Early Los Angeles City Views (1925 +)

Historical Photos of Early Los Angeles

 
(1947)**^ - View looking west on Hollywod Boulevard at the intersection with Vine Street. The Melody Lane Cafe is on the northwest corner.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1940, restaurateur Sidney Hoedemaker of the Pig 'n' Whistle - Melody Lane chain, leased the northwest corner of Hollywood and Vine and transformed it into a Melody Lane restaurant. He hired coffee shop modern architect Wayne McAllister and S. Charles Lee to do the design. #^**

Click HERE for more history of the N/W Corner of Hollywood and Vine

 

 

 

 
(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, Broadway-Hollywood, 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 +)

 

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Wilshire Boulevard

 
(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.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1950)+# – View looking east on Wilshire Boulevard toward Fairfax Avenue with the May Company Depatrment Store seen on the northeast corner.  There appears to be street improvement work on the north side of Wilshire Blvd.  Note the billboard advertising BOMB SHELTERS for $795.  A market ("__ Food Center" ) stands further west, and beyond that (out of view) is Simon's Drive-in located on the NW corner of Wilshire and Fairfax.  

 

 

 

Miracle Mile

 
(1940s)+## – Aerial view of Wilshire Blvd facing east at the Fairfax Ave, showing the May Company department store on the NE corner. Simon's Drive-in Restaurant can be seen at lower-left on the NW corner. 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.  

 

 

 

 

 
(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).

 

 

 
(1940s)^ - View looking at the intersection of Fairfax Avenue and Wilshire Boulevard. The May Company 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 Apartments (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. 1950)^ - View showing the intersection of Wilshire Boulevard and Western Avenue, looking east down Wilshire. The Pellissier Building / Wiltern Theatre are on the SE corner.  Across the street, SW corner, can be seen the saucer-shaped Melody Lane Drive-in Restaurant.  In the distance is the Wilshire Boulevard Temple with its immense Byzantine revival dome.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1952)##^# – View looking east on Wilshire Boulevard from S. Wilton Place showing several large signboards on both sides of the street.  Three tall buildings can be in the distance (l to r):  St. James' Episcopal Church, Wilshire Professional Building (N/E corner of Wilshire and St. Andrews) and the Pellissier Building (S/E corner of Wilshire and Western). Note the ornate "Wilshire Special" streetlamps. Click HERE to see more in Early LA Streetlights.  

 

 

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Westwood Village

 
(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

 

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UCLA

 
(ca. 1953)*# – Aerial view looking west showing the University of California Los Angeles campus with the Sawtelle Reservoir seen at center-right. The two large quads in the foreground at right are situated where a gully once existed with a bridge over it connecting the campus to Hilgard Avenue.  

 

 

 

Before and After

 
 
(1929)^ vs. (ca 1953)^^ - Aerial view looking west of the UCLA campus before and after the gully was filled-in.  

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of UCLA

 

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West Los Angeles

 
(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.  

 

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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

 

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Downtown

 
(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 Building. The Flower St. side of the Central Library Building 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.^*

 

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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. ^*

 

 

 

 
(1940)^^^* – View showing a lone car on the Arroyo Seco Parkway just after the highway opened.  The Southwest Museum can be seen in the background.  Courtesy of the Automobile Club of Southern California Archives.  

 

Historical Notes

The Parkway 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.  

 

 

 

 
(1948)^ - View looking north on the Arroyo Seco Parkway showing a car pulled over in the emergency turnout.  

 

 

 

 
(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.  

 

 

 

 
(1949)^#^^ – View showing the outbound Arroyo Seco Parkway at the end of a work day.  

 

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.^*

 

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(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

 

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Highland Park

 
(1955)^#^ - Los Angeles Transit Lines (ex-Los Angeles Railway) W Line streetcar no. 1553 passes in front of tall spring grass heading northbound on Marmion Way with the Southwest Museum in the background.  

 

Historical Notes

Built in 1914, the Southwest Museum was Los Angeles’ first world-class museums that had an immense collection of Native-American and Pre-Columbian artifacts (collected by Charles Lummis during his travels throughout the Southwest and South America).  Click HERE to see more.

