Early Los Angeles City Views (1925 +)

Historical Photos of Early Los Angeles

 
(1956)^ - Aerial view looking northwest showing the Hollywood business district, with the Capitol Records Building visible middle right.  Other visible buildings include: Pantages Theatre, E.F. Hutton Building, Broadway-Hollywood, Hotel Knickerbocker, Guaranty Building, and the Taft Building. The streets are (diagonally, l to r): Selma Avenue, Hollywood Boulevard, and Yucca Street; and (bottom to top) Gower Street, Argyle Avenue, Vine Street, Ivar Avenue, and Cahuenga Boulevard, to name a few. The Hollywood (101) Freeway is visible along the right as it heads its way through Cahuenga Pass.  

 

 

 

 
(1956)^ - Aerial view of the Hollywood business district, with the Capitol Records Building in the foreground; view is looking south. The cluster of tall buildings around the intersection of Hollywood and Vine can be seen at center of photo.  Visible buildings include: Pantages Theatre, E.F. Hutton Building, Broadway-Hollywood, Hotel Knickerbocker, Guaranty Building, and the Taft Building. The streets are (vertically, l to r): Argyle Avenue, Vine Street, Ivar Avenue, Cahuenga Boulevard; and (horizontally, bottom to top) Yucca Street (extreme bottom), Hollywood Boulevard, Selma Avenue, and Sunset Boulevard, to name a few.  

 

 

 

 
(1956)^ - Aerial view of Hollywood showing the Capitol Records Building in the center surrounded by other buildings near Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street; view is looking southeast. The visible streets are (diagonally, r to l): Vine Street, Argyle Avenue, Gower Street, and Bronson Avenue and (l to r): Yucca Street, Hollywood Boulevard, and Sunset Boulevard. Other visible buildings are Yucca Vine Building (corner of Yucca and Vine), Equitable Building (corner of Vine and Hollywood), Pantages Theatre (corner of Hollywood and Argyle), and Charles E. Skinner Studios (corner of Argyle and Yucca).  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1950s)^ - View at dusk, neon signs lit, looking northward on Vine Street from Selma Ave. On the left, The Broadway-Hollywood, Plaza Hotel, Mobilgas ; on the right, Equitable Building, Taft Building, The Brown Derby Coffee Shop. Atop the Taft Building a large neon sign for Miller High Life beer. The Capitol Records Building is hidden from view by the Equitable Building.  

 

 

 

 
(1950s)+^+ - View looking north toward the intersection of Hollywood and Vine. The four main buildings located on the corners of the intersection can be seen (L to R): The Broadway-Hollywood, Hody's Restaurant, Equitable Building, and the Taft Building. The iconic Capitol Records Building stands in the background.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1956)*^^ - Long exposure of Hollywood and Vine at night. Capitol Records Building is in the background.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1961)+#+ – View looking south on Vine Street from Yucca Street with the Capitol Records Building on the left.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1960)^ - View shows the Capitol Records Building (left) and Hotel Knickerbocker (right). Capitol Records, located on Vine Street, is a unique 13-story, 150 ft. high-rise cylindrical building that was built in 1956 by architect Welton David Becket and contractor C. L. Peck Co.  

 

 

 

 
(1970)##^# - Aerial view looking southwest showing a helicopter hovering over Hollywood. The intersection of Hollywood and Vine is at upper center-left and the Capitol Records Building stands tall at center-right.  

 

 

 

 
(1978)^ - A view taken from the west side of Vine St., looking north toward the Capitol Records Building. A sign over the Howard Johnsons on the northwest corner advertises Universal Studios Tour and the film Airport '77. Also visible are stars on a portion of the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  

 

 

 

 
(n.d.)**** - View of the Capitol Records Building during the holidays. Each year, they add the Xmas tree to help make the city a little more festive.  

 

 

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

 

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LA Memorial Coliseum and Sports Arena

 
(ca. 1960)*# - Aerial view of the Los Angeles Coliseum, Los Angeles Los Angeles Sports Arena, University of Southern California (USC), Downtown Los Angeles, and the Harbor Freeway (I-110).  

 

 

 

 
(1958)*# - Aerial view of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Dodger’s opening day, April, 18, 1958.  

 

Historical Notes

While Dodger Stadium was under construction, the Dodgers played in the league's largest capacity venue from 1958 through 1961 at their temporary home, the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, which could seat in excess of 90,000 people.

Despite their inept play and seventh-place finish, the Dodgers drew a record 1,845,556 fans in their first year in Los Angeles when they played at the Coliseum.*

 

 

 
(1960)^ - Blimps-eye view shows both the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena. Note the baseball diamond in the Coliseum where the LA Dodgers played (1958-1961).  

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Baseball in Early Los Angeles

 

 

Super Bowl I

 
(1967)^^ – The Packer’s Jim Weatherwax, No. 73, tries to block a Chiefs kick at Super Bowl I on January, 15, 1967.  

 

Historical Notes

The Green Bay Packers defeat the Kansas City Chiefs 35-10 in the first Super Bowl, played at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. At halftime, the Chiefs were only behind 14-10, but the Packers took over in the third quarter.^^*

Super Bowl I was the only Super Bowl in history that was not a sellout in terms of attendance, despite a TV blackout in the Los Angeles area (at the time, NFL games were required to be blacked out in the market of origin, even if it was a neutral site game and if it sold out). Of the 94,000-seat capacity in the Coliseum, 33,000 went unsold.  Days before the game, local newspapers printed editorials about what they viewed as a then-exorbitant $12 price for tickets, and wrote stories about how to pirate the signal from TV stations outside the Los Angeles area.*^

 

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Downtown and Civic Center

 
(ca. 1937)^#^^ - View looking northwest from City Hall tower over the Hall of Records. Bunker Hill is covered with multiple dwellings.  

 

Historical Notes

The prominent street running diagonally up from the lower right corner is Temple Street coming from the intersection with Broadway (barely seen, lower right corner). This baroque rooftop in the bottom of the image is the Hall of Records which reaches through from Spring Street all the way to Broadway. Court Street can be seen running directly away from the camera near the left edge. At lower-left, can be seen Court Flight running from the eastern terminus of Court Street down to Broadway (out of view). Mount Lee and the Hollywood Hills are seen in the distance where the elongated white smudge near the top of the ridge is the Hollywoodland Sign.^#^^

 

 

 
(Early 1950s)^#^^ - View looking northwest from City Hall tower. Court Street runs away from the bottom on the left. Bunker Hill has been slightly shaved to make room for the New County Courthouse, which is under construction, and several parking lots. There are still a few remaining dwellings at the far end of Bunker Hill.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1960)^ - View looking northwest from City Hall toward Bunker Hill prior to construction of the DWP General Office Building and the Music Center.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1970)^ - View of from City Hall looking northwest toward the DWP General Office Building and the Music Center located on Bunker Hill.  

 

 

 

Before and After

 
ca. 1937)*# - Panoramic photograph composite looking west from City Hall along Court Street with Hall of Records roof and Court Flight in the foreground.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1956)*# - Panoramic photograph composite taken from the City Hall tower, facing west to northwest towards Bunker Hill and Hollywood. Bunker Hill has been slightly shaved off to make room for the County Courthouse, which is under construction, as well as several parking lots. There are still a few remaining dwellings at the far end of Bunker Hill. Broad

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1960)^ - View looking northwest from City Hall.   (ca. 1970)^ - View looking northwest from City Hall.

