Early Los Angeles Historical Buildings (1925 +)

Historical Photos of Early Los Angeles

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(1927)* - Exterior view of the Grauman's Chinese Theater on Hollywood Boulevard.  

 

Historical Notes

Grauman's Chinese Theatre opened in May 18, 1927, after a construction period of 18 months. Built to resemble a giant, red Chinese pagoda, the architecture features a huge Chinese dragon across the front, two stone lion-dogs guarding the main entrance, and the silhouettes of tiny dragons up and down the sides of the copper roof.*

 

 

 
(1927)#^*# - View of Grauman's Chinese Theatre the year it opened, with its one-of-a-kind grandeur and décor.  

 

Historical Notes

The theatre rises 90-feet high and two gigantic coral red columns topped by wrought iron masks hold aloft the bronze roof. Between the columns is a 30-foot high dragon carved from stone. Guarding the theatre entrance to this day are the two original giant Heaven Dogs brought from China. #^*#

 

 

 
(1927)* - Night view shows theater lights and throngs of fans packing the streets for blocks around Grauman's Chinese Theatre. Publicity of Hollywood premiers usually brought stars and other distinguished visitors to magnificent events such as the one seen here - possibly the opening night of a movie starring Douglas Fairbanks.  

 

Historical Notes

After his success with the Egyptian Theatre, Sid Grauman turned to Charles E. Toberman to secure a long term lease on property at 6925 Hollywood Blvd. Toberman contracted the architectural firm of Meyer & Holler (who had also designed the Egyptian) to design a "palace type theatre" of Chinese design. Grauman's Chinese Theatre was financed by Grauman, who owned a one-third interest, and his partners: Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, and Howard Schenck. The principal architect of the Chinese Theatre was Raymond M. Kennedy, of Meyer and Holler.*^

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1930s)* - Footprints of the stars at Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood.  

 

Historical Notes

During construction, Grauman hired Jean Klossner to formulate an extremely hard concrete for the forecourt of the theatre. Klossner later became known as "Mr. Footprint," performing the footprint ceremonies from 1927 through 1957.*^

 

 

 
(1927)##^ - View of Douglas Fairbanks putting his shoe print in the fresh concrete in front of the Grauman's Chinese Theater. Mary Pickford is by his side.  

 

Historical Notes

Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford were the inaugural celebrities to put their feet and handprints into fresh concrete at Grauman's Chinese Theater on April 30, 1927. This picture shows the two stars, exhibitor Sid Grauman, a workman, and how the event was apparently not open to the public. ##^

 

 

 
(1930)^^- The premiere of “Hell’s Angels” at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood as seen from the Roosevelt Hotel across the street.  

 

Historical Notes

Hell's Angels is a 1930 American war film, directed by Howard Hughes and starring Jean Harlow, Ben Lyon, and James Hall. The film, which was produced by Hughes and written by Harry Behn and Howard Estabrook, centers on the combat pilots of World War I.

Originally shot as a silent film, Hughes retooled the film over a lengthy gestation period. Most of the film is in black and white, but there is one color sequence - the only color footage of Harlow's career. Hell's Angels is now hailed as one of the first sound blockbuster action films.*^

 

 

 

 
(1930)* - Street view of the Grauman's Chinese Theatre where the film "Hell's Angels" is playing.  

 

Historical Notes

Producer/director Howard Hughes poured nearly $4 million into his production of “Hell’s Angels” so he wanted to make sure everybody knew about it. On May 24, 1930 he threw a premiere the likes of which Hollywood had never seen before. And for the movie’s run at Grauman's Chinese Theatre, he had the title emblazoned on the columns, just in case, you know, there was anyone left who hadn’t heard of his movie.+#+

 

 

 

 

 
(1934)#**^# – Close-up postcard view showng the entrance to the Chinese Theatre with the box office installed in the forecourt.  Now Playing:  "The White Parade" with Loretta Young and John Boles  

 

Historical Notes

Between 1933 and 1949 the Grauman's Chinese Theatre was in a "Golden Age," where the movies were the number-one entertainment in America, resulting in the studios who made them becoming very profitable. Grauman's Chinese, the glamourous flagship venue of the Fox West Coast Theatres chain (itself owned by 20th Century-Fox and the Skouras Brothers) and under the continuing management of Sid Grauman, played host to a large number of Fox films, rotating with product from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and the occasional offering from United Artists. Theatres during this time tended to play pictures from the studio who owned them (or had strong business ties to). #***#

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1940s)* - View of Grauman's Chinese Theatre, located at 6925 Hollywood Blvd., as seen from across the street. It is one of Hollywood's most beautiful theaters.  

 

Historical Notes

All remained well until, after World War II, film attendance dropped off, then another blow: television. However, in the long run Hollywood found ways of making motion picture entertainment more attractive.  People would once again return to the box office and pay admissions to see motion pictures instead of remaining home before their television sets. #***#

 

 

 

 
(1944)* – View of the Grauman's Chinese Theatre just prior to the 16th Annual Academy Awards of Merit ceremony, Thursday, March 2, 1944.  

 

Historical Notes

Originally handed out at a formal banquet at either the Ambassador Hotel in the Cocoanut Grove or Fiesta Room, or at the Biltmore Hotel downtown, in the Sala D'Oro or Biltmore Bowl, the enormity of interest in the Oscars outgrew the formal banquet idea.

When it came time to hold the ceremony in a regular theatre environment, Grauman's Chinese was the obvious choice. Widely considered Hollywood's "town hall," for the first ceremony held there on Thursday, March 2, 1944, the theatre was donated for the event by Charles Skouras, president of National Theatres, whose Fox West Coast Theatres division operated the Chinese, with Sid Grauman as the theatre's Managing Director. ++##

 

 

 

 
(1946)* - Stars arrive at Grauman's Chinese Theater for the Academy Awards presentation on March 8, 1946.  

 

Historical Notes

This was the year that “Lost Weekend” won Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor in a Leading Role, and Best Screenplay. If these people were hoping to see Joan Crawford, they were disappointed. She was so freaked out at the thought of losing that she pretended to be ill—and then won the Oscar for “Mildred Pierce.” +#+

 

 

 

 
(1946)* – Thousands of movie fans crowded the front of Grauman's Chinese Theater in which the Academy Awards presentation was held. This is a section of the huge crowd as they watched the parade of stars arriving at the theater on March 8, 1946.  

 

Historical Notes

National Theatres continued to make the Chinese Theatre available to the Academy for their Awards of Merit program at no cost, in 1944, 1945 and 1946.  In short time the ceremony had outgrown even Sid's Hollywood masterwork, so it moved to the 6,000 plus-seat Shrine Auditorium near downtown for 1947 and 1948. ++##

 

 

 

 
(1950s)+#+ – View showing the forecourt of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre where visitors are trying to find the footprints of their favorite star and marvel at how small their handprints were.  

 

 

 

 
(1962)+#+ – Aerial view looking down at the foot and hand prints outside the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre.  

 

 

 

 
(1953)^^^^ - Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell at Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood.  

 

Historical Notes

While promoting their hit movie “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes”, Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell were invited by Grauman’s Chinese Theatre to place their hand and footprints in the theatre’s famed cement forecourt on June 26, 1953.*^

 

 

 
(2014)#**^ - Front view of the TCL Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard as it appears today.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1968, Grauman's Chinese Theatre was dedicated LA Historic-Cultural Monument No. 55 (Click HERE to see complete listing).

In 2013, the world famous Chinese Theatre teamed up with one of China’s biggest electronics manufacturers, TCL, aka “The Creative Life” in a 10-year naming rights partnership. 

 

 

 

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

 

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Hollywood Bowl

 
(1926)^^* - Close-up view showing the original Hollywood Bowl Shell.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1926, the first rendition of the venue’s iconic proscenium shell was built. The original shell was deemed acoustically unsatisfactory (as well as visually unfashionable, with its murals of sailing ships). It would be torn down at the end of the season.

 

 

 

 
(1927)^*# - View of the Pyramid-shaped shell of the Hollywood Bowl. This was the Bowl's 2nd Shell.  

 

Historical Notes

For the 1927 season, Lloyd Wright (the son of Frank Lloyd Wright), built a pyramidal shell, with a vaguely Southwestern look, out of left-over lumber from a production of Robin Hood. This was generally regarded as the best shell the Bowl ever had from an acoustic standpoint; unfortunately, its appearance was deemed too avant-garde, and it was demolished at the end of the season. It did, however, get Wright a second chance, this time with the stipulation that the shell was to have an arch shape.*^

 

 

 
(1928)* - View of Hollywood Bowl's shell, stage, and the mountains behind it. This was the Bowl's 3rd Shell.  

 

Historical Notes

For the 1928 season, Wright built a fiberglass shell in the shape of concentric 120-degree arches, with movable panels inside that could be used to tune the acoustics. It was designed to be easily dismantled and stored between concert seasons; apparently for political reasons this was not done, and it did not survive the winter.*^

 

 

 
(1928)* - Easter sunrise service at the Hollywood Bowl in 1928.  

 

Historical Notes

The sunrise services began in 1919 as a gathering for silent film stars near the site of the Hollywood Bowl and moved to the facility in 1921. Back then, the bowl was basically a hillside blanketed with rocks and weeds, but the area had good natural acoustics.^^*

 

 

 
(1929)* - Aerial view of the Hollywood Bowl. View shows the stage and its seating area which extends up the hillside.  

 

Historical Notes

For the 1929 season, the Allied Architects built the shell that stood until 2003, using a transite skin over a metal frame. Its acoustics, though not nearly as good as those of the Lloyd Wright shells, were deemed satisfactory at first, and its clean lines and white, almost-semicircular arches were copied for music shells elsewhere. As the acoustics deteriorated, various measures were used to mitigate the problems, starting with an inner shell made from large cardboard tubes (of the sort used as forms for round concrete pillars) in the 1970s, which were replaced in the early 1980s by large fiberglass spheres (both designed by Frank Gehry) that remained until 2003. These dampened out the unfavorable acoustics, but required massive use of electronic amplification to reach the full audience, particularly since the background noise level had risen sharply since the 1920s.

The appearance underwent other, purely visual, changes as well, including the addition of a broad outer arch (forming a proscenium) where it had once had only a narrow rim and the reflecting pool in front of the stage that lasted from 1953 till 1972.

Sculptor George Stanley designed the Muse Fountain. He had previously done the Oscar statuette.*^

 

 

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

 

 

 

Shrine Auditorium

 
(1926)* - Exterior view of the Shrine Auditorium shortly after it was rebuilt in 1926. It is located at 655 West Jefferson Boulevard in the University Park district of Los Angeles.  

 

Historical Notes

Opened in 1926, the current Shrine Auditorium replaced an earlier 1906 Al Malaikah Temple which had been destroyed by a fire on January 11, 1920.*^

Click HERE to see more on the original 1906 Al Malaikah Temple.

 

 

 
(1926)^^ - Exterior view of the Shrine Auditorium, 655 W. Jefferson Blvd.  

 

Historical Notes

The new auditorium was designed in the Moorish Revival style by San Francisco-based theater architect G. Albert Lansburgh, with local architects John C. Austin and A. M. Edelman associated.*^

 

 

 
(1926)^^ - View of the interior of the empty ballroom in the Shrine Auditorium, January 20, 1926.  

 

Historical Notes

For 33 years, Shrine Auditorium was home to the University of Southern California Trojans basketball team. The Trojans' home court was on the Shrine's stage. The Los Angeles Lakers also briefly played some playoff games in the theatre, when the nearby Los Angeles Sports Arena was unavailable.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1926)* - View of the Shrine Auditorium stage from upper seats.  

 

Historical Notes

When built, the auditorium could hold 1,200 people on stage and seat an audience of 6,442. An engineer who consulted on the project said that the steel truss supporting the balcony was the largest ever constructed.*^

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1926)* - View of the Shrine Auditorium from stage. Note the beautiful chandelier hanging from the ceiling  

 

 

 

 
(1926)* – Close-up view of the light fixture on the ceiling of the Shrine Auditorium.  

 

 

 

 
(1937)* - Cars are parked in front of the Shrine Auditorium in this view looking south on Royal Street, which captures the arched colonnade and windows, tile walls and dome topped with the crescent and star emblem of the Shrine.
 

 

 

 

 
(1950s)#^* – View showing the Shrine Auditorium with school buses seen parked in front. Still one of the largest theaters of its kind in North America.  

 

Historical Notes

The Shrine Auditorium has hosted a number of events, mainly for entertainment. The Academy Awards were held at the Shrine from 1947–1948 and for eight times between 1988 and 2001 until it moved to the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. The Shrine has hosted several Grammy ceremonies until 2000 when it had moved to the nearby Staples Center. The Primetime Emmy Awards were also held at the venue for a decade beginning in 1998. However, the Primetime ceremony was moved to the nearby Nokia Theatre (which is next door to Staples Center).*^

 

 

 
(2012)*^ – View of the Shrine Auditorium as it appears today. It is also the headquarters of the Al Malaikah Temple, a division of the Shriners.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1975 the Shrine was designated Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No.139 (Click HERE to see complete listing).

 

 

 
(2015)#+ - View looking north at the Shrine Auditorium as seen from the USC campus across Jefferson Boulevard.  

 

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Belmont Theatre

 
(1926)* - View showing the Belmont Theatre and its large roof sign, located at 126 S. Vermont Avenue.  

 

Historical Notes

Opened on March 2, 1926, the Belmont Theatre was a West Coast Theatres operation. It was located on the east side of Vermont Avenue, just south of Beverly Boulevard.^^#

 

 

 
(1926)* - Interior view of the Belmont Theatre as seen from the balcony. Note the ornate detail designs on the walls and ceiling.  

 

Historical Notes

The Belmont was designed by Lewis A. Smith who did many projects for West Coast Theatres. It had a seating capacity of 1,680.^^#

 

 

 
(ca. 1926)^^# - Close-up view showing the oversized roof sign on top of the Belmont Theatre. The sign could be seen from miles away.  

 

 

 
(1946)* - Night view of the marquee and roof of the Belmont Theatre. Spotlight draws attention to a film premiere.  

 

Historical Notes

The Belmont Theatre got a major remodel in 1946 by Fox West Coast Theatres resulting in a Skouras-style interior. It's also been known as just the Belmont.^^#

 

 

 
(1946)* – Front view of the Belmont Theatre featuring the MGM Musical: “Two Sisters from Boston”, starring Kathryn Grayson, June Allyson, Lauritz Melchior, Jimmy Durante and Peter Lawford.  

 

Historical Notes

The Belmont Theatre closed in 1973 after a fire and was demolished the same year.^^#

 

Pantages Theatre (later Warner Bros. Downtown Theatre)

 
(ca. 1926)* - View looking west on 7th street from the intersection of 7th and Hill. On the northwest corner stands the Pantages Theatre building, built in 1920.  

 

Historical Notes

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

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

 

 

 

 

 
(1925)#*#* - View of the front entrance to the Pantages Theatre. The beautiful curved marquee reads: Irene Rich in "Compromise" and Buzington's Rube Band. Note the ornate 5-lamp streetlight posts in front of the theatre.  

 

Historical Notes

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

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

 

 

 

 

 
(1929)* - Street view of Warner Brothers Downtown Theatre (previously Pantages) located on the northwest corner of Seventh and Hill streets. The theater will have its grand opening, featuring the Western premiere of "Gold Diggers of Broadway." Note that the streetlights in front of the theatre and down 7th Street have been changed to a new, more modern look (Click HERE to see more in Early L.A. Streetlights).  

 

Historical Notes

In 1929 the Pantages Theatre became the Warner Bros. Downtown Theatre. This coincided with the opening of the new Hollywood Pantages Theatre.

 

 

 

 
(1930s)* - View looking down toward the Warner Bros. Downtown Theatre located on the northwest corner of 7th and Grand streets. The Los Angeles Athletic Club building can be seen on the left.  

 

 

 

 

(1931)* - Close-up view of the electrical sign for the Warner Bros. Theatre as it hangs on the side of the building.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Historical Notes

In February 1929, RKO theater magnate Joseph P. Kennedy attempted to acquire the theater chain but was rebuffed by Pantages. Kennedy then decided to destroy his competition. He used his influence among Hollywood movie distributors to keep Pantages from being able to show profitable first-run feature films. Some histories also allege that Kennedy tried to frame Alexander Pantages. In August 1929, a young dancer and aspiring actress named Eunice Pringle claimed that Pantages had sexually molested her in his office on the mezzanine-level of the theater. Pantages was arrested, tried, convicted, and sentenced to 50 years in prison. In an even more sensational series of appeals, Pantages was acquitted. It’s been argued that Pringle later confessed that Kennedy had conspired with her and her agent/lover, Nicolas Dunaev, to concoct the accusation of rape and to lie in court.

Whatever the actual truth may have been, the scandal did indeed ruin Pantages theater business and he was forced to sell his chain to Kennedy’s RKO for a paltry $3.5M, much lower than the true value of the company's real estate holdings.

Although Kennedy wanted the chain of theaters, he did not need this particular property. RKO already owned several downtown LA theatres and quickly sold the Pantages Theatre to Warner Brothers. They removed the original signage and reopened it as the Warner Bros. Downtown Theatre. #^**

 

 

 

 
(1932)* - View of the Warner Bros. Downtown Theatre marquee on the corner of 7th and Hill Streets. Playing is "Stranger in Town."    

 

Historical Notes

The interior of the Warner Brothers Downtown theater can be seen in the opening scenes of the 1968’s “Funny Girl”. While Barbra Streisand is sitting alone in an orchestra seat, shots are taken from the stage looking out and from an upper balcony looking down. Also, in the 1933 film “Lady Killer”, James Cagney briefly plays a Warner Bros theater usher. There is a short sequence shot on the roof of the Warner Brothers Downtown theatre (usher inspection). Also a quick view of the marquee – even though it says “Strand” – It is clearly the Warner Brothers Downtown in all its blazing glory.^^#

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1937)* - A streetcar rushes by just as this shot is being taken so the bottom of the Warner Brothers Downtown Theater is hidden but both signs are visible, as is an interesting hanging light and the crowds on the sidewalk in this view of Seventh looking north towards Hill.  

 

 

 

 
(1938)* - A view across the northwest corner containing the box office and part of the lower marquee plus placards for the movie "Cowboy from Brooklyn".  

 

Historical Notes

Currently, the original seats on the main floor of the auditorium have been removed to make way for retail stalls. The balcony is still intact and its seats have not been removed.^^#

 

 

 

 
(1938)* - Cars battle the rain. The movie "Hollywood Hotel" which came out early in 1938 is playing at the Warner Brothers Downtown (previously the Pantages Theater). Photo by Herman Schultheis.  

 

 

 

 
(1983)^*# - View of the Pantages Theatre Building. The sign on the Marquee reads: JEWELRY EXCHANGE  

 

Historical Notes

Until the mid-1960’s, the theater served as the downtown theater for Warner Bros. At that time, Metropolitan Theaters purchased the theater and ran it for another twelve years, renamed Warrens Theatre.

After being sold by Metropolitan, the theater became a church before becoming a retail outlet for the Jewelry Exchange. The original seats on the main floor of the auditorium have been removed to make way for retail stalls. The balcony is still intact and its seats have not been removed.^^#

 

 

 

 
(2012)#^** - Detailed view of the old Warner Bros. Downtown Theatre (also known as the Pantages Theatre) at 702 S. 7th St. in downtown Los Angeles.  

 

Historical Notes

Vestiges of its Warner Bros. legacy remain.  The familiar Warner Bros. emblem is visible behind the current diamond motif above the buildings’ corner marquee. The parapet continues to read “Warner Bros. Downtown Bldg." ^#^

 

 

 

 
(1927)* - The very ornately-carved exterior facade of the Mayan Theater as viewed from across the street, framed by tree branches. Location: 1044 South Hill Street  

 

Historical Notes

The Mayan Theatre opened August 15, 1927 as a legit theatre focusing on musical comedies. The opening attraction was the musical "Oh, Kay!" with Elsie Janis.

The Mayan Revival style theatre was designed by the architectural firm of Morgan, Walls and Clements.*

 

 

 
(1927)* - A view of the auditorium ceiling details as seen from the balcony of the Mayan Theater, in Mayan Revival style.  

 

Historical Notes

Originally a legitimate theater, the Mayan is a prototypical example of the many excessively ornate exotic revival-style theaters of the late 1920s, Mayan Revival in this case. The well-preserved lobby is called "The Hall of Feathered Serpents," the auditorium includes a chandelier based on the Aztec calendar stone, and the original fire curtain included images of Mayan jungles and temples.*^

 

 

 
(1927)* - Exterior view of the Mayan Theatre at 1044 South Hill Street. The very ornately-carved exterior of the Mayan Theater on the left. The marquee reads: "Now Playing, Elsie Janis in Oh, Kay!" Also in the photo is the Belasco Theater to the right next door, where "The Great Necker" with Taylor Holmes is playing.  

 

Historical Notes

Morgan, Walls & Clements also designed the Belasco Theatre (1926) just to the south of the Mayan. The project was financed by developer F.N. Stowall and oil magnate Edward L. Doheny. The Mayan and the Belasco were an attempt to get a new fashionable legit theatre district going west of Broadway.*^#

 

 

 
(ca. 1980s)***# - View of a 1985 Chevrolet Impala parked in front of the Mayan Theater on South Hill Street.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1989 the Mayan Theater was designated Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 460 (Click HERE to see complete listing).

 

 

 
(2012)*^ - Detail view of the facade on the Mayan Theater in the Mayan Revival style.  

 

Historical Notes

Francisco Comeja designed the cast concrete sculptural facade which was originally grey, but has been colorfully painted in recent years.*

The Mayan Revival is a modern architectural movement, primarily of the 1920s and 30s, that drew inspiration from the architecture and iconography of pre-Columbian Mesoamerican cultures.*^

 

 

United Artists Theatre

 
(1927)* - View of the newly completed United Artists Theater located at 933 S. Broadway.  

 

Historical Notes

This 2,150-seat, 13-story movie palace with a parquet sidewalk was the only theater on Broadway built as a flagship house by a major studio, and was financed by Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, and Charlie Chaplin. The building was completed in 1927 and the United Artists Theatre's grand opening was on December 26 of that same year. The featured film was "My Best Girl" starring Mary Pickford (see marquee for billing).*

 

 

 
(1928)^^ - View looking southeasterly showing the United Artists Theatre as seen from the roof of building across the street.  

 

Historical Notes

Built by the founders of United Artists Pictures; Charlie Chaplin, D.W. Griffith, Douglas Fairbanks, and Mary Pickford, who needed the massive Spanish Gothic style movie palace as a venue for world premieres of their movies. The castles and cathedrals that Fairbanks and Pickford saw on their honeymoon in Spain, inspired them to instruct architect C. Howard Crane to design their movie palace in that style. It was replicated the following year in the United Artists Theatre in Detroit, Michigan.^^#

 

 

 
(ca. 1928)* - Exterior view of the United Artists Theater in the early morning. "Sorrell and Son Continues" is on the marquee. Note the parquet sidewalk.  

 

Historical Notes

The 13 story office building which fronts the United Artists Theatre was designed by the architectural firm Walker & Eisen, in a Spanish-Gothic style. There is a double height ogival window over the theatre entrance and many niches containing statues on the facade, including one of a figure holding an early movie camera. On top of the main tower feature is a large highly decorated clerestory and sky-sign.^^#

 

 

 
(ca. 1928)^*# - Close-up view showing detail trimmings on top floors and roofline of the United Artists Theatre Building.  

 

Historical Notes

The Spanish Gothic style building included a beautiful and ornate 50-foot high "dummy tower" to circumvent the local height restriction of the time, and all of the offices inside were leased by the California Petroleum Co. The United Artists Theater Building/Texaco Building, as it was known, was the city's tallest privately owned building for over 20 years. In 1979 Texaco Oil moved its operations to Wilshire Blvd. and the building remained vacant for some years. Today, this magnificent structure is home to Dr. Gene Scott's University Cathedral.*

 

 

 
(1929)* - The United Artists Theatre at night, showing a lit marquee, foyer and box office during run of "Taming of the Shrew" with Mary Pickford and Doug Fairbanks.  

 

 

 

 
(1928)* - View showing crowds in front of United Artists Theater on opening morning of Norma Talmadge's latest picture, "Woman Disputed". Note the ornate designs on the building facia.  

 

Historical Notes

The theatre was a great success and was operated by United Artists Theatres circuit for the majority of its life as a movie theatre. During the 1950’s, a new wide-screen process was installed, and a giant curved screen was erected in front of the proscenium arch. Although little damage was done here, the mezzanine was totally removed to accommodate a new projection booth, which gave a straight throw onto the new screen.^^#

 

 

 
(ca. 1927)^*# - Interior view of the United Artists Theatre showing the ornate detail design on walls and ceiling.  

 

Historical Notes

The interior of the theatre was designed by noted theatre interior designer Anthony B. Heinsbergen. In the lobby the ceiling is painted to imitate stained glass, while in the main foyer the vaulted ceiling is painted to resemble tapestries, and has the look of an old Spanish cathedral. An open balcony runs across the foyer at mezzanine level, whilst on the opposite wall are huge gold edged mirrors. Under the foyer was located a private screening room for Mary Pickford.

Seating for 2,214 was originally arranged in orchestra, mezzanine and balcony levels. The deep recess in the ceiling is covered with tiny mirrors, which glitter when the cove lighting plays on them. On the two side walls are magnificent murals by Heinsbergen depicting heraldic Medieval scenes with painted characters depicting Fairbanks and Pickford and other Hollywood figures, including the heads of United Artists board members serving in 1927, tacked onto voluptuous bodies of flying gods and goddesses. The organ screens, serving the Wurlitzer 3 manual 17 ranks organ, and the proscenium arch are highly decorated in an elaborate Gothic style.^^#

 

 

 
(ca. 1937)* - A car is parked on Broadway in this view looking east towards the United Artists Theatre. The theater marquee is visible, as are twin blade signs on either side of the building, one for United Artists, the other for Texaco. Other signs visible include Blackstone's, a Hungarian restaurant, and System Auto Parts. Note the ornate 5-bulb streetlight in the foreground. Click HERE to see more in Early LA Streetlights.  

 

Historical Notes

In its later years, the United Artists Theatre was operated by Metropolitan Theatres and it closed as a full time cinema in the summer of 1989, screening Spanish language movies. It briefly became a legitimate playhouse, staging Spanish language comedies, dramas and musical comedies for adults.^^#

 

 

 
(ca. 2010s)*^ – Front view of the United Artists Theatre located at 933 S. Broadway.  Photo by Carol M. Highsmith  

 

Historical Notes

In the fall of 1989, United Artists Theatre was taken over by Dr. Eugene Scott for church use. Volunteers from his organization toiled for many hours to remove years of smoke stains and grime from the building, which now looks as good as it did on opening night, back in 1927. The former United Artists Theatre became home for Los Angeles University Cathedral. Upon the death of Dr. Eugene Scott in 2005, the church continued to use the building for a few more years. It was put up ‘For Sale’ in 2010, and was sold in the fall of 2011, to a developer, with plans to convert the office space part of the building into a hotel.

In January 2014 the Ace Hotel opened in the former office space fronting the building, and on February 14, 2014 the former United Artists Theatre opened as a concert venue known as the Theatre at the Ace Hotel, when British rock band Spiritualized performed.^^#

In 1991, the United Artists Theater Building was designated Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 523 (Click HERE to see complete listing).

 

 

LA Gas and Electric Distribution Station

 
(1927)** - Distribution Station No. 42 - 428 South Hope Street. This station was built by LA Gas and Electric Co. which was purchased by the Los Angeles Bureau of Power and Light in 1937. Click HERE to see more in Early Power Distribution Stations.  

 

Historical Notes

In December of 1936 Los Angeles City voters approved a charter amendment authorizing the Bureau of Power and Light to issue revenue bonds in the amount of $46 million and purchase the electrical system of Los Angeles Gas and Electric Corporation. At that time, it was the last remaining privately owned system in LA.

In 1937, the Bureau of Water Works and Supply consolidated with the Bureau of Power and Light and became the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.

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

 

 

 
(1928)** - Los Angeles Bureau of Power and Light Distribution Station No. 4 - 5736 South Figueroa Street  

 

Historical Notes

Electric utilities use distribution stations to transfer power from the transmission system to the distribution system for a specific service area. It is uneconomical to directly connect electricity customers to the main transmission network, unless they use large amounts of power. Therefore the distribution station reduces voltage to a value suitable for local distribution. In addition to transforming voltage, the substations regulate voltage which ensures a smoother level of power as seen by the customer.

Click HERE to see more in Early Power Distribution Stations.

 

 

 
(1928)* - Exterior view of the Dunbar (Somerville) Hotel, located at 4227 South Central Avenue.  

 

Historical Notes

The hotel was opened by African-American John Alexander Somerville in 1928 as the Hotel Somerville. Following the stock market crash of 1929, the new owners renamed it after the African-American poet Paul Lawrence Dunbar.*

John Somerville is also known as being USC's first black graduate.

 

 

 

 
(1928)^#** - View of the Mezzanine of the Hotel Somerville where you could see many of the top Jazz performers of the day.  

 

Historical Notes

The Dunbar is a culturally significant building in Los Angeles' history because it was the social scene for the African-American community during the Jazz Age and beyond. Just about every performer of importance stayed and played here: names like Lionel Hampton, Duke Ellington, Nina Mae McKinney, Dorothy Dandridge, Billie Holiday, Nat King Cole...the list really goes on and on.^#**

In 1974, the Dunbar (Somerville) Hotel was designated L.A. Historic-Cultural Monument No. 131 (Click HERE to see complete listing.

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1938)^^ - Postcard view of the Dunbar (Somerville) Hotel located on the corner of Central Avenue and 42nd Place.  

 

Historical Notes

Printed at the bottom of the postcard: "115 rooms, 75 rooms with bath. Rates $1.00 per day and up. Weekly rates $5.00 and up"

"The Dunbar Hotel is known as the "House of hospitality." Thermostatically controlled steam heat and hot water, 24-hour elevator service, telephones in all rooms, and shops in conjunction--for your comfort. Jas. C. Nelson, Prop., Kathryn Nelson, Mgr."--printed on verso.*

 

 

 

 
(1927)* - Construction of the Sears store on Soto Street and Ninth Street (later Olympic Boulevard), Boyle Heights, on May 4, 1927.  

 

Historical Notes

In December 1926, Sears, Roebuck and Company of Chicago announced that it would build a nine-story, height-limit building on East Ninth Street (later renamed Olympic Boulevard) at Soto, in the Boyle Heights section of Los Angeles. The building, intended to serve as a mail order distribution center for the Rocky Mountain and Pacific Coast states, was constructed by Scofield Engineering Company. Architectural work was handled by George Nimmens Company.

The building was erected in just six months using materials that were all made in Los Angeles County, with the exception of the steel window sashes. To accomplish the feat, the contractor had six steam shovels and a large labor force working night and day shifts. It was reported that rock and sand for the cement work were being delivered to the site at the rate of twenty carloads daily. When the building was completed in late June 1927, the Los Angeles Times reported that the construction was believed to have set a record: “All records for the erection of a huge structure were believed to have been broken when last week the Scofield Engineering Construction Company turned over the new $5,000,000 department store and mail-order house at Ninth street and Boyle avenue to Sears, Roebuck & Co., having completed this height-limit project in 146 working days, or 171 days of elapsed time.” *^

 

 

 
(1927)* - The Boyle Heights Art Deco Sears building nears completiion on June 12, 1927.   

 

Historical Notes

Sears, Roebuck & Company Mail Order Building was built in 1927 as a distribution center for the company's mail order department. The building served that function until 1992, when Sears closed its Los Angeles distribution center and sold the building. Though Sears still operates a retail store on the ground floor, the rest of the enormous complex has remained vacant since 1992. The 1,800,000-square-foot  complex, considered one of the iconic landmarks of LA's Eastside, has been the subject of several renovation proposals since the mid-1990s. In 2007 and 2008, Boyle Heights native Oscar de la Hoya made two bids to acquire the property, with plans to convert the complex into retail and residential space.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1929)* - Exterior view of the Sears store on Soto Street and Olympic Boulevard, Boyle Heights. It has camping supplies for sale, with tents erected in the parking lot. In the foreground is a vacant lot at a level higher than the street. It has a sign, "Elect Werner City Attorney."   

 

Historical Notes

From 1927 to 1991, the building was operated both as a mail order distribution center serving the Western United States and as a retail store operating on the ground floor. The sprawling mail order distribution center was a marvel of modern technology when it opened, with employees filling orders by roller skating around the enormous facility, picking up items and dropping them onto corkscrew slides for distribution by truck or rail. The building was one of the largest in Los Angeles, and it attracted more than 100,000 visitors in its first month of operation, not including shoppers at the ground floor retail store.*^

 

 

 
(n.d.)***# - View of the Art Deco Tower of the old Boyle Heights Sears building shot at night. In the foreground is the Sears gas station.  

 

Historical Notes

In 2004, the Boyle Heights Sears building was designated Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 788 (Click HERE to see complete listing). It was also listed in the National Register of Historic Places on April 21, 2006 - #05001407.

 

 

 
(1929)* – View showing the first bottling plant for Sparkletts Bottled Water Corp, at 4500 York Boulevard in Highland Park.  

 

Historical Notes

In the 1920s, Eagle Rock resident Burton N. Arnds Sr. found the taste of the municipal water supply “to be lacking,” according to an L.A. Times story. Within a few years, Arnds and partners opened a water bottling plant supplied by a well near what is now York Boulevard and Avenue 48.  The Sparkling Artesian Water Co. was later renamed Sparkletts as demand for bottled water skyrocketed with the arrival of newcomers. It was one of several Northeast L.A. bottling plants that captured and sold water tapped from underground wells and streams. #^^#

 

 

 
(1930s)* - View of the arched entryway of the Moorish style bottling plant and corporate headquarters for Sparkletts Bottled Water Corporation, located at 4500 York Boulevard, in Eagle Rock.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1929, Sparkletts broke ground on a much larger, $200,000 bottling plant that today stretches across most of the 4500 block of Lincoln Avenue.  The firm hired architect Richard King to create a massive brick building topped by several domes in what looks like an effort to give the box-like industrial structure a Moorish-style ambiance.  the new bottling plant featured a then modern production facility that, according to a 1929 L.A. Times article, was home to what the firm “claimed to be the largest, five-gallon bottle sterilizer in the world, with a capacity of 1,800 bottles per  hour." #^^#

 

 

 

 
(2013)#^^# – Mural over the main entrance to the Sparkletts Building.  

 

Historical Notes

Over the main entrance, which is topped by the largest dome, a tile mural depicts what looks like an oasis, with a pool of water, palm trees and two figures dressed in flowing robes standing in front of a domed building. 

 

* * * * *

 

Tower Theatre

 
(1927)+#+ – View looking east on 8th Street toward Broadway where the newly constructed Tower Theatre stands tall on the southeast corner.  Now playing:  “What Price Glory?” with Victor McLaglen and Delores Del Rio. The May Co. Building is seen on the right (S/W corner).  

 

Historical Notes

The Tower Theatre, at 802 S. Broadway, opened in 1927. It was commissioned by H.L. Gumbiner, who would later also build the Los Angeles Theatre in 1931. The Tower was the first theater designed by architect S. Charles Lee.*^

 

 

 
(1927)* - Exterior view of the Tower Theatre, at S. Broadway and W. 8th Street, featuring "The Gingham Girl", starring George K. Arthur and Lois Wilson. The Southern California Music Company building can be seen just south of the theatre.  

 

Historical Notes

Seating 900 on a tiny site, it was designed in powerful Baroque style with innovative French, Spanish, Moorish, and Italian elements all executed in terra-cotta.  Its interior was modeled after the Paris Opera House.  Its exterior features a prominent clock tower, the very top of which was removed after an earthquake. It opened in 1927 with the silent film The Gingham Girl starring Lois Wilson and George K. Arthur.*^

The Tower Theatre was built on th site of the old Garrick Theatre.

 

 

 
(1927)* - Exterior corner view of the Tower Theater, located 802 S. Broadway. On the two sides of the marquee: Vitaphone program; Vita phone Vincent Lopez; Rudolph Schildkraut The country doctor; Vitaphone Howard Bros.  

 

Historical Notes

The Tower Theater was the first film house in Los Angeles to be wired for talking pictures, and it was the location of the sneak preview and Los Angeles premiere of Warner Bros.' revolutionary part-talking The Jazz Singer (1927), starring Al Jolson. It was also the first theater in Los Angeles to be air conditioned.*^

 

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 
(1951)^^ - View of the Newsreel Theater (aka The Tower Theater) on the corner of Broadway and 8th Street.  

 

Historical Notes

For a while in the early 1950's the theater Tower Theater's name was changed to the Newsreel Theater.*^

In 1989, the Tower Theater was designated as Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 450 (Click HERE to see complete listing).

 

 

Maddux Airlines

 
(ca. 1928)* - Exterior view of Maddux Airlines, located at 636 South Olive Street, in downtown Los Angeles.  

 

Historical Notes

Built in ca. 1928. Architects: Jock Detlef Peters and Feil & Paradise. Peters was a German émigré known for his modern store designs in Los Angeles. Other of his projects included the interiors of Bullocks Wilshire.

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

 

 

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

 

Historical Notes

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

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

 

 

 
(ca. 1928)* - Exterior view and entrance to Schaber's Cafeteria. The newspaper clipping from Architectural Digest reads "facade executed in pinkish buff architectural terra cotta with rugged vertical hammered effect", "Scofield-Twaits Co., builders" and "C.F. Plummer, architect."  

 

Historical Notes

Alfred Schaber opened Schaber’s Cafeteria at 620 S. Broadway in 1928. Restaurants became an important part of Broadway, serving both the shopping and theater-going public. Besides full-service restaurants in all of the major department stores, Schaber's Cafeteria became a favorite destination after its opening in 1928 next to the Palace Theatre.*##*

 

 

   
  (ca. 1928)* - Exterior view of the ornately detailed buildings on Broadway, including Schaber's Cefeteria, Desmond's, and See's Candies in the foreground. See's features chocolates at 60 cents a pound.  

 

Historical Notes

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

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

 

 

 
(ca. 1940)* - Exterior view of the two story Schaber's Cafeteria at 610 South Broadway in Los Angeles. The See's Candies store is visible at right, and the May Diamond Company is at left. Two automobiles are parked out front.  

 

Historical Notes

Today, the facade still looks great. Figaro Bistro opened in the building in December 2012.

 

* * * * *

 

 

Ward Hotel

 
(ca. 1925)* – View looking south on Olive Street towards 8th Street.  The building with the ornate tower/steeple on the S/W corner of Olive and 8th streets is the Ward Hotel which also housed various small businesses.  

 

 

 

 
(1927)* - View showing the southwest corner of 8th and Olive in 1927. The building shown has several signs advertising: "Lail's Auto Livery" on the steeple as well as on either ends of the building; "Ward Hotel rooms" below two windows, also on both sides of the building; "London Luggage Shoppe" with an entrance on the left side; and "D and S Buffet Eastside" prominently in the middle, offering hot and cold sandwiches. The Stillwell Hotel as well as a church tower can be seen in the background  

 

* * * * *

 

 

City Hall Construction

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

 

Historical Notes

The Hall of Records was built in 1906 and demolished in 1973; the County Courthouse was built in 1891 and demolished in 1932; the Hall of Justice was built in 1922 by Allied Architects.*

 

 

City Hall

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

 

Historical Notes

After authorizing a bond issue on June 5, 1923, the city commissioned John C. Austin, Albert C. Martin, and John Parkinson as architects in August, 1925.  Ground was broken on March 4, 1926 and the new City Hall building was dedicated on April 26, 1928.**^^

 

 

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

 

Historical Notes

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

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

 

 

 
(ca. 1926)* - Temple Block as it appeared just one year before construction of today's City Hall.  

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 
(1927)^^ - View shows the construction of City Hall with it's steel framing nearly completed. Early model cars and a streetcar are seen in the foreground.  

 

Historical Notes

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

 

 

 
(1927)* - View of Los Angeles City Hall steel frame as exterior stone begins to be added during construction.  

 

Historical Notes

City Hall has 32 floors and, at 454 feet high, is the tallest base-isolated structure in the world.

The building underwent a seismic retrofit from 1998 to 2001. It is designed to sustain minimal damage and remain functional after a magnitude 8.2 earthquake.*^

 

 

 
(1927)* - View of the northwest corner of Los Angeles City Hall, May 2, 1927, during construction.  

 

Historical Notes

The concrete in its tower was made with sand from each of California's 58 counties and water from its 21 historical missions.*^

 

 

 
(1927)^^ - Los Angeles City Hall under construction and beginning to take form.  

 

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.*^

 

 

 
(1927)* - View of ceremony marking the halfway completion of the construction of the new Los Angeles City Hall.  

 

 

 

 
(1927)^^* - View showing the cornerstone for the new Los Angeles City Hall being lowered into position.  

 

Historical Notes

A story accompanying this photo in the June 23, 1927, Los Angeles Times reported:

“The corner-stone of Los Angeles’ new City Hall was laid at 2 o’clock yesterday afternoon. The ceremonies were conducted by the Native Sons of the Golden West, with Charles A. Thompson, Grand President of the order presiding. Appropriate speeches were made by Gov. (Clement) Young, Mayor (George) Cryer, President McGarry of the Chamber of Commerce and Edward J. Delorey, who acted as chairman. …

Just before the corner-stone was lowered into position, a copper box was placed inside which contained more than a score of historical documents and other articles. Among these was an autographed photograph of Mayor Cryer, his annual message, the charter of Los Angeles, a history of the California pioneers, a copy of the city budget for 1927-28, an account of the discovery of gold in 1848, three gold nuggets and numerous other articles.

The Governor joined the Mayor at the old City Hall and the procession to the new structure was led by the Firemen’s Band. Several thousand persons witnessed the ceremonies, The program was broadcast.”

 

 

 
(2015)^^* - The cornerstone for Los Angeles City Hall is to the left of the historical entrance – now closed – off Spring St. Photo by Scott Harrison  

 

 

 

 
(1927)* - View of the new Los Angeles City Hall more than halfway completed.
 

 

Historical Notes

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

 

 

 
(1928)^^ - View of Los Angeles City Hall decorated with banners for its opening ceremony. A crowd of people are gathered at the curb, bleachers are full of spectators, and a parade is in progress on Spring Street.  

 

Historical Notes

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

 

 

 
(1928)* - View of the dedication ceremony of the new Los Angeles City Hall. Photograph taken of the side facing Spring Street.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1928)* - View of the new Los Angeles City Hall, completed in 1928, with sky writing over the building reading "prosperity." It was the tallest building in L.A. from its completion in 1928 until 1964.  

 

Historical Notes

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

 

 

 
(1928)* - View of the opening of City Hall, decorated and lighted at night.  

 

Historical Notes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ 1928 - moved to current City Hall Building^*

 

 

 
(ca. 1929)^*# - Night view of City Hall as seen from Bunker Hill.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1930s)^^ - View of City Hall facing north from First Street. To the west on Spring Street are the old State Building, Hall of Records, and Hall of Justice.  

 

 

 

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

 

Historical Notes

The old LA County Courthouse was demolished in 1932.

The Hall of Records stood until 1973.

 

 

Before and After

 
 

 

 

 

 

 
(1928)^^ - A great shot of the Los Angeles’ City Hall in the background (which is still with us, thankfully) and in the foreground the County Courthouse who somebody decided wasn’t worth saving (demolished in 1936).  

 

 

 

 

 
(1936)^ - The beacon light placed on the top of Los Angeles City Hall is lighted when power first arrived from Hoover Dam.  

 

 

 

 

 
(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.*^

 

 

 
(1959)^^ - Street view looking south on Main Street showing City Hall standing on the southwest corner of Temple and Main streets. The Federal Courthouse and U.S. Post Office Building is seen on the right.  

 

 

 

 
(1962)* - Nighttime view of Los Angeles City Hall looking southwest from the San Bernardino Freeway.  

 

 

 

 
(2013)*^ - View looking northeast showing City Hall at sunset. Photo by Michael J Fromholtz  

 

Historical Notes

The building underwent a seismic retrofit from 1998 to 2001. It is designed to sustain minimal damage and remain functional after a magnitude 8.2 earthquake.*^

In 1976, Los Angeles City Hall was designated LA Historic-Cultural Monument No. 150 (Click HERE for complete listing).

 

 

 
(ca. 2015)##*** - Close-up view of the top floors of City Hall including the Observation Deck.  

 

Historical Notes

The Observation Deck at City Hall is where you can get one of the best (and free) views of Los Angeles by day.  Public entrance is at 201 Main Street.  Open to the public, Monday through Friday from 9AM to 5PM, the Observation Deck offers an outstanding view of the downtown L.A. city skyline. Admission is free, but you will need to check in at the security desk at the Main Street entrance. They will issue a visitor badge and give you a leaflet with directions to the Observation Deck on the 27th floor. You will pass through the Tom Bradley Room on the 26th floor. The walls on this level are covered with pictures of all past mayors of Los Angeles. The "room" is not an open space - instead it's a hallway that occupies the perimeter of the floor. After you are finished looking at the pictures, you will walk up a grand staircase to the Observation level on the 27th floor. Most of the level is an open space filled with chairs and a podium. It's interesting to imagine what sort of conferences or meetings might occur from this vantage point overlooking the city. You can go outside on this level and walk around the perimeter of the floor. The view is great, and there are signs to let you know what's where. There are unobstructed views of Union Station, Disney Concert Hall and other downtown LA attractions. ^^++

 

 

 

 
(2013)*^ – View looking northeast showing downtown Los Angeles with 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 skyscraper 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.*^

 

* * * * *

 

 

International Bank Building

 
(1929)* - Old International Bank Building, left, a landmark on Temple St. beside the new City Hall, is ordered demolished to make way for expansion of civic center. Building also houses the City Health Department, May 31, 1929.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1928, the International Savings & Exchange Bank Building was dwarfed by the new 28-story Los Angeles City Hall, and soon after calls for its demolition increased, resulting in its razing sometime after 1954. The portion of Spring Street that its front entrance faced no longer exists.*^

 

 

 
(1910)^^ - Exterior view of the International Bank Building on the southwest corner of Spring Street and Temple Street as it appeared in 1910.  

 

Historical Notes

The International Savings & Exchange Bank Building (also known as the International Savings Building), was built in the Spring Street Financial District of Los Angeles in 1907. Standing ten floors, it was designed in the Renaissance Revival and Italianate styles by architect H. Alban Reaves, who had previously designed several structures in New York, including what is now the south building of the historic Schuyler Arms.

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

Click HERE to see more Early Views of the Internationl Bank Building.

 

 

 
(1927)* - Exterior view of the Spanish style Hollywood Playhouse, located at 1735 N. Vine, near the intersection of Hollywood and Vine.  

 

Historical Notes

The Hollywood Playhouse opened for the first time on January 24, 1927.  It was designed in the Spanish Baroque style by the architectural team of Henry L. Gogerty and Carl Jules Weyl in 1926-1927.

During the Great Depression, the theatre was renamed The WPA Federal Theatre (after the Works Progress Administration), and used for government-sponsored programs.  Later, the theatre hosted numerous CBS Radio Network programs, including Fanny Brice's Baby Snooks show and Lucille Ball's My Favorite Husband program. Lux Radio Theater broadcast condensed movie scripted versions, usually with the movie's original cast performing their movie roles. Ginger Rogers and Ray Milland performed "Lady in the Dark" in 1945.*^

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1927)* - Facade of the Spanish Baroque style Hollywood Playhouse entrance, designed by Gogerty & Weyl.  

 

Historical Notes

In the 1940s, 1735 Vine was renamed The El Capitan Theatre, and was used for a long-running live burlesque variety show called Ken Murray's Blackouts. This should not be confused with the nearby movie theatre of the same name and age, the El Capitan Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard, which at the time was known as the Paramount Theatre.

In the 1950s, still under the name of El Capitan, the theatre became a television studio, and it was from a set on its stage that Richard Nixon delivered his famous "Checkers speech" on September 23, 1952. This event is often mistakenly said (especially on the Internet) to have taken place at the El Capitan Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard, though that theater was never a television studio, and in 1952 was operating as a movie house called the Paramount Theatre.

The theater was also home to The Colgate Comedy Hour, the Lawrence Welk Show, and This is Your Life.*^

 

 

 

 
(2007)*^ - Front view of the Avalon (formerly the Hollywood Playhouse) at 1735 N. Vine St.  

 

Historical Notes

The Avalon (or Avalon Hollywood) is a night club and music venue. Located at 1735 N. Vine Street, it has previously been known as The Hollywood Playhouse, The WPA Federal Theatre, El Capitan Theatre, The Jerry Lewis Theatre, The Hollywood Palace and The Palace. It has a capacity of 2,000.*^

 

 

 

First National Bank (Hollywood)

 
(1924)^^ - View showing First National Bank and The Frank Meline Co. on the northeast corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue.  A Hollywood Storage Co. truck is seen backed-up against the curb in front of the building. A man is standing in front of the bank entrance while a woman appears to be crossing the street.  

 

Historical Notes

This would be the site of the iconic 13-story Hollywood First National Bank Building, built in 1927.

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1927)* - Exterior view of Hollywood First National Bank, located on the northeast corner of Highland Avenue and Hollywood Blvd.  

 

Historical Notes

Built in 1927, the First National Bank building located at 6777 Hollywood Boulevard was designed/constructed by architects Meyer and Holler who are also known for having built Grauman's Chinese Theatre, Grauman’s Egyptian Theatre, and Culver Studios. The same firm served as engineers and also did the construction.*

 

 

 
(ca. 1928)* - Exterior night view of Hollywood First National Bank, northeast corner of Highland Avenue and Hollywood Boulevard, located at 6777 Hollywood Blvd.  

 

Historical Notes

The thirteen story building with Gothic/Renaissance elements a la Art Deco is one of a handful of structures in the city that is adorned with gargoyles. The building's architects (Meyer and Holler) created an eclectic hybrid of art deco and neo-gothic styles. It was the tallest building in Los Angeles from 1927 to 1932.*

 

 

 
(ca. 1930)* - An aerial view of Hollywood from Grauman's Chinese Theatre (on the lower left). In the distance, the tallest building is the First National Bank.  