 

 

 

 
(n.d.)^#^ – View looking south on N. Ave 61 showing Los Angeles Railway streetcar no. 1544 about to make a turn Monte Vista Street.  The Classic Greek-style building on the left is DWP’s Power Distribution Station No. 2.  

 

Historical Notes

On April 21, 1962, Distribution Station No. 2 was designated Los Angeles Historical-Cultural Monument No. 558 (Click HERE to see complete listing).

 

 

 

 
(1955)^#^ - Los Angeles Transit streetcar no. 1381 looking is turning west unto Monte Vista Street from N. Ave 61 with DWP Power Distribution Station No. 2 in the background.  Alan Weeks Photo Collection  

 

Historical Notes

Click HERE to see more Early Power Distribution Stations.

 

 

 
(1950s)##^# – Streetcar no. 1380 heading southbound on York Boulevard at N. Ave 50 in Highland Park.  The York Theatre can be seen in the background. Click HERE to see contemporary view.  

 

Historical Notes

The York Theatre, located in the Highland Park district, opened in 1923. It became a Korean Church in about 1985.

 

 

Glendale

 
(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.  

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of Glendale

 

 

 

 

 
(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.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1948)^#^ – View looking south showing Los Angeles Railway Edgeware Shuttle Line streetcar no. 1051 stopped at Edgeware and Temple. Note the gas station to the right and Edgeware Pharmacy in the background.  

 

Historical Notes

The Pharmacy building is still there, now George’s Liquor market. The houses up the street just beyond the old pharmacy building are gone; the land was taken over by the Betty Plasencia School for new class rooms. The land Where the streetcar, lady and the gas station are was excavated away to create the trench for the 101 freeway. Where the photographer was standing is now over the south bound fast lane of the 101. The building to the right of the old pharmacy is also still there but has been stuccoed over and painted off white.

Click HERE to see contemporary view.

 

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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.**^#

 

 

 
(1952)*# – View looking northeast showing Park La Brea as seen from the building formerly known as Prudential on Wilshire Boulevard. 6th Street can be seen running across the center of photo.  

 

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).^*

 

 

 
(1954)^*** – Aerial view looking west showing Park La Brea at upper center-right.  The intersection of Wilishire and La Brea is at lower-left.  

 

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.*^#

 

 

 
(1954)*# - Aerial view looking northwest over the Park La Brea apartment complex and surrounding area.  

 

 

 

 
(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.  

 

 

 

 
(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.  

 

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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. 1956)##^# – Postcard view looking southwest showing Pershing Square with two fountains at center.  The Biltmore Hotel is seen at upper-right (SW corner of 5th and Olive streets).  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 2011)*#^ – View looking southwest 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. The inbound Hollywood can be seen exiting at the Hope/Temple exit in the lower-left.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1951)^#^^ – View looking west from the City Hall tower on a clear day as the Hollywood and Harbor Freeways come on line.  The inbound Hollywood exits at Hope/Temple at center-right.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1951)+# – View showing the Silver Lake Boulevard exit off the Hollywood Freeway (the 101).  This was one of the last exits before the freeway would dead-end near the four level interchange.  

 

 

 

 

 
(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.

 

 

 

Then and Now

 
 
(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.  

 

 

 

Then

 
(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.  

 

 

Now

 
(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.  

 

 

 

 
(1949)^ - View of the Los Angeles Civic Center, showing the International Bank Building dwarfed by its two bookends, the Federal Courthouse and U.S. Post Office Building and City Hall. The Hall of Justice is seen on the right.  

 

 

 

 
(1954)##^# - Closer view showing the International Bank Building bookended by the Federal Courthouse and U.S. Post Office Building on the left and City Hall on the right with the Goodyear Blimp flying overhead.  

 

Historical Notes

The 1907-built International Bank Building would be razed in 1954, same year as the photo above.

 

* * * * *

 

 

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.  

 

 

Four-Level Interchange

 
(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).^*

 

 

 
(1954)^ - The Four Level Interchange, built in 1954, 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.  