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1963)^ - Photo taken from the City Hall Tower; view is looking northwest. The old State Building can be seen on the left, and the old Hall of Records (diagonally set building) is on the lower right foreground with a large, practically empty parking lot to the right of the building. In the center of the photo are the New County Courthouse, County Administration, and construction of the County mall (excavated area). In the distance is the Department of Water and Power building, and the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and Music Center are on the left of DWP (between DWP and County Courthouse).  

 

 

 

 
(1963)^ - Aerial view of Los Angeles Civic Center neighborhood of government offices; view is looking northwest. Identifiable landmarks include the Federal Courthouse at bottom right; Los Angeles City Hall, located at 200 N. Spring St. sits at center forefront; the old Hall of Records, the Hall of Justice behind City Hall; in the distance is the Department of Water and Power building (tall building with horizontal lines), and the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and Music Center are on the left of DWP (between DWP and New County Courthouse. The Hollywood (101) Freeway is on the right; Temple St. is vertically at center right; 1st St. is vertically at left; Main St., Spring St., Broadway, Hill St. Grand Ave. are horizontally from bottom up; the Harbor (110) Freeway is horizontally at upper middle.  

 

 

 

 
(1963)^ – Aerial view looking northeast showing Bunker Hill and the Civic Center. Both the DWP General Office Building and Dorothy Chandler Pavilion are nearly completed. The Ahmanson Theater and Mark Taper Forum would not be completed until 1967. The empty lot across the street from the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion will become the future home of Walt Disney Concert Hall.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1963)^ - Another aerial view of the civic center with City Hall in the background and the yet to be completed Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and Department of Water and Power General Office Building (GOB) in the foreground.  

 

 

Click HERE to see more Early Views of the Construction of the DWP General Office Building

 

 

 

Bunker Hill

 
(1960)*# –   View looking southwest from the L. A. County Courthouse at 1st and Grand showing a large empty lot sitting on top of Bunker Hill.  This will become the site of the Walt Disney Concert Hall (completed in 2003).  The multi-story building with the dome seen in the upper-left is the Dome_Hotel and Apartments (S/W corner of 2nd and Grand).  Today, the Broad Contemporary Art Museum stands at that corner.  

 

 

 

 
(1960)*# – Closer view showing the Dome_Hotel and Apartments (built in 1903) on the southwest corner of 2nd and Grand.  The lot to the right is the future location of the Walt Disney Concert Hall.  In the background through the haze and smog can be seen the Richfield Oil Company Building which was demolished in 1969 to make way for the ARCO Towers.  

 

Historical Notes

On the morning of July 25, 1964, the Dome burst into flames.  The building would be razed later that year to make room for a parking lot which existed until 2014 when construction began for the Broad Contemporary Art Museum (completed in 2015).

 

 

 

 

 
(1964)^^#* – View looking north on Flower Street from 4th Street, through the former Bunker Hill neighborhood. The newly constructed Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, right, and the Department of Water and Power headquarters can be seen past 1st Street.  

 

Historical Notes

The Bunker Hills Towers have yet to be constructed.

 

 

 

 
(1970)*^#^ - View from atop the Bank of California Building, looking north along Flower Street from 6th Street to the additional onramp construction at 4th Street. Prominent buildings in the background from left to right are the Bunker Hill Apartments and Tower, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, and the Music Center.  

 

Historical Notes

Since the previous photo, the Bunker Towers have been constructed. Built in 1968, the 32-story Bunker Hill Tower was one of the original buildings in the extensive Bunker Hill Redevelopment Project.

 

 

Civic Center

 
(1963)^ - Aerial view of Los Angeles Civic Center neighborhood of government offices; view is looking west. Identifiable landmarks include the Federal Courthouse at bottom right; Los Angeles City Hall, located at 200 N. Spring St. sits at center forefront; the old Hall of Records, and the Hall of Justice on the right; Los Angeles St., Main St., Spring St., and Broadway are visible from bottom left to middle right; Temple St., 1st St., and 2nd St. are visible from lower right to middle; the Harbor (110) Freeway is horizontally at top in the far distance.  

 

 

 

 
(1963)^ - Aerial view of Los Angeles Civic Center neighborhood of government offices; view is looking southwest. Identifiable landmarks include the Federal Courthouse at bottom middle; Los Angeles City Hall, located at 200 N. Spring St. sits at center forefront; the old Hall of Records, and the Hall of Justice on the right; Hill St., Broadway, Spring St., Main St., Los Angeles St. and San Pedro St. are vertically from right to left; Temple St., 1st St., 2nd St. and 3rd St. are horizontally from bottom to top.  

 

 

 

 
(1963)^ - Aerial view of Los Angeles Civic Center neighborhood of government offices; view is looking south. Identifiable landmarks include the Federal Courthouse at bottom left corner; Los Angeles City Hall, located at 200 N. Spring St. sits at forefront; Temple Street, lower right to upper left; Main St. is at upper right to bottom left corner; San Pedro St. from top right corner to lower left; Central Ave. paralleling Alameda St. are top middle to middle left; Los Angeles River at top left corner.  

 

 

 

 
(1963)^ - Aerial view of Los Angeles Civic Center neighborhood of government offices; view is looking northwest. Identifiable landmarks include the Federal Courthouse at lower right; Los Angeles City Hall, located at 200 N. Spring St. sits at center forefront; the old Hall of Records, and the Hall of Justice behind City Hall; in the distance is the Department of Water and Power building (tall building with horizontal lines), and the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and Music Center are on the left of DWP (between DWP and New County Courthouse). The Hollywood (101) Freeway at lower right to upper left; Temple St. is bottom middle to upper left; 1st St. is at bottom left corner; Main St., Spring St., Broadway, Hill St. Grand Ave. are diagonally from bottom right to middle; the Harbor (110) Freeway is horizontally at upper middle. Hollywood can be seen in the background.  

 

 

 

 
(1963)^ - Aerial view of Los Angeles Civic Center neighborhood of government offices; view is looking northeast. Identifiable landmarks include the Hall of Records, and the Hall of Justice on the left; Los Angeles City Hall, located at 200 N. Spring St. sits at forefront; the Federal Courthouse is under construction on the right, north of the LAPD headquarters (later Parker Center); the Santa Ana (101) Freeway is horizontally across the middle; Union Passenger Terminal, located at 800 N. Alameda St. and the Post Office Terminal Annex are at center right; Hill St., Broadway; Spring St., Main St., Los Angeles St. and Alameda St. are vertically left to right; Temple Street is horizontally at lower center; Cesar Chavez Ave. is horizontally at upper center.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1965)#^^^ – View of the Los Angeles Civic Center looking southwest. The recently completed Federal Building is in the foreground.  

 

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Hollywood

 
(ca. 1960s)* - Aerial view of Hollywood and its surrounding areas. Cars may be seen travelling the Hollywood Freeway. Traffic going north is towards the Valley, going south is towards Los Angeles. The Hollywood Reservoir is in the hills above Hollywood (Click HERE to see more Early Views of the Hollywood Reservoir).  

