Early Los Angeles City Views (1900 - 1925)

Historical Photos of Early Los Angeles
(ca. 1902)* - View looking north on Spring Street from 3rd Street. Early model automobiles share the road with horse-drawn wagons, electric streetcars, and bicycles. A large number of pedestrians fill the sidewalk and some are seen crossing the road. A large sign on the side of the horse-drawn wagon in the foreground reads: "California Carpet Co." Also, the sign on top of the streetcar reads: "Washington St - Western Ave"  


Historical Notes

In 1900, 8,065 horses called Los Angeles home, one for every 12.7 people. Inside the city, stables, saddlers, and blacksmiths occupied prime real estate along L.A. streets. Outside the city, farmers planted countless acres with the oat and alfalfa that fueled these animal engines.

And the horse-drawn vehicle was hardly a zero-emissions machine. In fact, though Southern California's millions and millions of internal combustion engines have added up to an environmental disaster, the urban horse made the automobile look like a clean technology by comparison. A single animal produced 15-30 pounds of manure and a quart of urine each day, much of which festered on the city streets, attracting flies, soiling shoes, and mingling with dirt to form noxious mud when wet and eye-stinging dust in dry weather. And when draft animals collapsed from over-exertion, their drivers often left their carcasses to rot in the roadway -- a sight that disturbed humans and spooked other horses, occasionally triggering mad stampedes through crowded streets.

City officials struggled to keep this public health menace in check, contracting with street sweepers and dead animal removers, but ultimately it took the replacement of equine by automobile power to clean up L.A.'s streets.

Horses continued to march down (and foul up) Los Angeles streets well into the 1920s. Not until 1924 had the balance of power tilted to motorists such that city leaders felt comfortable banning horse-drawn vehicles from downtown during rush-hour -- a traffic-relief measure that remains on the books to this day.**#





(ca. 1902)* - View looking north on Spring Street from 3rd Street. Early model automobiles share the road with horse-drawn wagons, electric streetcars, and bicycles. A large number of pedestrians fill the sidewalk and some are seen crossing the road. A large sign on the side of the horse-drawn wagon in the foreground reads: "California Carpet Co." Also, the sign on top of the streetcar reads: "Washington St - Western Ave". Image enhancement and colorization by Richard Holoff.  


Historical Notes

In 1902, the Los Angeles Railway (LARy) streetcars operating in downtown Los Angeles were painted a distinctive yellow color. This color scheme became iconic for LARy and was maintained throughout much of its existence. The yellow streetcars were a familiar sight on the streets of Los Angeles during the early 20th century, contributing to the city's vibrant and bustling atmosphere.





(1903)* -   A view looking north on Spring Street toward Third Street with carriages, trolley cars, pedestrians and bicycles. This photo was taken from about the same location as previous image but about one year later. The sign on the cable car reads: "Los Angeles Railway Co." The Douglas Building on the NW corner still stands. Click HERE for contemporary view.  


Historical Notes

Los Angeles Railway (1895-1945) also known as the Yellow Cars of Los Angeles, was the local streetcar transit system running down the center of city streets and connecting the city center to neighborhoods in about a six mile radius of downtown.





(1903)* -   A view looking north on Spring Street toward Third Street with carriages, trolley cars, pedestrians and bicycles. The sign on the cable car reads: "Los Angeles Railway Co." The Douglas Building on the NW corner still stands. Click HERE for contemporary view. Photo by C.C. Pierce; Image enhancement and colorization by Richard Holoff  


Historical Notes

Los Angeles Railway (1895-1945) also known as the Yellow Cars of Los Angeles, was the local streetcar transit system running down the center of city streets and connecting the city center to neighborhoods in about a six mile radius of downtown.





(1903)* - Close-up panoromic view of Spring Street from Third Street showing a typical downtown Los Angeles day in 1903. On the right is the entrance to Citizens Bank.  





Then and Now

(1903 vs. 2019) – View looking North on Spring Street at 3rd Street with the Douglas Building seen on the NW corner.  


Historical Notes

The 1899-built Douglas Building located on the NW corner of Spring and 3rd streets still stands today.  It was designed by the Reid Brothers, architects, and developed by Thomas Douglas Stimson. In 2009 the Classical Revival style building was declared LA Historic-Cultural Monument No. 966.