 

* * * * *

 

 

Harbor 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.^*

 

* * * * *

 

 

Hill Street Tunnels

 
(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

 

* * * * *

 

 

 

Los Angeles Streetlights

 
(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. 1950)#++# – View looking north on Spring Street from north of 2nd Street showing dual lamp electroliers on both sides of the street. The massive LA Times Building and Annex is on the left.  City Hall can be seen in upper-right.  

 

 

 

 
(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.

 

* * * * *

 

 

Los Angeles Freeways

 
(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)^ - 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.   

 

 

 

 

 
(1953)^#^^ – View looking east at the Arroyo Seco feeder entering the northbound Hollywood Freeway.  The car in the lead at center-left is a 1939 Chrysler followed by a 1952 Chevrolet.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1954)+++ – View of US 101 near the Four Level Interchange, looking easterly toward Los Angeles City Hall.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1955)**^# - Rush hour traffic on the 101 (Hollywood Frwy) near the Four Level Interchange on a hot afternoon. Not too many cars with air conditioning back then.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1961)**#** – 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. 1960)##^# – View looking southwest toward Downtown from the Hollywood Freeway with Taix French Restaurant seen on the left.  Note the wide center median on the freeway.  

 

 

 

 

 
(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)^ – View looking northwest from above Hill Street towards Grand Avenue and Bunker Hill showing the early stages of construction on the new Los Angeles County Courthouse.  1st Street is on the left and the building with the turret in the upper-left is the Seymour Apartments.  

 

 

 

 

 
(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 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 turret on the right 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.  

 

 

Fort Moore Pioneer Memorial

 
(1958)^^ - A crowd gathers for the dedication of Ft. Moore Pioneer Memorial on Hill Street, north of the Hollywood Freeway. The wall re-creates the city's first Independence Day celebration on July 4, 1847. LA Times photo date: July 3, 1958  

 

Historical Notes

The accompanying LA Times article reads:

The city’s first Independence Day celebration — July 4, 1847 — was recalled yesterday in the dedication of 400-foot-long, 45-foot-high Ft. Moore Pioneer Memorial Wall on Hill St. just north of the Hollywood Freeway.

The Memorial Wall, dedicated “to the brave men and women who faced privation and death in extending the frontiers of our country to include this land of promise,” commemorates Los Angeles’ first Independence Day.

It was in 1847 at the newly constructed Ft. Moore on the hill overlooking the little Mexican pueblo that all American troops in the immediate area — the First U.S. Dragoons, New York Volunteers and Mormon Battalion — gathered to participate in the historic Flag-raising ceremony.

The largest section of the huge bas-relief panel of the Memorial Wall depicts that Flag-raising. Three smaller sections illustrate other aspects of pioneer life.

In addition to the ceramic veneer bas-relief panel, the Memorial Wall features an 80-foot-wide, 47-foot-high waterfall, a 68-foot-high pylon in front of the wall supporting an immense ceramic eagle and a towering flagpole.

Participating in yesterday’s dedication ceremony of the $373,887 memorial were city and county officials, descendants of members of the Mormon Battalion, members of the Sons and Daughters of Utah Pioneers and the 72nd U.S. Army Band and a color guard from Ft. MacArthur. ^^

---

The waterfall was shut-down during the drought of 1977, never to be turned back on. Even though a pump recycled the water, it looked wasteful.

Click HERE to see a contemporary view of the Fort Moore Pioneer Memorial.

 

 

 
(ca. 1958)^ - Photo of one section of the Fort Moore Pioneer Memorial showing a 68-foot high concrete pylon with a 16-foot terra-cotta bas-relief American eagle, designed by noted sculptor Albert Stewart. Below that an inscription reads: "Fort Moore Pioneer Memorial - To the brave men and women who with trust in God faced privation and death in extending the frontiers of our country to include this land of promise." Location: 451 N. Hill St.  

 

Historical Notes

Groundbreaking for the memorial took place on July 13, 1953 and was completed in 1957. Note that the flag to the right of the monument is at half-staff. ^

 

 

 
(2002)^ – Detail view showing the 78 foot tall terra cotta bas relief mural section of the Fort Moore Pioneer Memorial located on the west side of Hill Street, south of Cesar Chavez Avenue.  