 

Historical Notes

The Capitol Records building is in the middle foreground of this photo (it is the cylindrical shaped building whose shape is devised from the vision of a stack of records. 13 stories rise 150 ft. high to provide 78,000 square ft. of space). Architect for the Capitol Records building was Welton David Becket, contractor, C.L. Peck Co. It was built in 1954.*

 

 

 

 
(1960)**^# - Life is Good! Cruising down Hollywood Boulevard on a Saturday night in a shining new 1959 Pontiac Coupe. The Capitol Records Building stands in the background.  

 

 

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

 

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Valley State College (CSUN)

 
(1956)*^ - Aerial view of Los Angeles State College, San Fernando Valley Branch (now CSUN), looking northwest. The intersection of Zelzah and Nordhoff is in the left foreground.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1952, state officials had originally identified Baldwin Hills as the site of a satellite campus for Los Angeles State College (now Cal State Los Angeles).  In reaction to the decision, Valley leaders organized to successfully overturn the legislation and to later ensure that a four-year college would be sited in the San Fernando Valley.  On December 21, 1954, advocates for a Valley four-year college hosted 23 legislators for dinner at the Brown Derby on Wilshire Boulevard.  Armed with demographic projections, they pitched the Valley as the only logical place for the next state college.  The pitch worked.  In 1955, state Assemblyman Judge Julian Beck sent the legislation for approval to pruchase land in the north San Fernando Valley for a new satellite campus to Los Angeles State College. #**#

 

 

 

 
(1958)*^ - New sign in 1958 after Los Angeles State College separated from its parent institution and became San Fernando Valley State College (now CSUN) Pictured: Howard McDonald (President of L.A. State College), Ralph Prator (President of San Fernando Valley State College) and Delmar T. Oviatt (Dean of Instruction at San Fernando Valley State College).  

 

Historical Notes

In fall 1956, the San Fernando Valley campus of the Los Angeles State College of Applied Arts and Sciences (later Cal State Los Angeles) was established on the present Northridge site. Soon after, the state Legislature passed Assembly Bill 971, which provided for the campus to separate from its parent college. On July 1, 1958, the founding date of the present university, the institution became San Fernando Valley State College, with about 3,300 students and 104 faculty.^*

 

 

 
(ca. 1960)*^ - Campus of San Fernando Valley State College (now CSUN), aerial view looking north. Nordhoff Hall, the Music Building on the left; Science buildings 1 and 2 and Bookstore Complex in the center.  

 

Historical Notes

On June 1, 1972, the college was renamed California State University, Northridge, by action of the state Legislature and the Board of Trustees of the California State University.*^

 

 

 
(1962)*^ - Another view of the campus of San Fernando Valley State College (now California State University Northridge). Clockwise: Sierra Hall construction site, Science Buildings 1 and 2, Bookstore Complex, Music Building, Nordhoff Hall.  

 

 

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

 

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Angels Flight

 
(1952)**** - Angels Flight Railway, probably the top noir location in bygone L.A...Looking west towards Hill St. and the Third Street Tunnel.  

 

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 until it was closed in February of 2001 due to a serious accident. After a 9 year period, which included several safety modifications, Angels Flight reopened (2010) and is still in operation today.^

 

 

 

 

Before and After

 
(1903)^ - Angels Flight   (1952)**** - Angels Flight

 

 

 

 

 
(1948)^ - A side view of two Angels Flight cable cars shortly after they crossed paths as they travel on the funicular tracks. The track for the rail cars is seen mid-air, from the side along Clay Street, with cement "brackets" holding it up in the air.
 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1955)**^* - A man with a bag in his hand climbs the stairs alongside Angels Flight.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1960)**^* - Dump truck passes underneath Angels Flight cars as they pass each other.  

 

 

 

 
(1955)*^^ - A rundown boarding house provides the backdrop to an Angels Flight car as it climbs Bunker Hill.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1960)**^* - Angels Flight crossing over Clay Street. Every building on either side of the street would meet the wrecking ball within a few short years.*^^  

 

 

 

 
(1962)^ - View looking up towards the top of Angels Flight with 3rd Street Tunnel entrance to the right.  

 

 

 

 
(1962)^ – View of Angels Flight with the eastern portal to the Third Street Tunnel in the foreground.  

 

Historical Notes

Valley Times photograph caption dated July 21, 1962 reads "The Angel's Flight Railway, a Los Angeles landmark for nearly 50 years, has been authorized by the State Public Utilities Commission to discontinue operation on or before Dec. 1. The Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles has agreed to purchase the landmark for $35,000. It is expected the railway will be moved to Griffith Park's Travel Town or to the Hollywood Bowl, to make way for development of Bunker Hill. The line, on 315 feet long, has shuttled 100 million passengers up the steep incline along Third St. between Hill and Olive streets for a nickel a ride." ^ 

 

 

 

 
(1962)^^ - Bunker Hill buildings are demolished as Angels Flight continues to scale the hillside in 1962.  

 

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.**

 

 

 

 
(1963)**^* - A mound of dirt sits adjacent to Angels Flight where a building once stood.  

 

 

 

 
(1965)^ - View of Angels Flight from a corner at Hill and Third Streets, showing the 33-degree tracks. Most of the old buildings on both sides have been razed as part of the Bunker Hill redevelopment program. At right is the Third Street Tunnel.  

 

 

 

 
(1965)^ - Photograph caption reads, "Old gent waits on Hill St. entrance for ride to top of Angeles Flight."  Photo Credit: Herald-Examiner  

 

 

 

Before and After

 
(1952)**** - Angels Flight   (1965)^ - Angels Flight

 

 

 

 

 
(1966)* - View of Angels Flight during one of its last years of operation. Most of the buildings on the hill have been demolished to make room for progress.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1967)**# - Passengers looking out the Angels Flight doorway as it appears to be heading down the hill.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1969)^^** - View of Angels Flight shortly before it was shut down and dismantled.  

 

Historical Notes

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.**

 

 

 

 

 
(2010)#^^ - View of Angels Flight at its new location at the California Plaza, 351 S. Hill Street.  

 

Historical Notes

In the 1980s, the Community Redevelopment Agency approved final plans for the California Plaza, which incorporated a restored Angels Flights. Although it took another six years and a good supply of bureaucratic activity, restoration and reconstruction started in 1995 and on February 24, 1996 Angels Flight was re-dedicated, now half a block from its original site.**

Angels Flight Railway was added to the National Register of Historic Places on October 13, 2000.

 

 

 

Click HERE to see Earlier Views of Angels Flight

 

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Vincent Thomas Bridge

 
(ca. 1960)##*^ - View of the Vincent Thomas Bridge in San Pedro during its construction. It is the fourth largest suspension bridge in the State of California.  

 

Historical Notes

The Vincent Thomas Bridge is the first suspension span ever to be built on steel piles — 990 of them were sunk to hold it up, instead of the more traditional concrete supports. And it is the first to be built entirely without rivets; the steel is welded together. ##*^

Before the bridge was built, hundreds of cannery and shipyard workers made their daily passage from San Pedro to Terminal Island aboard ferry boats. State Assemblyman Vincent Thomas thought the ferry system inadequate, and proposed the bridge to replace it.^^

 

 

 
(ca. 1963)**^ - View of the Vincent Thomas Bridge showing its longest span nearly completed.  

