Early Los Angeles City Views (1925 +)

Historical Photos of Early Los Angeles

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


Historical Notes

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





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


Historical Notes

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




Broadway and 1st

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





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


Historical Notes

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

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





(1920s)* – Looking north on Broadway, just south of 1st Street. Note pedestrians, a bicyclist delivering the Los Angeles Herald newspaper, a horse-drawn vehicle piled with what looks like textiles, a Pacific Electric Railway car, and several automobiles. The headquarters of the Los Angeles Times is behind the streetcar, and the county’s Hall of Records and the Broadway Tunnel are further up the street. Source: Homestead Museum  



* * * * *





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




Main and 7th

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





Then and Now

(1926 vs. 2009)* – Looking South on Main Street at 7th Street.  






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



* * * * *




Main, Spring, and 9th Street Intersection

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


Historical Notes

The junction of Main, Spring, and 9th streets became one of the most photographed intersections because of its configuration. Click HERE to see more.




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





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


Historical Notes

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


* * * * *




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





Then and Now

(1920s vs. 2020s)* – Looking West on Hollywood Boulevard toward Cahuenga.  






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





Then and Now

(1925 vs. 2021)* - Looking north on Vine Street at Barton Avenue.  






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



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


* * * * *




Broadway Tunnel

(ca. 1902)^ - South approach to the Broadway Tunnel and the stairway leading up to Fort Hill. A man is riding a horse-drawn wagon into the tunnel while two men are crossing the unpaved road and appear to also be heading toward tunnel opening. There was a sign over the Tunnel which read:  “$50.00 fine for riding through this tunnel faster than a walk.”  


Historical Notes

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

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




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


Historical Notes

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




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


Historical Notes

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




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





(ca.1930)* - Looking north showing the Broadway Tunnel with the steel-frame pedestrian staircase now removed.  The 1925-built Hall of Justice is seen on the right.  





(1944)^ – View looking north showing the entrance to the Broadway Tunnel on September 4, 1944.  Herald-Examiner Collection  





(1926)^#^* – View looking south showing the northern portal of the Broadway Tunnel.  Cars are going in and out of the tunnel while pedestrians are seen walking on the sidewalk at right.  Note the signboards that surround the tunnel opening.  





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





(1949)^#^ - View looking south toward the north portal of the Broadway Tunnel, still in use, while the hill around it is being removed with the Hall of Justice in the background.  





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


Historical Notes

The Broadway Tunnel was closed on June 2, 1949, and was demolished for the construction of the Hollywood Freeway . The route cut through Fort Moore Hill and made it necessary for a Broadway overpass to be built across the freeway and the old tunnel site.




(1949)^#^ - Los Angeles Transit Lines (ex-Los Angeles Railway) W Line car no. 1557 passes through the by-pass curve in front of a massive tunnel opening. The W Line ran from mid-city to Highland Park.  The building on the right is the Federal Courthouse.  





(1949)^.^ – View showing the Broadway Tunnel’s south entrance at time of demolition.  Construction equipment and workers are seen above the tunnel. The Board of Education is seen in the background of Fort Moore Hill.  






(1949)^^ – View looking southwest showing the Broadway Tunnel and Fort Moore Hill being chiseled away.  LA Times photo  






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





(1949) – View showing the last remaining section of the Broadway Tunnel, its southern portal arch, just before its demolition.  The Board of Education is seen on top of hill. Photo date: Oct. 1949  





Then and Now

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


Historical Notes

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



Then and Now

(1905 vs. 1987) - Then and Now    





Then and Now

(1949 vs. 2022)* - Looking south from the northern portal of the 1901-built Broadway Tunnel. In 1949, the construction of the 101 freeway through downtown L.A. reduced Fort Moore Hill to a stump and converted the section of Broadway between Temple and Sunset from a tunnel to a freeway overpass.  



* * * * *





Los Angeles Plaza

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


Historical Notes

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



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


Historical Notes

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



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


* * * * *




Knott's Berry Farm

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


Historical Notes

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




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


Historical Notes

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




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


Historical Notes

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

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



* * * * *



The Pike

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




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



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





There's Oil In Them Hills

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


Historical Notes

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



Signal Hill

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


Historical Notes

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




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


Historical Notes

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




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


Historical Notes

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




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


Historical Notes

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




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


Historical Notes

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




(1937)* - A forest of oil derricks sprouts up on the Signal Hill oil field.  






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






(ca. 1930s)*# – View showing a woman posing on a fence at the Signal Hill oil field.  





(ca. 1940)^ – View showing several large oil derricks drilling for oil in a Signal Hill field next to Sunnyside Cemetery in Long Beach. Photo by Ansel Adams  





(ca. 1940s)*^^* - View of Long Beach Boulevard passing through Signal Hill.  





(1941)* - Signal Hill  





(1951)++# – Postcard view of Signal Hill as seen from Long Beach, CA. It was nicknamed “Porcupine Hill” because of its prickly appearance when seen from a distance.  


Historical Notes

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

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

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


* * * * *




Rose Bowl

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


Historical Notes

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




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


Historical Notes

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

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

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of USC.




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


Historical Notes

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

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


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


* * * * *




East Hollywood

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


Historical Notes

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



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


Historical Notes

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



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


Historical Notes

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



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



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


* * * * *




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




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




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


Historical Notes

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

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



Main and 4th Street

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



7th and Hill Streets

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


Historical Notes

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

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



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


Historical Notes

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

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

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



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


Historical Notes

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

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





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


Historical Notes

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

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



* * * * *



Broadway and 5th Street

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




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


Historical Notes

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

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


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

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




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




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




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




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


Historical Notes

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



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


Historical Notes

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



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


Historical Notes

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



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


Historical Notes

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

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



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




(ca. 1929)**## – View looking south on the 600 block of Broadway showing three popular spots:  Desmond’s Department Store, Schaber's Cafeteria, and the Palace Theatre with two Ford Model A’s parked in front.  


Historical Notes

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. ^




(ca. 1928)* - View looking north showing the ornately detailed buildings on the 600 block of S. Broadway, including Schaber's Cafeteria, 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". ^*


* * * * *



Broadway and 9th Street

(ca. 1925)* – View looking north on Broadway from 9th Street with the Majestic Theater seen at left.  At right can be seen the construction of the Orpheum Theatre.  


Historical Notes

The Orpheum Theatre at 842 S. Broadway opened on February 15, 1926 as the fourth and final Los Angeles venue for the Orpheum vaudeville circuit.

Earlier Orpheum theatres in downtown Los Angeles included:

◆ 110 S. Main St. -- Grand Opera House was the home of Orpheum vaudeville from 1894 to 1903.

◆ 227 S. Spring St. -- The Los Angeles Theatre, later called The Lyceum, was known as the Orpheum from 1903 to 1911.

◆ 630 S. Broadway -- Now the Palace Theatre -- this was the Orpheum between 1911 and 1926.




Then and Now

(1925 vs. 2021)* - Broadway and 9th Street looking North.  