 

Historical Notes

The mural was designed by Henry Kreis and depicts the raising of the American flag on July 4, 1847 at the first Independence Day celebration in Los Angeles. Three other panels depict scenes of agriculture, transportation, and water and power. The site for the Central Los Angeles Area New High School #9 sits just west of the memorial.^

 

 

 
(2012)#^* – Close-up view showing the Pioneer Monument's largest panel.  The text reads: “On this site stood Fort Moore. Built by the Mormon battalion during the War with Mexico. The flag of the United States was raised here on July 4th, 1847, by Unites States troops at the first independence day celebration in Los Angeles. This memorial honors the troops who helped win the Southwest: The United States 1st Dragoons who fought at San Pasqual. The New York Volunteers who came by sea. The Mormon Battalion who made on the longest and most arduous infantry marches in history.”  

 

 

 

 
(2012)#^* – Close-up view of one of the four Pioneer Monument panels.  It reads: “On ranchos where herds of cattle ranged pioneers built homes and planted vineyards and orange groves.”  

 

 

 

 
(2012)#^* - “The prairie schooner stage and iron horse brought many settlers who made Los Angeles a city.”  

 

 

 

 
(2002)^ - Close-up view showing the Pioneer Monument panel that makes reference to the energy resources that contributed to the city's growth. The inscription reads, "Water and Power have made our arid land flourish. May we keep faith with the pioneers who brought us these gifts."  

 

Historical Notes

The Memorial is located at 451 N. Hill Street. Clcik HERE for map showing the exact lcoation.

 

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(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 Courthouse and U.S. Post Office 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  

 

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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).^

 

 

 
(ca. 1950)*# - Aerial view of MacArthur Park looking northwest from the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Alvarado Street. MacArthur Lake is on the south side of Wilshire Boulevard, the Towne House Building and the Bullock's Wilshire Tower can be seen further west along Wilshire Boulevard.  Click HERE to see more early views of MacArthur Park (previously Westlake Park).  

 

* * * * *

 

 

405 Freeway (San Diego Freeway)

 
(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 date: 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 Pico Drive-In (the first drive-in in California) at Pico Boulevard and Westwood Boulevard in 1934, but moved from that location to Olympic Boulevard in the late-1940’s and was renamed the Olympic Drive-In. ##^^

 

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Bunker Hill

 
(1950s)*^^ - View looking east toward the west end of the 2nd Street Tunnel.  The Stanley Apartments is seen above the tunnel on Bunker Hill.  In the distance can be seen the dome of the Dome Apartments. Bunker Hill would soon be scraped clean to make way for “redevelopment”.  

 

Historical Notes

The Community Redevelopment Agency of the city of Los Angeles undertook the Bunker Hill Redevelopment Project in 1955, a massive clearance project that leveled homes and cleared land for future commercial skyscraper development. This period saw the clearing and upzoning of the entire neighborhood.^*

 

 

 
(1950s)*++ – View looking at the eastern portal of the 2nd Street Tunnel showing a line of cars heading toward the Civic Center. Click HERE to see more Early Views of the 2nd Street Tunnel.  

 

 

 

Broadway

 
(1958)^ - View showing one of downtown's busiest intersections, Broadway and 7th Street, during mid-day. The State Theatre on the corner is showing "The Brothers Karamazov."  

 

Historical Notes

As Los Angeles entered the twentieth century, the area around Broadway and 7th Street became the city's commercial center. James B. Lankershim opened a new, nine-story hotel at the intersection in 1905. His original hotel, meanwhile, came down to make way for John Bullock's seven-story department store, which opened in 1906. Fifteen years later, the Loew's State Theatre -- one of several movie palaces to locate on Broadway -- opened across the street.^^^*

Click HERE to see more Early Views of Broadway and 7th Street (Downtown's busiest intersection).