Then and Now

(1903 vs. 2021) – View looking North on Spring Street at 3rd Street with the Douglas Building seen on the NW corner.  


Historical Notes

The Douglas Building was commissioned by T.D. Stimson, a lumber baron turned real estate mogul who fostered commercial development in Los Angeles during the 1890s. The five-story building was designed by San Francisco architects James and Merritt Reid, who gained fame for designing the remarkable Hotel del Coronado near San Diego in 1888.

The Douglas Building was one of Los Angeles’ greatest office building and commanded the highest rentals. In its early years, it housed the chief ticket office of the Southern Pacific Railroad. During that time many travelers passed through its doors to purchase a ticket.

In 2005, this former office block was renovated into 50 residential units.*





(ca. 1907)* - Looking north on Spring Street toward Third Street with the beautiful Stimson Building seen on the NE corner.  






(ca. 1908)*- Looking east on Third Street at Spring Street showing the Stimson Building on the NE corner. The six-story stone masonry building with cupola and projecting bays was located at 256 South Spring Street.  


Historical Notes

The 1893-built Stimson Building, a six story Richardsonian Romanesque office building with an observation tower, stood on the NE corner of Spring and 3rd streets until 1963…today a parking lot.

Click HERE to see more Early Views of the Stimson Building.





Then and Now

(1907 vs 2023)* - Looing north on Spring Street toward Third Street.  





(ca. 1900)^^ - Panoramic view looking south on Broadway from the LA County Courthouse.  City Hall is the tallest structure in the distance.  


Historical Notes

The above photograph features the following buildings: From north-west corner of Broadway and First Street: Tajo Building (1894-1938), Tally-Ho (circa 1894-1939, adjoining Tajo to north), Watauga Hotel (four-story, two buildings north of Tally-Ho), Brotherton Building, Franklin Hotel (far lower right, top of T, Broadway at Franklin Street) and Los Angeles Police Central Division (west of, and partially behind Tajo, across First Street); South of First Street: Hough Block (unknown-1956, 2nd from SW corner), Yosemite Hotel (left of the Hough Block), Newell and Rader Block (the shorter building left of Yosemite Hotel), Newell and Gammon Building (a taller building with "Smith Premier" sign), Roanoke Building (built in 1886 as Millar Building, left of Newell), C.H. Frost Building (built in 1898, north-west corner of Broadway and Second Street), California Hotel (First and Hill Streets), Hotel Lincoln (with white cupola, Hill Street at First and Second Streets), Crocker Mansion (at Bunker Hill - just above and left of Lincoln cupola, south-east of Olive Street and Third Street); South of Second Street: California Bank Building (built in 1887, south-west corner), YMCA Building (built ca.1887, left of the California Bank), B.F. Coulter Building (built ca.1888, left of YMCA Building), Bicknell Building (built in 1892, left of the Coulter Building), . H. Newmark Building (left of Bicknell), Boston Dry Goods Store (built ca. 1896, J. W. Robinson's, left of Newmark), Fred J. Byrne Building (at north-west corner with Second Street). From the left side Broadway: Second Los Angeles Times Building; South of First Street: Culver Block (at south-east corner of Broadway and First Street), Hayes Block (just east of the Culver Block), Larronde Block (at north-west corner of Spring and First Streets), Schumacher Block (just north of the Larronde Block), Nadeau Hotel (First and Spring Streets), Wilson Block (south-east corner of Spring and First Street); South of Second Street: Hellman Building (north-east corner of Broadway and Second Street), Bryson-Bonebrake Building (north-west corner of Spring and Second Streets), Hollenbeck Hotel (1884-1931, south-west corner of Second and Spring Streets), Wilcox Building (1896 - shortened in 1971, south-east corner of Spring and Second Streets), Third City Hall (1888-1928); South of Third Street: Bradbury Building (built in 1893, south-east corner of Broadway and Third Street).^^





(ca. 1900)#*^^ - View looking north on Broadway from near 3rd Street showing streetcars, horse-drawn wagons, bicycles and pedesrians all sharing the roadway. City Hall stands tall on the east side of Broadway. The LA County Courthouse, built in 1891, stands in the background.  






(ca. 1900)^ - Street view of Broadway looking north from 3rd Street. Trolleys as well as horses and carriages are seen on the street. City Hall can be seen down the street on the right (tall tower and flag).  