(1930)^ – View of Broadway looking north from 9th Street showing The May Company (previously Hamburger's) on the SE corner at 8th Street. Note that Tally''s Broadway Theater is now gone. The May Company was still working on the storefronts of its addition on the Tally's site. The Majestic Theater is seen at center with the newly opened Eastern Columbia Building on the left. The Majestic is running "Top Speed" with Joe E. Brown. Acorss the street, the Orpheum Theatre is playing "Little Accident," with Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. and Anita Page.  


Historical Notes

In 1933, the Majestic Theatre was demolished to make way for a parking lot, which eventually becoame the three-story garage that stands on the site today. Click HERE for contemporary view.




(ca. 1926)* - View of Broadway looking south from 9th Street. To the right, the Western Pacific Building at 1031 South Broadway is visible above the shorter buildings in front of it, in which is included the Gilbert Thayer Auditorium. Legible signs include: "California Gas Co.", "The New Studebaker / Paul C. Hoffman Co.", "We Sell Homes [...]", "Rooms", "L.A. Chiropractic", "Chamber of Commerce", "Garage", "Auto Park 20¢", "Stop" and "Examine".  




Broadway and 10th Street (now Olympic Blvd)

(ca. 1926)* - View looking north on Broadway from 10th Street (now Olympic Blvd).  At the left, the twelve-story Western Costume Company building stands towering above the rest of the scene, coupled with the Southern California Gas Company building across the street to the right. More high-rise buildings are visible in the background while automobiles and cable-cars make their way through the city, below. Legible signs include: "Oakland Six", "Ground Lease/ 99 years / Phone Owner 593-201", "Shell Gasoline", "Gilbert Thayer Auditorium", "Fox Outfitting Co.", "Tacoma Brew", "Hotel Lyle", "Blackstone's", "Majestic", "Stop", "L.A. Chiropractic", "Loew's State", "Southern California" and "New Orpheum Building / Joe Tru[...]sky Co. / Agent".  


Historical Notes

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

Click HERE to see the same view in 1890.

Click HERE to see the same view in 2015.




(ca. 1926)* – View looking north on Broadway at 10th Street.  A Policeman on a box directs traffic.  Buildings include (l to r): Gilbert Thayer Auditorium, Western Costume Co., Majestic, Orpheum Theatre (1926), Southern California Gas Co.  


Historical Notes

The above photo was taken prior to the construction of the United Artists Theater Building, built in 1927 just north of the Western Costume Co. Building. (see next photo)




(ca. 1929)* - View of Broadway looking north from 10th Street (Olympic Blvd) during Christmas. Note the new United Artists Theater Building (built in 1927) behind the Western Costume Building.  





(ca. 1929)* - View of Broadway looking north from 10th Street (Olympic Blvd).  Several people stand waiting in the foreground for the trolley car that is making its way to them from the distance.  The United Artists Theater Building (built in 1927) can be seen at center-left.  






(1928)^ – Looking south on Broadway at 10th Street showing a woman standing on the safety island.  Broadway Place is just visible on the left with 10th Street (now Olympic Boulevard) crossing behind the camera. The beautiful Los Angeles Examiner Building is seen down Broadway on the right.  






(ca. 1926)+ - View looking south on Broadway showing two streetcars of the LA Railway's "M Line" with the Examiner Building in the background on the S/W corner of Broadway and 11th Street. Further back is the Chamber of Commerce Building on the N/W corner of Broadway and 12th Street.  The Los Angeles Investment Co. and Western Auto Supply are at left, followed by the Paul G Hoffman Studebaker sales office.  





(ca. 1926)^ - Aerial view showing the Chamber of Commerce Building and the Los Angeles Examiner Building located on the west side of Broadway between 11th and 12th streets.  






Then and Now

(1926 vs. 2020) – Aerial view looking west from above Broadway between 11th and 12th streets.  







(1928)* - View looking north on Broadway toward 11th Street over the Los Angeles Examiner Building as seen from the Chamber of Commerce building.  A parade celebrating the dedication of the new City Hall can be seen on the street below, including onlookers, floats, flags, automobiles, and trolley cars. Multiple-storied buildings with rectangular windows line the street. Visible signs on the buildings include, "Western Pacific Building", "Property of the Los Angeles Investment Co", "New Orpheum Building", "New Orpheum America's Finest Theatre Presenting Exclusively [?]", "908 S. Broadway L.L. Burns [?]", "Radio Supply Co. 912-14 So. Broadway", and "Southern California Gas Company".  




Figueroa St. and Adams Blvd.

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





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





(ca. 1926)*# – View looking east on Adams Boulevard toward Figueroa Street. Palm trees line the center median with the St. Vincent Catholic Church bell tower can be seen in the distance above the trees. Note the ornate multi-globe street light (Llewellyn "Chester" Lamps).  


Historical Notes

Called Llewellyn “Chester” lamps, these six-globe streetlights were installed in the West Adams district beginning in 1903 (Named for Chester Place, one of the first gated communities in Los Angeles). Click HERE to see more.




(1926)^# – View looking down Adams Boulevard west of Figueroa Street showing palm trees lining the center median.  


Historical Notes

Click HERE to see more views of Adams and Figueroa.





(ca. 1928)*^ - View looking south on Portland Street toward Adams Boulevard.  A six-globe streetlight stands in front of The Second Church of Christ Scientist (today the Art of Living Foundation) at 946 W. Adams Blvd.  


Historical Notes

Built in 1910, the Beaux Arts/Italian-Renaissance style building was designed by Alfred Rosenheim (who also designed the Cameo Theater in 1910 and the Globe Theater in 1913, both on Broadway in downtown Los Angeles.

Rosenheim is also responsible for other Los Angeles landmarks, including the nearby Britt Residence, Hamburger’s Department Store, Clune’s Broadway Theatre Building, and the Hellman Building, all of which are LA Historic-Cultural Monuments.



* * * * *




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





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




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


Historical Notes

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

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



* * * * *



San Fernando Valley

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




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




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




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



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


* * * * *




Flooding in Early Los Angeles

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






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


Historical Notes

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






(1926)^^ – A man is helped to his vehicle on Pico Boulevard in Los Angeles during flooding in 1926.  






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






(1933)* - A manhole overflows at 4th & Flower due to heavy rain. That’s the Richfield Tower in the background on the right, and on the left, we can see billboards for two competing coffee brands: Iris, out of LA, and M.J.B. from San Francisco.
Photo from the LA Times archives at UCLA.






(1930s)##^* – View showing storm-flooded Beverly Boulevard at the intersection with Lake Street.  


Historical Notes

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






(1935)* - Flooding at Manchester and Central in South Los Angeles.  





(1937)* - 17-year old Mary Ann Hopkins glides across the streets of Venice, California after several days of heavy rain.  






(1937)* – View looking east on Pico Boulevard toward Hill Street on a rain day in December of 1937. A car tries to navigate around a streetcar through a large puddle of water by the curb.  