 

Historical Notes

The First National Bank Building was designed in Art Deco/Gothic style by architects Meyer and Holler and built in 1927. It is located on the northeast corner of Hollywood Blvd. and Highland Avenue.

Grauman's Chinese Theater was also designed by Meyer and Holler and it too was built in 1927. The theater is located at 6925 Hollywood Boulevard.*

 

 

 
(1935)* - Northeast corner of Highland and Hollywood Blvd. showing the facade of the First National Bank of Los Angeles, Hollywood Branch which is topped by a tower decorated with sculptures in arched niches and a flagpole.  

 

Historical Notes

On September 1, 1868, Hellman, Temple and Co. opened in the then small town of Los Angeles. The banking firm was the predecessor of Farmers and Merchants Bank (1870), which was the predecessor of Security First National Bank. The bank earned a reputation for aggressive and creative business practices and benefited from economic and population growth in the Western United States. By the mid-20th century it had an international presence, and was ranked the fifth-largest bank in the United States and third-largest in California in terms of deposits.

In 1967, Security First National Bank bought Pacific National Bank and became Security Pacific National Bank.

In 1992, Bank of America acquired Security Pacific National Bank.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1938)^^ - View looking toward the northeast corner of Hollywood and Highland where the iconic Security First National Bank stands.  The Bank of Italy++ (later Bank of America) stands across the street on the southeast corner.  

 

Historical Notes

++The Bank of Italy was founded in San Francisco, on October 17, 1904 by Amadeo Giannini. It grew by a branch banking strategy to become the Bank of America, the world's largest commercial bank, with 493 branches in California and assets of $5 billion in 1945.*^

 

 

 
(1953)**^* - View of Hollywood Blvd. looking east from the roof of the Roosevelt Hotel. The Hollywood Hotel and the Security First National Bank building can be seen at the intersection of Highland Ave and Hollywood Blvd.  

 

 

 

 
(1928)^^ - Night view showing the illuminated Gothic-Style tower of the First National Bank Building in Hollywood. The tower is decorated with sculptures in arched niches and a flagpole.  

 

Historical Notes

The Art Deco 13-story building on the northeast corner of Highland Avenue and Hollywood Boulevard was occupied by Security Pacific Bank until 2008 and has been vacant since.

 

 

Hollywood Storage Co. Building

 
(1928)* - Front view of the Hollywood Storage Co. Building, located at Highland Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard.  

 

Historical Notes

The 11-story Hollywood Storage Co. building at 1025 N. Highland Ave. was the tallest structure in Hollywood when erected in 1925.  It was purchased by Bekins in 1939. The building was also home of the Evening Herald radio station, KMTR.*

 

 

 
(1928)* - Side view of the Hollywood Storage Co. Building, located at 1025 N. Highland Ave.   

 

Historical Notes

Morgan, Walls & Clements designed this Spanish revival style building, completed in 1925.*

 

 

 
(1930)* - Panoramic view of Hollywood looking northwest on a very clear day. The Hollywood Storage Co. Building, located at Santa Monica Boulevard and Highland Avenue, is the tallest building in the area.  

 

 

Ralphs Market

 
(1929)* - Exterior view of a Ralphs Grocery Store located at 5711-17 Hollywood Boulevard, in Hollywood. The market, built in 1929, was designed by Morgan, Walls & Clements in a Gothic and churrigueresque revival design.  

 

Historical Notes

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

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

 

 

 
(1928)* - Exterior view of Ralphs arcade-style building on Wilshire and Hauser Blvd. in 1928. Small shops in the building include Dent Music Company and Tom Campbell Nuts. Oil derricks can be seen in the background.  

 

Historical Notes

The Spanish Colonial Revival building with a sidewalk arcade was designed by Morgan, Walls and Clements and constructed in 1928.  It was demolished in the early 1980s and replaced with a modern structure.*

 

 

 
(ca. 1929)**#* – View of Ralphs Market located on the northeast corner of Wilshire and Hauser.  Large sign on top of the rear of building reads:  PIG’N WHISTLE – Up and Down the Coast  

 

Historical Notes

A Pig’n Whistle restaurant was located in the Ralphs Market building from 1929 to 1938.  The restaurant was closed when the Pig’n Whistle company opened its new upscale restaurant, Melody Lane, at Wilshire and Detroit.**#*

 

* * * * *

 

 

Dyas-Carleton Café

 
(ca. 1928)**#* – View showing the Dyas-Carleton Café located on the northwest corner of Wilshire Boulevard and La Brea Avenue..  

 

Historical Notes

Built in 1928, the restaurant featured a large dining room accommodating 250 patrons and an adjoining coffee shop with booths and a U-shaped counter. It was designed by the architect team of George Elmore Gable and C. Stanley Wyant, who were well known for their work in the Spanish Colonial Revival style. In 1929 they designed Hanger No. 1, the first structure built at Mines Field airport – now known as LAX. **#*

 

 

 
(1928)* - Interior view of the Dyas-Carlton Café showing a dining area large enough to accommodate 250 people.  Note the Spanish-style architectural design.  

 

* * * * *

 

 

Fine Arts Building

 
(1928)* - Fine Arts Building, showing a close-up view of the street facade. Designed in Romanesque style, the shot shows sculptured corbeling, heavy arched windows and elongated windows. The figures of sculpture and architecture recline atop the neo-gothic base, designed by Walker and Eisen.  

 

Historical Notes

Located at 811 West 7th Street, just east of Figueroa Street, the Fine Arts Building was built in 1925.  It is a twelve story Romanesque Revival style building designed by Walker & Eisen.

The building appears in the film (500) Days of Summer, where the protagonist — an aspiring architect — describes it as his favorite building.*^

 

 

 
(1983)* - Entranceway to the Fine Arts Building in a close-up view showing detail.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1974, the Fine Arts Building (also known as Global Marine House) was designated Historic Cultural Monument No. 125 (Click HERE to see complete listing).

 

 

 

Central Library

 
(1929)* - Postcard view of the exterior of Central Library, 630 West Fifth Street. This entrance to the library is facing Flower Street.
 

 

Historical Notes

Architect Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue designed the original Los Angeles Central Library 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.*^

The Central Library Goodhue building was constructed between 1922 and 1926 on the site once occupied by the State Normal School (later to evolve into UCLA).

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1929)* - The ornate mosaic-like dome of the Central Library's rotunda was designed by Julian C. Garnsey.  

 

Historical Notes

The sunburst image located directly above the globe chandelier mirrors the sunburst design of the pyramid on top of the building, a further illustration of the building's theme: "the light of learning".*

 

 

 
(ca. 1929)* - A view of the rotunda of Central Library, showing the check-out desks, reference desks, card catalog files, and murals on all the upper walls and ceiling.  

 

Historical Notes

The Central Library's murals were painted by Dean Cornwell, and the mosaic-like painted dome was done by Julian C. Garnsey. This entire area sustained some smoke damage during the fire that ravaged the upper levels of Central Library, April 29, 1986.*

 

 

 
(ca. 1929)* - A unique look at the Los Angeles Public Library Rotunda, as seen through the photographer's special effects lens.  

 

Historical Notes

The murals on the rotunda walls depict four great eras of California history. These are: "Discovery" (north wall); "Mission building" (east wall); "Americanization" (south wall), and "The Founding of Los Angeles" (west wall).

Distinguished muralist and illustrator, Dean Cornwell was awarded the contract for the Los Angeles Public Library murals in 1927, and spent the next five years researching and painting the final canvases, which he completed in 1932. Julian C. Garnsey designed the ornate mosaic-like dome of the Library's rotunda.*

 

 

 
(ca. 1929)* - View of the chandelier that hangs from the Central Library's rotunda ceiling.  

 

Historical Notes

Designed by Goodhue Associates, the chandelier measures 9 feet in diameter, is composed of cast bronze, weighs one ton, and is part of a model of the solar system.*

 

 

 
(ca. 1930)* - A photo of the exterior of the L.A. Central Library showing a portion of the building and the tower as seen from 5th Street.  

 

Historical Notes

On the wall under the tower are the words "David .. St. John". Part of the printing lower on the building reads: "They Give To All Who Ask ... Serve Them Faithfully." *

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1930s)* - View of a swordsman pulling his sword from a stone on the exterior wall in the original Children's Court of the library.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1935)* - An exterior view of the west side of Central Library, with lawn and sidewalks extending in several directions across the lawn. Cars of 1930's vintage are parked on the street.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1935)* - Walkway and front facade of Los Angeles Public Library's Central Library, located at 630 W. 5th Street.  

 

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.*^

 

 

 
(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

On March 1, 1967 the Central Library Building was designated Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 46 (Click HERE to see listing). It is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.*^

 

 

 
(1971)^*#* – View looking southeast from the intersection of 5th and flower streets showing the Central Library with the high-rise Crocker-Citizens Bank building in the background and the California Club to the right.  

 

 

 

 
(1971)^*#* – Close-up view showing the west elevation of the Los Angeles Central Library. To the left can be seen the Edison Building.  

 

 

 

 
(2009)*^ – View showing the South Hope Street entrance of the Los Angeles Central Library. Photo by Matthew Field  

 

Historical Notes

The proposed demolition of the Central Library in the 1970s led to the formation of the Los Angeles Conservancy in 1978. It was the first victory of the Conservancy.^#^

 

 

 
(2013)^*#* – Close-up view showing the Los Angeles Central Library tower.  Photo by Carol Highsmith  

 

Historical Notes

It's hard to imagine downtown Los Angeles without the Central Library. It remains a prime example of how vulnerable our treasured landmarks can become, and why their preservation is worth the effort.^#^

 

Click HERE to see more Early Views of the Los Angeles Central Library

 

* * * * *

 

California Club (2nd Building)

 
(ca. 1929)* - Excavating at the site of the new California Club building at 538 South Flower Street. Across the street at rear is the Richfield Building, behind which is the Jonathan Club.  

 

Historical Notes

In the late 1920s, purchase of land at 538 South Flower Street was negotiated, and in 1929 the present structure was begun. Construction on the current clubhouse at 538 South Flower Street, Los Angeles, California, began in late 1928 and was formally completed on August 25, 1930. The building was designed Robert D. Farquhar, an architect trained at the Ecole Nationale des Beaux Arts in Paris. The American Institute of Architects awarded Farquhar its Distinguished Honor Award for the design of the California Club building.*^

 

 

 
(1930)^^ - Close aerial view of the California Club Building shortly after it was completed.  

 

Historical Notes

Examiner clipping attached to verso reads:  "Symbol of progress and comfort -- California Club's magnificent new home costing $3,300,000, adjacent to Los Angeles Public Library. It will open to members September 1. The building, with one hundred and eight foot frontage on Hope and on Flower streets, is an artistic addition to the downtown architectural beauty."

 

 

 
(ca. 1930)* - Exterior view of the California Club building at 538 South Flower Street.  

 

Historical Notes

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

The club remained at the Wilcox Building for ten years.  Increased membership impelled the club to seek a new location in the southward and westward direction of the expansion of the city. In 1904 the club's headquarters were moved to a new five-story building with a basement and a roof garden on the northwest corner of Fifth and Hill streets across from Pershing Square. In 1929 they would outgrow this building as well. Click HERE to see California Club's headquarters between 1904 and 1930.

In 1930, the California Club moved into its new building (still used today) located at 538 S. Flower Street and has been*^

 

 

 
(1938)* - Entrance to the California Club building at 538 South Flower Street on January 26, 1938.  

 

Historical Notes

In addition to fine antiques and handcrafted furniture, the clubhouse is decorated with a collection of Western-themed, plein air paintings by such American landscape painters as J. Bond Francisco, Elmer Wachtel, Franz A. Bischoff, George Kennedy Brandriff, William Wendt and Paul Lauritz.*^

 

 

 
(1968)* - View looking south on Flower Street toward 5th Street. The California Club stands on the left.  The Richfield Building can be seen (the tallest, in the center). Empty parking lots are in the foreground.  

 

Historical Notes

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

 

 

 
(1977)* - Exterior view of the California Club building at 538 South Flower Street showing a busy stream of traffic in front.  

 

Historical Notes

The California Club Building was designated LA Historic-Cultural Monument No. 43 in 1966 (Click HERE for listing). The building was also listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 2010.*^

 

 

 
(2015)##^^^ - Google street view looking southeast on Flower Street showing the California Club Building as it appears today.  

 

 

Click HERE to see California Club's headquarters between 1904 and 1930, located at 5th and Hill.

 

 

 

 

Bullock's Wilshire

 
(1929)^*# - View of the Bullock's Wilshire Building during middle stages of construction.  

 

 

 

 
(1929)* - View of Bullock's Wilshire department store from a block east at Virgil Avenue where it meets Wilshire Blvd. Various models of old cars are seen on both sides of Wilshire Blvd.  

 

Historical Notes

The Bullock's Wilshire Building was designed by Architects Parkinson & Parkinson in 1928. The building was completed in 1929 as a luxury department store for owner John G. Bullock (owner of the more mainstream Bullock's in Downtown Los Angeles). The exterior is notable for its 241-foot tower whose top is sheathed in copper, tarnished green. At one time, the tower peak had a light that could be seen for miles around.*^

 

 

 
(1983)* - Art Deco design by Cedric Gibbons, father of Oscar statuette, is above Bullock's Wilshire's overlooked front entrance. The bas-relief was designed by Cedric Gibbons and sculpted by George Stanley.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1968, the Bullock's Wilshire Building at 3050 Wilshire Boulevard was designated Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 56 (Click HERE to see complete listing).

In 1978, the building was also listed in the National Register of Historic Places as No.78000685.*^

 

 

 
(1936)* - View of Bullock's Wilshire from the west. Cars are seen traveling east and west on Wilshire Blvd. James Webb, Engraving and Stationery store, is present in the background on the left.  

 

Historical Notes

Bullocks Wilshire's innovation was that it was one of the first department stores in Los Angeles to cater to the burgeoning automobile culture. It was located in a then-mostly residential district, its objective to attract shoppers who wanted a closer place to shop than Downtown Los Angeles.*^

 

 

 
(1938)* - Close-up view of a portion of the western side of Bullock's Wilshire. An ornate “Wilshire Special” streetlight stands in front of the art deco building.  Click HERE to see more in Early L.A. Streetlights.  

 

 

 

 
(1946)^*# - Front view of the Bullock's Wilshire Building located at 3050 Wilshire Boulevard as seen from across the street.  

 

Historical Notes

Traditional display windows faced the sidewalk, but they were decorated to catch the eyes of motorists. Since most customers would arrive by vehicle, the most appealing entrance was placed in the rear. Under the city's first department store porte cochere, valets in livery welcomed patrons and parked their cars.*^

 

 

 
(1950)* - Exterior view of Bullock's Wilshire store, hailed as "a cathedral of commerce" a quarter of a century ago. It was the first large store in the nation planned for the convenience of auto patrons. Beauty and utility are blended in the art deco design of the building.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1994, the building was acquired by Southwestern Law School - its long-time neighbor. The school restored the building to its original 1929 state, adapting the building for use as an integral part of the school (adaptive reuse).*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1933)^*# - Exterior night view of the Bullock's Wilshire Building.  

 

* * * * *

 

 

Hattem's Market

 
(1927)* - View showing Hattem's Market on Western Avenue on Opening night.  

 

Historical Notes

Hattem's Market opened on December 27, 1927, and resulted in the coining of the word "supermarket" when the Southwest Wave, a community newspaper described its grand opening. It was open day and night. #*#

 

 

 
(1927)* - Hattem's Market exterior, located on the corner of Western Avenue and 45th Street, decorated for opening ceremonies.  

 

Historical Notes

Walter Roland Hagedohm was the architect, and he also built Hattem's Shopping Center on Vermont and 80th Street about four years later. In between, he designed the Balboa Inn of Newport Beach, which became a trendy getaway of Hollywood movie stars in the 1930s.*#^

 

 

 
(1931)* - Opening ceremonies at Hattem's Market and Shopping Center located on Vermont and 80th Street.  

 

Historical Notes

Hattem's 24-Hour Drive-In Market was Los Angeles' first supermarket and possible the first grocery store to use trading stamps. It was owned and operated by by European immigrant, Isadore M. Hattem.

Isadore M. Hattem (originally spelled Hatem, but he changed it during the WWI years) was a Sephardic Jew and founding member of what is now the Sephardic Temple Tifereth Israel. Before opening his supermarket, Hattem was one of the early merchants in the Grand Central Market, which opened in 1917.*#^

 

 

 
(1931)* - Exterior view of Hattem's Drive-in Market at 8021-8035 South Vermont Avenue. The market building, which resembles a tiered cake with what appears to be a cupola, is topped-off with a large letter 'H'.  

 

Historical Notes

Hattem’s was one of the first self-service markets in Los Angeles.   Piggly-Wiggly in Tennessee was the first self-service market, but the trend spread west.  I.M.Hattem had the first "Supermarket", the key difference being, the groceries, meat, produce, and bakery departments were all self-service and wrung up at a central check out. He also had trading stamps, and the market had a parking lot for cars, shopping carts and it was open 24 hours a day.*#^

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1940)^^ – View showing the Allen and Huck Market (previously Hattem’s Market) located at the corner of Vermont Avenue and 81st Street. A large sign located on the second tier reads, "Shoppers Wise Patronize Allen and Huck". The structure extends to an archway a little right of center that leads to the parking lot and the storefront of Dilbert's Café.  

 

* * * * *

 

 

 

Plaza Market

 
(ca. 1929)* - Exterior view of Plaza Market, a Spanish-Colonial style drive-in market located at 4651-4663 Pico Boulevard.  

 

Historical Notes

Los Angeles was the principal center for the development of drive-in markets between the mid-1910s to the early 1940s.^^^

 

* * * * *

 

Mandarin Market

 
(1929)* - Corner view of the Mandarin Market, a Chinese-style drive-in market located at 1234-1248 Vine Street, in Hollywood. A delivery truck full of crates of "Dorado Club," a brand of club soda, is parked on the street.
 

 

Historical Notes

The Mandarin Market with its unique Chinese profile, was designed by M. L. Gogerty and built in 1928-1929. It would later become the Hollywood Ranch Market.*

 

 

 
(ca. 1929)^^ - Closer view of the Mandarin Market located on the northeast corner of La Mirada Avenue and Vine Street. The complex includes a Texaco service kiosk (center), a bakery (far right), a full meat and produce market, and a restaurant (left) known at this time as "Chinatown." Note the ornate two-lamp streetlight+ on the corner.  

 

Historical Notes

+ In the late 1920s and 1930s these type of streetlights (electroliers) were installed in many parts of Los Angeles, however, nowhere more than in the Hollywood District. Click HERE to see more in Early Los Angeles Streetlights.

 

 

 
(1929)* - View of the Mandarin Market, a Chinese-style drive-in market located at 1234-1248 Vine Street, in Hollywood. The meat and produce sections, identified by signs placed up high near the roof line, are labeled from left to right: Meats, Vegetables and Fruits. The market's "The Mandarin" sign mounted on the roof states that the market is a "Wm. M. Davey Co. Enterprise."  

 

Historical Notes

Built in 1929, the Mandarin Market was touted as being one of the first drive-in markets of its kind in Los Angeles. The architect was Henry L. Gogerty, who later designed "gliding acoustical walls" for classrooms, and assembly line buildings for Howard Hughes' Spruce Goose project.

 

 

 
(1931)+##^ – Postcard view of the Mandarin Market showing the details of its pagoda-style design. In the foregrond can be seen the Mandarin Bakery.  

 

Historical Notes

Rather than have delivery trucks crowding the front of the marketplace, each store had a back entrance for deliveries.

 

 

 
(1931)*- Partial view of the Mandarin Market, a Chinese-style drive-in market complex located on the northeast corner of La Mirada Avenue and Vine Street.  

 

Historical Notes

The complex included a Texaco service kiosk (right), a bakery (not visible), a full meat and produce market, and a restaurant (left) known at this time as "John Tait's."

 

 

 
1931)*- Closer view of John Tait's Restaurant on the north side of the Mandarin Market. Note the detail design of the roof.  

 

Historical Notes

The property sold in 1932 for $175,000 and, after some modifications, became Hollywood Ranch Market.

 

Hollywood Ranch Market (Previously the Mandarin Market)

 
(ca. 1932)* - View looking at the northeast corner of La Mirada Avenue and Vine Street showing the Hollywood Ranch Market (previously Mandarin Market) being expanded to include more indoor space.  

 

Historical Notes

The Hollywood Ranch Market (Mandarin Market) took on a new look when the original outdoor area was enclosed. The Pagoda-style roofline remained intact around the periphery.

 

 

 
(1961)* - Exterior view of the Hollywood Ranch Market, located at 1234-1248 Vine Street. The market with its large neon sign and the neighboring Art Linkletter Playhouse are clearly visible. Remnants of the original Chinese influenced architecture from when the building served as the Mandarin Market are visible above the roof line in the center of the photograph.  

 

 

 

 
(1961)* - Exterior night view of the Hollywood Ranch Market. The market's neon sign with a clock reads, "We never close" and "Shop around the clock." This side view only allows one of the market's vendors, the snack bar, to be visible.  

 

Historical Notes

It wasn’t unusual to see such personalities as Frank Sinatra, Ava Gardner or Red Skelton or at the Hollywood Ranch Market’s snack bar. Steve Allen used to broadcast his shows from his studio close by. ^#^^

 

 

 

(1954)* - Herald Examiner photo showing several men toasting with a cup of coffee in front of Hollywood Ranch Market.

 

 

 

 

 

Historical Notes

Examiner article reads: "The all-night Hollywood Ranch Market sidewalk lunch counter on Vine Street is one of many places revolting against the hike in coffee prices. This place reduced its price from 10 cents to 5 cents per cup. Celebrating with steaming mugs beneath the sign are, left to right: Richard Wilson, jazz musician-composer; night manager Roy McCully; co-owner Larry Frederick; writer Roger Fair; and newsboy Eddie Levin, on February 2, 1954." *

 

 

 
(ca. 1960s)#^* – View looking north showing a woman and young child standing in front of the Hollywood Ranch Market on the northeast corner of Vine Street and La Mirada Avenue.  

 

 

 

 
(1970s)#*## – View looking northeast toward the Hollywood Hills and Mt. Lee with the Hollywood Ranch Market at lower right.  The large sign reads:  We Never Close – Everyone Shops at the One and Only HOLLYWOOD RANCH MARKET.  

 

Historical Notes

The Ranch market burned down in the early 80s and is now a strip mall that includes a Office Depot and an El Pollo Loco.#^* Click HERE to see contemporary view.

 

* * * * *

 

 

Hollywood Chamber of Commerce

 
(ca. 1929)* - Exterior view of Hollywood Chamber of Commerce at 6520 Sunset Boulevard. View shows the cast stone ornament over the main entrance and lower windows. Designed by Morgan, Walls & Clements, the building has a Spanish Colonial Churriqueresque design. Date built: 1925.  

 

Historical Notes

The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce was formed in 1921 to replace the old Board of Trade. A five-day membership drive resulted in 2,517 members. The first order of business for the new organization was to raise funds for the grading and installation of 20,000 seats to create the Hollywood Bowl.

In 1932, the Santa Claus Lane Parade was first sponsored by the Chamber. In 1978, the parade was given a new look, renamed the Hollywood Christmas Parade and grew to national prominence as the nation’s largest celebrity parade with national television distribution for the first time.

In 1949, the Chamber entered into an agreement with the Department of Recreation and Parks to repair and rebuild the Hollywood Sign and to remove the “land” so that it would spell “Hollywood”. The cost was $4,000. A second restoration was done by the Chamber in 1973. #*^^

 

 

 
(1929)* - Exterior of the Leonis Adobe at 23530 Ventura Blvd. in Calabasas. Said to have been built by Miguel Leonis in 1876, it was also known as the Menendez house.
 

 

Historical Notes

Leonis Adobe is one of only four surviving adobe residences remaining in the San Fernando Valley. When the Los Angeles Cultural Historical Board was formed in 1962, Leonis Adobe was the first designated as a Historic-Cultural Monument. By 2007, there were nearly 900 separately numbered sites that had received the designation, but Leonis Adobe has the prestige of having been designated as LA Historic-Cultural Monument No. 1 (Click HERE to see the complete list). In 1975, the adobe was also listed on the National Register of Historical Places.*^

For a number of years it was part of Warner Bros. ranch properties and resided in by actor John Carradine and family. In 1965 it was one of the few remnants of the San Fernando Valley's heritage standing in original form.*

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 
(1929)* - The St. Charles Hotel, originally the Bella Union Hotel, as it appeared in 1929. Several businesses are seen on the bottom floors: Casa Dental Mexicana, Restaurant Arizona, Gents Furnishings (hats, overalls, shirts).  

 

Historical Notes

During the 1930s, the St. Charles turned into a low-budget-lodging house and served a poor and ethnically diverse population. It was demolished in 1940 to make space for a parking lot. In the 1970s, architect Robert Stockwell designed the subterranean Los Angeles Mall, where the oldest hotel once stood.^#*

The Bella Union Hotel site was designated as California Historical Landmark No. 656. Click HERE to see more California Historical Landmarks in LA.

 

 

 
(ca. 1875)* - Exterior view of the St. Charles Hotel, originally the Bella Union Hotel. Horses and buggies are lined up along the street. In the foreground a sign reads, “Rifle and Pistol Shooting,” a reminder that Los Angeles was a Western frontier town. Click HERE to see more in Early LA Buildings (1800).  

 

 

 

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

 

Historical Notes

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

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

 

 

 
(1929)* - View of the Architects' Building at 816 West 5th Street looking southeast from 5th and Figueroa. In the background is the Los Angeles Central Library. It was built from 1927-1928.  

 

Historical Notes

The Architects' Building was demolished in 1969 to make room for the ARCO Towers.*

 

 

Wilshire Christian Church

 
(1927)* - Exterior view of the Romanesque Revival style Wilshire Christian Church during its construction, as seen from the western side of Normandie Avenue. The church is located on the northeast corner of Wilshire and Normandie. In the view above, the church's large rose window designed by Judson Studios has yet to be installed, but the window opening has been covered to protect the interior of the structure.  

 

Historical Notes

After land was donated by Charles Chapman in 1911, a small bungalow style church was built at this corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Normandie Avenue. In 1927 the original church was replaced by this Northern Italian Romanesque style structure with a 200-foot tower, designed by Robert H. Orr.*

 

 

 
(ca. 1927)* - Exterior view of the Romanesque Revival style Wilshire Christian Church, as seen from the southwest corner of the intersection of Normandie Avenue and Wilshire Boulevard not long after it was constructed in 1927.  

 

Historical Notes

On May 19, 1940, First Christian Church of Los Angeles merged with Wilshire Boulevard Christian Church to become Wilshire Christian Church, which is of the Disciples of Christ denomination. Located at 634 S. Normandie Avenue, the church was dedicated Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 209 (Click HERE to see complete listing).*

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1935)#^*^ –  A closer view of the Wilshire Christian Church and Gaylord Apartment Building on Wilshire Boulevard.  The radio transmitting tower east of the church belonged to KFAC Radio Station, located at Mariposa and Wilshire.  

 

 

 

 

 
(2011)+^^ – View looking southwest showing the Equitable Building with the Wilshire Christian Church in the foreground.  Photo by Michele Canonico  

 

 

 

 

Gaylord Apartments

 
(ca. 1929)* - View of the Gaylord Apartment house located at 3355 Wilshire Boulevard, directly across from the Ambassador Hotel. A banner above the main entrance reads: "Starting Thursday Feb. 21st - all apartments in the magnificent Gaylord - completely furnished will be sold as 'own your own apartment' - price from $7850 up furnished - suites 2 to 5 rooms - payments 1/2 down - balance over period of 17 years - complete service - every modern convenience - select your own apartment - take possession immediately and save high rents". Smaller signs on building read: "Walker & Eisen, Architects", and "Lange & Bergstrom, General Contractors".  

 

Historical Notes

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

 

 

 
(ca. 1929)* - Aerial view of The Gaylord Apartments at 3355 Wilshire Boulevard, across from the Ambassador Hotel.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1895, Henry Gaylord Wilshire began developing 35 acres stretching westward from Westlake Park for an elite residential subdivision. He donated a strip of land to the city of Los Angeles for a boulevard through what was then a barley field, on the conditions that it would be named for him and that railroad lines and commercial or industrial trucking would be banned.

In 1900, Wilshire was arrested for speaking in a public park in Los Angeles. A judge dismissed the charges, but the incident caused Wilshire to leave Los Angeles for New York.

Wilshire eventually returned to Los Angeles and made much of his connection with the now famous Boulevard that bore his name, although he had no involvement with its gradual expansion in the years while he was absent from the region. He made and lost several fortunes during his lifetime and died destitute on September 7, 1927 in New York.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1938)* - View of the Gaylord and Evanston Apartments as seen from the Ambassador Hotel lawn. Some small shops in front of the Evanston on the 3340 block of Wilshire Boulevard are also visible.  

 

Historical Notes

Architects Walker & Eisen designed the Renaissance revival style 1924 Gaylord Apartments, located at 3355 Wilshire Boulevard.

The six-story Evanston Apartments were built in the late 1920s and located at 630 South Kenmore. This building has been demolished and the site is now occupied by the 1967 Wilshire Square building designed by the architectural firm of Langdon & Wilson.*

 

 

Richfield Oil Company Building

 
(1929)^^ - View of the Atlandtic Richfield Oil Company Building, 555 South Flower Street, shortly after it was constructed. Only the letter 'H' on the tower has been installed.  

 

Historical Notes

Richfield Tower, also known as the Richfield Oil Company Building, was constructed between 1928 and 1929 and served as the headquarters of Richfield Oil. It was designed by Stiles O. Clements and featured a black and gold Art Deco facade. The unusual color scheme was meant to symbolize the "black gold" that was Richfield's business. Haig Patigian did the exterior sculptures.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1929)^^ - View of the Atlantic Richfield Oil Company Building standing next to a 3-story hotel. Parking sign in the foreground reads '15 Cents ONE HOUR - 15 Cents EACH ADD HR.'  

 

Historical Notes

The 12-floor Atlantic Richfield Building was 372 feet tall, including a 130-foot tower atop the building, emblazoned vertically with the name "Richfield". Lighting on the tower was made to simulate an oil well gusher and the motif was reused at some Richfield service stations.*^

 

 

 
(1929)^*# - Night view of the Atlantic Richfield Oil Company Building and its beacon, 555 S. Flower Street.  

 

Historical Notes

The grandest of all the beacons in early Los Angeles was placed atop the Richfield Oil Company’s own magnificent headquarters building at Sixth and Flower surpassing in height even that of the beacon atop Los Angeles’ City Hall.  It was the highest aviation beacon in all of Southern California and a pretty impressive advertising coup for Richfield Oil.*^#^

 

 

Click HERE to see more Early Views of the Richfield Oil Company Building

 

 

 

 

Edison Building

 
(1927)* – View looking at the northwest corner of 5th Street and Grand Avenue with the Ayers Apartments on the right and the Barrone (later Engstrum Apartments) background left. This corner lot would become the future site of the Edison Building.  

 

Historical Notes

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

 

 

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

 

Historical Notes

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

 

 

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

 

Historical Notes

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

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

 

 

 
(1931)^*# - View of the Southern California Edison Building shortly after it was completed.  

 

Historical Notes

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

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

 

 

 
(1933)^^#* - Slightly elevated view, probably from the Mayflower Hotel, looking north across the east library park to the Edison Building, the Engstrum Hotel/Apartments, a small slice of the Barbara Worth Apartments, the Wickland Apartments (Rubaiyat), the Santa Barbara Apartments and part of the front of the Sons of the Revolution library. #*  

 

 

 

 
(1970)* - Edison Building (later One Bunker Hill) on the northwest corner of Fifth Street and Grand Avenue lighted at night. The Edison Company moved out of this building on August, 15, 1971 to new headquarters in Rosemead, California, and the building and garage were sold to an investment firm.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1988, the One Bunker Hill Building was designated as Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 347 (Click HERE to see complete listing).

 

 

 
(1987)* - The lobby of One Bunker Hill, at Grand and Fifth.  The Art Deco building, also called the Edison Building, stands on the NW corner of W. Fifth Street and S. Grand Avenue. It was built from 1930-31 and the architects were Allison & Allison (Austin Whittlesey).  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1929)* - The American Storage Company building located at 3636 Beverly Boulevard.  

 

Historical Notes

This 13-story building began life in 1928 as the American Storage Building. In addition to storage units, the Bud Murray School for Stage and Lewis S. Hart Auctioneer were also early tenants of the building.

Longtime cafe man E.W. 'Curley' Bordwell opened the Roof Garden in September 1928, a 'nite club de luxe' which featured dancing to the sounds of George Redman's Famous "Roof Garden Orchestra". They were apparently so famous that by early October a remote controlled broadcasting station operated by KMTR had been installed and George Redman's jazz orchestra could be heard nightly on KMTR from 10pm to 11pm. Curley's place must have been swinging during daylight hours as well - Chris Mann & His Roof Garden Melody Boys were broadcast live daily from 3:30pm to 4:30pm.

Within just a year the Roof Garden had given way to 'Thirteenth Heaven', a night club with a rip-snorting theme. The elevator to the club was manned by 'St. Peter', the waiters sported wings and the musicians and attendants wore clothes 'intended to produce a spiritual illusion'.^##*

 

 

 
(ca. 1929)^*# - View of the American Storage Building, Arthur E. Harvey, Architect. The building typifies the extent storage companies would go to disguise the mundane nature of their structures.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1931 the 'Los Angeles Press Club' moved into the building and began having problems of their own. Their biggest problem was getting caught brewing beer during Prohibition. The 'Los Angeles Press Club' was raided March 18, 1931. Dry agents discovered a complete beer plant, 21 twelve-gallon crocks of beer mash, 203 bottles of beer - ninety of which were on ice (for the members no doubt).

The 41 Club took up residence briefly in late 1931 before making the move to Spring Street. They too were raided, and approximately $10,000 worth of liquor was found in secret compartments.^##*

 

 

 
(ca. 1929)^*# - View of the front entrance to the American Storage Building showing the Art Deco/Gothic detailed design over the doorways.  

 

Historical Notes

By the mid-1940s the building held various military organizations such as the Air Technical Service Command Headquarters and the War Assets Administration. For many years after the war it was also the headquarters for Pacific Telephone & Telegraph Company.^##*

 

 

 
(1928)**# - The grand opening of the Hollywood Western Building, 5500 Hollywood Blvd, on December 8th, 1928.  

 

Historical Notes

The S. Charles Lee designed Hollywood Western Building, 5500-5510 Hollywood Blvd, was built in 1928. The building was financed by Louis B Mayer and Irving Thalberg for the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), including the Hays Office. The building also housed Central Casting.*#^*

 

 

 
(1930s)* - Exterior view of the four-story Hollywood-Western Building housing the Central Casting Corp. and various retail shops located on the southwest corner of Hollywood Blvd. and Western Avenue. Newman Drug Co. is on the corner.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1988, the Hollywood Western Building was designated LA Cultural-Historic Monument No. 336 (Click HERE to see complete listing).

 

 

 
(1929)* - Exterior view of the library, now Powell Library, under construction at the U.C.L.A. Westwood campus in 1929. This building was built 1927-29 and designed by architect George W. Kelham.  

 

Historical Notes

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

 

 

 
(1929)* - Construction of the new U.C.L.A. Westwood campus in 1929. View is looking from Royce Hall's construction site, towards the near completion of Powell Library.  

 

Historical Notes

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

 

 

 
(1929)* - Exterior view of Powell Library at the U.C.L.A. Westwood campus. Students are seen walking to and from the library, amid the construction activity. Building was built 1927-1928 in a northern Italian Romanesque Revival style.  

 

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.*^

 

 

 
(1929)* - View of Royce Hall, at the time that the U.C.L.A. Westwood campus opened in 1929. Building was built in 1928-29, in a northern Italian Romanesque Revival style designed by Allison and Allison, Architects.  

 

 

 

 
(1929)* - View looking west at the bridge which connects Hilgard Avenue to the main campus quadrangle at the U.C.L.A. Westwood campus. The gully over which the bridge passed was filled in after World War I. Bridge was designed by architect George W. Kelham. Powell Library may be seen on the left. Building was built in 1927-29 and designed by architect George W. Kelham. The twin towers of Royce Hall may be seen on the right. Building was built in 1928-29 and designed by Allison and Allison, Architects. Both campus buildings were constructed in a northern Italian Romanesque Revival style.
 

 

Historical Notes

The bridge seen above connected Hilgard Avenue to the campus. The gully over which the bridge passed was filled in after World War II.*

 

 

 
(1929)* - Aerial view of the UCLA campus during construction. View shows Royce Hall, left rear, and the Physics building, center right. Both buildings were built in 1928-29, and designed by Allison and Allison, Architects. Haines Hall, right rear, was built in 1928. Powell Library, center left, was built in 1927-29. Moore Hall (under construction), in foreground, was built in 1930. These three buildings were designed by architect George W. Kelham. All five campus buildings were constructed in a northern Italian Romanesque Revival style.  

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of UCLA

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1930)* - A view of Westwood Boulevard's Bank of America building (also known as The Dome). P. J. Walker Company and Phelps Terkel.
 

 

Historical Notes

This northwest corner of Westwood Boulevard and Broxton Avenue is called "The Dome," and it served as offices for the Janss Investment Company when built. It was designed by Allison and Allison. The octagonal building remains the dominant structure within Westwood Village. Building at right in rear is the Holmby Building, designed by architect Gordon B. Kaufmann and built in 1930.*

 

 

 
(ca. 1930s)^*# - Interior view of the ornately designed Janss Dome circa 1930s.  

 

Historical Notes

The Janss Dome was designed by the architectural firm of Allison & Allison who also designed UCLA’s Royce Hall and Kerckhoff Hall. Architectural features of the building include a high portico and arched windows with the main part of the building having an octagonal shape and being surmounted by its signature dome with its Moorish style aqua and white zig-zag pattern and gold leafing. Atop the dome is a cupola.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1930s^*# - Looking up at the beautiful rotunda ceiling of the Janns Dome Building.  

 

Historical Notes

Around the beginning of the 1990s renowned architectural firm Morphosis adapted the Dome for use as a clothing store by Contempo Casuals, and later it was occupied by a Wherehouse Music store. In 1998 restaurateur Michael Chow remodelled the interior for a Eurochow restaurant but had the time-honored aqua and white zig-zag on the rotunda painted over in white. This caused the Westwood Design Review Board to order that the dome be restored to its traditional decoration. The Janss Dome currently houses a Japanese restaurant, the Yamato.*^

 

 

 
(1932)* - Exterior view of Holmby Building, designed by Gordon B. Kaufmann, in Westwood Village. Photo caption reads: The Sawyer School of Commerce signed a 10-year lease on the greater portion of the second floor, and will open a branch in the fall. Photo dated: August 8, 1932.  

 

Historical Notes

Built in 1929, Holmby Hall is a streetscape of six Spanish Colonial Revival storefronts and features a prominent white clock tower, capped by a green pinnacle.  It  was the first shop building to be erected in the architecturally significant cinema/shopping precinct of Westwood Village.

Holmby Hall’s history is tied in with that of UCLA, as the building was used as the first dormitory for female students of that famous university.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1948)^^ - A closer view of the Holmby Building (Hall) located at 921 Westwood Boulevard in the block between Weyburn and Le Conte Avenues, with the clock tower on the corner of Weyburn Avenue.  

 

Historical Notes

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

 

 

 
(1934)* - A 1934 view of the Westwood Professional Building. Note the empty land surrounding the building, ripe for more development.  

 

 

Click HERE to see more of Westwood in Early Views of UCLA

 

 

 

 

 
(1930)* - Exterior view of the Automobile Club of Southern California, located at 2601 S. Figueroa St. Three cars traveling southbound can be seen on the left, waiting at the intersection; Adams Blvd is visible on the right.
 

 

Historical Notes

The Automobile Club of Southern California, one of the nation's first motor clubs dedicated to improving roads, proposing traffic laws, and improvement of overall driving conditions, was founded on December 13, 1900 in Los Angeles. The Auto Club was responsible for producing state road maps, as well as posting thousands of porcelain-to-steel traffic signs throughout the state to create a uniform signing system - which it continued to do until the task was taken over by the State of California in the mid-1950s.*

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1930)* - Exterior view of the Automobile Club of Southern California, located at 2601 S. Figueroa St. at Adams Blvd. A car is parked is the entrance to the parking station on the east side of the building.  

 

Historical Notes

The building pictured here originally served as the Auto Club's main office. It was built between 1922-1923 by architects, Sumner P. Hunt, Silas R. Burns, and Roland E. Coate in the Spanish Colonial Revival style. Today, this building serves as the Los Angeles district office, but the administrative offices are now located in Costa Mesa.*

 

 

 
(1951)* - View of the entrance of the Automobile Club of Southern California, located at 2601 S. Figueroa St. A sign posted on the corner reads, "Use Traffic Courtesy to Reduce Traffic Nerves".  

 

Historical Notes

The Automobile Club Building was designated LA Historic-Cultural Monument No. 72 (Click HERE to see complete listing).

 

 

 
(ca. 1930)* - Exterior view of Bovard Hall, U.S.C.'s Administration building. Note the architectural designs on the building and carved statues on the tower. Date built: 1921. Architects: John and Donald Parkinson.  

 

Historical Notes

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

 

 

 
(ca. 1930)* - Exterior view of the School of Law at U.S.C. Three high arches decorate the front entrance. Note the architectural designs on the building. Date built: 1928. Architects: John and Donald Parkinson.
 

 

Historical Notes

USC Law School had its beginnings in 1896 when Judge David C. Morrison opened his courtroom for 36 law apprentices, among whom were future California Supreme Court Justice Frederick W. Houser and his wife, Sara Isabella Wilde; the couple would soon form the Los Angeles Law Students Association to discuss the concept of a formal law school. Their efforts resulted in the incorporation of the Los Angeles Law School in 1898.

The first law degree was awarded in 1901 to Gavin W. Craig. Over the next several decades, USC Law rose to become one of the most prominent national law schools, priding itself on an interdisciplinary form of study. 2002 saw the beginning of the USC Law Graduate and International Programs. It is an American Bar Association (ABA) approved law school since 1924. It joined the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) in 1907.*^

 

 

 
(1932)* - Exterior view of Edward Doheny Jr. Memorial Library on the U.S.C. campus. A large fountain graces the middle of the walkway leading to the front of the building. Note the architectural designs. Building was built in 1931 and designed by architects Cram and Ferguson with Samuel Lunden.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1892, Edward Laurence Doheny Sr. struck oil in Los Angeles, setting off a major land boom. The Dohenys built a financial empire based upon their success in the oil-producing business. Their son, Edward L. 'Ned' Doheny Jr., studied at USC and remained involved in the university after his graduation in 1916. Tragically, he was murdered at his home in Beverly Hills in February 1929. As a memorial to their son, the Dohenys contributed the entire $1.1 million needed to build the Edward L. Doheny Jr. Memorial Library and actively participated in the design and construction of the facility.^

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1932)* - Interior view of Edward Doheny Jr. Memorial Library at the University of Southern California, showing students studying in the main reading room.  

 

Historical Notes

The Times Mirror Reading Room is one of Doheny Library’s most popular study locations. The exquisite architecture includes bronze and pewter chandeliers as well as American walnut bookshelves. The room is 131 feet long, 46 feet wide, and 27 feet high. It has shelves for 6,000 books and accommodates 400 readers.^^

 

 

 
(ca. 1950s)^^ - Closer view of students studying in the Times Mirror Reading Room of the Doheny Library.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1935)* - Exterior view of the Student Union building at U.S.C. Date built: 1928. Architects: John & Donald Parkinson.
 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

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

 

Historical Notes

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

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

(ca. 1930)^*^# - View showing a woman in a fur coat posing next to an early model car with Barkies Sandwich Shops No. 4 in the background.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
(1929)^^* – Front view of the new American Legion Building located at 2035 N. Highland Avenue on the day of its dedication, July 4, 1929.  

 

Historical Notes

Hollywood Post 43 began in an old church building on El Centro Street near Hollywood Boulevard and grew to the largest in the State, having 1,285 registered members. It was organized in 1920.^^*

The American Legion is an organization of U.S. war veterans formed in Paris on March 15–17, 1919, by delegates from all units of the American Expeditionary Forces. Their main mission is to sponsor programs that improve veterans communities, such as scholarships, veterans help programs (i.e. ending veterans homelessness), and youth sports. They also promote national security, patriotism, and devotion to veterans.*^

 

 

 
(1929)^^* - Visitors enter the new American Legion Post No. 43 building in Hollywood, located on the west side of Highland Avenue, one block south of the Hollywood Bowl.  

 

Historical Notes

The Egytian Revival-Morroccan Deco building was designed by architects Gene and Joe Weston and completed in 1929 at a cost of $270,000. The three-story 33,000 square foot facility has an ornamental entrance of colored terra cotta, set in a solid concrete, with broad steps and terraces in the foreground and graceful tower and pyramid surmounting it. 

In 1989, the Hollywood American Legion Building was dedicated LA Historic-Cultural Monument No. 462 (Click HERE to see complete listing).

 

 

B. H. Dyas Building (later Broadway-Hollywood Building)

 
(1929)* - View showing the B. H. Dyas Department Store located at 6300 Hollywood Boulevard, on the S/W corner of Hollywood & Vine. Street-railroad tracks run in both directions down Hollywood Blvd. This store later became Broadway-Hollywood, after Broadway purchased B. H. Dyas Co.  

 

Historical Notes

The ten-story B. H. Dyas Building's (later the Broadway-Hollywood Building) construction in 1928 helped to usher in a spatial shift that opened the doors for large-scale retail development outside of downtown Los Angeles. It also was the first department store to introduce women’s slacks.^*##

 

 

 

 
(1929)* - View looking southwest at the B. H. Dyas Co. Department Store located on the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street.  

 

Historical Notes

Built by local businessman Frank R. Strong and designed in the Classical Revival Style by architect Frederick Rice Dorn, the building initially housed the B. H. Dyas Company Department Store. The move by B. H. Dyas to Hollywood was the first case of a department store developing a branch outside of the downtown core and helped to cement the idea of Hollywood as a retail destination. The store prospered for just a few short years until the Depression did the B. H. Dyas Company in and Broadway jumped in to take it over.^*##

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1932)* - View of the south side of Hollywood Boulevard looking east between Ivar and Vine. The Broadway Hollywood (previously B. H. Dyas) is on the corner of Vine, with the Taft Building across. I, Magnin & Co. is on the right.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1932, the building became the keystone to the Broadway Department Store chain. In 1938, fueled by increased revenues, The Broadway Department Store constructed a seven-story addition to the building’s south side providing 52,000 square feet of additional retail space. ^*##

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1939)^^ – View looking east on Hollywood Boulevard showing The Broadway-Hollywood building with its new roof-mounted sign and its new 8-story annex to the west.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1939, an eight-story modern annex designed by Parkinson and Parkinson was built immediately to the west. The Broadway Department Store served as a tenant until the 1970s. In the 1980s, the building was reconfigured for office use. By 1987 the building was abandoned.*^

 

 

 

 
(2014)##^^^ – Google street view showing the Broadway-Hollywood Building located on the southwest corner of Hollywood and Vine.  

 

Historical Notes

More recently, the building has been converted to condominiums on the top eight floors and is now called The Broadway Hollywood. Atop the main building is the large, metal-formed, neon sign reading: “The Broadway Hollywood". ^*##

 

 

 

 
(2005)* - Rooftop of the Broadway-Hollywood on Vine Street in Hollywood. The neon sign that reads "The Broadway - Hollywood" is lit and looks crisp against the gray sky. Architects were Walker and Eisen.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1999, the Broadway Department Store and Neon Sign were designated Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 664 (Click HERE to see complete listing).

 

 

Vine Street Theatre (today the Ricardo Montalbán Theater)

 
(1929)* - View looking south on Vine Street showing the Vine Street Theatre (today the Ricardo Montalbán Theater) located at 1615 North Vine Street. Banner hanging from the front of the theatre reads. "Andy Wright presents, Philadelphia, all star cast. Matinees, Thurs. and Sat." Note the Savoy Auto Park adjacent to the theatre. Parking rates are 15 cents a day or $4.00 a month.
 

 

Historical Notes

Named the Wilkes Brothers Vine Street Theatre in honor of its builders, the Beaux Arts live-performance theater was built in 1926-1927. It was the first legitimate Broadway-style theatre in Hollywood. The theatre was designed by architect Myron Hunt, also known for other notable buildings including the Rose Bowl, Cal Tech, and the Ambassador Hotel. 

The premier performance was “An American Tragedy” by Theodore Dreiser. The theater also had a memorable run of the play “Philadelphia” during its early years. The theater features orchestra, mezzanine, loge and balcony seating.^^#

 

 

 
(1929)* - View looking north on Vine Street showing the Vine Street Theatre. The Taft Building is seen on the right, located at the southeast corner of Hollywood and Vine. Banner reads, "Andy Wright presents, Philadelphia, all star cast, Matinees Thurs. and Sat."
 

 

Historical Notes

During the depression of the 1930’s, the theater was renamed Mirror and became a cinema. It later became the Lux Theatre when it was purchased by the Columbia Broadcasting (CBS) for local affiliate KNX radio and was used as a live performance radio auditorium and local radio station.^^#

 

 

 

 
(1932)##** – Panoramic view showing the Mirror Theatre (previously Vine Street Theatre).  Now showing: “Ladies of the Jury”, “Freaks” with Leila Hyams, and a Laurel & Hardy short. Large sign on top face of building reads: "ALL THE BEST TALKIES...AND ONLY 25 CENTS.....KIDDIES 10 CENTS"  

 

Historical Notes

When the Vine Street Theater opened at 1615 Vine St, just south of the Hollywood and Vine corner, it was a legitimate live theater. In March, 1931 it became a cinema called the Mirror, under the direction of Howard Hughes' Hughes-Franklin circuit. ##**

In 1936 the theatre became the Lux Radio Playhouse where the long-running “Lux Radio Theater” hosted by Cecil B. DeMille was made.*^

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1930s)*^ - A studio audience gathers prior to a live production at Hollywood's Lux Radio Playhouse (previously the Vine St. Theatre and Mirror Cinema).  