(ca. 1890)^ - Close-up view of Old City Hall at 226 Broadway. Horse-drawn carriages can be seen parked in front of the building.  


Historical Notes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ 1928 - moved to current City Hall Building *^




Broadway and 2nd Street

(ca. 1902)^ - Street view looking south on Broadway from near the conrner of 2nd Street showing the 1888-built City Hall with flag. Horse-drawn carriages are seen on both sides of the street. A bicycle is moving north toward the photographer as it passes 2nd Street. The building with the conical roof on the right, SW corner of Broadway and 2nd Street, is the California Bank Building (built in 1887).  






(ca. 1904)* - Broadway looking south from Second Street. A double carbon arc lamp utilitarian streetlight is hanging from wire at the center of the intersection.  






(ca. 1904)* - Looking south on Broadway at 2nd Street in DTLA. Photo by C.C. Pierce;  AI enhancement and colorization by Richard Holoff  






Then and Now

(1904 vs. 2022)* - Looking south on Broadway at 2nd Street.    





Broadway and 1st Street

(ca. 1904)^ - A view of Broadway looking south from 1st Street. A trolley marked "Boyle Heights” takes the center of the street while horses and carriages fill the sides in front of the businesses along the street. The building on the left with the large columns is the Southwest Building (130 S. Broadway). It was occupied by the LA Chamber of Commerce between 1903 and 1925. The ornate building across the street with the turret is the Newell and Gammon Building (131 S. Broadway). Down the street on the left can also seen the tower of the City Hall building.  





(ca. 1903)* – Postcard view showing the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, also known as the Southwest Building, located at 130 S. Broadway between 1st and 2nd streets; view is looking north.  


Historical Notes

The Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce's first meetings were held in the old board of trade building on First and Broadway, which has since been torn down. In 1890, the Chamber moved into the Mott Building at 131 S. Main Street, where it stayed for four years. In 1894, the organization moved to new quarters at the southeast corner of Broadway and 4th, in a building designed especially for its use, the then-new three-story Mason Building - which would serve as the L.A. Chamber of Commerce for twelve years. In 1903, it moved into the Southwest Building, located at 130 S. Broadway, and stayed there until January 31, 1925. In 1925 it moved to its brand new building at 1151 S. Broadway and 12th Street. It now makes its home at 350 S. Bixel and 6th streets.*





(1905)^ - The Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, also known as the Southwest Building, located at 130 S. Broadway. The white building has numerous windows, columns, and balconies as well as ornamental detailing throughout. The Chamber of Commerce moved here in 1903 and stayed until January 31, 1925. Parked along the front are several bicycles, as well as a horse-drawn cart.  





(ca. 1905)^^ - View looking at the north side of 1st Street showing the three-story stone Los Angeles Times Building (built in 1886), N/E corner of First Street and Broadway. Next door is a rooming house above store fronts. About fifteen pedestrians are on the sidewalk. Two horse-drawn carriages are in the street. Legible signs include: "The Times", "Furnished Rooms", "Sells Everything - The Ark, 231", "The American Café”.  





Views from Bunker Hill

(ca. 1900)^^ - Panoramic view of downtown Los Angeles, looking east, as seen from the rear deck of the Crocker Mansion .  The view is looking toward the intersection of Broadway and Third Street where the Bradbury Building stands on the southeast corner. The streets are busy with horse-drawn vehicles and pedestrians. A pile of construction supplies and debris is visible near the intersection. City Hall is at left and the First Congregational Church at lower-left.  


Historical Notes

Built in 1893, the Bradbury Building was commissioned by LA mining millionaire Lewis L. Bradbury and designed by local draftsman George Wyman.

Click HERE to see more Early Views of the Bradbury Building.




(ca. 1900)^^ - Panoramic view of downtown Los Angeles from the Crocker Mansion (partially visible at left) looking east on Third Street from the intersection of Olive Street on Bunker Hill. Flags are flying on several buildings, including the Bradbury Building (Third Street and Broadway). The Los Angeles City Hall, with its distinguished tall tower, is seen just to the right of the mansion.  


Historical Notes

The Crocker Mansion was designed by architect John Hall and erected in 1886.  The ornate residence was built at a cost of $45,000 for Mrs. Margaret E. Crocker, widow of Edwin Bryant Crocker, a California Supreme Court Justice.  Later it was called the Crocker Mansion Rooming House and became the site of the Elks Club, and finally the Moose Lodge.^

Click HERE to see more Early Views of the Crocker Mansion.




