, Fairfax, and Olympic showing the Von’s Market to the right and the Green Spray Market to the left. San Vicente Boulevard is one of the few major streets in this area of Los Angeles that runs diagonally.  

 

Historical Notes

The main reason that San Vicente Boulevard runs diagonally as it does is because it was built on the Los Angeles Pacific Electric Railway Right-of-way in the early 1900s.  Named for the Rancho San Vicente y Santa Monica that had previously occupied the area, it begins at Venice Boulevard between Crenshaw Boulevard and La Brea Avenue and travels in a northwesterly direction towards Beverly Hills. The roadway splits into two streets past La Cienega Boulevard, with the western branch becoming Burton Way, which eventually becomes Santa Monica Boulevard South and connects directly to downtown Beverly Hills. San Vicente Boulevard itself continues north into West Hollywood and ends at Sunset Boulevard.

A separate stretch of road with the same name, San Vicente Boulevard, runs from Brentwood to Santa Monica. Originally, this  boulevard ran from the Soldiers' Home (Sawtelle Veterans Home) in Los Angeles to Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica. This tree-lined street was 130 feet wide, with trolley lines used by the Los Angeles Pacific Electric Railway running down its center.*^

 

 

 
(1932)*# - View of the northeast corner of Fairfax and San Vicente Boulevard showing the Green Spray Market.  Several cars and trucks are parked along the curb in front of the market.  

 

 

 

 
(1936)*# - Aerial view showing the intersection of San Vicente and La Brea Avenue.  San Vicente runs from lower-left to upper-right.  A viaduct over La Brea Avenue separated streetcar from automobile traffic.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1930)*# - View looking northeast showing the La Brea Avenue-Pacific Electric Railway grade separation at San Vicente Boulevard.  

 

Historical Notes

The bridge was removed after the streetcars stopped running in the 1950s.

 

 

 
(1930)*# – View of Barrington Avenue from a point south of Wilshire Boulevard.  

 

 

 

 
(1934)*# – View of Barrington Avenue looking north from Ohio Avenue in Westwood before improvement, April 14, 1934. Barrington is at center and is a wide dirt road that heads over a hill in the distance. A line of utility poles parallels the street at left, and several large trees are at right. A high wire fence encircles a field at left, and a truck is parked near the side of the road at left. In the background at left, the roof of a small building is visible over the crest of the hill.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1934)*# – View of Barrington Avenue looking north from Ohio Avenue after improvement.  

 

 

 

 
(1930)*^ - Aerial view in 1930 of Van Nuys Airport when it was known as Metropolitan Airport. Click HERE to see more Early Views of the San Fernando Valley.  

 

Historical Notes

Los Angeles Metropolitan Airport opened in 1928 and was spread over 80 acres amid the trees and farmland. In 1929, Hollywood discovered the airport. Howard Hughes, Hoot Gibson, Cecil B. DeMille, Gene Autry and Wallace Beery were among the growing number of stars flying at the new airport. The airport continued to expand and grow with three factories, six hangers, and a control tower on airport grounds. The airport also began hosting air races.  During one such race in 1929, Amelia Earhart set a new speed record. #*^#

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Aviation in Early Los Angeles

 

 

Taylor Yard

 
(1931)^ - Aerial view of the Southern Pacific railroad yard (Taylor Yard) by the Los Angeles River.  

 

Historical Notes

The above freight-switching facility was called Taylor Yard. It was used by the Union Pacific and later the Southern Pacific railroads from the 1920s until 1985.^*

Taylor Yard had been named after J. Hartley Taylor who was a grain merchant and owned a milling company in the area.  Throughout the 1920’s and 1930’s the property was a rail yard and an industrial site used primarily as a freight-switching facility, storage space and maintenance and repair facility for rail cars and locomotive engines.  Several utility shops were on the property, which provided electrical, plumbing and mechanical support services. #*^^

 

 

 
(1931)*# - Aerial view of Southern Pacific roundhouse and portion of vast network of transportation lines at Taylor Yard.  

 

Historical Notes

Shortly after World War I, the Southern Pacific Railroad outgrew its Midway Yard facility and moved to this yard. Operations at the railroad complex slowed in the 1960’s when rail facilities opened elsewhere.

 

 

 
(1953)^ - View of the roundhouse in operation at the Southern Pacific Taylor Yard.  

 

Historical Notes

Photograph caption dated April 18, 1953 reads, "This is the Southern Pacific's old roundhouse near the Los Angeles river. It's a far cry from Dieselville, which is a sprawling yard. In the roundhouse, locomotives are stacked in stalls like silver stallions. On the turntable is the DInky, a snubnosed beetle on an engine which pushes the 'biggies' hither and yon. 'There still is romance in steam,' said one veteran railroader." ^

 

 

 
(1955)^#^^ – View of the shop at Southern Pacific's Taylor Yard with two SP power units and a Union Pacific car on the left.  

 

 

 

 
(1936)^^ – View showing a locomotive wheel change in the shop.  LA Times Photo  

 

Historical Notes

Photograph caption dated Jan. 27, 1936 reads: “Passenger Engine No. 7856 of the Union Pacific rolled into the Los Angeles shops for a new set of tires. Workmen at the shops lifted the 200-ton locomotive from its wheels. August C. Roepke, mechanical supervisor, second from right, signals crane operator while J. H. Sinnar, foreman of the shop, extreme right, oversee operations and makes certain that workmen are careful and in the clear in case of accident.” ^^

 

 

 
(1940)^#^^ - View of Railroad Men on top of a boxcar learning hand signals at the Southern Pacific yard.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1950)#+++ – View of Taylor Yard showing cars speeding by as the humpmaster watches from his tower.  

 

Historical Notes

Cars flew like an endless chain down the humps night and day at the Taylor Yard.  The humpmaster assigned each car to its destination, electronically pulling a switch to the various tracks below, loading each track with cars headed for common destinations.

 

 

 
(1960s)#^*^ – View of the Southern Pacific’s Taylor yard facility. After the cars are uncoupled they roll down off the "Hump" and switched onto one of the many yard tracks seen in the distance. The switches for all these tracks are controlled from the towers seen alongside the yard.  

 

Historical Notes

In the 1960’s, the 247-acre freight switching facility called Taylor Yard began to slow down its operations during a time when Los Angeles was growing and expanding rapidly.  By 1985 it was closed and only used for maintenance and storage. #*^^

In 2007, Rio de Los Angeles State Park opened at the old Taylor Yard site. It is one of the last remaining undeveloped portions of land along the river to be used by communities as a park. The location of the park is 1900 San Fernando Road in the Cyprus Park community of Los Angeles.^*

 

* * * * *

 

 

East Los Angeles

 
(ca. 1932)#++ – Aerial view looking west toward downtown Los Angeles showing Ramona Boulevard running away from the camera.  Ramona would become the San Bernadino Freeway/I-10 (completed in 1957). LA County Hospital (1932) is seen and labeled in upper-center. The Legion Ascot Speedway (1924-1936) is at upper-right.  You can see the grandstands facing east.  

 

 

County General Hospital

 
(ca. 1930)^ - Aerial view of East Los Angeles and Boyle Heights neighborhoods revealing the construction site of the Los Angeles County General Hospital (center).  

 

Historical Notes

L.A. County Hospital and USC Medical School were first affiliated in 1885, so the hospital is commonly known as Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, as well as County USC. It has become one of the largest and busiest public hospitals and medical training centers in the western United States.^

 

 

 
(1932)*^^^ - Opening ceremonies in front of the newly built art deco style Los Angeles County General Hospital.  

 

Historical Notes

Little known fact: Marilyn Monroe was born in the charity ward of this hospital on June 1, 1926.^*

 

 

 
(1932)^ - Aerial view of East Los Angeles and Boyle Heights neighborhoods revealing the Art Deco Los Angeles County General Hospital (center), surrounded by a multitude of residential dwellings. Photo dated: June 15, 1932.
 

 

Historical Notes

Beginning in 1975, the ABC soap opera General Hospital began using the facility for its exterior shots, appearing primarily in the show's opening sequence, where it still remains. The lower floors of the show's Los Angeles studio are modeled after the actual hospital's emergency room entrance, allowing for the show to shoot outdoor scenes in their own parking lot.^*

 

 

 
(1935)*# - View of Ramona Boulevard “Air Line,” a limited-access, grade-separated proto-freeway that followed the present-day route of Interstate 10 between downtown Los Angeles and the San Gabriel Valley. The L.A. County General Hospital can be seen in the background.  

 

* * * * *

 

Figueroa Street Tunnels

 
(ca. 1930)^ - Constructing tunnels through Elysian Park, which will become the Pasadena Freeway.  

 

Historical Notes

Work began in April of 1930. Tunnels on each end were bored, while the shorter, middle tunnel was dug out and encased in concrete, with earth then replaced on top. The extension was opened up to traffic in the last week of October, 1930.^*

 

 

 
(1930)^ – View showing a man looking down toward the construction site of the Fiegueroa Tunnels through Elysian Park.  

 

Historical Notes

Prior to the construction of the tunnels, traffic between Los Angeles and Pasadena crossed the Los Angeles River on the congested 1911-built Buena Vista-North Broadway Bridge. The Dayton Avenue Bridge provided another crossing to the north, but the hills of Elysian Park prevented it from being connected to downtown.^*

 

 

 
(1931)*^#^ – View showing the eastern portal of the first of the triple Figueroa Street Tunnels with an early model car parked in front. Construction equipment and supplies are on the left, with railroad lines visible in the background.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1931)**^ – Postcard view of the North Figueroa Triple Tunnels soon after they opened.  

 

Historical Notes

The north three tunnels (there are four) opened by November 1, 1931, connecting to North Broadway on the south via Solano Avenue and Riverside Drive on the north. Riverside Drive was an earlier high-speed road along the Los Angeles River to Burbank, and also intersected the Dayton Avenue Bridge, which led to Dayton Avenue (now part of Figueroa Street) towards Pasadena. From opening, the tunnels carried two lanes in each direction, with a 5-foot  sidewalk on the side.^*

 

 

 

 
(1931)^ - Tunnels on Figueroa Street in 1931. In 1940 this section became part of the Arroyo Seco Parkway, now the Pasadena Freeway.  

 

Historical Notes

The first three tunnels opened in 1931 as a bypass to a section of North Broadway. The fourth tunnel (the southernmost and longest) opened in 1935, connecting to Figueroa Street downtown. Connections were added in 1937 to the Figueroa Street Viaduct, 1940 to the Arroyo Seco Parkway (known until 2010 as the Pasadena Freeway), and 1953 to the Four Level Interchange. A new alignment for southbound traffic, passing through a cut to the west of the tunnels, opened in 1943.^*

 

 

 
(1935)^ - Tunnels on Figueroa Street in 1935. The closest tunnel is taken from Solano Avenue looking northeast at South Portal on October 15, 1935.  

 

Historical Notes

Since the tunnels' incorporation into Arroyo Seco Parkway (now SR 110), Figueroa Street has been discontinuous. It merges into SR 110 at Alpine Street in Chinatown, south of the tunnels, and splits in Highland Park, north of the Figueroa Street Viaduct over the Los Angeles River.^*

 

 

 
(ca. 1937)^ - Three people are seen on the sidewalks along Figueroa Street in between two of the tunnels, while cars pass by in either direction.  

 

 

 

 
(1938)*# - View of the Figueroa Street Tunnels in 1938 (pre-Pasadena Freeway).  

 

Historical Notes

Since the tunnels' incorporation into Arroyo Seco Parkway (now SR 110), Figueroa Street has been discontinuous. It merges into SR 110 at Alpine Street in Chinatown, south of the tunnels, and splits in Highland Park, north of the Figueroa Street Viaduct over the Los Angeles River.^*

 

 

 
(1941)^ – View looking northeast showing the construction of a new alignment for southbound traffic, passing through a cut to the west of the tunnels.  

 

Historical Notes

Photo caption reads: “Rushing the work to relieve the bottleneck of the Figueroa tunnels for traffic on the Arroyo Seco freeway that runs between Los Angeles and Pasadena, crews are shown building the new parallel road through Elysian Park. In one section a whole mountain is being moved to fill in dirt for the new relief road for the heavy traffic.” Photo dated March 7, 1941.

 

 

 
(1941)^ - View showing the construction progressing on the parrallel roadway west of the tunnels.  Note the beautiful Solano Avenue Elementary School to the left of the freeway (and no Dodger Stadium yet!). In the distance can be seen the framing for the new Park Row Bridge.  

 

Historical Notes

Photo caption reads:  “Construction of the $2,437,000 Arroyo Seco freeway through Elysian Park, a section of which is shown above, today entered the national defense picture. Frank W. Clark, state director of public works, has asked federal authorities for priorities on steel and cement to complete the project on the grounds that it is of strategic value in the national defense program around this city."

 

 

 
(ca. 1949)^ - View showing the Pasadena Freeway in both directions; the inbound lanes (without tunnels) and the outbound lanes through tunnels. The view is outbound, towards Glendale/Burbank.  

 

Historical Notes

By 1943, the two-way Figueroa Street Tunnels and Viaduct were repurposed for four lanes of northbound traffic, and a higher southbound roadway was cut into the hills to the west.

 

 

 
(1958)^ - View looking southwest at the Pasadena Freeway (Arroyo Seco Parkway) as it crosses the Los Angeles River at Elysian Park. You can clearly see the new alignment for southbound traffic, completed in 1943.  

 

 

 

 
(1956)^^ – View showing northbound traffic through the Figueroa Street Tunnels. Note the change from two-way to one-way traffic through the tunnels.  

 

* * * * *

 

North Figueroa Street Bridge

 
(1931)*# - Birdseye view of the new Figueroa Street extension, showing tunnels. View is looking west from Dayton Avenue at San Fernando Road. Eventually a new bridge is to connect directly with Dayton Avenue, avoiding the V-shaped road.  

 

Historical Notes

The Bridge to the right is the Riverside-Figueroa Bridge, previous location of the Dayton Ave Bridge.

 

 

 
(1936)*# - View of the construction of the bridge extending Figueroa Street over the Southern Pacific railroad tracks, the Los Angeles River, and San Fernando Road. "Where Figueroa Street Will Extend. Will span S.P. tracks, river and San Fernando Road" -- Examiner clipping attached to verso, dated, July 9, 1936.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1937)*# - Panoramic view of the North Figueroa Street bridge under construction.  . "Panorama view of the new cantilever span, the biggest ever erected in this part of the county, which is expected to expedite traffic between downtown Los Angeles and Pasadena, Highland Park, and their adjacent residential sections. The span, which will cost $1,000,000, will be 452 feet long with a roadway of 40 feet. It is being built on the new North Figueroa Street Bridge over the Los Angeles River"  -- Examiner clipping attached to verso, dated, "February 6, 1937".  

 

 

 

 

 
(1937)^ - View showing the nearly completed Figueroa Street Viaduct spanning the Los Angeles River and providing a more direct connection between the tunnels and points northeast.  

 

Historical Notes

The Figueroa Street Viaduct opened in 1937, providing a wider and direct Los Angeles River crossing than the Dayton Avenue Bridge. After passing over the river and San Fernando Road, it tied into Dayton Avenue (Figueroa Street) south of Avenue 26.^*

 

 

 
(1938)^#^^ - View from above the last tunnel looking across the North Figueroa Street Viaduct (bridge) as it passes over the Los Angeles River.  

 

Historical Notes

The Arroyo Seco Parkway opened in late 1940 as a freeway from the Viaduct to Pasadena. However, the six-lane parkway narrowed to four lanes at the viaduct and through the tunnels, and had a number of at-grade intersections on its way downtown.^*

 

 

 
(1947)**^ – View showing the Arroyo Seco Parkway with traffic backed up on the southbound lanes heading into downtown Los Angeles.  

 

 

 

 
(1958)^ - View looking southwest at the Pasadena Freeway (Arroyo Seco Parkway) as it crosses the Los Angeles River at Elysian Park. A new alignment for southbound traffic, passing through a cut to the west of the tunnels, opened in 1943.  

 

Historical Notes

The two-way Figueroa Street Tunnels and Viaduct were repurposed for four lanes of northbound traffic, and a higher southbound roadway was built to the west. From the split with Hill Street south to near the existing College Street overpass, the four-lane surface road became a six-lane freeway. The new road split from the old at the Figueroa Street interchange, just south of Avenue 26, and crossed the Los Angeles River and the northbound access to Riverside Drive on a new three-lane bridge. Through Elysian Park, a five-lane open cut was excavated west of the existing northbound tunnel lanes, saving about $1 million. The extension, still feeding into surface streets just south of College Street, was opened to traffic on December 30, 1943.^*

 

 

 

Before and After

 
(1931)*#   (1958)*

 

* * * * *

 

 

Sixth Street Bridge

 
(1933)*# - View of several of the bridges that span the Los Angeles River. In the foreground can be seen the Sixth Street Viaduct.  

 

Historical Notes

Twenty-seven bridges currently span the LA River, from its origin in San Fernando Valley to its terminus in Long Beach. These structures constitute one of the largest concentrations of National Register-eligible bridges in the nation. In 2007, the city’s Cultural Heritage Commission declared thirteen of them, which were built between 1900 and 1938, as cultural monuments.

Several of the bridges are actually viaducts, structures with multiple spans, often connected by a tower.*^*#

 

 

 
(1933)*# - View looking west of the eastern end of 6th Street Bridge. This photo was taken before the bridge was opened to traffic.  

 

Historical Notes

Built in 1932, the Sixth Street Viaduct is a viaduct bridge that connects the downtown and Boyle Heights areas of Los Angeles.  It currently spans the Los Angeles River, the Santa Ana Freeway (US 101), and the Golden State Freeway (I-5), as well as Metrolink and Union Pacific railroad tracks and several local streets.^*

 

 

 

 
(1933)^^ – View showing the newly completed 6th Street Bridge and Viaduct, built at a cost of $2,383,271.  This photo was published in the June 13, 1933 Los Angeles Times  

 

Historical Notes

The length of the span and approaches of the 6th Street Bridge and Viaduct is 3546 feet, with a roadway fifty-six feet wide. It is the longest and largest of the bridges spanning the Los Angeles River.^^

 

 

 

 
(1933)^ - A view of Sixth Street Bridge, seen from the level of the bridge linking Boyle Heights to downtown. An automobile is visible at far left.  

 

Historical Notes

The Sixth Street viaduct is composed of three independent structures: the reinforced concrete west segment, the central steel arch segment over the river, and the reinforced concrete east segment.^*

 

 

 
(1933)^ - Photograph of a view around a curve on the Sixth Street Bridge, June 1933. The top of the bridge can be seen spanning from the right foreground towards the center background. Lamp posts are evenly interspersed on both sides down the length of the bridge, while metal overhangs connect two sets of archways at center. Click HERE to see more in Early L.A. Streetlights.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1933)^*#* - View of the 6th Street Bridge showing the original columns (pylons) on each side of the bridge, in-between the 2 steel arches. The columns above the bridge roadway were removed shortly after they were constructed.  

 

Historical Notes

The columns above the bridge line were removed less than a year after they were installed.  Due to widespread damage of the 1933 Long Beach earthquake, the city decided that in a future quake, the pylons might collapse onto the street in the middle of the bridge. Which means very few people have actually seen the bridge in it's entire original design as the architects envisioned it when it was completed.^*#*

 

 

 
(ca. 1950s) - View of the graceful 6th Street Bridge with its twin arches, but without the columns as originally built (sse previous photo).  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1950)^ - Looking towards Los Angeles City Hall from across the railroad tracks by the 6th Street Bridge.  

 

 

 

 
(1955)^#^^ – Profile view of the Sixth Street Viaduct.  

 

 

 

 

 
(2008)++++ - View showing the restored Santa Fe engine no. 3751 steaming under the 6th Street Bridge on a San Diego-bound passenger special.  

 

 

 

 

 
(2012)^^^* – View of the 6th Street Bridge from Olympic Boulevard. It has the longest span of any of the bridges crossing the Los Angeles River near downtown Los Angeles.  Photo by Sterling Davis  

 

 

 

 

 
(2015)^^ – Close-up view of the old 6th Street Bridge in its last days.  It’s scheduled to be replaced by a new bridge over the next three years.  Photo by Luis Sinco  

 

Historical Notes

In November of 2011, the LA City Council voted to put the bridge down and replace the structure due to cracks in the concrete and corroding cement. Construction is scheduled to start in 2015 and take three years, with the federal government footing much of the bill.

 

* * * * *

 

 

Macy Street Bridge

 
(ca. 1933)^ - On this side view of the Macy Street bridge (now Cesar Chavez Avenue) and overpass we can see the dry riverbed running under it, and on the lower right a train also passing under. Beyond the bridge is a manufacturing company's buildings: the Cudahy Packing Co. (ham, bacon, etc.)  

 

Historical Notes

The Macy Street Bridge designers chose its Spanish Colonial Revival style to commemorate its location along the historic mission road, El Camino Real. The bridge is dedicated to the founder of the California missions, Father Junipero Serra. Constructed during the major bridge building decade, 1923-1933, Cesar Chavez/Macy Street is one of a group of 12 river bridges significant for their role in the transportation history of Los Angeles and their association with Chief Engineer Merrill Butler, a major bridge designer of the era. The Macy Street crossing provided a high water, unimpeded crossing for access to the city from the northern and eastern sections of the rapidly developing city.^*#

On August 1, 1979, the Cesar Chavez-Macy Street Bridge was designated Los Angeles City Historic-Cultural Monument No. 224 (Click HERE to see complete listing).

 

 

 
(ca. 1933)* - One of four identical decorations on the Macy Street Viaduct, a bridge over the Los Angeles River that is now Cesar Chavez Avenue. The viaduct is in Spanish Colonial Revival style with ionic and doric columns and ornate streetlights.  

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1930)*# - View of the fairly new Glendale-Hyperion Bridge over the Los Angeles River.  

 

Historical Notes

The Glendale-Hyperion Bridge was constructed in 1927 by vote of the citizens that lived in Atwater Village at the time, and was completed in February 1929. The bridge spans 400 feet over the Atwater section of the Los Angeles River and has 4 car lanes. The bridge has become more widely known because of existence of a small-scale replica of it at Disney California Adventure Park in Anaheim, California.^*

 

 

 

 
(1927)^ - Artist's drawing on November 2, 1927, of the Hyperion Avenue viaduct over the Los Angeles River and proposed reinforced concrete Glendale Blvd. The length of the Hyperion branch is 2600 feet, the Glendale branch 2500 feet. Width of the main roadway is 50 feet, with the greatest overall width 150 feet. Estimated cost is one million dollars, and date of completion July 1928. Note the Pacfic Electric Line running on its own bridge adjacent to the Hyperion Bridge.  

 

Historical Notes

Before the building of the Glendale-Hyperion Bridge there was a wooden bridge occupying where it now stands. The bridge that was built around 1910 served as the main entrance to Atwater Village. After a large flood in 1927 the old wooden bridge collapsed into the water.^*

 

 

 

 
(1931)##^* – Postcard view looking east showing the Glendale-Hyperion Viaduct with Red Car seen at center-right crossing a bridge over the LA River.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1929 the Pacific Electric Railway constructed a line next to the Hyperion Bridge that would have Red Cars cross the Los Angeles River and down Glendale Boulevard. Up until 1959 the Red Cars would routinely cross the Los Angeles River next to the Hyperion Bridge. The line was shut down in 1959 in favor of Freeways. Today the concrete walls that held up the Red Car tracks still stand although the tracks have since been dismantled.^*

 

 

 

 
(1935)##^# - View looking west showing the Pacific Electric Railway line adjacent to the Glendale-Hyperion Bridge.  

 

* * * * *

 

 

Los Feliz Boulevard Bridge

 
(n.d.)+*+ - View looking north showing the Los Feliz Boulevard Bridge over the Los Angeles River near Griffith Park.  

 

Historical Notes

Originally called the "Tropico Bridge" when it opened in 1925, the Los Feliz Boulevard Bridge was damaged in the floods of 1938, and soon thereafter re-worked. Its ornamental concrete railing was replaced with the bland metal railing you see today. From the upstream deck you can see the Army Corps of Engineers 1938 plaque attached to the elongated piers below.^^^*

 

 

 

 
(1969)****^ - Los Angeles River just below the Los Feliz Boulevard Bridge, Atwater. LAT photo by Alan Hipwell on 1/25/1969.  1969 is considered a "weak" El Nino year.  

 

 

 

Vermont and 4th

 
(1931)*# - Wide-angle view looking north on Vermont Avenue from 4th Street where cars are stopped at the crosswalk. Large signboards for the Belmont Theatre and the Rainbow Gardens are seen in the background.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1931)*# – Panoramic view looking west on 4th Street at Vermont Avenue shwoing the large Romanesque and Moorish-style Sinai Temple, located on the southwest corner of 4th and New Hampshire streets.  

 

Historical Notes

Sinai Temple was the first conservative congregation in Southern California, established in 1906.

 

 

 

 
(1931)*# - Night view looking west toward the intersection of 4th Street and Vermont Avenue.  Sinai Temple stands in the background (S/W corner of 4th and New Hampshire) and a 'charcoal broiler' restaurant is seen on the northwest corner of 4th and Vermont.  

 

 

 

 
(1931)*# - View of eastbound traffic congestion on Wilshire Boulevard. The tall building in the background is the Dominguez-Wilshire Building.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1886, Myer Siegel opened his first store at Second and Main in Los Angeles. The Wilshire store located in the Dominguez-Wilshire Building in the Miracle Mile was the third store in the chain following stores in Downtown and Pasadena.  Additional stores would follow in Beverly Hills and Westwood.  These Myer Siegel stores offered better women’s apparel.  The company closed in the late 1950s.^

 

 

 
(1932)^ - An overview of Wilshire Boulevard, looking west. Visible on the left side of the picture is a high rise building labeled Myer Siegel and Company (the Dominguez Building) with C.H. Baker on the front right lower portion of the exterior. Farther back on the street is Wilshire Tower with the name Desmonds just visible on the top. On the right side near the bottom of the picture is McDonnell's Wilshire Cafe and past it a Standard Oil gas station.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1886, Myer Siegel opened his first store at Second and Main in Los Angeles. The Wilshire store located in the Dominguez-Wilshire Building in the Miracle Mile was the third store in the chain following stores in Downtown and Pasadena.  Additional stores would follow in Beverly Hills and Westwood.  These Myer Siegel stores offered better women’s apparel.  The company closed in the late 1950s.^

 

 

 
(ca. 1937)^ - Looking west down Wilshire Boulevard from La Brea Avenue in the Miracle Mile at night. The two largest signs in view are: MYER SIEGEL and McDONNELL'S WILSHIRE CAFE  

 

Historical Notes

Not to be confused with today’s McDonald’s fast food restaurants, McDonnell’s Restaurant and Drive-in sandwich stands were part of a chain of restaurants found in LA during the 1930s.

The McDonnell's restaurants throughout Los Angeles were: McDonnell's Monterey (7312 Robertson Boulevard); McDonnell's Wilshire (Wilshire Boulevard and La Brea Avenue); McDonnell's Fairfax (Fairfax Avenue and Wilshire Boulevard); McDonnell's Gates Hotel (Sixth and Figueroa streets); McDonnell's Hill Street (454 S. Hill Street); McDonnell's Figueroa (4012 S. Figueroa Street); McDonnell's Adams and Figueroa (2626 S. Figueroa Street); and McDonnell's Pico Street (Pico and Hope streets).

McDonnell's "Drive-Ins" were located at Beverly Boulevard & Western Avenue, Wilshire and Robertson Boulevards, Yucca Street and Cahuenga Boulevard, Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue, and Sunset Boulevard and La Brea Avenue.^

 

 

 
(ca. 1938)**#* – View looking east on Wilshire Boulevard showing the Wilshire Bowl (N/E corner of Wilshire and Masselin).  In the distance can be seen the Wilshire Tower and the Dominguez Building.  

 

Historical Notes

The Wilshire Bowl was a nightclub (and not a bowling alley). It opened in 1933, by 1941 it was the Louisiana Restaurant. Slapsy Maxie's took over around 1943.

 

 

 
(ca. 1939)^#^ – View showing the Wilshire Bowl with its Art Deco tower, located at 5665 Wilshire Boulevard.  

 

Historical Notes

The Wilshire Bowl opened in 1933 and around 1942-1943 it became The Louisiana. Slapsy Maxie's existed in the space from 1943-1947 and was one of the venues that gave Danny Thomas his earliest standup performance opportunities. Eventually, Van de Kamp's Bakeries signed a $1,000,000 lease with Prudential Insurance Co. to convert the former restaurant into a modern coffee shop in 1952. It was demolished in 1982 to make way for a large commercial development.*

 

 

 
(1935) - View of the 1935 auto-show tent on Wilshire Boulevard. The lamppost on the left indicates the intersection of Wilshire and Stanley.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1936)*^^ - You could gas up your car beneath the wings of a grounded airplane at Bob’s Air Mail Service Station on the n/w corner of Wilshire Blvd. and Cochran Ave. in 1936.  