 

Historical Notes

Lux Radio Theatre was a long-run classic radio anthology series that was broadcast on the NBC Blue Network (1934-35); CBS Radio (1935-54), and NBC Radio (1954-55). Initially the series adapted Broadway plays during its first two seasons in New York before it began adapting films after moving to its Hollywood Vine Street location (1936). These hour-long radio programs were performed live before studio audiences. The series became the most popular dramatic anthology series on radio, broadcast for more than 20 years and continued on television as the Lux Video Theatre through most of the 1950s.*^

 

 

 

 
(1948)*^ - Composite wide-angle view showing performance of Lux Radio Theatre before a studio audience. The actor standing at center-right is future U.S. President Ronald Reagan.  

 

Historical Notes

Lux Radio Theatre strove to feature as many of the original stars of the original stage and film productions as possible, usually paying them $5,000 an appearance. In 1936, when sponsor Lever Brothers (who made Lux soap and detergent) moved the show from New York City to Hollywood, the program began to emphasize adaptations of films rather than plays. The first Lux film adaptation was The Legionnaire and the Lady, with Marlene Dietrich and Clark Gable, based on the film Morocco. That was followed by a Lux adaptation of The Thin Man, featuring the movie's stars, Myrna Loy and William Powell.*^

 

 

 

 
(1954)* - Opening night--celebrities and first nighters are shown arriving at the new million dollar theater, the Huntington Hartford Theater, for its premiere performance. Movie fans standing in bleachers cheer as screen stars enter the lobby of the theater. Photo dated: October 2, 1954.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1954, George Huntington Hartford bought the building for $200,000 from Columbia Broadcasting and extensively remodeled and “modernized” the theater at an additional cost of $750,000. He streamlined the building from the facade, to the lobby and through the auditorium. Hartford ran the theater successfully for ten years.^^#

 

 

 
(1954)^^ – Interior view of the Huntington Hartford Theater during the opening of "What Every Woman Knows" with Helen Hayes.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1964 Hartford sold the theater to James Doolittle (owner of the Greek Theater in the Hollywood Hills) for $850,000. Cary Grant had tried to buy the building, but lost over Doolittle. The theater was (not surprisingly) renamed the Doolittle Theater.

Eventually, the theater would run down into disrepair. Until bought in 2000 by the U.C.L.A. performing arts group “Nosotros”, an organization founded in 1970 by actor Ricardo Montalban “to help fulfill the goals of persons of Spanish-speaking origin in the motion picture and television industry”. The founding board included members Desi Arnaz, Vicki Carr and Anthony Quinn. In May 2004 the theatre reopened as The Montalbán. ^^#

 

 

 

 
(2010s)#^##- Bird's-eye view of the Montalbán Theatre located at 1615 N. Vine Street.  The Broadway-Hollywood can be seen on the southwest corner of Hollywood and Vine.  

 

Historical Notes

In 2005, Nike entered into a partnership with the Montalbán Theatre and the theatre has since been used for special venues such as promotional events.

 

 

 

Sinai Temple (today the Korean Philadelphia Presbyterian Church)

 
(1930)* - Exterior view of the second location of Sinai Temple, located at 401 S. New Hampshire Street, on the corner of New Hampshire and 4th streets.  

 

Historical Notes

The temple was built in 1924 and was designed by S. Tilden Norton in a combination of styles – Romanesque, Moorish, and Renaissance.**^^

 

 

 
(1930)* - Exterior view of Sinai Temple on New Hampshire Street, the first conservative congregation in Southern California.  

 

Historical Notes

Sinai Temple was the first conservative congregation in Southern California, established in 1906. For nearly 20 years, the temple was located at 12th and Valencia Streets. A second facility, the 1,400-seat structure shown here, was designed by S. Tilden Norton and the first services were held in 1925. The synagogue served the community until 1960, at which time a new temple opened in Westwood.*

 

 

 
(1947)^*# - View of Sinai Temple, located on the southwest corner of 4th Street and New Hampshire Avenue. Note the addition of a palm tree.  

 

Historical Notes

This building, which later became the Korean Philadelphia Presbyterian Church, was declared Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 91 on November 17, 1971 (Click HERE to see complete listing).

 

 

 
(1988)^*# - View of the Korean Philadelphia Presbyterian Church (previously Sinai Temple), located at 407 South New Hampshire Avenue.  

 

Historical Notes

Over the years, the building appears to have lost parts of its roof towers.

 

 

 
(1929)* - Exterior view of the French style Chateau Elysée, located at 5930 Franklin Avenue in Hollywood.  

 

Historical Notes

The Chateau Elysée was built as a luxury hotel/apartment house in 1929 by Eleanor Ince, the widow of Thomas H. Ince, the successful pioneer silent film producer.  Designed by eminent architect Arthur E. Harvey as a prominent seven story replica of a 17th Century French-Normandy castle, the Chateau Elysée remains as the most impressive of several Hollywood chateaux built during the area's booming 1920s.*^

 

 

 
(1929)* - Street view looking up toward the Chateau Elysée in Hollywood.  

 

Historical Notes

The Chateau Elysée Hotel provided a home for many of the artists that were then being drawn to Hollywood. Residents included some of the most famous names of the 1930s and 40s. Most notably Bette Davis, Errol Flynn (room 211), Edward G. Robinson (room 216), Carol Lombard (room 305), Edgar Rice Burroughs (room 408), Humphrey Bogart (room 603), Clark Gable (room 604), Ginger Rogers (room 705), Ed Sullivan (room 501), Gracie Allen and George Burns (room 609) along with Lillian Gish, Katharine Hepburn, George Gershwin, and Cary Grant.*^

 

 

 
(1951)* - Exterior view of the Chateau Elysée as it appeared in 1951.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1969 the building began being used as the Church of Scientology's home for its Celebrity Centre; since 1973 the building has been owned by the Church. Several floors are now hotel rooms (for church members only), with the building's topmost stories serving as offices. Free guided tours of the historic building are available to the general public.

The Château's conservatory building houses the acclaimed French rococo-styled restaurant, Renaissance.*^

On September 23, 1987, the City of Los Angeles declared the building as Historic-Cultural Monument No. 329 (Click HERE to see complete listing).

 

 

 
(1928)* - Marquee says to "Watch for the Grand Opening" of Warner Bros. Theatre in Hollywood.  

 

Historical Notes

Originally known as the Warner Bros. Theatre or Warner Hollywood Theatre, the Italianate beaux arts building was designed by architect G. Albert Lansburgh with approximately 2,700 seats. It opened on April 26, 1928, showcasing the studio's early Vitaphone talking film Glorious Betsy, starring Conrad Nagel and Dolores Costello.*^

 

 

 
(1928)* - Interior view of the Warner Bros. Theatre at the time of its opening. A very large organ can be seen to the left in the orchestra pit.  

 

Historical Notes

The  murals were designed by Albert Herter.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1929)* - Full exterior view of the Warner Bros. Building and Theatre located at located at 6433 Hollywood Blvd.  

 

Historical Notes

The theatre was sometimes called The Warner Hollywood Theatre to avoid confusion with another Warner Theatre in Los Angeles, known as "Warner Downtown Theatre" at 401 W. 7th St.*^

In 1993, the building was designated Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 572 (Click HERE to see complete listing).

 

 

 
(1930)* - Exterior with crowds for matinee performance of Joe E. Brown in "Top Speed" at the Warner Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard (Later the Hollywood Pacific Theatre).  

 

Historical Notes

Warner Bros. owned radio station KFWB positioned its radio transmitter towers on top of the building, which remain to this day. Though covered by "PACIFIC" lettering, the original "WARNERS" lettering can still be seen inside each tower.*^

 

 

 
(1941)* - Crowds in front of theatre on night of March 12, 1941, for world premiere of "Meet John Doe".  

 

Historical Notes

The Hollywood Pacific Theater (previously Warner Bros.) finally closed its doors as a full-time cinema on August 15, 1994. This was mostly due to water damage to the basement caused by the construction of the Hollywood Subway Red Line and structural damage caused by the 1994 Northridge earthquake.

The theatre is now occupied by Ecclesia Hollywood Church. Given the recent revitalization of Hollywood Boulevard in the early 21st century, it is often speculated that the theatre will one day be restored as a film palace.*^

 

 

Pantages Theatre

 
(1930)^*# - View of the Pantages Theater still under construction in 1930, located on the northwest corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Argyle Avenue. The tall building to the west is the Equitable Building, located on the northeast corner of Hollywood and Vine.  

 

Historical Notes

The Pantages Theatre, formerly known as RKO Pantages Theatre was the last theater built by the vaudeville impresario Alexander Pantages. The palatial Art Deco theater opened on June 4, 1930, as part of the Pantages Theatre Circuit.*^

 

 

 

 
(1930)^*# - View looking at the northwest corner of Hollywood Blvd and Argyle Ave showing the newly completed Pantages Theatre.  

 

 

 

 
(1930s)* - View looking west on Hollywood Boulevard showing the Pantages Theatre on the right. One block to the west is the intersection of Hollywood and Vine where three taller buildings stand (Equitable Building, Taft Building, and Broadway-Hollywood Building).  

 

Historical Notes

The original plans for the Pantages were for a 12-story building: 2 floors dedicated to theater and 10 floors of office space. Completion of the 10 upper floors was halted due to the 1929 stock market crash during construction.*^

 

 

 

 
(1930)* - Exterior view of the Pantages Theatre located at 6233 Hollywood Boulevard shortly after it opened.  

 

Historical Notes

The Pantages Theatre, formerly known as RKO Pantages Theatre was the last theater built by the vaudeville impresario Alexander Pantages. The palatial Art Deco theater opened on June 4, 1930, as part of the Pantages Theatre Circuit.*^

 

 

 

 
(1930)* - View of the foyer at the Pantages Theatre with a close look at the ceiling.  

 

Historical Notes

Alexander Pantages sold the Hollywood landmark in 1932 to Fox West Coast Theaters. In 1949, Howard Hughes acquired the Pantages for his RKO Theatre Circuit and moved his personal offices to the building's second floor.

From 1949 through 1959, the theatre hosted the American motion picture industry's annual Academy Award Ceremonies.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1930)* - Interior view of the Pantages Theatre. Designed by architect B. Marcus Priteca it is perhaps the most impressive of any Los Angeles theatre.  

 

Historical Notes

The grand lobby is a magnificent poly-chromatic fan-vaulted space, that is 110 feet wide and 60 feet deep. It is decorated in a zigzag geometric design in gold and henna shades. At each end is a 20 feet wide stairway, lined with vaguely Egyptian and Assyro-Babylonian styled statues, one of which depicts in an Art Deco style, a camera crew filming. The entire area was illuminated by three huge Moderne frosted glass chandeliers hanging from three star-shaped domes.^^#

 

 

 
(1930)* - View of the auditorium interior of the Pantages Theatre.  

 

Historical Notes

The auditorium was designed to seat 3,212, but it opened with extra legroom and wider seats to give more comfort for its 2,812 patrons.^^#

 

 

 
(1930)* - A partial view of the balcony seats inside the Pantages Theatre. Note the details of the ornamental Art Deco designs on the wall.  

 

Historical Notes

The crowning beauty of the dazzling Art Deco style decorations which cover almost every inch of the theatre interior, by interior designer/muralist Anthony B. Heinsbergen, is the double ceiling made in a series of ‘busy’ fretwork sunray effects which converge from the center, from which is hung a tremendous frosted glass and bronze chandelier.^^#

 

 

 
(1930)* - Close-up view of fans awaiting the arrival of celebrities attending gala opening premiere of "Florodora Girl", starring Marion Davies.  

 

Historical Notes

The Pantages Theatre was one of the first movie houses to be built after the advent of talking pictures and once boasted the most elaborate sound system in the world. It opened with Marion Davies in “The Floradora Girl” on screen, and “The Rose Garden Idea” a Franchon & Marco stage revue.^^#

 

 

 
(ca. 1930)^*# - Nighttime view of the front entrance to the Pantages Theater. Frank Fink's Apparel Shop is seen on the left.  

 

Historical Notes

The Pantages Theater continued to be a major venue for road show movies into the 1970s. From 1965, it was operated by Pacific Theatres. It closed as a movie theater in January, 1977, and re-opened the following month with Bubbling Brown Sugar, the first of the many stage productions that have since become its regular fare.*^

 

 

 
(1931)* - The lighted marquee at night of the Pantages Theatre. The main feature is 'Tarnished Lady' with Tallulah Bankhead and Clive Brook.  

 

Historical Notes

The 1930 Pantages Theatre can hold claim to two “lasts”: the last movie palace to be built in Hollywood and the last venue erected by vaudeville circuit owner, Alexander Pantages. Designed by B. Marcus Priteca at the epitome of the Art Deco era, from sidewalk to stage, the Pantages dazzles theater-goers with chevrons, zigzags, starbrusts, and exotic figures.^#^

 

 

 
(2014)^#^ – Pantages Theatre marquee reads "The Book of Mormon". Photo by Adrian Scott Fine  

 

Historical Notes

In 2000, the theater underwent a massive rehabilitation project, uncovering its Art Deco grandeur, receiving a Conservancy Preservation Award in 2001. 

Now operated by a subsidiary of The Nederlander Organization, the fully-restored Pantages is one of the city’s highest-grossing venues for live stage and Broadway-style productions, packing in audiences for such lavish hits as The Lion King, Wicked, and The Book of Mormon. With a location a few steps from “Hollywood and Vine,” a major hotel complex and a subway station directly across the street, and numerous development projects newly-announced or underway, the best years of the Pantages may well lie in the future.^#^

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 
(1929)* - View of the Hollywood Bowl as seen from behind the shell, facing the seating areas on the hillside.  

 

Historical Notes

The site of the Hollywood Bowl was chosen in 1919 by William Reed and his son H. Ellis Reed, members of the newly formed Theatre Arts Alliance who were dispatched to find a suitable location for outdoor performances.*^

 

 

 
(1929)* - Close-up view of the Hollywood Bowl and its shell of concentric arches. An orchestra is seen on stage in what appears to be a rehearsal.  

 

Historical Notes

The Hollywood Bowl is known for its band shell, a distinctive set of concentric arches that graced the site from 1929 through 2003, before being replaced with a somewhat larger one beginning in the 2004 season. The shell is set against the backdrop of the Hollywood Hills and the famous Hollywood Sign to the Northeast.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1940s)* - Evening view of the Hollywood Bowl hillside seating area, without the shell.
 

 

 

 

 
(1940)^^ - Panoramic view of the Hollywood Bowl at night, showing spectators.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1940)^*# - Postcard view of the "Muse of Music" Statue at the entrance to the Hollywood Bowl.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1939, the Hollywood Bowl’s “Muse of Music” entrance statue was erected by the WPA. It was designed by sculptor George Stanley, most noted for his design of the “Oscar” statuette.*

 

 

 
(1940)* - Night view of the statue and sign at the Hollywood Bowl entrance on July 10, 1940.  

 

 

Click HERE to see more Early Views of the Hollywood Bowl

 

 

 

Greek Theatre

 
(ca. 1930)* - Exterior view of the Greek Theatre located at 2700 N. Vermont Avenue, Hollywood. The outdoor seating slopes up the hill.  

 

Historical Notes

The Greek Theatre, located in Griffith Park, was built in 1929. It was designed by architect Frederick Heath to resemble a Greek temple.*^

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1930)* - Aerial view of the Greek Theatre. The bare Hollywood Hills can be seen in the background.  

 

Historical Notes

The Greek Theatre was paid for with a donation from Griffith J. Griffith, who also donated the land for the park, named in his honor.*^

 

 

 
(1930)* - Shown is the first map to picture the location of the new $250,000 Greek Theatre in Griffith Park, issued by the Department of Parks on the eve of the gala inaugural attraction of the municipal playhouse on September 25, 1930.  

 

Historical Notes

The Greek Theatre’s opening performance was a double bill comprised of the grand operas, "Cavalleria Rusticana" and "Pagliacci."

The map indicates principal highways and the route of the special bus service, which connects on transfers with the yellow "V" line and intersecting red cars and Sunset busses. Parking areas adjoining and near the theater with accommodations for 3,250 automobiles, also are shown, as well as location of playgrounds, pool, picnic grounds and other centers of diversion which are stressed by the park board as constituting the Greek Theatre sector of Griffith Park as an ideal week-end rendezvous.*

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1930)#^*^ – Postcard view showing a performance at the Greek Theatre in Griffith Park.  

 

Historical Notes

The amphitheatre had a limited concert season during its first two decades and during World War II it was used as a barracks. In 1947, however, the theatre was used for the Broadway show Anything Goes for two weeks. During the 1950s, under the management of James Doolittle, a concert promoter, the amphitheater underwent a series of renovations that allowed the theater to compete with rival 1950s’ theaters.*^

 

 

 

 

 
(1931)* - Caption reads: View of the Griffith Park Greek Theatre. Theatre located in Vermont Canyon is the newest addition to Los Angeles' attractions and a very gem of outdoor playhouse. A gift to the city from the late Col. Griffith J. Griffith, it is the only municipally owned Greek theatre in America. Costing $205,000 and designed to accomodate all types of stage offering, Los Angeles is looking forward eagerly to some novel and inspiring productions during the coming summer months.  

 

 

 

 
(2007)*^ – View of the Greek Theatre as it appears today.  

 

Historical Notes

Although it is owned by the City of Los Angeles, the Greek Theatre is managed, operated and promoted by the Nederlander Organization. The theatre currently has a seating capacity of 5,700.*^

 

 

* * * * *

 

 

Marshall High School

 
(1931)* – View showing John Marshall High School located at 3739 Tracy Street, shortly after it opened. Photo dated: February 19, 1931.  

 

Historical Notes

The school is named after jurist John Marshall, who served as the fourth Chief Justice of the United States for three decades. It was designed by architect George M. Lindsey in the Collegiate Gothic style, and constructed in 1930.

 

 

 
(1932)* - View looking northeast showing John Marshall High School two months after it opened.  Photo date:  March 27, 1931  

 

Historical Notes

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

 

 

 
(1932)#+# – Aerial view looking northeast showing the community of Franklin Hills with John Marshall High School at upper-center. The beautiful Shakespeare Bridge (built 1926) can be seen at left-center, on Franklin Avenue.   

 

Historical Notes

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

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

 

 

 
(ca. 1937)* - Two bike racks are completely full in front of a brick building at John Marshall High School.  

 

Historical Notes

The school's mascot is the "Barrister." The school's service organization is the Continentals. A bust of John Marshall stands in the center of the Senior Court.*^

 

 

 
(2015)##^^^ - Google Street View showing a close-up view of the front of Marshall High School.  

 

Historical Notes

Following the Sylmar earthquake of 1971, some of Marshall's buildings were condemned. The cafeteria was torn down, but the Los Feliz community organized a group called "Citizens to Save Marshall" and campaigned to save the unique Collegiate Gothic Main Building. In 1975, this building was closed for structural strengthening and all classes moved to temporary bungalows. In September 1980 the refurbished Main Building was opened.*^

 

 

Crescent Heights Market

 
(ca. 1930)^^#* – Panoramic view showing the south side of Sunset at Laurel.  The Crescent Heights Market is on the right, and further to the right (out of frame) is Schwab's Pharmacy.  

 

Historical Notes

The beautiful 1920s 'French Norman revival' building was located on the southeast corner of Sunset Blvd. and Crescent Heights Blvd., just east of the Garden of Allah apartments. The structure faced Sunset Blvd.

 

 

 

 
(1940s)#^* – Postcard view looking at the south side of Sunset east of Crescent Heights showing “Movieland’s Drug Store” (Schwab’s Pharmacy).  

 

Historical Notes

Today, the 8000 Sunset Strip Shopping Center stands at the northeast corner of Sunset and Crescent Heights. The center includes Trader Joe's, CB2 (Crate & Barrel), Sundance Cinema, Crunch Fitness and several offices.

 

 

 

Wilshire Ebell Club and Theatre

 
(1929)* - Exterior of the club house of the Ebell of Los Angeles, built in 1927 on the corner of Wilshire and Lucerne.  

 

Historical Notes

Established in 1897 as a substitute for the university education that women were largely denied, the Ebell club had 2,500 members in its heyday in the 1920s, and activities included Shakespeare, gardening and art appreciation.

The Ebell was named after Adrian Ebell, a German professor who traveled around California forming study groups for women. In the beginning of the 20th century, the Ebell was one of the largest and most elite clubs in the nation, rivaled only by the Friday Morning Club in downtown Los Angeles.^#^#

 

 

 
(n.d.)**^ - Interior view of the Ebell club house built in 1927.  

 

Historical Notes

The club’s home — not its original but by far the longest serving — is an enormous, meandering building designed by the architect Sumner Hunt. It has an elaborate coffered ceiling with gilded rosettes, a grand entrance on Wilshire Boulevard made from 200 separate pieces of wrought iron, and all sorts of fancy sitting rooms.

The stairs maintain their original risers, which were built to allow women to hold their dresses while climbing them with grace.^#^#

 

 

 
(n.d.)**^ - Neon sign perched on top the roof of the Wilshire Ebell Theater located at 4400 Wilshire Blvd.  

 

Historical Notes

Since 1927, the Wilshire Ebell Theater has hosted musical performances and lectures by world leaders and top artists. Among other events, the Ebell was the site of aviator Amelia Earhart's last public appearance before attempting the 1937 around-the-world flight during which she disappeared, and the place where Judy Garland was discovered while performing as Baby Frances Gumm in the 1930s.*^

In 1982, the Ebell of Los Angeles Building was designated LA Historic-Cultural Monument No. 250 (Click HERE to see complete listing).

 

 

Villa Madama

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

 

Historical Notes

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

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

 

 

 
(ca. 1930s)^^** - View of the Hancock Mansion ('Villa Madama') on the northeast corner of Wilshire and Vermont.  

 

Historical Notes

After the passing of Ida Hancock in 1913, her son Captain George Allan, with his first wife, Genevieve, moved into the mansion and stayed there until 1938, when it was decided that Villa Madama would be razed. Prior to the demolition, four rooms, the Reception Hall, the Dining Room, the Music Salon, and the Library, of the mansion were dismantled and relocated in the Allan Hancock Foundation Building (1941) on the campus of the University of Southern California.*

 

 

 
(1928)^^ – View of the Gilmore gas station on the northeast corner of Wilshire Boulevard and La Brea Avenue.  

 

Historical Notes

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

 

E. Clem Wilson Building

 
(1930)* - Photo of an architectural drawing of the E. Clem Wilson Building in July 1930, located at the northeast corner of La Brea and Wilshire.  

 

Historical Notes

Built in 1929, the E. Clem Wilson Building was designed by architects Meyer and Holler in Art Deco (Zigzag) Moderne style. It is also known as the Wilson Building.*

 

 

 
(ca. 1930)*^^ - View of the E. Clem Wilson Building located at 5225 Wilshire Boulevard on the northeast corner of Wilshire and La Brea. An Owl Drug store occupies the ground floor on the corner.  

 

Historical Notes

Elihu Clement Wilson was born on July 5, 1870 in Harrison, Darke County, Ohio to Andrew Porter Wilson, Jr., a farmer, and Arabella Josephine Wiley. He lived for a time, ca. 1880, in Parsons, Kansas, where his father was an insurance agent. By 1888, the family was in LA, where Andrew was a bookkeeper and miner. Elihu was also a bookkeeper, though briefly, in the early 1890s, was a professor at Woodbury Business College. After doing bookkeeping for an iron works, he became a manufacturer of oil well tools (Wilson & Willard Mfg. Co./Wilson Oil Tools Corp.), held several patents and became wealthy. In addition to erecting the Wilson Building, he built a lavish residence on Fremont Place.^**

The Wilson Building portrayed the Daily Planet building in the first Superman TV series.*^^

 

 

 
(ca. 1930)^*# – View showing the E. Clem Wilson building entrance, 5217 Wilshire Boulevard.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1951)* - Street level view of the E. Clem Wilson Building on the northeast corner of Wilshire at La Brea.  

 

 

 

 
(1954) - Looking east on Wilshire at the E. Clem Wilson building at La Brea and Wilshire.  Sign on building reads: General of America Insurance  

 

Historical Notes

Because of its height and prime location on the northeast corner of Wilshire and La Brea, the Art Deco Wilson Building has attracted prominent signage over the years.

 

 

 
(ca. 1975)* - Exterior view of the Wilson Building, looking east on Wilshire toward La Brea Ave. The sign on the building reads: "Mutual of Omaha"  

 

Historical Notes

Corporate names that adorned The Wilson Building included (in chronological order): General Insurance, Mutual of Omaha (until 1990), Asashi, and Samsung.

 

 

 
(ca. 2010)**#* - Contemporary view of the E. Clem Wilson building at Wilshire and La Brea with Samsung sign.  

 

* * * * *

 

 

Dominguez Building (aka Myer Siegel & Co.)

 
(1932)* - An overview of Wilshire Boulevard, looking west. Visible on the left side of the picture is a high rise building labeled Myer Siegel and Company (the Dominguez Building). Farther back on the street is the Wilshire Tower Building with the name Desmonds just visible on the top.  

 

Historical Notes

The Dominguez-Wilshire building (also called the Myer-Siegel Building) was designed in 1930 by architects Morgan Walls and Clemens.   The property was named after its developers, the Dominguez family, the heirs to the first land grant given in California by King Carlos III of Spain.*^

The same setup was used in the Wilshire Tower, two blocks west, with the symmetrical facade facing Wilshire Blvd, rounded corners on the intersections, and a parking lot with an entrance around the back. The 10 stories don't rise as high as the Wilshire Tower, but the building does make a statement among the other low rises along Wilshire Boulevard.*^*#

 

 

 
(1931)^*# - Exterior view of the Dominguez-Wilshire Building (also known as the Myer Siegel Building), located at 5410 Wilshire Boulevard in the Miracle Mile district. The Wilshire Tower Building can be seen in the background.  

 

Historical Notes

The building was built in 1930 just before Black Monday hit, and the Miracle Mile came crashing down as Angelinos fled from the city. Stores closed and the streets were again barren. In 1934, rebuilding efforts resurrected the Mile, and brought moneymen back to the city.*^*#

 

 

 
(1931)^*# - Rear view of the Dominguez-Wilshire Building (Myer Siegel Building) with a partial view of the parking lot and the rear entrance.  

 

Historical Notes

The building consists of an eight-story Art Deco tower placed on a two-story base.

 

 

 
(1931)^*# - View of the entrance to the Dominguez-Wilshire Building (Myer Siegel Building) showing some of the Art Deco details. The Van's Wilshire store is on the left.  

 

Historical Notes

Today, the Art Deco elements are still visible; especially the entrance has remained perfectly intact. Even the bronze chandelier and the bronze entrance door with many cross-decorations are still present.*^*#

 

 

 
(ca. 1937)* - Looking west down Wilshire Boulevard from La Brea Avenue in the Miracle Mile at night. The two largest signs in view are: MYER SIEGEL and McDONNELL'S WILSHIRE CAFE  

 

Historical Notes

Not to be confused with today’s McDonald’s fast food restaurants, McDonnell’s Restaurant and Drive-in sandwich stands were part of a chain of restaurants found in LA during the 1930s.

The McDonnell's restaurants throughout Los Angeles were: McDonnell's Monterey (7312 Robertson Boulevard); McDonnell's Wilshire (Wilshire Boulevard and La Brea Avenue); McDonnell's Fairfax (Fairfax Avenue and Wilshire Boulevard); McDonnell's Gates Hotel (Sixth and Figueroa streets); McDonnell's Hill Street (454 S. Hill Street); McDonnell's Figueroa (4012 S. Figueroa Street); McDonnell's Adams and Figueroa (2626 S. Figueroa Street); and McDonnell's Pico Street (Pico and Hope streets).

McDonnell's "Drive-Ins" were located at Beverly Boulevard & Western Avenue, Wilshire and Robertson Boulevards, Yucca Street and Cahuenga Boulevard, Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue, and Sunset Boulevard and La Brea Avenue.*

 

 

 

 
(1940)#^*^ – Postcard view showing the Myer Siegel Building standing tall on Wilshire Boulevard, looking west. Photo by Dick Whittington  

 

 

 

 

Eastern Columbia Building

 
(ca. 1930)^^ - Night view of the Eastern Columbia Building, located downtown at 849 S. Broadway.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1929, architect Claude Beelman designed the Eastern-Columbia Building (aka the Eastern Building, Columbia-Eastern Building, or Eastern Outfitting Retail Store Building) in the Art Deco Moderne stepped-back style and is clad in green and gold terra-cotta.*

 

 

 
(ca. 1930)* - Eastern Columbia Building, located downtown at 849 S. Broadway, is a reminder of the extravagant style used in architecture during this period of Los Angeles history. Clad in green and gold terra-cotta sheathing, it was built in 1929-1930.  

 

Historical Notes

The Eastern Columbia Building opened on September 12, 1930, after just nine months of construction. It was built as the new headquarters of the Eastern Outfitting Company and the Columbia Outfitting Company, furniture and clothing stores. With the construction of this lavish structure, the companies could also boast one of the largest buildings constructed in the 1930s.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1930)^*# - Detailed close-up view of the top floors of the Eastern Columbia Building.  

 

Historical Notes

The Eastern Columbia building was built of steel-reinforced concrete and clad in glossy turquoise terra cotta trimmed with deep blue and gold trim. The building's vertical emphasis is accentuated by deeply recessed bands of paired windows and spandrels with copper panels separated by vertical columns. The façade is decorated with a wealth of motifs—sunburst patterns, geometric shapes, zigzags, chevrons and stylized animal and plant forms. The building is capped with a four-sided clock tower emblazoned with the name "Eastern" in neon and crowned with a central smokestack surrounded by four stylized flying buttresses.*^

 

 

 
(1950)* - Actress Monica Lewis stands on a ladder underneath the tower clock on the Eastern Building, a thirteen-story Art Deco building designed by architect Claude Beelman at 849 S. Broadway. Photo caption reads: "A reminder that standard time returns at 2 a.m. tomorrow. Actress Monica Lewis gets set to turn back clock an hour atop downtown building".  

 

Historical Notes

In 1985, the Eastern Columbia Building was designated Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 294 (Click HERE to see complete listing).

 

 

Bankers Building

 
(ca. 1930)^^ - View of the Moderne style Bankers Building located at 629 S. Hill Street.  

 

Historical Notes

The Claude Beelman designed Bankers Building (now the International Center) was built between 1929-1930.  The Art Deco/Streamlined Moderne style leans slightly toward the verticality of Gothic.  The Moderne marquee has been removed, but the entrance and elevator lobby still retains its Moderne elegance.  The building is now used by jewelers.*#^#

 

 

 
(late 1930s)**^ - Close-up view of the Art Deco/Streamline Moderne style Bankers Building showing details of the facade.  

 

 

 

 
(2008)#^#* – View of the Bankers Building, located at 629 So Hill Street, now occupied by the Los Angeles Jewelry Center.  

 

 

 

 
(2008)#^#* - Detailed view of the Bankers Building façade, showing the Art Deco/Streamline Moderne design.  

 

 

 

Title Guarantee Building

 
(1931)^*# - View looking at the northwest corner of Fifth and Hill streets showing the Title Guarantee Building under construction.  

 

Historical Notes

Built in 1930-1931, on the site of the California Club, the Title Guarantee Building was designed by The Parkinsons who also designed many Los Angeles landmarks, including Los Angeles City Hall and Bullock's Wilshire.*^

 

 

 
(1931)^^ - View showing the recently completed Art Deco Title Guarantee Building. The building has Zig Zag Moderne features and is topped with a prominent Gothic-style tower. The National Bank of Commerce can be seen in the background.  

 

Historical Notes

For the detailing, architects John and Donald Parkinson followed the lead provided by the much-publicized 1926 Chicago Tribune Tower. In addition to such Gothic touches as shields and gargoyle-like drain spouts, the building is crowned with a Gothic tower complete with stylized flying buttresses.

The steel-framed building is clad in glazed terra cotta and rises from a granite base. Piers surround the recessed windows, accentuating the verticality of the structure and extending above the roofline to create a parapet effect.^#^

 

 

 
(1943)* - View showing the northwest corner of 5th and Hill street where the Title Guarantee Building stands tall. Pershing Square is directly across the street at lower-left.  

 

Historical Notes

The Title Guarantee building's interior elevator lobby is decorated with six murals by Hugo Ballin celebrating various phases of Southern California history. Saber-toothed cats are shown at the La Brea Tar Pits, and one panel illustrates the 1876 arrival of the railroad. The ‘modern’ panel depicts the elements that led to Los Angeles’ rise to power: the Owens Valley aqueduct, derricks, machinery, and a modern building – the Title Guarantee & Trust.^#^

 

 

 
(ca. 1930s)^^ - View looking northeast from Pershing Square showing the Title Guarantee Building on the northwest corner of 5th and Hill streets.  

 

 

 

 
(1932)^*# - View of the top floors and Gothic-style tower of the Title Guarantee Building as seen from Pershing Square.  

 

Historical Notes

Everything above the twelfth floor is unoccupied space, a design feature that allowed the building to extend beyond the 150-foot height limit in effect at the time of construction.^#^

 

 

 

 
(1932)^*# - View showing the upper floors of the Title Guarantee Building. The building is topped with a prominent Gothic-style tower.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 2010)+## - The twelve-story Art Deco Moderne Title Guarantee Building. The building was completed in 1931 and features Zig Zag Moderne features.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1984, the Title Guarantee & Trust Company Building was declared Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 278 (Click HERE for complete listing). The building is also listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

The building is now loft-style apartments and is known as the Title Guarantee Building Lofts.^#^

 

 

 
(2015)^+^ – Close-up view of top of the Title Guarantee Building showing the details of its Art Deco, Gothic-style tower.  

 

Historical Notes

Location shots of the building were featured in the CBS television drama series Lou Grant (1977–82), in which it was purported to house the Los Angeles Tribune, the fictional newspaper around which the series was based.

Vampire P.I., Mick St John purportedly lived and maintained his office on the top floor of the building in CBS' Vampire P.I. Drama, Moonlight (2007-2008).*^

 

 

 

Equitable Building (Hollywood)

 
(1930)* - View looking at the newly constructed Equitable Building located at 6253 Hollywood Boulevard at Vine Street, Hollywood. Note the architectural designs on the building.  

 

Historical Notes

Located on the northeast corner of Hollywood and Vine, the 12-story Equitable Building was built in 1929.  The Gothic Deco commercial tower was designed by Aleck Curlett.*^

When the Equitable Building was planned in 1927, it would be required to conform to a certain height limit of 150 feet on the NE corner which was for many years the site of a house and later a used auto lot. In 1926 a one-story bank building was built on the site and served the intersection there until the property was cleared for construction in 1929. +**

 

 

 
(ca. 1930)* - View looking south on Vine Street showing the Equitable Building on the northeast corner of Hollywood and Vine with its large marquee hanging on the edge of the building. At left can be seen the sign of Pantages Theatre (also built in 1930) which stands just east of the Equitable Building and fronts Hollywood Boulevard. The 12-story Taft Building is across the street on the southeast corner.  

 

Historical Notes

The Equitable Building of Hollywood was the second high-rise office building built at the intersection of Hollywood and Vine and would be a symbol of the new money that was being invested in Hollywood. The Taft Building across the street was the first (built in 1927).

The planning and financing of the building was the work of Sam Kress of the drug store chain and he wanted to include a brokerage office that would connect Hollywood directly to Wall Street. The architectural plan designed by architect Aleck Curlett, would include a bank on the ground floor and its design would include gargoyle details and a copper roof. +**  

 

 

 
(1930)* - View looking west on Hollywood Boulevard showing the Equitable Building and its surrounding area. Pantages Theatre is seen east of the building.  

 

Historical Notes

The Equitable Building was completed at the end of 1930 and in November the powerful agent, Myron Selznick (brother of David O. Selznick) moved his agency into the building bringing with him such clients as Vivien Leigh, Laurence Olivier, Gary Cooper, Henry Fonda, Boris Karloff, Carole Lombard, and others. +**

 

 

 
(ca. 1937)^*# - View looking at the northeast corner of Hollywood and Vine showing the 12-story Equitable Building.  

 

Historical Notes

By 1939 with the success of radio in Hollywood, many advertising agencies leased space in the building. The giant Williams Esty and Company were responsible for the Camel cigarette ads and the sponsorship of the radio version of Blondie with Penny Singleton and Arthur Lake on CBS. +**

 

 

 
(1930s)* - Views looking west on Hollywood Boulevard showing the Equitable Building located on the northeast corner of Hollywood and Vine. The Pantages Theatre is just east of the "high rise" and the Taft Building stands across the street on the southeast corner.  

 

Historical Notes

By 1942, Young and Rubicam Company moved into the building and did the advertising for the U.S. War Department on the radio. In 1945 Rudy Vallee had offices in the building along with the advertising agency, Benton and Bowles who sponsored the popular Glamour and Manor Show. By 1949 Belasco’s Restaurant opened at 1710 N. Vine Street on the ground floor of the building and remained there into the late 1980s until Collectors Bookshop took over the space. +**

 

 

 
(ca. 1955)* - Rooftop view looking down at the intersection of Hollywood and Vine.  The Equitable Building stands on the northwest corner.  Part of the Taft Building can also be seen on the southeast corner. Looking north on Vine Street the "Holywoodland" sign can barely be seen through the haze on the hills beyond the city.  

 

 

 

 
(1954)^^ – Ground view lookng northeast showing the Equitable Building. Large sign on the ground floor face reads: Bernard Luggage Co. The Melody Lane Cafe can be seen across the street on the northwest corner.  

 

Historical Notes

By 1951 the ground floor of the California Bank was taken over by Bernard Luggage Company and four years later by American Airlines. +**

 

 

 
(n.d)* - View showing a doorman standing by the front entrant to the Equitable Building. Two plaques can be seen on either side of the entrance. Plaque on left reads, "A.O. Slaughter, Anderson & Fox, Members, New York Stock Exhange." Plaque on right reads, "Equitable Building of Hollywood, 6253 Hollywood Boulevard."  

 

 

 

 
(1990)* - Exterior view of the art deco style Equitable Building, looking northeast. This iconic Hollywood structure is located on the northeast corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street.  

 

Historical Notes

Throughout the 1950s-1970s the Equitable Building went through many changes and tenants. With the coming of 2000 Tom Gilmour purchased the building and began a restoration program of two years. In 2002 The Hollywood and Vine Diner opened early in the year with a motif of vintage Hollywood. The interior was designed like the old Hollywood restaurants of yesteryear with wood paneled rooms and booths reminiscent of Musso and Frank and Henry’s. +**

 

 

 
(2014)*^ - View of the Gothic Deco Equitable Building as it appears today. The Pantages Theatre can be seen just east of the building on Hollywood Boulevard.  

 

Historical Notes

Today, the mixed-use building is also known as The Lofts at Hollywood and Vine. The building underwent a $50 Million condo conversion in 2007 and is now 60 residential units.

 

 

Val D'Amour Apartment Building

 
(ca. 1930s)* - View of the Art Deco Val D'Amour Apartment Building located at 854 S. Oxford Avenue.  

 

Historical Notes

The six-story apartment building, designed by C.W. Powers, was built in 1928.*

In 2007, the Val D'Amour Apartment Building was dedicated as Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 875 (Click HERE for complete listing).

 

 

 
(2012)***# - View of the ornate Art Deco fornt entrance to the Val D'Amour Apartments as it appears today.  

 

Historical Notes

This example of the Zigzag (Art Deco) Moderne, exhibits a wide array of characteristic cast ornament. At each side of the entrance two kneeling male figures (in relief) hold the heavy and elaborate ornament entablature on their shoulders and back. Other cast concrete decorative works occur in the recessed spandrels and upon the principal parapet. The vertical row of open fire escape balconies provide additional areas of sculpture and the major vertical piers terminate above the roof in stylized male figures.^*#*

 

 

 
(1930s)^^ -   Aerial view looking north over Lafayette Park at Sixth Street and Hoover towards Silver Lake, Echo Park, and Westlake. In the foreground at center-left can be seen the First Congregational Church, and just behind it, at the v-shaped corner of Occidental Blvd. and Hoover Street, is the Precious Blood Catholic Church.  

 

 

 

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

 

Historical Notes

The church building stands on a v-shaped corner of Occidental Blvd. and Hoover St.  This one of the archdiocese's architectural gems, showing a beautiful rose window above the main entrance. It was dedicated in November 1926.*^

 

 

 
(2008)*^ - View of the Precious Blood Catholic Church located at 435 S. Occidental Blvd.  

 

Historical Notes

The Italian Romanesque structure has three rose windows that offer a dim and religious life. Twelve large stained glass windows, six yellow windows and the Stations of the Cross Mosaics are over the nave.*^

 

 

 
(2009)*^ - Close-up detailed view of the entrance to the Precious Blood Church.  

 

 

 

Kerchoff Hall (UCLA)

 
(ca. 1930)^^ -  View of Kerckhoff Hall (Student Union Building) on the southeast side of the University of California Los Angeles campus, The multi-faceted brick building is three stories tall at its zenith. Towards the back of the building, a small tower is visible, while the lower levels of the building are adorned with tall, bay windows.  

 

Historical Notes

Completed in 1931, the hall is named for William G. Kerckhoff, a successful lumber and energy magnate, who died prior to the building's completion. Mr Kerckhoff's widow spent $815,000 to build and completely furnish Kerckhoff Hall.*

The Kerckhoffs visited the Westwood campus under construction in early 1929 and were told by the provost of the need for a student union. On his deathbed a month later, Kerckhoff told his wife that he wanted to build such a building.^***^

 

 

 
(1937)* - View of Kerckhoff Hall (formerly Commissary Hall), as seen from the rotunda at the west end of the quadrangle, where two women are seen talking.  

 

Historical Notes

Today, Kerckhoff Hall is one of the main student union buildings of UCLA. Among its offerings are: study lounges, an art gallery, a coffeehouse, meeting rooms, a salon and the student government offices.^***^

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of UCLA

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1930)* - Exterior view of Van de Kamp's Bakery headquarters at 2939 Fletcher Drive.  

 

Historical Notes

The Van de Kamp's Bakery headquarters, designed to resemble a 16th -century Dutch farmhouse, located at 2930 Fletcher Drive in Glassell Park, served as the headquarters for the chain of bakeries and coffee shops whose trademark "windmill" buildings and neon signs prevailed throughout mid-20th century Los Angeles. The building was designed by New York architect J. Edward Hopkins in 1930 in the Dutch Renaissance Revival style, reflecting the company's Dutch corporate image.*^

 

 

 

 

 
(1954)^^ -  Aerial view over Van de Kamps Bakery north west of the Glendale (CA-2) Freeway at San Fernando Road. Photo by "Dick" Whittington  

 

Historical Notes

The Van de Kamp's Bakery building remains the only example of an industrial plant in the Dutch Renaissance Revival style. The bakery closed in October 1990 after Van de Kamp‘s filed for Chapter 11. The building was declared city of Los Angeles Historic Cultural Monument No. 569 in 1992. Click HERE to see the Los Angeles Historic Cultural Monuments Listing.

This building underwent a $72-million renovation by the Los Angeles Community College District with the intent of being a Los Angeles City College satellite campus. The site is instead leased to charter school and job-training groups.*^

 

 

 
(1931)* - This Van de Kamp's Bakery's building, designed to resemble a 16th-century Dutch farmhouse.  

 

Historical Notes

Theodore J. Van de Kamp and brother-in-law Lawrence L. Frank were the owners and originators of the Van de Kamp Bakeries. Fondly known as the "Taj Mahal of all bakeries". Van de Kamp and Frank also founded both the Tam O'Shanter's (1922) and Lawry's The Prime Rib (1938) restaurants.*^

J. Edward Hopkins designed Van de Kamp’s headquarters in Glassel Park.  Harold Griffith “Harry” Oliver, a set designer by profession, designed the windmill stores.  Oliver also designed the Spadena Home/“Witch’s House” (1921) in Beverly Hills and the altered Montgomery’s Country Inn/Tam O’Shanter Inn of Los Feliz (1922).  The stores were portables!, designed to be moved from location to location if business just wasn't there.

Click HERE to see Van de Kamp's 1st Windmill Bakery Shop.

 

 

 
(1937)* - A Foster and Kleiser billboard advertising doughnuts sold at Van de Kamp's Bakeries. Photo by Herman J. Schultheis  

 

Historical Notes

The bakery was sold by the Van de Kamp family and acquired by General Baking Co. in 1956. The company was sold to private investors in 1979, and closed in bankruptcy in 1990. The Van de Kamp's brand is now owned by Ralphs supermarket chain and used for their line of private-label baked goods.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1924)* - View of the Airplane Café, a restaurant in the shape of a plane, complete with wings and a propeller. The structure has wheels, but rests on raised slabs of wood. The sign on roof reads: REAL CHILI - GOOD COFFEE - SPECIAL PREPARED HAMBURGER.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1924)* - Front end view of the Airplane Cafe (address unknown). The sign in the window reads: “Girl Wanted”.  

 

 

 

 
(1929)* - "The Dugout" sandwich stand, which is surrounded by sandbags and has a plane crashed into its roof, located at 6157 E. Whittier Blvd. A sign outside reads: "The famous Dugout French dip sandwiches".  

 

 

 

 
(1920s)* - Close-up view of "The Dugout" showing a man in a soldier's uniform waving from behind sandbags in front of the restaurant.  

 

 

 

 
(1931)* - View of Zep Diner, located at 515 W. Florence Ave, near Figueroa St. A sign hanging from the stairs advertises lunch for .40 cents. The Zep was open “all night” and was the “Home of the Hinden Burger”. The location is now a McDonald’s parking lot.  

 

 

 

 
(1931)#^^ - View of two women standing on the stairway leading to the entrance of Zen Diner. There is a Gilmore Service Station next door.  

 

 

 

 
(1930)* - View looking northwest toward Pershing Square at the corner of 6th and Hill streets. The Biltmore Hotel can be seen in the background. On the left sits the impressive Pacific Mutual Building on the northwest corner of 6th and Olive.  

 

 

 

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

 

Historical Notes

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

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

 

 

 
(ca. 1935)* - View of the Pacific Mutual Building looking west on 6th Street from Olive. In the lower right can be seen Pershing Square. The clock on top bears the words, "Time to Insure."  

 

Historical Notes

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

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

 

* * * * *

 

Boos Bros. Cafeteria (Hill Street)

 
(1930)* - View looking north on Hill Street between 5th and 6th streets showing the Boos Bros. Cafeteria (lower-center), located across the street from Pershing Square (left).  

 

Historical Notes

In 1906, Horace Boos and three siblings opened one of Los Angeles' first cafeterias. Their idea of a fast food, self-service restaurant consisted of unheard-of impositions for that time: patrons would wait on themselves and return their trays and dishes to the kitchen. The brothers' downtown cafeteria was the first link, in a chain of seven that ultimately stretched from Los Angeles to San Francisco. They opened four more in the downtown area one in Santa Catalina Island, and two in San Francisco.

By the 1920s, the chain of cafeterias had become widely known. When Horace Boos died in 1926, the surviving brothers sold the seven cafeterias for a record $7 million to the Childs Corp. In turn, Childs sold two of the cafeterias to Clifford E. Clinton, who launched the Clifton's Cafeteria Chain. Eventually, Henry Boos bought back two, one on Hill Street (seen above) and the other in Avalon on Catalina Island.*

 

 

 
(1932)#*## – View showing the front of the Boos Bros. Cafeteria located on the 500 block of S. Hill Street. Note the banners hanging on the front of building.  They were for the 1932 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the X Olympiad, held in Los Angeles.  

 

Historical Notes

The Boos Brothers offered inexpensive fare of a "40-cent dinner", but would call it quits in the late 1940s, before cafeterias began losing popularity due to the arrival of luncheonettes, soda fountains, and fast-food restaurants.*

 

* * * * *

 

California State Building

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

 

 

 

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

 

Historical Notes

The California State Office Building was designed by the John C. Ausin & Frederic M. Ashley.^^

 

 

 
(1932)^*# - Thousands attend the opening ceremonies of the State Building in downtown Los Angeles. The Hall of Records Building is seen on the right.  

 

Historical Notes

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

 

 

 
(ca. 1935)* - View looking southwest showing the old State Building with City Hall’s shadow cast upon it. Bunker Hill can be seen in the background.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1935)^*# - Close-up view showing design details on the face of the State Building in Downtown Los Angeles.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1940)^^ - View looking toward the northwest corner of First and Spring streets showing the California State Building.  Further north on Spring can be seen the Hall of Records and the Hall of Justice.  Photo by Dick Whittington.  

 

 

 

 
(1951)**^ - View of the State Building and LA Times building as seen from City Hall on a smoggy day.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1960)^^ - Exterior view of the California State Building on the northwest corner of First and Spring. Built in 1931 and demolished in 1976.  

 

Historical Notes

The State Building was damaged in the 1971 San Fernando earthquake, and in May of 1973 the state authorized an "orderly evacuation" after testing found the building unsafe. The empty building was torn down in early 1976.*#

 

 

Pellissier Building and Warner Brothers Western Theatre (now Wiltern Theatre)

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

 

Historical Notes

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

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

 

 

 
(ca. 1931)* - The front entrance to the Wiltern Theater, showing exterior detail under the marquee. The theater and office tower building were built in Art Deco (Zigzag) Moderne style.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1930s)* - Interior view of the Wiltern Theater, with detail of seating and stage. When the Wiltern Theatre first opened it also housed the largest theater pipe organ in the western United States.  

 

 

 

 
(1931)* - Interior view of the Warner Bros. Western Theater, proscenium, auditorium, and balcony. G. A. Lansburgh designed the theater.  

 

 

 

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

 

Historical Notes

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

 

 

 
(ca. 1930s)* - View of Wilshire Boulevard, looking east toward Western Avenue with the Warner Bros. Western Theater, later renamed the Wiltern, on the right side. In the background is the domed Wilshire Boulevard Temple (formerly the B'nai B'rith Temple), at 3663 Wilshire Blvd and Hobart. The Art Deco and Spanish Colonial Revival style buildings visible on the left hold various shops and offices.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1928)* - Scaffolding surrounds the Wilshire Boulevard Temple, located at 3663 Wilshire Boulevard, during its construction.  