(1939)^ - The rainstorm dropped 5.42 inches of water throughout the Southlands. This photo shows the new underpass under construction at Temple and Figueroa Streets, filled with water. Stalled cars can be seen alongside of the underpass.  Herald Examiner Collection  






(1940)^ - Cars are shown sloshing through the flooded street in front of Angelus Temple in Echo Park on February 1, 1940. Streets in a number of parts of the city were flooded.  Note the old-style traffic signal with semaphore arms.  






(1948)^^ – View looking southeast showing a tow truck pushing a stalled taxi across water-filled intersection at 5th and Flower Streets after a  rainstorm. Another taxi, at left, skidded from street into parking lot. In the background can be seen (l to r): the Goodhue Central LibraryChurch of the Open Door / Biola Institute, and the California Club.  


Historical Notes

The above photo was published on Page 1 of the March 25, 1948, Los Angeles Times. Article went on to read:

Rain-hungry Southern California was drenched by a new storm yesterday. Gales whipped a blizzard of hail and snow over the Ridge Route and winds at sea lashed at small craft.

Farmers were jubilant but hundreds of motorists stalled on flooded streets called for tow cars.

The storm brought 1.39 inches of rain to Los Angeles. It raised the seasonal figure to 6.28, compared with 12.26 at this time last year and a normal of 13.14.^^






(1958)^ - Motorist are shown driving carefully through the flood waters on Pico Boulevard near Union Avenue in the Pico Union District of Los Angeles.  






(1965)* - Rainy day in DTLA.  View is looking north on the 600 block of Broadway. The Palace Theatre is seen in the background featuring two films: The Nanny and Ship of Fools.  




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



* * * * *




Early LA Signs and Billboards

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





(1926)+#* - View showing the billboard and store sign above the entrance to the Vogue Drug Co. at 2001 W. Sixth Street.   





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






(1920s)++++ - View looking south on Broadway toward the Examiner Building on the S/W corner of Broadway and 11th Street.  A potpouri of signs can be seen at left including: The Los Angeles Investment Co., Western Auto Supply, and Paul G Hoffman Studebaker sales office.  






(1931)^^– View showing the Los Angeles Times--Richfield “Electric Newspaper” during its preview at the NE corner of 6th and Hill streets on the Paramount Theatre Building.  


Historical Notes

It was apparently thought that the flashing bulletins would stimulate Los Angeles residents to buy the paper the next day to read details behind the headlines. The Times faced stiff competition from several metropolitan papers during the ’30s, and having control of the bulletins read by thousands of people downtown was considered something of a coup. ^^






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


Historical Notes

In the 1920s, the newly developed neon sign was introduced to the United States. Its flexibility and visibility led to widespread commercial adoption and by the 1930s, neon signs were a standard feature of modern building around the world. Privilege signs, which employed the manufacturer's brand as a form of retail endorsement, were common on retail stores during the 20th century.






(1930)*# - “Royal Gives Time”: the Royal Credit Jewelers clock at night, 708 South Hill Street.  






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






(1930)*# - Majestic Radio & Refrigerators, 1363 S Figueroa Street. This is the current location of the LA Convention Center.  






(1949)* – Los Angeles street scene showing a unique array of billboards and signs most impressive of which is the billboard that actually smoked.  We're looking at the SW corner of Sunset and Vine in Hollywood. At the time there existed a more famous but very similar billboard in New York’s Times Square.  The billboard above the Camel sign is promoting Jack Benny's move from NBC to CBS, which happened in January 1949.  Sontag Drug Store is seen on ground level. Note the ornate genie lamp streetlight on the left.  


Historical Notes

Sontag Drug Store was 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.
All in all, there were 16 Sontag Drugs located in Los Angeles, and another 32 in other locations – for a total of 48 stores.  Their Los Angeles headquarters was located at at the corner of Wilshire Blvd. and La Cienega Blvd. (torn down and replaced at one time with the Flynt Building).^






(ca. 1950)^.^ - View looking at the east side of Vine Street just south of Hollywood Boulevard.  The Firefly Bar (on the left) is located on the ground floor of the Taft Building. The Ham ‘n Egger is seen at center with Giddlow and Sellers Barber Shop at center-right.  To the right of the barber shop is Mooney and Kaye which is being converted into Jerry Lewis' Camera Shop. And finally at far right can be seen the edge of the Brown Derby Restaurant.  







(1917)*^ - View of a man sitting in an early model car in front of a billboard located on Ventura Boulevard at the Calabasas City line.  



Historical Notes

The sign reads: “You are now entering Calabasas.   Calabasas is an entrance to Santa Monica, Topanga, Dry Benedict and Laurel Canyon of the Santa Monica Mountains.  Twenty miles south of Calabasas is Hollywood, the movie capital of the world.”  The billboard is sponsored by Royal Cord Tires made by the US Rubber Company.^

It is generally accepted that Calabasas as the city name is derived from the Spanish calabaza meaning "pumpkin," "squash," or "gourd" (cf. with the word calabash). Some historians hold the theory that Calabasas is a translation of the Chumash word calahoosa.^*





(1928)*# - Aerial view of a well lit Wilshire Boulevard at night. The original Brown Derby restaurant is visible on the right. Note the numerous signboards on both sides of Wilshire Blvd. The "Wilshire Special" streetlights do a good job lighting up the Boulevard. The Wilshire Christian Church (NE corner of Wilshire and Normandie) can be seen in upper right.  


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. As of 2008, 100 poles still remain over the distance of about one-and-a-half miles. The original lanterns are solid bronze and stand 7½ feet tall from the base of the lantern to the top of the finial.





(ca. 1928)*# - A "Wilshire Special" streetlight stands in front of the Van-Shire Florist open-air shop. Bilboards on either side of the shop advertise Union 76 gasoline and Southern Pacific railroad. The sign on the right reads "Ride cool trains! $6 to San Francisco. $17 to Portland".  





(1927)^#^* - A sign with triangular revolving panels advertising the Carthay Circle Theatre on Wilshire Boulevard. In addition to advertising the movie "7th Heaven," the sign also touted the music of Carli Elinor and the prologues by Laughlin.  





(1927)^#^* – Signboard on Wilshire Boulevard advertising Lockheed Hydraulic Brakes – Save Their Lives!  


Historical Notes

Automotive Products, commonly abbreviated to AP, was an automotive industry components company set up in 1920 by Edward Boughton, Willie Emmott and Denis Brock, to import and sell American-made components to service the fleet of ex-military trucks left behind in Europe after World War I.

In 1928, they obtained a licence for the manufacture and sale of the Lockheed Hydraulic Braking System for the British Isles and Continental Europe, and in the following year they acquired a controlling interest in Zephyr Carburetors Limited which had premises in Clemens Street, Leamington Spa. A subsidiary company named the Lockheed Hydraulic Brake Company Ltd was formed and brake component manufacture began.

The company became the UK's leading manufacturer and supplier of clutches and braking, and was dominant in the market until the end of the 1970s.