 

Historical Notes

Bob’s Air Mail Service utilized a real twin-prop airplane to top its station, with the wings serving as canopies to shade its General Petroleum pumps. The plane was one of two Fokker F-32 aircraft operated by Western Air Express, circa 1930-31. The four engine F-32 was a design failure due to overheating of the two pusher engines and was only briefly in commercial service.

 

 

 

 
(1936)***^ - Another view of Bob's Airmail Service Station at 5453 Wilshire Boulevard. Click HERE to see more Early Los Angeles Gas Stations.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1936)**^ - Bob's Airmail Service Station on Wilshire. It almost appears as if the plane's propellers are moving. In the background can be seen the Wilshire Tower with the name Desmonds just visible on the top.  

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Aviation in Early Los Angeles

 

* * * * *

 

 

Downtown Los Angeles

 
(1930)^ - View looking north on Hill Street between 5th and 6th streets showing the Boos Bros. Cafeteria and Portsmouth Hotel on the right with Pershing Square on the left.  

 

 

 

 
(1930s)^ - View showing the corner of 5th and Hill streets looking north, taken from alongside Pershing Square. The tall building visible behind the small palm trees is the Title Guarantee and Trust Company Building, located at 401 W. 5th Street. Architects John and Donald B. Parkinson designed it in Art Deco style with a Gothic Revival style tower in 1930. Across the street is the Boos Bros. Cafeteria (far right). An ad for "Roy C. Seeley Co." as well as an "Auto Park" sign is posted on the side of the Hotel Portsmouth building. The taller building behind it is the Pershing Square Building, designed by architects Curlett & Beelman; the building is a 13-story Beaux Arts Renaissance Revival style structure that was built in 1925. And farther back, the Hotel Clark can be seen peeking from behind. Built in 1912 by architect Harrison Albright, Hotel Clark boasts of "555 rooms with private baths" and with fire escapes on both ends is "Absolute Fireproof".  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1932)^ - View looking north on Hill Street with Pershing Square in the lower left. On the northeast corner of 5th and Hill streets stands the Art Deco Title Guarantee Building. Other buildings seen are the National Bank of Commerce Building and the Subway Terminal Building. It's a busy afternoon as pedestrians, automobiles and street cars move about on the streets.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1932)^ - View of Spring Street looking north from between 6th and 7th Streets, full of cars, streetcars and pedestrians. At right is the Los Angeles Stock Exchange Building (later the Pacific Coast Stock Exchange), located at 618 South Spring Street and built in 1929-1930. Also visible is a Western Union office, the Grosse Bldg., the Ussner Bldg., Security-First National Bank, and the Rowan Building.  

 

Historical Notes

The Stock Exchange opened in 1931, in the midst of the Great Depression.

Designed in the Classical Moderne style to impart a sense of financial stability, the building’s imposing, fortress-like street façade rises the equivalent of five stories. A slender twelve-story office tower clad in terra cotta is set back at the rear.

The Stock Exchange became part of the Pacific Stock Exchange in 1956, and it moved out of the building in 1986. In the 1980s, the building was converted into a nightclub called the Stock Exchange. After undergoing an extensive interior renovation, the building reopened in 2010 as Exchange LA, a nightclub and event venue.*^#

 

 

 
(1930s)^ - Crowds of pedestrians are crossing the street in this picture of the intersection of 7th and Broadway. On the far (northwest) corner of Broadway is the Bullock's Dept. store. Note the long trolley cars marked Los Angeles Railway crossing the intersection.  

 

Historical Notes

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

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

 

 

 
(1933)*# – View looking northwest on the 1100 block S. Broadway showing the National Air Races parade.  Across the street is the Chamber of Commerce Building with the Examiner Building further north on the right (S/W corner of 11th and Broadway).  

 

Historical Notes

The National Air Races were held at Mines Field (now LAX), July 1-4, 1933. Begun in 1920, the National Air Races were an annual, week-long event including formation flying, parachute drops, aerobatic displays, and races. The event included two privately sponsored, closed-circuit speed races: the Pulitzer Trophy race held from 1920 to 1925 and the Thompson Trophy race held from 1930 to 1939. Along with other competitions, the National Air Races fostered the development of aircraft in the 1920s and 1930s but ended during World War II.

 

 

 
(1933)*# – View looking down toward the intersection of Broadway and 12th Street during the National Air Races parade, showing the newly elected Mayor of Los Angeles, Frank L. Shaw in convertible (dark suit in rear seat), being escorted by three motorcycle policemen.   

 

Historical Notes

In the foreground can be seen an ornate streetlight, often refered to as the 'Broadway Rose'. It was so named for the distinctive climbing rose design on the post. The Broadway Rose only appeared on Broadway.  Click HERE to see more in Early Los Angeles Streetlights.

 

 

 
(ca. 1932)^ - A flag flies atop the Barker Bros. furniture store at the corner of 7th St. and Figueroa in this view looking east. Wires for the electric street cars cover the intersection in a web of lines. A traffic light on the corner has stuck its "Go" sign out. On the left in the middle of the block is the Signal Oil building.  

 

Historical Notes

Barker Brothers' fine furnishings was a Los Angeles upscale furniture chain that closed in 1992 after operating for more than 110 years.^*

 

 

 
(late 1930s)*# - View of the Barker Brothers building on the southeast corner of 7th & Figueroa. Note the building on the northeast corner has been torn down and is now a parking lot (see previous photo). The M & H Cut Rate Luncheonette sits on the corner of the parking lot with a large sign on its roof that reads: “Optimo Cigars”  

 

Historical Notes

The 1925 building, designed in the Renaissance Revival style by Curlett and Beelman, was said to have been inspired by the Strozzi Palace in Florence. The symmetrically developed twelve-story structure is faced in terra cotta and brick, with a monumental three-story round arched center entry. Inside there is a forty-foot-high lobby court with beamed and vaulted ceilings.^

In 1988, the Barker Brothers Building on the southeast corner of 7th Street and Figueroa was dedicated LA Historic-Cultural Monument No. 356 (Click HERE to see complete listing).

 

 

 
(1930)^ - A view of the beach at Long Beach looking south toward the Pike. The Villa Riviera Hotel is just visible behind the roller coaster. Umbrellas cover the beach and the surf is crowded with swimmers.  

 

Historical Notes

The Pike operated under several names. The amusement zone surrounding the Pike, "Silver Spray Pier", was included along with additional parking in the post-World War II expansion; it was all renamed Nu-Pike via a contest winner's submission in the late 1950s, then renamed Queens Park in the late 1960s in homage to the arrival of the Queen Mary ocean liner in Long Beach.^

 

 

 

 

 
(1930)^#** - A group of people look across the beach toward the Cyclone Racer at the Pike Amusement Park. A lone sailor is looking in a different direction toward perhaps some different scenery.  

 

Historical Notes

The Pike was most noted for the Cyclone Racer, a large wooden dual-track roller coaster, built out on pilings over the water. It was the largest and fastest coaster in the U.S. at the time.  They called it 'racer' because there were two trains on two separate tracks that raced one another from start to finish.^

 

 

Click HERE to see more Early Southern California Amusement Parks

 

 

 

 

 
(1929)^ - View of the first Long Beach Municipal Auditorium extending onto the beach on pillars. The municipal pier is to the left.  

 

Historical Notes

The first Long Beach Municipal Auditorium was built in 1905 on the east side of the municipal pier at Seaside and Pine Ave. for a capacity crowd of 6000.^

On May 24, 1913, 10,000 people were massed on a double-deck pier in front of the City Auditorium celebrating "British Empire Day”.  A section of the upper floor gave way and 400 were plunged to the beach, forty feet below. Those on the top deck fell upon the hundreds crowded on the lower deck, and all were dashed down a chute of shattered woodwork to the tide-washed sands. Thirty-three people, mostly women, were killed. Fifty more were seriously injured. #*^*

The auditorium was replaced in 1932 by the second Long Beach Municipal Auditorium.^

 

 

 
(ca. 1932)**^* - Beachgoers swamp the coast of Long Beach. The Pike Amusement Park with its towering roller coaster is seen in the background. The large building in th center of the photo is the new Municipal Auditorium, Long Beach's second.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1932, the second Long Beach Municipal Auditorium was constructed on the beach on 20 acres of landfill. In order to protect the auditorium from coastal erosion, a horseshoe-shaped breakwater with a road on top was constructed around it. Because of its shape it was named Rainbow Pier.^

 

 

 
(ca. 1932)^ - Aerial view of the Long Beach waterfront looking north, including the Municipal Auditorium, Rainbow Pier, and Breakers Hotel (directly behind the auditorium, it is the tall building with the cupola tower at one end). Behind the auditorium, every single square inch of the city is riddled with commercial and housing areas as far as the eye can see. The oil derricks visible in the extreme background (looking like tall pine trees) are the beginning of the Signal Hill oil fields.  

 

Historical Notes

Oil was discovered in 1921 on Signal Hill, which split off as a separate incorporated city shortly afterward. The discovery of the Long Beach Oil Field, brought in by the gusher at the Alamitos No. 1 well, made Long Beach a major oil producer; in the 1920s the field was the most productive in the world. In 1932, the even larger Wilmington Oil Field, fourth-largest in the United States, and which is mostly in Long Beach, was developed, contributing to the city's fame in the 1930s as an oil town.^*

 

 

 
(1935)^ - An aerial view of Long Beach looking west. Center left is the Municipal Auditorium set in the middle of a lagoon formed by the Rainbow Pier. The Pike's roller coaster is just visible to the left of the Auditorium. The Los Angeles River runs through the top of the photograph on its way to the ocean. Multi-story buildings define Long Beach's central business district.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1935)^ - Ocean Boulevard follows the shoreline in this aerial view of Long Beach. It passes the Municipal Auditorium that juts out into a lagoon formed by the Rainbow Pier. Empty lots, bottom, face the beach and lead to a row of hotels and apartments. Commercial buildings and various other businesses cluster around the boulevard. Part of the Pike's roller coaster is visible directly behind the auditorium.  

 

Historical Notes

The 8,000-seat Long Beach Municipal Auditorium was built starting in 1931 at the foot of Long Beach Boulevard and extends 500 feet out into the Pacific Ocean. It is surrounded on three sides by a lagoon; the half-circular Rainbow Pier, which is open to the public, arches from Pine Ave. to Linden Ave. surrounding the auditorium and lagoon.^

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1935)^ - South end of the Municipal Auditorium (right), and business buildings along the Ocean Front - Long Beach, California. A speed boat with a canvas top over the cabin passes by the auditorium in the lagoon made by the Rainbow Pier which encircles it. The tall building with a cupola to the immediate left of the auditorium is the Breakers Hotel. Beachgoers swim, boat, and lay in the sun on the beach next to the auditorium.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1938)^ - Panoramic view looking toward the Long Beach Municipal Auditorium (center) and Breakers Hotel (right). View is from the east side of the Rainbow Pier looking west.  

 

Historical Notes

Completed in 1932 from plans drawn by J. Harold McDowell, the auditorium replaced Long Beach's first Municipal Auditorium. It stood until 1975 when it was demolished to make way for the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center.^

 

 

 
(1946)*# - Aerial view of Rainbow Pier in Long Beach. A forest of oil derricks can be seen in the background. The LA River can also be seen in the upper left of photo.  

 

Historical Notes

The Rainbow Pier extended more than a quarter-mile into the cold Pacific before arcing back to shore. The 3,800-foot-long structure resembled a giant horseshoe, or a rainbow -- hence its name.

It was the first of its kind designed explicitly for the automobile. Built atop a granite breakwater, the pier's roadway could easily support the weight of a motorcar. And the fact that the road returned to shore eliminated the need for awkward turnarounds.^^^*

 

 

 
(1932)* - Hollywood Boulevard is a sea of cars as far as the eye can see. In the middle ground the marquee of the Pantages Theatre can just be identified. The view is to the east. On the light post are Christmas decorations.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1933)* - Exterior view of the Egyptian Theatre and the Pig 'n Whistle Cafe on Hollywood Blvd. in the 1930s. The theater is showing "Charlie Chan in Egypt," with Warner Oland, Pat Paterson and Stepin Fetchit, and Bette Davis in "The Girl from Tenth Avenue." In person: Zandra. A crowd has gathered in the street and on the sidewalk around a car with a sign, "Magical No-Jinks."  

 

Historical Notes

The Egyptian Theatre was built in 1922 by showman Sid Grauman and real estate developer Charles E. Toberman, who subsequently built the nearby El Capitan Theatre and Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard. Grauman had previously opened one of the United States' first movie palaces, the Million Dollar Theatre, on Broadway in Downtown Los Angeles in 1918. The Egyptian Theatre cost $800,000 to build and took eighteen months to construct.^*

Called the Pig 'N Whistle, the name inspired by its fanciful logo of a dancing pig playing a flute. A side entrance to the new family restaurant opened right out into the grand courtyard of the Egyptian Theatre, so movie-goers could easily move from the restaurant to the theatre and vice versa.

From July 22, 1927 to the late 1940's, the Pig 'N Whistle served a loyal Hollywood audience and became something of a Hollywood landmark, surviving both the Great Depression and World War II. By 1949, the Pig 'N Whistle was closed, it's wooden booths purchased by the nearby Miceli’s Italian Restaurant. The Pig 'N Whistle reopened in March of 2001.^*

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1935)^ - Trees and plants are in the lower left, the First National Bank in the upper left, and down the middle is Hollywood Blvd. with numerous cars. On the right is the El Capitan Theatre with a flag reading "The Show Off", and farther back a sign on top of a building indicates it is a hotel. The First National Bank of Los Angeles, Hollywood Branch, was designed in Art Deco/Gothic style by Meyer and Holler, architects at the Milwaukee Building Company.
 

 

 

 

 
(1937)^- A car (1936 Auburn Cord 812 Westchester) stops on Highland at the intersection of Sunset in front of Curries Ice Cream shop, which is located at 6775 Sunset Boulevard. A dimensional sign that looks like a soda with two straws seems to illustrate the claim that the store featured "mile high cones." The northeast corner of Sunset and Highland is now a mini mall.  

 

Historical Notes

Cord was the brand name of an American automobile company from Connersville, Indiana, manufactured by the Auburn Automobile Company from 1929 through 1932 and again in 1936 and 1937.*^

 

 

 
(1935)**^ - View of a Vogue Tyre board with an a 1935 Auburn 851 Boattail Speedster on display.  

 

Historical Notes

AUBURN Boattail Speedsters--built in very limited numbers for just a couple of years during the height of the Great Depression--were featured prominently in many magazine ads and movies.

 

 

 
(1935)**** – Postcard view showing a Bullock’s Department Store delivery truck in front of what appears to be Westlake Park.  

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of Bullock's Department Store

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1935)^ - "Hollywoodland" sign seen from road with passenger car and truck in foreground. Car seems to date from early 1930's. A large white building is seen below the sign.  

 

Historical Notes

The sign was first erected in 1923 and originally read "HOLLYWOODLAND". Its purpose was to advertise the name of a new housing development in the hills above the Hollywood district of Los Angeles. H.J. Whitley had already used a sign to advertise his development Whitley Heights, which was located between Highland Avenue and Vine Avenue. He suggested to his friend Harry Chandler, the owner of the Los Angeles Times newspaper, that the land syndicate in which he was involved make a similar sign to advertise their land.^*

 

 

 

 
(1930s)^ - "Hollywoodland" sign with four homes in foreground set along a winding road.
 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 
(1934)^ - Scaffolding covers portions of the emerging Los Angeles Times Building as cranes clamp to the top like stick insects. The construction fence advertises "New Home of Los Angeles Times - largest newspaper in the West". A truck delivering construction material is parked by the curb and a ladder extends from the truck to the top of the fence. Next to the Times is the Bryson Building, left. A pharmacy is across the street.  

 

 

 

 
(1934)^ - View of the intersection of Spring and 2nd Streets, looking toward the United States Bank building on the corner. Beyond it the Los Angeles Times Building on Spring and 1st is under construction, and the old State Building is seen beyond. View is looking north on Spring Street.  

 

 

 

 
(1939)^++ - View looking north on Spring Street toward 1st Street showing the completed Los Angeles Times Building.  

 

 

 

 
(1934)**^ - View looking south on Broadway at 1st Street. The old Times Building with its ornate castle-like tower stands gaurd while the new Times Building on First and Spring is still under construction. The new building was completed in 1935.  

 

Historical Notes

The third Los Angeles Times building opened on Oct. 1, 1912 — on the second anniversary of the bombing of the second Times building. It was used until the new Times Building was opened in 1935. The building was torn down in early 1938.**^

 

 

 

(1937)^^ - The current Times Building rises behind a worker demolishing the paper's previous home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Historical Notes

In 1935 the Los Angeles Times moved into its current building located on 1st and Spring, its 4th building since it started publishing in 1881.

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of the LA Times.

 

 

 
(1935)^ - A Foster and Kleiser billboard outside of 1158 and 1160 W. 8th Street promotes the 1936 Chevrolet; 8th Street Specialty Co. is at 1158 and a small hotel is at 1160. Photograph dated November 15, 1935.  

 

 

 

 
(1935)^ - View of Main Street near 1st Street. A multi-lamp streetlight stands in front of the Grand Theatre with sign that reads 10 cents admission. Several storefronts can also be seen.  

 

Historical Notes

The theatre above is the first Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles, later the Grand Theatre. It opened December 31, 1894, and inaugurated the Orpheum as a circuit.

There were four theaters named Orpheum. The first at 125 S. Main Street; the second at 227 S. Spring Street; the third at 630 S. Broadway; and the fourth (and present one) at 842 S. Broadway.^

 

 

 
(1935)^ - Exterior view of the first Orpheum Theater in Los Angeles located at 125 S. Main Street. Several storefronts can be seen on both sides of the entrance to the forum.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1935)*# - View of Main Street looking north.  Two three-story Victorian-style buildings are pictured at center wedged between commercial shop fronts. The U.S. Hotel is closest to the foreground, while the Leighton Restaurant can be seen farther back. Both buildings feature a tower of sorts, the hotel's sprouting from the flat roof, the restaurant's extending from a column of windows at its corner. The New Palace Cafe and a sign that reads "Shoe Store. Shoes for the whole family" can be seen at right. A sign to the left reads "Victor's". Cars are parked along the sidewalk. Street car cables are attached to the top of a streetlamp visible in the left foreground.  

 

Historical Notes

The U.S. Hotel was built around 1863 at 170 North Main by Louis Mesmer, then remodeled and expanded in 1886. The hotel attracted a swanky crowd and served the “best two-bit meal in Southern California” in its dining room, according to advertisements and articles published in the Los Angeles Times. *#*^

 

 

 
(1935)^ - View of the west side of North Main Street at Market.  The old U. S. Hotel stands on the southeast corner of Market Street. It was the 3rd hotel built in Los Angeles (1863).  

 

Historical Notes

By the early 1930s, the U.S. Hotel was still owned by the Mesmer family and lodged only men, many on public assistance.*#*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1937)*# - View looking down from the top of City Hall showing the U.S. Hotel at 170 North Main Street at the southeast corner of Market Street (center of photo). Across the street is the Amestoy Building (left) which featured the Leighton Restaurant on the ground floor.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1938)*# - View showing the U.S. Hotel on the right and the Amestoy Building on the left across Market Street. A sign that reads Dairy Lunch can be seen over the Leighton Restaurant on the northeast corner of Main and Market streets.  

 

 

 

 
(1939)^ – View showing the U.S. Hotel being torn down.  The old U. S. Hotel stood on the southeast corner of North Main and Market streets since 1863.  It was the 3rd hotel built in Los Angeles (Bella Union and Lafayette hotels were built in the 1850's).  

 

Historical Notes

A gaunt ghost of bygone gaiety of the early days of Los Angeles, the old United States Hotel is shown as it is being torn down to make room for a more modern building. New sadness accompanied its demolishment when Mrs. Matilda M. Mesmer, widow of its manager for many years, Louis A. "Tony" Mesmer, died. She was the sister-in-law of Joseph Mesmer, prominent pioneer, who was the owner of the historic landmark. Photo dated: March 25, 1939.^

 

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(ca. 1938)*# – View looking east on 6th Street from Flower Street toward Hope Street.  A streetcar is visible in the center on the tracks which bisect the street.  The Hotel Savoy can be seen in the background.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1938)*# - View looking north along Main Street at the many businesses between 5th and 6th streets. The Rosslyn Hotel stands on the corner of Main and 5th.  City Hall is seen in the distance.  Photo by Dick Whittington  

 

 

 

 
(1939)*# - View looking north on Main Street at 5th Street.  The two Rosslyn Hotel buildings are on the southwest and northwest corners. Several of the legible signs read:  United Cigars, "Money to Loan", All-American Lines Bus Depot, Turquoise Room, and Hotel Barclay. City Hall can be seen in the distance.  

 

 

 

 
(1937)^ - View of oil wells in a residential district near Glendale Boulevard. Tower and buildings of Belmont High School can be seen in the far background.  

 

Historical Notes

The Central Oil Field as seen 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 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.

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

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

 

 

 
(1935)^ - Sunken gardens, also called Rose Garden, at Exposition Park, formerly called Agricultural Park, with State armory building. This photo shows the entire garden area from the State Armory to the museum.  

 

Historical Notes

Originally named Agricultural Park in 1876, the 160-acre site was developed and served as an agricultural and horticultural fairground until approximately 1910, at which point it was re-named Exposition Park. On November 6, 1913, Exposition Park was formally dedicated, and became the home to a state Exposition Building and the county Museum of History, Science and Art, later broken up and renamed the Natural History Museum.

The Armory Building was designed in 1912 by State Architect J.W. Woollett for the California National Guard 160th Infantry. In 2003 the California Science Center's Board of Directors voted to rename the historic Armory Building as the Wallis Annenberg Building for Science Learning and Innovation due to contributions toward the renovation and re-invention of the building by architect Thomas Mayne, which reopened in 2004.^

 

 

 
(ca. 1937)^ - The Los Angeles County Museum of History, Science, and Art is seen from the Rose Garden in Exposition Park.  

 

Historical Notes

The seven and a half acre Rose Garden, also called Sunken Garden, evolved from the redevelopment of Agricultural Park, and was completed in 1928. In 1991, the Exposition Park Rose Garden was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.^

 

 

 
(ca. 1935)^ - 6th Street looking west at Olive Street. At right is the Pacific Mutual Life Insurance Co. building. Pershing Square is at close right. In the distance is the Jonathan Club.  

 

Historical Notes

The Pacific Mutual Building, located at 523 W. 6th Street, are actually three interconnected buildings built between 1908 and 1929. The original structure was designed and built between 1908-1912 by John Parkinson and Edwin Bergstrom. It has undergone many changes since it was built.

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

The Pacific Mutual Building is still there today, but the facade of the building on the corner has been modernized. It is listed as Historic-Cultural Monument No. 398 (Click HERE to see complete listing).

 

 

 

 
(1936)* - The beacon light placed on the top of Los Angeles City Hall is lighted when power arrived from Boulder Dam, later called Hoover Dam.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1936)* - Tens of thousands of people jammed the parade route on Broadway on the night of October 9, 1936, as the street became ablaze with light when the first power streaked 266 miles from the Hoover Dam Power Plant to Los Angeles.*  

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Construction of Hoover Dam

 

 

 

 

 
(1936)^ - An aerial view looking west down Hollywood Boulevard from the intersection with Argyle Avenue. On the left is a Dodge Plymouth motor car dealer, and past that, the Taft Building. Going down the right side of the street we see the Pantages Theater, and beyond that the Equitable Building and then the Guaranty Building. There are a few cars on the street, as well as trolleys.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1936)^#^^ – View showing the filming of a movie in front of Sardi’s Restaurant on Hollywood Boulevard.  

 

 

Click HERE to see more Early Views of Sardi's Restaurant

 

 

 

 

 
(1936)*# - Aerial view of the intersection of Fairfax Avenue, Olympic Boulevard, and San Vicente Boulevard.  

 

 

 

 
(1936)*# - Aerial view of the intersection-First St, Second St, Beverly & Glendale Boulevards.  

 

Historical Notes

The view above is looking northwest at the confluence of 1st Street (lower right corner), 2nd Street (bottom/center), Beverly Boulevard (upper left corner/extension of 1st Street beyond intersection), and Glendale Boulevard (upper/center, extension of 2nd Street beyond intersection). P&E Toluca Yard at lower left.^#^^

 

 

 
(1936)*# - Traffic at San Fernando Road and Fletcher Drive, Glendale. Van de Kamp's Bakery with its signature windmill on top can be seen in the upper left of photo. The large building behind the windmill is the Van De Kamp Bakery Headquarters at 1939 Fletcher Drive.  

 

Historical Notes

Theodore J. Van de Kamp and brother-in-law Lawrence L. Frank were the owners and originators of the Van de Kamp Bakeries. Fondly known as the "Taj Mahal of all bakeries". Van de Kamp and Frank also founded both the Tam O'Shanter's (1922) and Lawry's The Prime Rib (1938) restaurants.^*

 

 

 
(ca. 1938)^ - Cars drive under the Pacific Electric railroad tracks crossing Fletcher Drive, and a large Sparkletts sign can be seen past the bridge on the left. Atwater Village, Glendale, and the San Gabriel Mountains are seen in the center. Photo by Herman Schultheis  

 

Historical Notes

In 1928, when Fletcher was paved, the original timber bridge was replaced with a steel structure mounted on concrete footings (seen above). The newer structure soared more than 60 feet above the street and remained in place until 1959, when it and the nearby Riverside Drive Viaduct at Glendale Boulevard were demolished.^^^*

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

 

 

 
(1938)**^ - View looking down Hill Street from the corner of 9th and Hill.  Cars and streetcars are lined up as a policeman stands in the middle of the intersection waiting for the pedestrians to completely cross the street before redirecting traffic.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1938)*# – Panoramic view looking north on Hill Street toward 4th Street showing a streetcar labeled “Hill St. and Venice Blvd” sitting on the tracks.  The Hotel Sherman is seen on the right (S/E corner).  The building across the street (N/E corner) with the onion-shaped dome is the Brighton Hotel.  The building on the left (N/W corner) is the Black Building.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1937)^ - This early type of motor coach transportation shows a double-decker bus; the upper deck filled with passengers. This is the Route 82 motor coach that travels from Wilshire to 5th and Hill. A very large marquee atop a building behind the coach reads: "It's in the Examiner", possibly making reference to the Herald Examiner newspaper. Photo taken at Wilshire and Western.  

 

Historical Notes

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

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

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

 

 

 
(ca. 1937)^ - This double-decker open top sightseeing bus is traveling north on Rampart from Sixth Street. The Big Six Market (550 South Rampart) can be seen on the right just past the light. Note the 'Stop' signal.  

 

 

 

 
(1937)^ - View of Griffith Observatory in Griffith Park, looking southeast with the city down below in the background.  

 

Historical Notes

3,015 acres of land surrounding the observatory was donated to the City of Los Angeles by Colonel Griffith J. Griffith on December 16, 1896. In his will Griffith donated funds to build an observatory, exhibit hall, and planetarium on the donated land.

Construction began on June 20, 1933, using a design developed by architect John C. Austin based on preliminary sketches by Russell W. Porter. . The observatory and accompanying exhibits were opened to the public on May 14, 1935.^

 

 

 

 
(1939)^ - Looking up the palm tree-lined residential area of Normandie and Franklin Avenue. The Griffith Park Observatory can be seen in the far background in the Hollywood Hills.  

 

Historical Notes

Architects John C. Austin and Frederick M. Ashley built the Observatory in 1935; it is located at 2800 E. Observatory Road in Griffith Park.^

 

 

 

 
(1937)*^## - Looking north on Highland Avenue near Sunset Boulevard. Hollywood High School can be seen at far left, and in the center distance are the Hollywood United Methodist Church and the Hollywood First National Bank Building.*^^  

 

Historical Notes

The thirteen story First National Bank Building with Gothic/Renaissance elements a la Art Deco is one of a handful of structures in the city that is adorned with gargoyles. It was the tallest building in Los Angeles from 1927 to 1932.^

 

 

 

 
(1937)^ - View showing a 1936 Packard 120 Straight Eight Coupe making a right turn onto Hollywood Boulevard from Cahuenga. Photo by Herman Schulteis  

 

Historical Notes

Packard was an American luxury automobile marque built by the Packard Motor Car Company of Detroit, Michigan, and later by the Studebaker-Packard Corporation of South Bend, Indiana. The first Packard automobiles were produced in 1899, and the last in 1958.

According to many people the introduction of the Packard 120 (seen above) was Packard's savior in the '30's during the final years of the Great Depression.^*

 

 

 
(1937)^ - Hollywood Boulevard looking east from Sycamore Ave. In the background are First National Bank Building, the Roosevelt Hotel and the Chinese Theatre. First National Bank Building was designed by Meyer and Holler.
 

 

 

 

 
(1937)^ - An aerial view looking west down Hollywood Blvd. from the intersection with Argyle Ave. On the left is the Strother Funeral Directors building, and beyond it a Dodge Plymouth motor car dealer, and past that, the Taft Bldg. Going down the right side of the street we see the Pantages Theatre, and beyond that the Equitable Building and then the Guaranty Building.  