(ca. 1900)***# - View from Bunker Hill looking north on Grand Avenue near Third Street on an exceptionally clear day. The San Gabriel Mountains can be seen in the background.  


Historical Notes

This exclusive residential area, most of it built during the 1880's, was at its zenith in 1900.***#


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Spring and 4th Streets

(ca. 1900)^ - View of the northeast corner of Spring and 4th streets, showing pedestrians and Off & Vaughan Drug Co., Blaney's Shoe Store and part of the Van Nuys Hotel. Pedestrians and horse-drawn wagons are seen throughout. In 1903, the 8-story Hellman Building would be built on the northeast corner of Spring and 4th.  


Historical Notes

By 1900, Los Angeles' population swelled to 102, 500. This was double the City's population of only 10 years earlier (1890).*^

The Van Nuys Hotel was built by Isaac Newton Van Nuys, businessman, real estate developer, banker, and agricultural entrepreneur. He founded the community of Van Nuys in the San Fernando Valley in 1911. As a major figure in regional history and development, there are schools, streets, libraries, and a Liberty Ship with the name of Van Nuys.*^




(ca. 1900)^ - The intersection of 4th Street looking east from Spring Street toward Main Street in 1898. The Off & Vaughn Pharmacy is seen on the northeast corner, and the Van Nuys Hotel at 103 W. 4th Street at the corner of Main Street. Further in the distance is the Westminster Hotel. Pedestrians and horse-drawn carriages are seen. We are beginning to see overhead line congestions from telephone poles and electric streetcars.  


Historical Notes

The Van Nuys Hotel was designed in 1895 by Octavius Morgan and J. A. Walls in a Beaux-Arts style for Isaac Newton Van Nuys. Consolidated Hotels, Inc., leased the hotel in 1929, renamed it to Barclay, and renovated it to include a high-speed elevator and a remodeled lobby.^#^




(1903)^#^ – View showing a steam shovel excavating the northeast corner lot of Spring and 4th streets where the Hellman Building will soon go up.  The Angelus Hotel is seen across the street on the southwest corner.  


Historical Notes

When built in 1901, the Angelus Hotel was advertised as the tallest building in Los Angeles.  The Hellman Building, built in 1903, would surpass it at eight stories.




(ca. 1906)^ – View showing the 8-story Hellman Building located on the NE corner of Spring and 4th streets as seen from the Angelus Hotel. In the distance, on the right, can be seen the Westminster Hotel (N/E corner of Main and 4th).  


Historical Notes

The Hellman Building still stands today. In 2002 it was dedicated Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 729.


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Main and 4th Streets

(ca. 1900)^^ - People near and far walk across 4th and Main Street past the majestic Westminster (architect, Robert B. Young). Included also are a bicycle, a car and a horse-drawn cart.  


Historical Notes

The Westminster Hotel was a large Victorian brick building with a six-story tower. It was designed in 1887 by Robert B. Young and was considered the grandest hotel in the city. In about 1870, this area was the site of a Chinese market. By the mid-1930s the hotel was in decline. It, however, continued to operate until 1960 when the building was razed to make room for new development.^^

Click HERE to see more Early Views of 4th and Main Street (1890s)


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Olive and 6th Streets

(ca. 1900)^ - View of 6th Street looking west from Olive St. Pedestrians and horse-drawn vehicles are seen, and men are doing road work. A druggist is at left, and at right is Fontella Cigar Store, above which are Park View Apartments. Glengarry is a building further down the street, past several small shops.  





Then and Now

(1900 vs. 2022)* - Looking West on 6th Street at Olive Street.  



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Spring and 2nd Streets

(1888)* – Looking north on Spring Street toward 2nd Street showing horse-drawn wagons and a street car in front of the Hollenbeck Hotel left and the Bryson-Bonebrake Block on the NW corner.  


Historical Notes

Two highly influential figures in 1880s Los Angeles, John Bryson, Sr., the 19th mayor, of LA and Major George H. Bonebrake, President of the Los Angeles National Bank and the State Loan and Trust Company, commissioned Joseph Cather Newsom to erect this 126-room bank and office building. It's cost was projected to be $224,000, a staggering sum at the time. Bonebrake was one of the richest men in the city at the time, and he could afford making such an investment. He located the main headquarters of his bank in the Bryson-Bonebrake Blocks.*




(1890)^ - View of Spring at 2nd Street looking north. The Hollenbeck Hotel is seen on the left and the Bryson-Bonebrake Block is on the right. Horse-drawn carriages are parked in front of the hotel.  