 

Historical Notes

Wilshire Boulevard Temple, known from 1862 to 1933 as Congregation B'nai B'rith, is the oldest Jewish congregation in Los Angeles. The building, located on Wilshire Boulevard in the Wilshire Center district, was completed in 1929 and was designed by architect Abram M. Edelman (son of the congregation's first rabbi, Abraham Edelman).*^

B'nai B'rith Congregation's previous Temple (their 2nd) was located at 9th and Hope in downtown Los Angeles. Click HERE to see more of B'nai Brith's 2nd Temple.

 

 

 
(1932)* - Exterior view of the Wilshire Boulevard Temple, located at 3663 Wilshire Boulevard.  

 

Historical Notes

The Wilshire Boulevard Temple’s immense Byzantine revival dome has been a Los Angeles landmark since 1929. It stands at 100 feet in diameter with its top 135 feet from the street, and was the grand vision of the building architect, A.M. Edelman (son of the congregation's first Rabbi, Abraham Edelman). Its base is flanked by 28 buttresses, or small towers, rising from the ring girder for support.*^

 

 

 
(1932)* - Another view of the Wilshire Boulevard Temple. This is the seat of one of the most highly respected Reform congregations, founded in 1862 as Congregation B'nai B'rith.  

 

Historical Notes

The new temple was the dream of Rabbi Edgar Magnin who, over a career of seven decades, forged a Jewish identity for Los Angeles that joined pioneers and Hollywood moguls. Magnin came to B'nai B'rith as assistant rabbi in 1915 and from that time on he championed a new synagogue building. The involvement of the Hollywood moviemakers after World War I and Magnin's promotion to senior rabbi in 1919 allowed the building to go forward. Mostly displaced New Yorkers with marginal religious interest, the Hollywood producers were attracted to Magnin's image of a popular modern Judaism. Rabbi Magnin also foresaw the movement of the city, and especially its Jewish population, westward. In this, the Wilshire Boulevard Temple was both typical and prescient in anticipating the increased suburbanization of American Jewish life. Because the new synagogue was beyond the "car line," it presaged L.A.'s near-total dependence on the automobile, an urban-suburban transformation that would affect most Jewish communities only after World War II.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1930s)^*# - Close-up view of the front entrance to the Wilshire Boulevard Temple. Note the detail design in the archways.  

 

Historical Notes

Wilshire Boulevard Temple is one of the largest Jewish congregations in Los Angeles, and has been led by several influential rabbis, especially Edgar Magnin, who served for 69 years from 1915 to 1984. A second campus, on the Westside, opened in 1998.*^

 

 

 
(2007)*^ - View of the front entrance to the beautiful Wilshire Boulevard Temple.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1973, the Wilshire Boulevard Temple was dedicated LA Historic-Cultural Monument No. 116 (Click HERE to see complete listing.

The Wilshire Temple began extensive renovations of the historic facility in 2008, and the remodeled sanctuary reopened in 2013.*^

 

 

 
(1929)* - Exterior view of Wilshire Professional Building the year it was built, located at 3875 Wilshire Boulevard.  

 

Historical Notes

The Wilshire Professional Building was built in 1929 in an Art Deco or zig-zag moderne style and was designed by architect Arthur E. Harvey.*

 

 

 
(ca. 1933)* - Exterior view of the art deco style Wilshire Professional Building, located at 3875 Wilshire Boulevard.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1932)* - View of the Wilshire Professional Building, looking east on Wilshire Boulevard. On the left is a partial view of the St. James Episcopal Church. In the background can be seen both the Wilshire Boulevard Temple and the Pellissier Building.  

 

* * * * *

 

St. James' Episcopal Church

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

 

Historical Notes

Noted Bay-area architect Benjamin McDougall designed St. James' in the Gothic Revival style popular for ecclesiastic architecture in the 1920s. He used reinforced concrete (as was used for other Wilshire Center churches) but coated it with a thin veneer of stucco to conceal the lines of the formwork used in construction. The building was completed in 1925.

The redwood ceiling beams and trusses are said to resemble the inside of a ship's hull, and the floor is paved with tiles bearing the same motif of an ancient cross as those at Immanuel Presbyterian Church a few blocks east.

The building features large amounts of richly colored stained glass, designed and installed by the renowned Judson Studios over many years. The church also houses the rebuilt 1911 Murray H. Harris organ from St. Paul's Cathedral in downtown Los Angeles, built in 1889 and demolished in 1922 to make way for the Biltmore Hotel.^#^

 

 

 
(ca. 2010)^#^ – View showing the St. James’ Episcopal Church located at 3903 Wilshire Boulevard. Note how tall the palm trees are after 75 years. Photo by Hunter Kerhart  

 

Historical Notes

In 1962, at the height of his career, Nat King Cole was invited to sing a solo at the church's Easter service. The backlash from congregants was immediate and included the resignation of the reverend who had invited him, Robert Terwilliger.

Just a few years later in 1965, Cole's  funeral took place at the church, attended by notable figures including Duke Ellington, Frank Sinatra, and Robert F. Kennedy.^#^

 

* * * * *

 

Brown Derby (Wilshire - 1st location)

 
(ca. 1926)*++ - View showing the Original Brown Derby located on the north side of Wilshire Boulevard between Mariposa and Alexandria avenues.  

 

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.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1926)**^ – View looking southeast showing the Brown Derby from the rear with the Ambassador Hotel in the background, across Wilshire Boulevard.  

 

Historical Notes

The Original Brown Derby was built in 1926 on the site that later became the Chapman Park Hotel.

 

 

 
(ca. 1926)**^ - Closer view showing the front of the Original Brown Derby Restaurant located at 3427 Wilshire Boulevard.  

 

Historical Notes

The Brown Derby had to vacate its location on Wilshire between Alexandria and Mariposa when the land was requisitioned for the women’s village for the 1932 L.A. Olympic Games. So it was temporarily moved in 1931 five blocks west into the Bilicke Building located at 3927 Wilshire Blvd.

 

 

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

 

Historical Notes

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

Click HERE to see more Early LA Streetlights.

 

 

Wilshire Brown Derby (Interim Location)

 
(1931)* - Looking east on Wilshire Blvd. with the Brown Derby Restaurant at 3927 Wilshire Blvd. (prior to the 2nd derby-shaped building). The St. James Church, and the Wilshire Professional Building are in the background.  

 

Historical Notes

This would be the Brown Derby's interim home, as a tenant in the Bilicke Building. It would remain at this location until 1937 when a new Brown Derby (resembling the original derby-shaped building) would be built on the northeast corner of Wilshire and Alexandria.

The Bilicke Building replaced the Harry Harrington house in 1929. Its design by Morgan, Walls & Clements followed the trend of commercializing Wilshire Boulevard, but differed from its predecessors in that each tenant's storefront was customized.

 

 

 
(1931)* - View looking at the northeast corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Gramercy Avenue showing the Bilicke Building. The Brown Derby Restaurant is seen at right.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1937, The Brown Derby would move out of the Bilicke Building to a newly constructed derby-shaped building at 3377 Wilshire Boulevard. The new location was at the northeast corner of Wilshire and Alexandria which, incidentally, was about a block east of the Derby's original home. 

After its departure, Perino's adapted and widened the Brown Derby's vacated space.

 

 

Wilshire Brown Derby (2nd Derby-Shaped Building Location)

 
(1937)+^^ – View showing the construction of the Brown Derby Restaurant, located at 3377 Wilshire Boulevard, northeast corner of Wilshire and Alexandria, about a block east of its original location.  

 

 

 

 
(1939)* - Exterior of the Brown Derby Restaurant and its patio area located at 3377 Wilshire Boulevard. A woman stands on the corner of Wilshire and Alexandria, at left; and a man with crutches stands at the entrance of the restaurant.  

 

Historical Notes

The derby-shaped building as seen above remains the most famous due to its distinctive shape. Whimsical architecture (or Programmatic Architecture) was popular at the time, and the restaurant was designed to catch the eye of passing motorists. It is often incorrectly thought that the Brown Derby was a single restaurant, and the Wilshire Boulevard and Hollywood branches are frequently confused.*^

 

 
(1938)^^#* - View of a man standing next to a Ford coupe parked in front of the Brown Derby Restaurant. There is an awning over the entrance to the restaurant and a large neon sign in the shape of a derby hat mounted on top of the restaurant with the words "Eat in the Hat".  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1940)* - Cars travel east down Wilshire Boulevard, where it crosses S. Alexandria Avenue (left), right outside the Brown Derby Restaurant. An original "Wilshire Lantern" street light is seen on the corner (Click HERE to see more in Early Los Angeles Street Lights).  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1938)^#** - Wilshire Boulevard, looking west near Alexandria, most likely taken from the Gaylord Apartments. The Brown Derby Restaurant can be seen in its new location.  

 

Historical Notes

The Brown Derby chain also included restaurants in Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and the Los Feliz area. The Los Feliz Brown Derby at 4500 Los Feliz Blvd is the last remaining branch of the chain still extant and in operation*^

 

 

 

 
(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.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1954)^++_ - View showing a large group of men in business suits crossing Wilshire Buolevard in front of the Brown Derby.  

 

 

 

 
(1956)*^ - View showing the front entrance to “The Original Brown Derby Restaurant” on Wilshire Boulevard.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1958)#*## – View looking northwest showing the Brown Derby on the N/E corner of Wilshire and Alexandria with the Chapman Park Hotel in the background.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1967)*^ - View showing the"Original" Brown Derby Restaurant on the northeast corner of Wilshire and Mariposa. Photo by Chalmers Butterfield  

 

Historical Notes

After being sold in 1975 and renovated, the Brown Derby Restaurant on Wilshre Boulevard was finally replaced in 1980 by a shopping center known as the Brown Derby Plaza. The domed structure was incorporated into the third floor of the building and accommodates a cafe. A Korean mini-mall occupies the site today.*^

 

 

 

 
(2007)*^ - View showing the Wilshire Brown Derby as it appears today.  

 

* * * * *

 

 

Willard's - Pico

 
(1920s)* - Postcard view showing Willard's Restaurant featuring 'Far-Famed Chicken & Steak Dinners". A group of people stand by the front entrance and the parking lot appears full.  

 

Historical Notes

The postcard reads at bottom: "No, we are not giving something away-it's only the response to the call of Willard's dinner bell." The address is listed at 9625 Pico Blvd., in Los Angeles, and the phone number is OXford 2296. The postcard also asks "Have you tried the New Willard's, corner Los Feliz and Hillhurst?" The flip side reads "Private Mailing Card," and asks patrons to rate their Willard's dinner.

 

Willard's - Los Feliz (later Brown Derby)

 
(1929)^^ - Composite panoramic view showing a crowd of people in front of Willard's Chicken Inn Restaurant, located on the soutwest corner of Hillhurst Avenue and Los Feliz Boulevard.  

 

Historical Notes

Willard's Chicken Restaurant opened in 1929 on the corner of Hillhurst and Los Feliz. In 1940, the property and building was purchased by legendary director Cecil B. DeMille who brought in the Brown Derby fine dining and 24-hour car service in keeping with the drive-in restaurant fad of the era.

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1929)*#^* - View showing a group of peple stianding in front of Willard's (at the corner of Los Feliz and Hillhurst, near the entrance to the Greek Theater. This would become the Los Feliz Brown Derby in 1940.  

 

* * * * *

 

 

Brown Derby (Los Feliz)

 
(ca. 1940)*#^* - View looking toward the southwest corner of Los Feliz and Hillhurst showing the The Brown Derby (previously Willard's).  

 

Historical Notes

In 1940, Willard's Chicken Inn Restaurant was purchased by legendary director Cecil B. DeMille who brought in the Brown Derby fine dining and 24-hour car service in keeping with the drive-in restaurant fad of the era. At the time, DeMille was also part owner of the Wilshire Brown Derby.

This was the last of the four Brown Derby Restaurants to open around Los Angeles; the first was located on Wilshire across from the Ambassador Hotel; the second opened in 1929 in Hollywood , the third in Beverly Hills on Wilshire Boulevard in 1931.

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1950)*^ - Postcard view showing the new Los Feliz Brown Derby Restaurant and Car Cafe.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1960, the Brown Derby was purchased by actor Michael St. Angel (aka Steve Flagg) and became Michaels of Los Feliz, and in 1992, it was transformed into a nightclub known as The Derby. In the late 1990s, it became one of the centers of the resurgence of swing dancing, which launched the careers of modern swing bands such as Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and Johnny Crawford. Oregon rock/swing/ska band the Cherry Poppin' Daddies recorded a song that cites the venue, titled "Brown Derby Jump", on their album Zoot Suit Riot.

In June 2004, when Hillhurst/Los Feliz LLC purchased The Derby and adjacent lots with a view to demolition and replacement by a condominium complex, the planned redevelopment became a cause celebre for historic preservation activists. An independent coalition called "Save The Derby" fought to prevent the demolition, and, on May 19, 2006, the Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously to designate the entire structure an official Historic Cultural Monument of the City of Los Angeles.

In January 2009, the nightclub closed its doors. The current landlord chose not to renew the lease, not long after a shooting inside the club. The Los Feliz Brown Derby space is partially occupied by the gastropub Mess Hall Kitchen and a Chase bank, dividing the dome in half between the businesses.*^

 

* * * * *

 

 

Nikabob Cafe

 
(ca. 1930s)* - Exterior view of the Nikabob Café, located at 875 S. Western Avenue.  

 

Historical Notes

The caption of the newspaper clipping that accompanies this photo reads "Building of hollow cement blocks, design in molded cement over doors, aluminum trim around windows and doors, tan awnings, black marble base, neon and flood lights in colors. Walls and Clements, designers and architects." *

The Nikabob restaurant was named for Nick ____ and Bob Cobb of the Brown Derby and “Cobb Salad” fame.*#^*

 

 

 
(1931)* - Exterior view of the Adohr Creamery at 1801 La Cienega Blvd. on January 1, 1931.
 

 

Historical Notes

Merritt Adamson established a dairy business in the San Fernando Valley, in Tarzana, known as Adohr Farms, the name representing his wife's name spelled backwards. The business became one of the country's largest dairies, operating one of the largest herds of Guernsey cows in the world.*^

 

 

 
(1931)* - A driver/milkman for Adohr Creamery Company, sits at the wheel of his delivery truck.  

 

 

 

 
(1933)^^ – View showing the Adohr Creamery Service Station. Click HERE to see more Early LA Gas Stations.  

 

* * * * *

 

 

Los Angeles Theatre

 
(1931)^*# - Exterior view of the Los Angeles Theater, located at 615 S. Broadway, as it appeared during January 1931. The marquee indicates that Charlie Chaplin's film "City Lights" is currently being shown. People are seen standing in line waiting to get in.  

 

Historical Notes

This Los Angeles Theatre was constructed in late 1930 and early 1931. It was commissioned by H.L. Gumbiner, an independent film exhibitor from Chicago, who also built the nearby Tower Theatre.  It was Designed by S. Charles Lee, and Samuel Tilden Norton.

Construction was completed in less than six months and cost $1.5 million. Charlie Chaplin helped fund the completion so that it would be ready to open with the premiere of his film City Lights in January 1931. With only thirty days to go before the scheduled premiere, the entire theater was constructed off-site and swung in, slotted between the existing buildings.*^

 

 

 
(1931)* - Closer view of the Los Angeles Theater during the showing of “City Lights”.  The neighboring business, Zukor's, is visible to the right of the marquee.  

 

Historical Notes

The Los Angeles Theatre, designed by S. Charles Lee working with S.Tilden Norton, features twin Corinthian columns which frame the central notched arch. Built in 1931, it was the last such movie palace built on Broadway, as the area began to feel the effects of the Depression and faced competition from Hollywood Blvd.*

 

 

 
(1931)^*# - View of the beautifully designed ornate lobby and staircase to the upper level seating.  

 

Historical Notes

The theater features a French Baroque interior. With its grand central staircase, and gold brocade drapes it has for many years been considered to be among the city's most lavish landmarks.  The opulent interior is said to have been modeled after the Hall of Mirrors in Versailles. A crystal fountain stood at the head of the grand staircase, and a restaurant and a ballroom were on the lower level.*^

 

 

 
(1931)^*# - Inside the Los Angeles Theatre (615 South Broadway), in 1931, the year that it opened.  

 

 

 

 
(1931)^^** - Interior view of the Los Angeles Theater as seen from the stage. Note the ornate design throughout.  

 

Historical Notes

In recent years, the Los Angeles Conservancy has sponsored the showing of classic films at several of the Broadway theatres, including the Los Angeles Theatre. The Broadway Theater and Commercial District were added to the National Register of Historical Places in 1979.*

 

 

 
(1931)^^** - View of the Los Angeles Theatre's stage with it's elaborately designed curtain.  

 

Historical Notes

S. Charles Lee is credited with designing over 400 theaters throughout California and Mexico. His palatial and Baroque Los Angeles Theatre is regarded by many architectural historians as the finest theater building in Los Angeles.*^

 

 

 
(1931)^*# - The Los Angeles Theater as it appeared opeining night on Janurary 30, 1931 with the premiere of Charlie Chaplin's City Lights. Various store signs can also be seen lit up including: Silverwoods, Desmonds, Bullocks, and Kress.  

 

Historical Notes

On August 15, 1979, the Los Angeles Theater was designated LA Historic-Cultural Monument No. 225 (Click HERE to see complete listing).^^**

 

 

 
(1931)*^^ - A closer view of The Los Angeles Theater on opening night with the premiere of Charlie Chaplin's City Lights.  

 

Historical Notes

The Los Angeles Theater is most often today used as a location for filming and is frequently seen in commercials, television shows and feature films. It has been featured in New York, New York (1977); Man on the Moon (1999); Charlie's Angels (2000) and its sequel, Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle (2003); the AMC series Mad Men; among many others, and is used in the back drop on the new set of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

The theatre's facade and marquee design was used as the inspiration for that of the Hyperion Theatre at Disney California Adventure in Anaheim, currently showcasing Disney's Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular.*^

 

 

 
(1931)* - Looking down into the site of the future Pilgrimage Play Amphitheater, revealing the Cahuenga Pass and the Hollywood Bowl in the background. The new structure will resemble the architecture of the Holy Land for the purposes of the play performed there. The previous amphitheater on the site was built in 1920, but a brush fire in October 1929 destroyed that wooden structure.  

 

Historical Notes

John Anson Ford Amphitheatre was built in 1920 as the site of The Pilgrimage Play. The author, Christine Wetherill Stevenson, believed the rugged beauty of the Cahuenga Pass would provide a dramatic outdoor setting for the play. Together with Mrs. Chauncey D. Clark, she purchased this land along with that on which the Hollywood Bowl now sits. A wooden, outdoor amphitheater was built on this site and the play was performed by noted actors every summer from 1920 to 1929, until the original structure was destroyed by a brush fire in October 1929.*^

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1931)^*# - Postcard view of the front entrance to the Pilgrimage Theatre in Hollywood.  

 

Historical Notes

A new Pilgrimage Theatre was built on the same site as the original and opened in 1931. The new theatre was constructed of poured concrete and designed in the style of ancient Judaic architecture to resemble the gates of Jerusalem. 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1931)^*# - Looking down into the Pilgrimage Play Amphitheater (renamed the John Anson Ford Theatre in the early 1970s) revealing some of the biblical-like structures on the hillside.  

 

Historical Notes

The Pilgrimage Play Amphitheater resembled the architecture of the Holy Land for the purposes of the play performed there. The religious-themed Pilgrimage Play, written by Christine Whetherill Stevenson, was performed every summer between 1920 to 1941.*

 

 

 
(ca. 1931)* - Postcard view of the Pilgrimage Play Theatre seating and stage.  

 

Historical Notes

During WWII the theater was deeded to Los Angeles County and converted into dormitories for servicemen. After the war, the play resumed until 1964, at which time it was legally ordered to close due to its religious content.*

 

 

 
(ca. 1931)^*# - Close-up view of the front entrance to the Pilgrimage Play Theatre.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1937)* - View showing a Foster and Kleiser billboard for the Pilgrimage Play outside the Pilgrimage Theatre, later the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre (2580 Cahuenga Boulevard).  

 

Historical Notes

In 1941, the land was deeded to the County of Los Angeles. The Pilgrimage Play continued to be presented until a lawsuit in 1964 forced its closure because of its religious nature.

In 1976, the Pilgrimage Theatre was renamed the John Anson Ford Theatre in honor of the late L.A. County Supervisor's significant support of the arts. John Anson Ford (1883–1983) helped found the L.A. County Arts Commission, encouraged the Board of Supervisors to support the building of the Music Center and led the County's acquisition of Descanso Gardens, among many other achievements.*^

 

* * * * *

 

 

Roos Brothers Building

 
(ca. 1930)^*# - View showing the upscale clothing store, Roos Brothers at 6320 Hollywood Boulevard near Vine Street.  Note the Art Deco detailing applied to the façade of the building. The Mullen & Bluett Building is at left.  

 

Historical Notes

In a later incarnation, the Roos Brothers building became the second Newberry five-and-dime located in Hollywood.*#^*

 

 

 
(ca. 1930)^*# - Close-up view showing the Roos Bros storefront entrance with its Art Deco zig-zag columns.  

 

* * * * *

 

J.J. Newberry Building (Hollywood)

 
(ca. 1932)^*# - View of the J.J. Newberry Co. Store on Hollywood Boulevard. Three young boys are seen looking at a display through the window.  

 

Historical Notes

J.J. Newberry's was an American Five-and-Dime store chain in the 20th century originally founded in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. The architects of the Hollywood J.J. Newberry's, now Hollywood Toys and Costumes, created this colorful example of Art Deco at its best. The "Zig Zag" patterns of chevrons and squares in colorful aqua and gold highlight the over-sized industrial windows of the upper stories. ##*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1932)^*# - Nighttime view of the J. J. Newberry Co. 5-10-25 Cent Store located at 6600-04 Hollywood Boulevard.  

 

Historical Notes

The company was a family business. J.J. Newberry was joined in management by his brothers C.T. Newberry and Edgar A. Newberry in 1919, at which time there were 17 stores with yearly sales of $500,000.

Over the years, the Newberry chain acquired other stores including Hested in Wyoming, Missouri, North Dakota, Colorado, and Nebraska, and Lee Stores in South Dakota, Minnesota, and Iowa. At the time of founder J.J. Newberry's death (1954), the chain had 475 stores. By 1961, the company operated 565 stores with total yearly sales of $291 million. The chain also operated a larger department store called Britt's Department Store.

The Newberry chain was ultimately purchased by McCrory Stores, and then folded slowly as McCrory's downsized  and eventually entered bankruptcy. 300 McCrory stores, mostly Newberry's, closed in 1997.*^

Today, the Art Deco building is occupied by Hollywood Toys and Costumes.

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

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

 

Historical Notes

The Hall of Records was built in 1906 and demolished in 1973; the County Courthouse was built in 1891 and demolished in 1936; the Hall of Justice was built in 1922 by Allied Architects.*

 

 

 
(ca. 1925)* - L. A. County Courthouse viewed from the east, with the Hall of Records on the left.  

 

 

 

 
(1928)^^ - View of the Los Angeles County Courthouse standing in front of a yet to be completed City Hall.  

 

Historical Notes

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

This building served as the courthouse until 1933, when it sustained damage in the Long Beach earthquake, and was demolished in 1936.*

 

 

 
(ca. 1932)* - Rear exterior view of the first Los Angeles County Courthouse (built 1891), also as known as the "Red Sandstone Courthouse," located at Spring and Temple. The new City Hall built in 1928 can be seen in the background. Note that the clock tower has been truncated (see previous photo).  

 

Historical Notes

This building served as the courthouse until 1933, when it sustained damage in the Long Beach earthquake, and was demolished in 1936. It appears that in the above 1932 photo the tower has been modified and shortened prior to the earthquake.*

 

 

 
(1933)* - Demolition of the L.A. County Courthouse at Broadway and Temple with the new City Hall standing in the background. The Hall of Records, built in 1911, appears on the right.  

 

Historical Notes

The statue of Stephen White can be seen in the foreground. It was moved to the corner of 1st and Hill outside the new courthouse, located at 1945 South Hill Street.*

Stephen M. White was elected Los Angeles County District Attorney in 1882, State Senator in 1886 and United States Senator in 1893. During his term in the United States Senate, Senator White’s most notable accomplishment was his successful leadership of the fight to create the Los Angeles Harbor in San Pedro as opposed to Santa Monica Bay, the site that was being advocated by powerful railroad interests.

In 1989, the statue was moved again to its present location, at the entrance to Cabrillo Beach off Stephen M. White Drive, overlooking the breakwater at the L.A. Harbor.^###

 

 

 
(1932)* - Officials presenting the old courthouse clock to the Los Angeles County Museum on March 2, 1932. Left to right are: Hugh A. Thatcher, P. F. Cogswell, R. W. Pridham, Henry W. Wright, James Hay, W. J. Martin, J. S. Dodge, Fred J. Beatty, W. A. Bryan (director of the museum), J. J. Hamilton, J. R. Quinn, J. Don Wahaffey, V. E. Hinshaw, F. E. Woodley, Dr. J. W. Bovard, and Mayor Frank Shaw.  

 

Historical Notes

The two bearded gentlemen standing front-center of the clock formerly mounted on the old Los Angeles County Courthouse are James Hay and William Martin.  Both were long time County employees who were supervisors before the newly-demolished courthouse was built. The clock has been preserved and can still be seen today at the Natural History Museum's California History Room.**^#

 

 

Federal Building and Post Office

 
(1931)**^ - Looking south on Main Street across Temple at the old Federal Building/Post Office and City Hall. Ornate 5-lamp streetlights can be seen in front of the Federal Building (Click HERE to see more in Early Streetlights of LA).  

 

Historical Notes

Constructed between 1906 and 1910, the five-story Romanesque Federal Building housed the post office, U.S. District Court, and various federal agencies, but it soon proved inadequate.  It was razed in 1937 to clear the site for the existing U.S. District Courthouse.*^

 

 

 

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

 

* * * * *

 

 

Hall of Records

 
(1939)^^ – View looking north on Spring Street toward Temple Street.  The Hall Of Records stands tall on the left, with the Hall of Justice in the distance (N/W corner of Spring and Temple). Photo by "Dick" Whittington  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1939)* - View showing the Hall of Records as seen from across the street through the arches of City Hall.  

 

Historical Notes

The Hall of Records was built in 1906. It is a large, light-colored building that splits into two sections halfway up to the top. Large rectangular windows line the perimeter of the building, and decorative molding can be seen near the top of the structure.*

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1945)* - The Hall of Records, next to which was the old County Courthouse. At this time it was a hospitality house for servicemen, giving free dormitory space, sponsored by B'Nai B'rith. The statue of Stephen M. White, originally in front of the courthouse, is seen on the left.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1946)* - Partial view of a panoramic photo showing several important buildings: City Hall, Hall of Records, and the U.S. Post Office and Courthouse; the Steven M. White statue can be seen on the lower left corner. The street seen on the right of the photo is Broadway.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1950s)^^ - Close-up view of the beautiful Hall of Records Building.  

 

 

 

 
(1953)* - Spring Street side of the Hall of Records on February 3, 1953. Two men can be seen working on the roof.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1960)^*# - View of the Hall of Records with City Hall towering behind it. In the foreground stands the Stephen M. White Statue.  

 

Historical Notes

Stephen M. White was elected Los Angeles County District Attorney in 1882, State Senator in 1886 and United States Senator in 1893. During his term in the United States Senate, Senator White’s most notable accomplishment was his successful leadership of the fight to create the Los Angeles Harbor in San Pedro as opposed to Santa Monica Bay, the site that was being advocated by powerful railroad interests.

The Stephen M. White Statue, was originally located on the corner of Temple and Broadway on the lawn of the Hall of Records.  Today, the statue is located at the entrance to Cabrillo Beach off Stephen M. White Drive, overlooking the breakwater at the L.A. Harbor.^###

 

 

 
(1965)* - View of a single-post arm streetlight in front of the Hall of Records with City Hall in the background.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1960s)* - View shows Hall of Records as seen from the top of City Hall. The California State Building is on the left. The newly constructed Music Center and DWP Building (GOB) are seen in the background (Click HERE to see more in Construction of the GOB).  

 

Historical Notes

The California State Building (lower-left) was torn down in 1976.*

 

 

 

 

 

(1972)^^ - View of the old Los Angeles County Hall of Records as seen from the west portico of City Hall.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
(1972)^^ – Night time view showing the Old Hall of Records building and the newer Criminal Courts building from across Broadway at the County Mall. The Hall of Records is at right and is a looming Gothic-style building with narrow rectangular windows around its entire perimeter. The larger Criminal Courts building is at left and is a rectangular building with rows of well-lit windows. The top of the City Hall tower is visible in the background at right. Note the beautiful decorative 5-bulb streetlight in the foreground. Click HERE to see more in Early Los Angeles Streetlights.  

 

 

 

 
(1972)^^ – Birdseye view of the old Los Angeles Hall of Records, looking south along Broadway. The old Gothic building with rows of rectangular windows and small columns on its walls stands in the foreground. A dark, pointed roof can be seen on top of the tower.  

 

Historical Notes

The Hall of Records Building was demolished in 1973 to make room for the City Mall.*

 

 

Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum

 
(1984)* - Close-up view of the torch at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum during the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games. Los Angeles also hosted the 1932 Olympic Games.  

 

 

 

 
(1932)* - Crowds have filled the Olympic Stadium (the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum) for the 1932 Olympic Games; the Los Angeles Swimming Stadium, another Olympic venue, can be seen in the upper left. Location: South end of University of Southern California, 3911 S Figueroa, Los Angeles. Click HERE to see more in Early Views of USC.  

 

Historical Notes

The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum originally was completed in 1923 as a memorial to veterans of World War I (rededicated to veterans of all wars in 1968). It was partially redesigned and enlarged for the 1932 Olympic Games. Both designs were by architects John and Donald B. Parkinson. It has witnessed some of the more important sports, political, and historical events in Southern California.*^

 

 

 
(1932)^^#* - A wide view of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum during the opening ceremonies of the 10th Olympic Games in Los Angeles. The stadium is full of spectators who are watching the ceremony on the field, where the athletes are divided by country.   

 

Historical Notes

The 1932 Summer Olympics was celebrated in 1932 in Los Angeles. No other cities made a bid to host these Olympics. Held during the worldwide Great Depression, many nations and athletes were unable to pay for the trip to Los Angeles. Fewer than half the participants of the 1928 Summer Olympics in Amsterdam returned to compete in 1932. Even U.S. President Herbert Hoover skipped the event.*^

 

1932 Olympic Highlights

An Olympic Village was built for the first time, in Baldwin Hills, occupied by the male athletes. Female athletes were housed at the Chapman Park Hotel on Wilshire Boulevard.

The victory podium was used for the first time.

The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum was known in 1932 as Olympic Stadium.

Tenth Street, a major thoroughfare in Los Angeles, was renamed Olympic Boulevard in honor of the Games of the Tenth Olympiad.

Babe Didrikson won two gold medals in the javelin and the hurdles event. She also competed in a jump-off for a silver in the high jump. Her technique in the jump-off was ruled illegal, leaving Didrikson with second place.

In field hockey, only three nations took part. The host nation lost both matches, 1-24 to India and 2-9 to Japan, but still won a bronze medal.

Poland's Stanisława Walasiewicz won the gold medal in the women's 100 m; she would also win the silver medal in the event four years later. After her death in 1980, it was discovered that she was intersex and would have been ineligible to participate.*^

 

 

 

 
(1932)* - Players representing the United States and Canada shown during a lacrosse match at the Olympic Stadium (the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum).  

 

Historical Notes

When the games of the XXIIIrd Olympiad began here on July 28, 1984, the coliseum became the first stadium in the world to host the Olympic Games twice.*^

 

 

 
(1932) - Canada's Duncan McNaughton wins the high jump with a leap of 1.97m (6.46 ft).  

 

Historical Notes

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

Today, the world high jump record is held by Javier Sotomayor of Cuba at 2.45m (8.5 ft). Click HERE to see Men's high jump world record progression.*^

 

 

 
(1932)* - Exterior view of the colonnade and torch at the front end of the Coliseum.  

 

Historical Notes

The now-signature torch was added for the Olympics during the 1930 renovation. It is still being lit during the fourth quarters of USC football games.*^

 

 

 
(1932)**^- Final score: USC 13 - Notre Dame 0: USC shut out Notre Dame on its way to a second consecutive consensus national title, matching Notre Dame's feat in 1929 and 1930.  

 

Historical Notes

From 1928-1932, USC and Notre Dame combined to win the national title five straight years, with USC winning in 1928, 1931 and 1932, and Notre Dame winning in 1929 and 1930.

Notre Dame and USC have traditionally been counted among the elite programs in college football, with each school having won 11 national championships and 7 Heisman Trophies. This football rivalry, which began in 1926, is considered one of the most important in college football, and is often called the greatest intersectional rivalry in college football.*^

 

 

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

 

Historical Notes

The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum has been designated California Historical Landmark No. 960 (Click HERE to see more in California Historical Landmarks in LA).

 

 

Click HERE to see more Early Views showing the Construction of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum

 

 

 

Pasadena City Hall

 
(1930)* - Scenic view of Pasadena City Hall and its surrounding area, with mountains in the background. City hall is located at 100 North Garfield Avenue in Pasadena. Date built: 1920-1922. Designed by Julian Morgan in Mediterranean style.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1923, the people of Pasadena approved a bond measure issuing $3.5 million towards the development of a civic center. City Hall was to be the central element of this center. The San Francisco architecture firm of Bakewell and Brown designed City Hall, which has elements of both Mediterranean Revival Style and Spanish Colonial Revival Style architecture.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1930)* - Exterior view of Pasadena City Hall. This is a photograph of a Chris Siemer painting created for a display by the L.A. Chamber of Commerce.  

 

Historical Notes

Pasadena City Hall was completed on December 27, 1927 at a cost of $1.3 million. It measures 361 feet by 242 feet, and rises 6 stories. There are over 235 rooms and passageways that cover over 170,000 square feet. The defining dome, located above the west entrance, is 26 feet tall and 54 feet in diameter. On July 28, 1980 the Civic Center District, including Pasadena City Hall, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.*^

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of Pasadena

 

* * * * *

 

Mountain States Building (Yucca Vine Tower)

 
(ca. 1929)^^ - View of the Art Deco style Mountain States Building, located at 6305 Yucca Street. The sign on the building to the left reads: "PIGGLY WIGGLY Will Open Here Soon".  

 

Historical Notes

Designed by Architect H. L. Gogerty, the Art Deco style Mountain States Life Insurance Building was built in 1928 on the northwest corner of Yucca and Vine with bas-relief emphasizing the lines of the windows and gaurdians leaning on their swords at the roofline.

 

 

 
(1929)* - Panoramic view of Hollywood and its surrounding areas showing the Mountain States Building on the N/W corner Vine and Yucca. The Hollywood Playhouse is in the lower left (1735 N. Vine Street) and the Mulholland Dam is at upper right in the Hollywood Hills.  

 

 

 

 
(1933)* - Looking towards the Mountain States Building (now Yucca Vine Tower). The building to the left is a Piggly Wiggly market and the Mulholland Dam is visible in the upper center.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1949)#*## – View looking north near the intersection of Yucca St and Ivar Ave (lower-left) showing the Hollywood Hills and Hollywood Sign in the background with the Mountain States Building (now Yucca Vine Tower) at right.   

 

 

 

 
(2015)^*^*^ - View showing the Yucca Vina Tower (previously Mountain States Building) located at 6305 Yucca Street.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 2015)^*^*^ – Detailed view of bas-relief sculptures on front face of the Yucca Vine Tower.  

 

 

 

 
(2016)##^^ – Google Earth view showing the Yucca Vine Tower as it appears today with the Capitol Records Building at lower-right and the Hollywood Freeway at top.  

 

* * * * *

 

 

Farmers Market

 
(ca. 1934)* - A couple rows of cars are parked on a dirt lot with some parking lines marked. A building has a sign "Supermalts 10 cents" where Farmers Market is located in a section of low buildings. In the background another sign reads "GILMORE" which was the sign on the face of the Gilmore Stadium.  

 

Historical Notes

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

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

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

 

 

 
(1934)^^* - Opening day of the Farmers Market at 3rd and Fairfax on July 14, 1934.  

 

Historical Notes

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

 

 

 
(1934)^^* – Carts full of fresh produce draw the attention of visitors on opening day of Farmers Market – July 11, 1934.  

 

Historical Notes

A July 11, 1934, Los Angeles Times article announces the Farmers Market opening:

Like New Orleans and Baltimore, where the system is more than a century old, Los Angeles is going to have a farmers’ public market.

The market will open Saturday morning (July 14) on a five-acre lot on the northeast corner of Third street and Fairfax avenue.

Endorsed by the Farm Bureau and other allied groups, the market is planned as an outlet for the produce of the farmer who owns but a few acres of land and whose output in crops is insufficient to permit help to sell to the large wholesalers.

Only farmers who actually grow their own crops will be permitted to occupy stalls at the market. Each farmer agrees to pick fresh each morning the various vegetables or fruits he plans to sell the same day. Under regulations imposed by Roger Dahlhjelm, director of the project, no farmer will be permitted to sell left-over supplies.

For the privilege of occupying the stalls the farmers pay a nominal fee. They may take the stalls by the day, week or month. Surrounding the stalls is free parking space for more than 500 automobiles.

Among the products to be placed on sale are included eggs, poultry, flowers, vegetables, fruits, honey, nuts and similar articles. … ^^*

 

 

 

 
(1930s)**^ - Aerial view looking northeast showing a busy Farmers Market with a full parking lot. Fairfax and 3rd Street is at lower-right. Gilmore Stadium is in the upper-left and a Gilmore Service Station stands at lower-center.  

 

Historical Notes

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

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1940)* - Panoramic view showing rows of cars are parked around and near the buildings of the Farmers Market.
 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 
(1950s)#* - Two women posing in front of a fruit stand at Farmers Market.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1945)^^#^ - View of the northeast corner of 3rd Street and Fairfax showing how Farmers Market looked in the 1940's. The Gilmore Stadium can be seen at the upper-left of the photo. The distinctive windmill sign stands adjacent to the American Flag. The white building next to the windmill is the original Du-Par's Restaurant.  

 

Historical Notes

The first Du-par's was founded in 1938 at Farmers Market by James Dunn and Edward Parsons, who combined their surnames to create the restaurant's name. The chain was purchased in 2004 by an investor group led by W.W. "Biff" Naylor, the son of noted California restaurateur Tiny Naylor. Du-par's expanded in 2009 to include several locations from the bankrupt Bakers Square chain.*^

 

 

 

 
(1949)#* - View looking east showing make-shift stores set up in the Farmers Market parking lot. The Gilmore Stadium can be seen in the background.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1949)#*## - View of a Foster and Kleiser billboard advertising Farmers Market:  “2,000 People a Day Eat at the Farmers Market”  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1940s)^^ - View showing the Farmers Market Windmill towering above the buildings on a clear day with the Hollywood Hills in the distance.  

 

Historical Notes

The Windmill was Farmers Marktet's icon from the time it opened in 1934 until 1952, when it was replaced by a Clock Tower. #**

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1950)#^* – View looking northwest showing parking lot and shops at Farmers Market with the Hollywood Hills in the background. Richard Wojcik Collection.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1969)**^# - View of Farmers Market looking northeast with CBS Television City in the background. The Farmers Market Clock Tower stands at right.  

Historical Notes

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

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

 

 

 

 
(1965)#^* – View showing two people walking adjacent to a parking lot with the Farmers Market Clock Tower standing tall behind them.  

 

Historical Notes

The Clock Tower, which overlooks Farmers Market Plaza and the main entrances to the Market, has welcomed visitors to the Market for more than half a century (it was first erected in 1952). #**

 

 

 

(2009)^^* – The iconic Farmers Market Clock Tower stands in the foreground with the Grove Tower seen in the distance.

 

Historical Notes

When The Grove at Farmers Market was constructed (2002) and the Market added the Plaza and North Market, the clock tower was carefully taken down, fully restored and erected in its new home with a brand new clock works.#**

 

 

 

Gilmore Stadium and Gilmore Field

 
(1934)* - Aerial view of Gilmore Stadium shows a packed crowd in attendance, October 15, 1934.  

 

Historical Notes

Built by Earl Gilmore, Gilmore Stadium opened in May 1934 and was demolished in 1952. The first professional football team in Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Bulldogs played at Gilmore. Before the neighboring Gilmore Field opened in 1939, the Hollywood Stars used Gilmore Stadium for their home games.*

 

 

 
(ca. 1934)#** - View showing a football game being played at Gilmore Stadium.  

 

Historical Notes

Gilmore Stadium, built in 1934, just before Farmers Market opened, was home field for the L.A. Bulldogs, the city’s first professional football team. The stadium also hosted rodeos, boxing matches, swim exhibitions and motorcycle races.

 

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

Historical Notes

Gilmore Field opened on May 2, 1939 and was the home of the Pacific Coast League baseball team the Hollywood Stars until September 5, 1957.*^

 

 

 
(1948)**^ – Aerial view of the area bounded by Beverly, Fairfax, 3rd Street, and Gardner Avenue. Gilmore Drive-in stands in the foregrond surrounded by Farmers Market, Gilmore Stadium, Gilmore Field, and the Pan-Pacific Auditorium  

 

Historical Notes

In 1952 CBS Television City was built facing Beverly Boulevard on the site of Gilmore Stadium. In 1958 Gilmore Field was also demolished and the studio expanded on the grounds where baseball was once played.**^#

 

 

 
(1940s)* - View showing Gilmore Field (aka Hollywood Ball Park), located near the present-day Farmer's Market in the Fairfax District. This was home field for the Hollywood Stars. The parking lot appears full and there are clusters of people walking out of the main entrance.  

 

 

 

 
(1949)*++ – View of a nearly empty Gilmore Field before start of a game. Photo by Julius Shulman  

 

 

 

 
(1949)*++ – Pre-game view from edge of the grandstands at Gilmore Field. Photo by Julius Shulman  

 

 

 

 
(1951)* - Major league All-Stars managed by Ty Cobb and Tris Speaker clashed at Gilmore Field, with the big-leaguers beating the Hollywood Stars, 4-3, for charity. Fans thrilled to Gus Zernial's two homers. This view is looking southeast toward Park La Brea Towers which can be seen in the distance.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1958, Gilmore Field was demolished to make room for an expansion by CBS Television City on the grounds where baseball was once played.

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 
(1930s)^*# – View of the Art-Deco style Sherman Oaks Service Station located at 15362 Ventura Blvd, southeast corner of Ventura Blvd. and Sherman Oaks Ave.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1930s)* - View of Specification Motoroil System Service Station on the southwest corner of Washington and 8th (?).  

 

Historical Notes

Apparently the "Specification Motoroil System" was a national chain that did not last too long (no records).**^

 

 

 
(ca. 1930s)**^ - Closer View of the Art Deco designed Specification System Service Station on Washington Blvd.  

 

 

 

 
(1928)* - View of service station with gas pumps on either side located at 1800 1/2 Long Beach Boulevard, South Gate. The signs advertise General Gasoline, Richfield Gasoline, Gilmore Gasoline, Hood Tires, United States Tires and Pennzoil. On the right, an attendant is climbing a ladder.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1930)* - One of the first gas stations on a lot on Imperial St., Los Angeles, shown in the 1930's. It was the workplace for a group of men from the Mexican American Community.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1930)^*^# - The Umbrella Service Station, General Petroleum Gas, once located at 830 South La Brea in Inglewood. By 1946, the gas station was gone and a retail strip center was built on the site.  

 

 

 

 
(1931)**^ - 'Full Service' at Union Oil Compnay service station.  

 

 

Click HERE to see more Early Views of LA Gas Stations

 

* * * * *

 

 

Fox Stadium Theatre

 
(1930)^^ - View of the Fox Stadium Theatre located at 8906 W. Pico Boulevard.  

 

Historical Notes

Opened in 1930, The Fox Stadium Theatre was built for and operated by Fox West Coast Theatres.  The rear of the auditorium was with stadium-style seating, a rarity at the time. About the only other early L.A. Theatre with such an arrangement was downtown's Rialto Theatre.  In the 40s, lots of theatres, especially by Fox West Coast (such as the Fox Inglewood), utilized the format.^**#

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1930s)^^# – Front view of the Fox Stadium Theatre located on Pico Boulevard in Beverly Hills. Now playing: Spawn of the North with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.  

 

Historical Notes

The building architects were Robert O. Boller and Carl Boller, Boller Bros.  The Boller Bros. worked all over the country on projects including the Kimo in Albuquerque and the Missouri Theatre in St. Joseph.

Carl Boller moved to Los Angeles in 1921 and in addition to the Fox Stadium, also designed the Fontana Theatre (now a performing arts venue) and the Corona Theatre, now a church. His most opulent theatre in the area was the Tracy Theatre in Long Beach.^**#

 

 

 
(ca. 1930)^^ – Interior view of the Fox Stadium Theater with auditorium seating (capacity: 1172). Three sections of seats can be seen at center. They make a slight decline as they continue down to the lighted stage. Bright ornate lights hang from the detailed ceiling. Donated by Jim Stone.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1964 the theatre was converted into a synagogue, the B’nai David-Judea.

The building was rehabilitated in 2004.^**#

 

* * * * *

 

Sunset Clock Market

 
(ca. 1930)**^# - View of the Sunset Clock Market at the northeast corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Hamilton Drive, one block east of La Cienega Boulevard.  

 

Historical Notes

Built in 1929, this C. W. Wilson and Sons designed L-shaped structure once housed a mom-and-pop market and one apartment. This last remaining example of a Wilshire drive-up market currently serves as a Porsche-Audi dealership.*^^#

 

 

 
(ca. 1930)^*# - Close-up view showing the clock tower above Sunset Clock Drive-up Market.  

 

Historical Notes

Southern California was the principal center for the development of drive-in markets between the mid-1910s to the early 1940s.

 

 

 
(ca. 1930)^*# - Street view showing the gas station at the Sunset Clock Drive-up Market.  

 

Historical Notes

Click HERE to see more Views of Early Gas Stations.

 

 

 
(ca. 1937)**^# - The Sunset Clock Market at 8423 Wilshire Boulevard at S. Hamilton, in it's first incarnation as a Plymouth car dealership.  

 

 

 

 
(1930s)#*## – View of the De Soto Car Dealership located at 611 S. La Brea Ave.  

 

Historical Notes

Built in the 1920s and designed by Julia Morgan, the building was the home of De Soto Car Dealership for many years. Today, it is occupied by Diamond Foam and Fabric.

The De Soto automobile was manufactured and marketed by the now-defunct De Soto Division of the Chrysler Corporation from 1928 to 1961. The De Soto logo featured a stylized image of Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto. The De Soto marque was officially dropped November 30, 1960, with over two million vehicles built since 1928.*^

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1930s)^*^# – View of a Standard Oil Station located on the corner of Beverly and La Brea. Pope and Burton Architects occupy part of the building behind the station.  

 

Historical Notes

The above photo is undated, but possibly late 1920s to early 1930s, since Pope and Burton Architects didn't open their Los Angeles office until 1927.^*^#

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1930)^*# - Exterior view of the Heinsbergen Building located at 7415 Beverly Boulevard.  

 

Historical Notes

The castle-like building was built in 1928 for noted muralist Anthony Heinsbergen, and designed by Curlett & Beelman in a Late Gothic Revival and Romanesque style. The building's notable features include the prominent cylindrical tower, a Renaissance-style mural in the tower arch, and the detailed friezes displaying artisans at work.

At least 11 buildings designed by architect Claud Beelman have been listed on the National Register. The building was constructed while Heinsbergen was employed to create murals for Los Angeles City Hall, and he had his building on Beverly Boulevard built using bricks from the old city hall.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1930)^*# - View of the castle-like Heinsbergen Building designed by noted architect Claude Beelman.  

 

Historical Notes

The building served as the office for Heinsbergen's mural-painting business for more than 50 years. Heinsbergen's company, called Heinsbergen Decorating Company or A.T. Heinsbergen & Company, employed 185 artist painters, and created murals for movie palaces and many important buildings, including the U.S. Department of Commerce Building in Washington, D.C. and the Sir Francis Drake Hotel in San Francisco.

In Los Angeles, Heinsbergen's murals can still be seen at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, the Beverly-Wilshire Hotel, Los Angeles City Hall, the Wiltern Theatre, the ceiling of El Portal de La Paz Mausoleum at Rose Hills Memorial Park in Whittier and the Park Plaza Hotel.

After Heinsbergen died, his children continued to operate the business at the Beverly Boulevard building, in many cases working to restore murals that their father had designed decades earlier.*^

In 1984, the Heinsbergen Building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. That same year it was also dedicated LA Historic-Cultural Monument No. 275 (Click HERE to see complete listing).

 

 

 
(2013)*^ - Front view of the Heinsbergen Building as it appears today, 7415 Beverly Boulevard, north side of Beverly Boulevard between Vista Street and Mattel Avenue.  

 

Historical Notes

The building was later converted to retail space and was occupied by "Lloyd Klein Couture", the West Coast store for New York fashion designer Lloyd Klein. Klein's customers include Nicole Kidman, Renée Zellweger, Gwen Stefani and Kate Beckinsale. Though Klein's name was prominently featured on the building, the name "Heinsbergen Decorating" is still seen above the door at the base of the tower.