 

 

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

 

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Cahuenga and Highland

 
(ca. 1937)*#^ - Panoramic view looking toward the southeast corner of Cahuenga (left) and Highland Ave (right).  Streetcars and automobiles share the road at this busy intersection. A Texaco service station stands on the corner with the Hollywood Roosevelt Plaza Hotels behind it (Note: this hotel is not related to the famous Roosevelt Hotel on Hollywood Boulevard).  

 

Historical Notes

This little nestle of buildings was known as the French Village. It was set on a triangular plot of land at the point where Highland Avenue and Cahuenga Boulevard converged as they entered the Cahuenga Pass. This puts it roughly across the street from the front entrance of the Hollywood Bowl. It opened in 1920, and throughout the 1920s, 30s, and 40s, the French Village was home to a revolving community of actors, writers, costume designers, dance instructors and singing coaches. #**#

To relieve traffic congestion at this busy Cahuenga and Highland intersection, a tunnel was bored under Highland ca. 1937. A large construction boring tractor can be seen at center of photo.

 

 

 

 
(1938)*# - Looking southeast at Whitley Heights across the intersection of Cahuenga Boulevard shortly after the construction of the new underpass to Highland Avenue. The entrance to the Hollywood Bowl is just beyond the shoulder of the hill on the right.  

 

Historical Notes

The seriously complicated solution to the traffic pattern was largely eliminated in the coming years through the realignment and widening of Caheunga.*^

 

 

 
ca. 1938)^^^* - View looking northwest showing Cahuenga Pass as it heads toward the San Fernando Valley.  The tunnel at center-right (since closed) extended Highland Boulevard to the north, under the Freeway. The Hollywood Bowl is on left (out of view) on the other side of the freeway.  

 

Historical Notes

This entire area would change pemanently with the construction of the Hollywood Freeway. The first segment of the Hollywood Freeway built was a two mile stretch through the Cahuenga Pass. That segment opened on June 15, 1940. It was then known as the "Cahuenga Pass Freeway." Pacific Electric Railway trolleys ran down the center of this freeway until 1952.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1951)^ - Bird's eye view of the Hollywood Freeway through the Cahuenga Pass, looking towards the Valley. The Cahuenga Tunnel under Highland Avenue can be seen at lower center-left. The "Muse of Music" Statue at the entrance to the Hollywood Bowl is visible just to the left of the tunnel as is part of the Hollywood Bowl shell (center-left).  

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of Cahuenga Pass

 

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Westwood Village

 
(1932)*^#^ - A panoramic view of Westwood Village in Westwood, Los Angeles. The domed building in the center is the Janss Investment Corp., and the road to the right of it is Westwood. Left of that is the University Professional Building, with Crawford Drugs at the corner on the ground level. The spire down the street between Janss and the Professional building is the Fox Theatre. Across Westwood from Janss is the Citizens National Trust & Savings Bank.  On the west side of Westwood in the background is the tower of the Holmby Building. The cross street is now Kinross Avenue, while the street leading to the theater is Broxton.  

 

 

 

 

 

 
(1936)^ - Aerial view of Westwood Village from a blimp. The Fox Theater is on the upper left, Ralphs lower right. At upper center is the Holmby Building, built in 1930 and designed by architect Gordon B. Kaufmann in California Mediterranean style as a retail and office building. It is located on Westwood Blvd. between Le Conte and Weyburn.  

 

Historical Ntoes

Opening in 1929, the original design of Westwood Village was considered one of the most well planned and beautifully laid out of commercial areas in the nation. Harold Janss had hired major architects and instructed them to follow a Mediterranean theme, with clay tile roofs, decorative Spanish tile, paseos, patios and courtyards. Buildings located at strategic points, including theaters, used towers to serve as beacons for drivers on Wilshire Boulevard. Janss picked the first slate of businesses and determined their location in the neighborhood; the area opened with 34 businesses, despite the Great Depression, had 452 in 1939*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1937)^ - The intersection of LeConte Avenue and Westwood Boulevard, looking southwest. On the far side is the Holmby Building in Westwood Village. It is a retail and office building in the California Mediterranean style.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1937)^ - View of Westwood Boulevard, looking north from south of Wilshire Blvd. On the left, there are several gas and service stations, including a Richfield, Associated, Union 76, and Chevron. On the right are various stores, including a Ralphs supermarket.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1938)^ - View of Westwood Village with four tall sign towers in a row, behind the parked cars. Each tower is used to advertise a different gas station, right to left: Standard, 76, Associated, and Richfield. Click HERE to see more Early Views of LA Gas Stations.  

 

 

 

 
(1937)^ - Early view of U.C.L.A.'s campus buildings from left to right: Men's gymnasium, built in 1932; Royce Hall, built in 1928-29; Janss Steps; and Powell Library, built in 1927-29. All buildings were constructed in a northern Italian (Lombard) Romanesque Revival style.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1930)^ - Panoramic view of the U.C.L.A. Westwood campus. This is a photograph of a Chris Siemer painting created for a display by the L.A. Chamber of Commerce.    

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of UCLA and Westwood

 

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(1937)^ - Detailed view of a two-lamp ornate streetlight (UM 1906) on the Southwest corner of Ninth Street and Broadway.  In the background is the sunlit Eastern Columbia building (849 South Broadway) and further down the block the May Company (800 South Hill Street).  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1938)*# - Nightime view of Ninth Street and Broadway showing Cristmas decorations hanging from the dual-lamp UM 1906 streetlights.  

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 
(1937)^#^^ – View looking north on Olive at 7th Street showing passengers disembarking from a double-decker bus No. 606.  

 

Historical Notes

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

 

 

 
(1937)^#^^ – View looking north showing a bus No. 1003 stopped at the southeast corner of Olive and 7th streets.  

 

 

 

 
(1937)^ - View of a very busy Broadway and 7th Street. An overflow of pedestrians fill the sidewalks as far as the eye can see. Note the two different types of streetlights at the intersection.  

 

Historical Ntoes

The building on the left corner is the Los Angeles Athletic Club, located at 431 W. 7th Street. Built in 1911 by Parkingson & Bergstrom, this building was notable at the time for being the first in Southern California to have a swimming pool on an upper floor. Adjacent is the Warner Brothers Downtown Theatre (previously the Pantages Theatre), located at 401 W. 7th Street. It was designed by architect B. Marcus Priteca in the Greek revival style in 1919, and opened on August 16, 1920. On the right corner, the clock for Myer Siegel and Company department store reads 1:11 p.m.^

 

 

 
(ca. 1937)^ - A streetcar rushes by just as this shot is being taken so the bottom of the Warner Brothers Downtown Theater is hidden but both signs are visible, as is an interesting hanging light and the crowds on the sidewalk in this view of Seventh looking north towards Hill.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1938)*# - View looking west on 7th Street at Hill. The impressive Warner Bros. Downtown Building is seen on the northwest corner. The Los Angeles Athletic Club sits just to the west of Warner Bros. on 7th Street.  

 

Historical Notes

Warner Bros. Downtown Theatre - Vaudeville Theater and Movie Palace - Located at 401 W. 7th St (northwest corner of South Hill and West 7th St). Opening on August 17, 1920, it was originally called the Pantages Theatre, but was renamed Warner Bros. Downtown Theatre in 1930 after the Hollywood Pantages Theatre was opened. The exterior has an imposing domed corner tower, flanked by twin facades on 7th and Hill. Later in the 1960s, it was known as the Warrens Theatre.^*

Today, the building houses a jewelry mart and most of the chairs have been ripped out to hold jewelry booths, and its Deco luster has worn to a dull throb.*##

 

 

 
(1938)^ - Cars battle the rain. The movie "Hollywood Hotel" which came out early in 1938 is playing at the Warner Brothers Downtown (previously the Pantages Theatre). Photo by Herman Schultheis.  

 

 

 

 
(1938)^ - Heading southeast on W. 8th Street.  Garland Avenue is the next intersection.  

 

 

 

 
(1938)*# -   Aerial view looking north over Lafayette Park at Sixth Street and Hoover towards Silver Lake, Echo Park, and Westlake. In the foreground at center-left can be seen the First Congregational Church, and just behind it, at the v-shaped corner of Occidental Blvd. and Hoover Street, is the Precious Blood Catholic Church.  

 

 

 

 
(1931)^ – View looking north from 5th Street on Occidental Boulevard in the Westlake area.  The Precious Blood Roman Catholic Church is seen on the left behind a palm tree.  

 

Historical Notes

The church building stands on a v-shaped corner of Occidental Blvd. and Hoover St.  This one of the archdiocese's architectural gems, showing a beautiful rose window above the main entrance. It was dedicated in November 1926.^*

 

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Westlake Park (Later MacArthur Park)

 
(1937)^ - View of MacArthur Park, created in the 1880's under the name Westlake Park, was later renamed in honor of General Douglas MacArthur (1942). A few people are strolling around the lake. The boathouse is visible on the other side, as are several high rise buildings. Included is a building heralding the location of Westlake Theatre.  

 

 

 

 
(n.d.)^ - This nighttime view of Westlake Park's (MacArthur Park) artificial lake and boathouse, as well as several high-rise buildings in the background. Included is a building heralding the location of the Westlake Theatre. In the middle of the photo, a couple can be seen relaxing as their canoe floats across the lake, its surface giving a lovely reflection of the boathouse lights and surrounding area.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1940)##^* –  Postacard view looking through Westlake Park. The park was renamed MacArthur Park in 1942.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1938)**^# - View of Wilshire Boulevard as it passes through Westlake Park (later MacArthur Park). The Westlake Theatre Sign stands out in the background.  

 

Click HERE to see how Wilshire Boulevard was constructed across Westlake Park

 

 

 

 
(1937)* - Exterior view of the Spanish Baroque style West Coast Westlake Theatre.  

 

Historical Notes

The Westlake was operated as a first-run movie theater from 1926 until the 1960s. As the neighborhood's demographics changed, the theater was sold to Metropolitan Theatres Corp., which showed Spanish-language or Spanish-subtitled movies. In 1991, the building was sold to Mayer Separzadeh, who converted the theater into a swap meet. To protect the building from drastic changes, the building was declared Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 546 in September 1991 (Click HERE to see complete listing). The theater was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2009.

The theater was purchased by the Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles in 2008. The Redevelopment Agency announced plans to rehabilitate the theater as a venue for live theater, film, music and other performances.^*

 

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Wilshire Boulevard

 
(1938)*# – View looking west on Wilshire Boulevard showing the Gaylord Wilshire Apartments at Kenmore Avenue with Wilshire Christian Church and the KFAC radio transmitter seen in the distance. The Ambassador Hotel is just out-of-frame to the left. At lower-right is a Richfield Service Station and Sally's Home Made Candies.  

 

 

 

 
(1941)+# – View looking west on Wilshire Boulevard at Kenmore Avenue showing cars lined up bumper to bumper as far as they eye can see.  Photo was taken on Easter Sunday, immediately following the Miracle Mile Easter Parade. The three most identifiable buildings are: the Wilshire Christian Church, KFAC Radio transmitter tower, and the Gaylord Wilshire Apartments.  

 

 

 

 
(1940s)+## – View showing a stretch of Wilshire Blvd that the Ambassador Hotel (where the palm trees line the street) looked out on. We can see Brown Derby Restaurant, the Chapman Park Hotel bar—called the Zephyr Room. Beyond the Zephyr is the Cord-Auburn automobile dealership, and past that is the tower of the Wilshire Christian Church. Much farther down Wilshire is the dome of the Wilshire Temple, which Louis B. Mayer attended. And the foreground, we have a couple of jaywalking in the middle of Wilshire...and it looks like they’ve been shopping.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1938)^#** - Wilshire Boulevard, looking west near Alexandria, most likely taken from the Gaylord Apartments. The Brown Derby Restaurant can be seen in its new location. In the background stands the tower of the Wilshire Christian Church and the two transmitting towers of KFAC Radio Station.  

 

Historical Notes

The Brown Derby chain was started by Robert H. Cobb and Herbert Somborn (a former husband of film star Gloria Swanson). Bob Cobb is known as the inventor of the California Cobb Salad. He was also part owner of the Hollywood Stars baseball team.

The Brown Derby was moved in 1937 to 3377 Wilshire Boulevard at the northeast corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Alexandria Avenue, about a block from its previous location (and about a block north of the Ambassador Hotel).^*

 

 

 
(ca. 1940)^ - Cars travel east down Wilshire Boulevard, where it crosses S. Alexandria Avenue (left), right outside the Brown Derby Restaurant. An original "Wilshire Lantern" street light is seen on the corner (Click HERE to see more in Early Los Angeles Street Lights).  

 

Historical Notes

After being sold in 1975 and renovated, the Brown Derby Restaurant was finally replaced in 1980 by a shopping center known as the Brown Derby Plaza. The domed structure was incorporated into the third floor of the building and accommodates a cafe. A Korean mini-mall occupies the site today.

The Brown Derby chain included restaurants in Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and the Los Feliz area. The Los Feliz Brown Derby at 4500 Los Feliz Blvd is the last remaining branch of the chain still extant and in operation.^*

 

 

 
(1936)^ - Looking southeast across Wilshire Boulevard at Berendo Street towards Immanuel Presbyterian Church and the Talmadge Building. Further east is Bullock's Wilshire (far left).  

 

 

 

 
(1937)^ - Looking east down Wilshire Boulevard from just west of where it crosses Western Avenue. Various businesses, including the Wiltern and the Pellisier Building, and billboards are seen throughout.   

 

 

 

 
(1938)*# - View of Wilshire Boulevard looking west from Hobart Boulevard past Steven's Quality Ice Creams, Jean Leonard Piano, Newberry's, and the Wiltern Theater at Western Avenue.  

 

 

 

 
(1939)^ - Looking southwest down Wilshire Boulevard. Visible are billboards advertising Buick automobiles and Calvert Whiskey, as well as a few homes and commercial buildings; in the distance (upper right) is the Wiltern Theatre.  

 

 

 

Angels Flight

 
(ca. 1937)^ - Cars and pedestrians are seen on 3rd St. On the corner at the bottom of Angels Flight (beside the archway) is a drug store on the bottom floor of the Ferguson Bldg. The rail itself is still on wooden tressels.  

 

Historical Notes

Angels Flight, the “Shortest Railway in the World,” opened in 1901 and quickly became a city landmark. Colonel James Ward Eddy was the visionary who convinced City Hall to grant him a 30-year franchise to construct and operate an inclined railway.**

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1930s)^ - From the station at the top, a view straight down the track, with both cars at the mid-say point. Beyond is 3rd St. with cars and pedestrians.  

 

Historical Notes

The funicular system of two counterbalanced cars called Olivet and Sinai (named for two mountains in the Bible) served to connect upscale Bunker Hill homes with downtown shopping areas below, moving up and down parallel tracks was an efficient means of transporting passengers along the steep grade between Third and Hill Streets and fashionable Bunker Hill.**

 

 

 

 
(n.d.)^ - The track for the rail cars is seen in mid-air, from the side, with wooden braces holding it up in the air. The track here goes past commercial buildings.  

 

Historical Notes

The ride lasted one minute and cost one cent. Over the years operations were transferred to other powers, tracks were re-laid, and the station house redesigned. However, the single-trip fare rose only once, in 1914, to five cents.**

 

 

 

 
(n.d.)* - The two Angels Flight cars, Olivet and Sinai, shown in storage. 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. When the funicular was dismantled in the 1990s, the upper station was reconstructed at the California Plaza.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1959 Angels Flight was destined for demolition as part of Bunker Hill Urban Renewal Project but loyal riders and enthusiastic supporters thwarted those plans, at least temporarily. During the next ten years the community of Bunker Hill changed dramatically as apartment houses were razed and residents dislocated by the redevelopment project. Ever decreasing numbers of commuters and tourists and lack of funding contributed to the inevitable. Even the designation of Historical Cultural Landmark could not save Angels Flight and she was dismantled in 1969.**

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1950)**^* - View of the Angels Flight Terminal at the top of the hill.  

 

Historical Notes

Angels Flight operated from 1901 until it was closed in 1969 when its location was redeveloped. The railway was relocated and reassembled at California Plaza in March of 1995, and closed again on February of 2001 after a serious accident resulted in the death of a passenger, and the injuries of seven others. The accident occurred when the ascending Sinai cable car suddenly reversed direction and uncontrollably accelerated downhill and struck the Olivet cable car near the lower terminus. The second funicular still exists and reopened in 2010. Angels Flight Railway was added to the National Register of Historic Places on October 13, 2000.^

 

 

 

Fore more early views of Angels Flight click the following: Angles Flight (1901 +) and Angels Flight (1950 +)

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1930s)^ - View of an unpaved L.A. River pre-1938. The Fourth Street Bridge is seen in the background.  

 

Historical Notes

Originally an alluvial river that ran freely across a flood plain, the Los Angeles River's 51-mile path was unstable and unpredictable with the mouth of the river moving frequently from one place to the other.^

 

 

 

 

 
(1938)*# - Aerial view of a flooding Los Angeles River at its confluence with the Arroyo Seco at the Southern Pacific Railroad and Figueroa Avenue bridges. The Figueroa Street Tunnels can be seen in the center of photo.  

 

 

 

 
(1938)^*^# – View of the Los Feliz Boulevard Bridge from Riverside Drive looking northeast shortly after half of it was destroyed by Los Angeles River flood waters. The Police Officer, left, is unknown. The man on the right is Van Griffith, son of Col Griffith J. Griffith, who gave Griffith Park to Los Angeles.  

 

 

 

 
(1938)^ - People walk along a cement path that seems to have snapped in half as the dirt below the concrete washed away in the flooded Los Angeles River. Trains and a small building, and part of Taylor Yard can be seen on the right.  

 

Historical Notes

In March of 1938 there was a great storm that flooded one third of the city of Los Angeles killing 115 people.^

 

 

 

 
(1938)^^ - Flooding in Southern California killed dozens.  This bus became stuck at 43rd Place near Leimert Boulevard.  

 

 

 

 
(1938)^##* - An aerial view of Toluca Lake and Burbank as the waters of the Los Angeles River overflow its banks in March 1938. The Warner Bros. Studio is visible in the center of the picture.  

 

 

 

 
(1938)^ - Aerial view of the Lankershim Bridge in Universal City, that was destroyed by flood waters. People gathered at the ends of the bridge to watch the waters rage past the now destroyed bridge.  

 

Historical Notes

After the great storm of 1938, due to public outcry, the Army Corps of Engineers began the 20 year project to create the permanent concrete channel which still contains most of the of riverbed today.^

 

 

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Elysian Valley

 
(1940)^^*** – View of a mostly unpaved L.A. River as it meanders through Elysian Valley (also known as Frogtown).  

 

Historical Notes

According to the Mapping L.A. project of the Los Angeles Times, the Elysian Valley neighborhood is flanked on the north by Atwater Village, on the northeast and east by Glassell Park, on the southeast by Cypress Park, on the south and southwest by Elysian Park and on the west and northwest by Echo Park and Silver Lake.^*

 

 

 

 

(2013)^* – Map showing the boundaries of Elysian Valley, Los Angeles, as delineated by the Los Angeles Times.

 

 

 

 

Historical Notes

Elysian Valley, also known as Frogtown (originally nicknamed as such for a glut of toads in the riverfront neighborhood) is bounded by the Los Angeles River on the north and east, Riverside Drive on the west and Fletcher Drive on the northwest.^*

 

 

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(ca. 1938)^ – View showing a welcome sign to Huntington Park on Pacific Boulevard.  It features the city seal and the emblems for many organizations including the Lions, Kiwanis, Rotarians, Optimists, 20-30 club and the American Legion.  

 

Historical Notes

Named for prominent industrialist Henry E. Huntington, Huntington Park was incorporated in 1906 as a streetcar suburb for workers in the rapidly expanding industries to the southeast of downtown Los Angeles.  The stretch of Pacific Boulevard in downtown Huntington Park was a major commercial district serving the city's largely working-class residents, as well as those of neighboring cities such as Bell, Cudahy, South Gate, and Downey.^*

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1938)^ - It costs 35 cents to use the auto park for the S. S. Catalina terminal at the Port of Los Angeles. A parking lot attendant sits with a megaphone by the sign.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1938)^ - An employee assists a man unload his luggage from his car (1936/37 Auburn Cord 812 Westchester) which he has stopped in front of the garage at the Santa Catalina Island terminal at the Port of Los Angeles. A sign suggests flying to Catalina.  

 

Historical Notes

Cord was the brand name of an American automobile company from Connersville, Indiana, manufactured by the Auburn Automobile Company from 1929 through 1932 and again in 1936 and 1937.^*

 

 

 
(ca. 1938)^ - People walk across the street to get to the Santa Catalina Island terminal at the Port of Los Angeles. Canopies cover two passenger entrance doorways.  

 

Historical Notes

This building, located at the end of Avalon Boulevard, is now the site of a 1995 community center called Banning's Landing (101 East Water Street).^

 

 

 
(ca. 1938)^ - People stand at a line of ticket offices in the Santa Catalina Island terminal at the Port of Los Angeles.  

 

Historical Notes

In the late 1920's tourist traffic to the Catalina Island was increasing at the rate of 20% annually. In July, August and September of 1929, the S.S. CABRILLO, S. S. AVALON and S. S. CATALINA carried a combined total of 500,000 passengers. The 3 ships offered a total of 5 sailings daily each way.^#^#

 

 

 
(ca. 1938)^ - View of the S.S. Catalina docked at the Los Angeles Harbor.  

 

Historical Notes

Commonly referred to as the Great White Steamer, the ship was specially built by William Wrigley to serve his Catalina Island as a passenger ferry. She was christened on May 23, 1924. During World War II, she was requisitioned for use as a troop carrier, but in 1946 she resumed her voyages to Avalon.*^*

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1938)^ - Some people stroll while others sit on board the S.S. Catalina. Hammond Shipping can be seen in the Port of Los Angeles on the right.  

 

Historical Notes

Among the passengers were movie stars and famous athletes who laughed, danced and drank their way to the island "26 miles across the sea." The S.S. Catalina even hosted 2 United States Presidents at different times. In those days, passengers dressed for the crossing. Gentlemen wore jackets and ties and the ladies dresses and coats, with some carrying umbrellas to protect them from the sun.^#^#

 

 

 
(1920s)^ - View of Avalon Bay across Crescent Bay, on Santa Catalina Island as seen from a mountain top. The Catalina Casino, surrounded by the sea on three sides, is visible at the edge of the bay on the right along with several boats along with the S.S. Catalina, "The Great White Steamer".  

 

Historical Notes

The S.S. Catalina has been recognized as a Historic-Cultural Monument, No. 213 (Click HERE to see the LA Historic-Cultural Monuments List) and also California State Historic Landmark No. 894 (Click HERE to see more California Historic Landmarks in LA). She was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.

 

 

 

 
(1938)##^* – Postcard view of the Casino and beach as seen from the Hotel St. Catherine in Descanso Canyon on Catalina Island.  

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of Catalina

 

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(1938)^ - Aerial view of Los Angeles Civic Center with City Hall, 200 N. Spring St., as the focal point. A portion of the State Building can be seen on the left. To the right of City Hall is vacant land waiting for construction to begin on the new Federal Courthouse and U.S. Post Office Building. Across from City Hall is the Hall of Records. The Hall of Justice is next to a partially graded hill which still contains houses on top.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1935)^ - View looking southwest showing the old State Building with City Hall's shadow cast upon it. Bunker Hill can be seen in the background.  

 

Historical Notes

The State Building was completed in 1931 at a cost of more than $2 million. It was dedicated the day before the opening of the 1932 Olympics in a ceremony that featured Amelia Earhart.**##

 

 

 
(ca. 1940)*# - View looking toward the northwest corner of First and Spring streets showing the California State Building.  Further north on Spring can be seen the Hall of Records and the Hall of Justice.  Photo by Dick Whittington.  

 

Historical Notes

The California State Building sustained damage in the 1971 San Fernando earthquake. In May of 1973 the state authorized an "orderly evacuation" after testing found the building unsafe. The empty building was torn down in early 1976.**##

 

 

 
(1939)*# – View looking at the northwest corner of Broadway and Temple Street showing the Women's Christian Temperance Union Building. Billboard on top of building reads: "Prohibition: the Best Method Against Liquor Traffic."  Also shown: the Alhambra Apartments, Riley's Drug Company, and two Los Angeles Railway streetcars, one leaving and another one entering the Broadway Tunnel.  Across the street on the N/E corner (out of view) stands the Hall of Justice.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1940)**^ - View looking north of the intersection of Broadway and Temple with the Hall of Justice located on the northeast corner. A streetcar is in the lower right. The Broadway Tunnel, which runs under Fort Moore Hill, is seen in the background.  

 

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.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1940)^ - View of Los Angeles City Hall looking east from the corner of Temple and Hill streets. A little market stands on the northeast corner with the Hall of Justice seen behind it one block to the east. Photo by Ansel Adams  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1939)*# – View looking east on 1st Street toward the LA Times Building from above Hill Street.  A Richfield Service Station is in the foreground on the northeast corner.  Across the street stands Central Police Station, 318 West 1st Street, with police cars parked in front.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1939)*#^ – Panoramic view looking east on 1st Street from over Hill Street with the LA Times Building standing tall in the distance.  On the right is the LA Police Department’s Central Division (demolished in 1956). 'Symphony under the Stars at the Hollywood Bowl'.  

 

 

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Weller Street (now Onizuka Street)

 
(1939)*# - View looking southeast down Weller Street (now Onizuka Street) and First Street as seen from City Hall.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1938)**^ - View of Weller Street in Little Tokyo looking toward City Hall.  

 

Historical Notes

The original boundaries of Little Tokyo extended east and south of the present location, and covered approximately one square mile. The area was a magnet for immigrating Japanese until the Exclusion Act of 1924 halted any further migration. Shops were along First Street, and vegetable markets were along Central Avenue to the south. Japanese Americans were a significant ethnic group in the vegetable trade, due to the number of successful Japanese American truck farms across Southern California.^*

 

 

 

 
(1986)^ - Same view almost 50 years later. The sign of Weller Court shopping mall can be seen on the left, and Kajima Building is on the right. In the center of the photo is Los Angeles City Hall.  

 

Historical Notes

Little Tokyo is one of only three official Japantowns in the United States, all three of which are in California (the other two are in San Francisco and San Jose). Founded around the beginning of the 20th century, the area is the cultural center for Japanese Americans in Southern California. It was declared a National Historic Landmark District in 1995.

In 1986, the community supported changing Weller Street to Astronaut E. S. Onizuka Street.

Ellison Shoji Onizuka was an American astronaut from Kealakekua, Kona, Hawaii, who successfully flew into space with the Space Shuttle Discovery on STS-51-C, before losing his life to the destruction of the Space Shuttle Challenger, where he was serving as Mission Specialist for mission STS-51-L. He was the first Asian American to reach space.^*

 

 

 
(1920s)^ - Map of early LA with the Plaza seen just west of Alameda. East of Alameda is the older part of Chinatown that was relocated when the Union Station was built in the late 1930s. Union Station opened in May of 1939.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1930)*# – View of the proposed site for Union Station construction.  This is one of the oldest areas in the City, with the Los Angeles Plaza at center and Chinatown at lower right.  Main Street is seen at lower center running towards the background.  Baker Block is at lower center-right.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1930)*# - View looking northeast from City Hall showing the old part of Los Angeles including the LA Plaza and Chinatown. At left can be seen the ornate Baker Building (aka Baker Block) with its three distinct towers located on the historic 300 Block of N. Main Street. Los Angeles Street runs diagonally from lower-right to upper-left. Aliso Street runs from Los Angeles Street, at center, east and then tunrs diagonally up. The propsed site of the new Union Station would be northeast of the intersection of Los Angeles and Aliso Streets.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1926, a measure was placed on the ballot giving Los Angeles voters the choice between the construction of a vast network of elevated railways or the construction of a much smaller Union Station to consolidate different railroad terminals. The election would take on racial connotations and become a defining moment in the development of Los Angeles. The proposed Union Station was located in the heart of what was Los Angeles' original Chinatown. Reflecting the prejudice of the era, the conservative Los Angeles Times, a lead opponent of elevated railways, argued in editorials that Union Station would not be built in the “midst of Chinatown” but rather would “forever do away with Chinatown and its environs.” Voters approved demolishing much of Chinatown to build Union Station by a narrow 51 to 48 percent.^*

 

 

 

 
(1933)*# - Panoramic view showing the Los Angeles Plaza (arrow) and surrounding area including most of Chinatown. The photo has been annotated to delineate the boundaries of the proposed new Union Station.  