 

Historical Notes

The bridge is 6,060 feet long, 52 feet wide, 365 feet tall.  Its longest span is 1,500 feet, and the clearance below is 185 feet.^*

Construction of the bridge required: 92,000 tons of Portland cement; 13,000 tons of lightweight concrete; 14,100 tons of steel; and 1,270 tons of suspension cable.

The main span of the Vincent Thomas Bridge is 1,500 feet long as compared to the Golden Gate Bridge at 4,200 feet long.**#^

 

 

 
(1963)^^ - The Vincent Thomas Bridge nears completion between San Pedro and Terminal Island.  

 

Historical Notes

California Assemblyman Vincent Thomas, who represented San Pedro, spent 19 years beginning in 1940 arguing for the 16 different pieces of legislation that were necessary for its construction. When the bridge opened in 1963, Thomas was the longest-serving assembyman. In 1961, the legislature passed a special Concurrent Resolution 131 in order to name it after him while he was still serving.^*

 

 

 

 

 
(1963)*^^^^ - Panoramic view showing "The Islander" ferry in its last days of service with the nearly completed Vincent Thomas Bridge in the background.  

 

Historical Notes

The Vincent Thomas Bridge officially opened on November 15, 1963 and ferry service discontinued after 22 years of operations. ##*^

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1964)**^^^ - One of the world’s largest car carriers at the time, Volkswagen ship Johann Schulte, arrives at the Port of Los Angeles.  View shows 100s of VW Beetles, all lined up and waiting for transport to dealerships.  The newly opened Vincent Thomas Bridge stands tall in the background.  

 

Historical Notes

The Volkswagen Beetle, or informally the Volkswagen Bug, was produced from 1938 until 2003. The need for this kind of car, and its functional objectives, were formulated by Adolf Hitler, leader of Nazi Germany, wishing for a cheap, simple car to be mass-produced for the new road network of his country. He contracted Porsche in 1934 to design and build it to his exacting standards. Ferdinand Porsche and his team took until 1938 to finalize the design.

This is one of the first rear-engined cars. With over 21 million manufactured in an air-cooled, rear-engined, rear-wheel drive configuration, the Beetle is the longest-running and most-manufactured car of a single design platform, worldwide.^*

 

 

 
(1988)^^ - Traffic streams across the Vincent Thomas Bridge at dusk.  

 

Historical Notes

Skeptics predicted it would serve fewer than 2,000 vehicles a day and that it would take taxpayers 40 years to pay for the $21-million structure. In its first month of operation, however, the bridge served a daily average of 9,631 vehicles. And most of the debt was paid off within 20 years.^^

 

 

 
(ca. 2010s)##^# – Night view showing the Vincent Thomas Bridge.  

 

Historical Notes

When the Bridge opened in 1963, a 25-cent toll was collected in each direction. On grand opening day, Assemblyman Thomas paid the first toll. In 1983, the toll increased to 50 cents for westbound traffic and was free for eastbound traffic.  In 2000, the Bridge was considered “paid for” and the toll was repealed.**#^

 

 

 
(2013)^^ - Vincent Thomas Bridge on a foggy morning from West Santa Cruz Street, Rancho Palos Verdes.  

 

Historical Notes

The Vincent Thomas Bridge now carries 26,500 vehicles a day. It is widely credited with providing a crucial transportation link to the Port of Los Angeles and of aiding the port’s phenomenal growth.^^

 

 

 

 
(2009)**^^^ - View of the former cruise ship terminal at Berth 153 and the Port of Los Angeles clock tower. Photo taken February 2, 2009.  

 

Historical Notes

The World Cruise Terminal at the Port of Los Angeles (passenger and cargo ternminals at Berth 93), opened in 1963. It was designed by AIA award-winning architect Edward H. Fickett, F.A.I.A. 

The terminal which hosted the original Love Boat TV series from 1977 to 1986 was modernized and expanded in 2010-11 to accommodate the most modern megaships. ##*^

 

 

 

 
(2011)**^^^ - A busy day in San Pedro with four cruise ships docked at the World Cruise Center.  

 

Historical Notes

Located in the San Pedro District beneath the Vincent Thomas Bridge, the World Cruise Center is th largest cruise ship terminal on the West Coast.  It has three passenger ship berths and transports over 1 million passengers annually.^*

Cruise lines served: Carnival Cruise Lines, Celebrity Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Cunard Line, Disney Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean International, Seabourn Cruise Line, Silver Sea Cruises. ##*^

 

 

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

 

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Mount Olympus

 
(1963)^ - Aerial view of Mount Olympus as the first of 2500 guests arrive at the hilltop "house warming party" for the 300-acre development of $150,000 homes 1500 feet above sea level near Laurel Canyon Blvd. and Mulholland Drive. View is toward the southeast. Group of buildings at top right are the Park La Brea Towers.  

 

Historical Notes

Mount Olympus is a prominent neighborhood in the Hollywood Hills area of the city of Los Angeles. A community of single family residences founded by developer Russ Vincent, it is bounded by Hollywood Boulevard, Laurel Canyon Boulevard, Willow Glen Road, and Nichols Canyon Road.^*

 

 

 
(1964)^ - Aerial view showing Mount Olympus grading in preparation for the construction of housing. The city lies beyond, looking southeast.  

 

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Los Angeles Freeways

 
(1962)##^# - Aerial view showing the Santa Monica Freeway under construction near the Harbor Freeway with downtown Los Angeles in the background.  

 

Historical Notes

Work on the Santa Monica Freeway progressed slowly, and in stages. It was not until October 1964 that it extended west to La Cienega Boulevard, and on January 29, 1965--several years after residents in the freeway's path were displaced--a Goodyear blimp helped cut the ribbon on the 4.5-mile segment between La Cienega and Bundy Drive.^^^*

 

 

 
(1964)^^^* – View looking west showing the Santa Monica Freeway under construction at La Cienega and Venice boulevards.  

 

Historical Notes

Local opposition immediately coalesced against the Santa Monica Freeway when state highway planners announced a major part of its route in August 1955. The entire route -- known originally as the Olympic Freeway -- would span 16.6 miles between the East L.A. Interchange in Boyle Heights and Pacific Coast Highway in Santa Monica, barreling through quiet bedroom communities on its path to the sea.

Hundreds of churches, homeowners groups, and other community organizations rallied against the proposal, focusing their opposition on the 6.6-mile stretch west of La Cienega Boulevard.

In April 1956 planners revised their original route in the face of community opposition. But while the new route saved 47 homes, it largely shifted the freeway away from the domains of its most vocal opponents and into new neighborhoods. Local opposition persisted, but the highway commission held firm.^^^*

 

 

 
(ca. 1965)*# - Aerial view of downtown Los Angeles taken from just above the Santa Monica and Harbor Freeway interchange.  

 

 

 

 
(1980)^^ – Aerial view of the intersection of the Harbor (110) and Santa Monica (10) freeways just southwest of downtown Los Angeles.  

 

 

 

 
(1969)*##^ – View looking north showing the Harbor Freeway running through downtown Los Angeles. In the distance can be seen the new Department of Water and Power Building, Music Center, and City Hall.  

 

 

 

 
(1962)^ - Nighttime view of Los Angeles and City Hall, looking southwest from the San Bernardino Freeway. A billboard for the French restaurant "Taix" and "The TIMES" up in lights on the top of a building appear in the background.  