With the decline of the British Motor Industry, and increased competition from manufacturers in Europe, AP saw its sales shrink. Their main manufacturing site was gradually reduced, until the business was broken up, and its mainstream automotive division was sold in 2000 to Delphi Automotive Systems. The braking division, The Lockheed Hydraulic Braking Company, was sold to an Indian multi-national, who supplies brake systems under the name Caparo AP Braking. The brake division was bought by Raicam Industrie of Italy and moved to Redditch.

The Caparo company is unconnected with AP Racing, a competitor who specialized is high performance brake and clutch systems for motorsports applications. This company has since been purchased by Brembo S.p.A., but is still run as a separate entity.^




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





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


Historical Notes

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

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





(1934)*^#^ – SCE billboard for Electric Range with free installation at Inglewood location.  





(1935)^ - A Foster and Kleiser billboard outside of 1158 and 1160 W. 8th Street promotes the 1936 Chevrolet; 8th Street Specialty Co. is at 1158 and a small hotel is at 1160. Photograph dated November 15, 1935.  





(1935)**^ - View of a Vogue Tyre board with an a 1935 Auburn 851 Boattail Speedster on display.  


Historical Notes

AUBURN Boattail Speedsters--built in very limited numbers for just a couple of years during the height of the Great Depression--were featured prominently in many magazine ads and movies.




(ca. 1935)**## – View looking east on Wilshire Boulevard at Mariposa Avenue showing an Arrowhead Water billboard.  The Ambassador Hotel is located just east of the sign.  Note the huge replica of a water cooler on the right.  


Historical Notes

In 1909, The Arrowhead Springs Company was formed and the company's water products were marketed in Southern California. The water was transported from Arrowhead Springs, north of San Bernardino to Los Angeles in glass-lined railroad tank cars. In 1917, the bottling operations moved to a new plant in Los Angeles. In 1929, the Arrowhead Springs Company merged with the company that marketed Puritas water, and began co-marketing the Puritas products with Arrowhead water. Puritas water products were first introduced in Los Angeles in 1894.

The Arrowhead and Puritas brands were bottled in the same plants and co-marketed until the 1970s. Arrowhead Springs marketed the brands in separate containers that sometimes carried the Arrowhead or Puritas names alone, but containers were often labeled "Arrowhead and Puritas." The Arrowhead Beverage Company was the bottler for many different brands of water and soft drinks including seltzer, fruit-flavored soda, and ginger ale.^*




(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 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.^*




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


Historical Notes

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

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





(ca. 1950s)*^#^- View showing the Bath Block (aka Willoughby Hotel) at 506 South Hill Street.  Dr. Albert L. Gibson’s dental practice occupies the second floor of the former hotel. Billboard for Captain Jet television show atop building.  





(2001)^* - A potpourri of billboards surround Carneys Diner on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood. Click HERE to see more 'Billboards on the Sunset Strip'.  



* * * * *





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


Historical Notes

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



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


Historical Notes

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




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


Historical Notes

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




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


Historical Notes

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




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


Historical Notes

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




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


Historical Notes

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



Click HERE to see more in Aviation in Early Los Angeles


* * * * *




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


Historical Notes

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

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



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


Historical Notes

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



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


Historical Notes

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

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



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




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



* * * * *




Pico Union District

(1930)*# - View showing a snow-covered Pico Boulevard east from Union Avenue. Shops and sidewalks line the street at right. Parked along the sidewalks are three early automobiles; another car can be seen traveling at left on the wet street. There are Victorian houses and a tall three-story rectangular building in the background at left. Most of the snow has melted and it has left large puddles that reflect the surrounding scenery. Legible signs include, from left, "ZM8581", "Albertson & Curly Santa Monica", "Tailoring", and "First Class Shoe Repair".  


Historical Notes

The Pico Union neighborhood was originally developed between 1880 and 1930 as a fashionable suburb known as the Westlake District. Early residents, including European immigrants, enjoyed easy access to downtown on streetcars along Pico and Washington Boulevards. Mexican-American residents settled in Pico Union in the early twentieth century. As Los Angeles continued to grow westward, the area changed from a suburban retreat at the city’s edge to an increasingly diverse, urban neighborhood at its center.^




(1930)*# – View of a snow-covered Pico Boulevard east from Union Avenue.  In the foreground, a small patch of the street was protected from the snow by a car that has since pulled away and left its tracks in the snow. The far side of the street (north side) is lined with Victorian houses and a large, rectangular, three-story building. Legible signs include, from left, "Laundry", "...ion Transfer", "WA 6361", and "A1 Roofing Co.".  






Then and Now

(1930 vs. 2022) – Pico Boulevard looking east from near Union Avenue.  







(1928)*# - View looking east on Pico Boulevard at Union Avenue showing a car turning left over the Los Angeles Railway crossing.  


Historical Notes

The area encompassed by Pico-Union was developed as a middle and upper middle class residential district beginning in the 1910s. Easy access to downtown Los Angeles and the nearby Wilshire District drew large numbers of affluent homeowners. Following the Second World War, the Pico-Union area, like many inner city neighborhoods, experienced an outflux of residents to the suburbs. The loss of residents and business led to high vacancy rates and lower property values in much of the neighborhood by the 1960s.^




(ca. 1932)^.^ – View looking SE showing an early model car makes a left turn unto Union Avenue as it crosses the streetcar tracks on Pico Boulevard.  Jim’s Grocery is seen on the ground floor of the corner building.  


Historical Notes

The 5-globe streetlights seen above were known as 'Pico' Electroliers.  Manufactured by Llewellyn Iron Works Company, these ornate streetlights were found on Pico Boulevard from Main Street on the East to Vermont Avenue on the West. Click HERE to see more.




(1932)* – View looking SW showing a car making a right turn unto Pico Boulevard from Union Avenue.  “The Doria Apartments” stands on the SW corner.  Built in 1905, this Mission Revival-style building with a tiled roof dome is still stnding today.  Click HERE to see a contemporary view.  


Historical Notes

Doria Deighton Jones, an influential player in early Los Angeles, developed the Doria Apartments in 1903. The building is located at Pico Boulevard and Union Avenue on the SW corner. In 1989, the Doria Apartments building was declared Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 432.




Then and Now

(1932 vs. 2019)* – Doria Apartments, SW corner of Pico and Union.  





(1928)*^ – View looking west on Pico Boulevard at Bonnie Brae Street with ornate streetlights (Pico Llewellyn Streetlights) seen on the corners. The above building located on the NW corner (1901 W. Pico) still stands today. Click HERE for contemporary view.  


Historical Notes

The name “Pico Union” refers to the neighborhood that surrounds the intersection of Pico Boulevard and Union Avenue. The Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency officially adopted the name in 1970, when it launched a neighborhood renewal program that continues to this day. In the 1980s, the area became a major point of entry for Salvadoran and Guatemalan immigrants seeking refuge from civil war. Once home to primarily European and Mexican-American populations, Pico Union is now home to immigrants from Central America, Mexico, Cuba, and Korea, who add new layers to the neighborhood’s unique character. Although the residents have changed, Pico Union still looks much the same as it did more than a century ago. In 2004, the area became the city’s nineteenth Historic Preservation Overlay Zone (HPOZ)—the city’s term for historic district.^


* * * * *



Mercury and Chaplin Aviation Fields

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


Historical Notes

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

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




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


Historical Notes

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

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


Click HERE to see more in Aviation in Early Los Angeles


* * * * *




Early LA Gas Stations

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


Historical Notes

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




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


Historical Notes

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

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


* * * * *



Fairfax High School

(1927)^ - Aerial view looking southeast of Fairfax High School located on the southeast corner of Fairfax and Melrose Avenues.  