 

Historical Notes

The above photo comes from the September 18, 1933 issue of the Los Angeles Herald Examiner.  The article reads:  "Chinatown faces extinction in Los Angeles with erection of the new Union Station on the Plaza site. The area enclosed by broken line will be occupied with tracks and the station. It includes most of Chinatown. Upper left hand line shows where trains enter station area from Southern Pacific bridge over Los Angeles River." ***

 

 

 

 
(1934)*# - Caption reads:  “Site of new Union Terminal (enclosed by lines), where dirt to be removed from Fort Moore Hill will be used for filling in. This great depot will serve all steam railroads entering Los Angeles. Chinatown is seen in foreground of station site."  

 

 

 

 
(1935)*# - View looking west across Lyon Street near its intersection with Aliso Street. The Union Station construction site is seen at center.  Ridges in the area are fills, where tracks will be laid. In center, under construction, is the pedestrian tunnel to the tracks. Photo Date: August 19, 1935  

 

Historical Notes

By the early 1950s, the section of the 101 Freeway (Hollywood Freeway) that runs through downtown would go right through where Aliso Street is shown above, running diagonally away from bottom center of photo.

 

 

 
(1935)*# - Panoramic view of the construction of Union Station looking northwest from the top of the Los Angeles Gas and Electric tank, August 27, 1935. The site of the terminal is at right and is a trapezoidal area full of graded dirt. The LA Plaza can be seen in the upper-center left. The Hall of Justice Building stands in the upper left.  

 

 

 

1938 Video of Chinatown & Union Station Construction

Click HERE to see footage near the present location of Chinatown as Union Station was being built on where the original Chinatown stood.

 

 

 

 

 
(1938)*# - View looking north toward Union Station still under construction. The main road going along the left side of the photo is Alameda Street. Aliso Street is at the southern end of the station near where the Hollywood Freeway is located today.  

 

Historical Notes

When Union Station was opened in May 1939, it consolidated remaining service from its predecessors La Grande Station and Central Station. It was built on a grand scale and became known as "Last of the Great Railway Stations" built in the United States.^*

 

 

 
(1939)*# - Crowds watch early model train while celebrating completion of the new Union Station located at 800 N. Alameda Street.  

 

Historical Notes

Examiner clipping attached to verso, dated May 4, 1939: "Stirring awake memories that had slumbered for more than a century, railroad officials yesterday staged a colorful pageant of transportation that thrilled thousands of Angelenos for two hours. Gayly costumed ladies of the Gay Nineties -- and the years before -- rode stage coaches and horse cars and stuttering, slow-moving trains of another era. Derby-hatted, mustachioed gentlemen in tight coats pumped high-wheeled bicycles -- 'bone-crushers' they were known as in those days -- all to celebrate formal opening of the new Union Station, pictured in background as oldest Union Pacific train approaches the city's newest in beautiful architecture." *#

 

 

 
(1939)*# – View showing Union Station from across its parking lot shortly after the train station's opening. Photo by "Dick" Whittington
 

 

Historical Notes

Union Station was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. It is also listed as Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 101.

 

 

Click HERE to see more on the Los Angeles Union Station

 

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(ca. 1937)*# - View of Main Street looking north toward Market Street.  Two three-story Victorian-style buildings are pictured at center wedged between commercial shop fronts. The U.S. Hotel is closest to the foreground, while the Amestoy Building can be seen farther back. Both buildings feature a tower of sorts, the hotel's sprouting from the flat roof, the Amestoy Building's extending from a column of windows at its corner. The New Palace Cafe and a sign that reads "Shoe Store. Shoes for the whole family" can be seen at right. A sign to the left reads "Victor's". Cars are parked along the sidewalk. Street car cables are attached to the top of a streetlamp visible in the left foreground.  

 

 

 

 
(1939)*# - View looking East on Market Street from the front of City Hall across North Main Street, showing both the Amestoy Building (left) and the U.S. Hotel (right).  

 

Historical Notes

The U.S. Hotel was built around 1863 and demolished in 1939.

The Amestoy Building was built in 1887 and demolished in 1958.

 

 

 
(1939)^#^^ - View looking southeast across Main Street at Market Street as seen from the east lawn of City Hall with the Amestoy Building at left and the U.S. Hotel on the right. This photo was taken shortly before the U.S. Hotel was razed.  

 

 

 

 
(1938)^ - Aerial view of Los Angeles Civic Center with City Hall as the focal point. The Amestoy Building and U.S. Hotel can be seen at lower right. To the right of City Hall is vacant land waiting for construction to begin on the new Federal Courthouse and U.S. Post Office Building. Across from City Hall is the Hall of Records. The Hall of Justice is next to a partially graded hill which still contains houses on top. A portion of the State Building can be seen on the left.  

 

 

 

 
(1938)**^# - View looking south toward City Hall showing a man standing fearlessly on top of steel framing for the new Federal Courthouse and U.S. Post Office Building. The LA Times Building, built in 1934, is at lower right.  

 

Historical Notes

Shared by Lauren Frobisher Scanlon: “My grandfather, Frank McGuire built elevators. Here’s a pic of him on a building under construction across from Los Angeles City Hall ..sometime in the ‘30s’. I don’t know what the building was...” **^#

 

 

 
(ca. 1938)*# - View of downtown looking southwest from where Union Station sits today. The new Federal Courthouse and U.S. Post Office Building is under construction as seen between City Hall and the Hall of Justice. Alameda Street is in the foreground.  

 

Historical Notes

The area in the extreme foreground is now Union Station. The street in front is Alameda Street, and those buildings ahead of Alameda were knocked down and are now landscaping and on ramps to the 101 Hollywood/Santa Ana Freeway. Old Chinatown started being demolished around 1933, and Union Station opened in 1939.**^

To the right-center of the photo is the Pico House in front of the LA Plaza which is out of view to the right. The old 1877-built Baker Block with it's distinctive three towers can be seen in the center of the photo just below the Federal Courthouse Building. The Baker Block would be demoished in 1942 to make room for the 101 Freeway.

Click HERE to see more on the Baker Block.

 

 

 
(1939)**^ - View of the Plaza with the LA downtown skyline in the background. From left to right stand City Hall, the Federal Courthouse still under construction (completed in 1940), the Hall of Records, and the Hall of Justice.  The old Brunswig Building can also be seen on the other side of the Plaza across from the Pico House. Click HERE to see more Early Views of the Plaza of L.A.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1939)*# - View looking up Marchessault Street with Alameda Street crossing at bottom and Los Angeles Street crossing at mid distance. The LA Plaza is at upper-center left. The old Water Department Building, now occupied by the F. See On Company, stands on the northwest corner of Marchessault and Alameda.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1939, the first home of the Department of Water and Power was sold to the City to make way for the Civic Center development planned in connection with the new Union Passenger Depot. Located at the corner of Marchessault and Alameda Streets, directly across from the almost completed railroad station, the property was the main office of the municipal water works when the City bought out the private water companies operating here until 1902.**

 

 

 
(1939)*# - Photo caption reads:   "Another Landmark Gives Way to Progress -- Photo shows wrecking yesterday of first home of the Department of Water and Power, recently purchased by the City, to make a wide approach by way of Marchessault Street to the new Union Station. With work being rushed, thousands of persons will occupy the site of this landmark on May 3, when the celebration's parade passes on Alameda Street. The old building was the main office of the municipal water works when the City bought out the private water companies operation here until 1902."  

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Water Department's Original Office Building.

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1940)*# - Aerial view of the Civic Center, Union Station and the LA Plaza. The Plaza is in the upper center-left of photo.  The recently completed Union Station is at center-top and the new Federal Courthouse and Post Office is seen at center. The flattened lot of the where the old Water Department building once stood can be seen just to the northeast of the Plaza.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1940) - Postcard view showing the new Federal Courthouse and U.S. Post Office Building near City Hall and old Main Street. Click HERE to see more in Early Views of the Historic 300 Block of N. Main Street  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1940)^ - View of the Los Angeles Civic Center, showing Los Angeles City Hall and the Federal Courthouse and U.S. Post Office Building. Numerous cars can be seen parked along the curb.  

 

Historical Notes

Built between 1937 and 1940, the United States Court House was the third federal building constructed in Los Angeles. The first, constructed between 1889 and 1892, housed the post office, U.S. District Court, and various federal agencies, but it soon proved inadequate. A larger structure was built between 1906 and 1910 at the corner of Main and Temple Streets. The population of Los Angeles grew rapidly in the early part of the twentieth century, and a larger building was needed to serve the courts and federal agencies. The second federal building was razed in 1937 to clear the site for the existing courthouse.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1940s)^ - Exterior view of the Federal Courthouse and U.S. Post Office Building, located at 312 N. Spring Street. The Stephen M. White Statue, which was previously located on the corner of Temple and Broadway on the lawn of the Hall of Records, is now on the corner of 1st and Hill outside the new courthouse, located at 1945 South Hill Street.  

 

Historical Notes

Stephen M. White was elected Los Angeles County District Attorney in 1882, State Senator in 1886 and United States Senator in 1893. During his term in the United States Senate, Senator White’s most notable accomplishment was his successful leadership of the fight to create the Los Angeles Harbor in San Pedro as opposed to Santa Monica Bay, the site that was being advocated by powerful railroad interests.

In 1989, the statue was moved again to its present location, at the entrance to Cabrillo Beach off Stephen M. White Drive, overlooking the breakwater at the L.A. Harbor.^###

 

 

 
(1949)^ - View of the Los Angeles Civic Center, showing the Federal Courthouse and U.S. Post Office Building as well as City Hall, as seen from Fort Moore. Numerous cars can be seen on the streets as well as in parking lots.  

 

 

 

 
(1940)^#^^ - Aerial view of Los Angeles looking northeast. The newly built Federal Courthouse (completed in 1939) is seen at upper-center next to City Hall. Also, Union Station (completed in 1938) is seen at upper-right.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1939)**^ - Aerial view looking southeast across Fort Moore Hill. The recently completed (1938) Union Station is in view at left-center of photo. Just to the southeast of Union Station, across Aliso Street, can be seen two very large natural gas tanks known as "gas holders".  

 

Historical Notes

The huge tanks seen above were known as "gas holders" (aka gasometers), and helped supply natural gas to the city. They rose or sank in height depending on the amount of gas being stored.

The gas holders were in fact laughably large and towered over their surroundings. When one gas holder was built in 1906 its 210 foot height was 35 feet greater than the tallest building in Los Angeles. #^^*

 

 

 
(1940)^#^^ - Aerial view of the Civic Center and Union Station looking northeast. The large street running diagonally from center to upper-right center is Aliso Street, future path of the 101 Freeway (Hollywood Freeway). Note the two large gas holders (gasometers) in the upper right corner of photo.  

 

Historical Notes

Later gas holders climbed higher and wider, reaching up to 300 feet tall (the equivalent of perhaps an 18 or 20 story building) and as large as to hold 10,000,000 cubic feet of gas. #^^*

 

 

 

 
(1940s)###^ – Panoramic view looking east at the intersection of Sunset and Spring with two LARy streetcars (side-by-side) in the foreground. Three large gas holders are seen at top-right with the Union Station tower at top-center. The back of the Old Plaza Church is at right with the Los Angeles Plaza (cluster of trees) directly behind it.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1950)*# - View looking west on Aliso Street toward the Civic Center. Three extremely large natural gas holders stand in proximity to the Friedman Bag Company and Brew 102, with City Hall in the background. This photo was taken just a couple of years prior to the construction of the 101 Freeway where Aliso Street is seen above.  

 

Historical Notes

The largest of the three tanks seen above is a 300-footer that loomed over the corner of Ducommon and Center, east of the Civic Center. It was built in 1912 and it's not clear when it was torn down. Shots of Downtown up through 1960 seem to show these structures in the background. #^^*

 

* * * * *

 

 

 

 
(1939)^ - Sunset Strip looking north-west, west of La Cienega. Photograph taken on November 30, 1939.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1940s)*# - Photograph of an exterior view of Thrifty Drug Store and A&P Market. The one-story Art Deco-style building is pictured on the southwest corner of Sunset Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue. At left, the sidewalk is lined by palm trees. In the right foreground, a motorcyclist makes his way past two parked automobiles.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1930s)^ - View overlooking the studio lot of Universal Pictures Company with the Hollywood Hills in the background.  

 

Historical Notes

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 
(1939)^ - Ghost town street on the Universal movie lot. Along this famous street at Universal, the roaring life of the colorful West has been pictured in hundreds of thrilling films shown around the world. On this site practically every big western star in motion pictures got his start and played his greatest role.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1915, Carl Laemmle invited members of the public to watch films being made at the Universal movie lot (in exchange for a 25 cents admission fee). A chicken lunch box was also available for a nickel; the first step towards the Universal Studios theme park we know today.^*#^

 

 

 

 
(1970s)^ - A tour bus moves through the back-lot western sets of Universal Studios.
 

 

Historical Notes

Shortly after Music Corporation of America took over Universal Pictures in 1962, accountants suggested a new tour in the studio commissary would increase profits. On July 15, 1964, the modern tour was established to include a series of dressing room walk-throughs, peeks at actual production, and later, staged events. This grew over the years into a full-blown theme park. The narrated tram tour (formerly "Glamor Trams") still runs through the studio's active back lot, but the staged events, stunt demonstrations and high-tech rides overshadow the motion-picture production that once lured fans to Universal Studios Hollywood.^*

 

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Southern California Amusement Parks

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1939)^ - Aerial view looking northwest of the so-called Miracle Mile in Los Angeles along Wilshire Boulevard. The large open space is bounded by Fairfax on the west, Wilshire on the south, and Third Street on the north. The La Brea Tar Pits is the recangular piece of land in the upper left-center of photo.  

 

 

 

 
(1940)^^*** – Aerial view looking in a northerly direction toward the Hollywood Hills and the Santa Monica Mountains.  The intersection of La Brea and Wilshire is in the lower right-center. L.A.'s Miracle Mile runs along the bottom of photo. In the upper left-center can be seen two stadiums situated near Third and Fairfax in an area that would become Farmers Market. The large empty space at center would become Park La Brea.  

 

 

 

 
(1939)^ - Aerial view of Hollywood Ball Park (Gilmore Field) and Gilmore Stadium. This site later became Farmers Market and later The Grove shopping center, as well as CBS Television City. The Pan-Pacific Auditorium can also be seen in this photo. It is the large building just below and to the right of the baseball stadium.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1939)^^^* – Aerial view looking northwest showing Gilmore Field.  A baseball game is in progress and parking lots are close to full.  An empty Gilmore Stadium stands in the background near Fairfax Avenue. Genesee Avenue runs diagonally from lower-left to right-center where it intersects with Beverly Boulevard.  

 

Hsitorical Notes

Gilmore Field opened on May 2, 1939 and was the home of the Hollywood Stars baseball team until September 5, 1957. The ballpark was located on the south side of Beverly Boulevard between Genesee Avenue and The Grove Drive, just east of where CBS Television City is currently located. A couple hundred yards to the west was Gilmore Stadium, an oval-shaped venue built several years earlier, which was used for football games and midget auto racing. To the east was the famous Pan-Pacific Auditorium. Both facilities were built by Earl Gilmore, son of Arthur F. Gilmore and president of A. F. Gilmore Oil, a California-based petroleum company which was developed after Arthur struck oil on the family property. The area was rich in petroleum, which was the source of the "tar" in the nearby La Brea Tar Pits.^*

 

 

 

 
(1948)**^ – Aerial view of the area bounded by Beverly, Fairfax, 3rd Street, and Gardner Avenue.  The photo has been annotated and shows the location of Gilmore Stadium, Gilmore Field, Farmers Market, Gilmore Drive-In and the Pan-Pacific Auditorium.  

 

 

 

 
(1949)**^# - View looking southeast of Gilmore Stadium (center) and Gilmore Field (top). The intersection of Fairfax Avenue and Beverly Boulevard is in the lower left of the photo. Herberts Drive-In Restaurant can be seen on the southeast corner. Farmers Market is in the upper right.  

 

Hsitorical Notes

Gilmore Stadium was used for American football games at both the professional and collegiate level. The stadium was the home of the Los Angeles Bulldogs, the first professional football team in Los Angeles. Gilmore Stadium was also the site of two 1940 National Football League (NFL) Pro Bowls. It was opened in May 1934 and demolished in 1952, when the land was used to build CBS Television City.^*

 

 

 

 
(1951)^ - Major league All-Stars managed by Ty Cobb and Tris Speaker clashed at Gilmore Field, with the big-leaguers beating the Hollywood Stars, 4-3, for charity. Fans thrilled to Gus Zernial's two homers. This view is looking southeast toward Park La Brea Towers which can be seen in the distance.  

 

 

 

 
(1940s)^ - View showing Gilmore Field (aka Hollywood Ball Park), located near the present-day Farmer's Market in the Fairfax District. This was home field for the Hollywood Stars. The parking lot appears full and there are clusters of people walking out of the main entrance.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1958, Gilmore Field was demolished to make room for an expansion by CBS Television City on the grounds where baseball was once played.

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 
(1937)**^ – View looking north on the 400 block of Fairfax Ave (between Rosewood and Oakwood).  

 

 

 

 
(2014)##^ – View looking north on the 400 block of Fairfax Ave (between Rosewood and Oakwood). The famous Canter's Deli is on the left at 419 N. Fairfax.  

 

 

 

 

Then and Now

 
(1937)**^ – View looking north on the 400 block of Fairfax Ave.   (2014)##^ – View looking north on the 400 block of Fairfax Ave.

 

 

 

 

 

 
(1934)^#^^ – View of a filled to capacity parking lot on Opening Day at Santa Anita Racetrack, December 25, 1934.  

 

Historical Notes

The 'first' Santa Anita Racetrack was built on Elias Jackson ("Lucky") Baldwin's immense estate of "Rancho Santa Anita" and opened on December 7, 1907, but closed just two years later after horse racing was banned in California due to an anti-gambling bill that became law. In 1933, Hollywood director Hal Roach and San Francisco dentist Dr. Charles Strub formed the Los Angeles Turf Club and raised funds to build a new track. Designed in an Art Deco style by Gordon B. Kaufman, the "new" Santa Anita Park was opened on Tuesday, December 25, 1934 with an attendance of 30,077 visitors paying an admission price of .15 cents.^

 

 

 
(1935)^ - View from the back of the grandstands of the 'first' Santa Anita Handicap on February 23, 1935.  

 

Historical Notes

The famed Santa Anita Handicap took place on February 23, 1935, just two months after the track opened. The Santa Anita Handicap instantly became one of the nation's top races because it offered a purse of $100,000, which at the time was a huge sum of money; the race became known as "The Hundred Grander". This Handicap (1935) was won by 7-year-old "Azucar" ridden by jockey George Woolf, with a time of 2.02.20.^

 

 

 
(1935)^ - A film crew shooting the horse races at Santa Anita Park with the San Gabriel Mounains in the background.  

 

Historical Notes

The Santa Anita racetrack has seen some important events since its opening. The famous racehorse, Seabiscuit won the Santa Anita handicap in 1940.^

 

 

 

 
(1939)^ - View of the Santa Anita Racetrack paddock (foreground) and a packed parking lot (background). Large crowds of people can be seen walking across the pathways surrounding the paddock, as well as sitting on benches along the main entrance. The paddock area is where horses are 'assembled', saddled, and mounted before a race.
 

 

Historical Notes

Today, the 1,100-foot-long grandstand, which is a historic landmark, can accommodate 26,000 guests and is the original facade from the 1930s. The track infield area can accommodate another 50,000 or more guests. The Park also contains 61 barns, which house more than 2,000 horses, and an equine hospital. Santa Anita Racetrack is the oldest racetrack in Southern California, and is located at 285 W. Huntington Drive.^

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1939)^ - Aerial view of Santa Anita Race Track and vicinity, showing the enormous parking lot that is completely saturated with neatly lined automobiles, as well as the saddling paddock (middle gardens), Art Deco main building (with white roof), clubhouse (to the right), and stables (on the left). Homes can be seen in the foreground and plotted land is visible in the background.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1942, racing at Santa Anita was suspended due to the Second World War and from 1942 to 1944, Santa Anita was used as a Japanese American internment center; the racetrack reopened in 1945.

In 1953, a downhill turf course was added, which added a distinctly European flair; during the 1960s, major renovations included a much-expanded grandstand as well as major seating additions; in 1974, the Westfield Santa Anita Mall was built on the site of the old barns and training track; was host to the 1984 Olympic equestrian events; and in 1997, Santa Anita Park was acquired by Meditrust Corp.; Meditrust then sold the track to Magna Entertainment Corp., which they still own to date.^

 

 

 

 
(1939)**** - Opening shot from THE GRAPES OF WRATH looking southward along Sawtelle Blvd. from the corner of National Blvd.  

 

 

 

 
(2011)##^ – Google street view looking southward along Sawtelle at National.  

 

 

 

Then and Now

 
(1939)**** -- Sawtelle Blvd looking south at National Blvd.   (2011)##^ – Sawtelle Blvd looking south at National Blvd.

 

 

 

 

 
(1939)^ - Postcard photo of Tropical Ice Gardens, an outdoor ice skating rink in Westwood, where on April 9, 1939 Harry Burnett skated. He was a Yale Puppeteer with Turnabout Theatre in Los Angeles.  

 

Historical Notes

The Tropical Ice Gardens in Westwood Village opened in November 1938. It had a seating capacity for 10,000 spectators and could accommodate 2,000 ice skaters on its year-round outdoor rink. There were conflicting reports that Norwegian ice champion Sonja Henie had acquired the arena sometime in the 1940s and renamed it Sonja Henie's Ice Palace, but her actual affiliation with the establishment remains uncertain. The building sustained considerable damage due to a fire in May 1939, but re-opened shortly after. It was torn down in 1949 to accommodate expansion of UCLA.^

 

 

 

 
(1949)^ - Exterior view of the Tropical Ice Gardens in Westwood Village.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1940)^ - View of Westwood Boulevard, Westwood Village, showing Crawford Drugs and the Janss Investment Company--the developers of Westwood.
 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1940)^ - Two women are seen walking down Lindbrook Drive (foreground) where it meets Westwood Boulevard (left) right outside of a Ralph's supermarket in Westwood Village. Designed by architect Russell Collins and built in 1929, the market is identified by the words "Ralphs Grocery Co.," seen over the doorway. Various businesses, including Sears, are visible in the background,
 

 

 

Click HERE to see more Early Views of Westwood and UCLA

 

 

 

 

 
(1941)****- An aerial view of Westwood and Rancho Park, taken on May 11, 1941. The Pico Drive-In is located at the left center of the picture.  

 

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Beverly Hills

 
(ca. 1925)*# - View of Sunset Blvd. and Crescent Drive in Beverly Hills. Early model car is seen on an unpaved Sunset.  

 

Historical Notes

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

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

 

 

 

 
(1925)*^#^ - A view of Beverly Hills Heights, a development by Frank Meline, shown at the start of the subdivision. A man stands near a parked automobile on a wide, unpaved S. Beverly Drive near what is today Olympic Boulevard.  

 

Historical Notes

At the time of this photo 10th Street (now Olympic Boulevard) had not yet been cut through to the west. It was originally named 10th Street, but was renamed Olympic Boulevard for the 1932 Summer Olympics, as that was the occasion of the tenth modern event.^*

 

 

 

 
(1925)*^#^– Panoramic view of a completely undeveloped South Beverly Drive looking north to the Beverly Theater at Wilshire Boulevard.  

 

Historical Notes

There are still giant eucalyptus trees that once lined the boundaries of the Beverly Hills Speedway to the north behind the Walter McCarty retail development. Those trees would soon be cut down to make way for Charleville Blvd. To the left you can see El Camino Drive is beginning to make its way south and in the upper left hand corner of the photo you will find the "Beverly Crest" real estate sign on the mountain, very much like its sister sign, "Hollywoodland" only a handful of miles away. The area from where the photo was taken was known as Beverly Heights. ##++

 

 

 

 
(1926)##++ - Honorary Mayor Will Rogers demonstrates the city's brand new Elgin Street Sweeper in front of Beverly Hills’ original City Hall at the terminus of N Crescent Drive and Burton Way.  

 

Historical Notes

William Penn Adair "Will" Rogers, in addition to being a cowboy, vaudeville performer, humorist, newspaper columnist, social commentator, and stage and motion picture actor, was the honorary Mayor of Beverly Hills (1926 – 1928). After the city was incorporated it was run by an appointed city manager. The "mayor's office" was merely a ceremonial one that enabled Will to make more jokes about do-nothing politicians such as himself.^*

 

 

 
(ca. 1928)##++ – View showing Honorary Mayor Will Rogers and the Beverly Hills Fire Department standing outside the city's first City Hall and fire station.  

 

Historical Notes

The first City Hall building faced south at the end of Crescent Drive, right before Santa Monica Boulevard. It was demolished when the new City Hall was erected in 1932 and its demise made way for South Santa Monica Boulevard to the east and west and Crescent Drive to go all the way through to the South. ##++

 

 

 
(ca. 1935)^ - Looking northeast from the Beverly Hills business district showing Beverly Hills City Hall (built in 1932) and the Beverly Hills Civic Center. The Pacific Electric streetcar tracks of the Beverly Hills line that run down Santa Monica Boulevard are seen in the center. Between the tracks and City Hall is the Beverly Hills Post Office. In the far distance (upper-right) you can make out the snow-capped San Gabriel Mountains.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1930, land was purchased from the Pacific Electric to build the new city hall. Construction lasted from 1931 to 1932.  The building was designed by architects William J. Gage and Harry G. Koerner in the Spanish Revival architectural style (though sometimes also characterized Churrigueresque). When the city hall opened in 1932, it was called by The Los Angeles Times the "largest and most expensive City Hall of any municipality its size in the country." *^

 

 

 
(1933)^ - Panoramic view of Beverly Hills City Hall and surrounding area, looking east. City Hall was built in 1932 on Crescent Drive at Santa Monica Blvd.  

 

 

 

 
(1934)^ - View looking west showing the Beverly Hills Post Office located at 325 N. Maple Drive between Canon Drive and Santa Monica Boulevard as seen from the front of City Hall. This was the location of Beverly Hills' 1st Train Station.  

 

Historical Notes

Architects Ralph C. Flewellin and Allison and Allison built the Beverly Hills Post Office in 1932-1933 in the Italian Renaissance Revival style, with building in terra cotta and brick.^

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1943)#^ - View of the Beverly Hills Pacific Electric Station looking east showing a streetcar and three buses all lined up. City Hall can be seen in the background.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1927)##++ – View looking west on Wilshire Boulevard showing a group of men, including Walter G. McCarty, surveying the street and posing for the camera. The Beverly Wilshire Hotel is under construction as part of McCarty's developing landscape that once included the Beverly Hills Speedway tract of land. In the distance, the white building with the arched front doorway would soon become the Brown Derby Restaurant.  

 

Historical Notes

The Beverly Wilshire Hotel was constructed by real estate developer Walter G. McCarty on the site of the former Beverly Hills Speedway. It was completed in 1928 (when the city had fewer than 18,000 residents), and was then known as the "Beverly Wilshire Apartment Hotel".  *^

 

 

 

 
(1938)##++ - Aerial view looking southeast over the intersection of Wilshire Boulevard and Rodeo Drive showing the historic Beverly Wilshire Hotel. Note all the empty land south of the hotel. Photo: Marc Wanamaker/Bison Archives  

 

Historical Notes

Originally named the "Beverly Wilshire Apartment Hotel” when opened (1928), it was renamed the Beverly Wilshire Hotel by its new owners in the 1940s when it was renovated with a ballroom to accommodate the popular big bands of the day. An Olympic-sized swimming pool was built and championship tennis courts were added, with tennis champion Pancho Gonzalez as tennis director.

The hotel changed hands in 1958 and again in 1961, when it was purchased by a group of investors headed by Hernando Courtright.

The singer Elvis Presley and later the actor Warren Beatty lived several years in the hotel. It was also the home of John Lennon, when he was separated for several months from his wife Yoko Ono. The American socialite and Woolworth department store heiress Barbara Hutton spent her last years in near poverty and poor health in the hotel and died there in May 1979.

Acquired by Regent International Hotels in 1985, the 395-room luxury hotel has been managed by the Four Seasons Hotel since 1992.*^

 

 

 

 
(1937)##++ – Aerial view of Beverly Hills looking northeast.  The intersection of Wilshire Boulevard and Beverly Drive is at center-left where the Moorish-style Beverly Theater stands at the corner. The Beverly Wilshire Hotel is seen at lower-left.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1930s)^ – View looking east on Wilshire Boulevard at Beverly Drive in Beverly Hills. Seen are, left to right, the Beverly Theater, the California Bank Building, and the Warner Theatre.  

 

 

 

 
(1951)##++ – Close-up view showing the northeast corner of Wilshire Boulevard and N. Beverly Drive showing three buildings with uniquely distinctive architectural styles: the Mughal Revival Beverly Theatre, the Mesoamerican Revival California Bank Building, and the Hollywood Regency style structure connecting them that became Reingold Jewelers.  Photo: Marc Wanamaker  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1940)^ - Three women stand on a street corner opposite the Beverly Theater in Beverly Hills. The marquee includes "Fred MacMurray Exclusive."  