 

 

 

 
(1965)^ - Civic center buildings at night; left to right, the Department of Water and Power Building, Music Center and City Hall, seen from across the Harbor Freeway.  

 

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Water & Power Building and Music Center

 
(ca. 1970)**#**-  Panoramic postcard view looking east from Beaudry Avenue toward the 110 Freeway, showing the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power GOB, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, and Los Angeles City Hall.   

 

 

 

 

 
(1966)^ - Night view of a well lit Department of Water and Power building, including fountains, as seen from the Dorothy Chandler Pavillion across the street. Click HERE to see more in Construction of the DWP Building.  

 

 

 

 
(1967)* - View of Department of Water and Power Building (GOB) on the left and Dorothy Chandler Music Center on the right from a parking lot across First Street. The parking lot in the above photo is where the Walt Disney Concert Hall stands today (opened 2003).  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1967)^ - An aerial shot of the Music Center and the Department of Water and Power Building.  

 

 

 

 
(1967)*# - Aerial view looking east toward City Hall from directly above the Department of Water and Power Building.  

 

 

 

 
(1968)*#- Aerial view looking toward LADWP's General Office Building (GOB) with the Los Angeles Civic Center in the background.   

 

* * * * *

 

 

La Brea Tar Pits

 
(1962)^ - Panoramic view of the La Brea Tar Pits and the La Brea Park looking west as seen from above Curson Avenue and Wilshire Boulevard. Spectators lean against the fence as they look at the tar pit. In the background, center, is the May Company Department Store. A billboard on Wilshire exhorts viewers to "Fly Delta." Click HERE to see more early views of the La Brea Tar Pits.  

 

 

The Miracle Mile and Los Angeles County Museum of Art

 
(ca. 1965)^ - Aerial view looking east showing the Miracle Mile (Wilshire Blvd.) with the LA County Museum of Art and the La Brea Tar Pits seen in the foreground.  

 

Historical Notes

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) was established as a museum in 1961. Prior to this, LACMA was part of the Los Angeles Museum of History, Science and Art, founded in 1910 in Exposition Park near the University of Southern California. Early trustee Howard F. Ahmanson Sr. made the lead donation of $2 million, convincing the museum board that sufficient funds could be raised to establish the new museum. In 1965, the museum moved to a new Wilshire Boulevard complex as an independent, art-focused institution, the largest new museum to be built in the United States after the National Gallery of Art.^*

 

 

 
(ca. 1965)^ - Aerial view of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. In the background are the Park La Brea Towers appartments. The La Brea Tar Pits can be seen to the right of the museum. The museum was built in 1964 at Wilshire & Genesee (lower center-left).  

 

 

 

 
(1965)^#^^ – Aerial view looking north showing the Los Angeles County Museum of Art located at 5905 Wilshire Boulevard.  On the right is the La Brea Tar Pits.  To the left is the parking structure for May Company Department Store.  

 

 

 

 
(1968)^ - Three life-sized replicas of giant Imperial Mammoths, sculpted by artist Howard Ball, are shown on the shore at the tar pits adjacent to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, present in the background. Click HERE to see more early views of the La Brea Tar Pits.
 

 

* * * * *

 

Century City

 
(1967)^ -   Aerial view looking southeast showing Century City with buildings identified: (1-2) Gateway East and Gateway West; (3) Century Square shopping mall; (4) Prudential building; (5) 1901 building; (6) Century Plaza Hotel; (7) Century Towers; (8) Century Park East apartments; (9) Restaurant; (10) Century City Service Center; (11) Pacific Telephone building; (12) Auto Club   

 

Historical Notes

At the southern edge of Century City, a small community of office buildings, bungalows and sound stages is all that remains of the once grand and sprawling 20th Century Fox Studios.

Before William Fox built his studio here in 1928, the 176-acre site that would one day become Century City was first the personal ranch of movie cowboy legend Tom Mix.

By 1935, Fox—producers of the famous Movietone Newsreels—had merged operations with Daryll Zanuck’s 20th Century Pictures to form what would become one of the truly great studios of the American cinema’s Golden Age—20th Century Fox Pictures.

But by 1957, with box office receipts down and filmmakers shooting more on location, 20th Century Fox decided to either develop part of their extensive 260-acre back-lot or sell it off entirely. Ultimately, in 1961, the Aluminum Co. of America (Alcoa) purchased 260 acres from 20th Century Fox for $43 million, with 80 acres to remain in use by the film company for its studios. +^^

 

 

 

 
(1969)*##^ - View looking north on Avenue of the Stars with the Century Plaza Hotel on the left.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1961, developer William Zeckendorf and Alcoa bought about 180 acres from 20th Century Fox after the studio had suffered a string of expensive flops, culminating in the box-office disaster Cleopatra. The new owners conceived Century City as "a city within a city" with the arc-shaped, 19-story, 726-room Minoru Yamasaki-designed Century Plaza as the centerpiece of the new city.^*

 

 

 

 
(1970)##^* –  Postcard view of Century City looking northeast.  The Century Plaza Hotel stands at center-left. The curved street running down toward the center bottom is Olympic Boulevard and 20th Century Fox Studios is at lower-right. Hollywood can be seen in the far distance (upper-right).  

 

 

 

 

 
(1980)^**# – View showing the the ABC Entertainment Center with the Century Plaza Towers in the background as seen from across Avenue of the Stars in front of the Century Plaza Hotel.  

 

Historical Notes

Completion of the new ABC Entertainment Center was finalized in 1972, offering a movie complex that screened Cabaret as its first film. That same year, as part of Century City’s cultural center, the Shubert Theatre opened with Follies starring Alexis Smith. For the next thirty years, the theater would bring Broadway productions to West Los Angeles, including Sly Fox with George C. Scott, A Chorus Line, Chicago, Ragtime, Cats, Les Miserables, Sunset Boulevard and the Shubert’s longest running hit Beauty and the Beast. +^^

 

 

 
(1991)##++ – Aerial view showing the twin 44-story Century Plaza Towers and the old ABC Entertainment Center seen in the foreground.  Photo by Jim Vines  

 

Historical Notes

1975 marked the end of The Golden Age of Century City development, with the completion of the Century Plaza Towers, which majestically loomed above The ABC Entertainment Center. Designed by Minoru Yamasaki, the two 44- story triangular towers became an instant showpiece for Alcoa, with its aluminum siding that shimmered in the sun for miles around. The following year, on May 17, 1976, the Shubert Theatre hosted the 28th Annual Emmy Awards using the Century Plaza Towers as two large 44-storied neon signs that could be seen from an airplane. Boasting the largest underground parking structure in the world, both The Century Plaza Towers and The ABC Entertainment Center became the heart of Century City. +^^

The Entertainment Center was demolished in October 2002 to make way for the 2000 Avenue of the Stars office building.

The Plaza Towers' prominence in the Century City skyline has been reduced in recent years with the addition of new skyscrapers that partially block their view. Nevertheless, the Century Plaza Towers remain the tallest buildings in Century City and the tallest skyscrapers in Southern California outside of downtown Los Angeles.