Historical Notes

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




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


Historical Notes

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




(ca. 1931)*– Two early model cars are parked in front of Fairfax High School. Note the ornate two-lamp streetlight.  





(ca. 1931)*– View showing the front lawn leading to the entrance of Fairfax High School as seen from Melrose Avenue.  


Historical Notes

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




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





(ca. 1931)^.^ - View showing a student standing in the Moorish-style entrance of the Fairfax High Rotunda with lily pond seen in the foreground.  Note the ornate streetlight at center-left.  


Historical Notes

Built in 1924, the 28-acre campus was designed by architectural firm Parkinson & Parkinson in Spanish Colonial Revival style combined with traces of Moorish-style designs.  Note the amazing front entrance leading to the still-standing Rotunda.




(1971)^.^ – Close-up exterior view of the Fairfax Rotunda showing detail tile design including columns bisecting the large windows. Photo by Steven Levine  





(ca. 1931)* – View of the statue of Abraham Lincoln located within the Rotunda of Fairfax High School.  





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


Historical Notes

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




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

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



Historical Notes

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

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




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





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





(1942)^ - View showing Greenway Court, a replica of the Lord Fairfax mansion in Maryland located on the Fairfax High School campus.  


Historical Notes

In 1942, Greenway Court, the Fairfax Social Hall named after Lord Fairfax’s Court in Virginia was dedicated. It was built on campus North of the athletic field and later moved to its present location on Fairfax Avenue. 

The Greenway Court building sat unused for many years until it was renovated into a professional 99-seat theatre by Greenway Arts Alliance in 2000, to benefit both the school and the surrounding community.

Click HERE for contemporary view.




(ca. 1946)* - Hot Rod parked in front of Fairfax High School, Max Yavno photo.  





A 1957 Chevrolet Convertible is parked behind a Good Humor Ice Cream truck with Fairfax High School in the background.  Drawing by Stan Cline  





(1965)^ – Students jump for joy as they celebrate on Graduation Day!  


Historical Notes

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




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


Historical Notes

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

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

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

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




Then and Now

(1927 vs 2020) - Aerial view looking southeast showing Fairfax High School. Intersection of Fairfax and Melrose is at lower center.  





Then and Now

(1931 vs. 2019)* - Fairfax High School  







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


Historical Notes

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

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








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

Gilmore Oil Company's logo was also a lion.






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


Historical Notes

A.F. Gilmore and his son, Earl Bell (E.B.) turned their Gilmore Oil Company into the largest distributor of petroleum products in the Western U.S.

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

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




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


Historical Notes

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


* * * * *



Wilshire and San Vicente

(1922)^ - Aerial view looking west showing the intersection of Wilshire Boulevard and San Vicente.  Wilshire Boulevard is the tree-lined street seen in the center of the image.  San Vicente runs diagonally (originally the San Vicente line of the Pacific Electric Railway) from lower left to center where it crosses Wilshire and turns northwesterly before heading up to Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood (at the time known as the town of Sherman).  Fairfax Avenue (also a dirt road) runs horizontally at bottom of photo.  The large area to the south of San Vicente (lower-left) will become Carthay Center, home to the Carthay Circle Theatre.  


Historical Notes

San Vicente Boulevard is named for the Rancho San Vicente y Santa Monica that had previously occupied the area. The road runs diagonally because it was originally the San Vicente line of the Pacific Electric Railway.

Wilshire Boulevard was named for Henry Gaylord Wilshire (1861–1927), an Ohio native who made and lost fortunes in real estate, farming, and gold mining.  In 1895 he began developing 35 acres of a barley field, stretching westward from Westlake Park for an elite residential subdivision, and donated to the city a strip of land 120 feet wide by 1,200 feet long for a boulevard, on the conditions that it would be named for him and that railroad lines and commercial or industrial trucking would be banned.  The road first appeared on a map under its present name in 1895.^*

At time of the above photo Fairfax Avenue north of Wilshire was called Crescent Avenue.





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


Historical Notes

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





(1926)*# - Aerial view looking east at the intersection of Wilshire Boulevard and San Vicente Boulevard, August 6, 1926. Wilshire is at center and runs away from the camera while San Vicente runs from the lower-left corner to upper-right. The land around the two large streets is divided into small blocks by narrow residential roads, and countless small houses are filling the blocks. The only open land, seen at lower-right, will become La Cienega Park in 1928. The large white building at center-right is the Carthay Circle Theatre located between San Vicente and Olympic.  


Historical Notes

In 1922, J. Harvey McCarthy began the development of an upscale residential district along the San Vicente Boulevard line of the Pacific Electric Railway, bounded by Wilshire Blvd. on the north, Fairfax Avenue on the east, Olympic Blvd (then 10th Street) on the south and Schumacher Drive on the west. McCarthy originally named the district Carthay Center (Carthay being a derivative of the developer's last name). The areas to the south of Olympic Boulevard remained undeveloped until 1933, when developer Spyros George Ponty built several hundred homes in two districts later named "South Carthay" and "Carthay Square". ^*




(1930)*# - Aerial view looking east above La Cienega Boulevard (runs horizontal at bottom of photo).  The intersection of Wilshire and San Vicente is at lower-center left and Olympic Boulevard runs away from the camera at right.  The triangular piece of land with oval-shaped field in its center is La Cienega Park.  The La Cienega Municipal Pool sits at the corner SE corner of La Cienega and Gregory Way adjacent to the oval-shaped field.  Across the street, at lower right, is the Beverly Hills Water Treatment Plant and reservoir. The large white building at center-right is the Carthay Circle Theatre.  





Before and After



Historical Notes

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





Carthay Circle

(ca. 1927)^ - Aerial view looking southwest showing Carthay Circle Theatre (center of photo) on San Vicente Boulevard. Further back behind the theatre, on Olympic Boulevard, stands Carthay Center Elementary School.  



Historical Notes

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





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


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.^*




(ca. 1930)* - Looking west on Wilshire Boulevard from Fairfax Avenue.  





Carthay Center Elementary School

(ca. 1927)^ – Close-up view of Carthay Center Elementary School located at 6361 Olympic Blvd.  


Historical Notes

Carthay Center Elementary School opened in 1924 to serve Carthay Center, a subdivision in mid-city Los Angeles planned by developer Harvey J. McCarthy. The school was located just opposite the famous Carthay Circle Theater, which hosted such dazzling movie premieres as "Snow White," "The Wizard of Oz," and "Gone with the Wind."  Although the theater was demolished in 1969, the beautiful school building was preserved and remains an architectural centerpiece of the neighborhood. ^





(1929)^ - Aerial view looking northeast showing Carthay Center Elementary School fronting Olympic Boulevard.  Note that a new wing was added to the school building (see previous photo). Further back stands the Fox Carthay Circle Theatre.  