 

Historical Notes

Designed by L.A. Smith, this was the first vaudeville and movie theater to be built in Beverly Hills.^

 

 

 

 
(1945)##++ - A bird's-eye view from the California Bank Building (Sterling Plaza) of north Beverly Drive with the Beverly Theater directly below.  

 

Historical Notes

The first building on the west side of the road (left) began as the Victor Hugo Restaurant. It was next occupied by the salon of Adrian (as pictured), the movie costumer and designer of couture gowns for the discerning (and very wealthy) woman. It later became a Lane Bryant store. The building was eventually razed. The parking lot is where the Chase Bank building (originally Bank of America) now stands. The Adrian lot is the site of an office building where MGM is headquartered. ##++

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1936)^^ – View looking east on Wilshire Boulevard and Dayton Drive.  From right to left can be seen:  J.J. Haggarty, Beverly Wilshire Hotel, California Bank, the dome of the Beverly Theater and the top hat sign of the famous Brown Derby Restaurant.  

 

 

Brown Derby (Beverly Hills)

 
(ca. 1940)##^* –  Postcard view looking east on Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills.  The Brown Derby Restaurant is on the left (sign above the palm trees) with the Beverly Theater and California Bank in the distance. On the right can be seen the Beverly-Wilshire Hotel, W & J Sloane and J. J. Haggarty's Department Stores.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1940s)+# – View showing the Brown Derby Restaurant on the corner of Wilshire and Rodeo Drive as seen from the Beverly-Wilshire Hotel.  Today, Louis Vuitton sits on this corner.  

 

Historical Notes

The Original Brown Derby on Wilshire and the Hollywood Brown Derby on Vine Street got most of the attention but there were two others. This one opened in 1931 at 9537 Wilshire at the corner of Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. Apparently it was busiest on Thursday nights because that was the traditional maid’s night off. +#

 

 

 
(1950s)+## – View showing a woman crossing the street on Rodeo Drive with the The Brown Derby Restaurant behind her.  Wilshire Boulevard is out of view on the left.  

 

 

 

Then and Now

 
(2014)++^ - The Brown Derby is gone, but the Louis Vuitton building gives a subtle nod to the past with its brown, hat-like dome. Location: 9537 Wilshire Bouelvard, Beverly Hills  

 

* * * * *

 

 

 

 
(1929)+# – Night view of north Beverly Drive showing four spot lights for what appears to be a new store opening which was so typical of the 20s and 30..  At lower right there is a bike casually dropped in the doorway of a hardware store (Beverly Hardware Co.).  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1939)^ – Birds-eye view of Beverly Hills looking northwest from the intersection of Wilshire Boulevard and Doheny Drive.  Beverly Hills City Hall can be seen in the distance (upper center-left).  

 

 

 

 
(1940s)**^ - View looking east on Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills showing I. Magnin at right and Saks Fifth Avenue at center-left.  In front of Saks Fifth Avenue is an attractive little building housing Nobby Knit Shops. In the background is Haggarty's, the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, a Bank of America and the Warner Beverly Hills Theater.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1954)##++ – Aerial view looking east on Wilshire Boulevard where it intersect Santa Monica Boulevard showing the construction of the Beverly Hilton Hotel and the surrounding Beverly Hills area.  

 

Historical Notes

Conrad Hilton opened the Beverly Hilton in 1954. Architect Welton Becket designed the hotel as a showpiece with 582 rooms.

Since 1961, the hotel's International Ballroom has hosted the Golden Globe Award ceremony, presented annually by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.^*

 

 

 

 
(1957)+# – View of Wilshire Boulevard showing the side of the Beverly Wilshire Hotel and Wilson's House of Suede anchoring the line of stores to the east of the hotel on the corner of El Camino.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1950s)##++ - View looking west near the intersection of Beverly Drive and Santa Monica Boulevard showing a streetcar heading east toward Hollywood. Sign on streetcar reads: HOLLYWOOD - BEVERLY HILLS  

 

Historical Notes

The Pacific Electric streetcar lines ran along Santa Monica Boulevard through Beverly Hills until 1965.

 

 

Click HERE to see more Early Views of Beverly Hills

 

 

* * * * *

 

 

Downtown LA

 
(1939)^ - Ernie's .5 Cent Cafe, located at 806 E. 5th Street, where a person could get a meal for a nickel, back in 1939. Signage on the front window, as well as on the marquees displayed reads: "Beef Stew", "Chili & Beans", "Spaghetti Red", "Baked Beef Hash", "Ham Sandwich", "Egg Sandwich", "Hamburger", etc. Everything marked for a nickel. Ernie's opens at 6 a.m. and closes at 8 p.m. and is open on Sundays. The establishment next door offers haircuts for .25 cents.  

 

 

 

 
(1940s)^ - China City, a Chinese settlement between Spring and Main and between Macy and Ord Streets. Main Street was the main entrance to China City. Note the old-style traffic signal and the "POWER OFF" sign on the overhead lines.  

 

 

 

Court Flight

 
(ca. 1930)^^ - View of Court Flight, "The Shortest Railway in the World", showing a sandwich shop at its base at 155 Broadway.  

 

Historical Notes

From 1905 to 1943, Court Flight scaled the eastern flank of Bunker Hill, a few blocks north of the better-known Angels Flight. Billed as the "shortest railway in the world," the 200-foot incline railway began at Broadway between First and Temple, across the street from the LA County Courthouse and Hall of Records.

 

 

 
(ca. 1935)^ - View of parking area and upper entrance to Court Flight cable railway, leading to the Hall of Records, County Courthouse and City Hall below. Next to the railway on the north is New Hotel Broadway.  

 

Historical Notes

Court Flight connected Bunker Hill residents with North Broadway and the Los Angeles Civic Center. By the 1930s, the clientele changed. Many of the estimated 1,000 daily riders were government workers using Court Flight to connect with cheap parking on Bunker Hill.^^

 

 

 
(1935)^^ - Riders inside a car on the Court Flight Incline Railroad in downtown Los Angeles.  

 

Historical Notes

An article in the Feb. 4, 1935, Los Angeles Times reported:

For twenty-eight years, operating his little “Court Flight” cable car from Broadway to the heights of Court Street, Sam Vandegrift never saw a motion-picture or attended a ball game.

Christy Mathewson and Babe Ruth flourished and waned, and the cinema advanced from the Biograph stage to talking films as he sat behind the control levers of the two fourteen-passenger wooden trams that crawled almost vertically up the slope.

And last week Mrs. A. M. Vandegrift, widow of this Sam who has been dead for two years, received a renewal of her operation franchise….^^

The Sep. 16, 1942, Los Angeles Times reported that with ridership dropping to fewer than 300 a day, Mrs. Vandegrift asked the Los Angeles Board of Public Utilities for permission to close Court Flight.^#^^

 

 

 
(ca. 1943)^ - Looking down the rails of the Court Flight Cable Railway, showing the Hotel Broadway, located next door on the left at 205 So. Broadway.
 

 

Historical Notes

Court Flight was closed in early 1943. Then on Oct. 19, 1943, a fire destroyed the remains of the inclined railroad.^#^^

 

 

Click HERE to see more Early Views of Court Flight.

 

 

 

 

 
(1937)*# - View looking east toward Bunker Hill with City Hall in the distance. Beaudry runs horizontally in the foreground. You can just make out the 2nd Street Tunnel at center-left.  

 

 

 

 
(1968)**^* - View looking east toward Bunker Hill from about the same spot as previous photo but 31 years later. 2nd Street Tunnel is clearly visible and the Harbor Freeway now runs across the bottom of photo.  

 

 

 

Before and After

 
 

 

* * * * *

 

 

Wilshire Boulevard

 
(ca. 1939)^ - View showing the Simon’s drive-in restaurant, located at 5171 Wilshire Boulevard, with a sign for Halsco out front on the lawn. Nearby are a sign which encourages passers-by to “Read Examiner Want Ads,” the offices for Mutual of Omaha in the E. Clem Wilson Building (upper left, later Samsung), located at 5217 Wilshire Boulevard, and two Wilshire Lanterns (left).  

 

Historical Notes

At one time Simon's Drive-Ins dominated the Southern California drive-in restaurant craze. The Simon brothers had operated a chain of successful dairy lunch counters in downtown Los Angeles, and in 1935 decided to capitalize on the growing car culture of Los Angeles by opening auto friendly locations in the emerging commercial centers of Wilshire Boulevard, Sunset and Ventura Boulevards. #^*

 

 

 
(ca. 1940)*# – View looking east along Wilshire Boulevard with the E. Clem Wilson Building at La Brea and Wilshire in the background. The Dominguez-Wilshire Building is on the right. Sontag Drug Store is on the left.  

 

 

 

 
(1939)^ - View looking west from the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Cloverdale Avenue. The Art Deco building housing a Sontag Drug Store is seen on the corner.  

 

Historical Notes

Built in 1935, this Art Deco structure has stood the test of time. It was originally the Sontag Drug Store, one of the largest drug stores in America at the time.  It was also one of the first to allow customers to browse and choose their own products rather than requesting them from a clerk behind a counter.

The building still stands, housing “Wilshire Beauty” and looking much like it did more than seven decades ago.***#

 

 

 
(ca. 1939)^ - View looking East on Wilshire Boulevard. Bullock's Wilshire stands across the street (South side). Cars are seen traveling east and west on Wilshire Blvd. James Webb, Engraving and Stationery store, is present in the background on the left.  

 

Historical Notes

The Bullock's Wishire Building was completed in 1929 as a luxury department store for owner John G. Bullock (owner of the more mainstream Bullock's in Downtown Los Angeles). The exterior is notable for its 241-foot tower whose top is sheathed in copper, tarnished green. At one time, the tower peak had a light that could be seen for miles around.

Bullock's Wilshire's innovation was that it was one of the first department stores in Los Angeles to cater to the burgeoning automobile culture. It was located in a then-mostly residential district, its objective to attract shoppers who wanted a closer place to shop than Downtown Los Angeles.

In 1968, the Bullock's Wilshire Building, located at 3050 Wilshire Boulevard, was designated Los Angeles Historic Cultural Monument No. 56 (Click HERE to see complete listing).^*

 

 

 
(1939)^^ - View looking west down Wilshire Boulevard from South Commonwealth Avenue with the Town House Hotel and apartments on the right.  There is a great array of cars and crowds. Bullocks Wilshire Tower is on the left.  Photo by Dick Whittington  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1938)^ – Double-decker westbound at Wilshire Boulevard and Rampart.  Lafayette Park is straight ahead and to the right and the Town House Hotel can be seen in the distance. Photo by Herman J. Schultheis  

 

Historical Notes

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

 

 

 
(ca. 1935)^ - View of Wilshire Blvd. looking west at Lafayette Park toward the Town House Hotel, also known as Sheraton Town House and Sheraton West, at right, and Bullock's Wilshire department store at left.  

 

Historical Notes

Designed by Norman W. Alpaugh, in Mediterranean Revival, Art Deco, and other revival styles, the Town House was once among the most luxurious hotels in Southern California.  It is located on Wilshire Boulevard, adjacent to Lafayette Park in the Westlake district.^*

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1939)##* – Postcard view looking west on Wilshire Boulevard as seen from La Fayette Park.  

 

Historical Notes

Clara R. Shatto donated 35 acres of land that now makes up Lafayette Park to the City of Los Angeles in 1899. The land consisted of tar seeps and oil wells and Shatto requested that it be developed into a park. Shatto was the wife of George Shatto, then-owner of Santa Catalina Island.

Canary Island palm trees and jacaranda were planted in the area of what became known as Sunset Park. Local groups requested that the name be changed to commemorate Marquis de Lafayette, a military officer of the American Revolutionary War. The name was officially changed in 1918. A statue of him was erected in 1937, close to the Wilshire Boulevard entrance.^*

 

 

 

 
(1940)*# - Aerial view of Wilshire Boulevard facing west from Lafayette Park past the Town House, the Bullock's Wilshire tower, towards the Gaylord Apartments and the Ambassador Hotel at Wilshire Boulevard and Kenmore Avenue.  

 

Historical Notes

Lafayette Park's vicinity has seen the construction of numerous architecturally significant buildings. Several are listed in the National Register of Historic Places: the Sheraton Town-House, Felipe de Neve Branch Library, and Bullock's Wilshire, all built in 1929.^*

 

 

 
(1946)**^* – View looking northeast on Wilshire Boulevard toward Lafayette Park.  The Town House at  2959-2973 Wilshire Blvd. is seen across the street from the park.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1940s)**^# - View from the roof of the Town House looking north toward the Hollywood Hills.  The First Congregational Church, 540 S. Commonwealth, is seen at the lower-right.  

 

Historical Notes

From the 1960s through the 1980s, the area around Lafayette Park became less desirable and more dangerous. The building was operated for many years as a Sheraton hotel under the name "The Sheraton-Town House" and "The Sheraton-West". It was later converted for use as low-income housing.^*

In 1997, the Town House was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and in 1994 it was designated as Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 576 (Click HERE to see complete listing).

 

 

 
(1940s)^* - View of Wilshire Boulevard facing east as seen from the top of the Sheraton Town House.  Lafayette Park is on the left. Simon's Drive-in Restaurant is across the street on the right, southwest corner of Wilshire and Hoover Street.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1939)^#^^ – Panoramic view looking south from Wilshire Boulevard showing Simon's Drive-in Restaurant with the La Fayette Apartments behind it. Simon’s was located on the SW corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Hoover Street.  

 

Historical Notes

At one time Simon's Drive-Ins dominated the Southern California drive-in restaurant craze. The Simon brothers had operated a chain of successful dairy lunch counters in downtown Los Angeles, and in 1935 decided to capitalize on the growing car culture of Los Angeles by opening auto friendly locations in the emerging commercial centers of Wilshire Boulevard, Sunset and Ventura Boulevards.

Click HERE to see more Early Views of Simon's Drive-ins.

 

* * * * *

 

 

Hollywood

 
(1940)^ - BEFORE SMOG CHECKS - Three cars are driving east from Wilcox on Hollywood Blvd., while on the opposite side two streetcars are coming west past Warners movie theater.
 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1940s)^ - A group of people boarding the Pacific Electric Railway car in Hollywood for the Subway Terminal Building via Santa Monica Boulevard circa the 1940s.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1940)^ - Panoramic view of Hollywood looking northwest toward the Cahuenga Pass. The Hollywood Freeway and Cahuenga Pass are visible at the top of the photo, with the San Fernando Valley far off in the distance.  

 

Historical Notes

The cluster of buildings in the middle portion of this urban jungle are: KNX and CBS Radio Playhouse (short, windowless building mid-photo); Plaza Hotel; Broadway-Hollywood; Hotel Knickerbocker - which are all along the left side of Vine St.; and the Taft Building - across the street on the right side of Vine Street. The three large white buildings running in an east/west direction along Sunset Blvd. are: CBS Television (long horizontal windows on lower right); the famous Hollywood Palladium (semi-domed white roof, lower middle); and NBC Radio City (white building with three long, vertical windows) located on the corner of Sunset and Vine.^

By 1940, Los Angeles' population (which includes Hollywood and the San Fernando Valley) was 1,504,277.^*

 

 

 
(1943)*# - View of Cahuenga Pass with light traffic on February 16, 1943.  

 

Historical Notes

The first segment of the Hollywood Freeway built was a one and a half mile stretch through the Cahuenga Pass. That segment opened on June 15, 1940. It was then known as the "Cahuenga Pass Freeway." Pacific Electric Railway trolleys ran down the center of this freeway until 1952.^*

 

 

 
(ca. 1950)**^# - A Pacific Red Car returning from the San Fernando Valley travels along the Cahuenga Pass toward Hollywood.  

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 
(1940)^^ - View looking west toward the intersection of Wilshire Boulevard and South San Vicente Boulevard.  

 

Historical Notes

The Van de Kamp’s Restaurant at Wilshire and San Vicente shaped like a Dutch windmill was one of the last examples of vernacular LA architecture.

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1940)^ - View of a section of San Vicente Boulevard, showing some Art Deco buildings. In the background is the Beverly Tower, which is a service station, next to that, in the center of the image, is a little eatery. A painted wooden sign on the left advertises horseback riding lessons.  

 

 

 

 
(1940)^^ - The Huntington Beach coastline was a forest of oil derricks in 1940.  Oil discoveries in Huntington Beach, Long Beach and Santa Fe Springs in 1920 and 1921 drove massive drilling.  

 

Historical Notes

Ever since the legendary oil tycoon Edward L. Doheny and his partner, Charles A. Canfield, struck oil northwest of downtown Los Angeles in 1892, extracting petroleum from the land beneath Southern California has been a major part of the Southern California economy and its landscape. That included the beach areas as well.^^^*

 

 

 
(ca. 1930s)*# - People frolic along the Playa del Rey beach, the skyline dominated by oil derricks.  

 

 

 

 
(1941)^ - Postcard view shows gas prices advertised at the service station. 8 Gallons for $1 with full service! Click HERE to see more Early Views of LA Gas Stations.  

 

* * * * *

 

 

West Los Angeles

 
(1935)*# – View of Big Santa Monica Boulevard looking east from Pandora Avenue before widening and paving.  This eastward view of Big Santa Monica Boulevard shows the intersection with and the railroad bridge over South Beverly Glen Boulevard. The "Fox Films" sign is placed on Little Santa Monica Boulevard at about Fox Hills Drive.  

 

 

 

 
(1937)*# - View of Santa Monica Boulevard looking east from Pandora Avenue after widening and paving.  Pacific Electric tracks are on the right between Big Santa Monica and Little Santa Monica.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1941)**#* - Inbound Pacific Electric train is passing the 20th Century Fox "ranch" in 1941. This site is just west of the Beverly Hills city limit. Santa Monica Boulevard is on the left of photo and "Little" Santa Monica is on the right.  

 

Historical Notes

In the 1930s the Santa Monica via Beverly Hills line had the highest patronage of any inter-city or suburban line of the Pacific Electric Railway. Yet it was converted to bus operation in 1941, unlike the various PE suburban lines that survived World War II.**#*

The 20th Century Fox Studio was formerly Tom Mix's ranch.

 

 

 

 
(1999)**#* - Same view as previous photo but 58 years later. Century City's 9 million square feet of office space was built on the "ranch" site in the late '60s  

 

Historical Notes

Once a backlot of 20th Century Fox, which still has its headquarters just to the southwest, the Fox studio commissioned a master-plan development from Welton Becket Associates, which was unveiled at a major press event on the "western" backlot in 1957. In 1961, after Fox suffered a string of expensive flops, culminating with the financial strain put on the studio by the very expensive production of Cleopatra, the film studio sold about 180 acres to developer William Zeckendorf and Aluminum Co. of America, also known as Alcoa. The new owners conceived Century City as "a city within a city." In 1963, the first building, Century City Gateway West, was complete, followed the next year by Minoru Yamasaki's Century Plaza Hotel.^*

 

 

 

Before and After

 
(1941)**#* - Before   (1999)**#* - After

 

* * * * *

 

 

 

 

 
(1940)^ - View of the intersection of Grand Avenue (foreground) and Seventh Street, which has been decorated for the Christmas season. Pedestrians, cars and Yellow Cars fill up Seventh Street, one of the most prominent streets in downtown. A police officer is seen talking to the driver of a coupe stopped within the busy intersection.  

 

 

 

 
(1941)^ - View of East 1st Street in Little Tokyo. Businesses such as: Sukiyaki, the Nelson Hotel, Chop Suey Cafe, Nanka Shu Hotel, Hori Bros. and the Rainier Cafe are visible throughout the image. Automobile traffic has clogged the street, on which a Pacific Electric streetcar is shown traveling in the background. Photo dated: December 8, 1941.  

 

Historical Notes

The photo above was taken one day after Imperial Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor. On February 19, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt authorized the internment of Japanese Americans with Executive Order 9066. Shortly thereafter, the Little Tokyo area was emptied.^*

 

 

 
(1942)^ - View of the north side of East 1st Street, which will soon be empty as Mayor Bowron reported the evacuation plan for Little Tokyo residents. City Hall hovers in the background and some businesses, such as the Nelson Hotel, Chop Suey Cafe, Nanka Shu Hotel, Hori Bros. and the Rainier Cafe, are visible on the street, which reveals various cars and some Pacific Electric streetcar tracks. Photograph dated March 21, 1942.  

 

Historical Notes

The full caption for this photograph reads: Los Angeles, California. Street scene in "Little Tokyo" near the Los Angeles Civic Center, prior to evacuation of residents of Japanese ancestry. Evacuees will be assigned to War Relocation Authority centers for the duration.

 

 

 
(1942)^ - View showing Japanese men, women and children boarding trains and buses as they started their journey at the old Santa Fe station to Manzanar Internment Camp in Owens Valley.  

 

Historical Notes

The Japanese American internment during World War II affected about 110,000 people of Japanese heritage who lived on the Pacific coast of the United States. The U.S. government ordered the internment in 1942, shortly after Imperial Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor. The internment of Japanese Americans was applied unequally as a geographic matter: all who lived on the West Coast were interned, while in Hawaii, where 150,000-plus Japanese Americans comprised over one-third of the population, only 1,200 to 1,800 were interned. Sixty-two percent of the internees were American citizens.^*

 

 

 
(ca. 1942)*#^ - Japanese Americans arrive at the Internment staging center at the Santa Anita Park racetrack.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1988, Congress passed and President Ronald Reagan signed legislation that apologized for the internment on behalf of the U.S. government. The legislation said that government actions were based on "race prejudice, war hysteria, and a failure of political leadership". The U.S. government eventually disbursed more than $1.6 billion in reparations to Japanese Americans who had been interned and their heirs.^*

 

 

 
(1942)^ - Vacant and deserted business houses along 1st Street after the evacuation of Japanese people during World War II.  

 

Historical Notes

For a brief time, the area became known as Bronzeville as African Americans and also Native Americans moved into the vacated properties and opened up nightclubs and restaurants. After the internment ended, the Bronzeville residents mainly moved to other areas.

After the war, due to lack of housing in Little Tokyo, Japanese Americans returning from the camps moved into areas surrounding the downtown, into apartments and boarding houses. Notably, Boyle Heights, just east of Little Tokyo, had a large Japanese American population in the 1950s (as it had before the internment) until the arrival of Mexican and Latino immigrants replaced most of them.^*

 

 

 
(1942)^ - View of the once busy life of Little Tokyo is contrasted by this scene of a quiet street corner at 1st and San Pedro streets on June 17, 1942, following the Japanese evacuation. In the foreground is the newly-named Civic Hotel, formerly the Miyako Hotel, once a "reputed center of Japanese intrigue in Southern California."  

 

Historical Notes

In the late 1970s, a redevelopment movement started in Little Tokyo as Japanese corporations expanded overseas operations and many of them set up their US headquarters in the Los Angeles area. Several new shopping plazas and hotels opened, along with branches of some major Japanese banks. Although this redevelopment resulted in many new buildings and shopping centers, there are still some of the original Little Tokyo buildings and restaurants, especially along First Street.^*

 

 

 
(1943)**^ - View looking north up the 500 block of S. Hope Street towards the rear of the Central Library. The sign on the upper right indicates that rooms rates at the Hotel Val Demar are: $1 per day or $5 per week. North of the hotel is the Bible Institute (Church of the Open Door).  

 

 

 

 
(1940s)##+ – Rooftop view looking northeast showing the Bible Institute from the corner of Hope and 6th streets.  In the distance can be seen the Edison Building (top left) and City Hall (top center-right). Note the two radio towers on top of the Bible Institute building.  

 

 

 

 
(1943)*# - View of the Biltmore Hotel from the corner of Olive and 5th Streets. A man is seen crossing the street toward the hotel while other pedestrians are waiting for the light to change.  

 

Historical Notes

Upon its grand opening in 1923, the Los Angeles Biltmore was the largest hotel west of Chicago, Illinois in the United States.

In 1969 the Biltmore Hotel was designated a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 60 by the City of Los Angeles. Click HERE to see the LA Historic-Cultural Monument List.

As of 2009, the Los Angeles Biltmore is operated as part of the Millennium & Copthorne Hotels chain as the Millennium Biltmore Hotel. From its original 1500 guestrooms it now has 683, due to room reorganization.^*

 

* * * * *

 

 

Main, Spring, and 9th Street Intersection

 
(ca. 1937)* - View looking north at the intersection of Main, Spring, and 9th streets in downtown Los Angeles. A uniformed man sits in a booth on top of a pole in the foreground (S/E corner) as pedestrians walk by underneath.  

 

Historical Notes

In the early part of the 1900s, elevated booths were used by the Los Angeles Railway and the Yellow Cars as a switchman’s tower to control the flow and path of streetcars through the intersection. 

 

 

 

 
(1939)^#^^ – View looking north on Main Street at 9th and Spring Streets.  The 810 South Spring Building is straight ahead with the Hotel Cecil on the right. In the foreground can be seen a car closely following a streetcar as several pedestrians are in the middle of the intersection.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1939)*# - View of Main Street looking north at 9th Street. Passengers are seen boarding a streetcar as it sits at a loading island on Main Street. Sign on the side of the Hotel Hampshire reads: “50 Cents Per Day”.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1940s)**^# - Intersection of Main, Spring, and 9th streets in downtown Los Angeles. A traffic officer can be seen standing in the middle of the busy intersection.  

 

* * * * *

 

 

Rainy Days in Early LA

 
(1940)^ - View showing a car driving through the water in the intersection of 12th and Main Streets on December 16, 1940.  

 

 

 

 
(1940)^ - Cars are shown sloshing through the flooded street in front of Angelus Temple in Echo Park on February 1, 1940. Streets in a number of parts of the city were flooded.  

 

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Fairfax District

 
(1940s )#^# - View looking south on Farifax Avenue from Melrose Avenue. The Silent Movie Theatre is one of the few buildings standing on the west side of Fairfax Ave. Fairfax High School is directly across the street from the theater.  

 

Historical Notes

John Hampton and his brother Gilbert began collecting silent films when they were boys in Oklahoma City. Throughout the mid-1920’s, he and his brother held movie nights at their home for family and friends.

In 1940, John Hampton and his wife Dorothy moved from Oklahoma to Los Angeles. A year later, they bought an empty lot on Fairfax Ave, near Melrose Ave. On this empty lot, Mr. Hampton built his version of an ideal theater – one with “staggered seating, bowl-shaped floor, acoustical sound, and silent pictures.” #^#

 

 

 
(1942)#^# - View of the "Silent Movie Theatre" located at 611 N. Fairfax Avenue shortly before it opened.  

 

Historical Notes

The theater opened for business in February, 1942. The marquee simply said “Old Time Movies” with “Movie” painted in script between the two windows on the upper floor. The theater had 250 seats. A child’s ticket cost five cents; an adult’s ticket cost ten cents.

By the 1950’s, the theater’s audiences grew smaller as television’s popularity grew. Other silent film theaters folded while the Hamptons were able to keep their theater afloat until 1980 when they had to shut it down. The theater was to stay closed for the next ten years until after the death of Mr. Hampton. The theater reopened 1991 under new management and has since seen a sucession of owners.

Today, the name of the theater remains “Silent Movie Theatre.” It is run by a non-profit organization aptly called “the Cinefamily” and has become the premier site for vintage and experimental film. #^#

 

 

 
(ca. 1937)^ - Exterior view of the Pan-Pacific Auditorium, located at 7600 Beverly Boulevard in the Fairfax district.  

 

Historical Notes

The Pan-Pacific Auditorium opened on May 18, 1935. Its green and white western-facing 228 foot long facade featured four stylized towers and flagpoles meant to represent upswept aircraft fins above the entrance.^

With all the many Streamline Moderne houses and structures popping up in the 30s, many say the Pan Pacific Auditorium really was the single most famous Streamline Moderne building in Los Angeles.^*^**

 

 

 
(ca. 1943)^ - Photo of the crowd outside for a Queen for a Day broadcasting, presented by the Mutual Broadcasting System.  

 

Historical Notes

For 35 years, the Pan-Pacific Auditorium was home to a multitude of events, ranging from auto, boat and home shows to sporting events like hockey games, basketball (Harlem Globetrotters included), concerts, and political events like a dinner for Eisenhower and Nixon, and many more.^*^**

 

 

 
(ca. 1970s)**^ - The Pan-Pacific Auditorium in its last days.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1971, the Los Angeles Convention Center opened and essentially rendered the Pan-Pacific Auditorium utterly useless. By 1972, the Pan-Pacific Auditorium dwindled in use, and, after some small expos in the spring, finally shut its doors for good. It sat empty for many years until it burned down in 1989.^*^**

Today, you can see a re-creation of the Pan-Pacific as the ticket office at Disney's California Adventures.

Click HERE to see more early views of the Pan-Pacific Auditorium.

 

 

 
(1942)*++ – View looking southeast as seen from the northwest corner of Beverly Boulevard and Sierra Bonita Avenue showing (left to right):  the Pan-Pacific Theatre, Pan-Pacific Ice Skating Rink, and the Pan-Pacific Auditorium.  