(1892)* - A Columbus Day parade on October 26, 1892, on Spring and 2nd Streets. The Bryson-Bonebrake Block is on the right and the Hollenbeck Block on the left.  





(ca. 1895)^ - View of Spring Street looking north from Second. The Bryson-Bonebrake Block is seen on the northwest corner of Spring and Second streets. The Hollenbeck Hotel is seen across the street (left of photo). Both the LA Country Courthouse and the Phillips Block can be seen in the background. Photo by C.C. Pierce  





(ca. 1895)^- View of Spring Street looking north from Second. The Bryson-Bonebrake Block is seen on the northwest corner of Spring and Second streets. The Hollenbeck Hotel is seen across the street (left of photo). Both the LA Country Courthouse and the Phillips Block can be seen in the background. Photo by C.C. Pierce, AI image enhancement and colorization by Richard Holoff  





(ca. 1900)^ - View of the intersection of Spring and Second streets. The Hollenbeck Hotel stands on the southwest corner. Across the street (right of photo) is a partial view of the Bryson-Bonebrake Block. Trolley lines cross over the intersection.  


Historical Notes

The Hollenbeck Hotel was constructed in 1884 at Spring and Second streets.  The hotel was named for its owner, John Hollenbeck, a prominent investor, banker, and owner of large landholdings in the Boyle Heights area.  A leading hotel in its day, it was designed by Robert Young, an architect responsible for several early downtown hotels, including the Lankershim, the Lexington, and the Westminster.^^*




(ca. 1900)^ - The intersection of Spring and 2nd Street, showing the Hollenbeck Block. An electric trolley car heading to the Salt Lake Station is seen. A woman appears to walking in the direction of the trolley.  





Then and Now

(1900 vs 2023)* - Looking at the SW corner of Spring and 2nd streets.  



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Hill and 4th Street

(ca. 1900)^ - The 234 Santa Monica/Venice streetcar is running east on 4th St. in this view of commercial, downtown Los Angeles at Hill and 4th. The Hotel Brighton stands on the N/E corner (left). The Hotel Clarendon is on the southeast corner, a cigar store on the bottom floor. The Grant Building is on the center left. Deliveries are being made by horse-drawn wagons. An awning advertises ice cream sodas for 5 cents.  


Historical Notes

Click HERE to see more Early Views of Hill and 4th Street.


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Main Street

(ca. 1901)^#^ – Street view looking north on Main Street from 6th Street.  Horse-drawn wagons and streetcars share the busy street.  A sign for Morosco’s Burbank Theatre is seen at right. The streetlight is decorated for possibly a parade.  


Historical Notes

In 1900, the Burbank Theatre was leased to Oliver Morosco and became known as Morosco's Burbank Theatre.  Morosco was later involved in the Majestic Theater on Broadway (which opened in 1908) and got a house named for himself when he opened the Morosco on Broadway (now the Globe) in 1913. **^



(1901)^#*^ – View looking north on Main Street from 5th Street toward Winston Street. The large two buildings on the east side of Main Street at Winston Street are the Government Building (S/E corner) and the Main Street Savings Bank Building (N/E corner). Photo was taken on May 8, 1901, the day U.S. President William McKinley came to Los Angeles. Horse-drawn wagons, cyclists, and pedestrians share the street.  


Historical Notes

President McKinley, after his second inauguration on March 4, 1901, went on a six-week tour of the United States. Traveling by train, McKinley arrived in Los Angeles on May 8. On May 10, McKinley’s train headed north with stops in Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo.


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(ca. 1900)*- Fashionable women walk in front of a Grand Avenue trolley car.  


Historical Notes

This photo was published in the Jan. 3, 1950, Los Angeles Times Mid-Winter Edition as part of a photographic history of Los Angeles. The accompanied headline announced, “Century’s Early Years Brought Trolleys, Traffic and (Ah!) Fashion.”