* * * * *





(1933)^.^ – View looking northeast from the corner of La Cienega Blvd and Pico Blvd. That empty land was the Pico Fairway golf course—that sign on the right is advertising a free exhibition from "Babe" Didrikson, who was a famous all-around athlete who excelled at everything. And far off in the distance, the two large white buildings are the Carthay Center Elementary School and the Carthay Circle Theatre.  





(ca. 1929)*# – View looking northeast from top of Carthay Circle Theatre where the shadow of its tower is seen down below across San Vicente.  Two sets of streetcar tracks run down the center of San Vicente.  Houses are visible in the residential area on the far side of the street, beyond which oil derricks are seen in the distance.  





(1927)**^* - Exterior view of the Carthay Circle Theatre as seen from acrossSan Vicente Boulevard. A late model car is parked at the curb.  


Historical Notes

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




(ca. 1930)*# – View looking northeast on McCarthy Vista toward the Hollywood Hills as seen from the top of the Carthay Circle Theater.  Wilshire Boulevard is two blocks away.  Oil derricks can be seen in the distance (upper-right). San Vicente Boulevard runs from left to right in the foreground.  





Then and Now

1930 vs. 2022 – View looking northeast down McCarthy Vista toward Wilshire Boulevard from above Carthay Circle Park.  






(1930)* - Looking south from McCarthy Vista towards Henry Lion's 'Pioneer Fountain Group' statue; just beyond it, across San Vicente Boulevard, is the Carthay Circle Theatre.  






(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.*






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


Historical Notes

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

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





(1941)^ - View of the Fox Carthay Circle Theatre at night. Dozens of searchlights reach into the night sky at the premiere of Walt Disney's film. Crowds, seated in bleachers, wait for celebrities to arrive.  


Historical Notes

The Carthay Circle Theatre was demolished in 1969. Today, two low-rise office buildings and a city park occupy its former site.

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



* * * * *



Pico-San Vicente Viaduct

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


Historical Notes

On November 2, 1927, city and county officials, together with Pacific Electric executives, gathered for the opening ceremony of the Pico Boulevard Viaduct to be used by the PE Red Cars. The new viaduct replaced a very dangerous, at-grade crossing of the line with Pico Blvd. There is a banner hanging on the bridge over Pico, one can only guess that the banner was touting the safety aspects of the new span.





(1927)^^ – View from the north side of Pico Boulevard east of viaduct looking west.  A Pacific Electric Railway car on the viaduct is heading north.  


Historical Notes

The importance of the great viaduct was short lived. After just 13 years as an important asset to the Santa Monica via Beverly Hills line, through service to Santa Monica was abandoned in about December of 1941. Thereafter, the viaduct served as a back door entry to the West Hollywood Car House and maintenance complex, and for rush hour service on the W. 16th Street local service.*




(1940)^.^ - View looking east from Pico Blvd Viaduct showing traffic detour at Rimpau on acct of fire at Cooper Lumber Co. on 1-6-40. Eastbound traffic on Pico Blvd is being diverted north on Hudson Ave. Westbound traffic is being diverted north onto Rimpau Blvd.  


Historical Notes

After 23 years of service, the rail service using the span was abandoned at the same time as the Venice Short Line in September of 1950. The viaduct would stand, unused, for another 14 years. Then in 1964 the mighty span that could have lasted more the 100 years was bulldozed away with none of the pomp and circumstance as its opening some 37 years before.*


* * * * *




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





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





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



Click HERE to see more in Early Los Angeles Streetlights


* * * * *



Los Angeles City Market

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


Historical Notes

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




(1920s)^ - Terminal Market (L.A. City Market) as seen in the circa 1920s. The entire center area consists of cars and at least one horse & cart, parked while people walk to or from the market area around the outside.  


Historical Notes

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




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



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


* * * * *



Franklin Hills - Silent Movie "Intolerance"

(1916)* – View showing the Babylon set from D.W. Griffith's silent film "Intolerance", built at the corner of Prospect Ave. & Talmadge St. in Franklin Hills near where Sunset Boulevard and Hollywood Boulevard meet.  


Intolerance was a colossal undertaking featuring monumental sets, lavish period costumes, and more than 3,000 extras. Griffith began shooting the film with the Modern Story (originally titled "The Mother and the Law"), whose planning predated the great commercial success of The Birth of a Nation, which had made $48 million, about $681 million in 2016. He then greatly expanded it to include the other three parallel stories under the theme of intolerance.

Actual costs to produce Intolerance are unknown, but best estimates are close to $2.5 million (about $47 million in 2016), an astronomical sum in 1916.  The film was by far the most expensive one made up to that time. When it became a flop at the box-office, the burden was so great that in 1918 the Triangle Film Corporation had to be put up for sale.

Griffith mostly financed the film, which contributed to his financial ruin for the rest of his life.^*




(ca. 1916)* - Set construction crew, D.W. Griffith's "Intolerance", East Hollywood.  





(1916)* – The Babylon set from the silent film Intolerance.  


Historical Notes

A replica of an archway and elephant sculptures from the Babylon segment of the film serve as an important architectural element of the Hollywood and Highland Shopping Center center in Hollywood (built in 2001).




(1915)^ – View showing the construction site of D.W. Griffith’s massive Babylonian set used in his epic film, Intolerance (1916). Its address was around 4473 Sunset Dr. (the site of the current Vista Theatre), in the Franklin Hills area of Los Angeles.  


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.




(1916)* – D. W. Griffith directed Hollywood’s first blockbuster: “Intolerance.” The Babylon set was so vast (see next photo) that it had to be built on an entire block of empty land at the corner of Prospect Ave. & Talmadge St. (near where Sunset Boulevard and Hollywood Boulevard meet).  


Historical Notes

Intolerance is a 1916 epic silent film directed by D. W. Griffith. Widely regarded as one of the great masterpieces of the silent era, the three-and-a-half-hour epic intercuts four parallel storylines, each separated by several centuries: (1) a contemporary melodrama of crime and redemption, (2) a Judean story: Christ's mission and death, (3) a French story: the events surrounding the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre of 1572, and (4) a Babylonian story: the fall of the Babylonian Empire to Persia in 539 BC. ^*




(1916)^ - View showing grounds where the movie Intolerance was filmed.  After the movie had finished production, they just left the set where it was. It stood there for years abandoned and neglected.  





Vitagraph Studio (today, Prospect Studios)

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


Historical Notes

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

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

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



Franklin Hills - Shakespeare Bridge

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


Historical Notes

Franklin Hills is 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.^*

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.^




(1926)**^- Aerial view showing a closer look at Shakespeare Bridge (Franklin Avenue Bridge) and the ravine it crosses. Located on Franklin Avenue east of Talmadge St., in the Franklin Hills neighborhood of Los Feliz.  