After 12 years at the Beverly Hills location on Robertson, the "Claire Pettibone Flagship Salon" has moved and now occupies the Heinsbergen Building and is officially open as of July 10, 2013. Claire Pettibone is an American fashion designer based in Los Angeles. She is prominently known for her couture wedding gowns, intimate apparel, and lifestyle collection. Pettibone began designing wedding and red carpet gowns for clients including Cameron Diaz, Courteney Cox Arquette, Leona Lewis, Elisabeth Moss and Missi Pyle. Most recently, in 2012, the designer's "Sky Between the Branches" gown was worn by Priscilla Chan in her wedding to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.*^

 

 

Fairfax Theatre

 
(ca. 1930)* - Exterior view of the Fairfax Theatre, northwest corner of Fairfax Avenue and Beverly Boulevard. Sign on top of building reads 'ANY SEAT 30 CENTS ANYTIME'  

 

Historical Notes

The Fairfax Theatre opened on March 26, 1930, and was a 1,504 seat single screen, designed for movies and vaudeville.^^#

 

 

 
(1930)* – View showing premier night at the Fairfax Theatre.  There is a long line in front of the theatre and adjacent Bronson Radio Co. store waiting to see the new release of “Troopers 3”.  Marquee reads "Cast in Person - Rex Lease, Dorothy Gulliver, and Slim Summerville"  

 

 
(1930)^^# - Exterior view of the Fairfax Theater located on the northwest corner of Fairfax Avenue and Beverly Blvd.  

 

Historical Notes

The Fairfax was operated for decades by Fox West Coast Theatres and, later, Mann Theatres when they acquired the remnants of the circuit. Mann got out around 1979 and the house became an independent.

The Fairfax occasionally ran live shows. It was the venue for the LA production of "Oh, Calcutta" in 1969.

In late 1981 it was tri-plexed. The front half of the theatre was left intact with two little theatres in the rear of the main floor. A hallway down the middle (between the two rear auditoria) provided an entrance to the main theatre.

Cineplex Odeon took over in the operation of the building in the April 11, 1985.^**#

 

 

 
(1930)^*# – Close-up view of the Fairfax Theatre located at 7907 Beverly Blvd.  Marquis reads:  All Talking – Color - “Sally” - Starring Marilyn Miller and Joe E. Brown.  

 

Historical Notes

Laemmle Theatres purchased and reopened the former Loews Cineplex discount house on November 2, 2001 after an interior makeover with new seats and new carpet added. Extra wide seating was also added which reduced the cinema’s capacity to one screen with 400 seats and two others with 200 seats. The two smaller auditoriums were carved from the original auditorium’s rear, leaving the original screen and organ grilles intact within the largest auditorium.

Laemmle, which has always attempted to preserve the original historic elements of its acquisitions, retained the theater’s free-standing ticket window. The ticket booth is one of the last in the West Hollywood/Hollywood area.^^#

 

 

 
(2010)^**# - View of the Regency Fairfax Cinemas shortly after it closed in February, 2010. Photo by Bill Counter.  

 

Historical Notes

The Fairfax Theatre was closed by Laemmle Theatres in September 2006. However it was taken over by Regency Theatres and operated as a second run art house. It was closed in late-February 2010, just short of its 80th birthday.

In 2013, a City committee approved plans for a 71 apartment complex to be built, preserving the theatre’s facade, marquee and terrazzo floor at the entry, but resulting in the loss of the rest of the theatre,^^#

 

 

Sunfax Mart

 
(1933)* - Exterior view of the Sunfax Mart, a food market, located on the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue, hence the name Sunfax. The market includes a Van de Kamp's Bakery on the corner, where the miniature windwill is seen mounted on the building.  

 

Historical Notes

Sunset Boulevard was dedicated in 1888. Earlier called Bellevue Street--and with some small sections called Short, Bread and Marchessault streets (after Mayor Damien Marchessault)--it started on U.S. Sen. Cornelius Cole's hill in what is now Hollywood, which afforded a fine view of the sunset over the Pacific. By 1937, 11 streets in Hollywood were named after the Cole family.^*^

Fairfax Avenue was named for Lord Fairfax of Colonial America. Some parts of it were previously called Crescent Drive.

 

 

Sunset Tower

 
(1930s)^*^# – View looking through a Eucalyptus Tree down toward the Sunset Tower. The Art Deco apartment building is located at 8358 Sunset Boulevard.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1930s)**^# - View looking northwest of the Sunset Tower Apartment Building in the Hollywood Hills.  

 

Historical Notes

Designed in 1929 by architect Leland A. Bryant, opened in 1931, the Sunset Tower  is considered one of the finest examples of Art Deco architecture in the Los Angeles area. In its early years, it was the residence of many Hollywood celebrities, including John Wayne and Howard Hughes.*^

 

 

 
(1933)^^ - Sunset Tower Apartments at 8358 Sunset Boulevard as seen from a gas station across the street.  

 

Historical Notes

Originally operated as a luxury apartment hotel, it was one of the first high-rise reinforced concrete buildings in California. When it was completed in August 1931 at a cost of $750,000, the Los Angeles Times reported: "What is described to be the tallest apartment-house in Los Angeles County, rising 15 stories or 195 feet, was completed last week at Kings Road and Sunset Boulevard by W.I. Moffett, general contractor, for E.M. Fleming, owner." *^

 

 

 
(n.d.)* - An Art Deco masterpiece, the Sunset Tower Apartments, located at 8358 Sunset Boulevard.    

 

Historical Notes

In 1933, the Los Angeles Times ran an article about the trend toward luxurious penthouse apartments in the city and noted that Sunset Tower boasted the city's highest penthouse: "It is the highest in the city and due to the location of the fifteen-story structure that supports it, its tenants live on a level with the tower of the Los Angeles City Hall. Imagine the view!" John Wayne, Howard Hughes, Frank Sinatra, Jerry Buss and novelist James Wohl lived in the penthouse at different times, and Hughes reportedly also rented some of the lower apartments for his girlfriends or mistresses. Other former residents include Clark Gable, Errol Flynn, Marilyn Monroe, Michael Caine, Quincy Jones, Roger Moore, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Billie Burke, Joseph Schenck, Paulette Goddard, Zasu Pitts, George Stevens, Preston Sturges, and Carol Kane.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1933)^*# - Close-up view of the Sunset Tower Apartments showing the details of the bas-relief near the top of the building.  

 

Historical Notes

The building is decorated with plaster friezes of plants, animals, zeppelins, mythological creatures and Adam and Eve.*^

 

 

 
(1940s)**^ – View looking up at the Sunset Tower Apartments from the De Longpre Avenue side of the building.  

 

 

 

 
(1955)***^ - Full view of the Sunset Tower Apartments showing the Art Deco design details, especially at the top of the building.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1979)* - Looking out upon West Hollywood from a balcony at the Sunset Hyatt Hotel (later Andaz West Hollywood), showing the neighborhood and the iconic Sunset Tower; Downtown Los Angeles is partially visible through the haze on the right.  

 

Historical Notes

The Sunset Tower Apartment building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.

After a period of decline in the early 1980s, the building was renovated and has been operated as a luxury hotel under the names The St. James's Club, The Argyle, and most recently the Sunset Tower Hotel.*^

 

 

 

 
(2005)*^ – View showing the Sunset Tower Hotel located at 8358 Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood.  

 

Historical Notes

The building was saved from deterioration and possible demolition when it was purchased in 1985 from architect David Lawrence Gray, FAIA by Peter de Savary who promised to "lovingly restore" the building to its former glory by spending $25 million to convert the building into the first American branch of his luxury hotel chain, the St. James's Club.

The Lancaster Group purchased the hotel from de Savary in 1992, renaming it the Argyle.

In 2004, Jeff Klein purchased the hotel.  Klein hired designer Paul Fortune to renovate the hotel, adding more modern amenities, and restored its original name. *^

 

* * * * *

 

Roosevelt Hotel

 
(ca. 1929)**^ - Street view looking west showing the Roosevelt Hotel located at 7000 Hollywood Boulevard. Cars are parked in front of the one-story shops along the south side of Hollywood Boulevard. The blade sign of Grauman's Chinese Theatre can be seen on the right edge of photo.  

 

Historical Notes

The historic Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel was designed by Architects Fisher, Lake & Traver in Spanish Colonial Revival style.  Named after United States president Theodore Roosevelt, the hotel was financed by a group including Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford and Louis B. Mayer.*^

 

 

 
(1927)^*^# – View looking south on Orange Drive toward Hollywood Boulevard where The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel stands tall. The hotel is located at 7000 Hollywood Boulevard.  

 

Historical Notes

The hotel first opened its doors on May 15, 1927. It cost $2.5 million ($33.9 million in today's money or dollars) to complete this twelve-story building, which holds 300 rooms and suites.*^

 

 

 
(1930s)* - Exterior night view of the Roosevelt Hotel located at at 7000 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood.  

 

Historical Notes

The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel hosted the presentation of the 1st Academy Awards in 1929 inside its Blossom ballroom. Later ceremonies were much larger than this banquet for 250, so there was never an attempt to host the awards at the hotel a third time.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1930s)#^#^ - View of the Roosevelt Hotel located on the southwest corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Orange Drive as seen from the courtyard of Grauman's Chinese Theatre.  

 

Historical Notes

Marilyn Monroe was a resident at the Hollywood Roosevelt for two years when her modeling career took off. Her first magazine shoot was taken in the Roosevelt.

Clark Gable and Carole Lombard paid five dollars a night for their penthouse; it is now named the Gable & Lombard Penthouse. There is also a Marilyn Monroe Suite at the hotel.*^

 

 

 
(1949)#^*^ – Daytime view of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.  Caption Reads:  In the center of the movie and radio-television broadcasting studios.  Hollywood, California.  

 

Historical Notes

There have been many rumors of hauntings at this hotel. Some involve celebrities, such as Marilyn Monroe, Montgomery Clift, and Errol Flynn.  Others involve a little girl in a blue dress.  There have also been reports of cold spots, photographic "orbs", and mysterious phone calls to the hotel operator.*^

 

 

 

 
(2016)+++ - View looking up toward the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel with mature palm tree in the foreground.  

 

* * * * *

 

 

N/W Corner of Hollywood and Vine

 
(1929)**^ – Panoramic view showing the northwest corner of Hollywood and Vine. Signboard on the one-story building reads: Universal Pictures - Carl Laemmle Presents  

 

Historical Notes

In 1915, at the northwest corner of Hollywood and Vine Street sat the home of early Hollywood pioneer and land speculator George Hoover. Hoover was part of the L.A. Pacific Boulevard and Development Company. He was also president of Hollywood's first bank - the Bank of Hollywood and was one of the builders of the fashionable Hollywood Hotel (located at Hollywood and Highland). 

In 1925 German immigrant and movie maker Carl Laemmle purchased the property from George Hoover for $350,000. Laemmle was president of Universal Pictures Corporation and had a very successful movie studio in the San Fernando Valley. #^**

Carl Laemmle’s vision was to build a 900 seat theatre and office tower on this corner.  However, the depression thwarted his plan so he opened the CoCo Tree Café and used the top of the building to advertise his Universal Pictures.

 

 

 
(1936)**^ - View showing some filming in front of the CoCo Tree Café on the northwest corner of Hollywood and Vine.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1932, Carl Laemmle opened the one story CoCo Tree Café on this corner. It was designed by Richard Nuetra.

 

 

 
(1947)#^* - View looking at the intersection of Hollywood and Vine showing the Melody Lane Restaurant 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. #^**

 

 

 
(ca. 1961)^###^ – View of Hody’s Coffee Shop, N/W corner of Hollywood and Vine, with the Guaranty Building and Hotel Knickerbocker seen in the background. Next door to Hody's to the west was a Harris & Frank Clothiers and an Arthur Murray School of Dance studio.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1949, Sidney Hoedemaker founded the Hody's Restaurant chain and, in 1955, Hody's restaurant group signed a 20 year lease for the property on the northwest corner of Hollywood and Vine. Hoedemaker had it remodeled extensively.

Hody's was a family restaurant. Kid's would get a kid's clown menu that could be worn on their face. By 1969 there were 8 Hody restaurants in Southern California. #^**

 

 

 
(1986)^*# - View looking north from the southwest corner of Hollywood and Vine showing Howard Johnson's across the street and the Capitol Records Building in the distance.   

 

Historical Notes

Howard Johnson's Coffee Shop occupied the northwest corner of Hollywood and Vine from 1971 until the mid-1980s. It was opened 24/7 and served breakfast all day!

 

 

 
(1987)^*# - The Brown Derby Restaurant, located on the northwest corner of Hollywood and Vine.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1987, a fire destroyed the Hollywood Brown Derby located at 1628 N. Vine Street (half a block south of Hollywood Boulevard). It was then that the Brown Derby moved to the N/W corner of Hollywood and Vine, but stayed only for a short time. Over the years the site would become a slew of struggling retail and nightclubs such as; Premiere, Jack's Sugar Shack, the Deep, and finally the Basque nightclub. In April 2008 the building went up in flames and the lot has been empty since. #^**

There were four Brown Derby restaurants: Beverly Hills, Los Feliz, Wilshire, and Hollywood.

 

 

 
(2015)##^^^ – Google street view showing the northwest corner of Hollywood and Vine as it appears today - an empty lot since 2008.  

 

* * * * *

 

 

LA County General Hospital

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

 

Historical Notes

In 1930, the cornerstone for the current Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center was laid and the hospital was completed in 1933.  The building was designed by architects: Edward Bergstrom, Myron Hunt, Perpont Davis, Sumner P. Hunt, William Richards. *#*#

 

 

 
(1931)#^* - Close-up view showing the Los Angeles County General Hospital under construction on State Street in East L. A.  

 

Historical Notes

The original county hospital was built in 1878 and became affiliated with the University of Southern California School of Medicine in 1885.  It then consisted of 100 beds, 47 patients, 6 staff members, and a $4,000 budget.*#*#

 

 

 
(1932)*^^^ - Opening ceremonies in front of the newly built Art Deco style Los Angeles County General Hospital located at 1200 N. State Street in East L.A.  

 

Historical Notes

The twenty-story central concrete and steel unit of the hospital has remained as the landmark in Northeastern Los Angeles. Its basic form is PWA monumental Moderne -- with more than a slight hint of influence of Bertram G Goodhue. Its design is sculptural volumes and heavy arches slightly suggests early Romanesque.^^*#

 

 

 
(n.d.)^^*# - High relief sculptures on a grand scale adorns the major entrance from the West.  

 

Historical Notes

“The doctors of the staff give their services without charge in order that no citizens of the county shall be deprived of health or life for lack of such care and services.” -- Inscription above the entrance to L.A. County-USC Medical Center.

 

 

 
(ca. 1930s)#^* - Ground view showing the profile of the beautiful Los Angeles County Hospital with palm trees seen at right.  

 

Historical Notes

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

In 1995, the hospital had more square feet than the Pentagon, 9,000 employees and an annual budget of $803 million.*#*#

 

 

 
(1933)**^^ - Los Angeles General Hospital’s soaring, sunlit operating theater and its towering bank of windows, ready to play host to scenes of medical drama and scientific progress.  

 

 

 

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

 

Historical Notes

The west entrance, which is still partially preserved, has an axial walk-way and garden leading up to the building.

 

 

 
(1939)^^ - Close-up view of the Los Angeles County Hospital on State Street.  

 

Historical Notes

On November 8, 2008, transfer of all inpatients from Women's and Children's Hospital and the historic white 800-bed hospital on the hill to a new, $1 billion, state-of-the-art 600-bed replacement hospital just south of it was completed, and the new hospital was fully opened for service. Designed by a joint venture of HOK and LBL Associated Architects, the new hospital consists of three linked buildings: a clinic tower, a diagnostic and treatment tower, and an inpatient tower. It was built because the old building did not meet new earthquake and fire codes enacted in the aftermath of the 1994 Northridge earthquake. The old building remains open for offices and support services only. The new facility has a larger number of intensive care beds to handle patients in the aftermath of disasters.*^

 

* * * * *

 

 

Tom Bradley E. S. & H Charter Magnet (previously 38th Street School)

 
(1927)^^ – View showing 38th Street School located on Dublin Avenue between 38th and 39th streets.  

 

Historical Notes

Built in 1926, the 38th Street School had a student population of 314.  In 1993, it was renamed 39th Street School and was physically expanded to cover the whole block between 38th and 39th.^+  

 

 

 
(2015)##^^^ - Google Street View showing the Tom Bradley Environmental Science and Humanities Charter Magnet located at 3875 Dublin Avenue.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1999, the school was renamed Tom Bradley Environmental Science and Humanities Charter Magnet to honor the outstanding late mayor who made many contributions to the LAUSD school system, City, and community. He also lived in the residential area near the shcool.^+  

 

* * * * *

 

 

Leimert Theatre

 
(1933)^*# - Exterior view of the Leimert Theater at 3341 W. 43rd Pl. in Los Angeles.  The theater still stands today in Leimert Park as the Vision Theater.  

 

Historical Notes

The Leimert Theatre opened in 1931 and was a joint venture between neighborhood developer Walter H. Leimert and Howard Hughes.

It was designed to be operated by the neighborhood theatre chain Hughes-Franklin Theatres. The circuit was run by Hughes and Harold B. Franklin, a former president of Fox West Coast Theatres. Among other theatres, they also operated the Studio, later the Holly Theatre, in Hollywood.

The surrounding neighborhood was designed to resemble a European village. The design was partially by the Olmsted Brothers, a landscape architecture firm run by step brothers John Charles Olmsted and Fredrick Law Olmsted, Jr.  Their father, Fredrick Law Olmstead Sr., was the creator of New York's Central Park.

The Hughes-Franklin circuit was a short-lived entity and soon the Leimert Theatre was being operated by Fox West Coast. The last film to run in the theatre was "Bonnie and Clyde" in 1968. ^**#

 

 

 
(1933)^*# - Interior view of the Leimert Theater located at 3341 W. 43rd Place. The ceiling murals by Anthony Heinsbergen were lit by cove lighting in concentric rings.  

 

Historical Notes

Stiles O. Clements of Morgan, Walls & Clements designed the building. The foundation was built to support a later 13 story addition, which never materialized. The auditorium, as can be seen even from the exterior, is a huge oval rotunda.^**#

 

 

 
(1970s)*^ - View showing the Watchtower Church, formerly the Leimert Theatre. In 1990 it became the Vision Theatre.  

 

Historical Notes

In the 1977 the theatre became a Jehovah’s Witness chapel and was known as the Watchtower. The Witnesses, in their renovation fever, destroyed many of the Art Deco decorative elements of the building. But they perhaps get credit for saving the building.

Actress Marla Gibbs bought the theater in 1990 and renamed it the Vision Theatre, intending to make it a venue for African-American movies, live theater and dance productions. The 1992 LA riots and economic recession following the riots hit the area hard and the property was in foreclosure in 1997.^**#

The City purchased the building in 1999. There has been only occasional use of the theatre as a live performance venue since that time. Performances take place on an added thrust stage as the venue was not constructed with a stage house.^**#

 

* * * * *

 

 

Max Factor Building

 
(ca. 1930s)^*# - Exterior view of the Max Factor Building, the "Jewel Box of the Cosmetic World", located at 1666 North Highland Avenue, in Hollywood.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1928 Max Factor purchased the four-story Max Factor Building, formerly the Hollywood Fire Safe Building, known as the Jewel Box of the Cosmetic World and began manufacturing his world-famous make up on the upper floors while transforming the ground floor into a grand salon where fashionable women and celebrities came to see and be seen, as well as to purchase his make-up.^

Famed architect S. Charles Lee designed the building in the so-called Hollywood regency art deco style. Lee was celebrated for his design of many of the grand motion picture theaters in Los Angeles as well as hotels and other signature buildings in the city and elsewhere in California and in Hollywood. #*^#

 

 

 
(ca. 1939)* - Two women are seen walking in front of the Max Factor Make Up Studio located on Highland Avenue just south of Hollywood Boulevard.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1935, Max Factor opened the Max Factor Make Up Studio adjacent to his main four-story building. It was fondly nicknamed The Pink Powder Puff.*

Max Factor & Company was founded during 1909 by Maksymilian Faktorowicz, Max Factor, a Polish-Jewish cosmetician from Poland. After immigrating to the United States in 1904 Max Factor moved his family and business to Los Angeles, seeing an opportunity to provide made-to-order wigs and theatrical make-up to the growing film industry. Besides selling his own make-up products he soon became the West Coast distributor of both Leichner and Minor, two leading theatrical make-up manufacturers.*^

 

 

 
(1930s)##^ – View of a fashionably dressed woman walking in front of the Max Factor Building on the east side of Highland Avenue.  The Hollywood First National Bank stands tall in the background on the northeast corner of Highland Avenue and Hollywood Boulevard.  

 

Historical Notes

By 1914 Max Factor had perfected the first cosmetic specifically created for motion picture use — a thinner greasepaint in cream form, packaged in a jar, and created in 12 precisely-graduated shades. Unlike theatrical cosmetics, it would not crack or cake. It was worn for the first time by actor Henry B. Walthall, who served as the model for screen tests.

In 1925 the company received its biggest order to date when it had to complete a rush order to supply 600 gallons of light olive makeup to the set of the movie "Ben-Hur" to ensure that the skin color of the extras used in filming undertaken in America would match that of the darker skinned Italian extras in the scenes filmed in Italy.*^

 

 

 
(2010)**^ -  View of the landmark Max Factor Building, currently The Hollywood History Musum, located at 1666 N. Highland Avenue.  

 

Historical Notes

Declared L.A. Historic Cultural Monument No. 593 on April 26, 1994, this building eventually became The Max Factor Museum of Beauty. It closed its doors in 1996 but reopened in 2002 as The Hollywood History Museum. It is located at 1666 N. Highland Ave. just one half-block south of Hollywood Boulevard.*

Click HERE to see complete listing of L.A. Historic Cultural Monuments.

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 
(1933)* - A man sits on a steel girder on the half-completed dome of the Griffith Observatory as other construction workers are on scaffolds on the building behind the dome. Construction rubble is scattered around the Observatory's foundation. Photo dated: 1933.  

 

Historical Notes

3,015 acres of land surrounding the observatory was donated to the City of Los Angeles by Colonel Griffith J. Griffith on December 16, 1896. In his will Griffith donated funds to build an observatory, exhibit hall, and planetarium on the donated land.

Construction began on June 20, 1933, using a design developed by architect John C. Austin based on preliminary sketches by Russell W. Porter. *

 

 

 

 
(1934)* - The construction of Griffith Observatory in the final phases. The exterior domes can be seen here.  

 

Historical Notes

Griffith Observatory was shaped not only by the minds of scientists but also by the times in which it was built. A major earthquake in Long Beach in March 1933 -- just as construction plans were being finalized -- led the architects to abandon the planned terra cotta exterior in favor of strengthening and thickening the building's concrete walls. Lower-than-usual prices caused by the Great Depression enabled the selection of the finest materials of the day for the interior walls, floors, and finishes, making the building both beautiful and durable.^***

 

 

 
(1934)* - The Griffith Observatory and the main building, the planetarium, are seen from below and from the back. A hiking path has been cut into the hillside below, on the south side, but brush still covers much of the area.  

 

Historical Notes

Griffith Observatory's unique architecture and setting, compelling programmatic offerings, and cinematic exposure have made it one of the most famous and visited landmarks in Southern California.^***

 

 

 
(ca. 1934)^*# - Profile view of the Griffith Park Observatory on the Hollywood hillside.  

 

Historical Notes

Caltech and Mount Wilson engineers drew up plans for the Observatory's fundamental exhibits: a Foucault Pendulum, a 38-foot-diameter model of a section of the Moon sculpted by artist Roger Hayward, and a "three-in-one" coelostat (three tracking mirrors on one mount to feed three separate solar telescopes) so that the public could study the Sun in the Hall of Science. The Trust judged the 12-inch Zeiss refracting telescope as the best commercially available instrument of its kind and selected it to be used as the public telescope. A 75-foot-wide theater --one of the largest in the world -- was designed to hold a Zeiss planetarium projector.

The planetarium had been invented in 1923, four years after Griffith's death, and his family agreed with the Trustees that it more fully honored his intent than the originally planned cinematic theater. The Observatory's planetarium was the third to be completed in the United States.^***

 

 

 
(1935)^*# - The iconic Griffith Observatory stands out in its brilliance as it is illuminated in the Hollywood Hills.  

 

Historical Notes

The observatory and accompanying exhibits were opened to the public on May 14, 1935. On that day, the Griffith Trust transferred ownership of the building to the City of Los Angeles; the City's Department of Recreation and Parks (called the Department of Parks at the time of the transfer) has operated the facility ever since.^***

 

 

 
(1930s)* - View of the Griffith Park observatory and planetarium with the Astronomers Monument. Several people are on the walks, coming and going to the planetarium (the central section of the building). The domes on the left and the right ends of the building contain the triple-beam solar telescope and the 12-inch Zeiss Refracting Telescope respectively.  

 

Historical Notes

The Astronomers Monument on the front lawn of Griffith Observatory pays homage to six of the greatest astronomers: Hipparchus, Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, Newton, and Herschel. Artist Archibald Garner designed the sculpture commissioned by the Public Works of Art Project (PWAP). Garner worked with five other artists (each responsible for sculpting one astronomer) including George Stanley responsible for the "Oscar" statuette. The monument was dedicated November 25, 1934, six months before the Observatory opened.*

 

 

 
(ca. 1935)* - Three men gaze at the Foucault pendulum in the foyer of the Griffith Observatory. The pendulum demonstrates the rotation of the earth.  

 

Historical Notes

The first exhibit visitors encountered was the Foucault pendulum, which was designed to demonstrate the rotation of the Earth.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1935)* - View of the 12-inch telescope located within one of the two smaller domes at the end of the Griffith Observatory.  

 

Historical Notes

The genesis of Griffith Observatory's public telescope occurred when Griffith J. Griffith was invited to visit to Mount Wilson Observatory, then home to the world's largest operating telescope, the 60-inch reflector. While there, he was given the opportunity to view a celestial wonder through the telescope. Profoundly moved by the experience, Griffith seized on the idea of constructing a public observatory with a telescope that could be used by all residents of Los Angeles. He specified in his will that the telescope was to be "at least 12-inches in diameter" and "complete in all its details" and was to be located "high and above the Hall of Science." In 1931, the Griffith Trust ordered the telescope from the Carl Zeiss Company of Jena, Germany; the $14,900 spent on the instrument was the first purchase of material for Griffith Observatory.^**^

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1936)^*^** - The 12-inch Zeiss refracting telescope with dome opened for viewing.  

 

Historical Notes

Since opening in 1935, more than seven million people have put an eye to Griffith Observatory's original 12-inch Zeiss refracting telescope. More people have looked though it than any other telescope in the world.^**^

 

 

 

 
(1938)* – Aerial view showing the symmetry of the beautiful art-deco Griffith Observatory.  

 

 

 

 
(1935)* - Aerial view of the top and front view of the observatory/planetarium. The Astronomers Monument, designed by Archibald Garner, is out front on the well manicured front lawn, and some parking with cars is seen around the back side (probably for the staff). Behind the planetarium are the tree covered hills and farther back the beginnings of buildings and homes in Hollywood.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1930s)**^ – View of the Griffith Park Observatory on a clear day with the Los Angeles cityscape in the background.  Several cars are parked in front of the observatory.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1943)* - Seen from a nearby (trail to Mt. Hollywood) hillside is the front of the planetarium, the lawn and parking lot, and road leading down from the Griffith Observatory. Los Feliz, East Hollywood, Hollywood and greater Los Angeles is visible in the distance.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1940)* - Outline of Griffith Observatory is silhouetted against the brilliance of Hollywood lights. Night view taken from Mt. Hollywood.  

 

Historical Notes

Since the observatory opened in 1935, admission has been free, in accordance with Griffith's will.*^

 

 

 

 
(1976)* - A young man sits at one of many view points at the Griffith Observatory at sunset time.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1976, the Griffith Observatory was designated Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 168 (Click HERE for complete listing).

In 2002, the observatory closed for renovation and a major expansion of exhibit space. It reopened to the public on November 3, 2006, retaining its art deco exterior. The $93 million renovation, paid largely by a public bond issue, restored the building, as well as replaced the aging planetarium dome.*^

 

 

 
(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 70 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.*

 

 

 
(1933)^^ - Front view of Van Nuys City Hall, also known as the Valley Municipal Building, as seen from across Sylvan Street.  

 

Historical Notes

Built in 1932 as the Valley Municipal Building and designed as a miniature of Los Angeles City Hall by architect Peter K. Schaborum, Van Nuys City Hall gained recognition as a Historic-Cultural Monument in 1978.*#*

 

 

 
(1933)^^ - View looking up toward the top of the Van Nuys City Hall.  Note the bas relief details of the panel above the front entryway that appears to be supported by two Greek-style columns.  

 

 

 

 
(1939)* - Van Nuys City Hall (aka Valley Municipal Building), located at 14410 Sylvan Street, Van Nuys.  

 

Historical Notes

Originally, the Valley Municipal Bulding housed a Hospital in one wing of the base and the Police Department and Municipal Court, complete with jail, in the other. With the population growth in the fifties and sixties, the hospital and police station were eventually relocated to roomier sites, and the building was remodeled to house other City offices.*#*

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1940s)##^# - Postcard view of the Valley Municipal Building looking east on Sylvan Street. A Safeway Market can be seen in the lower right.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1947)^* - Workers repairing the roof aerials on the Van Nuys City Hall.  

 

Historical Notes

On October 18, 1978, the Valley Municipal Building (Van Nuys City Hall) was declared Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 202 (Click HERE to see complete listing).

 

 

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

 

* * * * *

 

 

Los Altos Apartments

 
(ca. 1934)* - Exterior view of the Spanish style Los Altos Apartments, located at 4121 Wilshire Boulevard.  

 

Historical Notes

Built in 1926 by Edward B. Rust and Luther Mayo in a Mission Revival style, it was originally developed as a "co-op", but went bankrupt during the Great Depression. It is rumored that William Randolph Hearst once kept his mistress, actress Marion Davies, in the penthouse apartment. Other Hollywood stars also rumored to have stayed at the famed hotel include Bette Davis, Mae West, Judy Garland and Loretta Young, among others.*

 

 

 
(1949)* - Exterior view of Spanish style Los Altos Apartments and Hotel, located on Wilshire Boulevard between Norton and Bronson Avenues.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1986, the Los Altos Apartments was designated Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 311 (Click HERE to see complete listing).

In 1999, Los Altos received a design award from the California Preservation Foundation, it was also added to the National Register of Historical Places in 1999 - Building #99000765.*

 

* * * * *

 

 

Rancho La Brea Adobe

 
(1930s)* - Exterior view of Rancho La Brea adobe, located in the vicinity of 3rd Street and Fairfax Avenue. The adobe was built in 1852 by sheriff James Thompson, on land owned by Portuguese sailor Antonio Rocha. The home was later purchased by Earl B. Gilmore in 1901.  

 

Historical Notes

Nestled between Farmers Market and CBS studios, shielded from public view by a fortress of foliage, the Gilmore Adobe dates back to 1852. Originally called the Rancho La Brea Adobe, it eventually became the home of rancher-turned-oilman Arthur F. Gilmore, whose son Earl turned the Gilmore Oil Company into a legendary part of America's burgeoning car culture.^^

 

 

 
(1936)* - A closer view of the Rancho La Brea adobe at 6301 West Third Street.  

 

Historical Notes

Earl Bell Gilmore (1887-1964), whose family had owned the land surrounding the corner of Third and Fairfax in Los Angeles since 1880, was a legendary entrepreneur who with his father (Arthur F. Gilmore) built Gilmore Oil Company, the largest distributor of petroleum products in the Western U.S.

Gilmore is noted with having invented the self-serve gas station, the "gas-a-teria", where customers saved .05 cents per gallon by filling their own tanks. He also built Gilmore Field, and Gilmore Stadium, as well as turning the family dairy farm into one of the world's most beloved destinations, the original Farmers Market. In 1944, Gilmore's 1,200 filling stations became Mobil stations.*

 

 

 

 
(1935)* - Exterior view of the first Orpheum in Los Angeles, later the Grand. It opened December 31, 1894, and inaugurated the Orpheum as a circuit. Building is located on 1st and Main Streets in Los Angeles. Several storefronts can be seen on both sides of the entrance to the forum.  

 

Historical Notes

There were four theaters named Orpheum. The first at 125 S. Main Street; the second at 227 S. Spring Street; the third at 630 S. Broadway; and the fourth (and present one) at 842 S. Broadway.*

 

 

 
(1926)* - The proscenium and organ grilles as seen from the balcony of the Orpheum Theater No. 4.  

 

 

 

 
(1932)* - The interior grand foyer of Orpheum Theater No. 4 which contains (for that time) the world's largest hand woven rug.    

 

 

 

 
(1935)* - Exterior view of the 3rd Orpheum in Los Angeles, which opened June 26, 1911, on Broadway betwen 6th and 7th Streets. Storefronts can be seen on both sides of the entrance. Several bicycles are parked along the sidewalk, at the entrance to the Orpheum. Photo dated: August 20, 1935  

 

 

 

 
(n.d.)* - The interior auditorium of the third Orpheum Theatre, looking across the balcony towards the box seats on the opposite wall. Another balcony is on the upper right and the stage on the left.  

 

 

 

 
(n.d.)* - The proscenium of Orpheum Theater #4 as seen from the balcony. Organ pipe screens can also be seen on each side of the stage.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1935)^*# - View of the Vogue Theatre located at 6675 Hollywood Boulevard.  

 

Historical Notes

Designed by noted theatre architect S. Charles Lee, the Vogue Theatre opened on July 16th, 1935 with a seating capacity of 897, all on one floor. The Vogue Theatre was run by Fox West Coast Theatres for many years until Mann Theatres took over in the early-1990’s.

One of the better mid-sized theatres on Hollywood Boulevard, the theatre is located on Hollywood Boulevard & North Las Palmas Avenue, across the next block from the Egyptian Theatre.^^#

 

 

 
(ca. 1935)^*# - Interior view of the Vogue Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard with its unique oval ceiling fixture.  

 

Historical Notes

Legend has it this theatre is haunted by a former projectionist, named Fritz, who once worked at the theatre.
The Vogue Theatre closed in around 1995 and for a short time was used as a theatre for psychic performances. It then had occasional use as a film location space. In December 2001, the theatre fittings were stripped out and sold off.^^#

 

 

 
(ca. 1935)^*#- The Vogue Theater marquee is lit for business. Two early model cars are parked in front.  

 

Historical Notes

In 2009, the building was fitted out as live performance space named the Supper Club, which caters for an adult audience.^^#

 

 

 
(1936)##** - Front view of Crossroads of the World, the world’s first planned outdoor shopping mall located at 6671 Sunset Blvd.  

 

Historical Notes

Crossroads of the World has been called America's first outdoor shopping mall. Located on Sunset Boulevard and Las Palmas in Los Angeles, the mall features a central building designed to resemble an ocean liner surrounded by a small village of cottage-style bungalows. It was designed by Robert V. Derrah and built in 1936.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1939)* - Postcard view of Crossroads of the World in Hollywood. Shops at the other end of the building from the tower are in the Spanish Colonial, Tudor, and French Provincial architectural styles.  

 

Historical Notes

Once a busy shopping center, the Crossroads now hosts private offices, primarily for the entertainment industry. It has been used for location shooting in many films, including L.A. Confidential and The Adventures of Ford Fairlane, in TV shows including Dragnet and Remington Steele, and in commercials by McDonald's, Ford and Mattel. A reproduction of Crossroads' iconic tower and spinning globe can be seen just inside the entrance to Disney's Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World in Florida.*^

 

 

 
(1939)* - Entrance to the Crossroads of the World shopping center designed to look like a Streamline Moderne ship. It has a tall, open tower that is topped with a lighted globe. In the foreground is the John Macsoud shop, located at 6671 Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood.  

 

Historical Notes

Today, Crossroads is the creative home of a variety of music publishers and producers, television and film script writers, film and recording companies, novelists, costume designers, publicists and casting agencies.*^

 

 

 
(n.d.)**^ - Day & Night view of the Cross Roads globe tower.  

 

Historical Notes

The Crossroads can also be seen in the 2012 movie Argo when Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck) and Lester Siegel (Alan Arkin) go to an office there to buy the script for the movie Argo.*^

 

 

 

 
(1936)^*^** – Postcard view showing the Art Deco Ravenswood Apartments at 570 S. Rossmore Ave.  Caption reads:  “Home of Mae West, Ravenswood Apts., Hollywood, California”  

 

Historical Notes

Throughout the years, the Ravenswood Apartments housed several movie stars, including Mae West, Ava Gardner and Clark Gable.

Mae West moved into Apartment #611, a 2 bedroom, 2 bath unit, shortly after her arrival in Hollywood in 1932. The apartment had been reserved for her by Paramount and she liked it so much she never left. Offered a lifetime lease, she eventually had a share in the building when she lent the owners some money and they used the building as collateral. West lived there until her death in 1980.*^

 

 

 

 
(2003)*^ – View of the Ravenswood Apartments on Rossmore Avenue just south of Clinton Street.  

 

Historical Notes

The Ravenswood is a historic apartment building at 570 North Rossmore Avenue in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California. Designed by architect Max Maltzman and built by Paramount Pictures in 1930, it is considered a landmark Art Deco masterpiece. It has been declared a Historic-Cultural Monument (No. 768) by the City of Los Angeles (Click HERE to see complete listing).*^

 

 

 
(1936)* - Los Angeles Fire Department, Engine Company No. 14, located at 3401 S. Central Avenue and the corner of 34th Street. Engine Co. #14 operated out of this station from 1902 to 1919. Prior to that, from 1900 to 1902, Chemical Engine Company No. 2 occupied this location. A group of firemen pose in front of the station next to two engines, and are part of the "A" and "B" Platoons.  

 

 

 

 
(1936)* - Exterior view of the Hollenbeck police station and receiving hospital, located at 2015 E. 1st Street, Boyle Heights, in September 1936. Two uniformed officers stand in front, one next to a receiving hospital ambulance.  

 

 

 

Los Angeles Tmes Building

 
(1934)* - Scaffolding covers portions of the emerging L.A. Times Buildings as cranes clamp to the top like stick insects. The construction fence advertises "New Home of Los Angeles Times - largest newspaper in the West". A truck delivering construction material is parked by the curb and a ladder extends from the truck to the top of the fence. Next to the Times is the Bryson Building, left. A pharmacy is across the street.  

 

Historical Notes

The Los Angeles Times Building is an art moderne building located at 1st and Spring Streets.  It was designed by Gordon B. Kaufmann and is the current headquarter of the Los Angeles Times. It was built to replace the old Times Building located at 1st and Broadway.*^

 

 

 
(1934)**^ - View looking south on Broadway at 1st Street. The old Times Building (3rd Times Bldg.) with its ornate castle-like tower stands guard while the new Times Building on First and Spring is still under construction. The new building was completed in 1935.  

 

 

 

 

(1937)^^* - The current Times Building rises behind a worker demolishing the paper's previous home located on the northeast corner of 1st and Broadway.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
(1936)* - View of the current Times Building on the southwest corner of 1st and Spring Streets in 1936, one year after it opened.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1935, when the first part of the building was opened, Harry Chandler, then the president and general manager of Times-Mirror Co., declared the building a "monument to the progress of our city and Southern California".

The building, despite its historic and architecturally significant appearance, appears not to be listed as a historic landmark. It does not appear in listings of Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monuments, California Historical Landmarks, or U.S. Registered Historic Landmarks in Los Angeles.*^

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1936)* - View of the interior of the Times Building. A giant model of Earth is seen in the center of the building lobby.  

 

Historical Notes

The building architect, Gordon B. Kaufmann, also designed the giant, revolving globe that was mounted on a pedestal in the building's lobby.*^

 

 

 

 
(2010)^**- Bas relief details on face of the Times Bldg.    

 

 

 

 
(1939)* - Exterior view of the Los Angeles Times Building at Times Mirror Square at First and Spring Streets on May 4, 1939. In the foreground are the grounds of City Hall.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1945)#* – Street view showing the LA Times Building on the S/W corner of 1st and Spring streets  

 

 

 

 
(1980)*++ – View looking down from the top of City Hall toward the intersection of First and Spring streets showing the LA Times Building with the downtown skyline in the background.  

 

Historical Notes

The Times Building was originally completed in 1935. In 1948, a 10 story addition at the northwest corner of South Spring Street and West 3rd Street was added. To the west of the older building, a six story addition was added from 1970-1973 that consisted of two horizontal boxes hovering over various vertical boxes below.

 

 

 
(2005)*^  - Close-up view showing the Los Angeles Times Building as it appears today. Photo by Jim Winstead   

 

Historical Notes

This is the Los Angeles Times's fourth building since it started publishing in 1881. Click HERE to see views of the earlier LA Times buildings.

 

* * * * *

 

 

Wilshire Tower Building

 
(1929)* - Exterior view of Desmond's Clothing Store in the Wilshire Tower on the Miracle Mile, 5514 Wilshire Blvd.  

 

Historical Notes

Built in 1929, Wilshire Tower was the first store and office building erected in the area. Developer A. W. Ross wanted to create the Miracle Mile out of a section of Wilshire used as a service road for nearby oil fields. He persuaded Desmond's, the largest men's clothing store downtown at the time, to open a branch on the tower's ground floor, and other fashionable stores soon followed (Silverwood’s, W. Jay Saylor and Phelps Terkel).*^

 

 

 
(1930s)+^^ – View showing the entrance to the Desmond’s store located in the Wilshire Tower Building. Note the huge window displays.  

 

Historical Notes

Desmond’s was the first major clothing retailer on the Miracle Mile when it opened in 1929. Its main entrance opened onto the sidewalk, but many shoppers entered through the rear; in a nod to the automobile's ascendency, the store's owners built a large parking lot behind the store and reserved additional space for future parking needs.

The first Desmond's Department Store was opened on Olvera Street in 1862. In 1921, Ralph R. Huesman purchased the store from the Desmond family and led the expansion of the retailer to several locations throughout the Southern California market.*

 

 

 
(1936)* - A view of Silverwood's in Wilshire Tower and of traffic on Miracle Mile. A large sign on top of the store displays "Silverwoods, Hart Schaffner & Marx, clothes". The corner of the building is curved and has a large expanse of glass that covers two stories. A 20 mph speed limit sign is posted on a street light. Photo dated: Jun. 24, 1936.
 

 

Historical Notes

The historic Art Deco Wilshire Tower was designed by architect Gilbert Stanley Underwood and built in 1928-1929.  It is a Zig-Zag Moderne two-story building with an eight-story office tower.*

 

 

 
(ca. 1930)^*# - Close-up view of the Wilshire Tower Building. The Silverwood's sign uppears both on the face of the top of the tower as well as on the roof of the store on the southeast corner of Wilshire and Burnside.  

 

Historical Notes

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

 

 

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

 

Historical Notes

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

 

 

 
(ca. 1936)^^ - View of the Art Deco Silverwoods Department Store of Hollywood featuring Hart Schaffner & Marx Clothes located at 611 West 7th Street beside Stetson Hats for Women. Photo by Dick Whittington  

 

Historical Notes

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

 

 

 

 
(1930)**^ - Panoramic view showing a crowd of about 10,000 at the dedication of Western Air Express terminal at Alhambra Field. The crowd is centered around the new 12-passenger Fokker transport plane just purchased by Western Air Express (later Western Airlines). The Good Year blimp can be seen in the background. Photo Date: April 17, 1930  

 

Historical Notes

The Fokker F-32 aircraft proved to be underpowered and costly to operate. Western Air Service retired them within just a couple of years of putting them into service.^^*

 

 

 

 
(1936)*^^ - You could gas up your car beneath the wings of a grounded airplane at Bob’s Air Mail Service Station on the n/w corner of Wilshire Blvd. and Cochran Ave.  

 

Historical Notes

Bob’s Air Mail Service utilized a real twin-prop airplane to top its station, with the wings serving as canopies to shade its General Petroleum pumps. The plane was one of two Fokker F-32 aircraft operated by Western Air Express, circa 1930-31. The four engine F-32 was a design failure due to overheating of the two pusher engines and was only briefly in commercial service.

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

 

 

 
(ca. 1936)**^ - Bob's Airmail Service Station on Wilshire. It almost appears as if the plane's propellers are moving. In the background can be seen the Wilshire Tower with the name Desmonds just visible on the top.  

 

Historical Notes

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

 

 

* * * * *

 

 

Chili Bowl Restaurant

 
(1937)* - One of the six Chili Bowl restaurants, located at 3012 Crenshaw Boulevard.  

 

Historical Notes

Art Whizin established the Chili Bowl restaurant chain in Los Angeles in 1931, known for its distinctive shape in the form of a chili bowl. Whizin was a 25-year-old former amateur boxer when he established the business on Crenshaw Boulevard near Jefferson Boulevard with funding raised by selling "his wife's wedding ring and his roadster." Other businesses at the time were also modeled with architecture featuring eye-catching architectural depictions of the goods sold including ice a cream cones and coffee kettles.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1937)* - One of the six Chili Bowl restaurants, located at 801 N. La Brea Avenue. The neon sign mounted on the roof reads, "Get the Chili Bowl Habit!"  Photo by Herman Schultheis  

 

Historical Notes

Chili Bowl restaurants were arranged with 26 stools around a circular counter (no tables) and employed college "kids" as burger flippers. The specialty dish was an open-faced burger smothered in chili and there were 22 restaurants within a decade of the eatery's opening.  After WWII many of the stores were converted into Punch & Judy Ice Cream Parlors that were later closed, and Whizin also built a mall in Agoura Hills that still bears his name.*^

 

 

 
(1961)* - Exterior of Theater Ninety, located at 972 Vine Street at Willoughby Avenue (lower left). A Texaco service station is on the far right. This structure's shape and size give away its former life as a Chili Bowl restaurant; it has since been demolished.  

 

Historical Notes

Four Chili Bowl structures survive, one in Huntington Park, Long Beach that is now the Guadalajara Nightclub, another became Kim Chuy Chinese restaurant on Valley Boulevard in Alhambra, the one on Pico Boulevard (that remained open 24 hours during the war effort for nearby workers), is now Mr. Cecil's California Ribs, and the one on San Fernando Road in Glendale is a used-car dealership.*^

 

 

 
(1910)##* - View of Mr. Cecil's California Ribs on Pico Boulevard in West L.A.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1936)* - View of the State Armory Building in Exposition Park. A round fountain stands in the foreground and two gazebos are seen in the Rose Garden between the fountain and the State Armory Buidling.  

 

Historical Notes

Originally named Agricultural Park in 1876, the 160-acre site was developed and served as an agricultural and horticultural fairground until approximately 1910, at which point it was re-named Exposition Park. On November 6, 1913, Exposition Park was formally dedicated, and became the home to a state Exposition Building and the county Museum of History, Science and Art, and was slated to gain a National Guard Armory.*

 

 

 

 
(1935)* - View of the Rose Garden, at Exposition Park, formerly called Agricultural Park, with State armory building in the background. The photo was taken from the steps of the County Museum of History Science and Art Building.  

 

Historical Notes

The seven and a half acre Rose Garden, also called Sunken Garden, evolved from the redevelopment of Agricultural Park, and was completed in 1928; 15,793 rose bushes were in full bloom for the opening ceremonies. In August 1987, the Exposition Park Rose Garden was designated a Los Angeles County Point of Historical Interest. Through the years, the Exposition Building and the armory have given way to the California Science Center.*

On November 6, 1913, a celebration was held as a joint dedication of both the opening of Exposition Park and the Los Angeles Aqueduct. Click HERE to see more in the Opening of the LA Aqueduct.

 

 

 
(ca. 1937)* - Past a light pole and up a wide stairway is the central dome and original north facing entrance of the Los Angeles County Museum of History, Science, and Art in Exposition Park. The building stands at the far end of the Rose Garden opposite from the State Armory.  

 

Historical Notes

On November 6, 1913 the Museum of History, Science, and Art opened in Exposition Park. In 1961, it was "divided" into the Los Angeles County Museum of History and Science, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (known as LACMA, and since moved to new quarters on Wilshire Blvd). Years later, the museum was again renamed, becoming the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. The Beaux Arts/Romanesque style building, located at 900 Exposition Boulevard between Vermont and Figueroa, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975. Above the stone arches the words "Los Angeles County Historical and Art Museum" are etched into the facade.*

On the day before the museum’s opening, November 5, 1913, the Los Angeles Aqueduct was opened providing a new source of water for the City of Los Angeles.  This was one of the most significant events in the history of Los Angeles.

A dedication of the opening of both the Los Angeles Aqueduct and Exposition Park was held on November 6, 1913.

 

 

Click HERE to see the Official Commemorative Publication for Exposition Park and the LA Aqueduct.

 

* * * * *

 

 

Pan-Pacific Auditorium

 
(ca. 1937)* - Exterior view of the Pan-Pacific Auditorium, located at 7600 Beverly Boulevard in the Fairfax district.  

 

Historical Notes

The Pan-Pacific Auditorium opened on May 18, 1935. Its green and white western-facing 228 foot long facade featured four stylized towers and flagpoles meant to represent upswept aircraft fins above the entrance.*

With all the many Streamline Moderne houses and structures popping up in the 30s, many say the Pan Pacific Auditorium really was the single most famous Streamline Moderne building in Los Angeles.^*^*

 

 

 
(1935)* - Exterior view of the Pan-Pacific Auditorium, a major Los Angeles expression of Streamline Moderne architectural style, designed by architects Wurdemann & Becket.  

 

Historical Notes

The first event held at the Pan-Pacific Auditorium was the 1935 Home Show. The show was aimed at hyping then-President Roosevelt's signing of the Title I legislative act "which authorized government loans" to aid homeowners with repairs and renovations.^*^*

 

 

 
(1937)* - A man reads a newspaper on the bench while people arrive for the silver jubilee auto show, held in October 1937 at the Pan-Pacific Auditorium. A sign on the far right indicates the dealers' entrance.  

 

Historical Notes

For 35 years, the Pan-Pacific Auditorium was home to a multitude of events, ranging from auto, boat and home shows to sporting events like hockey games, basketball (Harlem Globetrotters included), concerts, and political events like a dinner for Eisenhower and Nixon, and many more.^*^*

 

 

 
(1937)* -  A billboard in front of the Pan-Pacific Auditorium advertises the auto show silver jubilee from October 30 through November 7, 1937, admission just 50 cents.   

 

 

 

 
(1935)* - Interior view of the Pan-Pacific Auditorium showroom floor at the L.A. Auto Show of 1935.  