 

 

 

 
(1959)^*^# – Postcard view showing the intersection of Broadway and 7th Street. The State Theatre (703 S. Broadway) is showing “Ben-Hur.” At left is the Lankershim Hotel and at right is Bullock's Department Store.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1959)^^*# - Postcard view of the bright lights of Broadway, looking south toward 7th Street. Brightly illuminated signs are seen on both sides of the street, including (l to r): Silverwoods, Desmonds, Palace Theatre, Lankershim Hotel, Bullock's, Leroys, Kress Shoes, Los Angeles Theatre, and Swelldom.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1958)^ - The Dodgers ride in a motorcade parade down Broadway, en route to the Coliseum for their first game in Los Angeles.  

 

Historical Notes

In the mid-1950s, Brooklyn Dodger team president Walter O'Malley had tried to build a domed stadium in the New York City borough of Brooklyn, but was unable to reach an agreement with city officials on land acquisition, and eventually reached a deal with the city of Los Angeles. The rest is history.^*

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

 

 

 
(1958)^^ - Spectators line Broadway as Dodgers Manager Walter Alston, right, and coach Charlie Dressen ride in a 1958 Edsel to their first game at the Coliseum, April 18, 1958 (Click HERE to see more).  

 

Historical Notes

Edsel - In 1958, Ford invested heavily in a yearlong teaser campaign leading consumers to believe that the Edsel was the car of the future – an expectation it failed to deliver. After it was unveiled to the public, it was considered to be unattractive, overpriced, and overhyped. The Edsel never gained popularity with contemporary American car buyers and sold poorly. The Ford Motor Company lost $250 million on the Edsel's development, manufacturing and marketing.

The very name "Edsel" became a popular symbol for a commercial failure. ^*

 

 

Downtown L.A.

 
(1959)*^^ - 25¢ haircuts: The Owl Barber Shop, 117 E. 6th Street, downtown Los Angeles. Located directly across the street from Cole’s Pacific Electric Buffet. In front sits a 1958 Impala Hardtop Sport Coupe.  

 

Historical Notes

The Impala was introduced in 1958 and positioned as top of the line Bel Air coupes and convertibles. From the windshield pillar rearward, the 1958 Chevrolet Bel Air Impala differed structurally from typical Chevrolets. Hardtops had a slightly shorter greenhouse and longer rear deck, giving the impression of an extended body. Three taillights each side would become an Impala hallmark whereas lesser models had two and wagons just one. Special crossed-flag insignias sat above the side moldings plus bright rocker moldings and dummy rear-fender scoops. 1958 was the first year of dual headlamps.

With a six-cylinder engine, a Chevrolet Bel Air Impala started at $2,586, while $2,693 bought a V8. In all, 55,989 convertibles and 125,480 Sport Coupes were built..

The 1959 Chevrolet Impala was radically reworked having large tailfins that protruded outward rather than upward.^*

 

 

 
(1960)**^# – View looking north on Hill Street at Olympic Boulevard with a 1959 Chevrolet Impala parked at right.  Photo courtesy of Bobby Cole  

 

Historical Notes

The 1959 Chevrolet Impala, following the styling excess of the late Fifties, was radically reworked and veered away from the GM pack by shooting its tailfins outward rather than upward. Admakers always were fond of naming nearly every part, but this year's "bat wing" fins above "cat's eye" taillights earned no such designations in the sales catalog. Those nicknames came later, though brochures did brand the deck "saucy." ^^+

 

 

 

 
(ca 1959)##^# – View looking south on the Harbor Freeway in downtown Los Angeles.  The Richfield Oil Company Building with its 146-foot tower sign can be seen at upper-left.  

 

Historical Notes

Construction of the Harbor Freeway began at the Four Level in 1949 and 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, and on April 24, 1957 it reached temporary ramps at 88th Place. Further extensions were made to Century Boulevard on July 31, 1958, 124th Street on September 24, 1958, Alondra Boulevard (which the county widened to carry the load) on May 2, 1960, 190th Street on July 15, 1960, Torrance Boulevard on August 28, 1962, and finally Pacific Coast Highway (SR 1) on September 26, 1962. There it connected with a section that had been open since June 19, 1956, from Pacific Coast Highway south to Channel Street. Along with the Vincent Thomas Bridge to Terminal Island, the final piece in San Pedro opened on July 9, 1970, completing the Harbor Freeway to its present length.^*

 

 

 

 
(1959)**^ - Rush hour traffic heading south on the Harbor Freeway. By 1960 the Harbor Frwy extended all the way down to 190th Street. It's present length down to San Pedro would not be completed until 1970.  