Historical Notes

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




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





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


Historical Notes

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




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


Historical Notes

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




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


Historical Notes

The Shakespeare Bridge begins on Franklin Ave at St George Street, a little less than a mile east of Vermont Street in the Los Feliz or Franklin Hills area. Built in 1926




(1983)* - Cruising the Shakespeare Bridge.  





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


Historical Notes

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





(2021)* – Photo walk group enjoying the day on the beautiful Shakespeare Bridge, built in 1926.  Photo by Paul Wright  


Historical Notes

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



* * * * *



Lorena Street and Fourth Street Bridge

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


Historical Notes

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




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


Historical Notes

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




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





(2010s)^.^ – View showing the usually unseen beautiful architecture in Boyle Heights - the underside of the Lorena - Fourth Street Bridge with its its ribbed compound arches.  


Historical Notes

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




(2022)* - Looking up toward the ornamental dual-lamp streetlights on top of the Fourth and Lorena Street Bridge from underpass. Photo by Carlos G. Lucero  





Then and Now

(1930s vs 2020s)* - Lorena and Fourth Street Bridge  



* * * * *




Dayton Avenue Bridge (later Riverside-Figueroa Bridge)

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


Historical Notes

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




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


Historical Notes

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




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





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





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





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


Historical Notes

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




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


Historical Notes

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




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


Historical Notes

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




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


Historical Notes

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




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


Historical Notes

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




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


Historical Notes

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


* * * * *





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





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


Historical Notes

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

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

Click HERE to see more Early LA Gas Stations.




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


Historical Notes

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

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


* * * * *



Wilshire Boulevard

(1927)^ - View looking west on Wilshire Boulevard showing street widening and paving work, not far from the intersection with Crenshaw Blvd. The Wilshire Congregational Church (later Wilshire United Methodist Church) can be seen in the distance at 4350 Wilshire Blvd.  





Then and Now

(1927 vs 2016)* – Looking west on Wilshire from near Crenshaw.  






(1925)#+ – View looking across an unpaved Wilshire Boulevard showing the nearly completed Wilshire Congregational Church standing on the SW corner of Wilshire and Plymouth Blvds.  





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





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





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





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


Historical Notes

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

Click HERE to see more Early Views of the "Miracle Mile".




(1928)*# -  View looking east on Wilshire Boulevard from the Gaylord Apartments at Kenmore Avenue across the street from the Ambassador Hotel. The Immanuel Presbyterian Church, still under construction, sits east of the Ambassador Hotel on Berendo Street.  





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


Historical Notes

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




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





(1934)*# - Wilshire Boulevard looking east at Crenshaw Boulevard. Note the beautiful streetlights that line both sides of the Boulevard..  



Click HERE to see more in Early Los Angeles Street Lights


* * * * *





(1928)*# – View looking northwest at the intersection of Beverly Blvd and N. Virgil Ave showing the 13-story American Storage Co. Building located at 3636 Beverly Blvd. At right, on the north apex of the intersection, is Jake’s Market Fountain Cafe where Venus Art and Flowers stands today. Click HERE to see contemporary view.  




(1928)*# – View looking north on Beverly Boulevard at N. Virgil Avenue.  American Storage Building on the left on Beverly Boulevard and Jake’s Market Fountain Cafe on the gore point between Beverly Boulevard and N. Virgil Avenue.  Barkies Sandwich Shop can be seen in the background where Beverly intersects with Temple Street.  




(1928)*# – View showing an American Storage truck. Sign on side reads: STORAGE - MOVING - PACKING -SHIPPING  




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





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




(ca. 1930s)**## – View showing newly paved driveway at the entrance to the Hollywood Bowl, with large wooden sign on the dirt embankment. Click HERE to see more in Early Views of the Hollywood Bowl.  




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


Historical Notes

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

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



Click HERE to see more in Early Views of Hollywood


* * * * *



Civic Center

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




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




Construction of City Hall

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


Historical Notes

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




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





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


Historical Notes

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




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


Historical Notes

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




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


Historical Notes

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

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



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





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


Historical Notes

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

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




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




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





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





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





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





(1928)^.^ - Northwesterly view of the Los Angeles Civic Center, City Hall in the final stages of construction. The building on the far left, with the 'indentation' in the middle, was the 12 story Law Building, built in 1926. Photo C.C. Pierce  





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


Historical Notes

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

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




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


Historical Notes

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




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


Historical Notes

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

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

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





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


Historical Notes

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

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




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



* * * * *




Spring and Temple

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





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





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




Spring Street Extension

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




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





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


Historical Notes

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




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





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





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


* * * * *




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




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




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


Historical Notes

The old LA County Courthouse was demolished in 1936.

The Hall of Records stood until 1973.




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


Historical Notes

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




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


Historical Notes

The Central Library building was constructed between 1922 and 1926.

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




(1926)**## – Panoramic view looking southeast from a parking lot located on the northeast corner of Flower and 5th streets showing the recently completed Central Library.  Behind it and to the right is the Church of the Open Door/Biola Institute.  Where the photographer is standing will later become the Bonaventure Hotel.  



Olive and 5th Street

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




Then and Now

(1928 vs. 2021)* - Olive Street between 4th and 5th Streets looking south toward Pershing Square and the Biltmore Hotel. Top photo by Howard Gray  





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


Historical Notes

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



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



Figueroa and 10th (later Olympic Blvd)

(1925)^*# – View showing the Hotel Figueroa as seen from a gas station on the SE corner of Figueroa St. and 10th Street (later *Olympic Blvd).  Signs on the side of the building read:  ‘Hotel Figueroa - Absolutely Fire Proof’ and ‘YWCA – Plunge and Gymnasium’. Note the ornate 5-lamp streetlights. Click HERE for contemporary view.  


Historical Notes

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




(1925)^*# – View looking southwest showing the newly constructed Figueroa Hotel located at 941 So. Figueroa Street. The intersection of Figueroa and 10th streets is seen on the left.  


Historical Notes

Built in 1925, Hotel Figueroa was the first hotel to be completely financed, owned and operated by women in the United States. The YWCA (Young Women’s Christian Association) hired architecture firm Stanton, Reed & Hibbard to design and build the hotel. The Spanish Colonial style of the hotel pays tribute to the city’s Spanish and Mexican heritage. Defining features include the elaborate coffered ceiling, sculpture columns, wrought iron finishes, and ornate floor tiles.^




(1931)^.^ – View looking north on Figueroa Street showing several women standing in front of Hotel Figueroa. Note the 5-globe streetlight in front of the hotel. Click HERE to see more.  


Historical Notes

Originally the hotel only hosted travelling business women and their children. However, as effects of the Great Depression were becoming more severe, Hotel Figueroa started to accommodate men.^




(1926)* - View looking southeast across Figueroa Street showing the Friday Morning Club Building and Figueroa Playhouse.  The Playhouse marquee reads:  “Coming Pauline Frederick”.  The church seen in the distance is the Immanuel Presbyterian Church, located on the southeast corner of what is now Figueroa Street and Olympic Boulevard.  