 

Historical Notes

The Pan-Pacific Auditorium was constructed by brothers Clifford and Philip Henderson who were convinced that Los Angeles needed a convention or public facility to accommodate the annual automobile show and a wide variety of cultural, recreational and sports events. In 1937, Errett Lobban Cord purchased the Pan-Pacific. He was
known for his prominence in the automotive industry who moved to Los Angeles to retire, halting production of his vehicles and shifting his focus to the Pan-Pacific Auditorium and other entertainment and electronics industry endeavors.^*^*

 

 

 
(1940)#^* – People head back to their cars as an event lets out at the Pan-Pacific Auditorium.  

 

Historical Notes

The Pan-Pacific would host the Ice Capades and the Harlem Globetrotters, serve as home to the Los Angeles Monarchs of the Pacific Coast Hockey League along with UCLA ice hockey, UCLA men's basketball, USC men's basketball, professional tennis, car shows, political rallies and circuses. During the 1940s it was used for audience-attended national radio broadcasts and in the 1950s for televised professional wrestling shows.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1940s)* - Interior view of the Pan-Pacific Auditorium during the Ice Capades.  

 

Historical Notes

The widely known and much photographed facade belied a modest rectilinear wooden structure resembling an overgrown gymnasium inside and out. The auditorium sprawled across 100,000 square feet and had seating for up to 6,000. *^

 

 

 
(1930s)* - Interior of Pan-Pacific Auditorium with seating set up for what appears to be an event where an orchestra will perform. View is from the stage, where chairs and music stands are seen.  

 

Historical Notes

At its height, most major indoor events in Los Angeles were held at the Pan-Pacific. Leopold Stokowski conducted there in 1936, 1950s actress Jeanne Crain was crowned "Miss Pan-Pacific" there in the early 1940s, General Dwight D. Eisenhower spoke to a beyond-capacity crowd of 10,000 in 1952 a month before being elected President of the United States, Elvis Presley performed there in 1957 shortly before he was drafted into the Army and Vice President Richard Nixon addressed a national audience from the Pan-Pacific in November 1960.*^

 

 

 
(1942)*++ – View showing the Pan-Pacific Auditorium as seen from the dirt parking lot across the street.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1970s)*^^ - The Pan-Pacific Auditorium, which stood near the site of the current Grove shopping complex. Built in 1935, burned to the ground in 1989. Featured in movies such as Xanadu and Miracle Mile.  

 

Historical Notes

The exterior of the Pan-Pacific Auditorium was a masterpiece in Streamline Moderne design with its four towers reaching skyward that resembled aircraft fins. Behind the glorious facade, however, was a more modest wooden structure that was more of a sprawling gymnasium; there was little remarkable about the design of the interior that was 100,000 square feet and could seat up to 6,000 patrons. The fact that it was wooden (highly flammable) is what eventually made its fiery demise possible.^*^*

 

 

 
(ca. 1970s)**^ - The Pan-Pacific Auditorium in its last days.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1971, the Los Angeles Convention Center opened and essentially rendered the Pan-Pacific Auditorium utterly useless. By 1972, the Pan-Pacific Auditorium dwindled in use, and, after some small expos in the spring, finally shut its doors for good.^*^*

Today, you can see a re-creation of the Pan-Pacific as the ticket office at Disney's California Adventures.

 

* * * * *

 

Pan-Pacific Theatre

 
(1940)*++ – View looking southwest showing the Pan Pacific Theatre (left) located at 7554 Beverly Boulevard as seen from across the street.  

 

Historical Notes

The theatre building that fronted on Beverly Blvd. also housed a cafe, ice rink and bowling alley. It was a structure separate from the Pan-Pacific Auditorium, which was behind the theatre building.

 

 

 
(1940)^^#* – View looking east showing the front of the Pan-Pacific Theatre located on the southwest corner of Beverly Boulevard and Gardner Avenue.  Double Feature is showing:  “Flight Commando” with Robert Taylor and Walter Pigeon and "Made for Each Other" with James Stewart and Carol Lombard. Across the street (S/E corner) is an early Gilmore Gas Stations.  

 

Historical Notes

The opening year for the Pan-Pacific Theatre was probably either 1936 or 1937, as the entry for architect Welton Beckett (William Pereira’s partner) in the AIA’s 1956 American Architects Directory lists the design as a 1936 project.^^#

 

 

 
(1942)*++ - Interior view of the Pan Pacific Theatre - One screen and 850 seats.  

 

 

 

 
(1941)^^# – Close-up view of the front to the Pan-Pacific Theatre on Beverly, designed by William Pereira. A concrete slab serves as a movie marquee and projects over an outdoor foyer in a dramatic overture to Los Angeles' car culture. Now showing “Skylark” with Ray Milland and Claudette Colbert.  Also, “Buy Me That Town”.  

 

 

 

 
(1942)*++ – Dusk view of the Pan-Pacific Theatre with double feature plus a Disney Cartoon.  The weekday ‘Bargain Matinee’ price is 20¢ until 5 p.m.  

 

Historical Notes

The Pan-Pacific Theatre was closed in 1984 and soon thereafter demolished.^^#

 

* * * * *

 

Slapsy Maxie's Nightclub - 1st Location (Currently the Beverly Cinema Theatre)

 
(1937)+*+ – View showing opening night at Slapsy Maxie’s nightclub located at 7165 Beverly Boulevard (November 7, 1937)  

 

Historical Notes

Slapsy Maxie’s nightclub opened on November 7, 1937 and became a celebrity hotspot. But in 1943, performance permits were denied by the police commission. Officers testiified that “show skits went beyond the limits of decency.” So on November 3, 1943, Slapsy Maxie’s opened at their new location, the former Wilshire Bowl nightclub at 5665 Wilshire Blvd. It is at this larger location that Jackie Gleason and Spike Jones performed, and Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis made their L.A. debut. +*+

 

 

 
(2014)+*+ - View showing the New Beverly Cinema Theatre located at 7165 Beverly Boulevard, reopened by Quentin Tarantino in October, 2014.  

 

Historical Notes

Since it opened in 1929, the simple Spanish-style building at 7165 Beverly Boulevard has been home to dozens of venues including: a candy manufacturer, nightclubs, restaurants, theaters, a center of Yiddish drama, cinemas, and culminating with its reopening as the New Beverly Cinema Theatre in 2014 by Quentin Tarantino.

LA Magazine has a great comprehensive history of the 85 year saga of the building.

 

Wilshire Bowl - Slapsy Maxie's Nightclub

 
(ca. 1939)^#^ – View showing the Wilshire Bowl with its Art Deco tower, located at 5665 Wilshire Boulevard.  

 

Historical Notes

This site originally housed the petite Art Deco tower of the Wilshire Bowl, a nightclub that offered dinner and dancing to the big-band sounds of Phil Harris' orchestra for the flat rate of $1.50 ($2 on Saturdays).

The building later changed owners and became Slapsy Maxie's, then the Mardi Gras, both nightclubs. ^#^

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1930s)**#* – Postcard view showing front of the Wilshire Bowl located on the northeast corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Masselin Avenue.  

 

Historical Notes

The Wilshire Bowl was a nightclub (and not a bowling alley). It opened in 1933, by 1941 it was the Louisiana Restaurant. Slapsy Maxie’s took over around 1943. **#*

 

 

 

 
(1943)**^ – View showing a man standing by the front entrance to Slapsy Maxie’s.  

 

Historical Notes

In the 1940s, with a host of cops and judges on his payroll, gangster Mickey Cohen was so much of an LA kingpin that he was making $160,000 a month from his bookmaking operations alone. Some of his loot went into Slapsy Maxie’s, a club named after a prominent prizefighter (Maxie Rosenbloom) that was a popular pit stop for both Hollywood celebs and local hoods. ^^*

 

 

 
(1940s)^#^ – Night view of Slapsy Maxie’s on the northeast corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Masselin Avenue.  

 

Historical Notes

The building was eventually demolished to make way for the sleek lines of the modern Van de Kamp's coffee shop designed by Welton Becket and Associates, whose offices were next door at 5657 Wilshire.

The large coffee shop was designed to serve 13,000 individuals a day and beckoned to Wilshire motorists with a bright canopy, glass walls, and pair of huge Van de Kamp's windmills attached to an integrated sign pylon. ^#^

The structure was eventually demolished, and an office supply store now occupies the site.

Click HERE to see a contemporary view.

 

* * * * *

 

 

Coca-Cola Building

 
(1930s)* - Exterior view of the Coca-Cola Bottling Co. of Los Angeles at 1334 South Central Avenue.  

 

Historical Notes

The Coca Cola Building is a Coca-Cola bottling plant modeled as a Streamline Moderne building designed by architect Robert V. Derrah with the appearance of a ship with portholes, catwalk and a bridge from five existing industrial buildings in 1939.*^

 

 

 
(1972)* - View of some processing machinery and the ornate steel beams that support the roof of the Coca-Cola Bottling Co. building at 1334 S. Central Ave.  

 

Historical Notes

The Coca-Cola Building was designated Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 138 in 1975 (Click HERE to see complete listing).

 

 

 
(1982)* - View of the Coca-Cola Building, a legendary building on a legendary street, 1334 South Central Avenue, as it appeared in 1982.  

 

* * * * *

 

Sunkist Building

 
(ca. 1935)* - Front view of the Sunkist Building showing roof gardens and strong vertical lines. The building was home to the California Fruit Growers Exchange.  

 

Historical Notes

Designed by Architects Albert R. Walker and Percy A. Eisen , the Sunkist Building was built in 1935 across from the LA Central Library. It was the first earthquake reinforced building in Los Angeles.

In the late 1880s, California citrus growers began organizing themselves into cooperatives, with the goal of increasing profits by pooling their risk and increasing their collective bargaining power with jobbers and packers.

In 1893, P.J. Dreher and his son, the "father of the California citrus industry" Edward L. Dreher (1877-1964), formed the Southern California Fruit Exchange.  By 1905, the group represented 5,000 members, 45% of the California citrus industry, and renamed itself the California Fruit Growers Exchange. In 1908, it changed its name to Sunkist Growers, Inc. *^

 

 

 
(ca. 1940s)^^ - View of the Sunkist Building on the corner of Fifth Street and Hope Street in Los Angeles. The Sunkist Building is at right and is a large building made up of many connected rectangular sections. Large rectangular windows can be seen on the sides of the building, and a tower in the middle bears the name of the company. In the background at right are the Engstrum Apartment Hotel and the One Bunker Hill Building (Edison Building). In the foreground at right is the front lawn of the Los Angeles Public Library. Hope Street is the raised street between the Sunkist Building and the Engstrum Apartment Hotel at center-right.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1945)^^ - Panoramic view of downtown Los Angeles looking northeast. In the foreground is the Sunkist Building located on 5th street, running diagonally in the foreground. In the lower-center right is the raised Hope Street which separates the Sunkist and Engstrum Buildings. To the left of the Sunkist Building is the rear of the Touraine Apartments, which fronts on Hope Street. To the far right is the Edison Building.  

 

 

 

 
(1955)*++ – View looking east from Figueroa Street showing the side of the Sunkist Building with the LA Central Library to its right across 5th Street.  On the left is the rear of the Touraine Apartments with the Edison Building in the background.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1970, Sunkist traded its downtown land and building for a larger property in Sherman Oaks in a deal valued at about $1.6 million. Before the Sunkist building was demolished in 1972, it sat empty for two years on the approaches to Bunker Hill. In 1981, Wells Fargo Bank was built on the empty land. Five years later, Wells Fargo bought Crocker Bank and moved to South Grand Avenue. Today, the old Wells Fargo Building has become the 48-story Four Forty-Four Plaza, housing about 80 firms.^^*

Click HERE to see the new Sunkist Headquarters located in Sherman Oaks (1970 - 2014).

 

* * * * *

 

 

Touraine Apartments

 
(1938)* - View looking southwest of the Neoclassical Touraine Apartments, located at 457 S. Hope Street. Fire escapes run down the face of the Beaux Arts Sunkist Building next door. Top of the Richfield Tower can be seen. The photo was taken from across Hope Street where the Engstrum Apartment Building is located.  

 

Historical Notes

Designed in 1903 by architect A.L. Haley, who was also responsible for the Higgins Building on Main Street, the Touraine's columned facade stood three stories high, while the rear of the structure was eight stories, sloping with the natural terrain of Bunker Hill. Aimed at attracting wealthy renters, the Touraine's elegant grand staircase lead up to a large rooftop garden and sun room. Unlike other boarding houses and mansions on the Hill which contained spacious muti-roomed residences, the Touraine's apartments claimed to have all the functions of seven rooms squeezed into two, plus a kitchen.

The beds actually folded into the wall. One could be disguised as a mantle during the day, the other as a large plate glass mirror. A writing desk and bookcase were built into a door that concealed a large closet and the dining room table could be folded and hung up. The kitchen contained swinging doors with the stove attached, so that once the cooking was done, the door could be swung out into the living room and the stove used as a heater.

The building, which would have traditionally housed six or seven units contained twenty eight. The inventors of the floor plan were so impressed with their design that they patented the plan, as well as the built-in appliances. The gimmick of having the comforts of seven rooms in two was successful, and the Touraine Apartments became a fashionable residence for many wealthy patrons. #**#

The Neoclassical Touraine Building was demolished in the mid 1960's as part of the area's redevelopment.*

 

* * * * *

 

 

Phineas Banning Residence

 
(ca. 1937)* - Exterior view of the Greek Revival style residence of Phineas Banning, Located at 401 East M Street in Banning Park in Wilmington.  

 

Historical Notes

Phineas Banning (1830 – 1885) was an American businessman, financier, and entrepreneur.  Known as "The Father of the Port of Los Angeles," he was one of the founders of the town of Wilmington, which was named for his birthplace. His drive and ambition laid the foundations for what would become one of the busiest ports in the world.

Besides operating a freighting business, Banning operated a stage coach line between San Pedro and Wilmington, and later between Banning, California, which was named in his honor, and Yuma, Arizona.

During the Civil War, he ceded land to the Union Army to build a fort at Wilmington, the Drum Barracks. He was appointed a Brigadier General of the First Brigade of the militia, and used the title of general for the rest of his life.

Banning's chief residence, constructed in Wilmington in 1864, is open to the public as a museum devoted to the Victorian era in California.*^

 

 

 
(1937)* - Exterior view of Phineas Banning's residence in Banning Park in Wilmington. Large trees and greenery may be seen on both sides of the home.  

 

Historical Notes

The historic Greek Revival-Victorian Banning House was built in 1863 by Phineas Banning near the original San Pedro Bay. It remained in the Banning family until 1925 and has been owned by the City of Los Angeles since 1927. The home, barn and gardens are now operated as a museum.*^

 

 

 
(n.d.)^*#* - Exterior rear view, looking northeast, of the General Phineas Banning House, built in 1864 in the Greek Revival style.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1963, the Banning House property, also known as Banning Park, was designated as Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 25 (Click HERE to see complete listing).  It is also California Historical Landmark No. 147 (Click HERE to see more in California Historical Landmarks in LA) as well as being federally listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

 

 

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

 

* * * * *

 

Plaza Methodist Church

 
(ca. 1935)* – View looking north showing the La Plaza (United) Methodist Church, Plaza Community Center, and the Methodist Headquarters Building, with a portion of the Plaza in the foreground.  

 

Historical Notes

The Plaza Methodist Church was located to its present site, in the Los Angeles Plaza Historic District, in 1916.  The Church was re-located from Bloom Street when it bought the adobe once owned by Agustí­n Olvera (the man for whom Olvera Street is named).  Built on the Olvera Adobe site, The Plaza Community Center included the chapel and various social service offices including the first Goodwill Industries in Los Angeles.

The Church provided spiritual, economic, and medical services to Mexican, Italian, Portuguese, Japanese and Chinese immigrants in the poor urban neighborhoods.  In order to expand its facilities in 1925 the Plaza Community Center was razed and the Spanish Colonial Revival church, that is seen today, was completed in 1926.  The Plaza Community Center’s dental, medical clinic, social services and Methodist Headquarters is housed in the building next door, the Biscailuz Building. #+++

 

 

 

 
(1936)**^ - View of the Plaza as seen from the roof of the Brunswig Building. The Plaza Methodist Church can be seen on the left, where once stood the Olvera Adobe. Several large gas storage tanks are in the background.  

 

 

 

 

 

(1892)** - View showing the LA Plaza with the Olvera Adobe at left background and Olvera Street adjacent to it.

 

(1936)**^ - View of the LA Plaza showing the Plaza Methodist Church at upper-left where the Olvera Adobe once stood.

 

Historical Notes

The Olvera adobe was torn down in 1917 and, nine years later, architects Train and Williams completed the Churrigeresque-style Methodist Church. +^#^

 

 

 

 

 
(1955)^^* - Close-up view of the Plaza Methodist Church's beautiful clock tower. LA Times Photo Dated: Dec. 13, 1955  

 

 

 

 
(2010s)**++ – View looking northeast toward the entrance to Olvera Street as seen from the Plaza showing the Plaza Methodist Church with its clock tower. To the right of the Church is the Mexican Cultural Institute of Los Angeles.  

 

Historical Notes

The State of California purchased the Church, Community Center and Headquarters in 1956 under the threat of eminent domain to create the Los Angeles Plaza Historic District.  The Church signed a 50-year lease to continue operations that was successfully renegotiated in 2011 with the City of Los Angeles.  Located next to the church in the Biscailuz Building is the Mexican Cultural Institute of Los Angeles, which is the premier venue for the expression of traditional and contemporary art and culture from the Mexican, Mexican American and Chicano perspective. #+++

 

 

 

 
(2011)***+ - Front view of the Plaza Methodist Church with the Biscailuz Building next door to the right. Note the ornate 5-bulb lamp in the foreground.  

 

Historical Notes

The building to the right of the Plaza Methodist Church is the Biscaliuz Building. Located on the site of the Juan Sepulveda adobe, it was designed as the Untied Methodist Church Conference Headquarters and the Plaza Community Center.  In 1968, the building was re-named after Eugene Biscailuz, a former Los Angeles County Sheriff, who had helped Christine Sterling in her struggle to save this historic section of Los Angeles.  In 1979, Leo Politi painted a mural on the south and east facades that depicts the Blessing of the Animals, a traditional event held in the Park every year on Easter Sunday.**#^

Juan Sepulveda (1814-1898) served on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors in 1854.*^

The Medthodists bought and destroyed the Augustin Olvera adobe in 1916, first putting up some temporary buildings and then erecting a church (1925) and regional conference center (the Biscailuz Building, 1926) in its place (space was let in the conference center to the Mexican consulate for 30 years).

The Biscailuz Building, originally much more utilitarian looking, was given a "Spanish-themed" makeover after Olvera Street opened as a tourist destination.

 

 

* * * * *

 

 

Old Plaza Church

 
(ca. 1937)* - A man is crossing Main Street directly outside of La Plaza Church. Signage on a water tower (upper left) promotes the nearby "Brunswig Drug Co."  Photo by Herman J. Schultheis  

 

Historical Notes

Mission Nuestra Señora Reina de los Angeles (Church of Our Lady the Queen of the Angels), was founded on September 4, 1781 by a group of Spanish settlers. The church was considered an asistencia ("sub-mission") of Mission San Gabriel Arcángel. Priests from Mission San Gabriel divided their time between the mission and the Asistencia site, but ultimately the installation was never granted mission status and the missionaries eventually abandoned the site.

The surrounding area was named El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Angeles del Río de Porciúncula ("The Town of Our Lady the Queen of the Angels on the River Porciúncula", which is the present-day City of Los Angeles). A chapel, La Iglesia de Nuestra Señora Reina de los Angeles, was later erected and dedicated on December 8, 1822, and for years served as the sole Roman Catholic church in the Pueblo. It is the oldest church in the city of Los Angeles.*^

 

 

 

 
(1937)* - According to the sign above the awning "giant malts" and "coloso ice cream cones" can be found at this Mexican ice cream store. Located at 523 North Main Street, El Popo is seen next door to the bells and crosses of the Plaza Church.  

 

Historical Notes

The Church of Our Lady the Queen of the Angels (also known as The Plaza Church), was founded in 1814, though the structure was not completed and dedicated until 1822. The structure incorporated a three-bell campanario, or "bell wall" which was removed and replaced by a gazebo-like structure in 1861 and then re-installed again in the early 1900s.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1939)* - View of the main facade of the "Old Plaza Church" as it is now called. The older part of the building is seen here with the three bells; the church was expanded and the courtyard was added much later, which includes a hall and rectory.  

 

Historical Notes

The Plaza Church was one of the first three sites designated as Historic Cultural Monuments by the City of Los Angeles, and has been designated as a California Historical Landmark No. 144 (Click HERE to see complete listing).

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of the Los Angeles Plaza.

 

 

 

 

 
(1936)* - La Casa Santa Cruz located at 728 N. Broadway was bought by Senora Ysabel Santa Cruz from Benito Valle in 1864. This typical Mexican town house was occupied in 1936 by a gypsy fortuneteller. A sign in Spanish posted between the doors reads: "Cuartos para rentar. A precios muy moderados. Informes en el patio de 643 N. Broadway - Sra. Amperano".  

 

Historical Notes

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

 

 

 
(ca. 1920s)* - Exterior view of D.W. Davis Groceries and Provisions store. This would become the site of Little Joe's Restaurant at 900 North Broadway at the northeast corner of N. Broadway and College St. The building was originally constructed in 1886 and demolished in 2013.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1927)* - Exterior view of Italian American Grocery Co. at 900 North Broadway. Photo was probably taken to document purchase of the building by John Gadeschi and Joe Vivalda. At the left is the restaurant room which was acquired by Gadeschi and Vivalda around 1933.  

 

Historical Notes

The expansion of the grocery business into the restaurant business was necessitated in the early 1930s by an increasing number of construction workers frequenting the grocery store for meals and driving away other customers from the grocery business. By expanding to the cafe next door, John and Joe were able to keep their grocery customers and accommodate an increasing number of restaurant/meal customers. The Italian American Grocery Co. bought its first stove in 1933. The grocery business site remained an active grocery store at the corner of the building shown in photo until 1984. Note the red car tracks and paved street surface.*

Little Joe's began in 1897 as the Italiano-Americano Grocery company by Italian-born Charles Viottou at the corner of 5th and Hewitt streets. When Italia sided badly in the war, many Italianos businesses changed their names; one famous example was the change in name from Bank of Italia to Bank of America. Subsequently, the Italiano-Americano Grocery Company became Little Joe's after maitre d' and then co-owner Joe Vivalda. Little Joe's is not affiliated to any other restaurant that took the same name.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1939)* - Exterior view of Little Joe's Restaurant and Little Joe's Groceries at 900 North Broadway. Photo was probably taken to document business name change from Italian American Grocery Co. to Little Joe's. Photo shows restaurant room on the left and grocery store on right. A sign that reads HOTEL is seen below the corner window of the second floor.   

 

Historical Notes

Little Joe's roots go back to the turn of the century. It was started by Italian-born Charley Viotto at the corner of 5th and Hewitt streets in 1897 as the Italian-American Grocery Co.

When the city's Italian immigrant community relocated to the North Broadway area after the turn of the century, the grocery store followed--moving to the ground level of a three-story hotel at the corner of Broadway and College Street in 1927.

The family skirted Prohibition laws and was soon catering to the Hollywood crowd--including comedian W.C. Fields, who slipped in for drinks weekly from a nearby sanitarium where he was staying.^^*

 

 

 
(ca. 1962)* - Exterior view of Little Joe's Restaurant, 900 North Broadway. Photo taken before major remodeling of the building took place. Another renovation took place even earlier (see previous photo).  

 

Historical Notes

Bob Nuccio is the great-grandson of the restaurant's founder. That makes Little Joe's one of Los Angeles' oldest family owned and operated businesses (founded 1897).^^*

 

 

 
(ca. 1972)* - Exterior view of Little Joe's Restaurant, 900 North Broadway. Photo taken after major remodeling of the building.  

 

Historical Notes

Bob Nuccio, his brother Steve and their mother, Marion, decided to close because the restaurant needed to be remodeled and updated. But to do that, they would be required to retrofit the over 100-year-old building (constructed in 1886) to make it earthquake-resistant and make it comply with the federal Americans With Disabilities Act. That would cost $800,000, more than they can afford.^^*

Little Joe's closed for business in December of 1998. The building would remain vacant until it was demolished December 2013 to make room for a mixed-use housing project.^^*

 

 

 

 
(2014)^^* - View of a section of L.A.'s original Zanja Madre unearthed at a constuction site located on the northeast corner of Broadway and College Street in Chinatown, previously occupied by Little Joe's Restaurant.  

 

Historical Notes

In December of 2013, developer Forest City Enterprises started demolishing Little Joe's to make way for a five-story project (Blossom Plaza) that will link Broadway with the elevated Chinatown Metro Rail station above North Spring Street to the east. Blossom Plaza will have 237 residential units, including 53 apartments where rents will be reduced for low-income tenants. It will also house 175 parking spaces open to the public and a landscaped courtyard next to the Metro Rail stop.^^*

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Zanja Madre - L.A.'s Oringinal Aqueduct

 

 

 

 

 
(1935)* - Exterior view of the old United States Hotel on March 16, 1935, once the center of the city's social life. For 80 years it stood on the southeast corner of Market and North Main Streets. The hotel was owned by the Mesmer family from 1863 until 1939 when the building was demolished.  

 

Historical Notes

The U.S. Hotel was built around 1863 at 170 North Main by Louis Mesmer, then remodeled and expanded in 1886. The hotel attracted a swanky crowd and served the “best two-bit meal in Southern California” in its dining room, according to advertisements and articles published in the Los Angeles Times. By the early 1930s, it was still owned by the Mesmer family and lodged only men, many on public assistance. #^

 

 

 
(ca. 1935)^^ - View of MainStreet looking north.  Two three-story Victorian-style buildings are pictured at center wedged between commercial shop fronts. The U.S. Hotel is closest to the foreground, while the Amestoy Building can be seen farther back. Both buildings feature a tower of sorts, the hotel's sprouting from the flat roof, the Amestoy Building's extending from a column of windows at its corner. The New Palace Cafe and a sign that reads "Shoe Store. Shoes for the whole family" can be seen at right. A sign to the left reads "Victor's". Cars are parked along the sidewalk. Street car cables are attached to the top of a streetlamp visible in the left foreground. The U.S. Hotel would be domolished two years after this photo was taken.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1937)^^ - View looking down from the top of City Hall showing the U.S. Hotel at 170 North Main Street at the southeast corner of Market Street (center of photo). Across the street is the Amestoy Building (left) which featured the Leighton Restaurant on the ground floor.  

 

 

 

 
(1939)^^ - View looking East from across North Main at Market Street showing both the Amestoy Building (left) and the U.S. Hotel (right). This photo was taken shortly before the U.S. Hotel was razed.  

 

 

 

 
(1939)* – View showing the U.S. Hotel being torn down.  The old U. S. Hotel stood on the southeast corner of North Main and Market streets since 1863.  It was the 3rd hotel built in Los Angeles (Bella Union and Lafayette hotels were built in the 1850's).  

 

Historical Notes

A gaunt ghost of bygone gaiety of the early days of Los Angeles, the old United States Hotel is shown as it is being torn down to make room for a more modern building. New sadness accompanied its demolishment when Mrs. Matilda M. Mesmer, widow of its manager for many years, Louis A. "Tony" Mesmer, died. She was the sister-in-law of Joseph Mesmer, prominent pioneer, who was the owner of the historic landmark. Photo dated: March 25, 1939.*

 

 

 
(1952)* - View of the Amestoy Block on the northeast corner of Main and Market Streets. Fagan's Cafeteria and Fountain is on the first floor.   

 

Historical Notes

Built in 1887 by Domingo Amestoy, the structure was Los Angeles' first brick office building and the first to have an elevator.^#*^

Note: The Nadeau Hotel also claims to have had the first elevator (built in 1882).

 

 

 
(1955)^#*^ - View of the Amestoy Building just before it was torn down. City Hall East now sits at this location. Note that the photo also shows a lounge called the Stake Out. This was a favorite hangout for police officers as it was across from headquarters, which was then located in City Hall.  

 

Historical Notes

On May 28, 1958, Times columnist Jack Smith wrote a column on the Amestoy Building:

“It was built by Domingo Amestoy in 1887 and it still stands at the northeast corner of Main and Market, across from City Hall.

It is alone now among the white concrete monoliths that have shouldered up around it, making it seem to grow smaller, like a very old man.

It has been condemned.  It will give way to the magnificent civic master plan.  Its doors are padlocked now and its bay windows have that blind look of windows in abandoned buildings.

It stands three stories high, not counting the cupola.  It is built of dark-red brick ornamented by elegant cornices and stone scrolls.

Its plump bay windows, like bustles, look obsolete and unnecessary, but beguiling.
It is a splendid example of the vogue of 1887, and once it has gone, its like may not be seen on earth again.

But Los Angeles is a city that forever renews itself.  The past is simply bulldozed away…” ^#*^

 

 

 
(1937)* - View of the open air Safeway market with its Spanish tiled roof located on 5509 Sunset Boulevard near Western. Just behind the Safeway market on the upper right can be seen the sign board for the more modern Sam Seelig Market at 1515 N. Western.  

 

Historical Notes

Sam Seelig Company was founded in April 1912 by Sam Seelig, who had come to California from Arizona in 1911. Seelig opened a single grocery store in Los Angeles at the corner of Pico and Figueroa streets. The chain had grown to 71 stores by 1922. After World War I, the firm became deeply indebted to its main grocery wholesaler, a firm owned by W.R.H. Weldon. In a swap of stock for debt, Weldon assumed control of the chain, leaving Seelig in charge of retail operations. Seelig then left the company in 1924 to enter the real estate business, forming Sam Seelig Realty.

As a result of Seelig's departure, the company held a contest in 1925 to develop a new name, the result of which was Safeway. The original slogan was "an admonition and an invitation" to "Drive the Safeway; Buy the Safeway.” The point of the name was that the grocery operated on a cash-and-carry basis; it did not offer credit, as had been traditional for grocers. It was the "safe way" to buy because a family could not get into debt via its grocery bill (as many families did, especially during the Great Depression). By 1926, Safeway Stores had 322 stores centered in Southern California.*^

 

* * * * *

 

Beverly Hills City Hall

 
(1932)*^^ - View of Beverly Hills City Hall the year it opened.  

 

Historical Notes

In February 1932, the cornerstone for City Hall was laid. The local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution planted the new facility's first tree. In April 1932, The Citizen commemorated a City Proclamation that read:

On this day, April 28, 1932, this souvenir issue of The Beverly Hills Citizen is dedicated to the first completed unit of the magnificent civic center project. ...Such an edifice, heart of America's most perfect residential city is pride-inspiring. ...Crowned with the approbation of those it serves, the new civic building will stand through the years, a monument to the sterling foresight, solid principles and pride of its citizens.*^*^

 

 

 
(ca 1936)^^ – Corner view of Beverly Hills City Hall located at 451 Crescent Drive.  Photo my Dick Whittington  

 

Historical Notes

Beverly Hills City Hall is a fanciful Spanish Renaissance building known for its pale blue exterior paint accents, its blue, green and gold tile dome, gilded cupola and architectural elements representing government and commerce.*^*^

 

 

 
(1937)* - Main entrance to Beverly Hills City Hall on August 9, 1937. This is a front (west) view of the office building erected in 1932 in the Spanish Colonial Revival style.
 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1932)^*# - View of the Beverly Hills City Hall courtyard showing two fountains surrounded by palm trees. Note the detail design of the arch entry. Designed by architect William Gage.  

 

Historical Notes

Built in 1932 and renovated in 1982, Beverly Hills City Hall features a low base with an eight-story tower with marble walls, terrazzo floors and intricate ceilings.*^*^

 

 

 
(1939)* - Exterior view of Beverly Hills City Hall and street as seen on August 7, 1939  

 

The building appears in the movie In a Lonely Place (dir. Nicholas Ray, 1950).  It is also used as the police department building in Beverly Hills Cop (dir. Martin Brest, 1984).*^

 

 

 
(2009)*^ – Close-up view of the Beverly Hills City Hall showing the detailed Spanish Colonial Revival style designs on its copula.  

 

 

 

 

 
(2012)*^ - Panoramic view of Beverly Hills City Hall as seen from Crescent Drive.  Photo by John O'Neill  

 

Historical Notes

The City Hall building houses the city administration, including the office of the Mayor of Beverly Hills and board meetings of the Beverly Hills City Council.  Additionally, it houses the Municipal Gallery, an evolving art space designed by interior designer Gere Kavanaugh. Inside the building, a sculpture by Auguste Rodin called Torso of a Walking Man can be seen. 

In May 2013, the Beverly Hills City Council voted to add the building to its list of historical preservations.*^

 

* * * * *

 

 

 

Lawry's Prime Rib Restaurant

 
(1938)^^#* – Night view showing Lawry’s - The Prime Rib Restaurant shortly after it opened, located on La Cienega Boulevard in Beverly Hills.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1922 Lawrence L. "Lawry" Frank and Walter Van de Kamp founded the Lawry's company and created the Tam O'Shanter Inn restaurant in the Los Feliz district of Los Angeles, which claims to be the oldest restaurant in Los Angeles still operated by the same family in the same location. Frank created a special seasoned salt for use at Tam O'Shanter, which was available only to customers.

In 1938 the two opened Lawry's The Prime Rib on La Cienega Boulevard in Beverly Hills. The same year, Lawry's began marketing its signature seasoned salt in retail stores. This was the beginning of a food products empire under the Lawry's name that today sells a wide range of seasonings and flavorings. The line was sold to Lipton/Unilever in 1979, which in turn sold it to McCormick & Company in 2008.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1947)^^#* – View of Lawry’s Restaurant at its second location at 55 N. La Cienega Boulevard (Today's location of the Stinking Rose Restaurant).  

 

Historical Notes

In 1947 Lawry's restaurant moved from its original location on La Cienega across the street and a few blocks further south to a larger, mostly windowless, strikingly modernistic building designed by Wayne McAllister.

In 1956, just prior to the 1957 Rose Bowl Game between the Oregon State Beavers and the Iowa Hawkeyes, Lawry's entertained the two competing teams. The Beavers were fed a prime rib dinner at the Beverly Hills restaurant and the Hawkeyes the same on the Pasadena City College football field following their practice. This started an annual tradition of hosting both Rose Bowl-bound teams, although following the inaugural event with Iowa the Big Ten teams were served outside Rose Bowl Stadium from 1957-1962. By 1963, when Illinois and Washington both dined at the restaurant on separate nights prior to the 1964 Rose Bowl Game, the two team events had become known as "Lawry's Beef Bowl." The Beef Bowl has expanded to the Dallas, Texas, location for the two Cotton Bowl participants.*^

 

 

 
(2007)*^ – View of Lawry’s Prime Rib Restaurant located at 100 N. La Cienega Boulevard.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1993 Lawry’s moved again to a new building located on the original site. McAllister's building is now occupied by The Stinking Rose, a well-known garlic-themed Italian restaurant.

In 1974, Lawry's opened a satellite in Chicago's River North district, followed by restaurants in Dallas in 1983 and Las Vegas in 1997. Internationally, Lawry's opened in Jakarta in 1996, Singapore 1999, Tokyo 2001, Taipei 2002, Hong Kong 2006, Shanghai & Osaka in 2008, and Seoul in 2013.*^

 

 

 
(1932)* - Exterior view of the Municipal Light-Water-Power (later DWP) Hollywood branch office located at 1613 North Cahuenga Boulevard. Note the Art Deco facade on the front of the building.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1902, Los Angeles formed its first municipal water utility and named it the Water Department. Nine years later the Bureau of Power and Light came along. A total of six different names have been used to refer to the two separate water and power organizations since that time. Not until 1937 did both organizations merge and become the Department of Water and Power. Click HERE to see more in DWP - Name Change Chronology.

 

 

 
(ca. 1937)* - A salesman is standing next to the electric range display at the Hollywood DWP Branch office on Caheunga.  

 

Historical Notes

For decades DWP was in direct competition with the Souhern California Gas Co. They promoted the use of electricity by putting on display electric ranges, electric refrigerators and smaller electric appliances in most of their commercial branch offices.

 

 

 
(1937)**^^ - “Gas: The Modern Fuel”: The Los Angeles Gas and Electric showroom at night. The company was purchased by the city and merged with the DWP shortly after this photo was taken.  

 

Historical Notes

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

On January 29th, 1937 the Bureau of Power and Light completed the purchase of Los Angeles Gas and Electric Corporation. Click HERE to see more in First Electricity in Los Angeles.

 

 

 
(1937)^*# - Close-up view of the Art-Deco front entrance to a Los Angeles Gas and Electric showroom.  

 

 

Click HERE to see more in LA Gas and Electric Corporation.

 

 

 

 

 
(1936)* - The luminous glass front of the new Vermont Avenue branch commercial office ocreates a striking effect. The sign over the front entrance reads: MUNICIPAL LIGHT - WATER - POWER. The building is located at the intersection of 59th Place and Vermont Avenue.  

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early DWP Branch Offices

 

 

 

 

 
(1938)* - View of a woman and young child walking into the new Commercial Branch office located at 2417 Daly Street.  Yet to be added above the marquee are the words "Municipal Light--Water—Power" (now DWP).  

 

Historical Notes

In 1988, the Los Angeles City Council declared the 2417 Daly Street Building LA Historic-Cultural Monument No. 384 (Click HERE to see complete listing).

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early DWP Branch Offices

 

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El Patio Auto Laundry

 
(ca. 1927)^*^# – View showing cars lined up at the El Patio Auto Laundry and Gas Station, located at the rear of 260 S. Vermont Avenue. The large building with the ornate towers on the left is the El Patio Ballroom (later Rainbow Gardens).  

 

Historical Notes

Some writers have claimed that this is the first car wash ever built, but not sure if this is correct.  The El Patio, owned by B.K. Gillespie, may have been the most influential of the early car washes, and Gillespie is credited with coming up with the super service station concept.

By 1928, Gillespie and other investors began opening a chain of super centers under the Gillespie Automobile Laundry System name which included a gas station. One of these early backers was Will Hays, a cleaner of motion picture content.^*^#

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

 

Rainbow Gardens (originally El Patio Ballroom - later Palomar Ballroom)

 
(1930s)**^ - View showing the Rainbow Gardens (previously the El Patio and later the Palomar) located near the intersection of 3rd and Vermont.  

 

Historical Notes

Originally named the El Patio Ballroom and located on the east side of Vermont Avenue between 2nd and 3rd Street, it boasted being “the largest and most famous dance hall on the West Coast."

The dance hall was renamed Rainbow Gardens by real estate developer Raymond Lewis, who purchased the property, added an indoor miniature golf course and changed the name to the Palomar Ballroom. It soon became a prime venue for the well-known bands that were rapidly gaining popularity. On August 21, 1935, Benny Goodman began his first Palomar engagement that marked the start of the swing era.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1938)* - View of cars parked along Vermont in front of the Palomar Ballroom showing the twin domes above its main entryway. The famous ballroom had a succession of names (El Patio, Rainbow Gardens, and the Palomar) since it opened in 1925.  

 

Historical Notes

Architect Samuel B. Bird designed the 1925 Spanish Colonial Revival style El Patio Ballroom, which could house up to 10,000 patrons. The amusement center, located at 245 South Vermont Avenue was later known as the Rainbow Gardens and finally the Palomar.*

 

 

 
(1930s)##** – Interior view of the Palomar Ballroom showing its over-sized dance floor.  

 

Historical Notes

The dance floor could accommodate four thousand couples. Admission was 40 cents for gentlemen and 25 cents for ladies. Opening night was attended by 20,000, including many of Hollywood’s silent screen stars.*^

 

 

 
(1939)* - The exterior of the Palomar as seen from across the street. Hedge level lettering gives the name 'CHARLIE BARNET' as entertainment for those who come for dining and dancing.  

 

Historical Notes

The ballroom hosted popular bands including those led by Tommy Dorsey, Glenn Miller, Artie Shaw, Glen Gray, Jimmy Dorsey and Kay Kyser, among others. Nightly radio broadcasts on local station KFLJ attracted large crowds to the “Dining, Dancing and Entertainment Center of the West.”

The famed structure was the backdrop for several major Hollywood films that included The Big Broadcast of 1937, made during Benny Goodman’s return engagement, and Dancing Coed, which starred Lana Turner and Artie Shaw’s band.*^

 

 

 
(1930s)* - Night view showing the well-lighted exterior of the Palomar.   The restaurant offers dining, dancing, and cocktails--"open 3 pm to 2 am". Note that the windows in the cocktail room door, and the window to the right of the corner of the building are both round.  

 

Historical Notes

The Palomar burned to the ground on October 2, 1939. A Ralphs Market now stands where the ballroom once stood.*^

 

 

Ambassador Hotel

 
(ca. 1938)* - Exterior view of the Ambassador Hotel and its renouned Cocoanut Grove from a distance.  

 

Historical Notes

The massive 500-room Ambassador Hotel, designed by renowned architect Myron Hunt, opened for business in 1921 on the site of a former dairy farm. It occupied 23.7 acres at 3400 Wilshire Boulevard, bordered by 8th Street, Catalina Street, and nearly to Mariposa Avenue. The hotel served as the stomping grounds for a staggering list of Hollywood legends, heads of state, and an endless list of famous personalities from the 20th Century. It is said that as many as seven U.S. Presidents stayed at the Ambassador, from Hoover to Nixon, along with heads of state from around the world.*

 

 

 
(ca. 1938)* - Three golfers watch a fourth golfer putt outside of the Ambassador Hotel, located at 3400 Wilshire Boulevard. A partial view of the Cocoanut Grove can be seen.  

 

Historical Notes

For decades, the the Ambassador Hotel's famed Cocoanut Grove nightclub hosted well-known entertainers, such as Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Judy Garland, Lena Horne, Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, Liza Minnelli, Martin and Lewis, The Supremes, Merv Griffin, Dorothy Dandridge, Vikki Carr, Evelyn Knight, Vivian Vance, Dick Haymes, Sergio Franchi, Perry Como, Dizzy Gillespie, Benny Goodman, Sammy Davis Jr., Little Richard, Liberace, Natalie Cole, and Richard Pryor.

From 1930 to 1943, six Academy Awards ceremonies were performed at the hotel.*^

 

 

 
(1946)^*# - View of the Ambassador Hotel and the Cocoanut Grove. The marquee reads "Freddy Martin Band".  

 

Historical Notes

Freddy Martin, led a big band for more than 50 years and helped establish the ''sweet'' jazz sound.  Martin’s career skyrocketed in 1941 when his band recorded ''Tonight We Love,'' which he had adapted from the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto in B flat.

Among the members of Martin's band who went on to success were Russ Morgan, a trombonist who formed a big band of his own, and Merv Griffin, who sang and played piano for the band in the 1940's and 50's, and went on to become a television talk-show host. ##^^

 

 

 

 
(1946)^*# - Front view of the Ambassador Hotel. Photo by "Dick" Whittington  

 

Historical Notes

A pivotal moment in world history happened in 1968, when Robert F. Kennedy was shot in a pantry off of the Embassy Room (and died 25 hours later), following his California Primary victory speech. The death of RFK coincided with the beginning of the hotel's demise.*

 

 

 

 
(2004)*^ - View of the Ambassador Hotel and Cocoanut Grove a year before being demolished.  

 

Historical Notes

The Schine family had owned the Ambassador for about 50 years, until its doors were closed on January 3, 1989 after 68 years of service, selling for $64 million. The landmark hotel was eventually demolished between late 2005 and early 2006.

The Central Los Angeles New Learning Center #1 K-3, and Central Los Angeles New Learning Center #1 4–8/HS, along with the Robert F. Kennedy Inspiration Park, were built on the site. The six schools were named as the Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools.*

 

 

Security-First National Bank Building (Wilshire)

 
(ca. 1938)^^ - View showing the Security-First National Bank of Los Angeles located at 5209 Wilshire Boulevard.  

 

Historical Notes

The Security-First National Bank Building was built in 1929.  It was designed by Morgan, Walls, and Clements, one of the oldest continuously operating architectural firms on the West Coast. The building is notable as one of the city's last remaining black-and-gold Art Deco structures, a diminutive version of the firm's downtown Richfield Building (built in 1928; demolished in 1968).^#^

 

 

 
(n.d.)##** - Detail view of the First National Bank Building on Wilshire near La Brea.  

 

Historical Notes

In 2005, the Security-First National Bank Building, 5207-5209 Wilshire Boulevard, was declared Historic-Cultural Monument No. 813 (Click HERE to see complete listing).

 

 

 
(1970s)^*#* – Front view of Security-First National Bank (later became known as the Security Pacific National Bank).  

 

Historical Notes

It was originally built as a neighborhood branch bank and served this purpose until 1970. The building was used as a restaurant/nightclub and later a Christian center.^#^

 

 

 

 
(2011)##^^ - Google street view showing the Security-First National Bank Building adjacent to the 1929-built E. Clem Wilson Building.++  

 

Historical Notes

Though only two stories high and dwarfed by its neighbors, this dazzling black-and-gold terra cotta building with zigzag moderne ornamentation makes its presence known.^#^

++Over the years several corporate names adorned The Wilson Building including (in chronological order): General Insurance, Mutual of Omaha (until 1990), Asashi, and Samsung.

 

 

French Chateau Apartments

 
(1937)###^ – View of The French Chateau Apartments located at 900 S. Hobart at the southeast corner of Hobart and James M. Woods boulevards.  

 

Historical Notes

The French Chateau Apartments was designed by architect Arlos Sedgley in 1937 and converted to condos in 2007. In 2005, the building was designated LA Historic-Cultural Monument No. 815 (Click HERE to see complete listing).

 

 

Knickerbocker Hotel

 
(1938)* - View of the Hollywood Knickerbocker Apartment Hotel, located on the east side of Ivar Avenue north of Hollywood Boulevard.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1923 E. M. Frasier built this 11-story hotel in Spanish Colonial style, which catered to Hollywood's film industry and was home to many stars throughout the years. This historic building began life as a luxury apartment building that was at the heart of Hollywood back in the 1920s, before becoming a hotel later in its history; its slogan was "Your home for a year or a day".*

 

 

 

 
(1946)^*# – View showing the front entrance to the Hollywood Knickerbocker Hotel located at 1714 Ivar Avenue.  

 

Historical Notes

The building has been linked with tragic deaths and because of this, it is considered haunted by some. Some unfortunate occurrences: D.W. Griffith died of a stroke on July 21, 1948 under the crystal chandelier of the lobby; a costume designer named Irene Gibbons jumped to her death from a hotel window; William Frawley, who lived at the hotel for decades, died of a heart attack on the sidewalk in front of the Knickerbocker. Other stars that frequented the hotel with better luck were: Rudolph Valentino, Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio, Frank Sinatra, Lana Turner, Mae West, and Cecil B. DeMille among many, many others.*

 

 

 

 

(1956)**^ - An Elvis sighting at the Hollywood Knickerbocker Hotel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Historical Notes

Before it became the allegedly haunted apartment complex it is today, this Hollywood hotel was a revolving door of A-list movie stars. Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio used to rendezvous at the hotel bar, and Elvis shacked up here while shooting his first film, “Love me Tender.” *#**

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1950s)#*## - View looking south on Vine Street as seen from the Hollywood Freeway. Spotlights illuminate the sky wih beams of light. From left to right are the: Capitol Records Building, The Broadway-Hollywood Building, and the Hotel Knickerbocker.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1970 a renovation project converted the hotel into housing for senior citizens.*

 

 

 

 

Earl Carrol Theatre

 
(ca. 1938)* - A photographic postcard showing the Earl Carroll Theater, located at 6230 Sunset Boulevard, as seen from across the street at night.
 

 

Historical Notes

Earl Carroll Theatre was the name of two important theaters owned by Broadway impresario and showman Earl Carroll. One was located on Broadway in New York City and the other on Sunset Blvd in Hollywood.

Earl Carroll built his second famous theatre at 6230 Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood that opened on December 26, 1938. As he had done at the New York theatre, over the doors of the entrance Carroll had emblazoned the words "Through these portals pass the most beautiful girls in the world." An "entertainment palace," the glamorous supper club-theatre offered shows on a massive stage with a 60-foot wide double revolving turntable and staircase plus swings that could be lowered from the ceiling.*^

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1938)**^# - View showing the Earl Carroll Theater revolving stage under construction.  What appears to be Earl Carroll is reviewing plans with designers and others while the chorus line girls position themselves on the yet to be completed revolving stage.  

 

Historical Notes

An "entertainment palace," the glamorous supper club-theatre offered shows on a massive stage with a 60-foot wide double revolving turntable and staircase plus swings that could be lowered from the ceiling.*^

 

 

 

 
(n.d.)##** – Interior view of the Earl Carroll Theater as seen from the revolving stage.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1939)***# - View of the front of the Earl Caroll Theatre with a woman's face in neon outline above the entrance.  

 

Historical Notes

The Earl Carroll Theatre's facade was adorned by what at the time was one of Hollywood's most famous landmarks: a 20-foot high neon head portrait of entertainer Beryl Wallace, one of Earl Carroll's "most beautiful girls in the world," who became his devoted companion. The sign had long since vanished by the 1960s, but a re-creation made from photos is today on display at Universal City Walk, at Universal City, as part of the collection of historic neon signs from the Museum of Neon Art.

Another major feature at the theatre was its "Wall of Fame" where many of Hollywood's most glamorous stars had inscribed personal messages on individual concrete blocks, which were mounted on an outside wall of the building.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1940)* - Exterior view of the Earl Carroll Theatre, located at 6230 Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood. Plaques affixed to the building reveal signatures from some of the top performers of the day; from left to right, Edward G. Robinson, Miriam Hopkins, Jean Hersholt, Binnie Barnes, Charles Laughton, Elsa Lanchester, Bob Hope, Nelson Eddy, Ginger Rogers, and Mickey Rooney. A banner on which most of Jimmy Durante's name is visible hangs a foot or so away from the building.  