 

 

 

 
(1942)*++ – View showing a large billboard sign located at 7600 Beverly Boulevard (S/E corner of Beverly and Sierra Bonita) advertising all the venues found at the Pan-Pacific Village including the Pan-Pacific Auditorium, Ice Follies & Ice-Capades at the World’s Largest Ice-Skating Arena, Bowling Lanes & Cocktail Lounge, Pan-Pacific Theatre, and Home of All Major Expositions, Conventions, & Sporting Events.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1945)^ - View of the intersection of Fairfax Avenue and Beverly Blvd. At left is the Sontag Drug Store, next to the Fairfax Theatre.
 

 

Historical Notes

Fairfax Avenue was named for Lord Fairfax of Colonial America.

Beverly Boulevard was originally named Beverly Farms in 1921 after the Beverly Farms in Massachusetts, 25 miles north of Boston (Farms has since been dropped from its name). This is where President William Howard Taft vacationed in 1900. Burton Green, founder of Beverly Hills, decided that a good way to lure people to his city would be to name it after the resort of Presidents. In 1906 Green had a street named after himself--Burton Way.^*^

 

 

 
(1939)+## – View looking northwest at the intersection of Fairfax and Wilshire.  Photo was taken just before work started on the iconic May Company Building on the northeast corner. Across the street is Simon's Drive-in restaurant on the site that now has Johnies 50s diner.  

 

 

 

 
(1939)**^ – View looking east on Wilshire Boulevard at Fairfax Avenue.  On the left (N/E Corner) can be seen the construction site of the new Wilshire May Company Building.  At right is a large rooftop semi-circle billboard reading:  "MOBIL OIL - Mobilize for Better Mileage"  

 

 

 

 
(1940)+##– Aerial view showing the May Company Department Store shortly after its opening. To the left of it in this photo, we can see the popular Simon's Drive-in restaurant where the Googie-influenced Johnie's Coffee Shop now stands.  

 

 

 

 
(1940)+## – View looking southwest showing the newly constructed May Company Building on the northeast corner of Fairfax and Wilshire.  

 

Historical Notes

The above photo was taken in 1940, the year the May Company  Wilshire opened, and we can see how residential Wilshire still was – almost semi-rural. In the distance, we can see the tower of the iconic Carthay Circle Theater.  To the immediate right of the store, we can see the circular Art Deco drive-in restaurant, Simon's.+##

 

 

 
(1940s)+## – Aerial view of Wilshire Blvd facing east at the Fairfax Ave corner showing the new May Company Building. This intersection was referred to as the western gateway to the Miracle Mile.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1940)^ - Exterior view of the May Company Department Store Building, located on the northeast corner of Wilshire and Fairfax.  A man appears to be standing on top of the May Co. sign. A sign across the street reads: Simon's Sandwiches  

 

Historical Notes

The Streamline Moderne department store building with its distinctive corner gold tower was designed by Albert C. Martin and Samuel A. Marx and built in 1939-40.^*

 

 

 

 
(1940s)*#^ - View looking toward the northeast corner of Wilshire and Fairfax where the beautiful May Company Building stands. Simon's Drive-in is seen across the street.  

 

Historical Notes

May Company California was established in 1923 when May acquired A. Hamburger & Sons Co.(founded in 1881 by Asher Hamburger). The company operated exclusively in Southern California until 1989 when May Department Stores had dissolved Goldwater's, based in Scottsdale, Arizona and transferred its Las Vegas, Nevada store to May Company California.^*

 

 

 
(1939)#^#^ - Nighttime view of Simon’s drive-in, northwest corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax.  

 

Historical Notes

Simon's Drive-In Restaurant was built in 1935 on the northwest corner of Wilshire Blvd. and Fairfax Avenue. In the 1930s, Wayne McAllister, the originator of the circular drive-in, designed circular Simon's Drive-in Restaurants in the Streamline Moderne style with a three-layer roof and neon advertising pylon; this style was copied throughout the country.^

The Chaplin Airfield was once located at this same Fairfax/Wilshire Simon's Drive-In site.

 

 

 
(ca. 1948)^#^^ - Couple of jitter-bugs down at Simon's Drive-In wowing the waitress with their tiger-stripe upholstery. Ah, those were the days!  

 

Historical Notes

At one time Simon's Drive-Ins dominated the Southern California drive-in restaurant craze. The Simon brothers had operated a chain of successful dairy lunch counters in downtown Los Angeles, and in 1935 decided to capitalize on the growing car culture of Los Angeles by opening auto friendly locations in the emerging commercial centers of Wilshire Boulevard, Sunset and Ventura Boulevards. #^*

 

 

 
(1944)^^ - California Highway Patrol officers check cars funneled into a “stationary” traffic block on Western Avenue south of Sunset Boulevard.  

 

Historical Notes

The Southern California wide law enforcement crackdown was explained in the Sept. 11, 1944, Los Angeles Times:

In an effort to halt the toll of death and injury in auto accidents, united law enforcement agencies gave citations to 4,545 motorists for motor vehicle law violations in a swift five-hour campaign through 11 Southern California counties which ended early yesterday.

Traffic and safety officials said it was the most extensive traffic check ever attempted in the United States.
In Los Angeles city itself, 1,847 citations were handed out. More than 15,000 vehicles and occupants were inspected.

Almost every type of law enforcement agency took part in the drive. More than 600 officers, including California Highway Patrol, civil police, military police, sheriff’s deputies, police auxiliaries and Navy’s shore patrol operated under the chairmanship of a traffic checks committee headed by Ralph W. Robinson, manager, Greater Los Angeles Safety Council.
Spreading their “safety nets” and road blockades at 9 p.m. Saturday, officers began halting autos at stationary

inspection points on strategic streets, while at the same time roving squadrons of civil police blanketed prearranged areas. The drive enveloped both military and navel personnel as well as civilians.
Officers, funneling traffic into single lanes at the stationary points, checked autos and motorists for everything from proper windshields wipers to the smell of liquor on the breath. If inspectors found automotive faults they waved the cars to the side of the road until imperfections in such things as lighting, brakes, horns and tail-light reflectors could properly be ticketed.

Netted in the traffic drive were:

757 motorists operating cars without driver’s licenses.

1,300 cited for driving with improper lighting.      

25 booked as drunk drivers.

15 arrested as “plain drunks” riding with sober drivers.

300 drivers had no proper evidence of car registration.

Among servicemen cited were an Army lieutenant and a sergeant arrested in Pasadena as being AWOL from their posts. Another Army officer was arrested on a charge of drunk driving. Many were snagged for failing to have proper liberty and leave passes…

This photo by former staff photographer Al Humphreys was published in the Sept. 11, 1944 Los Angeles Times.
Scott Harrison, Framework, November 7, 2013, Los Angeles times archive.^#^^

 

 

 

 
(1945)^ - Postcard of a crowd looking at the electric billboard on the Taft Building. The view is from the north-west corner of Hollywood and Vine looking south-east. An early traffic sign is in the foreground and in the background the distinctive "hat" of the Brown Derby sign is visible.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1945)**^ - "Los Angeles Life Fun Map" distributed by Santa Fe Bus Lines and the Glass House Restaurant. Map highlights all the must see places in Los Angeles during the 1940s (i.e. Brown Derby at upper right-center of photo and the Hollywood Bowl at very top).  

 

 

 

 

 
(1944)**^ - A War Bonds event at the Hollywood Bowl.  

 

Historical Notes

On June 14th, 1944, radio actors and actresses performed at the Hollywood Bowl during a war bond program.  CBS broadcast the event.^

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of the Hollywood Bowl.

 

 

 
(1944)^ - View of the War Loan Drive Parade at the busy intersection of Seventh and Broadway. Note how the streetlight in the lower right of the photo is blacked-out on top due to the war.  

 

Historical Notes

On November 18, 1944, a throng estimated at 350,000 crowded downtown streets to witness the gala spectacle, "Calvacade of the West," which ushered in the 6th War Loan drive.^

 

 

 
(1945)#*^ - U.S. General George S. Patton acknowledges the cheers of thousands during a parade down Broadway in downtown L.A., on June 9, 1945.  

 

Historical Notes

Shortly after his visit to Los Angeles, Patton returned to Germany and controversy, as he advocated the employment of ex-Nazis in administrative positions in Bavaria; he was relieved of command of the 3rd Army and died of injuries from a traffic accident in December, after his return home. Joe Rosenthal's famous Iwo Jima flag-raising photograph is visible on the war bonds billboard. #*^

 

 

 

 
(1945)^#^^ - Headed south on Olive just crossing 7th Street, August 14, 1945.  Having defeated Japan, a group of renegade sailors turn their attention to a hapless Plymouth convertible.  LA Times Photo Archive  

 

Historical Notes

The exact date of the war's end is not universally agreed upon. It has been suggested that the war ended at the armistice of August 14, 1945 (V-J Day), rather than the formal surrender of Japan (September 2, 1945); in some European histories, it ended on V-E Day (May 8, 1945). However, the Treaty of Peace with Japan was not signed until 1951, and that with Germany not until 1990.^*

 

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(1940)^ - View looking across Flower Street at the west side of the Central Library.  

 

Historical Notes

The above view shows a corner of the California Club in the lower right corner and then on the left-center the white Sunkist Building facing the back of the library across 5th Street.  The Edison Building (later One Bunker Hill Building) dominates the center of the frame with the Engstrum Apartments below it nearer the camera (looking all the world like three separate buildings), then just to the left the white, slab-sided Edison Annex which faces Hope Street, with the Zelda seemingly perched atop it, the dark, flat-roofed Santa Barbara Apartments peeking out from behind the Sunkist and the white Rubaiyat (now called the Wickland Apartments) behind it. And lastly, the three peas-in-a-pod apartment buildings going left to right from the Rubaiyat to the Zelda, starting with the LaBelle, then the Bronx and finally the Gordon immediately to the left of the Zelda.^#^^

 

 

 
(ca. 1945)*# - Panoramic view of downtown Los Angeles looking northeast. In the foreground a building labeled "Sunkist" is visible, while the "Engstrum Apartments" can be seen at right. Further to the right, an American flag on a large flagpole can be seen atop a large rectangular structure, the Edison Building (later One Bunker Hill Building). In the background at center, a cylindrical construction which appears to be a large gas holder (aka "gasometer") rises above the other structures. In the far background at left, City Hall stands high above its surrounding structures.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1940s)*# - View of the Sunkist Building on the corner of Fifth Street and Hope Street in Los Angeles. The Sunkist Building is at right and is a large building made up of many connected rectangular sections. Large rectangular windows can be seen on the sides of the building, and a tower in the middle bears the name of the company. In the background at right are the Engstrum Apartment Hotel and the Edison Building (later One Bunker Hill Building). In the foreground at right is the front lawn of the Los Angeles Central Library.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1970, Sunkist traded its downtown land and building for a larger property in Sherman Oaks in a deal valued at about $1.6 million. Before the Sunkist building was demolished in 1972, it sat empty for two years on the approaches to Bunker Hill. In 1981, Wells Fargo Bank was built on the empty land. Five years later, Wells Fargo bought Crocker Bank and moved to South Grand Avenue. Today, the old Wells Fargo Building has become the 48-story Four Forty-Four Plaza, housing about 80 firms.^^

 

 

 
(1940s)^*^# – View looking north on the 700 block of South Hill Street showing mid-day pedestrian traffic.  The large building with high flying flag seen in the distance is the Title Guarantee Building on 5th Street.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1940)^ – View looking north on Hill Street at 6th Street with  Pershing Square seen at left.  The tall Art Deco building in the distance (N/W corner of 5th and Hill) is the Title Guarantee Building. Note the ornate streetlights running up Hill Street.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1945)^ - Postcard view of 6th Street looking west from Hill Street circa the 1940s. Pershing Square is at right, behind which is the Pacific Mutual Life Building, with its clock and motto, "Time to Insure." On the left is the Union Pacific Building. In the distance is the hillside west of downtown, the future location of the Harbor Freeway.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1945)^ - Venice is the destination for this Pacific Electric car as it passes in front of the Hotel Portsmouth on Hill St. In the background is Hotel Clark.  

 

Historical Notes

Pacific Electric carried increased passenger loads during World War II, when Los Angeles County's population nearly doubled as war industries concentrated in the region attracting millions of workers. There were several years when the company's income statement showed a profit, most notably during World War II, when gasoline was rationed and much of the populace depended on mass transit. At peak operation toward the end of World War II, the PE dispatched over 1000 trains daily and was a major employer in Southern California.^*

 

 

 

 
(1946)#* - View showing packed Pacific Electric Venice-bound streetcars at 5th & Hill streets. The line stopped running just 4 years later.  

 

Historical Notes

The Venice-bound line has a complex history dating back to 1897, when the portion between Hill & 4th Street to Vineyard (near Pico & San Vicente Boulevards) were constructed as part of the Pasadena & Pacific Railway Company. The line was practically level, and with few curves, it served as a much more direct route to the beaches than did the line through Beverly Hills.

When the resort town of Venice was founded in 1904, the Venice Short Line served as the most popular way for Angelenos to get to the ocean until heavy street traffic, years of deferred maintenance and the rise of competing bus line gradually caused patronage to drop.

In 1911, it took 50-52 minutes to take the line from downtown to Venice. #*

 

 

 
(1946)^ - View of the intersection of Wilshire Boulevard and Western Avenue in 1946.  

 

 

 

 
(1946)^ - View of full parking lots located on Grand Avenue at Wilshire Blvd. A few businesses, such as Dawson's Book Shop (right) and Security First National Bank (left), are visible on Grand Avenue. A billboard asking for the re-election of Republican governor Earl Warren is seen above Dawson's and in the background is the Rex Arms.  

 

 

 

 
(1940s)*# - View looking north on Broadway at 7th Street on a rainy day. Numerous signs can be seen including: Palace; Desmond's; Los Angeles Theatre; Kress; and Roys. Photo by Dick Whittington  

 

 

 

 

 

 
(1946)^*# - Panoramic view of the Los Angeles Civic Center, as seen from Broadway, March 11, 1946.  

 

 

 

 

 

 
(1946)^ - The Hall of Justice, with the U. S. Post Office behind. On the left is the old Broadway tunnel.  

 

Historical Notes

The Hall of Justice is the oldest structure in the civic center. It was the centerpiece of the Los Angeles County justice system until it was damaged in the Northridge earthquake. The historic 1925 building was featured on television shows including Dragnet, Perry Mason and Get Smart. More significantly, it was the home of Los Angeles County courts, the Los Angeles County Coroner, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office, and the Los Angeles County District Attorney, and was for many years the primary Los Angeles County jail.

The Hall of Justice was closed shortly after the 1994 Northridge earthquake and is currently being restored.  It is scheduled to re-open as the Sheriff's and District Attorney's Headquarters in 2014.^*

 

 

 

 
(1946)^ - Exterior of Los Angeles City Hall decorated for the centennial ceremony commemorating the first raising of the American flag in Los Angeles in 1846. The display includes enlarged historic depictions of downtown Los Angeles at 1846, 1886, 1916, and 1946; the last one shows what the city may look like in the future. Twenty-five thousand people attended the event. Photograph dated August 13, 1946.
 

 

 

 

 
(1947)* - Photo of the Los Angeles Civic Center taken from the Goodyear blimp. Shown are the State Building, Hall of Records, Hall of Justice, Federal Courthouse and U.S. Post Office Building, International Bank Building, and City Hall
 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1940s)*# - View looking northeast from Bunker Hill showing City Hall and the State Building. To the lower right can be seen 1st Street.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1945)^#^^ - Panoramic view looking east down 2nd Street from west of Olive.  

 

 

 

 

Third Street Tunnel

 
(1944)^#^^ - View looking east showing a construction crew repaving Third Street. In the background is the western portal of the Third Street Tunnel (43 years after it originally opened). Above the tunnel sit multi-story buildings, the largest being the Alta Vista Apartments.  

 

 

 

 
(1956)+** – View looking east toward Bunker Hill’s Third Street tunnel.  The white Alta Vista Apartments at 255 S. Bunker Hill Avenue loomed above the western end of the tunnel.  

 

Historical Notes

John Fante lived in the Alta Vista Apartments during the Depression in a room on the bottom left, and later wrote about the place (calling it the Alta Loma) in his 1939 novel, Ask the Dust: "It was built on a hillside in reverse, there on the crest of Bunker Hill, built against the decline of the hill, so that the main floor was on the level with the street but the tenth floor was downstairs ten levels." In 1950 director Joseph Losey shot several scenes inside and outside the Alta Vista for his film noir classic, M. To the right of the building are the park benches at the top of Third Street, which appeared in several movies, including M, Angel's Flight, This Rebel Breed, and Little Shop of Horrors.+**

 

 

 

 
(1955)*++ – View looking northwest directly above the 3rd Street Tunnel showing the Alta Vista Apartments with palm trees lining the south side of the building. Several men are seen sitting on benches at the edge of the hill on top of the tunnel's western portal. Photo by Leonard Nadel  

 

Historical Notes

The Alta Vista Apartment building was demolished in the mid-1960s as the CRA slowly cleared the hill for commercial development.

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1975)^ - A view of 3rd Street as it crosses Broadway, looking west towards the 3rd St. Tunnel (built in 1901) showing Bunker HIll with all of its old buildings now gone. The recently completed 55-story Security Pacific Plaza Building stands in the background.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1968)**^# - A 1954 Special 2-door Buick Riviera hardtop through Bunker Hill’s Third Street tunnel “like a small white baleen sea creature venturing out of its lair for some grub and adventure!”  

 

Historical Notes

On June 18th, 1968, the 3rd street tunnel reopened to traffic after a nine month closure in which the tunnel was extended 118 feet. The work was part of $22.8 million in public works projects done for Bunker Hill redevelopment.#^^*

 

 

 
(2007)^** – View of the Third Street Tunnel from the Hill Street side (looking west). Photo by Eric Richardson  

 

Historical Notes

In 1983 the tunnel again saw a lengthy closure, this time for eight months as work was done to replace the tunnel's center section as part of the construction of California Plaza above. #^^*

 

 

Click HERE to see more Early Views of the Third Street Tunnel (Early 1900s).

 

 

 

 

 
(1946)^ - View of a troop transport, built and launched at Consolidated Steel Corporation's Long Beach Shipbuilding Division.  

 

Historical Notes

Consolidated Steel Corporation was formed in 1929 from the amalgamation of Llewellyn Iron Works, Baker Iron Works and Union Iron Works.  It started its shipbuilding operation at a leased shipyard in Long Beach, which was the former Craig Shipbuilding, but built a wholly new shipyard in Wilmington in 1941, with four ways, in the second wave of shipbuilding expansion, with $13mm invested by the USMC.  Four more ways were added in the third wave of shipbuilding expansion and, at its peak, the Wilmington shipyard employed 12,000 people. 

After the war the two shipyards were liquidated.  The Long Beach yard was on the west side of Channel Three of the Inner Harbor, although its full extent is not clear.  The Wilmington yard was where the Port of Los Angeles' TraPac container terminal is now.*###

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

 

 

 
(1947)^^ - The Hughes Aircraft H-4 Hercules "Spruce Goose" during taxi tests in the Long Beach-Los Angeles Harbor. Howard Hughes is at the controls.  

 

Historical Notes

The Hughes H-4 Hercules was originally contracted by the U.S. government for use during World War II to transport troops and equipment across the Atlantic as an alternative to sea-going troop transport ships that were vulnerable to German U-boats. However the aircraft was not completed until after the end of World War II. The concept for the Hercules was originally conceived by industrialist Henry J. Kaiser, who teamed with Hughes to build the aircraft.

The aircraft made its first and only flight on November 2, 1947, and the project never advanced beyond the single example produced. Built from wood because of wartime restrictions on the use of aluminum and concerns about weight, its critics nicknamed it the "Spruce Goose", despite its being made almost entirely of birch rather than spruce. The Hercules is the largest flying boat ever built and has the largest wingspan of any aircraft in history. It survives in good condition at the Evergreen Aviation Museum in McMinnville, Oregon.^*

 

 

 
(ca. 1947)^ - Howard Hughes getting the feel of the cockpit in his famous "Spruce Goose" seaplane.  

 

Historical Notes

Howard Robard Hughes, Jr. (December 24, 1905 – April 5, 1976) was a  business magnate, investor, aviator, aerospace engineer, film maker and philanthropist. He was one of the wealthiest people in the world. As a maverick film producer, Hughes gained prominence in Hollywood from the late 1920s, making big-budget and often controversial films like The Racket (1928), Hell's Angels (1930), Scarface (1932) and The Outlaw (1943).

Hughes was one of the most influential aviators in history: he set multiple world air speed records, built the Hughes H-1 Racer and H-4 "Hercules" (better known to history as the "Spruce Goose" aircraft), and acquired and expanded Trans World Airlines, which would later on merge with American Airlines.

Hughes is also remembered for his eccentric behavior and reclusive lifestyle in later life, caused in part by a worsening obsessive–compulsive disorder and chronic pain. His legacy is maintained through the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.^*

 

 

 
(1947)^^ - The Hughes Aircraft H-4 Hercules "Spruce Goose" during short flight in the Long Beach-Los Angeles Harbor.  

 

Historical Notes

The Hercules flew only once for one mile, and 70 feet above the water, with Hughes at the controls.^*

Hughes piloted the boat on a course roughly paralleling the shoreline from Terminal Island Navy Base to offshore from Pier A in Long Beach.

In addition to the multimillionaire plane-maker, 30 engineers, technicians and observers were aboard the plywood giant for its first movement under its own power.^^

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1947)^ - Los Angeles Civic Center skyline is seen from Union Station.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1926, a measure was placed on the ballot giving Los Angeles voters the choice between the construction of a vast network of elevated railways or the construction of a much smaller Union Station to consolidate different railroad terminals. The election would take on racial connotations and become a defining moment in the development of Los Angeles. The proposed Union Station was located in the heart of what was Los Angeles' original Chinatown. Reflecting the prejudice of the era, the conservative Los Angeles Times, a lead opponent of elevated railways, argued in editorials that Union Station would not be built in the “midst of Chinatown” but rather would “forever do away with Chinatown and its environs.” Voters approved demolishing much of Chinatown to build Union Station by a narrow 51 to 48 percent.

When Union Station was opened in May 1939, it consolidated remaining service from its predecessors La Grande Station and Central Station. It was built on a grand scale and became known as "Last of the Great Railway Stations" built in the United States.^*

 

 

 
(1947)^ - Exterior view of L.A. Union Station. View is looking southwest from Union depot. City Hall is in the background.  

 

Historical Notes

Union Station was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. It also is listed as Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 101. Click HERE to see the LA Historic-Cultural Monuments list.

 

 

 
(1946)^ - Trains stranded in Los Angeles Union Station during a rail labor strike on May 24, 1946, include a former electric interurban car on the left in Track 12, now lettered ATSF and used for troop movement. Hundreds of coaches were parked at the station with no engines to move them.  

 

 

 

 
(1947)*#^ - View of Los Angeles Street looking north. The large trees in the upper left are in the LA Plaza and across the street is the Vincent Lugo Adobe house with its distinctive hipped roof and dormer windows. In the background can be seen both the Terminal Annex Post Office and Union Station.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1940s)^ - Aerial view of Los Angeles near the Plaza before construction of the Hollywood Freeway with Union Station in the background. The Plaza is seen to the left.  

 

Historical Notes

Union Station opened in May, 1939. The Hollywood Freeway would not be constructed until 1950.

 

 

 
(ca. 1940s)*# - Night view of the L.A. Plaza, Union Station, and Terminal Annex Post Office. Click HERE to see more in Early Views of the LA Plaza.  

 

 

 

 
(1947)^#^ - Los Angeles Transit Lines (ex-Los Angeles Railway) U Line car no. 304 is captured at 5th and
Wall Streets as an LATL crew installs new overhead for the trackless bus systems that will soon be deployed.
 

 

Historical Notes

The Los Angeles Railway (Yellow Cars, LARy) system was sold in 1945 by Huntington's estate to National City Lines, a company that was purchasing transit systems across the country.  The company was renamed as Los Angeles Transit Lines and many of the lines were converted to buses in the late 1940s and early 1950s.

National City Lines, along with its investors that included Firestone Tire, Standard Oil of California (now Chevron Corporation) and General Motors, were later convicted of conspiring to monopolize the sale of buses and related products to local transit companies controlled by National City Lines and other companies in what became known as the General Motors streetcar conspiracy.^*

 

 

 

 
(1948)^#^ - Los Angeles Transit Lines R Line car no. 1375 as seen at 7th and Broadway, looking west.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1948)^#^ - View showing Los Angeles Transit R Line car no. 1391 heading south on Vermont Avenue at 6th Street.  

 

 

 

 

 

 
(n.d.)^^## - Three types of tokens used by electric rail cars in early Los Angeles, Pacific Electric Railway, Los Angeles Railway, and Los Angeles Transit Lines  

 

 

 

 

 

 
(1948)^#^^ - Panoramic view looking north of the very busy intersection of 9th - Main & Spring Streets.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1950)^#^^ - View of a very busy intersection of Main - Spring - & 9th Streets.  An old Los Angeles Railway manned pole tower (right) kept streetcar switch movements running smoothly.  

 

Historical Notes

In the shot taken on May 23, 1950, Los Angeles Transit Lines car no. 1293 heads south on Main Street working the 8 line. Waiting to make to right turn from Spring St, onto 9th is LATL car no. 1307 working the N line. In the distance, a PE car on the Watts-Sierra Vista line can be seen heading north on Main St. Soon, the N and Sierra Vista lines would be no more.  Andy Payne Photo, Ralph Cantos Collection^#^^

 

 

 

 
(1950)#* – View showing the Los Angeles Transit Lines’ “N” Line, at 9th & Spring Streets on last full day of run before closing down: September 9, 1950  

 

 

 

 

 
(1948)^*** - Wrecking crew tearing out streetcar tracks on Vermont Avenue in Los Angeles.  

 

Historical Notes

After World War II, the Pacific Electric Railway system was slowly dismantled — replaced by buses and freeways.^^

 

 

 
(1958)*#^ - View showing the old streetcar tracks being torn up on Piedmont Street. The Arroyo Seco Library can be seen in the background.  

 

Historical Notes

Los Angeles' first municipal power pole is seen here on the corner of Piedmont and N. Figueroa streets (center-left). The pole remains standing today in its original location. Click HERE to see more in L.A.'s First Municipal Power Pole.

 

 

 
(1960)#* - A No.1522 Pacific Electric Red Car leaves the Pacific Electric Building at 6th and Main streets heading to Long Beach in Dec. 1960 shortly before service ended in 1961.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1961)#* - Old Pacific Electric red cars sit at Terminal Island junkyard, awaiting dismantling to become scrap metal.  

 

Historical Notes

Los Angeles’ Pacific Electric Red Cars were taken out of service in 1961. At their peak, they crisscrossed four counties on more than 1,000 miles of track.^^

 

 

 
(1966)^^#* - Decommissioned street cars, "Yellow Cars," awaiting salvage on Terminal Island.  

 

Historical Notes

The few remaining trolley-coach routes and narrow gauge streetcar routes of the former Los Angeles Railway "Yellow Cars" were removed in early 1963.^*

 

 

 
(1949)**^ - Selling papers on Olive (May, 1949). Loomis Dean/LIFE  

 

Historical Notes

After World War II, the American manufacturing economy switched from producing war-related items to consumer goods. The United States became the world's largest manufacturer of automobiles, and Henry Ford's goal of 40 years earlier—that any man with a good job should be able to afford an automobile—was achieved.^*

 

 

 
(1950)^#^^ - Traffic jam on 6th Street during a transit strike, Los Angeles.  

 

Historical Notes

More people joined the middle-class in the 1950s, with more money to spend, and the availability of consumer goods expanded along with the economy, including the automobile. Americans were spending more time in their automobiles and viewing them as an extension of their identity, which helped to fuel a boom in automobile sales. Most businesses directly or indirectly related to the auto industry saw tremendous growth during the decade. New designs and innovations appealed to a generation tuned into fashion and glamour, and the new-found freedom and way of life in the suburbs had several unforeseen consequences for the inner cities. The 1950s saw the beginning of white flight and urban sprawl, driven by increasing automobile ownership.^*

 

 

 
(ca. 1949)*##* - Buick Super Sedanette 1949 at the garage - Southern California's car culture.  

 

Historical Notes

In just a decade after the end of WWII, one in six working Americans were employed either directly or indirectly in the automotive industry.^*

 

 

 
(1948)*^^* - Gilmore Self-Service Station located on the south side of Beverly Boulevard east of Fairfax Avenue. View is looking west toward Fairfax. The Fairfax Theatre sign (northwest corner of Fairfax and Beverly) is seen above and behind the Gilmore sign. The tower sign for Herberts Drive-In Restaurant (southeast corner of Fairfax and Beverly) can barely be made out in the upper left of photo. CBS Television City would be built at this corner in 1952.  

 

Historical Notes

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.^**^

 

 

 
(1948)^^** - Gilmore 'Self-Service' Gas Station at the southeast corner of Genesee Avenue and Beverly Boulevard. The self-service concept created a new dynamic for gas attendants.  