Historical Notes

The Friday Morning Club (across the street from the Hotel Figueroa) was founded by abolitionist, suffragist, mother, and Los Angeles homemaker Caroline Severance in 1891, with 87 other women in the reading room of the Hollenbeck Hotel, then located at Second and Broadway. It became the largest women's club in California, with membership of over 1,800 women by the 1920s.  Click HERE to see more.



(ca. 1928)^ - View looking NE from in front of the Hotel Figueroa toward the Figueroa Playhouse located in the Friday Morning Club Building, 940 S. Figueroa. In the foreground a boy on a bicycle is hitching onto a truck.  




(ca. 1928)^ - View showing a crowd of people in front of the Figueroa Playhouse. The marquee at upper-left reads PLAYHOUSE: "Anne Nichols Abie's Irish Rose."  


* * * * *


Broadway and 4th Street

(1926)^ – View looking north on Broadway toward 4th Street with the Broadway Department Store seen on the left (SW corner). The Broadway Theater is on the right.  




(ca. 1926)*# - View looking north on Broadway toward 4th Street showing crowds of people window-shopping along the sidewalk next to Broadway Department Store. The Cummings building can be seen on the NW corner of Broadway and 4th (upper-right).  


Historical Notes

Note the ornate dual-lamp streetlights that line both sides of Broadway. These were called "Broadway Specials". Click HERE to see more.



(ca. 1926)*# - View of Broadway looking north from 4th Street.  People crowd the streets as a trolley-car tries to pass. The Cummings building stands dominating much of the left side of the photo, advertising a number of things on its windows and marquees.  





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



Broadway and 7th Street

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




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




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


* * * * *




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


Historical Notes

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


* * * * *



Early Aviation

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


Historical Notes

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

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



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


Historical Notes

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




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


Historical Notes

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




(1929)^## - Closer view of the Goodyear Blimp alongside the Graf Zeppelin showing the size disparity.  





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


Historical Notes

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

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

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



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


Historical Notes

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



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


Historical Notes

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


Click HERE to see more in Aviation in Early Los Angeles



La Cañada Flintridge

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


Historical Notes

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




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



* * * * *





* * * * *





Please Support Our Cause

Water and Power Associates, Inc. is a non-profit, public service organization dedicated to preserving historical records and photos.  We are of the belief that this information should be made available to everyone—for free, without restriction, without limitation and without advertisements.

Your generosity allows us to continue to disseminate knowledge of the rich and diverse multicultural history of the greater Los Angeles area; to serve as a resource of historical information; and to assist in the preservation of the city's historic records.






For more Historical Los Angeles Views click one of the following:



For Other Historical Views click one of the following:



See Our Newest Sections:



To see how Water and Electricity shaped the history of Los Angeles click one of the following:







* * * * *



References and Credits

* DWP - LA Public Library Image Archive

^ LA Public Library Image Archive

**LADWP Historic Archive

*^Oviatt Library Digital Archives

*#USC Digital Library

^^LA Times Photo Archive; New Viaduct for Red Car Line

#*MTA Transportation and Research Library Archives

#^California Historical Society Digital Archive

#+UCLA Digital Library

^**Flickr: Enock 1

^*#Library of Congress: 4th Street Bridge

*^#Los Angeles Conservancy: LA Stock Exchange Building; Warner Bros.Theatre; Downtown Jewelry Exchange/Warner Bros. Theatre

*#*Westland.net: Venice History

+#*LA Curbed

+^^The Eastsider: Riverside-Figueroa Bridge


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

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

++#California Oil Wells

^#^Pacific Electric Railway Historical Society

^## Facebook.com: Photos of Time Travelers

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

***Los Angeles Historic - Cultural Monuments Listing

*^*California Historical Landmarks Listing (Los Angeles)

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

^*^LA Street Names - LA Times

**^^Aerofiles - US Aviation Firsts

**##Facebook.com:  Garden of Allah Novels – Martin Turnbull

**^*California State Library Image Archive

*^^*Pinterest.com: Bertrand Lacheze

*^*^Big Orange Landmarks: Los Angeles City Hall

^^^*KCET.org: Three Forgotten Incline Railways; Lost Tunnels of Downtown LA

*^#^Huntington Digital Library Archive

*^^#Los Angeles Past: Temple and Main Streets, Los Angeles - Then and Now

^^*#Historical LA Theatres: Loew's State Theatre; Warner Bros.Theatre; College Theatre

^*^#Facebook.com - Bizarre Los Angeles

*##^LAist.com: The Knott's Berry Farm You May Not Know

^#^*Noirish Los Angeles - forum.skyscraperpage.com; Broadway Tunnel

^#^^Flickr.com: Michael Ryerson

^#*#LA Magazine: When Knott’s Berry Farm Was Actually a Farm

#*#*Fairfax High School Home Page

#*#^Facebook.com - Los Angeles Theatres: Warner Bros. Downtown

#^#*San Diego Air & Space Museum Archive

^##^Online Archive of California (OAC): Bullock's Department Store Building

##**Franklin HIlls Residents Association

##^*Calisphere: University of California Image Archive

##^^Cinema Treasures: Warner Bros.Theatre

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

##*^Fourth Street Bridge Over Lorena Street

###+Planet Retro: Mission Soda

#^**Water and Power Associates

+++Facebook.com – Los Angeles Heritage Railroad Museum

**^**Los Angeles City Historical Society


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

**^ Forum.Skyscraperpage.com; 8th and Francisisco; Muller Bros. Service Station; Gilmore Aerial; Shakespeare Bridge; Prospect Studios; Gilmore Tanker Truck; Gilmore Station

^* Wikipedia: Hollywood Sign; Carthay Circle; Carthay Circle Theatre; Fairfax High School; Park La Brea; San Vicente Boulevard; Etymologies of place names in Los Angeles; Los Angeles Central Library; Broadway Tunnel; Pershing Square; Pacific Electric Railway; Gilmore Field; GilmoreStadium; Union Station; Westwood; 6th Street Viaduct Bridge; Figueroa Street Tunnels; Chavez Ravine; 2nd Street Tunnel; Hollywood Freeway; Los Angeles International Airport; Los Angeles City Hall; Wilshire Boulevard Temple; Egyptian Theatre; The Pig 'N Whistle; Sunland-Tujunga; Van de Kamp Bakery Building; Los Angeles County Art Museum; Los Angeles City Oil Field; Los Angeles City Hall; Lafayette Park; Signal Hill; Jonathan Temple; Bullock's; Broadway Theater District: Lowe's State Theater; Obadiah J. Barker; Los Angeles Plaza Historic District; Knott's Berry Farm; KFWB; Rose Bowl Stadium; Olympic Boulevard; Thomas Fairfax; Zeppelin; Los Angeles International Airport; Maddux Air Lines; Charles Lindbergh; Spirit of St. Louis; Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center; Hollywood; Shakespeare Bridge; Franklin HIlls; John Marshall High School; Prospect Studios; History of Los Angeles; 1926 World Series; Broadway Tunnel


< Back