 

* * * * *

 

 

Hughes Airport - Playa Vista

 
(1968)* - Aerial view looking east along the runway of the Hughes Airport.  Loyola University and Westchester can be seen on the right.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1940, Howard Hughes purchased 380 acres of the Ballona Wetlands just west of Culver City for $500,000. Hughes recognized the area as one of the few large tracts of remaining undeveloped land in Los Angeles. The high water table made it necessary to sink 50' pilings into the wetlands to support Hughes’ buildings & reroute the course of the Centinela River, which flowed through the site every spring & flooded it. On his new land Hughes constructed a 60,000 square foot air conditioned, humidity-controlled aircraft plant with an adjacent grass runway.*#*#

Little known fact: The Los Angeles River was originally alluvial, meaning its banks and bed were formed from loose sediments and rock that allowed it to change its path depending on water flow and season. Up until the early 1800's, the river actually flowed into the Pacific near Marina Del Ray (Ballona Wetlands), but a particularly severe flash flood in 1825 diverted the river all the way to Long Beach, where it has remained since.^^^*

In 1943, Hughes built the world’s longest private runway at the Hughes Airport. Runway 5/23 was 9,600' long - nearly 2 miles in length. It was not paved for its first few years, because Hughes believed that paved runways imparted unnecessary stress on an aircraft's landing gear. He reportedly had to add fill regularly to keep the ground solid.*#*#

 

 

 
(1972)*#*# - Aerial view looking west at the Hughes Airfield.  

 

Historical Notes

After an often strange & reclusive life, Howard Hughes died in 1976.  After the dust of Hughes’ estate had settled, the Culver City property was in the hands of Summa Corporation. Summa proposed a mega-development, with 29,000 people in 13,000 units, and an additional 20,000 employed by an on-site world-class motion picture studio. The project was called "Playa Vista." *#*#

During the late 1990s, DreamWorks failed in its attempt to build a studio in Playa Vista.*^

 

 

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

 

* * * * *

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1970s)^ - The California Federal Plaza building is in the center of an aerial shot showing surrounding commercial and residential areas. Signage on some of the commercial buildings include Van de Kamp's, and Prudential, later renamed Museum Square.  

 

Historical Notes

California Federal Bank, often abbreviated to "Cal Fed", was a savings and loan bank in California with the corporate headquarters being located at 5670 Wilshire Boulevard, in Los Angeles. It existed from 1926 until 2002, when its parent company, Golden State Bancorp, was acquired by Citigroup, resulting in the bank being merged into Citibank. Cal Fed first ceased to be an independent banking company after its acquisition in 1997 by First Nationwide Bank of San Francisco, California. First Nationwide Bank changed the name of the new merged banking entity to CalFed Bank due to the appeal of the CalFed brand name. A few years later the bank was bought out by Citigroup.^*

 

 

 
(1972)**^ - View looking west on Wilshire Boulevard. The Broadway (originally Coulter's) Department Store is at 5600 Wilshire Boulevard. The California Federal Bank Building stands to the right.  

 

Historical Notes

California Federal Bank's historic building, opened in 1965, on Wilshire was one of the original bank corporate headquarters in the Miracle Mile area.^*

 

* * * * *

 

 

 
(1979)^ - Panoramic view from Los Angeles City Hall, looking northeast from the southern side of Highway 101. Several landmarks are visible, including the Terminal Annex Post Office, Union Station, and the L.A. Plaza.  

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Plaza of Los Angeles

 

 

 

 

 
(1968)*# - Aerial view facing north over Downtown Los Angeles with the Harbor and Hollywood freeways in the background. Notable buildings are the Eastern-Columbia with the clock tower, Texaco Building, One Wilshire, City National Bank, AT&T Building (under construction), Union Bank Square.  

 

 

 

 
(1970)^#^^ – Aerial view looking south over Dodger Stadium showing downtown and the Bunker Hill Redevelopment area (open space).  

 

 

 

 
(1971)**^ - Aerial view of downtown Los Angeles looking southwest from over the Hollywood Freeway. The Pacific Ocean can be seen in the distance. Note the cleared area at center of photo. It is part of the Bunker Hill Redevelopment Project.  

 

 

 

 
(1970)^ - Aerial view of the Four Level Interchange in downtown L.A. Some of the recently constructed buildings (Music Center, DWP, Bunker Tower, etc.) can be seen in the background.  

 

 

 

 
(1968)^ - View looking south on Flower Street toward 5th Street. The California Club stands on the left.  The Richfield Building is the tallest building in view. Empty parking lots are seen in the foreground.  

 

 

 

 
(1968)^ - Aerial view looking northeast showing the 42-story Crocker-Citizens Plaza and surrounding buildings in downtown Los Angeles. In the lower-left can be seen Los Angeles Central Library, the California Club, and Church of the Open Door/Biola Institute.  

 

Historical Notes

The Crocker-Citizens Plaza was designed by William L. Pereira & Associates and completed in 1968 (Click HERE to see more).

 

 

 
(1970s)##^# – View looking west from the corner of 5th and Hill streets showing the Biltmore Hotel with Crocker-Citizens Bank Building and Arco Towers behind it.  Thrifty is on the N/W corner.  

 

Historical Notes

The 1923-built Biltmore Hotel was designated a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 60 in 1969. 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.^*

Click HERE to see more Early Views of the Biltmore Hotel.

 

 

 
(ca. 1975)##^# – View looking west on 5th Street toward Grand Avenue showing the Los Angeles Central Library seemingly dwarfed by the the Arco Plaza Towers.  

 

Historical Notes

Upon completion in 1972, the ARCO Plaza Towers were the tallest buildings in the city for one year before being overtaken by Aon Center, and were the tallest twin towers in the world until the completion of the World Trade Center in New York City. ^*

 

 

LA's Changing Skyline

 
(ca. 1967)^ - View from City Hall looking south over downtown. The LA Times Building (foreground) has now been expanded, the Atlantic Richfield Building is still standing, and redevelopment on Bunker Hill has not yet been completed.  

 

Historical Notes

Prior to the late 1950s the Charter of the City of Los Angeles did not permit any portion of any building other than a purely decorative tower to be more than 150 feet. Therefore, from its completion in 1928 until 1964, the City Hall was the tallest building in Los Angeles, and shared the skyline with only a few structures having decorative towers, including the Richfield Tower and the Eastern Columbia Building.^*

 

 

 
(1968)**^* - View of Bunker Hill from City Hall looking southwest. The State Building in the foreground sustained damage in the 1971 San Fernando Earthquake and was demolished in 1976 (see next photo).  

 

 

 

 
(1978)^ - View of Bunker Hill from City Hall looking southwest. Same view as previous photo but 10 years later. In the foreground are the remains of the State Building, demolished in 1976. The LA Times Building has a new additon. Also, note how the skyline is beginning to change with the additon of the Arco Towers, Security Pacific Building, and the Westin Bonaventure Hotel among others.  

 

Historical Notes

Built just a few years earlier, both the ARCO Towers and the Bonaventure Hotel (background) are present. A redesigned Grand Avenue (right) running through Bunker Hill has been completed, but other construction in that corridor has not yet begun.^

 

 

 
(1980)*++ - View of Bunker Hill from City Hall, looking southwest, with a clear view of the Westin Bonaventure Hotel (built in 1976) in the upper-right.  