 

 

 

 
(1961)*# - View looking southeast from 4th Street and Beaudry Avenue showing the Harbor Freeway and how its arteries intertwine with the heart of downtown Los Angeles. LA Public Central Library can be seen in upper-left.  

 

 

 

 
(1968)^ - Looking from west to east towards the intersection of 5th and Figueroa streets in downtown Los Angeles. The vacant lot on the north side of 5th Street (left) is where the Westin Bonaventure Hotel is now located. The Douglas Oil Building and Richfield Oil Company Building (partially visible) are seen on the right. In the background are the LA Public Central Library (left) and the Church of the Open Door, upon which the " Jesus Saves" sign is mounted. The Crocker-Citizens Bank Tower at 6th Street and Grand Avenue is shown under construction.  

 

 

 

 
(1959)*# - A five-globe lamp post with City Hall in the background. Today, the last remaining of these ornate street lights can still be found in the gardens and malls adjacent to City Hall. Click HERE to see more in Early Los Angeles Street Lights.  

 

Historical Notes

Note the similiarities between the design of City Hall and the Central Library (previous photo). 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.^*

 

 

 

 

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References and Credits

* DWP - LA Public Library Image Archi

^ LA Public Library Image Archive

**LADWP Historic Archive

*^Oviatt Library Digital Archives

*# USC Digital Library

^^LA Times: Photo Archive; An Oil Well on La Cienega; Mulholland Bridge; A Mountain of Red Cars; The Vincent Thomas Bridge; Hill Street Tunnels; Harbor-Santa Monica Freeway Interchange; Dodgers Caravan,1958

#*MTA Transportation and Research Library Archives

#+Facebook.com: Paul Ayers

+#Facebook.com: Garden of Allah Novels

++City-Data.com: Los Angeles

#^^Picturetrail.com: KCET - Angels Flight

#^*Downtown LA Public Art: Fort Moore Pioneer Monument

^**Flickr: Enock 1; Eric Richardson

*^#Los Angeles Conservancy: LA Stock Exchange Building; Park La Brea

^#^Pacific Electric Railway Historical Society - Alan Weeks Collection

*#*Westland.net: Venice History

*#^Forum.Skyscraper.com: Arroyo Seco Library; Westwood-Life Magazine; North Los Angeles Street

^#*Metro.net: Mulholland Drive Bridge

**#The California History Room, California State Library: William Reagh

+*#Lost Los Angeles

#**Pinterest - California and DailyBreeze.com

#^#Deadhistoryproject.com: Silent Movie Theater

##^Google Street View

+**Los Angeles' Bunker Hill - Alta Visa Apartments

+##MartinTurnbull.com: Fairfax and Wilshire

+^^Century City History

^^+How Stuff Works: Chevrolet Impala

+^+Vintage Everyday

+#+Pinterest - California and DailyBreeze.com; Mid Century Hollywood

++#Facebook.com: Photos of Los Angeles

+++US 101 Freeway

^^#The George A. Eslinger Street Lighting Photo Gallery

*++Getty Research Institute

^^*Early Downtown Los Angeles - Cory Stargel, Sarah Stargel

***Los Angeles Historic - Cultural Monuments Listing

*^*California Historical Landmarks Listing (Los Angeles)

^*^LA Street Names - LA Times

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

**** Pinterest.com: Los Angeles Dodgers; Los Angeles and Hollywood; MacArthur Park w/Downtown Skyline; Gilmore Self-Service Gas Station