 

Historical Notes

The Earl Carroll Theatre  was sold following the 1948 deaths of Earl Carroll and Beryl Wallace in a plane crash. After a few changes in ownership over the decades, the building has housed the West Coast production of live-action original series produced for the Nickelodeon cable channel since 1997.*

 

 

 
(ca. 1930s)* - Architectural drawing showing a wedding cake type of tower with FOX in large vertical letters near the top. On the marquee around and above the movie theater entrance below are the letters: Fox Westwood Village - gala premiere - Friday Oct. 19 - stars-lights-excitement!  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1938)* - Fox Theater is in the center of the picture, FOX clearly visible at the top of the building, and streamers of flags hanging from mid-high on the building down to the bop of the marquee. Advertised on the marquee is the movie My lucky star with Sonja Henie, R. Greene. On the right in the picture is the Bruin Theater.  

 

Historical Notes

Designed by architect Percy Parke Lewis the Fox opened on August 14, 1931 part of a widespread cinema construction program undertaken by Fox West Coast Theatres. The Fox Theater quickly became the most recognizable symbol of the new Westwood Village, a Mediterranean-style village development adjoining the University of California Los Angeles planned by Harold and Edwin Janss of the Janss Investment Company.*^

 

 

 
(1951)* - Nighttime view of the Fox Westwood Village Theater (later renamed the Mann Village Theater). Crowds of people stand at the front of the theater to attend a premiere.  

 

 

 

 
(1949)**^ - View looking northwest down Broxton Avenue. 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.  

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of Westood and UCLA

 

 

 

 

 
(1930s)***# - Front view of the Pico Drive-In Theater near the intersection of Westwood and Pico Boulevards. In 1934, when it first opened, the name was simply Drive-In Theatre. The name was changed to Pacific and later Pico Drive-In Theatre since more drive-ins were sprouting up.  

 

Historical Notes

The Pico Drive-In Theatre was the first theatre of its kind built in the Western United States.  It was constructed in 1934 just one year after the first drive-in was opened in Camden, New Jersey (Hollingshead Drive-In).*^

 

 

 

 
(1938)* - View inside the Pico Drive-In Theater with its over-sized speakers.  

 

Historical Notes

Early drive-in theaters had to deal with noise pollution issues. The original Hollingshead drive-in (Camden, New Jersey) had speakers installed on the tower itself which caused a sound delay affecting patrons at the rear of the drive-in's field. In 1935, the Pico Drive-in Theater attempted to solve this problem by having a row of speakers in front of the cars. In 1941, RCA introduced in-car speakers with individual volume controls which solved the noise pollution issue and provided satisfactory sound to drive-in patrons.*^

 

 

 

 
(1934)^^#* - A slightly raised view of two long lines of automobiles waiting to get in to the first drive-in theater in Los Angeles at 10860 West Pico. There is a ticket booth in the bottom right corner, and two young men dressed in white speaking to the drivers of the automobiles at the front of the lines. Across the street there is a grocery store called "Green Spray Market".   

 

 

 

 
(1934)*^^ - Opening night at the Pico Drive-In Theater, 10850 W. Pico Boulevard, September 9, 1934.  

 

Historical Notes

Later known as the Pacific Drive-In, as it was operated by Pacific Theatres. By 1943, it was known as the Pico Drive-in, and was closed and demolished in 1947. The Picwood Theatre was built on part of the site.^^*

 

 

 

 
(1941)***^- An aerial view of Westwood and Rancho Park, taken on May 11, 1941. The Pico Drive-In is located at the left center of the picture.  

 

 

 

 
(1947)**^# - The Pico Drive-In, located at the corner of Pico and Westwood.  

 

Historical Notes

Movies have always held a place at this intersection of West Los Angeles—from the 1948 built Picwood Theatre (which was demolished in 1990) to the 4-screen Landmark Theatre inside the Westside Pavilion, which opened in the 1980’s.^^*

 

 

 

 

(n.d.)***# - Window-mounted drive-in speakers...one for your car...one for the car on the other side of you. Later systems would transmit the signal through your AM radio.

 

 

 

Historical Notes

The outdoor theaters reached the zenith of their popularity during the 1950s.  Piling the kids in the car made for a cheap family night out, and drive-ins were a favorite hangout for teens who'd recently gotten driver's licenses.

The activities of the teenagers prompted another nickname for drive-in theaters — "passion pits". **^^

 

 

 

Chapman Park Hotel

 
(ca. 1938)* - View of Wilshire Boulevard looking west from Mariposa as seen from a double decker tour bus. From right to left this view includes: the Pueblo bungalow court of the Chapman Hotel (before the Zephyr Room was built), the Cord Building with KFAC radio towers, and the Wilshire Christian Church.  

 

Historical Notes

Architect Robert H. Orr designed the 1927 Northern Italian Romanesque Wilshire Christian Church, located at 3461 Wilshire Boulevard (also 646 South Normandie Avenue), replacing a smaller bungalow style 1911 church. In 1940, First Christian Church of Los Angeles merged with Wilshire Boulevard Christian Church to become Wilshire Christian Church, which is of the Disciples of Christ denomination. The building, which features a 200-foot tower and rose stained glass window designed by Judson Studios, was declared Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 209 in 1979 (Click HERE to see complete listing).*

 

 

 
(1938)* - View showing cars passing by the archway to the courtyard of the Chapman Park Hotel on Wilshire Boulevard (before the Zephyr Room was built). Photo by Herman Schultheis  

 

Historical Notes

Architect Carleton Monroe Wilson, Sr. designed the 1925 Chapman Park Hotel, located at 3401 Wilshire Boulevard, owned by Samuel James Chapman. In 1936 Wilson designed bungalows and a chapel called the Pueblo extending the grounds to encompass a full city block. The hotel and pueblo were demolished and replaced by the 1969 Equitable Plaza Office Building.*

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1947)#^*^ - View of the gated entrance to the Chapman Park Hotel as seen from Wilshire Boulevard. On the right, northwest corner of Wilshire and Alexandria Avenue, is the Zephyr Room.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1947)#^*^ - View of the Zephyr Room located on the northwest corner of Wilshire and Alexandria Avenue. The sign above the door on the Wilshire side reads "Cocktails". The sign on the Alexandria Avenue side reads: "Coffee Shop". The radio tower in the background belongs to the Packard Bell Building.  

 

 

 

 

 
(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)**^ - 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.  

 

* * * * *

 

Union Station

 
(ca. 1930)^^ - View looking northeast from City Hall showing the old part of Los Angeles including the LA Plaza and Chinatown. At left can be seen the ornate Baker Building with its three distinct towers located on the historic 300 Block of N. Main Street. Los Angeles Street runs diagonally from lower-right to upper-left. Aliso Street runs from Los Angeles Street, at center, east and then tunrs diagonally up. The propsed site of the new Union Station would be northeast of the intersection of Los Angeles and Aliso Streets.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1926, a measure was placed on the ballot giving Los Angeles voters the choice between the construction of a vast network of elevated railways or the construction of a much smaller Union Station to consolidate different railroad terminals. The election would take on racial connotations and become a defining moment in the development of Los Angeles. The proposed Union Station was located in the heart of what was Los Angeles' original Chinatown. Reflecting the prejudice of the era, the conservative Los Angeles Times, a lead opponent of elevated railways, argued in editorials that Union Station would not be built in the “midst of Chinatown” but rather would “forever do away with Chinatown and its environs.” *^

 

 

 

 
(1934)^^ - Caption reads:  “Site of new Union Terminal (enclosed by lines), where dirt to be removed from Fort Moore Hill will be used for filling in. This great depot will serve all steam railroads entering Los Angeles. Chinatown is seen in foreground of station site."  

 

Historical Notes

Voters approved demolishing much of Chinatown to build Union Station by a narrow 51 to 48 percent.*^

 

 

 
(1938)^^ - View looking north toward Union Station, still under construction. The main road going along the left side of the photo is Alameda Street. Aliso Street is at the southern end of the station near where the Hollywood Freeway is located today.  

 

Historical Notes

When Union Station was opened in May 1939, it consolidated remaining service from its predecessors La Grande Station and Central Station. It was built on a grand scale and became known as "Last of the Great Railway Stations" built in the United States.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1939)#### – View showing workers at Los Angeles Union Station alongside a Southern Pacific Daylight Special which would link Los Angeles with San Francisco on daily trips.  

 

 

 

 
(1939)^^ - Crowds watch train while celebrating completion of the new Union Station.  

 

Historical Notes

Examiner clipping attached to verso, dated May 4, 1939: "Stirring awake memories that had slumbered for more than a century, railroad officials yesterday staged a colorful pageant of transportation that thrilled thousands of Angelenos for two hours. Gayly costumed ladies of the Gay Nineties -- and the years before -- rode stage coaches and horse cars and stuttering, slow-moving trains of another era. Derby-hatted, mustachioed gentlemen in tight coats pumped high-wheeled bicycles -- 'bone-crushers' they were known as in those days -- all to celebrate formal opening of the new Union Station, pictured in background as oldest Union Pacific train approaches the city's newest in beautiful architecture." ^^

 

 

 
(ca. 1939)* -View of the main entrance and clock tower of the new Los Angeles Union Station.  

 

Historical Notes

Union Station was designed by the father and son team of John Parkinson and Donald B. Parkinson, and opened in May 1939. The structure combines Spanish Colonial, Mission Revival, and Streamline Modern style, with Moorish architectural details. It was named the Los Angeles Union Passenger Terminal (LAUPT), until it's owner, Catellus Development, officially changed the name to Los Angeles Union Station (LAUS).*

 

 

 

 
(1939)* - Interior view of the new Union Station soaring ticket concourse with its beamed ceiling, arched windows, travertine marble walls and tile floors. The new station covers 40 acres on North Alameda Street near the old Plaza. Photo date: April 15, 1939.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1939)* - Interior view of the Harvey House Restaurant in Union Station. Built in 1933-39, it was designed by architects Donald and Charles Parkinson.
 

 

 

 

 

 
(1939)*^^ - The iconic leather chairs in Union Station’s waiting area, ready for the coming crowds.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1939)* - Interior view of the main course, L.A. Union Station, showing the tiled floors and high ceilings.  

 

 

 

 
(1939)#* - View of the waiting area at Union Station. The stylish hanging lamps coupled with the large floor-to-ceiling windows provide more than ample light for reading.  

 

 

 

 
(1940)^^ - View looking south over Union Station and past its clock tower.  City Hall, the Federal Building and the Hall of Records stand in the background. Photo by "Dick" Whittington  

 

 

 

 
(1939)^^ – View showing Union Station from across its parking lot shortly after the train station's opening. Photo by "Dick" Whittington
 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1939)* - View of the sidewalk and landscaping outside the entrance to Union Station. View also shows the clock in the tower at the Station and the photographer’s shadow in the foreground.  

 

 

 

 
(1940)* - Exterior view of Los Angeles Union Station, located at 800 N. Alameda Street, showing several palm trees, arched windows, and the large tower and clock.
 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1940)* – View looking northeast across the Union Station parking lot showing its iconic signage.  Photo by Herman J. Schultheis  

 

 

 

 
(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.  

 

Historical Notes

Union Station was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. It also is listed as Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 101 (Click HERE to see complete listing).

 

 

Baker Block

 
(ca. 1938)^^ - View of downtown looking southwest from where Union Station sits today. The new Federal Courthouse Building is under construction as seen between City Hall and the Hall of Justice. Alameda Street is in the foreground. The old Baker Block with its distinctive three towers still stands at the center of photo.  

 

Historical Notes

The area in the extreme foreground is now Union Station. The street in front is Alameda Street, and those buildings ahead of Alameda were knocked down and are now landscaping and on ramps to the 101 Hollywood/Santa Ana Freeway. Old Chinatown started being demolished around 1933, and Union Station opened in 1939.**^

To the right-center of the photo is the Pico House in front of the LA Plaza which is out of view to the right. The old 1877-built Baker Block can be seen in the center of the photo just below the Federal Courthouse Building. The Baker Block would be demoished in 1942 to make room for the 101 Freeway.

 

 

 
(ca. 1930s)* - Looking across N. Main Street (foreground) towards the French Second Empire style Baker Block, on the southeast corner at Arcadia Street (lower left), and the Grand Central Hotel (right). Photo by Herman Schultheis.  

 

Historical Notes

The ornate three-story Baker Block located on the 300 block of N. Main Strreet was completed around 1877 by Colonel Robert S. Baker. For a number of years, the building housed offices, shops, and apartments. Goodwill Industries of Southern California purchased it in 1919. Despite plans to relocate the structure for another purpose, the city purchased the Baker Block from Goodwill in 1941 and demolished the building a year later. U.S. Route 101 now runs beneath where these buildings once stood.*

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of the Historic 300 Block of N. Main Street.

 

 

 
(ca. 1939)^^ - View looking up Marchessault Street with Alameda Street crossing at bottom and Los Angeles Street crossing at mid distance. The LA Plaza is at upper-center left. The old Water Department Building, now occupied by the F. See On Company, stands on the northwest corner of Marchessault and Alameda.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1939, the first home of the Department of Water and Power was sold to the City to make way for the Civic Center development planned in connection with the new Union Passenger Depot. Located at the corner of Marchessault and Alameda Streets, directly across from the almost completed railroad station, the property was the main office of the municipal water works when the City bought out the private water companies operating here until 1902.^

 

 

 
(1939)^^ - Photo caption reads:   "Another Landmark Gives Way to Progress -- Photo shows wrecking yesterday of first home of the Department of Water and Power, recently purchased by the City, to make a wide approach by way of Marchessault Street to the new Union Station. With work being rushed, thousands of persons will occupy the site of this landmark on May 3, when the celebration's parade passes on Alameda Street. The old building was the main office of the municipal water works when the City bought out the private water companies operation here until 1902."  

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Water Department's Original Office Building.

 

 

 

 

Los Angeles Stock Exchange Building

 
(ca. 1929)+*^ – Sketch showing the Los Angeles Stock Exchange Building located at 619 S. Spring Street.  

 

Historical Notes

Built in 1929, the eleven-story exchange building was designed by Samuel Lunden in the Moderne style. Ground was broken in October 1929, just as the Great Depression hit, and when the Los Angeles Stock Exchange opened its doors there in 1931, the country was deep into the Depression.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1932)* - View of Spring Street looking north from between 6th and 7th Streets, full of cars, streetcars and pedestrians. At right is the Los Angeles Stock Exchange building (later the Pacific Coast Stock Exchange), located at 618 South Spring Street and built in 1929-1930.  

 

Historical Notes

As Los Angeles expanded southward in the early twentieth century, the city’s banks and financial institutions began to concentrate along Spring Street.*^

 

 

 
(1939)* - Exterior view of the Los Angeles Stock Exchange Building at 618 South Spring Street on May 5, 1939, ten years after it was built.  

 

Historical Notes

The street façade is clad entirely in granite, a rarity in Los Angeles, where terra cotta was more economical. It features massive, fluted pilasters that frame three bas reliefs by sculptor Salvatore Cartaino Scarpitta titled Finance, Research and Discovery, and Production. Above the central entrance is an inscription incised into the granite that proclaims the mission and founding date of the Stock Exchange.^#^

 

 

 
(1931)* - Night view of the main doorway into the building. Note the architectural designs on the door and around the entrance.  

 

Historical Notes

The massive bronze entrance doors, twelve feet high and featuring intricate patterns in low relief, were claimed by the manufacturer to be the largest bronze doors of their type ever fabricated in this part of the country.^#^

 

 

 
(1930s)^^ - Interior view of the trading floor of the Los Angeles Stock Exchange empty of people. Benches can be seen at center back-to-back, while two desks can be seen at left and two at right. Smaller desks line the wall, while what appears to be a balcony extends around the walls. Clocks can be seen on the wall at left and at right, while a pattern is visible on the ceiling. In size - 6,580 square feet - it was second only to the New York Exchange.  

 

Historical Notes

Included in the $1.75 million structure was a fifth floor clearing-house, a statistical department, and a large auditorium in addition to a smaller lecture room with space for fifty. Offices were on the sixth through ninth floors, and a club with a library, card room, billiard room, and reading rooms were planned for the top two floors. A 2,660-square-foot printing room was located in the basement. The building’s highlight was its 90’ x 74’ balconied trading room with a forty-foot ceiling and sixty-four booths.**^^

 

 

 
(1931)^^ - Inside view of the going-ons on the trading floor at the Pacific Coast Stock Exchange (originally the Los Angeles Stock Exchange) at 618 South Spring Street in Los Angeles.  

 

 

 

 
(1954)^^ - Exterior view of the Los Angeles Stock Exchange, located at 618 South Spring Street in Los Angeles. View is a direct view of the main facade.  

 

Historical Notes

Designed in the Classical Moderne style to impart a sense of financial stability, the building’s imposing, fortress-like street facade rises the equivalent of five stories. A slender twelve-story office tower clad in terra cotta is set back at the rear.^#^

 

 

 
(2009)**^^ – View showing the front of the Los Angeles Stock Exchange Building as it appears today.  

 

Historical Notes

The Stock Exchange became part of the Pacific Stock Exchange in 1956, and it moved out of the building in 1986. In the 1980s, the building was converted into a nightclub called the Stock Exchange. After undergoing an extensive interior renovation, the building reopened in 2010 as Exchange LA, a nightclub and event venue.^#^

On January 3, 1979, the Los Angeles Stock Exchange Building was designated LA Historic-Cultural Monument No. 205 (Click HERE to see complete listing).

 

* * * * *

 

Hall of Justice

 
(1925)* - Construction of the new Hall of Justice building, with the granite facing nearing completion.  

 

Historical Notes

Constructed in 1925, this Beaux Arts facility was built as an imposing structure meant to convey a sense of justice and public importance. The 14 story, 550,000 square-foot high-rise building was the nation’s first consolidated judicial facility. The Hall was designed in the classic Italianate style.*#*^

 

 

 
(1925)#+ – View looking north on Broadway at Temple Street with the newly constructed Hall of Justice standing on the northeast corner.  The Broadway Tunnel can be seen on the left. Photo courtesy of Malinda Ramsey  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1928)* - View from City Hall looking northwest toward the Hall of Justice. The County Courthouse, with banners hanging from its windows, is to the left.  

 

Historical Notes

The Hall of Justice accommodated a wide range of functions for the County of Los Angeles, including the Sheriff’s Department, Coroner, District Attorney, Public Defender, and Tax Collector. Additionally, the building housed 17 courtrooms and a county jail with over 750 cells.*#*^

 

 

 

 
(1939)* - Exterior view of the Hall of Justice looking northwest, taken from Spring Street on May 4, 1939. In the foreground is the retaining wall and yard of the old County Courthouse on Spring and Temple Streets, with the door to its tunnel visible. The historic Beaux Arts building was built in 1925 and is the oldest building in the Civic Center.  

 

Historical Notes

The Hall imprisoned many notorious criminals, such as Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel, Charles Manson, and Sirhan Sirhan, and served as the backdrop for many movies and scores of Hollywood shows including Dragnet and Get Smart. Other historical events included the autopsies of Senator Robert F. Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe.*#*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1940)**^ - View looking northeast of the intersection of Broadway and Temple with the Hall of Justice located on the northeast corner. The Broadway Tunnel, which runs under Fort Moore Hill, is seen in the background.  

 

Historical Notes

The Hall of Justice was closed shortly after the 1994 Northridge earthquake and is currently being restored.  It is scheduled to re-open as the Sheriff's and District Attorney's Headquarters in 2014.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1946)* - The Hall of Justice at center. The U. S. Post Office is behind and to the right. On the left is the old Broadway Tunnel.  

 

Historical Notes

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

 

 

 
(2005)* - Exterior view of the Los Angeles County Hall of Justice and the corner of Spring and Temple Streets, looking northwest. Temple Street runs to the left and Spring Street to the right.  

 

 

 

 
(2005)* - Exterior detail view of the colonnade on the east facade of the Los Angeles County Hall of Justice, looking northwest. The colonnade runs along the perimeter of the upper floors and terra cotta detailing can be seen above and below the columns.  

 

 

 

 
(1955)^^ - Driving east on the Hollywood Freeway, Los Angeles' Civic Center provides a massive and impressive appearance. In immediate foreground is the Hall of Justice, with the Federal Building framing it on left and the City Hall and Hall of Records, on right. Grand avenue exit from new freeway is seen in lower right. Just beyond the Civic Center, Hollywood Freeway joins the Santa Ana and Ramona Freeways, both of which are in the process of extension.  

 

 

 

Federal Courthouse and United States Post Office Building

 
(ca. 1938)^^ - View of downtown looking southwest from where Union Station sits today. The new Federal Courthouse and U.S. Post Office Building is under construction as seen between City Hall and the Hall of Justice. Alameda Street is in the foreground. The historic ornate Baker Block with its distinctive three towers is seen at center of photo.  

 

Historical Notes

Built between 1937 and 1940, the United States Court House was the third federal building constructed in Los Angeles. The first, constructed between 1889 and 1892, housed the post office, U.S. District Court, and various federal agencies, but it soon proved inadequate. A larger structure was built between 1906 and 1910 at the corner of Main and Temple Streets. The population of Los Angeles grew rapidly in the early part of the twentieth century, and a larger building was needed to serve the courts and federal agencies. The Second Federal Building was razed in 1937 to clear the site for the existing courthouse.*^

 

 

 
(1939)**^ - View of the Plaza with the LA downtown skyline in the background. From left to right stand City Hall, the Federal Courthouse still under construction (completed in 1940), the Hall of Records, and the Hall of Justice.  The old Brunswig Building can also be seen on the other side of the LA Plaza across from the Pico House.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1940)^^ - Aerial view of the Civic Center showing the recently completed Federal Courthouse and U.S. Post Office Building with City Hall in the foreground. The new Union Station (built in 1938) is also seen at top of photo.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1940) - Postcard view showing the new Federal Courthouse and U.S. Post Office Building near City Hall and old Main Street. Click HERE to see more in Early Views of the Historic 300 Block of N. Main Street.  

 

 

 
(ca. 1945)* - View looking at the northwest corner of Temple and Main streets showing the Federal Courthouse and U.S. Post Office Building.
 

 

Historical Notes

The United States Court House is a Moderne style building that originally served as both a post office and a courthouse. The building was designed by Gilbert Stanley Underwood and Louis A. Simon, and construction was completed in 1940.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1947)* - View looking at the northeast corner of Temple and Spring streets showing the front of the Federal Courthouse and United States Post Office Building, 312 N. Spring Street.  

 

 

 

 
(1949)* - View of the Los Angeles Civic Center, showing the Federal Courthouse and U.S. Post Office Building as well as City Hall, as seen from Fort Moore. Numerous cars can be seen on the streets as well as in parking lots.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1940)* - View of the Los Angeles Civic Center, showing Los Angeles City Hall and the Federal Courthouse and U.S. Post Office Building.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1940s)* - Exterior view of the Federal Courthouse and U.S. Post Office Building, located at 312 N. Spring Street. The Stephen M. White Statue, which was previously located on the corner of Temple and Broadway on the lawn of the Hall of Records, is seen here on the corner of 1st and Hill outside the new courthouse.  

 

Historical Notes

Stephen M. White was elected Los Angeles County District Attorney in 1882, State Senator in 1886 and United States Senator in 1893. During his term in the United States Senate, Senator White’s most notable accomplishment was his successful leadership of the fight to create the Los Angeles Harbor in San Pedro as opposed to Santa Monica Bay, the site that was being advocated by powerful railroad interests.

In 1989, the statue was moved again to its present location, at the entrance to Cabrillo Beach off Stephen M. White Drive, overlooking the breakwater at the L.A. Harbor.^###

 

* * * * *

 

U.S. Post Office Terminal Annex Building

 
(1940)* - Front entrance to the United States Post Office Terminal Annex Building. Located at 900 N. AlamedaSt., the Terminal Annex was built from 1939 to 1940.  

 

Historical Notes

Photo clipping reads: "New United States Post Office Terminal Annex, at Alameda and Macy Streets, which will be open for business Monday. Costing $3,000,000, the building has a score or more 'first, biggest and only features,' including hollow column ventilation, new combination of conveyor belts and gravity chutes and biggest and fastest freight elevators."

 

 

 
(1940s)^^ – View showing the Terminal Annex Building and parking lot.  

 

Historical Notes

The U.S. Post Office - Los Angeles Terminal Annex was the central mail processing facility located on Alameda Street near Union Station in Los Angeles from 1940 to 1989. The Mission Revival and Spanish Colonial Revival building designed by Gilbert Stanley Underwood was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1985.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1945)* - United States Post Office Terminal Annex as seen from Union Station across Cesar Chavez (formerly Macy Street).  

 

Historical Notes

Only ten years after its opening, the demands of the city's mail had already outgrown the facility. Accordingly, the Post Office announced plans in 1950 for a $12 million expansion, including an adjoining five-story parcel post building and other structures as well.

By the 1980s, the operations had outgrown even the expanded facilities at the Terminal Annex. The facility's volume had grown by the mid-1980s to 14 million pieces of mail per day, and the annex was plagued by inadequate space, overcrowding and inadequate work areas. Accordingly, the Postal Service Board of Governors in 1984 approved the construction of a new $151 million general post office in South-Central Los Angeles. Almost 50 years after Terminal Annex became the city's main mail-processing facility, the new processing facility in South Central opened in 1989. Despite the move of the processing facility, the customer service windows in the Terminal Annex's ornate lobby remain open.*^

 

* * * * *

 

 

Mudd Memorial Hall (USC)

 
(1938)#^*^ – Postcard view showing the Mudd Memorial Hall on the campus of University of Southern California.  

 

Historical Notes

Built in 1929, the Italian Romanesque Revival style buildng was designed by architect Ralph C. Flewelling.^##^

 

 

 

 
(1939)* - Exterior view of Mudd Memorial Hall and its tower at U.S.C., designed by architect Ralph C. Flewelling.  

 

Historical Notes

Seeley Mudd Memorial Hall of Philosophy is one of the oldest and most beautiful buildings on the USC campus. The Romanesque structure features a cloistered courtyard, a 146-foot campanile, and the double-height library, as well as dramatic spaces filled with elaborate carvings and decorative surfaces.^##^

 

 

 
(1939)* - Side view of Mudd Memorial Hall and clock tower, built in 1929.  

 

Historical Notes

The famous clock tower stands 146 feet above the junction of the North and West wings, equipped with chimes manufactured by Deagan. Ornate sculptures, reliefs, and mosaics adorn the building. The Argonaut's Hall, in which many philosophy seminars and lectures take place, is also ornately decorated and depicts Jason's search for the golden fleece.^^^#

 

 

 
(1946)^^ - View of arched walkway at Mudd Memorial Hall.  

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 
(1939)* - Exterior view of the CBS Columbia Square building located at 6121 Sunset Boulevard. It was built on the site of the Nestor Studios, the first movie studio in Hollywood.  

 

Historical Notes

CBS Columbia Square, opened on April 30, 1938, was built for KNX and as the Columbia Broadcasting System's West Coast operations headquarters on the site of the Nestor Film Company, Hollywood's first movie studio. The Christie Film Company eventually took over operation of Nestor Studios and filmed comedies on the site, originally the location of an early Hollywood roadhouse. Prior to moving to Columbia Square, KNX had been situated at several Hollywood locations.*^

 

 

 
(1940)* - Exterior view of the CBS Columbia Square building, 6121 Sunset Boulevard.  

 

Historical Notes

Columbia Square was designed by Swiss-born architect William Lescaze in the style of International Modernism and built over a year at a cost of two million dollars — more money than had ever been spent on a broadcasting facility.

In early 2009, CBS Columbia Square Studios were designated as a historic-cultural monument by Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1939)* - Man sitting at the master control point of CBS, Hollywood Radio Center. Woman is operating the teleplex, an electric typewriter.  

 

Historical Notes

The five-story CBS Columbia Square complex was home to radio stations KNX 1070 and KCBS 83FM, as well as CBS Channel 2 television station.*^

 

 

 
(1939)* - A night view, with neon signs lit, of the exterior of the studio of CBS radio and its L.A. affiliate KNX.  

 

Historical Notes

In 2005, KNX moved into new studios in the Miracle Mile neighborhood on L.A.'s Wilshire Boulevard which it shares with CBS Radio stations KFWB, KTWV, and KRTH. KNX was the last radio station to operate in Hollywood.

In 2007, KCBS-TV and KCAL-TV also left the building and moved their operations to the CBS Studio Center in Studio City, thus ending Columbia Square's status as a broadcast facility.*^

 

 

 
(1938)* - An exterior view of NBC's studio, Hollywood Radio City, located in Hollywood on the northeast corner of Sunset Blvd. and Vine St. The art deco station was designed by John Austin and was built in 1938.  

 

Historical Notes

The West Coast Radio City opened in 1938, the same year as the CBS Columbia Square. It served as headquarters to the NBC Radio Networks' (Red and Blue) West Coast operations and replaced NBC's radio broadcast center in San Francisco, which had been around since the network's formation in 1927.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1940)^*# - View looking northeast at the intersection of Sunset Boulevard and Vine Street. NBC's Radio City stands on the corner. Note the ornate dual-lamp streetlight at the bottom of photo. Click HERE to see more in Early Views of LA Streetlights.  

 

Historical Notes

The National Broadcasting Company originally used the phrase Radio City to describe their studios at Rockefeller Center in New York City.  When NBC opened their new Hollywood studios at Sunset and Vine in 1938, they placed the words Radio City prominently on the front of their new building.  However, the area between Hollywood Boulevard and Sunset Boulevard on Vine Street became known as Radio City for tourists and locals alike who visited the many radio studios and radio themed cocktail lounges and businesses in the area.**^^

 

 

 
(ca. 1940)#* - Interior view of the front entrance to the studios at NBC Hollywood Radio City. The floor-to-ceiling glass tile windows allows natural light to fill the very large open spaced lobby.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1938)^*#^ - View of the lobby of NBC’s Hollywood Radio City dominated by a 25 x 40 ft. mural painted by Ed Trumbull of New York. Beneath mural is the master control room.  

 

Historical Notes

In the 1930’s, 40’s, and 50’s the NBC studio complex, coupled with CBS Columbia Square (located just down the street), was home to all the major radio studios that broadcast coast to coast.  It’s where the great personalities of the day, including Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Jack Benny, Burns and Allen, Al Jolson and many more assembled to entertain America. #^^^

 

 

 
(1938)* - Engineer's control room in NBC's Hollywood Radio City.  

 

Historical Notes

NBC’s West Coast Radio City building had 8 large individual studios, four of which had capacity for several hundred people.  The technical facilities included the most modern RCA equipment.*^

 

 

 

 
(1940s)#* - View of a man walking in front of the beautifully sleek streamline moderne architectural design NBC Radio City building.  

 

Historical Notes

Architect: John C. Austin (City Hall, Griffith Observatory, Hollywood Masonic Temple, Shrine Auditorium).*^

 

 

 

 
(1940s)**^ - Dusk view of the NBC Hollywood Radio City building on the northwest corner of Sunset and Vine.  

 

Historical Notes

The NBC studio complex stood until 1964 when it was demolished to make room for a Home Savings and Loan bank (now Chase Bank). #*

 

 

 
(1938)#^* - View of Wilshire Boulevard as it passes through MacArthur Park. The Westlake Theatre Sign stands out in the background.  

 

Historical Notes

The Westlake Theatre opened in 1926 at 638 S. Alvarado Street, across from Westlake Park (now MacArthur).  It had a seating for 1,949 patrons and was used for both motion pictures and vaudeville shows.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1930)* - An exterior view of the Westlake Theatre located at 638 South Alvarado Street. The marquee advertises a Fox Picture big studio preview, and the words "Hot News" with Neil Hamilton.  

 

Historical Notes

The theatre was designed by Richard D. Bates Jr. in a Mission/Spanish Colonial Revival style. The façade features cast stone Churrigueresque detailing of floral patterns and cartouche relief. The interior contains Adamesque references and murals by Anthony Heinsbergen. Exterior renovations in 1935 were designed by the noted theater architect S. Charles Lee and included an Art Deco ticket kiosk made of red-painted metal, unvarnished aluminum and glass, new lobby doors, and terrazzo sunburst paving in the foyer and front sidewalk.

Today, one of the theater's intact features is an original steel-frame, three-story neon sign that reads "WESTLAKE THEATRE". *^

 

 

 
(1937)* - Exterior view of the Spanish Baroque style West Coast Westlake Theatre.  

 

Historical Notes

The Westlake was operated as a first-run movie theater from 1926 until the 1960s. As the neighborhood's demographics changed, the theater was sold to Metropolitan Theatres Corp., which showed Spanish-language or Spanish-subtitled movies. In 1991, the building was sold to Mayer Separzadeh, who converted the theater into a swap meet. To protect the building from drastic changes, the building was declared Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 546 in September 1991 (Click HERE to see complete listing). The theater was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2009.

The theater was purchased by the Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles in 2008. The Redevelopment Agency announced plans to rehabilitate the theater as a venue for live theater, film, music and other performances.*^

 

* * * * *

 

 

I. Magnin Department Store

 
(1939)^*# – View looking toward the southeast corner of Wilshire Boulevard and New Hampshire Avenue showing the new I. Magnin Department Store still under construction. This site was once occupied by the Cole House.  

 

Historical Notes

I. Magnin & Company was a San Francisco based high fashion and specialty goods luxury department store. Over the course of its existence, it expanded across the West into Southern California and the adjoining states of Arizona, Oregon, and Washington.

In the early 1870s, Dutch born Mary Ann Magnin and her English husband Isaac Magnin settled in San Francisco. Mary Ann opened a shop in 1876 selling lotions and high-end clothing for infants. Later, she expanded into bridal wear. As her business grew, her exclusive clientele relied on her for the newest fashions from Paris.
At the turn of the century, Mary Ann’s four sons entered the business. While John Magnin, Grover Magnin, and Sam Magnin became associated with the I. Magnin store, the fourth son, Joseph Magnin, became known for his own store (Joseph Magnin Co.).*^

 

 

 
(1939)* - View showing the new six-story Magnin department store, designed in a white modern classic style, rising from a black marble base - located at 3240 Wilshire Boulevard.  

 

Historical Notes

I. Magnin opened its Wilshire store in 1939.  The new high end department store was located just three blocks west of Bullock's Wilshire and became a formidable competitor.  

The stunning, all-marble I. Magnin was designed by Myron Hunt, architect of the Ambassador Hotel. Hunt experimented with gleaming white marble over steel, putting black granite trim at sidewalk level. The result, said one reviewer, was "a symphony of beauty." ^#^

 

 

 
(1939)* - Corner view of I. Magnin & Co. department store at the corner of Wilshire and New Hampshire.  

 

Historical Notes

Built at a cost of $3,000,000, the building was operated entirely by electricity and completely air-conditioned. The bottom floor is faced with black marble.*

 

 

 
(1939)^#^ - The I. Magnin & Co. building during its first year of operations.  

 

Historical Notes

Magnin specialized in couture fashions and developed a following as loyal as the Bullock's Wilshire partisans down the street. Ownership of the two stores ultimately merged, and in 1990 this Magnin location closed. It reopened after the 1992 civil unrest as the Korean-oriented Wilshire Galleria.^#^

 

 

 
(1949)*++ - Close-up view looking southwest showing the east side and front of the I. Magnin building on Wilshire Blvd.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1991, the I. Magnin & Co. Building was declared Los Angeles Historic Cultural-Monument No. 534 (Click HERE for listing).

 

 

 
(2015)##^^^ – View showing the I. Magnin Building as it appears today at the southeast corner of Wilshire Boulevard and New Hampshire Ave.  It is now called the Wilshire Galleria.  

 

* * * * *

 

 

Western Auto Supply Co.

 
(1930s)**#* - View of the Western Auto Parts store at the northwest corner of Wilshire and Hauser Blvds.  

 

Historical Notes

The Western Auto Parts store was designed by Carl Lindbom and completed in 1931.  It is the current location of a IHOP restaurant.**#*

 

 

 
(1930s)^*# - View of the northwest corner of Wilshire and Hauser showing the Western Auto Supply Co. Building. Several cars are seen parked on Hauser Blvd.  

 

 

 

 
(1930s)^*# - View looking north of the Western Auto Supply Co. Building located at 5655 Wilshire Boulevard. A tall "Wilshire Special" streetlight stands on the corner (Wilshire and Hauser). In the distance also stands an oil derrick. Click HERE to see more Early L.A. Streetlights.  

 

* * * * *

 

Coulter's Department Store

 
(1938)^^ – View facing east on Wilshire Boulevard at Hauser Boulevard. Western Auto Supply Company, Ralph’s Supermarket, and Bank of America (left); Coulter’s Department Store (right).  

 

 

 

 
(1939)* - Exterior view of the new Coulter's Department Store at 5600 Wilshire Boulevard (in the "Miracle Mile").
 

 

Historical Notes

Designed by Stiles O. Clements, this classic Streamline Moderne building was built in 1938 and was first occupied by Coulter's Dry Goods.*

 

 

 
(ca. 1940)* - View looking west on Wilshire Boulevard. The Coulter Building is seen on the southwest corner of Hauser and Wilshire. Citizens National Trust & Savings Bank may also be seen on the right.  

 

Historical Notes

B. F. Coulter was one of the earliest merchants in Los Angeles. The Coulter's Dry Goods business dates from 1878 and later was called Coulter's. Coulter was an ordained minister and founded the Broadway Christian Church. The business was continued by B.F. Coulter's son-in-law, R. P. McReynolds, and his son, James McReynolds.^^

 

 

 
(1972)^*#* - The Broadway Department Store (formerly Coulter’s), at 5600 Wilshire Boulevard. To the right is the California Federal Bank Building, constructed in 1963, where Citizens National Trust & Savings Bank once stood.  

 

Historical Notes

In the 1970s, the store changed hands and became a Broadway. After the building was demolished in 1980, the site remained vacant until the late-2000s, when a 5-story mixed-use structure was built.*

 

* * * * *

 

Towne House Building

 
(1940)^^ - View looking west on Wilshire Boulevard showing the Town House Building at the northwest corner of Wilshire and Commonwealth, across the street from Lafayette Park (lower-right).  The Bullock’s Wilshire tower can be seen at upper-left and Simons Drive-in Restaurant at lower-left, on the southwest corner of Hoover and Wilshire.  

 

Historical Notes

Oil magnate Edward Doheny developed the Towne House Building, completed in 1929, and advertised it as “Southern California’s most distinguished address.” ^#^

Clara R. Shatto donated 35 acres of land that now makes up Lafayette Park to the City of Los Angeles in 1899. The land consisted of tar seeps and oil wells and Shatto requested that it be developed into a park. Shatto was the wife of George Shatto, then-owner of Santa Catalina Island.

Canary Island palm trees and jacaranda were planted in the area of what became known as Sunset Park. Local groups requested that the name be changed to commemorate Marquis de Lafayette, a military officer of the American Revolutionary War. The name was officially changed in 1918. A statue of him was erected in 1937, close to the Wilshire Boulevard entrance.*^

 

 

 
(1946)^*# – View looking northeast on Wilshire Boulevard toward Lafayette Park.  The Town House at  2959-2973 Wilshire Blvd. is seen across the street from the park.  

 

Historical Notes

Designed by Norman W. Alpaugh, in Mediterranean Revival, Art Deco, and other revival styles, the Town House was once among the most luxurious hotels in Southern California.  It is located on Wilshire Boulevard, adjacent to Lafayette Park in the Westlake district.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1940s)**^# - View from the roof of the Town House looking north toward the Hollywood Hills.  The First Congregational Church, 540 S. Commonwealth, is seen at the lower-right.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1937, the Town House was re-launched as a luxury hotel featuring one of Los Angeles’ storied night clubs, the Zebra Room, with interiors designed by Wayne McAllister. Five years later, in 1942, hotelier Conrad Hilton took over the building. Elizabeth Taylor’s first marriage, to hotel heir Nicky Hilton in 1950, was celebrated at the Town House. It was later sold to the Sheraton hotel chain, first operating as the Sheraton Town House and later as the Sheraton West.^#^

 

 

 
(2008)*^ – View of the Town House looking northwest from the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Hoover Street.  

 

Historical Notes

The hotel closed in 1993 and was later threatened with demolition, spurring a highly visible advocacy effort that saved the building and resulted in its reuse as family housing with community amenities.^#^

In 1997, the Town House was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and in 1994 it was designated as Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 576 (Click HERE to see complete listing).

 

 

Taft Building

 
(1940s)^^ - View of the Taft Building at 1680 N. Vine Street, S/E corner of Hollywood and Vine. The Owl Drug Company occupies the street level corner space. An early model bus is pulling through the intersection as pedestrians are crossing the street.  

 

Historical Notes

A.Z. Taft, Jr. purchased the Hollywood Memorial Church on the southeast corner of Hollywood and Vine, tore it down, and built the 12-story Taft Building.  All the movie studios had offices in the building as well as actors Charlie Chaplin and Will Rogers. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences also resided there. Even Clark Gable's dentist was located in the building.*^

Opened in 1927, the building was designed in Neo-Renaissance style by prominent architects Percy A. Eisen and Albert R. Walker, who are also known for designing the Fine Arts Building and the James Oviatt Building in downtown Los Angeles and the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills.^^*

 

 

 

 
(1945)* - Postcard view of a crowd looking at the electric billboard on the Taft Building. The view is from the north-west corner of Hollywood and Vine looking south-east. An early traffic sign is in the foreground and in the background the distinctive "hat" of the Brown Derby sign is visible.   

 

 

 

 

 
(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. 1950s)* - View at dusk, with neon signs lit, looking northward on Vine Street from Selma Ave. The Taft Building can be seen with the large Miller High Life signboard on its roof. Also seen are the: Broadway-Hollywood, Plaza Hotel, Mobilgas, Equitable Building, and the Brown Derby Coffee Shop.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1950s)* - Closer view of the Taft Building with its very large neon sign for Miller High Life beer. The Brown Derby is on the right. Architects of the Taft Building were Walker and Eisen.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1999, the Taft Building and Neon Sign were designated Historic-Cultural Monument No. 666 (Click HERE to see complete listing).

 

 

 

 
(2015)^^* - View looking up at the Taft Building after it was renovated. Photo by Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times  

 

Historical Notes

In 2014-15 the Taft Building got a $15-million makeover with a renovation that shored up its seismic strength and uncovered historic architectural details that were under wraps for decades.^^*

 

 

Carthay Circle Theatre

 
(ca. 1930s)* - Premiere night at the Carthay Circle Theater located at 6316 San Vicente Boulevard.
 

 

Historical Notes

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

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1937)^^ - Crowds are overflowing in the stands as celebrities pull up for the premier of "Wee Willie Winkie".  

 

Historical Notes

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

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

 

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

 

Historical Notes

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

 

 

(1930s)^*^# - A postcard image of the Carthay Circle Theatre with Henry Lion's sculpture of a prospector in the foreground.

 

 

 

 

 

Historical Notes

Also known as the Daniel O. McCarthy Pioneer Fountain, or the Miner's Statue, this work, located in Carthay Circle across from the Carthay Theatre, honors the memory of the California Pioneers of '49.' The plaque reads, "This fountain is a memorial to the gallant pioneers of '49 of whom Daniel O. McCarthy, patriot, miner, leader, was an outstanding example. He was born Raleigh, N.C., August 24, 1830. Died Los Angeles, August 13, 1919. Through his newspaper The American Flag, San Francisco, he helped preserve California to the Union. This long useful life is a heritage of which the Golden State is justly proud.” Dedicated by Ramona Parlor 109 NSGW. Signature on miner: Henry Lion 1924,25.*

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1939)* - Daylight view of Carthay Circle Theatre showing part of its front parking lot as seen from across the street.  

 

Historical Notes

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

 

 

 

 
(1940)+^^ – Overhead view as seen from what appears to be the top of Carthay Circle’s tower showing hundreds of fans at the premier of “All This, and Heaven Too”. Note the long shadows.  

 

Historical Notes

All This, and Heaven Too is a 1940 drama film made by Warner Bros.-First National Pictures.  The film stars Bette Davis and Charles Boyer with Barbara O'Neil, Jeffrey Lynn, Virginia Weidler, Helen Westley, Walter Hampden, Henry Daniell, Harry Davenport, George Coulouris, Montagu Love, Janet Beecher and June Lockhart.*^

 

 

 
(1943)* - Huge arc lights flash against the dark background of the sky above the Carthay Circle Theater for the invitational preview of "The Song of Bernadette," 20th Century-Fox production.  

 

Historical Notes

By the 1960s the Carthay was considered obsolete, overshadowed by modern cinemas; its customer base had also been sapped by suburbanization. The theater was demolished in 1969; today, two low-rise office buildings and a city park occupy its former site.

In July 1994, a smaller-scale pastiche of the facade of the theatre (primarily the octagonal tower) was opened as the "Once Upon a Time" gift shop on the Sunset Boulevard section in Disney's Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.

In June 2012, a fanciful larger-scale replica of the theater building was opened in the Buena Vista Street section of Disney California Adventure Park at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim. Although this replica is larger than the Orlando version, it is still slightly smaller than the 1926 original building.*^

 

 

Academy Theatre

 
(1939)**# - Exterior view of the Academy Theatre at 3141 West Manchester Boulevard, Inglewood.  

 

Historical Notes

Opened on November 7, 1939 and designed by architect S. Charles Lee, the Academy Theater, a classic Art Moderne style structure, was originally designed to house the Academy Awards. Sadly, however, the Academy Theater never did host the ‘Oscars’, but it was often the location of film premieres and served as a major suburban theater for the Fox West Coast Theatres chain.^^#

S. Charles Lee is credited with designing over 400 theaters throughout California and Mexico.

The Academy Theater continued to show movies until 1976, when it became a church.*^

 

 

 
(1939)**# - Academy Theatre, Inglewood. Art Moderne design ticket booth and entry doors.  

 

Historical Notes

Architect S. Charles Lee was an early proponent of Art Deco and Moderne style theaters. The Bruin Theater (1937) and Academy Theatre (1939) are among his most characteristic. The latter, located in Inglewood, California, is a prime example of Lee's successful response to the automobile.

After World War II, Lee recognized that the grand theater building had become a thing of the past, and began to focus on new technologies in industrial architecture. His work in the field of tilt-up building systems was published in Architectural Record in 1952.*^

 

 

 
(1939)**# - Night view of the Academy Award Theatre in Inglewood. The tower is illuminated to draw customers into the theatre. The indirect illumination of the pylon creates a glowing tower that can be seen from afar. Glass block walls make the building glow from within.  

 

 

 

 
(n.d.)***^ - Night view of the front of the Academy Theater. The double header billing reads: James Stewart and Jean Arthur in "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington". Also, "To Busy to Work" - Jones Family.  

 

 

 

 
(1932)^^#* - Carpenter’s Drive-in Restaurant, Sunset and Vine, Hollywood, Los Angeles. Photo by ‘Dick’ Whittington   

 

Historical Notes

Carpenter’s Sandwiches drive-in was located at 6285 Sunset Boulevard between Vine Street and Argyle in Hollywood. For 30 cents you could enjoy a hamburger and wash it down with a cup of beer while sitting behind the wheel of your car (5 cents more for the premium beer).

 

 

 
(ca. 1930s)^^ - View of Carpenter's Sandwich drive-in on Sunset and Vine. Two carhops are posing for the camera by the counter while another to the right appears to be serving food.  

 

Historical Notes

Harry B. Carpenter founded the Carpenter's chain with his brother Charles and operated many locations in Los Angeles including: Sunset and Vine, Wilshire and Western, Wilshire and La Cienega, Wilshire and Vine, Pico and Vermont, Silver Lake and Glendale and Sunset and Virgil.*

 

 

 
(1933)* - Exterior view of Carpenter's Sandwich drive-in restaurant, with the carhops posing for the photo, in 1933. The drive-in was located on the N/E corner of Sunset and Vine.  

 

 

 

 
(1930s)^^^^* – Nighttime view of Carpenter’s Sandwich at the N/E corner Sunset and Vine.  Signs read:  Ben Hur Delicious Drip Coffee, Sirloin Steak Sandwich - 25 Cents, Fried Oyster Sandwich - 20 Cents, Hot Fudge Sundae - 25 Cents, and “A Real Hamburger Sandwich” - 15 Cents.  

 

Historical Notes

Originally located near the northeast corner of Sunset and Vine (6265 Sunset Blvd), Carpenter’s would be torn down to make room for the new NBC Radio City building, constructed in 1938. Shortly thereafter, Carpenter’s was reincarnated across the street on the southeast corner of Sunset and Vine (6290 Sunset Blvd).

 

 

 
(1940s)#*## – View showing cars parked at Harry Carpenter's Drive-in Restaurant on the southeast corner of Sunset and Vine, 6290 Sunset Boulevard.  

 

Historical Notes

This Carpenter's Drive-in replaced the one located near the northeast corner of Sunset and Vine (6265 Sunset Blvd), which was torn down in 1938 to make room for the new NBC Radio City building.

 

 

 
(1938)#* - View of the stylish Carpenter's Sandwich drive-in located at Wilshire and Western. The art deco style Wilshire Professional Building stands in the background.  

 

Historical Notes

Harry B. Carpenter founded the Carpenter's chain with his brother Charles and operated many locations in Los Angeles including: Sunset and Vine, Wilshire and Western, Wilshire and La Cienega, Wilshire and Vine, Pico and Vermont, Silver Lake and Glendale and Sunset and Virgil.*

 

 

 
(ca. 1938)* - According to signage this Carpenter's drive-in restaurant features fried chicken, sandwiches, year round fresh fruit pies, breakfast, hamburgers and fountain service, but no cocktails. The Rite Spot Cafe pylon is seen in the background.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1936, after separating from his brother, Charles E. Carpenter opened three Carpenter's Cafes. A transitional project Carpenter's Village (606 E. Colorado) combined a Rite Spot Cafe and Carpenter's drive-in. Next he opened the Rite Spot Cafe in Pasadena, located at 1500 West Colorado Street (now considered Eagle Rock) and the Santa Anitan Cafe at Huntington and Colorado.*

 

 

 
(1930s)* - One of the many McDonnell's Drive-in sandwich stands found in LA during the 1930s (Not to be confused with McDonald's fast food restaurants of today).  