 

 

 

 
(1976)**^ – Aerial view looking southwest showing the Westin Bonaventure Hotel under construction on the southeast corner of 4th and Figueroa streets. Behind the hotel is the Union Bank Building. At lower right stands the microwave tower on top of the Madison Complex Tandem Office Building.  

 

 

 

 
(1980)**^* - View looking west showing from left to right; the Wells Fargo Building (under construction), the Union Bank Building, and the Westin Bonaventure Hotel.  

 

 

* * * * *

 

 

Bunker Hill Development

 
(1968)*# - Aerial view looking northeast showing the Union Bank Building, the first high-rise built on Bunker Hill in Downtown Los Angeles.  The building under construction in the upper left is Bunker Hill Tower. The white building in lower-right is the Douglas Oil Building. The Harbor Freeway is seen at lower left. Also seen in the background is the DWP Building, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, and County Courthouse.  

 

Historical Notes

The Union Bank Building was the first high-rise built (1967) in the Central Business District after the 1920s. It was one of the first skyscrapers erected after the 150’ height limit was repealed in 1957 and the first building taller than City Hall. It was also the first structure to be completed as part of the Bunker Hill redevelopment project that began an era of skyscraper building in the Central Business District.^#^

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1968)^ - Aerial view looking north along the Harbor Freeway in downtown Los Angeles.  Union Bank Building stands tall east of the freeway. Also seen at lower-center is the Coldwell Banker Building and the Jonathan Club.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1968)^ - Aerial view looking west along 5th Street toward the #110 Harbor Freeway. The three dominant buildings east of the freeway are (l to r):  the Jonathan Club, Coldwell Banker, and  Union Bank Building.  

 

 

 

 
(1969)^ – View looking northeast across the Harbor Freeway showing the 42-story Union Bank Building, the first skyscraper* on Bunker Hill.  At left can be seen the Bunker Hill Tower Apartments, still under construction, and the Bunker Hill Tower behind them.  To the right stands the Madison Complex Tandem Office Building with its towering microwave tower. The building to the far right is the Douglas Oil Building.  

 

Historical Notes

In the southern end of the Bunker Hill redevelopment zone, in what’s typically thought of as the Financial District, the 40-story, 157 meter tall Union Bank Plaza became the first skyscraper to be built as part of the Bunker Hill Redevelopment Project.

 

 

 
(1971)^ – View looking north showing (L to R) Bunker Hill Apartments, Bunker Hill Tower, and the DWP Office Building rising up from a flattened Bunker Hill.  

 

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.^*

 

 

 

 
(1971)**^ – View looking north over the Bunker Hill Redevelopment area on a stormy-looking day. From left to right can be seen Bunker Hills Towers, DWP Building, Music Center, LA County Courthouse, California State Building, Federal Building, City Hall, and in the lower-right foreground, the AT&T Madison Complex Tandem Office Building. Photo by Julius Shulman  

 

Historical Notes

Atop the actual Bunker Hill (but generally thought of as lying within the Civic Center) are two of the first buildings to follow the neighborhood’s redevelopment, the beautiful John Ferraro Building (formerly known as the Department of Water and Power’s General Office Building), completed in 1964, and the Los Angeles Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion (1964), Ahmanson Theater (1967), and Mark Taper Forum (1967).

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1971)*# - Overlooking Downtown Los Angeles and the Civic Center from an overpass above the Harbor Freeway. The two 19-story Bunker Hill Tower Apartments are in the foreground with the taller Bunker Hill Tower behind them. DWP's office building is on the left and City Hall is in the background on the right. West Second Street, West Third Street, General Thaddeus Kosciuszko Way can all be seen.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1974)^ - Looking south from the water courtyard of the General Office Building of the Department of Water and Power. Bunker Hill Tower can be seen across the street (1st Street) and the Pac Bell Tower is at center-left.  

 

Historical Notes

Built in 1968, the 32-story Bunker Hill Tower was one of the original buildings in the extensive Bunker Hill Redevelopment Project. The project was proposed by the City of Los Angeles in 1955 and is scheduled to end in 2015.

 

 

 

 
(1970s)**^ – View looking south from the front entry ‘bridge’ leading to the Water and Power Office Building. The twin ARCO Plaza towers, completed in 1972, are seen in the background. Photo by Julius Schulman  

 

 

 

 

 
(1986)^ - Another view looking south from the water courtyard of the DWP Building 12 years later. Notice how the skyline has changed. The 32-story Bunker Hill Tower now looks small when compared to the other buildings in the background. Click HERE to see more in Construction of the DWP's General Office Building.  

 

 

 

 
(1980)*++ – Aerial view looking south on Flower Street from over 2nd Street showing how the Bunker Hill Redevelopment area is taking shape. To the left is the 55-story Security Pacific Tower and at lower-right are the Bunker Towers. The Westin Bonaventure Hotel is seen at upper-center, with the Union Bank Building to its right.  

 

 

 

 
(1980)*++ – Street view looking north on Flower Street from near 5th Street. Buildings from left to right include: Atlantic Richfield Plaza, Westin Bonaventure Hotel, Bunker Hills Tower, DWP Office Building, and theSecurity Pacific Tower, now known as Bank of America Plaza.  

 

 

 

 
(1982)^ - Older homes, apartments, and businesses (foreground) contrast greatly with the shiny office buildings of downtown Los Angeles. This view, taken on January 23, 1982, is seen from the Hollywood Freeway, just south of Glendale Boulevard.  

 

Historical Notes

The above photograph was also used for article dated March 10, 1985; the caption reads, "Mayor Bradley cites downtown boom as his major feat, but critics say redevelopment funds would have been better spent for low-and moderate-income housing."

 

 

 
(1983)* - Aerial view looking north at downtown Los Angeles, with Harbor Freeway on the left. Some identifiable buildings include offices for First Interstate, Bank of America, City National Bank, One Wilshire, and Security Pacific. Also seen are Los Angeles Public Library, Broadway Plaza, and City Hall.  

 

 

 

 
(1981)^ - The downtown skyline, as seen from the Occidental Center. Broadway Plaza, Robinson's, hotels and office buildings make up the skyline. The First United Methodist Church (lower left) was demolished not long after this photograph was taken, and a few skyscrapers are under construction in the background.  

 

 

 

 
(1980)**^* - Pasadena Freeway westbound with the Downtown LA skyline in the background.  

 

 

 

 
(1988)^ - City Hall stands tall in the background as darkness descends on Chinatown and North Broadway Street.  

 

 

 

 
(1980)^ – View of the gateway to New Chinatown, with people standing on the sidewalk, near Castelar Street, off Sunset Blvd. Photo by Roy Hankey  

 

 

 

 
(1989)**^* - View of Hollywood from Mulholland Drive. The Hollywood Bowl can be seen in the foreground and the Hollywood Freeway is to the left. In the far distance can be seen Downtown L.A. and the Wilshire corridor.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1987)^ - Looking east from the Hollywood Hills, L.A.'s skyline appears clear and bright as does Hollywood and its distinctive Cinerama Dome. Click HERE to see more in Early Views of Hollywood.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1984)^ - Night view of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion at the Los Angeles Music Center, as seen from the DWP building.  