 

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. Through the 1940s and early 50s Gilmore Oil Company evolved into Mobil Oil Corporation.^*

 

 

 
(ca. 1948)**** - A woman pumping fuel at the Gilmore ‘Self-Service’ Gas Station (one of the nation's first) near Fairfax and Beverly. Gilmore Field, the home of the Los Angeles Stars minor league team, is visible in the background. Note also the woman's two dachshunds at attention in the car.  

 

 

 

 
(1948)**^ – Aerial view of the area bounded by Beverly, Fairfax, 3rd Street, and Gardner Avenue.  The photo has been annotated and shows the location of Gilmore "Self-Service" Gas Station, Gilmore Stadium, Gilmore Field, Farmers Market, Gilmore Drive-In and the Pan-Pacific Auditorium.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1870, when they moved west from Illinois, Arthur Fremont (A.F.) Gilmore and his partner bought two sizable farms, one of which was the 256-acre dairy farm at the corner of 3rd Street and Fairfax Ave. Gilmore gained control when the partnership dissolved later.

Gilmore Oil Company replaced the dairy farm when oil was discovered under the land during drilling for water in 1905. Earl Bell (E.B.) Gilmore, son of A.F. Gilmore, took over the family business. The younger Gilmore started midget car racing and brought professional football to Los Angeles. He built Gilmore Field for the Hollywood Stars baseball team, which was owned by Bing Crosby, Barbara Stanwyck, and Cecil B. DeMille.

Farmers Market started when a dozen nearby farmers would park their trucks on a field to sell their fresh produce to local residents. The cost to rent the space was fifty cents per day.^*

 

 

 
(1949)**^# - View looking southeast of Gilmore Field and Gilmore Stadium. The intersection of Fairfax Avenue and Beverly Boulevard is in the lower left of the photo. Herberts Drive-In Restaurant stands on on the southeast corner. A portion of Farmers Market can be seen in the upper right. Click HERE to see more on Farmers Market, Gilmore Field and Gilmore Stadium.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1951, CBS Television City was built facing Beverly Boulevard on the site of Gilmore Stadium. In 1958 Gilmore Field was also demolished and the studio expanded on the grounds where baseball was once played.**^#

 

 

 
(1951)**^ – Aerial view looking southeast showing construction of the new CBS Television City at center.  In the foreground on the southeast corner of Beverly and Fairfax is Herbert's Drive-In Restaurant.  Further in the distance can be seen (L to R):  Gilmore Field, Gilmore Drive-In, Park La Brea Towers, and Farmers Market. Credit: CBS Photo Archive.    

 

 

 

 
(1960)**^ – Aerial view showing a completed CBS Television City.  Note that Gilmore Field is now also demolished but you can still make out the diamond. Credit: CBS Photo Archive.    

 

* * * * *

 

 

 

Kiddieland

 
(1947)**^# - Postcard view showing a Merry-Go-Round at Beverly Park (a.k.a Kiddieland) located near the southwest corner of La Cienega and Beverly boulevards.  

 

Historical Notes

Kiddieland was a whimsical amusement park located on less than an acre on the corner of La Cienega and Beverly Boulevard, at the present home of the Beverly Center Mall.  Originally, the land parcel was part of an oil field, which was leased for development.

From 1945-1974, children growing up in Los Angeles had their own mini-fair year round. There were usually about twelve kid-sized rides, as well as animals, hot dogs and cotton candy. Parents and Grandparents sat on benches watching their children ride the merry-go-round, and birthday parties were celebrated at picnic tables.^^^*

Beverly Park was a perfect place to have a Birthday Party. It had a picinic area set aside for such occasions. But most important, it had enough fun rides to keep the kids busy for hours. They could even top off the day with pony rides at Ponyland, which was located just west of Kiddieland on Beverly Blvd.

 

 

 
(ca. 1947)#*#** - A man and two boys with sailor hats stand in front of the Pony Rides at Beverly Park Poneyland, adjacent to Kiddieland.  

 

Historical Notes

Next door to Kiddieland, there was another mom and pop operation which offered a different kind of fantasy to youngsters. This was Ponyland, which opened at 8536 Beverly Blvd, around where the Hard Rock Café is today.^^^*

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Southern California Amusement Parks

 

 

 

 

 
(1949)^ - Postcard showing the intersection of Hollywood and Vine. The view is north on Vine Street. On the northwest corner is the Melody Lane Cafe and the rear of the Hotel Knickerbocker is also visible behind it.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1940s)**^* - Postcard view looking north on Vine Street from Sunset Boulevard. A multitude of signs and signboards can be seen throughout.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1949)^ - Looking north on Vine Street from Sunset Boulevard. Lots of automobile and pedestrian traffic. Signage on various buildings include American Broadcasting Company, The Broadway-Hollywood, The Brown Derby, and NBC Radio City.  

 

 

 

 
(1940s)^ - View of the NBC studio complex located at the northeast corner of Sunset and Vine.  The Broadway-Hollywood, Hollywood Plaza Hotel, and the Taft Building can be seen in the background.  

 

 

 

 
(1942)*# - Hollywood night scene looking south on Vine Street past the Hollywood Plaza Hotel. Included are: Taft Building, Bowling, Equitable Building.  Photo by Dick Whittington  

 

 

 

 
(1940s)*^^ - Looking east down Hollywood Boulevard towards Vine Street and the Broadway-Hollywood Building.  

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 
(1947)^- View looking east on Wilshire Boulevard toward Fairfax Avenue.  Various businesses, including the May Company department store at Wilshire and Fairfax (left), are seen on both sides of the boulevard. The Foster and Kleiser billboard right of center is advertising Farmers and Merchants National Bank of Los Angeles.  

 

 

 

Miracle Mile

 
(1940s)+## – Aerial view of Wilshire Blvd facing east at the Fairfax Ave corner showing the new May Company department store. This intersection was referred to as the western gateway to the 'Miracle Mile'.  

 

Historical Notes

The Miracle Mile is an area in the Mid-Wilshire and Mid-City West regions consisting of a 1.5-mile stretch of Wilshire Boulevard between Fairfax and Highland Avenues.  The May Company Building, now LACMA West, marks the western border of Miracle Mile's "Museum Row".^*

 

 

 

 
(1947)^ - Postcard view of the beginning of the Miracle Mile, at Fairfax and Wilshire, with the May Company Building prominently seen in the background.  

 

Historical Notes

The Miracle Mile is an area in the Mid-Wilshire and Mid-City West regions consisting of a 1.5-mile stretch of Wilshire Boulevard between Fairfax and Highland Avenues. It sometimes also refers to the surrounding neighborhoods (including Park La Brea).  The old May Co. building, now LACMA West, marks the western border of Miracle Mile's "Museum Row".^*

 

 

 

 
(1948)*# - View of the Miracle Mile and the May Company Building, looking east down Wilshire Boulevard. Different styles of streetlights run up and down Wilshire Boulevard. Click HERE to see more in Early Los Angeles Street Lights.  

 

Historical Notes

The May Company Building has a Streamline Modern style with gold corner towers. Built in 1940. Architects: A.C. Martin, S.A. Marx.^

In 1992, the building was designated LA Historic-Cultural Monument No. 566 (Click HERE to see complete listing).

 

 

 
(ca. 1940)^ - View looking at the intersection of Fairfax Avenue and Wilshire Boulevard. The May Company Building building can be seen on the northeast corner.  

 

Historical Notes

May Company California was established in 1923 when May acquired A. Hamburger & Sons Co.(founded in 1881 by Asher Hamburger). The company operated exclusively in Southern California until 1989 when May Department Stores had dissolved Goldwater's, based in Scottsdale, Arizona and transferred its Las Vegas, Nevada store to May Company California.^*

 

 

 

 
(1940s)+## – Panoramic view looking east on Wilshire Boulevard through the Fairfax Avenue intersection.  We can see the May Company department store (now part of LACMA and future home of the Hollywood museum of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences), Prudential Building, Coulter's Department Store, and the Arthur Murray dance studio. This “Miracle Mile” stretch of Wilshire Blvd is busy now but back then it looks positively jam-packed!  

 

 

 

 

 
(1949)**^ - View looking east of Wilshire Boulevard from Curson Avenue showing the heart of the Miracle Mile.  

 

Historical Notes

Developer A. W. Ross saw potential for the area and developed Wilshire as a commercial district to rival downtown Los Angeles. Ross's insight was that the form and scale of his Wilshire strip should attract and serve automobile traffic rather than pedestrian shoppers. He applied this design both to the street itself and to the buildings lining it.^*

 

 

 
(1949)^ - Looking east down Wilshire Boulevard at Burnside Avenue in the Miracle Mile. Silverwoods Clothes in the Wilshire Tower, the Phelps-Terkel building, and Wetherby-Kayser are seen at right. Traffic is traveling down in both directions on Wilshire. F.B. Silverwood founded his first store at 124 So. Spring Street in the 1890s  

 

Historical Notes

A. W. Ross gave Wilshire various "firsts," including dedicated left-turn lanes and the first timed traffic lights in the United States; he also required merchants to provide automobile parking lots, all to aid traffic flow. Major retailers such as Desmonds, Silverwood's, May Co., Coulter's, Mullen & Bluett, Myer Siegel, and Seibu eventually spread across Wilshire Boulevard from Fairfax to La Brea. Ross ordered that all building facades along Wilshire be engineered so as to be best seen through a windshield. This meant larger, bolder, simpler signage; longer buildings in a larger scale, oriented toward the boulevard; and architectural ornament and massing perceptible at 30 MPH instead of at walking speed. These simplified building forms were driven by practical requirements but contributed to the stylistic language of Art Deco and Streamline Moderne.

A sculptural bust of Ross stands at 5800 Wilshire, with the inscription, "A. W. Ross, founder and developer of the Miracle Mile. Vision to see, wisdom to know, courage to do." ^*

 

 

 
(1949)^ - View of Bullock's Wilshire department store from a block east at Virgil Avenue where it meets Wilshire Blvd. Neighboring businesses, including: a 76 Union Oil gas station, Page Boy Maternity Shop, I Magnin & Co. are also visible throughout the image. On the right, a few cars traveling east on Wilshire are seen stopped at the light at Virgil.  

 

 

 

 
(1950)^ - Looking down Wilshire Boulevard from near Mariposa Avenue, showing the Chapman Park Hotel (left), the Brown Derby (left), the Gaylord Apartment Building (upper left), Bullock's Wilshire (left of center), Immanuel Presbyterian Church (left of center), the pylon identifying the entrance for the Ambassador Hotel (left of center), and two Foster and Kleiser billboards.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1950)**^ - Postcard view of Wilshire Boulevard looking east toward the intersection of Alexandria Avenue and Wilshire. From left to right can be seen the Zephyr Room, Brown Derby Restaurant and the Gaylord Apartments. Across the street, on the south side of Wilshire, is the entrance to the Ambassador Hotel.  

 

Historical Notes

The Brown Derby chain was started by Robert H. Cobb and Herbert Somborn (a former husband of film star Gloria Swanson). Bob Cobb is known as the inventor of the California Cobb Salad. He was also part owner of the Hollywood Stars baseball team.

The Brown Derby was moved in 1937 to 3377 Wilshire Boulevard at the northeast corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Alexandria Avenue, about a block from its previous location (and about a block north of the Ambassador Hotel).^*

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1947)^ - A postcard view of the Zephyr Room at Chapman Park Hotel, located at 615 South Alexandria Avenue. The "Packard Bell" building, with 2 radio towers near it, is also visible.
 

 

Historical Notes

Architect A. C. Martin designed the1931 Cord Building located at 3443 Wilshire Boulevard, which featured a sandstone and marble exterior and a 30 foot tower. E.L. Cord, owner of a Fuller Motors dealership and producer of Auburn and Cord automobiles, chose his business initials KFAC for a new radio station, and in 1932 the Federal Radio Commission approved a new location for the station and towers in the penthouse of the dealership. In 1945 Packard-Bell moved in and the building was renamed. The building underwent a major remodel in 1949.^

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1940)**^* - Postcard view of Westwood Boulevard looking north, circa 1940.  

 

Westwood and UCLA were developed on the lands of the historic 'Wolfskill Ranch', a 3,000-acre parcel that was purchased by Arthur Letts, the successful founder of the Broadway, and Bullock's department stores, in 1919. Upon Arthur Lett's death, his son-in-law, Harold Janss, vice president of Janss Investment Company, inherited the land and started to develop the area in 1922.^*

 

 

 
(1949)**^ - View looking northwest down Broxton Avenue in Westwood Village. The Fox Theater tower stands in line with the tall palm trees along the center median of Broxton. The towers of the Sears and Bank of America buildings can also be seen.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1925, in a deal to get the University of California, Los Angeles built, the Janss Investment Company sold 375 acres to the cities of Los Angeles, Santa Monica and Beverly Hills at the bargain price of $1.2 million — about a quarter of its value. The cities, whose voters had passed bond issues to pay for the site, turned around and donated it to the state. While the UCLA campus was being built, Janss Investment Company went to work developing the Westwood Village commercial area and surrounding residential neighborhoods.^*

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of Westwood and UCLA

 

 

 

 

 
(1950s)*# - Aerial view facing west over the Rancho Golf Courses, the corner of the Hillcrest Country Club, the Cheviot Hills Recreation Center, Motor Avenue and Monte Mar Drive. In the distance are the Santa Monica Mountains, the City of Santa Monica and the Pacific Ocean.  

 

* * * * *

 

 

Santa Monica Air Line (Pacific Electric)

 
(1953)#* - A Pacific Electric Santa Monica Air Line car travels eastbound on Exposition Boulevard in front of USC's Mudd Memorial Hall.  

 

Historical Notes

Today’s Expo Line has its origins in a railroad between Los Angeles and Santa Monica that went into service in 1875. The Los Angeles & Independence Railroad later became the PE Air Line (seen above), the direct ancestor of the Expo Line.

Beginning at the Pacific Electric Building at 6th and Main streets in downtown Los Angeles, the line traveled south with other lines alongside what is now Long Beach Boulevard and the Blue Line. At 25th Street, the Air Line turned west onto an exclusive right-of-way alongside Exposition Boulevard toward Santa Monica Beach. The currently abandoned section between the Blue Line tracks and USC is the primary difference between today's Expo Line and Air Line routes.^*

 

 

 
(1953)#* - A Santa Monica Air Line car travels west through Culver City at Venice and Robertson. Photo by Alan Weeks, courtesy of the Metro Transportation Library and Archive.  

 

Historical Notes

Built in 1875 as the steam-powered Los Angeles and Independence Railroad, it was intended to bring mining ore to ships in Santa Monica harbor's Long Wharf and as a passenger excursion train to the beach. Eventually purchased by Southern Pacific Railroad, it was leased to the Los Angeles Pacific Railroad for electric passenger and light freight use in 1909. Pacific Electric purchased the line in 1911, along with all the other lines owned by Los Angeles Pacific.^*

 

 

 
(ca. 1953)#* - A PE Red Car traveling on the Santa Monica Air Line crosses over Motor Avenue. Photo by Alan Weeks, courtesy of the Metro Transportation Library and Archive.  

 

Historical Notes

With the (then) sparse population along much of the route, service on the Air Line was reduced as early as 1924 with passenger cars running only during rush hours. At that point most passengers traveled to Santa Monica on a different rail line which ran primarily down Santa Monica Boulevard.

Passenger service on the Air Line was completely discontinued on September 30, 1953, however freight service remained. Because the Air Line route was also connected to the Santa Monica Boulevard line via tracks on Sepulveda Boulevard, it was the only way for freight trains to reach West Los Angeles, Beverly Hills and Hollywood warehouses (usually at night due to city regulations).

Track replacement and various construction tasks began in 2006, and the first phase of the "Expo Line" from downtown Los Angeles to Culver City opened in April, 2012. Service for the second phase to Santa Monica began on May 20, 2016.^*

 

 

Santa Monica

 
(1950)*#^# - Surfing California. Surfing is more than a sport....it's a way of life!  

 

Historical Notes

“Out of water, I am nothing.” — Duke Kahanamoku

“Surfing’s one of the few sports where you look ahead to see what’s behind.” — Laird Hamilton

“One of the greatest things about the sport of surfing is that you need only three things: your body, a surfboard, and a wave.” — Naima Green

 

 

 
(1968)^ - View of a young surfer riding a wave in Santa Monica.
 

 

 

 

 
(1988)^ - Santa Monica Pier looking north on the first day of Spring. Photograph dated: March 21, 1988.  

 

 

 

 

 
(2011)^#^^ - Panoramic view showing the California Incline as seen from the Santa Monica Pier. LA Times Photo Archives  

 

Historical Notes

The California Incline was originally a walkway known as Sunset Trail, which was cut through the bluffs to provide beach access to pedestrians in 1896. It has become a vital street in Santa Monica, linking the PCH with Ocean Avenue, and California Avenue, bisecting Palisades Park. It begins at an intersection with Ocean Avenue and California Avenue, at the top of the palisades, extending to the PCH at the base of the bluffs.^*

 

 

 

 
(n.d.)^ - Tall palm trees line the walking path in Palisades Park. The Santa Monica beach can be seen in the background.  

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of Santa Monica

 

 

 

 

 
(1940s)*# - Aerial view of downtown Los Angeles from the south. City Hall stands alone as the tallest building.  

 

Historical Notes

From its completion in 1928 until 1964, City Hall was the tallest building in Los Angeles. It's distinctive tower was based on the purported shape of the Mausoleum of Mausolus and shows the influence of the Los Angeles Central Library, completed soon before the structure was started.^*

 

 

 
(1940)^ - View of Downtown L.A. as seen from the Richfield Oil Company Building. The Flower St. side of the Central Library appears in the foreground. The library's park has been partly taken for auto parking. The parking lot would later engulf the remaining grassland. To the right appears a corner of the California Club. On the left, across from the library, is the Sunkist building.  

 

Historical Notes

The Central Library Building was constructed between 1922 and 1926. Architect Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue designed the building with influences of ancient Egyptian and Mediterranean Revival architecture. The central tower is topped with a tiled mosaic pyramid with suns on the sides with a hand holding a torch representing the "Light of Learning" at the apex. Other elements include sphinxes, snakes, and celestial mosaics. It has sculptural elements by the preeminent American architectural sculptor Lee Lawrie, similar to the Nebraska State Capitol in Lincoln, Nebraska, also designed by Goodhue.^*

 

 

 
(1949)^ - View looking southwest showing the Central Library as seen from the corner of 5th and Grand streets. Behind the library stands a tall tower with the name Richfield on it and to the left another sign which reads "Jesus Saves." The California Club can also be seen on the left.  

 

Historical Notes

Originally named the Central Library, the building was first renamed in honor of the longtime president of the Board of Library Commissioners and President of the University of Southern California, Rufus B. von KleinSmid. The new wing of Central Library, completed in 1993, was named in honor of former mayor Tom Bradley. The complex (i.e., the original Goodhue building and the Bradley wing) was subsequently renamed in 2001 for former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan, as the Richard Riordan Central Library.^*

 

 

Arroyo Seco Parkway (later Pasadena Freeway)

 
(1940)^ - Caption reads, "First motorists to travel over the new link are pictured at the Avenue 53 bridge. The freeway is divided in the center by a small parkway. Each side has three wide lanes for traffic. The new part runs from Avenue 40 to Orange Grove drive. The Glenarm-Fair Oaks section has been open some time." Photograph dated: July 20, 1940. The Southwest Museum can be seen in the background.  

 

Historical Notes

The Arroyo Seco Parkway was the first freeway in California and the western United States. It connects Los Angeles with Pasadena alongside the Arroyo Seco seasonal river. It is notable not only for being the first, mostly opened in 1940, but for representing the transitional phase between early parkways and modern freeways. It conformed to modern standards when it was built, but is now regarded as a narrow, outdated roadway.

The highway was designed with two 11–12 foot lanes and one ten-foot shoulder in each direction, with the wider inside (passing) lanes paved in black asphalt concrete and the outside lanes paved in gray Portland cement concrete.^*

 

 

 
(1941)*# - The Arroyo Seco Parkway shortly after it was completed. View is looking south from Avenue 60. Note the exit on the right is virtually a perpendicular right turn without an off-ramp or transition.  

 

Historical Notes

Before the Parkway was built, cottonwoods filled the Arroyo Seco at Avenue 26. The first known survey for a permanent roadway through the Arroyo was made by T.D. Allen of Pasadena in 1895, and in 1897 two more proposals were made, one for a scenic parkway and the other for a commuter cycleway.^*

 

 

 
(1942)*# - View of a 1941 Ford Woody, with the bumper-guard and dual spotlights options, waiting at the stop sign before proceeding unto the Arroyo Seco Parkway.  

 

Historical Notes

The Arroyo Seco Parkway design, state-of-the-art when built, included tight "right-in/right-out" access with a recommended exit speed of 5 miles per hour and stop signs on the entrance ramps; there are no acceleration or deceleration lanes.^*

 

 

 
(1947)**^ – View showing the Arroyo Seco Parkway with traffic backed up on the southbound lanes heading into downtown Los Angeles on the Figueroa Street Viaduct.  

 

Historical Notes

The state legislature designated the original section, north of the Figueroa Street Viaduct, as a "California Historic Parkway" (part of the State Scenic Highway System reserved for freeways built before 1945) in 1993. The American Society of Civil Engineers named it a National Civil Engineering Landmark in 1999, and it became a National Scenic Byway in 2002 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2011.^*

 

 

 

 
(1940s)*#^ – View looking at downtown Los Angeles from the Arroyo Seco Parkway. The road heading towards the Hall of Justice is N. Hill Street. On the right is a road running around the edge of Chavez Ravine over a decade before the opening of Dodger Stadium.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1949)^ – View of the Arroyo Seco Parkway, looking south from Bishops Road Bridge. The freeway is divided in the center by a small parkway. Each side has four wide lanes for traffic - though the southbound portion is not visible due to the parkway.  

 

 

 

 
(1949)^ - View is of the Arroyo Seco Parkway, looking south from Bishops Road Bridge. Photograph dated January 31, 1949.  

 

 

Historical Notes

Today, the Arroyo Seco Parkway remains the most direct route between downtown Los Angeles and Pasadena despite its flaws; the only reasonable freeway alternate (which trucks must use) is the Glendale Freeway to the west, which is itself not easily reached by trucks from downtown Los Angeles. ^*

 

 

 

 
(1955)*# - View looking north of Arroyo Seco Parkway (Pasadena Freeway) from College St. bridge. In the distance can be seen the San Gabriel Mountains partly covered with snow. Note the ornate streetlight on the bridge (Click HERE to see more in Early Streetlights in L.A.  

 

Historical Notes

Between 1954 and 2010, it was officially designated the Pasadena Freeway. In 2010, as part of plans to revitalize its scenic value and improve safety, Caltrans renamed the roadway back to its original name. All the bridges built during parkway construction remain, as do four older bridges that crossed the Arroyo Seco before the 1930s.^*

 

 

 
(1950)^ - A crowd of passengers wait to board the Pacific Electric Red Car No. 1148 at 6th and Main, going to Pasadena via Oak Knoll. A man carries a large package labeled "rush" and "fragile".  

 

Historical Notes

The Red Car trolley line to Pasadena made its last run in 1950. The caption for the Oct. 3, 1950 photo read: "Its days are numbered. After Sunday, no more P.E. Oak Knoll Red Cars will rumble from Sixth and Main (above) to Pasadena".^

 

 

 
(1950)*^^ - A Pacific Electric street car turns onto Colorado from Lake, on the last day of the line’s operation in Pasadena, October 7, 1950.  

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of Pasadena

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1950)^ - Lights of Los Angeles and adjoining cities, as far distant as 60 miles, as seen from Inspiration Point, Mt. Lowe, 5,000 feet above the sea. Fifty-six cities may be viewed on clear nights from this vantage point, the thrill of which attracts thousands of visitors annually.
 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 
(n.d.)^ - Exterior view of the surprisingly empty railroad station at Glendale. This is the "back" portion of the station, where travelers wait for their trains to arrive and/or depart. Two stationary freight cars can be seen at the rear of the building.  

 

Historical Notes

The Glendale Southern Pacific Railroad Depot (now known as Glendale Amtrak/Metrolink Station) was designed in the Mission Revival Style by architects Maurice Couchot and Kenneth MacDonald, Jr. and built by the Southern Pacific Railroad in 1923; replacing an older one that dated as far back as 1883. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on May 2, 1997 - #97000376, and has undergone an extensive renovation since then. The Glendale train station is located at 400 Cerritos Avenue.^

 

 

 
(ca. 1950)^^^^ - Southern Pacific #4194 ‘Tehachapi’ Night Train 55 at the Glendale Station.  Photo by Richard Steinheimer.  

 

 

 

 
(1950)^ - Looking southwest from Fletcher Drive where it meets Glendale Boulevard in Silver Lake. A few homes are present on the hillside and a few different signs are visible. To the left of the Foster and Kleiser billboard promoting Grant's Scotch Whiskey, is a sign for the Thistle Inn, located two blocks south at 2395 Glendale Blvd.  

 

 

 

 
(1955)##^# - View showing a Pacific Electric Car traveling down Glendale Boulevard in front of Echo Park.  

 

* * * * *

 

Park La Brea

 
(ca. 1947)**^# – View showing Park La Brea under construction. Richard Wojcik Collection.  

 

Historical Notes

At 4,255 units, the complex with its octagonal street layout is the largest housing development west of the Mississippi. Thirty-one 2-story garden apt. buildings opened in 1941 and eighteen 13-story towers opened in 1948.**^#

 

 

 
(1954)*# - Aerial view looking northwest over the Park La Brea apartment complex and surrounding area.  

 

Historical Notes

Park La Brea represents something of a historical anomaly, having been built at a time when most visions of Los Angeles' development were dominated by low-rise tracts of single-family houses along freeway corridors. The street layout was created in a masonic pattern as a reference to the masonic heritage of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, which built the complex toward the end of World War II and immediately thereafter (1944 - 1948).^*

 

 

 
(ca. 1957)^ - Aerial view of Park La Brea and the Miracle Mile; view is looking east. 3rd Street is visible from bottom left and jars to upper left; Pan-Pacific Park peeks from bottom left corner; the Gilmore Drive-In is also visible; 6th Street runs from bottom right to middle top; Hancock Park peeks from bottom right corner; Wilshire Boulevard can be seen from lower right to middle top; and La Brea Avenue is horizontally at upper middle.  

 

Historical Notes

Park La Brea was originally conceived as an entirely low-rise development. Construction began in 1941, but building restrictions during WWII halted work in 1945 with only the western half of the site completed. By the time construction resumed in 1948, the continued demand for postwar housing had prompted MetLife to dramatically revise the project to provide greater density and site amenities. The second phase of development included 18 towers rising to the city’s 13-story height limit in addition to three groups of two-story buildings matching those already built.*^#

 

 

 
(1957)^ - A closer view of Park La Brea and the Miracle Mile; view is looking southeast. 3rd Street is visible from bottom left and jars to top left; Pan-Pacific Park peeks from bottom left corner; 6th Street runs from lower right to middle top; Hancock Park peeks from lower middle; Wilshire Boulevard can be seen from upper right to top right; and La Brea Avenue is horizontally at top.  

 

Historical Notes

Park La Brea is the largest housing development in the U.S. west of the Mississippi River. It sits on 160 acres of land and has  4,255 units located in 18 13-story towers and 31 2-story "garden apartment buildings".^*

 

 

 
1951)^ - Aerial view of Park La Brea looking northeast. All of the 18, 13-story towers are highlighted in this photo. They stand behind the 2-story garden apartment buildings, most of which were built in the earlier development phase.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1950s)^ - Aerial view taken from a blimp showing one of several roundabouts in the Park La Brea housing development.  

 

 

 

 
(1965)^ - Aerial view is looking east from Fairfax with Wilshire on the right. View shows the Park La Brea Towers and Miracle Mile area. The towers, a residential community, was built at a cost of $40,000,000, which includes 18 apartment buildings 13-stories high, and business and park areas. Photo dated: February 10, 1965.  

 

 

 

Pershing Square

 
(1951)^ - Aerial view looking southwest showing Pershing Square and surrounding buildings. The Biltmore Hotel is seen in the upper right.  

 

Historical Notes

The entire park was demolished and excavated in 1952 to build an underground parking garage. In its place was concrete topped by a thin layer of soil with a broad expanse of lawn.^*

 

 

 
(1954)^ - View from above onto Pershing Square showing a large central area of cement or blacktop and plantings on the four sides, Jan. 26, 1954. This is the top of the undergound garage before landscaping was added to the central area.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 2011)*#^ – View looking southeast showing Pershing Square as it appears today with the Biltmore Hotel on the right and the downtown skyline in the background.  

 

 

Click HERE to see more Early Views of Pershing Square in the 1800s.