 

Historical Notes

McDonnell's "Drive-Ins" were located at Beverly Boulevard & Western Avenue, Wilshire and Robertson Boulevards, Yucca Street and Cahuenga Boulevard, Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue, and Sunset Boulevard and La Brea Avenue. The McDonnell's restaurants throughout Los Angeles were: McDonnell's Monterey (7312 Robertson Boulevard); McDonnell's Wilshire (Wilshire Boulevard and La Brea Avenue); McDonnell's Fairfax (Fairfax Avenue and Wilshire Boulevard); McDonnell's Gates Hotel (Sixth and Figueroa streets); McDonnell's Hill Street (454 S. Hill Street); McDonnell's Figueroa (4012 S. Figueroa Street); McDonnell's Adams and Figueroa (2626 S. Figueroa Street); and McDonnell's Pico Street (Pico and Hope streets).*

 

 

 

 
(1931)*^^ - The staff of the McDonnell’s Ever Eat Drive In at Beverly and La Brea stand at attention, waiting for customers.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1931)^*# – Close-up view showing Mc Donnell’s Drive-in on the corner of Beverly and La Brea.  Sign above the counter reads:  “17 Other Places to Serve You”.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1940)* - The exterior of Herbert's Drive-In is built so that customers in cars can park all around it. Waiters/waitresses are seen serving food for people to eat in their cars. It was located at the southeast corner of Beverly Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue. Gilmore Stadium is in view behind the restaurant, on the left. Click HERE to see more of Gilmore Stadium in Baseball in Early L.A.  

 

Historical Notes

L.A. restauranteur Sydney Hoedemaker opened Herbert's Drive-In in the early 1930s. It was designed by architect Wayne McAllister in circular Streamline Moderne style with a neon-ringed roofline and advertising pylon.*

 

 

 
(1945)^^^^ – View of Herbert's Drive-in, located on the southeast corner of Beverly and Fairfax.  Photo by Nina Leen  

 

Historical Notes

CBS Television broadcasting studios (CBS Television City), built in 1952, currently stands at this site.

 

 

 
(1958)^^*** - View showing Stan’s Drive-in Coffee Shop on the corner of Sunset and Highland.  

 

 

 

Simon's Drive-in

 
(1939)* - A daytime view of Simon's Drive-In Restaurant located on the northwest corner of Fairfax and Wilshire. Through the glass floor-to-ceiling windows, patrons can be seen sitting at the circular counter having their meals. "Spaghetti", "Chili", "Fountain", "Hamburgers" and "Barbecue" can be seen above the windows. A carhop is standing at front, holding food in her hand.
 

 

Historical Notes

Simon's Drive-In Restaurant was built in 1935 on the northwest corner of Wilshire Blvd. and Fairfax Avenue and looks very similar to the Herbert's Drive-In as seen in the previous photo. Both were designed by architect Wayne McAllister.^##

 

 

 
(ca. 1948)#* - Couple of jitter-bugs down at Simon's Drive-In wowing the waitress with their tiger-stripe upholstery. Ah, those were the days!  

 

Historical Notes

At one time Simon's Drive-Ins dominated the Southern California drive-in restaurant craze. The Simon brothers had operated a chain of successful dairy lunch counters in downtown Los Angeles, and in 1935 decided to capitalize on the growing car culture of Los Angeles by opening auto friendly locations in the emerging commercial centers of Wilshire Boulevard, Sunset and Ventura Boulevards.^##

 

 

 
(1939)*^^* - Nighttime view of Simon’s drive-in with customers sitting at counter and others in their car. Photo by Dick Whittington  

 

Historical Notes

In the 1930s, Wayne McAllister, the originator of the circular drive-in, designed circular Simon's Drive-in Restaurants in the Streamline Moderne style with a three-layer roof and neon advertising pylon; this style was copied throughout the country.*

 

 

 
(ca. 1940s)##** - Night view of Simon's drive-in located on the northwest corner of Fairfax and Wilshire.  

 

Historical Notes

This is the same corner where the 1950s Johnie’s Coffee Shop now stands. Across the street is the old May Company department store building which is now a part of LACMA/the Hollywood Museum.

Going back further to the early 1900s, this is where the Chaplin Airfield was once located (Click HERE to see more in Aviation in Early L.A.).

 

 

May Company (Wilshire)

 
(1939)* - View looking across Fairfax Avenue toward the northeast corner of Fairfax and Wilshire showing cranes and scaffolding surrounding the Wilshire May Company store under construction.  

 

Historical Notes

Albert C. Martin and Samuel A. Marx designed the 1939 Streamline Moderne style May Company department store, located at 6067 Wilshire Boulevard.*

Martin also designed the Million Dollar Theatre and Los Angeles City Hall.

 

 

 
(1940)##**– Aerial view showing the May Company department store shortly after its opening. To the left of it in this photo, we can see the popular Simon's Drive-in restaurant where the Googie-influenced Johnie's Coffee Shop now stands.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1940)* - Exterior view of the May Co. Department Store, located on the northeast corner of Wilshire and Fairfax.  A man appears to be standing on top of the May Co. sign. A sign across the street reads: Simon's Sandwiches  

 

Historical Notes

When it opened, the gleaming May Company building was instantly heralded as the western gateway to the Miracle Mile, beckoning to motorists with an enormous gold-tiled cylinder at the corner of Fairfax Avenue.

 

 

 
(1940s)**^ - View looking toward the northeast corner of Wilshire and Fairfax where the beautiful May Company Department Store Building stands.  

 

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.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1940)* - Intersection of Wilshire Boulevard (foreground) and Fairfax Avenue, facing the distinctive corner gold tower of the Streamline Moderne May Co. department store. The store was built shortly before this photograph was taken.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1960)^^ - View of the May Co. Department Store Building at the northeast corner of Wilshire and Fairfax.  

 

Historical Notes

The Los Angeles Conservancy calls the May Co. Wilshire Building "the grandest example of Streamline Moderne remaining in Los Angeles". It is especially noted for its gold-tiled cylindrical section that faces the intersection of Wilshire Boulevard at Fairfax Avenue, of which it occupies the northeast corner.*^

In 1992, the building was designated LA Historic-Cultural Monument No. 566 (Click HERE to see complete listing).

 

 

 

 
(1947)* - Postcard of the beginning of the 'Miracle Mile', at Fairfax and Wilshire, with the May Co. store prominently seen in the background (6067 Wilshire Blvd).  

 

Historical Notes

This striking building marks the western end of the 'Miracle Mile' in Los Angeles, a brand new concept in city planning for the 1920s that centered around the automobile as opposed to the pedestrian.^#^^

 

 

 

 
(1940s)##** – Aerial view of Wilshire Blvd facing east at the Fairfax Ave corner showing the new May Company department store. This intersection was referred to as the western gateway to the Miracle Mile.  

 

Historical Notes

On the other side of Fairfax, in the bottom left corner of the photo, we can see the popular Simon's Drive-in restaurant which was later replaced by Johnie’s Coffee Shop which originally opened in 1956 as Romeo’s Times Square and was recently declared a historical landmark. ##**

 

 

 
(1948)^^ - View of the Miracle Mile and the May Co. building, looking east down Wilshire Boulevard.  

 

Historical Notes

The Miracle Mile is an area in the Mid-Wilshire and Mid-City West regions consisting of a 1.5-mile stretch of Wilshire Boulevard between Fairfax and Highland Avenues. It sometimes also refers to the surrounding neighborhoods (including Park La Brea).  The old May Co. building, now LACMA West, marks the western border of Miracle Mile's "Museum Row".

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.

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."*^

 

 

 
(1954)##** - View showing the May Co. Department store at the corner of Wilshire Blvd and Fairfax Ave along with signs for Simon's Drive-in and the Miracle Mile.  

 

 

 

 
(2009)*^ – View showing the former 1930s May Company department store - now part of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Photo by Carol Highsmith  

 

Historical Notes

In 1994 the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) acquired the building and, as "LACMA West", used it as exhibition space for the museum.

The building is scheduled to be repurposed by 2017, at which time The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures is planning to move in.*^

 

 

Sontag Drug Store (Wilshire)

 
(1939)* - View of the Art Deco building housing a Sontag Drug Store at 5401 Wilshire Blvd.  

 

Historical Notes

Built in 1935, this Art Deco structure has stood the test of time. It was originally the Sontag Drug Store, one of the largest drug stores in America at the time.  It was also one of the first to allow customers to browse and choose their own products rather than requesting them from a clerk behind a counter.*#*#

 

 

 
(1941)^^ - Exterior view of the Sontag Drug Store, located at the northwest corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Cloverdale Avenue.  

 

Historical Notes

The above building still stands today, housing “Wilshire Beauty” and looking much like it did more than seven decades ago.*#*#

 

 

 
(ca. 1941)^^#* - A view from the sidewalk of the Mid-City Cut Rate Drug Store at 3773 South Western in Los Angeles. The display windows are full of merchandise and signs advertising deals on soap, tooth paste, rubbing alcohol, whiskey, and candy bars, among other things. Outside of the building there are two mailboxes and a coin operated scale. A billboard on the left side of the building advertises for Old Guide Whiskey.  Photo by Dick Whittington.   

 

 

 

 
(1940s)* - Looking across the street towards the exterior of the original El Coyote Cafe, located at 105 N. La Brea Avenue. A costumed woman is standing near the restaurant's entrance and signs identify that "Spanish Food" is served. The restaurant, which opened at this La Brea location in 1931, later moved to 7312 Beverly Boulevard and continues to be a popular dining destination. The Spanish style building seen here is no longer standing.
 

 

Historical Notes

Opened in 1931 by Blanche and George March, the tiny cafe was originally located at First and La Brea. In 1951 El Coyote moved to its present location on Beverly Blvd.*^

 

 

 
(2012 )##*# - Exterior view of the El Coyote Mexican Cafe at its current location, 7312 Beverly Blvd.  

 

Historical Notes

Autographed photographs of Hollywood stars line one wall just inside the entrance. John Wayne, Loretta Young and Ricardo Montalban ate there. A young Drew Barrymore spent many an evening tearing around the restaurant while family members dined. And one day even royalty came calling when Princess Grace and Prince Rainier of Monaco walked in unannounced.^#^*

 

 

 
(ca. 2012)^^*# - View of the neon sign above the El Coyote Mexican Cafe.  

 

Historical Notes

In the notoriety category, Sharon Tate, Jay Sebring, Abigail Folger and Wojciech Frykowski ate their last meal at the El Coyote, the night they were later murdered by the Manson Family.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1940)* - Clifton's "Pacific Seas" Cafeteria, done up in Polynesian themes, with palm trees and waterfalls. The signs say "Visitors welcome" and "Pay what you wish." What appears to be a take-out counter is at left.
 

 

Historical Notes

Clifton’s restaurant chain was noted for each facility having its own theme, and for aiding those who could not afford to pay. This approach to business reflected the owner's Christian ethos—he never turned anyone away hungry and maintained a precedent set by the first restaurant on Olive Street, known as "Clifton's Golden Rule".

In 1939, Cafeteria of the Golden Rule was transformed into the Pacific Seas and redecorated in the Polynesian motif shown above. The exterior was decorated with waterfalls, geysers and tropical foliage. Brightly illuminated in the evening, it became a mecca for tourists and Angelenos alike, often being referred to in the same category as other prominent landmarks of downtown Los Angeles, such as Angels Flight, Olvera Street, and Pershing Square.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1939)* - Interior view of Clifton's, located at 618 South Olive St. A few diners are seen at tables and the cafeteria's tropical theme is recognizable with all of the palm trees and the nautical stained glass window in the background. Photo taken before the drastic 1939 remodeling.
 

 

Historical Notes

In 1960, although the three-story structure with its cascading waterfall facade had become a landmark over the preceding 29 years, the original Clifton's Pacific Seas was closed, the building was razed, and the location turned into a parking lot, which it has remained since then.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1935)^^* - View showing the front of Clifton's Brookdale Cafeteria located at 648 South Broadway.  

 

Historical Notes

Clifford Clinton, founder of the Clifton's chain, opened a second cafeteria in 1935 in the former circa 1916 restaurant owned by Boos Brothers at 648 South Broadway. Inspired by the coastal redwoods of Northern California, this cafeteria was remodeled to include mountain-themed motifs and design elements, such as a forest scene mural painted by Einar Petersen, large redwood trees used to conceal steel columns, and a 20-foot waterfall designed by sculptor François Scotti. The cafeteria was named Brookdale, in honor of the Brookdale Lodge in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The 4-story brick building with arched windows was listed on the National Register of Historic Places as a contributor to the Broadway Theater and Commercial District in 1979.*^

 

 

 
(1935)^^*^* – View showing Clifton’s Brookdale Cafeteria – “World’s Largest”.  Photo by Dick Whittington  

 

Historical Notes

Clifton's Brookdale Cafeteria, once part of a chain of 8 Clifton's restaurants founded in 1931 by Clifford Clinton.  The name was created by combining "Clifford" and "Clinton" to produce "Clifton's". The design of the restaurants included exotic decor and facades that were "kitschy and theatrical". *^

 

 

 
(ca. 1939)* - View showing crowds of people shopping on Broadway at Christmas as they walk past Clifton's Brookdale.  Signs on the facade call this cafeteria the "worlds largest" and indicate that it is open "6 am to midnight" The first and second floor facades are open with diners visible past decorative wooden pieces. A Salvation Army bell ringer has set up in front of the restaurant.   

 

Historical Notes

Clifton's Brookdale Cafeteria, once part of a chain of 8 Clifton's restaurants founded in 1931 by Clifford Clinton.  The name was created by combining "Clifford" and "Clinton" to produce "Clifton's". The design of the restaurants included exotic decor and facades that were "kitschy and theatrical".

"Clifton's Brookdale" is the sole survivor of the multiple branches over 79 years. It is now known as "Clifton's Cafeteria" or more familiarly simply as "Clifton's". *^

 

 

 
(2005)*^ - View of Clifton's Cafeteria with its 1963 installed aluminum façade (the aluminum façade was removed in a renovation that is scheduled for completion in 2015).  

 

Historical Notes

In 1946, Clifford and his wife Nelda sold their cafeteria interests to their three younger Clinton children, and retired to devote their attentions to a Meals for Millions, a non-profit charitable organization he founded in the wake of World War II to distribute food to millions of starving and malnourished people throughout the world.*^

 

 

 
(2009)*^ - Interior view of Clifton's Brookdale Cafeteria.  

 

Historical Notes

Clifton's Brookdale was sold to nightclub operator Andrew Meieran in 2010. Meieran began renovating the building in 2012. *^

 

 

 
(2015)^*^* - Clifton's Cafeteria finally reopened on October 1, 2015.  

 

Historical Notes

The revamped restaurant has multiple eating and drinking establishments inside the building, including a bakery, a version of the original 1935 classic cafeterias on the ground and second floors, an old-school steakhouse on the third floor, and a Polynesian-themed tiki bar on the fourth floor, named "South Seas" in honor of the original 1931 facility. The combined-use building also includes a museum called "Clifton’s Cabinet of Curiosities". *^

 

* * * * *

 

 

The Hollywood Palladium

 
(1940)**^# - Exterior view of the Hollywood Palladium, located at 6215 West Sunset Boulevard.  

 

Historical Notes

Los Angeles Times publisher Norman Chandler funded the construction of the art deco Hollywood Palladium at a cost of $1.6 million in 1940. It was built where the original Paramount lot once stood by film producer Maurice Cohen and is located between Argyle and El Centro avenues. The style dance hall was designed by Gordon Kaufmann, architect of the Greystone Mansion, the Los Angeles Times building and the Santa Anita Racetrack in Arcadia. He was also the architect for the Hoover Dam and early Caltech dorms.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1940s)* - Marquee at the Palladium shows premiere opening of Tommy Dorsey and his orchestra. The Palladium is located at 6215 W Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood.  

 

Historical Notes

The ballroom opened October 31, 1940 with a dance featuring Tommy Dorsey and his Orchestra and band vocalist Frank Sinatra.  It had six bars serving liquor and two more serving soft drinks and a $1 cover charge and a $3 charge for dinner.*^

 

 

 
(1940s)#^* - Hollywood Palladium during WWII. The dance floor is fiilled to capacity.  

 

Historical Notes

During WWII, the Palladium hosted radio broadcasts featuring Betty Grable greeting servicemen’s' song requests. Big Band acts began losing popularity in the 1950s, causing the Palladium to hold charity balls, political events, auto shows, and rock concerts. In 1961, it became the home of the long-running Lawrence Welk Show.*^

 

 

 
(1950s)^^ - Night view of the Palladium Theater located in Hollywood at the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Argyle Avenue.  Marquee reads:  Tonight and Saturday – The Lawrence Welk Champagne Music Makers  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1950s)**^# - View of Lawrence Welk at the Palladium conducting his 'Polka Music' orchestra.  

 

Historical Notes

The Lawrence Welk Show started in 1951 as a local program on KTLA-TV in Los Angeles. The original show was broadcast from the since-demolished Aragon Ballroom at Venice Beach. The show made its national TV debut on July 2, 1955, and was initially produced at the Hollywood Palladium, moving to the ABC studios at Prospect and Talmadge in Hollywood shortly afterwards. For 23 of its 27 years on the air, the show would originate there. The only seasons not produced there were 1965–66, 1976–77 at the Hollywood Palace and CBS Television City from 1977 to 1979.*^

 

 

 
(1940)* - Crowds of people line the sidewalk outside the Vine Street Theatre located at 1615 N. Vine St. Banner hanging reads, "Texaco Town", every Sunday. Above the entrance of the theatre, neon sign reads, "KNX, CBS Radio Playhouse."  

 

Historical Notes

This Beaux Arts live-performance theater was built in 1926-1927. The premier performance was “An American Tragedy” by Theodore Dreiser. The theater also had a memorable run of the play “Philadelphia” during its early years. The theater features orchestra, mezzanine, loge and balcony seating.

During the depression of the 1930’s, the theater was renamed the Lux Radio Playhouse and became a cinema. The theater was then purchased by the Columbia Broadcasting (CBS) for local affiliate KNX radio and was used as a live performance radio auditorium and local radio station.^^#

 

 

 
(1954)* - Photograph caption dated September 28, 1954 reads, "A crowd of over 2000 lined up on Vine Street waiting to catch a glimpse of the many notables attending the opening night at the Huntington Hartford Theatre, located at 1615 North Vine Street. The million dollar theater is the first legitimate live theater venue to open in America in 27 years."  

 

Historical Notes

In 1954, Mr. Huntington Hartford bought the building for $200,000 from Columbia Broadcasting and extensively remodeled and “modernized” the theater at an additional cost of $750,000. He streamlined the building from the facade, to the lobby and through the auditorium. Hartford ran the theater successfully for ten years.^^#

 

 

 
(1954)^^ – Interior view of the Huntington Hartford Theater during the opening of "What Every Woman Knows" with Helen Hayes. Location: 1615 North Vine Street  

 

Historical Notes

In 1964 Hartford sold the theater to James Doolittle (owner of the Greek Theater in the Hollywood Hills) for $850,000. Cary Grant had tried to buy the building, but lost over Doolittle. The theater was (not surprisingly) renamed the Doolittle Theater.

Eventually, the theater would run down into disrepair. Until bought in 2000 by the U.C.L.A. performing arts group “Nosotros”, an organization founded in 1970 by actor Ricardo Montalban “to help fulfill the goals of persons of Spanish-speaking origin in the motion picture and television industry”. The founding board included members Desi Arnaz, Vicki Carr and Anthony Quinn.

This theater is often mistaken for other Hollywood theaters, most often with the Hollywood Playhouse at 1735 Vine Street, which in the 1960’s became famous as the Hollywood Palace TV show venue. That theater still stands one block to the north. The Ricardo Montalban Theater has even been confused with the former Jerry Lewis Theater and the El Capitan Theater, which are blocks away.^^#

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 
(1940s)* - View of the Bell and Howell Building located at 716 N. La Brea Avenue.  

 

Historical Notes

Bell and Howell were manufacturers of motion picture equipment and machinery. The company started in 1917 and for years made 8mm, 16mm and 35mm motion picture cameras and projectors. By 1919,  nearly 100% of the equipment used to make motion pictures was manufactured by Bell and Howell. It also produced cameras and projectors for personal home movies. Most families growing up in the '50's and '60's had a super 8 Bell & Howell movie camera to make home movies.

However the firm dropped making movie cameras in the early 1970's. Today the company is primarily an information management business and provides micrographic and digital services.

In 1957, the 716 N. La Brea building was purchased by Cinema Research for their special effects and title service center. In the 1960's it is where Magnetic Recorders Corporation worked out of.

Today Aaron Brothers continues to sell picture frames on La Brea from the old Bell & Howell building.*##^

 

* * * * *

 

 

Pink's Hot Dogs

 
(1940)*### - View of Paul Pink's first hot dog push cart stand on La Brea. HOT DOG went for 10 Cents. You could also get a 'DOUBLE COLA'.  

 

Historical Notes

Pink's was founded by Paul and Betty Pink in 1939 as a pushcart near the corner of La Brea and Melrose. The Great Depression was still having an impact on the country, and money was scarce. People could purchase a chili dog made with Betty's own chili recipe accompanied by mustard and onions on a steamed bun for 10 cents each.*^

 

 

 
(1946)*### - View of the newly built Pink's Hot Dog building at 709 N. La Brea Avenue.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1946 Paul Pink traded his hot dog wagon in for a small building (constructed on the very same spot where the wagon had stood).*###

 

 

 
(1992)#*## – View showing people enjoying a late night meal at PINK'S HOT DOGS on La Brea north of Melrose.  

 

Historical Notes

Today, there is usually a long line of customers in front despite the lack of parking in the area. The often slow-moving line is viewed by some as part of the attraction at Pink's, especially on Friday and Saturday nights when the stand becomes packed with club and concert goers.

In September 2009, a location opened on the Las Vegas Strip at the Planet Hollywood Hotel & Casino.

In April 2010, another location opened in Universal City Walk and introduced "The Betty White Naked Dog" (no condiments or toppings). In November 2010, a location opened at Harrah's Rincon in Valley Center.

Pink's hot dogs are also sold at amusement parks, including Knott's Berry Farm in Southern California, and starting in 2011, Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio, the first Pink's location east of Las Vegas.*^

 

* * * * *

 

 

Bob's Big Boy

 
(1940)^* - Bob's Big Boy Restaurant opened in Burbank 1940 and was located at 624 S. San Fernando Boulevard. From left to right: Arnold Peterson, car hops, and Bob Wian.  

 

Historical Notes

Bob's Big Boy restaurant chain was founded by Bob Wian in Southern California in 1936, originally named Bob's Pantry.

The chain is best known for its trademark chubby boy in red-and-white checkered overalls holding a Big Boy sandwich (double-decker cheeseburger). The inspiration for Big Boy's name, as well as the model for its mascot, was Richard Woodruff (1936–1986), of Glendale, California. When he was six years old, he walked into the diner Bob's Pantry as Bob Wian was attempting to name his new hamburger. Wian said, "Hello, Big Boy" to Woodruff, and the name stuck.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1940s)**^ - A couple dining al fresco in a parked hot rod, Bob’s Big Boy, Los Angeles.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1940s)^^ - Photograph of an exterior view of Thrifty Drug Store and A&P Market. The one-story Art Deco-style building is pictured on the southwest corner of Sunset Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue. At left, the sidewalk is lined by palm trees. In the right foreground, a motorcyclist makes his way past two parked automobiles.  

 

Historical Notes

Today, a Rite Aid occupies the building on the southwest corner of Fairfax and Sunset.

Thrifty PayLess Holdings, Inc. was a pharmacy holding company that owned the Thrifty Drugs and PayLess Drug Stores chains in the western United States. The combined company was formed in April 1994 when Los Angeles-based TCH Corporation, the parent company of Thrifty Corporation and Thrifty Drug Stores, Inc., acquired the Kmart subsidiary PayLess Northwest, Inc.  At the time of the merger, TCH Corporation was renamed Thrifty PayLess Holdings, Inc. and Thrifty operated 495 stores, PayLess operated 543 stores.

In 1996, Rite Aid acquired 1,000 West Coast stores from Thrifty PayLess Holdings, creating a chain with over 3,500 drug stores.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1940)^^ -  Exterior view of the A & P Market and Thrifty Drug Store at Sunset and Fairfax as seen from across the street. This light-colored art deco building has a small overhang with rounded edges below a sign that shows a large "A & P" inside a circle. Above, another large sign faces toward the left with the same A & P sign accompanied by a Thrifty Drug Store sign. At center, the inside of the market is barely visible through the large opening.  

 

Historical Notes

The A&P stores evolved from the Great Atlantic and Pacific (A&P) Tea Company, founded in the 1800s in New York by George Hartford and George Gilman. In 1912, John Hartford, son of the co-founder, came up with the idea of expanding and forming the A&P Econonmy Store chain which would rely on a business model that included standarization of layout and elmination of credit accounts and delivery.

The format was wildly successful, and the chain had grown from 585 stores in 1913 to more than 4500 stores by 1920, and to over 15,000 stores all over the east coast and Midwest by 1930. In the early 1930s, the first California stores were opened, adding some credibility to the company name.

By the 1960s, A&P stores were stale, sales were flat, and the midwestern and west coast divisions were struggling. A well-publicized corporate reorganization in 1968 and 1969 did little to stem the decline, and the next two decades were defined by declining sales, closing stores, and failed format changes. Among the stores closed were the entire Southern California operation, in 1969, which eliminated A&P as a contender in the fastest-growing market in the country. #*#^

 

 

 
(1940s)^*# – Photo showing the Chateau Marmont Hotel located at 8221 Sunset Boulevard.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1926 Fred Horowitz, a prominent Los Angeles attorney, chose the site at Marmont Lane and Sunset Boulevard to construct an apartment building. Horowitz had recently traveled to Europe for inspiration and returned to California with photos of a Gothic Chateau along the Loire River. In 1927 Horowitz commissioned his brother-in-law, European-trained architect Arnold A. Weitzman, to design the seven-story, L-shaped building based on his French photos. When deciding upon a name for the building, Chateau Sunset and Chateau Hollywood were rejected in favor of Chateau Marmont, a name conceived by the small street running across the front of the property.

On February 1, 1929, Chateau Marmont opened its doors to the public as the newest residence of Hollywood. Local newspapers described the Chateau as “Los Angeles’s newest, finest and most exclusive apartment house ... superbly situated, close enough to active businesses to be accessible and far enough away to insure quiet and privacy.”

Due to the high rents and inability to keep tenants for long-term commitments during the depression, Fred Horowitz chose to sell the apartment building to Albert E. Smith for $750,000 in cash. The following year, Chateau Marmont was converted into a hotel. The apartments became suites with kitchens and living rooms. The property was also refurbished with antiques from depression-era estate sales.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1995)* – View of the Chateau Marmont Hotel as seen from the Hollywood Hills.  

 

Historical Notes

Designed and constructed to be earthquake proof, Chateau Marmont survived major earthquakes in 1933, 1953, 1971, 1987 and 1994 without sustaining any major structural damage. Nine Spanish cottages were built next to the hotel in the 1930s and were acquired by the hotel in the 1940s. Craig Ellwood designed two of the four bungalows in 1956, after he completed Case Study Houses.*^

In 1976, Chateau Marmont was dedicated LA Historic-Cultural Monument No. 151 (Click HERE to see complete listing).

 

 

 
(1940)** - View showing the illuminated entrance to Distribution Station No. 8 located at 4858 San Vicente Boulevard, corner of Longwood Avenue. The sign on the top front face of this Art Deco building reads: Municipal Power and Light.
 

 

Historical Notes

This Art Deco building was built in 1937-38 by the L.A. Municipal Power and Light. During its construction, the name of the electric utility was changed to Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (DWP). Click HERE to see more in Name Change Chronology of DWP.

The front of the building is particularly noteworthy because of its modernistic treatment. A wide panel rises over the doorway which is fabricated of glass building brick to a height of about 37 ft. The entrance is trimmed with polished black granite.^

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early L.A. Power Distribution Stations.

 

 

 

 

 
(1941)* - Van de Kamp's Beverly Hills and the Beverly Vons Market located on the corner of Wilshire and S. Crescent Heights.  

 

Historical Notes

Van de Kamp's Holland Dutch Bakeries was a bakery founded in 1915 and headquartered in the Van de Kamp Bakery Building in Los Angeles. The company's trademark blue windmills featured on their grocery store signs and atop their chain of famous restaurants that were known throughout the region.*^

 

 

 
(1940s)**^# - View of Van De Kamps/Vons Market at 8104 Beverly Blvd.  

 

Historical Notes

The Van de Kamp family sold the bakery to General Baking Co. in 1956. The company was then sold to private investors in 1979, and closed in bankruptcy in 1990.

The Van de Kamp's brand is now owned by Ralphs supermarket chain and used for their line of private-label baked goods.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1945)* - Van de Kamp's Bakery and Coffee Shop with Drive-In service, located on the corner of Fletcher Drive and San Fernando Road in Atwater. Numerous cars are parked at the drive-in and other business and product signs are visible in the background: Knudsen's, Coca Cola and Carnation ice cream.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1947)* - Postcard view of the entrance to the Hermosa Beach pier. A Public Library is on the left and the Chamber of Commerce is on the right.
 

 

Historical Notes

The first Hermosa Beach election for city officers was held December 24, 1906. On January 14, 1907, Hermosa Beach became the nineteenth incorporated city of Los Angeles County.*^
 
The name Hermosa comes from Spanish and means "beautiful."

 

 

 
(1948)*^^ - The grand opening of the Bay Theater searchlights and all located at 15140 W. Sunset Boulevard, Pacific Palisades.  

 

Historical Notes

Opened in 1948, the S. Charles Lee-designed Bay Theatre was twinned in the mid-1970’s. The Bay Theatre was closed in late-1978 and was converted into a hardware store by 1980.^^#

 

 

 
(n.d.)^^# - Interior view of the Bay Theater in Pacific Palisades.  

 

 

 

 
(1942)#^# - View of the "Silent Movie Theatre" located at 611 N. Fairfax Avenue shortly before it opened.  

 

Historical Notes

John Hampton and his brother Gilbert began collecting silent films when they were boys in Oklahoma City. Throughout the mid-1920’s, he and his brother held movie nights at their home for family and friends.

In 1940, John Hampton and his wife Dorothy moved from Oklahoma to Los Angeles. A year later, they bought an empty lot on Fairfax Ave, near Melrose Ave. On this empty lot, Mr. Hampton built his version of an ideal theater – one with “staggered seating, bowl-shaped floor, acoustical sound, and silent pictures.” #^#

 

 

 
(1940s)#^# - View looking south on Farifax Avenue from Melrose Avenue. The Silent Movie Theatre is one of the few buildings standing on the west side of Fairfax Ave. Fairfax High School is directly across the street from the theater.  

 

Historical Notes

The theater opened for business in February, 1942. The marquee simply said “Old Time Movies” with “Movie” painted in script between the two windows on the upper floor. The theater had 250 seats. A child’s ticket cost five cents; an adult’s ticket cost ten cents.

After World War II, patrons were nostalgic to see the silent film stars from their childhood and celebrities like Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, and D.W. Griffith would sometimes sit in the back rows to watch their own silent films. #^#

 

 

 
(1980)* - Exterior view of the Silent Movie Theatre in its 30th year of showing films on Fairfax Avenue, also offers L.A.'s bargain movie price of $1.50 admission.  

 

Historical Notes

By the 1950’s, the theater’s audiences grew smaller as television’s popularity grew. Other silent film theaters folded while the Hamptons were able to keep their theater afloat until 1980 when they had to shut it down. The theater was to stay closed for the next ten years until after the death of Mr. Hampton.

The theater reopened 1991 under new management and has since seen a sucession of owners. #^#

 

 

 
(n.d.)#^# - A crowd of people waiting to see Charlie Chaplin's "Modern Times" at the Silent Movie Theatre.  

 

Historical Notes

Today, the name of the theater remains “Silent Movie Theatre.” It is run by a non-profit organization aptly called “the Cinefamily” and has become the premier site for vintage and experimental film. #^#

 

 

   
  (ca. 1948)^^# - View of the Gilmore Drive-In Theatre located on Third Street. The Marquis reads: GRAND OPENING - SILVIER LINING w/ Errol Flynn and Ann Sheridan.  

 

 

Historical Notes

The Gilmore Drive-In was located near the Farmers Market in the Fairfax area in Los Angeles. It opened in 1948 with a capacity for 650 cars and lasted until the mid-1970’s. The drive-in sat for the next 5 years, before being razed.^^#

 

 

 

 
(1949)*^^^* - View showing a packed house at the Gilmore Drive-In Theatre. The Gilmore Field is seen in the background with lights on, possible a baseball game. The Hollywood Stars played at Gilmore Field (Click HERE to see more in Baseball in Early L.A.)  

 

 

 

 
(1948)**^ – Aerial view of the area bounded by Beverly, Fairfax, 3rd Street, and Gardner Avenue. Gilmore Drive-in stands in the foregrond surrounded by Farmers Market, Gilmore Stadium, Gilmore Field, and the Pan-Pacific Auditorium.   

 

Historical Notes

The Gilmore Drive-in site today is occupied by the south end of Gardner Park just east of the Grove-Farmers Market Shopping Mall.

 

 

 
(1951)**^ – Aerial view looking southeast showing construction of the new CBS Television City at center.  In the foreground on the southeast corner of Beverly and Fairfax is Herbert's Drive-In Restaurant.  Further in the distance can be seen (L to R):  Gilmore Field, Gilmore Drive-In, Park La Brea Towers, and Farmers Market. Credit: CBS Photo Archive.    

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1950s)***^ - At the drive-in, or as some called it....."passion pits."  

 

 

 

(n.d.)***^ - Window-mounted drive-in speakers...one for your car...one for the car on the other side of you. Later systems would transmit the signal through your AM radio.

 

 

 

Historical Notes

The outdoor theaters reached the zenith of their popularity during the 1950s.  Piling the kids in the car made for a cheap family night out, and drive-ins were a favorite hangout for teens who'd recently gotten driver's licenses.

The activities of the teenagers prompted another nickname for drive-in theaters — "passion pits". **^^

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1970s)#*## – Daytime aerial view showing Gilmore Drive-in with part of Farmer’s Market seen at top (to the west).  3rd Street is on the left and Stanley Avenue (The Grove Drive) runs horizaontal at bottom.  Today, the Grove Shopping Center stands at this location.  

 

 

 

 

 

(ca. 1958)#*## - View showing the front marquis of Gilmore Drive-in located at the northwest corner of 3rd Street and Stanley Avenue (later The Grove Dr.) with an electric trolley bus and a 1958 Chevrolet in the foreground.

 

 

* * * * *

 

 

 

Canter's Delicatessen

 

(ca. 1930s)#^* - Exterior view of Canter's Brothers Delicatessen located at 2323 Brooklyn Avenue in Boyle Heights.

 

 

Historical Notes

It all began in Jersey City, New Jersey in 1924. After losing a deli in the 1929 stock market crash, Ben Canter and his two brothers moved to California with just $500 in their pockets.  Eager to succeed, they opened up a Canter Brother’s Delicatessen in 1931 in Boyle Heights, the Jewish center of Los Angeles. #***

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1930s)#^* - “Canter’s Brothers Delicatessen” with the founders at their 2323 Brooklyn Ave in Boyle Heights.  

 

Historical Notes

When the character of the neighborhood changed, Ben Canter’s daughter, Selma Udko, and her then husband, Harold Price, partnered with Ben Canter and his wife, Jennie, to purchase a prime location at 439 N. Farifax Avenue in 1948. Instead of calling it Canter’s Brothers they called it Canter’s Fairfax. #***

 

 

   
  (1948)***^ - Canter's Deli when it first came to Fairfax in 1948, it was at 439 N. Fairfax where Supreme is now. 5 years later Canter's moved a few doors down to where it still is today, 419 N. Fairfax.  

 

Historical Notes

After World War II, the Jewish population of Boyle Heights left en masse for the Fairfax District, West Hollywood, and other West Side neighborhoods (as well as the San Fernando Valley) and Canter's followed the influx of Jewish businesses west, converting a movie theater which had previously shown Yiddish-language films to a delicatessen much larger than its previous spaces.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1937)#*** - Canters purchased Esquire Theatre in 1953, and relocated to their current location at 419 N. Fairfax.  

 

Historical Notes

The Esquire Theatre was opened in 1937. It was converted into the second home of Canter’s Deli in 1953 after it moved from its original location. The deli’s tall ceiling is one of the few clues visitors can find of its original use.^^#

 

 

 
(ca. 1970)#*## - Crowds of people hanging out in front of Canter's Deli in the Fairfax District.  

 

Historical Notes

Since it opened on Fairfax in 1948, Canter's quickly became a hangout for show business personalities, given its location and its late hours. It has remained such ever since. In the 1960s, Canter's became a late night hang out for hippies, rock musicians, and other countercultural types, partially for the same reasons. Also, many rock musicians had grown up in Fairfax and West Hollywood, and the Sunset Strip was only a half-mile away.*^

 

 

 
(2005)*^ - Night view of Canter's Deli located at 419 N. Fairfax Avenue.  

 

Historical Notes

Canter's has remained a favorite of rock musicians to the present day, and is still open 24 hours as always.

 

 

 
(2015)#^* – Canter's Deli - "The Authentic Deli Experience". Hot pastrami and rye please.  

 

Historical Notes

Canter's is open every day of the year except for the Jewish holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

 

* * * * *

 

 

Myer Siegel (Westwood)

 
(1937)* - View of the newly opened Myer Siegel and Company Store at 1025 Westwood Boulevard.  The store opened just in time for Christmas.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1886, Myer Siegel opened his first store at Second and Main in Los Angeles. Designed by architect Allen G. Siple, the Westwood Village store opened in December 1937 and was the fifth store in the chain following Downtown, Pasadena, Wilshire and Beverly Hills. These stores offered better women’s apparel.*

 

 

 
(1940s)* - Front view of the Myer Siegel Department Store on Westwood Boulevard. Several late model automobiles are parked along the street.  

 

Historical Notes

The large glass brick panel above the marquee allowed light to enter the mezzanine, and marble wainscoting flanked the entrance which was paved in travertine. The company closed in the late 1950's but the building is still standing today.*

 

 

 
(1949)* - The Tropical Ice Gardens in Westwood Village. Built in 1938 on the corner of Gayley and Weyburn, it was advertised as the "world's first" year-round outdoor ice-skating rink.  

 

Historical Notes

The Tropical Ice Gardens in Westwood Village opened in November 1938. It had a seating capacity for 10,000 spectators and could accommodate 2,000 ice skaters on its year-round outdoor rink. There were conflicting reports that Norwegian ice champion Sonja Henie had acquired the arena sometime in the 1940s and renamed it Sonja Henie's Ice Palace, but her actual affiliation with the establishment remains uncertain.*

 

 

 

 
(1939)* - Postcard photo of Tropical Ice Gardens, an outdoor ice skating rink in Westwood.  

 

Historical Notes

The Tropical Ice Gardens also hosted hockey games, ice dancing shows, comedy and animal ice shows, as well as skating clubs. In 1945 the Tropical Ice Garden merged with the Mercury Figure Skating Club to become the All-Year Mercury AFC. By 1949 it was the Sonja Henie Ice Palace, but was torn down to accommodate a UCLA expansion.*#^

 

 

 
(ca. 1940s)* - View from high up in the bleachers, where large crowds can be seen enjoying the large outdoor ice skating rink at Tropical Ice Gardens. The towers of both the Holmby Building and the Fox Westwood Village Theater can be seen in the background.  

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of Westwood and UCLA

 

* * * * *

 

 

Picwood Theatre

 
(1949)*++ – View of the Picwood Theatre located at 10872 W Pico Boulevard in West Los Angeles. Photo by Julius Schulman  

 

Historical Notes

This S. Charles Lee-built theater opened in 1946 at the intersection of Westwood and Pico Boulevards.

After four decades of delighting West LA crowds, the Picwood Theatre was closed in 1985, and demolished to make way for an extension to the Westside Pavillion mall. The buildings on the entire block (a bowling alley, a bank, and a video arcade were among them) were torn down and replaced by the Westside Pavilion, a huge shopping mall, that takes up two blocks.^^#

 

 

 
(1946)#^*^ - Stage view looking back toward the theatre seating showing balcony and palm tree decor on walls.  

 

Historical Notes

The Picwood originally seated 1100 but later was reseated for 950.  It got a remodel in 1966 that obliterated most of the original tropical themed decor. ^**#

 

 

 
(1946)#^*^ - View looking down from the back of the balcony toward the stage at the Picwood Theatre.  

 

Historical Notes

The Picwood was run until 1985 by Pacific Theatres, often with exclusive runs. The theatre was equipped for 70mm presentation. 70mm runs included "Apocalypse Now" (1979-80 - 26 weeks), "Raiders of the Lost Arc" (1981), "E.T." (1982), "Amadeus" (1985) and many more. ^**#

 

* * * * *

 

 

Mullen Bluett (Wilshire)

 
(ca. 1949)^^^* - Exterior view of the Mullen Bluett Building located at Wilshire Boulevard and Ridgeley Drive on the Miracle Mile.  

 

Historical Notes

With a brick facade balanced by first-floor flagstone, the store featured men's furnishings on the first floor and a women's section on the second. "This was the first architectural style after World War II, a 'late Moderne.'

The Mullen Bluett structure is believed to have been designed by Stiles Clements, who was also behind the famed Wiltern Theatre, as well as several classic Los Angeles buildings that are sadly long gone: The Miracle Mile's Coulter's Department Store, built in 1938 and razed in 1980 (and still just a pit today); the 1929 Richfield Building downtown, razed in 1969; and the 1936 KFI studios, torn down by the LAUSD in 2003.*^#*

The Mullen & Bluett Building was built in 1949 and demolished in 2006 to make room for an apartment complex.

 

 

 
(n.d.)* - Exterior view of Widney Hall also known as 'Alumni House.' This was the first building erected on the campus of U.S.C. and the oldest college building in Southern California, having been in continuous use since 1880.  

 

Historical Notes

The first library at USC started during the first school year, 1880-1881. The collection was stored in what was then the only building on campus, located near Founders Park, close to the present Annenberg School of Communcations. Over the years, this building came to be known as Widney Hall, its facade was painted and altered, and it was moved to different parts of the campus. It survived, though, and is the Alumni House, now located across the way from Doheny Library.^^^#

Location: Widney Hall Alumni House, University of Southern CA, Childs Way, between Hoover Blvd and University Avenue.

Widney Hall is a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument (No. 70) and has also been designated California Historical Landmark No. 536 (Click HERE to see more in California Historical Landmarks in LA).

 

 

 
(1950s)* - View of Widney Hall. The building moved several times throughout the years but still stands today. It was built in 1879-80 in a Italianate style, and later remodeled into a Colonial Revival style in 1958.  

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 
(1949)* - View of several customers parked outside Tiny Naylor's restaurant, located on the northwest corner of Sunset and La Brea.  

 

Historical Notes

Tiny Naylors was one of California's original family-style restaurants founded by W.W. "Tiny" Naylor. Naylor got the nick name "Tiny" because he was 6'4" and weighted 320 lbs. ###*

 

 

 
(1980)* - Night view of Tiny Naylor's restaurant, located at Sunset Boulevard (left) and La Brea Avenue (foreground). Photo by Roy Hankey  

 

Historical Notes

Designed by Douglas Honnold in 1949, this establishment remained open until 1984 when it was demolished to make room for a shopping center.*

 

 

 
(ca. 1949)*#^* – View of Biff’s Coffee Shop on the corner of Cahuenga Blvd. and Yucca Street.  

 

Historical Notes

Although Tiny Naylor was best known for his Tiny Naylors restaurant chains, his first restaurant was Biff’s – named after his son, in 1948.  It was located on the corner of Cahuenga and Yucca in Hollywood.

Tiny Naylor died in 1959. The Naylor family also founded Du Par's which it still owns and operates. ###*

 

 

 
(1951)* - The Acadamy Awards at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood.  

 

Historical Notes

From 1949 through 1959, the Pantages Theatre hosted the American motion picture industry's annual Academy Award Ceremonies. Click HERE to see more in Early Views of Hollywood.

 

 

 

 
(1958)* - 30th Annual Academy Awards at the Pantages Theatre.  

 

Historical Notes

30th Academy Awards (March 26, 1958):

Best Picture: Bridge on the River Kwai;

Best Actor: Alec Guinness – The Bridge on the River Kwai

Best Actress: Joanne Woodward – The Three Faces of Eve

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 
(1949)* - Crowds have gathered for the ‘Gala Opening’ of the Baldwin Theatre in Baldwin Hills. The marquis reads:  THE SHOWPACE OF THE SOUTHLAND – GALA OPENING TONIGHT  

 

Historical Notes

The Baldwin Theatre opened on August 10, 1949 with a Paramount sneak preview plus "Sorrowful Jones" with Lucille Ball and Bob Hope. Roy Rogers and Dale Evans were among the stars at the opening.^**#

 

 

 
(1949)* - Crowds line up to see a special preview of “Sorrowful Jones” with Bob Hope and Lucille Ball at the Baldwin Theatre's grand opening.  

 

Historical Notes

The Baldwin was operated by Fanchon & Marco. The firm had a string of theatres in south Los Angeles. They also managed the two Paramounts: Downtown (the former Metropolitan) and the Hollywood Paramount, now back to its original El Capitan name.

The theatre was later operated by Statewide, Century, Loew's and General Cinema. In the 80s it was triplexed and operated by Inner City Cinemas, a local African-American owned chain that had AMC as a partner. They soon ran into financial difficulties and the partnership was dissolved.^**#

 

 

 
(1949)^** - View of the Baldwin Theatre located at 3741 S. La Brea Avenue in Baldwin Hills Village.  Now playing: "You're My Everything", Starring Dan Dailey, Anne Baxter, Anne Revere. Photo by Julius Shulman  

 

Historical Notes

Architect Lewis Eugene Wilson designed the innovative structure which was supported by laminated wood arches.^**#

 

 

 
(1949)^** – Profile view of the Baldwin Theatre, 3741 S. La Brea Ave. Photo by Julius Shulman  

 

Historical Notes

In the 1960s, Dorsey High School graduations were held there as were numerous St. Paul’s church Easter Sunday services.

 

 

 
(ca. 1949)^** - Interior view of the Baldwin Hills Theatre. Photo by Julius Shulman  

 

Historical Notes

The theatre originally had 1,800 seats and later 970 as a triplex.^**#

 

 

 
(2014)##^^^ – Google street view showing the redeveloped Baldwin Theatre.  

 

Historical Notes

The Baldwin Theatre was closed as a theatre in 1994. The front has been demolished and replaced by a branch of Chase Bank and some restaurants (seen above).  The auditorium remains but was converted into office space.^**#

 

 

 
(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.^^#

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1945)^^# – View showing the front entrance to the Olympic Drive-In Theatre located at 12109 W. Olympic.  Now playing twin features:  “The Dolly Sisters” with Betty Grable and John Payne, also, “Dark Mountain” with Robert Lowery and Ellen Drew.  

 

Historical Notes

Opened with 775 car spaces, the Olympic Drive-In lasted until October 14, 1973. A mural of two surfers (a boy and a girl) riding a wave would later be painted on the screen tower.^^#

 

 

 

 
(1973)#***^ – View showing the entrance to the Olympic Theatre the year it closed.  The marquis reads:  “LA’s Oldest Drive-In Yields to Progress.  Now Closed Forever.”  

 

Historical Notes

Despite the marquis indicating that this is LA's oldest drive-in, that distinction truly belongs to the Pico Drive-In built in 1934. The Olympic Drive-In was built as a replacement for the Pico Drive-In in the 1940s.

 

 

 
(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.  

 

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.*^

 

* * * * *

 

Mercantile Arcade Building (Mercantile Place)

 
(ca. 1920)* - Mercantile Place, looking west from Spring Street, south of 5th Street. This was the site of Los Angeles' 1st elementary school, Spring Street Elementary School.  

 

Historical Notes

Mercantile Place was planned to be "something entirely new in Los Angeles development"—a private shopping street under the aegis of C. Westley Roberts, who secured a ten-year lease from the Los Angeles School Board and bought the material of the old brick school building, which was to be demolished.

This walkway between two sets of buildings was razed in 1923, and the Arcade Building was built in its place. The Arcade Building has entrances from Spring Street and from Broadway, and retains the feel of a passageway.

 

 

 
(1953)* - The Broadway exterior of the Mercantile Arcade Building, located on Broadway between Fifth Street and Sixth Street. Designed by Kenneth MacDonald and built in 1924, the Mercantile Arcade Building consists of two twelve-story towers connected by a three-story shopping arcade.  

 

Historical Notes

One of downtown's most distinctive buildings, this 12-story building, constructed in 1924, was originally called the Mercantile Arcade Building.  An Architectural competition was held to find a design suitable to replace the famed Mercantile Place, which in 1924 had been a Los Angeles landmark for 40 years.  The San Francisco firm of McDonald and Couchot was selected and patterned the new building after London’s Burlington Arcade.  Originally the Arcade included space for 350 offices and 61 shops.^^##

 

 

 

 
(1953)**^ - The Spring Arcade Building (left) and the Hotel Alexandria are both visible in this view looking north on Spring Street towards 5th, downtown Los Angeles.  

 

 

 

 

 
(n.d.)**## - Looking up at the face of the Spring Arcade Building with its ornate arch over the front entry.  

 

Historical Notes

The Mercantile Arcade Building has an open, glass-roofed shopping arcade running from Broadway to Spring Street.  The mezzanine levels of the arcade are accessed via interior bridges.  The building consists of two 12-story towers, one facing Broadway and the other Spring Street, with both elevations having similar terra cotta detailing.  There are two radio towers, one on each tower roof, that once broadcast signal of radio station KRKD.^^##

 

* * * * *

 

 

Richfield Oil Company Building

 
(1955)^^ - Night view of the 146-foot tower sign atop the Richfield Building, 6th & Flower St.  

 

Historical Notes

Richfield Tower, also known as the Richfield Oil Company Building, was constructed between 1928 and 1929 and served as the headquarters of Richfield Oil. It was designed by Stiles O. Clements and featured a black and gold Art Deco façade. The unusual color scheme was meant to symbolize the "black gold" that was Richfield's business. Haig Patigian did the exterior sculptures.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1950s)^^ - A low-angle view of the Richfield Tower atop the Richfield Oil C