 

 

 

 

 
(2000)^ - As if straight out of a science fiction movie, cars seem to spill out of the darkness and into the spiral-like light of day. The photo was taken from inside the 2nd Street Tunnel, two pedestrians walking on the right side, and a row of ceiling lights that are spaced out through the entire tunnel are the only visible things inside this black hole.  

 

Historical Notes

The 2nd Street Tunnel is frequently used in movies – notably Blade Runner – and even more frequently in car advertisements, with 73 car ads filmed in the tunnel in 2006–2008, over 2 per month.^*

 

 

 

 
(n.d.)^ - Outline of Griffith Observatory is silhouetted against the brilliance of Hollywood lights. Night view taken from Mt. Hollywood.  

 

 

 

 

 
(n.d.)++# - Telephoto view looking northwest showing Mt. Lee tower, Griffith Observatory, and the HOLLYWOOD Sign.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 2006)^ - Panoramic view of Los Feliz, Hollywood and downtown Los Angeles, taken from outside of the Samuel Oschin Planetarium at Griffith Observatory.  

 

Historical Notes

For over 75 years, the planetarium has been used to present astronomical programs overseen by a lecturer. The view reveals a variety of buildings, homes and the numerous skyscrapers located in Downtown L.A. in the background. This photograph was taken not long after the observatory reopened on November 3, 2006, after having been closed since 2002 for an extensive renovation. John C. Austin and Frederick M. Ashley were the original architects of the Art Deco structure.^

 

 

 
(1989)^ - Panoramic view of Echo Park Lake on a bright sunny day. The city's skyline can also be seen clearly in the background.  

 

 

 

 

 
(2005)++ – View of downtwon Los Angeles at dusk looikng southeast across the Harbor (110) Freeway. Photo by Michel Anzaldua  

 

 

 

 

 
(2005)* - Panoramic view of Downtown Los Angeles. Photo shows numerous highrise buildings; among them are Ernst & Young, TCW, AON, US Bank, One Wishire, Citigroup, etc. The Harbor (110) Freeway is visible at middle left.  

 

 

 

 

 
(2005)* - Panoramic view of the Central City area, looking northeast. Traffic is moving north and south on the 110 freeway, shown on the left. Photo by Gary Leonard  

 

 

 

 

 
(2005)* - Panoramic view of Downtown Los Angeles looking north showing numerous highrise buildings; among them are Ernst & Young, TCW, AON, US Bank, One Wishire, Citigroup, etc. Hope Street runs away from the camera at lower right. Photo by Gary Leonard  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 2012)**^ -   Aerial view  of the Downtown skyline, looking northeast, as seen from west of the Harbor Freeway.  

 

Historical Notes

As of 2015 the tallest building in Los Angeles is the 73-story U.S. Bank Tower (center-top), which rises 1,018 feet in Downtown Los Angeles and was completed in 1989. It also stands as the tallest building in the state of California, tallest building west of the Mississippi, and the 11th-tallest building in the United States. The second-tallest skyscraper in the city and the state is the Aon Center (right), which rises 858 feet.  Seven of the ten tallest buildings in California are located in Los Angeles.^*

 

 

 

 
(2004)^* - View of the Los Angeles skyline as seen from the Grand Central Market. Angels Flight terminal on Hill Street is seen at the lower right.  

 

 

 

 

 
(2007)^* - View looking northwest from Pershing Square showing the  Downtown skyline.  The tallest building, the 73-story U.S. Bank Tower, is at upper-left.  The Biltmore Hotel is directly across Olive Street at lower-left.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 2011)**# – View looking southwest from over the intersection of 5th and Hill streets showing Pershing Square with the Biltmore Hotel on the right and the Downtown skyline in the background.  

 

 

 

 

 
(2010)^* - View looking north toward the downtown skyline through what is the LA's oldest palm trees. The trees are located on what was Palm Avenue at Adams Boulevard and were planted cira 1875. Click HERE to see more on LA's oldest palm trees.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 2010)**** - View of MacArthur Park with the Los Angeles Downtown skyline in the background.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 2010s)##^# – View looking west showing the Sixth Sthreet Bridge with the Los Angeles Downtown skyline in the distance.  

 

 

 

 

 
(2011)#^*# - View of Downtown Los Angeles from behind the Hollywood Sign.  

 

 

 

 

 
(2015)*##^ – Aerial view on a crystal clear day showing the Hollywood Hills,  Hollywood Sign, Mt. Lee Tower, and the San Fernando Valley in the distance.  Photo by Mike Kelley  

 

 

 

 

 
(2012)#** - Space Shuttle Endeavour makes its final flight to LAX on September 21, 2012 as it passes over Disney Hall and the Hollywood Sign.  

 

 

 

 

 
(2012)^** - View of Disney Hall at sunrise as seen from Grand Avenue. The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion stands at right, across 1st Street.  

 

 

 

 

 
(2005)++ – Panoramic view looking northeast showing downtown Los Angeles, with snow-capped San Gabriel Mountains in the background.  The Harbor Freeway and LA Convention Center are in the foreground. Photo by Daniel Castro  

 

 

 

 

 
(2013)*^ – A slightly different angle view also showing downtown Los Angeles with the beautiful snow-capped San Gabriel Mountains in the background.  City Hall is seen at lower center-right. Once the tallest building in Los Angeles (1928 thru 1964), City Hall is now dwarfed by scores of other high-rise buildings.  Photo by Todd Jones  

 

Historical Notes

Los Angeles went through a large building boom that lasted from the early 1960s to the early 1990s, during which time the city saw the completion of 30 of its 32 tallest buildings, including the U.S. Bank Tower, the Aon Center, and Two California Plaza. The city is the site of 25 skyscrapers at least 492 feet (150 m) in height, more than any other city in the Pacific coast region. As of July 2011, there were 505 completed high-rises in the city.

As of May 2011, there were 60 high-rise buildings under construction, approved for construction, and proposed for construction in Los Angeles. 37 of these 60 buildings are over 100 meters tall.^*

 

 

 

 
(2011)###* - Aerial view of Downtown Los Angeles on a clear day. Hollywood and the Hollywood Hills are in the background and the San Fernando Valley can also be seen in the distance.  

 

 

 

 

 
(2008)*#** - Aerial view of Downtown Los Angeles with Wilshire Blvd in the background heading off to the west. Photo by Ron Reiring  

 

 

 

 

 

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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; Super Bowl I

#*MTA Transportation and Research Library Archives

++City-Data.com: Los Angeles

#^^Picturetrail.com: KCET - Angels Flight

^**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

#**Pinterest - California and DailyBreeze.com

#^#Deadhistoryproject.com: Silent Movie Theater

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

*++Getty Research Institute

+##MartinTurnbull.com: Fairfax and Wilshire

+^^Century City History; History of Century City

^^+How Stuff Works: Chevrolet Impala

+^+Vintage Everyday

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

++#Facebook.com: Photos of Los Angeles

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

^^*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

^**#Los Angeles Movie Palaces: The ABC Entertainment Center

^^*#Historic LA Theatres: Downtown Broadway Theatres

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

*^^*Pinterest.com: Bertrand Lacheze

^^**Pinterest.com: Vintage California

*##*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

##++Facebook.com - Beverly Hills Heritage

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

#^^^Metro Library and Archive

#^*#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; Creating the Santa Monica Freeway

****^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

^* 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; Downtown Los Angeles

 

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