 

* * * * *

 

 

 

Hollywood Freeway (Downtown)

 
(1945)^ - Aerial view over Bunker Hill looking east toward the Los Angeles Civic Center before construction of the Hollywood and Harbor freeways. Temple Street is on the left running away from the camera. Court Street is on the right running toward the Old Hall of Records and City Hall buildings. A small section of First Street can be seen at upper-right. Figueroa Street runs horizontally at bottom.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1948)^ - View looking west across North Figueroa Street toward the Civic Center.  The outlines indicate the area where the Hollywood Freeway and the four-level bridge is to be constructed. Fort Moore Hill and Bunker Hill are being dug up to make way for the freeway.  

 

Historical Notes

Photo note reads:  Historic Bunker Hill is 'going into history' as workmen push construction of the Hollywood Freeway. The sound of shovels and tractors is roaring heavily these days along North Figueroa Street, between Sunset and Temple. In this area workmen are busily cutting away sections of Fort Moore Hill or Bunker Hill to make way for the construction of the Hollywood Freeway and the four-level bridge. This view shows the area, with historic Bunker Hill almost "gone." Photo dated: May 11, 1948.^

 

 

 

 
(1948)^#^^ – Aerial detailed view looking northwest over the intersection of Figueroa and Temple streets (lower-left) showing the initial excavation for the four-level interchange.  Custer Street School is at center/left on Temple between Beaudry and Custer. Sunset Boulevard is at the right edge, a shoo-fly (detour) has been built to allow for the construction. LA Times Photo Archive, February 16, 1948  

 

 

 

 

 
(1949)**^ - Looking northwest across Figueroa Street at the start of construction of the stack interchange between the Hollywood, Arroyo Seco (Pasadena), and Harbor freeways. Temple Street is on the left, Sunset on the right. The large body of water at upper-center is Echo Park.  

 

Historical Notes

The Hollywood Freeway’s segment through Hollywood was the first to be built through a heavily populated area and requiring the moving or demolition of many buildings, including Rudolph Valentino's former home in Whitley Heights. The freeway was also designed to curve around KTTV Studios and Hollywood Presbyterian Church. Much of the rubble and debris from the buildings removed for the freeway's construction was dumped into Chávez Ravine, the current home to Dodger Stadium.^*

 

 

 

 
(1949)*#^ – Aerial view looking northwest showing an overlay of the future Hollywood Freeway alignment with the 4-level Interchange location shown at top near Figueroa Street.  Source:  California Highways & Public Works Magazine, May/June 1949. Note that the Hollywood Freeway is referred to as the Hollywood Parkway.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1949)**^ - Looking east during construction of the 101 Freeway from Figueroa. The old Los Angeles High School building is still standing and is visible in the upper-left of photo.  

 

 

 

 
(1949)^ - Aerial view showing the construction of the four-level interchange (top of photo)l. Note that Bunker Hill is still covered with apartment buildings and houses.  

 

Historical Notes

The Four Level Interchange was the first stack interchange in the world. Completed in 1949 and fully opened in 1953 at the northern edge of Downtown it connects U.S. Route 101 (Hollywood Freeway and Santa Ana Freeway) to State Route 110 (Harbor Freeway and Arroyo Seco Parkway).^*

 

 

 
(ca. 1950)*# - Aerial view looking west showing the 4-level interchange where the Hollywood Freeway (U.S. 101) and the Pasadena/Harbor Freeway (SR 110) meet.  Grand Avenue is running left to right at the bottom. Figueroa Street goes under the freeway. It intersects With Boston Street to the right of the freeway bridges.  

 

 

 

 
(1951)^ - Dedication ceremonies will send cars rolling along the new $7,000,000 link of Hollywood Freeway, reaching from Alameda to Grand Avenue. Bridge shown is the Broadway Bridge. Towards the right is City Hall. Photo dated: December 20, 1951. The section of the freeway that ran all the way through downtown wasn't completed until 1954.  

 

 

 

 
(1953)^^^* - Looking west showing Civic Center and an unoccupied Hollywood Freeway.  

 

 

 

 
(1953)*# - View looking west toward the Hollywood Freeway showing the Aliso Street Project of the Santa Ana Freeway.  Cars are seen being diverted around the construction area. Brew 102 is in the lower right.  

 

Historical Notes

The last section that completed the Hollywood Freeway through Downtown Los Angeles opened on April 16, 1954.^*

 

 

 
(1952)*# - View looking east from the top of City Hall of Aliso Street before the 101 Freeway (Hollywood Frwy) was built. Brew 102 and Friedman Bag Company can be seen adjacent to Aliso St. The section of the Hollywood Freeway that runs through downtown goes right through where Aliso Street is shown above.  

 

 

 

Before and After

 
(1952)*# - Aliso Street before the construction of the 101 Freeway.   (2010)**^ - After the construction of the 101 Freeway.

 

 

 

Before and After

 
 
(ca. 1950)##^# vs. (2016)##^ – Aerial view showing Civic Center (right) and the Station/LA Plaza area (center-left) before and after the Hollywood Freeway. Sunset Blvd (Caesar Chavez) runs away from the camera at lower center-left.  Temple Street is at lower right.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1952)*# - Aerial view of Los Angeles Civic Center with City Hall in the background. The surrounding area is annotated to show street names and proposed new building locations.  

 

 

 

 
(2016)##^ – Google Earth View showing the Civic Center with City Hall in the distance as seen from above the DWP John Ferraro Office Building.  

 

* * * * *

 

 

City Hall

 
(1951)^^ - City at night on New Year's Eve, December 31, 1951. Post Office on left; City Hall on right.  

 

 

 

 
(1951)*# - The rotating beacon (The 'Lindbergh Beacon') is visible atop City Hall, and a portion of Bunker Hill can be seen on the lower left. At center-right is the old State Building.  

 

Historical Notes

The Lindbergh beacon was installed on top of City Hall in 1928. Originally white, the light was replaced with a red light in 1931 after the U.S. Department of Commerce deemed the bright beacon a hazard to air safety. During WWII the light was turned off, and relit just a few of times more before being removed in the early 1950s.

The Lindbergh beacon was rediscovered in the early 1990s. After restoration, it was put on display in the Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX and relit for the first time in 45 years on April 22, 1992. The beacon was reinstalled on top of City Hall in 2001 and is lit on special occasions.^*

 

 

 
(1950)*# - Oh My! View looking down from the Lindbergh Beacon showing two workers precariously standing on scaffolding attached to the side of the City Hall tower. Both the LA Times Building and the old State Building are seen below.  

 

 

 

 
(1950)++# - Workmen putting stainless steel covering atop Los Angeles City Hall take a lunch break.  

 

* * * * *

 

 

Dodger Stadium

 
(ca. 1952)^ - Panoramic view of the Chavez Ravine area, with Bishops Road cutting through. City Hall is in the background.
 

 

Historical Notes

The land for Dodger Stadium was purchased from local owners/inhabitants in the early 1950s by the City of Los Angeles using eminent domain with funds from the Federal Housing Act of 1949. The city had planned to develop the Elysian Park Heights public housing project which included two dozen 13-story buildings and more than 160 two-story townhouses, in addition to newly rebuilt playgrounds and schools.

Before construction could begin, the local political climate changed greatly when Norris Poulson was elected mayor of Los Angeles in 1953. Proposed public housing projects like Elysian Park Heights lost most of their support. Following protracted negotiations, the City of Los Angeles was able to purchase the Chavez Ravine property back from the Federal Housing Authority at a drastically reduced price, with the stipulation that the land be used for a public purpose. It wasn't until the baseball referendum Taxpayers Committee for Yes on Baseball, which was approved by Los Angeles voters on June 3, 1958 that the Dodgers were able to acquire 352 acres of Chavez Ravine from the City of Los Angeles. (The Dodgers, from 1958 to 1961, played their home games at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.)^*

 

 

 
(1959)**** - Hundreds of onlookers watch bulldozers charging down the hills to begin the massive leveling and grading process for Dodger Stadium. In all, eight million cubic yards of earth were moved to prepare the rugged land for the building of Dodger Stadium. Photo dated: September 17, 1959.  

 

 

 

 
(1960)*# - Photograph of Chavez Ravine Dodger Stadium excavation. The downtown civic center can be seen in the background.  

 

 

 

 
(1962)#+ – Aerial view looking up N. Hill Street where it merges with the Arroyo Seco Parkway (Pasadena Freeway).  Grading for Dodger Stadium is tearing up Chavez Ravine on the left.   In the background stands the San Gabriel Mountains with an incredibly low snow line.  

 

 

 

 
(1962)+*# - Aerial view of Dodger Stadium before it opened looking towards Hollywood. The parking lots are beginning to take shape, some already striped, and the signboards are standing.  

 

 

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

 

* * * * *

 

 

Cahuenga Pass

 
(1947)##^* – Postcard view showing the Cahuenga Pass Freeway (later Hollywood Freeway), the “Gateway to Hollywood”.  

 

Historical Notes

The first segment of the Hollywood Freeway built was a one and a half mile stretch through the Cahuenga Pass. That segment opened on June 15, 1940. It was then known as the "Cahuenga Pass Freeway." ^*

 

 

 

 
(1948)^ - This view of the Cahuenga Pass in 1948 shows one road of cars end to end. The short city-built Cahuenga Pass Freeway was opened on June 15, 1940.  

 

 

 

 
(1949)^ - View of the roads, rail lines, and cars traveling through the Cahuenga Pass, the most important section of the Hollywood Freeway, which is the "gateway" that opens fast traffic from the rich San Fernando Valley into Hollywood and the heart of metropolitan Los Angeles.  

 

 

 

 
(1952)*# -  View of Cahuenga Pass during rush hour traffic on a rainy morning.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1952)*^^ - A Pacific Electric Red Car headed south in the median of the Hollywood Freeway near Barham.  

 

Historical Notes

Pacific Electric Railway trolleys ran down the center of the Hollywood Freeway through Chauenga Pass until 1952.^*

 

 

 

 

 
(1952)##^# – View of the Lankershim Boulevard underpass at the Hollywood Freeway, showing two Pacific Electric Red Cars passing each other above.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1953)^ - View, looking north, showing the construction of the Hollywood Freeway through Cahuenga Pass.  

 

Historical Notes

The second section of the Hollywood Freeway that stretched from the San Fernando Valley to Downtown Los Angeles opened on April 16, 1954 at a cost of $55 million. The final section, north of the Ventura Freeway to the Golden State Freeway was completed in 1968.^*

 

* * * * *

 

 

Hollywood Freeway

 
(1951)^ – View looking northwest of the Hollywood Freeway as seen from the Vermont Bridge.  Photo dated: September 25, 1951.  

 

Historical Notes

Near the Vermont Avenue exit, there's a seemingly over-wide center strip now filled with trees. This is where the never-built Beverly Hills Freeway was to merge with the Hollywood Freeway. Plans for the Beverly Hills Freeway were halted in the 1970s.^*

 

 

 
(ca. 1962)##^# – View looking at the southbound lanes of the Hollywood Freeway near Vermont Avenue.  

 

Historical Notes

The gore point to the left marked the beginning of the "Bus Only" exit for Vermont. The slow buses used to have to lumber over to the fast lane to use the exit. Then, further to the South, the buses would then have to merge back onto the Freeway into the fast lane and fight their way back to the right. The "Bus Only" exit was finally relocated to the right in the late 1970s or early 1980s. The abandoned left exit and entrance ramps are still there.

 

 

 

 

 

(ca. 1954)**^ - Hollywood Freeway northbound at Melrose Ave.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
(1954)^#^^ – Aerial view looking east across the four-level.  Sunset dog-legs away from the camera at lower-center.  Photo by Dick Whittington.   

 

 

 

 

 
(1954)*# - Aerial view looking southeast across the four-level interchange and Bunker Hill.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1954)##^# - View looking north toward the Four Level Interchange showing the transition from the Harbor Freeway to the Hollywood Freeway.  

 

Historical Notes

The Four Level Interchange was the first stack interchange in the world. Completed in 1949 and fully opened in 1953 at the northern edge of Downtown Los Angeles, it connects U.S. Route 101 (Hollywood Freeway and Santa Ana Freeway) to State Route 110 (Harbor Freeway and Arroyo Seco Parkway).^*

 

 

 
(1953)^ - The four-level interchange is the hub and symbol of the Los Angeles freeway system. Postcard of a photo by Dick Whittington.  

 

Historical Notes

The Four Level, also known as the Stack, gets its name from its multi-tiered structure that separates traffic heading in each direction into dedicated lanes. On the bottom level are curved ramps for those changing from the 110 freeway to the 101. One level above is the main trunk of the 110 freeway, named the Arroyo Seco Parkway north of the interchange and the Harbor Freeway south of it. On the third level are the arcing flyover ramps carrying traffic from the 101 freeway to the 110. Finally, on the fourth and top level is the main trunk of the 101 freeway, named the Hollywood Freeway to the west and the Santa Ana Freeway to the east.^^^*

 

 

 
(1953)^^^* - The Four Level carrying traffic in all eight directions shortly after its 1953 opening.  

 

 

 

 
(1953)^^^* - View of the top level of the four-level interchange looking east toward City Hall.  

 

Historical Notes

The interchange was constructed as a stack interchange because surrounding buildings and terrain made construction of a cloverleaf interchange impractical. The mainline traffic of US 101 is at the top of the interchange, above the ramps, a rarity in stack interchanges. Its distinctive architecture has long made it a symbol of Los Angeles' post-World War II development, and it appears on numerous postcards of the 1950s and 1960s.^*

 

 

 
(1959)*# - Aerial view of a helicopter flying over the four-level interchange in downtown L.A.  

 

Historical Notes

In July 2006, the freeway interchange was officially named in honor of Bill Keene, former KNX and KNXT traffic and weather reporter, although the new name is rarely used. Keene referred to the interchange as "The Stacks" and the "4-H Interchange".^*

 

 

 
(ca. 1960s)^ - Aerial view of the four level interchange of the Los Angeles freeway system.  

 

 

 

 
(1960s)^ - Aerial view of one of the busiest hubs of the Los Angeles freeway system, the four-level interchange where the Harbor Freeway meets the 101 Freeway near Downtown Los Angeles.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1950)^ - Aerial view of downtown Los Angeles looking northwest (before either the Hollywood Freeway or Harbor Freeway were completed). The tower, center, is City Hall, the tallest building in Los Angeles until 1964. Behind City Hall, construction for the Civic Center is underway and behind and to the right is the Pasadena Freeway.  

 

 

 

 
(1951)*# - Early construction phase of the Harbor Freeway (I-110) as it enters downtown Los Angeles.  

 

 

 

 
(1953)**^ - Aerial view looking north across 6th Street showing the Harbor Freeway under construction.  

 

Historical Notes

Initially, the Harbor Parkway was to split at the merge with the Venice Parkway northeast of the University of Southern California, with the East By-Pass and West By-Pass straddling the Los Angeles Central Business District and rejoining at the split between the Arroyo Seco Parkway and Riverside Parkway south of Dodger Stadium. The West By-Pass was soon incorporated into the Harbor Parkway, and the first short piece, by then renamed the Harbor Freeway, opened on July 30, 1952 from the Four Level Interchange south to 3rd Street. (The Arroyo Seco Parkway was completed to the Four Level Interchange on September 22, 1953, and renamed the Pasadena Freeway on November 16, 1954.^*

 

 

 
(1956)*# - Aerial view of the Harbor Freeway facing north approaching the Hollywood Freeway. Also showing Fremont Avenue, Beaudry Avenue, Second Street, and Third Street.  

 

 

 

 
(1955)^ - The Harbor Freeway (I-110) takes form near Exposition Park (center) and USC (left-center) in 1955.  

 

Historical Notes

The Harbor Freeway gradually pushed south, opening to Olympic Boulevard on March 23, 1954 and Washington Boulevard on May 14, 1954. On March 27, 1956, the highway was extended to 42nd Street.^*

 

 

 
(1954)* - Temple Street looking west with the Hill Street Tunnels in view.  

 

Historical Notes

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

 

 

 
(1945)^ - View looking north from the top of the stairs above the Hill Street tunnels (trains on the left, cars on the right). A northbound train is about to pick up some riders, and then it will cross Temple St. and bear left into the unpaved approach to another tunnel (out of view).  

 

 

 

 
(1953)**^* - The #11 Temple Street bus enters the Hill Street tunnel heading south.*^^  

 

 

 

 
(1954)^^ – Hill Street tunnels seen from Temple Street on a fogbound night. The tunnels connected Temple with 1st Street. Photo by the LA Times on Oct. 12, 1954  

 

Historical Notes

Within two months of the above photo, construction work to enlarge the Los Angeles Civic Center began. By June, 1955, the two Hill Street tunnels were gone.^^

 

 

 

 
(1955)^ - View of the side-by-side Hill Street tunnels, looking north from 1st Street. Two autos and a bus are exiting the left side tunnel, even though the entire surroundings have been demolished, in preparation for future buildings.  

 

 

Click HERE to see the Construction and Opening of the First Hill Street Tunnel

 

 

 

 

 
(1952)*# – Sometimes even streetlights get in the way. View shows Officer H.L. Chapman holding a license plate at the scene of a traffic accident (corner of 8th and Bonnie Brae streets) with a downed electrolier lying on the ground.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1953)^ - Looking southeast across the intersection of S. Spring (right) and W. First Street (running from left to right, foreground), showing various restaurants, including Nibblers (center), a bank, storefronts, and other office buildings. Note the two different styles of streetlights on the northeast corner of Spring and First streets.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1955)*# - View looking north on Broadway toward 11th Street. The Case Hotel is seen on the southeast corner of Broadway and 11th on the right. Note the dual-lamp streetlight standing on the corner next to the Herald-Examiner Building.  

 

 

Click HERE to see more Early Los Angeles Street Lights.

 

 

 

 

 
(1955)^ - Aerial view of Los Angeles from an altitude of approximately 5,000 feet. View is looking northwest with the Civic Center at center, and City Hall's tower visible in the middle; 101 Freeway runs right to left through center (barely visible); 110 Freeway runs middle left to middle right (barely visible); Chavez Ravine is at middle (before Dodger Stadium was developed); Los Angeles River zigzags from bottom middle to upper left. The Verdugo and San Gabriel mountains can be seen in the background.  

 

 

 

 
(1955)^ - Another Aerial view of Los Angeles looking slightly northwest with the Civic Center at lower center; 101 Freeway runs right to left through center; 110 Freeway runs lower left to upper right; the river station yard of Southern Pacific at top right; Chavez Ravine (upper middle) before Dodger Stadium was developed; Los Angeles River runs across top; Union Station just right of center; U.S. Post Office Terminal Annex just to its north; and City Hall is at lower middle.  

 

 

 

 
(1954)^ - Aerial view looking north of an upside down Air Force fighter plane flying over downtown Los Angeles. City Hall can faintly be seen in the upper right corner of the photo. Click HERE to see more in Aviation in Early L.A.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1954)^#^^ – View showing the 101 inbound from the eastside near the Alameda Street/Union Station exit.  Note the bare center-divider medians.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1954)**^ - View looking east on the Hollywood Freeway through the Civic Center. The Los Angeles Street exit is on the right. The freeway just opened and there are already traffic jams.   

 

 

 

 

 

 
(1955)**^# - Rush hour traffic near the four-level interchange on a hot afternoon. Not too many cars with air conditioning back then.  

 

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1956)**#** – Postcard view of automobiles going East on the Hollywood Freeway, leaving downtown.  Also seen are: the Federal Building; old Hall of Records; City Hall; Taix French Restaurant; and a billboard for "Burgemeister Beer."  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1955)^ - Aerial view of the Civic Center looking southwest. The Hollywood Freeway with all its overpasses stands out as it runs through downtown toward Hollywood. Union Station is in the foreground. The circular LA Plaza can be seen at center-right. Click HERE to see more in Early Views of the Plaza of L.A.  

 

 

 

 
(1956)+# - Time elapsed photo showing Union Station in the foreground with City Hall, the Federal Courthouse Building, and the Hall of Justice in the distance.  

 

 

 

 
(1956)^ - Aerial view of Los Angeles Civic Center, looking east toward City Hall. The Hollywood (101) Freeway runs vertically along the left, Temple Street is on the left of City Hall; 1st Street is to the right of City Hall; 2nd Street is vertically along the right; North Broadway is at forefront; followed by Spring Street, Main Street, San Pedro Street, and Alameda Street (middle left to upper right); Los Angeles River is visible at top.  

 

 

 

 
(1954)* - View looking southeast showing Bunker Hill and a portion of Los Angeles civic center. Parking lots are seen throughout.  

 

Historical Notes

Within just a few years of the above photo, Bunker HIll would undergo a major transformation. The hill would be graded to make room for the new Civic Center expansion which would inlcude the construction of new City and County buildings, the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Ahmanson Theatre, and the Department of Water and Power Building.

 

 

 

 
(1956)*# - Panoramic photograph composite taken from the City Hall tower, facing west to northwest towards Bunker Hill and Hollywood. The State Building, Law Library, Hall of Records and the Hall of Justice are visible in the foreground, with the Board of Education Building further in the background. Court Street is seen on top of Bunker Hill at upper left-center. Broadway runs horizontally at the base of Bunker Hill. At center-left can be seen the steel framing for the new New LA County Courthouse.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1956)**^ – View looking northeast showing the steel framing of the new County Courthouse located on the north side of First Street between Grand Avenue and Hill Street. In the distance (upper-right) can be seen the Hall of Justice, Federal Building, and the Hall of Records. In the foreground is a row of apartment buildings on the south side of First Street. The building with the turet is the Seymour Apartments (S/W corner of First and Olive).  

 

 

 

 

 
(1957)^^++ – View looking northwest showing the Seymour Apartments (S/W corner of 1st and Olive) shortly before the building was demolished.  Across 1st Street can be seen the County Courthouse under construction.  

 

 

 

 
(1957)^^++ – View looking west on 1st Street at Olive Street with the Seymour Apartments on the southwest corner.  All the buildings on the south side of 1st Street will be demolished within a year.  

 

 

 

 
(1955)*# - Driving east on the Hollywood Freeway, Los Angeles' Civic Center provides a massive and impressive appearance. In immediate foreground is the Hall of Justice, with the Federal Building framing it on left and the City Hall and Hall of Records, on right. Grand Avenue exit from new freeway is seen in lower right. Just beyond the Civic Center, Hollywood Freeway joins the Santa Ana and Ramona Freeways, both of which are in the process of extension.  

 

 

 

 
(1957)^ - Traffic on the Hollywood Freeway in the mid-1950s flowed easily in both the southbound and northbound lanes, making the ride around the City of Angels quick and easy. Shown are the popular cars of the day, which would be valuable collectors items if they were around today. When this shot was taken, City Hall dominated the Los Angeles skyline and the Downtown area was still the major shopping spot in the metropolitan L.A. area. The Hall of Justice and part of the old Hall of Records are also prominently pictured. Photograph was taken from Grand Avenue overpass.  

 

 

 

 
(1958)*# – View looking east at the Hollywood Freeway with the Los Angeles Civic Center in the background.  

 

 

 

 
(1950s)##^# – Postcard view showing the Hollywood Freeway with the Civic Center in the background.  

 

 

 

 
(1957)#* - Aerial view looking east over Bunker Hill remains, Civic Center.  

 

Historical Notes

In the lower right quadrant of the photo, the last remnants of Bunker Hill are holding on. The Rex Apartments can be seen just west of Figueroa. The 1st Street bridge over Figueroa is easy to pick out, Diamond Street is just to the north of 1st Street (to the left) and runs at a little bit of an angle. The Rex Apartments is the only elongated four story building on the street. #*

 

 

 
(1958)**^ - Aerial view of Downtown Los Angeles looking south from the intersection of Sunset and Figueroa. A helicopter can be seen flying high above the newly constructed Hollywood Freeway.  

 

Historical Notes

The Music Center and DWP Building on Hope St. between 1st and Temple (Bunker Hill) have yet to be built (left-center of photo). Click HERE to see more in Construction of the LA DWP Building.

 

 

 
(ca. 1960)**^ – Aerial view of the Harbor Freeway looking south from over 1st Street on a light traffic day.  J. Paul Getty Trust Collection  

 

* * * * *

 

 

MacArthur Park and the Westlake Area

 
(1957)^ - Aerial view of the Westlake area, looking east toward downtown. The major street closest to bottom is Hoover Street; Alvarado runs horizontally from middle right to middle left; the Harbor Freeway (110) is farther up from middle right to upper left. The major streets running vertically from bottom right corner to the left are: Olympic Boulevard, 9th Street, 8th Street, 7th Street, and Wilshire Boulevard, which runs through MacArthur Park - at left.  

 

Historical Notes

In the mid-1800's, this area was a swampland. MacArthur Park, created in the 1880s under the name Westlake Park, was later renamed in honor of General Douglas MacArthur. By the 1890s, it was a vacation destination surrounded by luxury hotels; in the early part of the 20th Century, the area became known as the Champs Elysees of Los Angeles. MacArthur Park has been designated City of Los Angeles Historic Cultural Monument No.100 (Click HERE to see complete listing).^

 

 

 
(1957)*# - Construction of the San Diego (405) Freeway, pictured here in 1957 between Wilshire and Venice boulevards, split Westside neighborhoods.  

 

Historical Notes

Construction of the 405 Freeway began in 1957 with the first section, mostly north of LAX Airport being completed in 1961.  The section of the 405 that would connect western Los Angeles to the San Fernando Valley was part of a 12-mile, $20 million project, then the most expensive California highway project to date.^*

 

 

 
(1957)*# - Aerial view looking north toward Sepulveda Pass where construction of the 405 Freeway is underway.  The section between Wilshire Blvd to Venice Blvd in Culver City is the next segment scheduled for construction.  

 

 

 

 
(1957)*# - The San Diego Freeway makes its entry through the Santa Monica Mountains in 1957. The hill on the right is now the site of the Getty Center.  

 

 

 

 
(1957)^^^* - View looking north showing construction of the 405 Freeway just south of Sepulveda Canyon.  Sepulveda Blvd is on the right and the Sunset Blvd Bridge is in the distance.  

 

 

 

 
(1960)****^ – Aerial view looking north toward the San Fernando Valley showing the newly completed Mulholland Drive Bridge.  The Sepulveda Pass is chiseled out in preparation for the construction of the new 405 Freeway.  

 

 

 

 
(1961)^^^* – View looking north showing the construction of the San Diego Freeway through  Sepulveda Pass with a newly completed Mulholland Bridge in the distance and Sepulveda Boulevard on the right.  

 

 

 

 
(1961)^^ - An aerial view of the San Diego Freeway construction project shows the Mulholland Drive Bridge. Dirt is being dug from beneath the bridge and hauled to the San Fernando Valley for freeway fill.  This bridge was constructed like no other, from the top down!  

 

Historical Notes

On Monday, April 4, 1960, the same day the 1959 Academy Awards were held at RKO's Pantages Theatre in Hollywood, Peter Kiewit Sons Co. completed the Mulholland Drive Bridge across the Sepulveda Pass.

In June 1960, bids were opened for a $14-million contract to extend the San Diego Freeway 7.4 miles from Brentwood to Valley Vista Blvd. in the San Fernando Valley. Mulholland Dr. Bridge would finally span a freeway.^#*

 

 

 
(1961)****^ – View looking north toward the Mulholland Dr. Bridge over a yet-to-be completed San Diego Freeway.  

 

Historical Notes

This Mullholland Dr. Bridge was constructed like no other, from the top down. The bridge was completed over two years before the freeway that connected West L.A. to the San Fernando Valley would open.^#*

 

 

 
(1962)##^# – View looking north through the Mulholland Dr. Bridge shortly after the completion of the Sepulveda Pass section of the San Diego Freeway (Dec, 1962).  The San Fernando Valley is seen in the background.  

 

 

Then and Now

 
 
(1961)****^ vs. (2014)#*## - View looking north toward the Mulholland Dr. Bridge.  2014 Photo by Dean Musgrove  

 

Historical Notes

In 2012, 52 years after it was originally built, the Mulholland Dr. Bridge was demolished and reconstructed to accommodate the widening of the I-405 freeway. The new bridge was widened by approximately 10 feet and designed to the latest seismic standards.^#*

 

 

 
(1962)^ - View looking north toward the San Fernando Valley from the edge of the newly completed 405 Freeway.  An early model Ford Rambler is seen on the left merging onto the freeway, having used the ramp at Sepulveda Boulevard and Fiume Walk in Sherman Oaks. Photo date:  December 26, 1962.  

 

 

 

 
(1962)^^ - Six days after the Sepulveda Pass portion of the 405 Freeway opened, there's hardly a car in sight from the Sunset Boulevard bridge into the San Fernando Valley. Photo taken: Dec. 27, 1962  

 

 

 

 
(1968)*# - Aerial view of the San Diego Freeway (US-405) looking north from Wilshire Boulevard along Sepulveda Boulevard.  

 

* * * * *

 

 

Olympic Drive-in (formerly Pico Drive-in)

 
(1956)##^# – Aerial view looking northwesterly showing the Olympic Drive-In Theatre located at the intersection of Olympic Blvd (left) and S. Bundy Drive (right).  Note how much land is still undeveloped behind the theatre.  

 

Historical Notes

This former drive-in originally opened as the