**^*California State Library Image Archive

**^#Vintage Los Angeles: Facebook.com - Gilmore Stadium and Field; Cruising Hollywood Blvd

^^^^Depaul.edu: Night Train 55

**#^Vincent Thomas Bridge - Facts and Figures

*#**Flickr-Los Angeles in Good Light - Ron Reiring

^#^^Flickr.com: Michael Ryerson

*#^#Life.time.com: Stoked-Life Goes Surfing

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

^#*#LA Magazine: Beverly Park Ponyland

^^##Pacific Electric Railway Historical Society

^^*#Historic LA Theatres: Downtown Broadway Theatres

^^#*LA Observed.com: Decommissioned Street Cars; Bunker HIll, 1964

*^^*Pinterest.com: Bertrand Lacheze

^^**Pinterest.com: Vintage California

^^++Huntington Digital Library Archive

*##*Pinterest.com: Trucks, Pick-Ups, and Gas Stations

*##^LAist.com: Harbor Freeway, 1969; Century Plaza Hotel

##*^Port of Los Angeles: portoflosangeles.corg

##^*Calisphere: University of California Image Archive

##^^Cinema Treasures: Olympic Drive-In

#**#California State University Northridge History: csun.edu

#++#The Pacific Electric Railway Historical Society (PERyHS)

#*##Daily News: Mulholland Bridge

#^^^Metro Library and Archive

#^**The Go Go's: N/W Corner of Hollywood and Vine

#^*#Flickr.com: Paul Bajerczak

##^#Facebook.com: Classic Hollywood-Los Angeles-SFV

###*Flickr.com: Jessie Hey

^***UCLA Library Digital Archive

^^^*KCET: Welcome to L.A. River; Four Level Interchange; Construction of 5 Southern California Freeways; Beverly Park and Ponyland; Before the 'Carmageddon': A Photographic Look at the Construction of 5 SoCal Freeways; Seventh and Broadway; L.A.'s First Freeways

****^Facebook.com: West San Fernando Valley Then And Now

*^^^^Los Angeles Maritime Museum

^^^**tumblr.com: John Ferraro Office Building; DWP Office Building

**^^^Facebook.com - San Pedro's Original Website, San Pedro.com

#*#**Facebook.com: Beverly Park - L.A.'s Kiddieland

**#**LMU Digital Archive

**^ Noirish Los Angeles - forum.skyscraperpage.com; Westwood-Life Magazine; Selling Papers on Olive; California Federal Plaza Building; Downtown Aerial 1958; 1949 Construction of 101 Freeway; 1953 Harbor Freeway Construction; Wilshire Blvd, 1949; Zephyr Room and Brown Derby Postcard View; Aliso Before and After 101 Frwy; Vincent Thomas Bridge; Gilmore Aerial; Hollywood Frwy Traffic Jam; 2012 Downtown Skyline; View from GOB; Bonaventure Hotel Aerial; Hollywood and Vine

^* Wikipedia: Hollywood Sign; Carthay Circle Theatre; Fairfax High School; Park La Brea; San Vicente Boulevard; Etymologies of place names in Los Angeles; Los Angeles Central Library; Broadway Tunnel; Pershing Square; Pacific Electric Railway; Gilmore Field; GilmoreStadium; Union Station; Westwood; 6th Street Viaduct Bridge; Figueroa Street Tunnels; Chavez Ravine; 2nd Street Tunnel; Hollywood Freeway; Los Angeles International Airport; Los Angeles City Hall; Wilshire Boulevard Temple; Egyptian Theatre; The Pig 'N Whistle; Sunland-Tujunga; Van de Kamp Bakery Building; Los Angeles County Art Museum; Los Angeles City Oil Field; Los Angeles Railway; Miracle Mile; Interstate 405; Chevrolet Impala; Playa Vista; Harbor Frwy (Interstate 110); History of Los Angeles Population Growth; Los Angeles City Hall Lindbergh Beacon; May Company California; Four Level Interchange; California Federal Bank; Harbor Freeway; Arroyo Seco Parkway; Brown Derby; 2004 Los Angeles Skyline; LA's Oldest Palm Trees; Vincent Thomas Bridge; World Cruise Center; CSUN; Westwood; Westwood Village; UCLA; History of UCLA; 1950s Americal Automotove Culture; Pershing Square; Century Plaza Hotel; California Incline

 

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