(ca.1900)^ - View showing an early fire engine pulled by large muscular horses, up a hill on First Street. Several firefighters help push the fire engine as it makes its way up the hill. The horses kick up a lot of dirt and dust as it pulls the long fire engine. On the fire engine, there is one driver who steers the horses in the front of the engine, and there is one driver in the rear who appears to be holding onto a steering wheel. A large shiny bell is mounted on the engine in front of the firefighter steering the horses. A large ladder, attached to the fire engine, can be seen along the body of the vehicle. The dirt road is littered with rocks. At left, about five children can be seen playing on the sidewalk or looking at the commotion. A woman can be seen in her window in the two-story house at left. Caption reads: "Early days with the fire companies. A hard pull up First Street hill toward a fire."  



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Elysian Park

(ca. 1895)^*# - View showing a man leaning on a rail and another man sitting in front of him as they watch workers construct a retaining wall at the newly created Elysian Park. Title on photograph reads "Work for the Unemployed in Los Angeles".  


Historical Notes

Elysian Park is the city's oldest public park and, at 575-acres, the second largest after Griffith Park. It is home to numerous historic sites, including the Los Angeles Police Academy and Barlow Hospital, that are linked by miles of walking trails.

In 1769, Gaspar de Portola and Father Juan Crespi camped on the river bank opposite Buena Vista Hill near the North Broadway Bridge entrance to Elysian Park. Yang-Na Indian villagers from the creeks of Solano Canyon and the current location of the Los Angeles Police Academy greeted the Spaniards with native refreshments.

In 1781, the Pueblo of Los Angeles was officially established by Spanish California Governor Felipe de Neve with the Royal Grant of 4 square Spanish leagues (translated into 28 square miles or about 17,000 acres) of Pueblo Lands. Of this public land grant, the approximately 575-acre Elysian Park is the last remaining large piece. All else has been auctioned off or given away. Los Angeles even had to buy back the site of the present City Hall. One of the first American official acts was the Ord Survey of 1849 to record the boundaries of these Pueblo Lands so they could be auctioned to produce city revenue.

Elysian Park was then known as Rock Quarry Hills for the building stone mined in the area. But instead of being sold, the Rock Quarry Hills area were "reserved" for public purpose and withdrawn from public auction.**^




(ca. 1900)* - Photograph of the North Broadway entrance to Elysian Park. Here we have a panoramic view of Elysian Park hillside with an electric car approaching. A palm tree is planted in the elbow of a path as it curves up into the park. A man is standing at the railing of a landing of steps. Two other men are further into the park itself. Nearby is a decorative lamp post topped with a bird. Visible in the background are the Buena Vista Street bridge and several horse-drawn vehicles. Photo by C.C. Pierce  


Historical Notes

In 1886, the Mayor and City Council of Los Angeles dedicated the Rock Quarry Hills as a city park forever, and renamed it Elysian Park (Elysian is derived from the Greek word paradise). Subsequent city charters have protected dedicated park lands and their use for park purposes in perpetuity.**^




(ca. 1900)* - North Broadway entrance to Elysian Park with Buena Vista Street bridge seen in the background as it crosses the Los Angeles River.  Elysian Park is the City’s oldest park, established in 1886.  Photo by C.C. Pierce; AI image enhancement and colorization by Richard Holoff  





(ca. 1900)^ - A small stand with three men sets beside the road just before the Fremont entrance to Elysian Park. The hill on their left is landscaped with shrubs and flowers, and 2 horses & carriages are on the road into the park.  


Historical Notes

After beautification, improved access was a top priority. The extension of Buena Vista Street to the park's Fremont Gate entrance brought the park within a short carriage ride of the central city, and in 1893 a former burro trail became a trans-park road. Further improvements in 1896 -- funded by a $20,000 subscription drive and performed by an army of unemployed workers -- laced the park with footpaths and added basic facilities like restrooms.**#




(ca. 1909)^*# – View showing a man and woman walking down the stairs at the entrance to Elysian Park.  


Historical Notes

The park became even more colorful in 1893, when the Los Angeles Horticultural Society created the City Arboretum in Chavez Ravine. A haphazard planting of rare trees from around the world, the arboretum transformed Elysian Park's western canyon into an exotic forest. Some of the arboretum's trees, still growing today, remain the only representatives of their species in Los Angeles..**#




Avenue of the Palms

(ca. 1920s)^ - The Avenue of the Palms:  Looking down the road, palm trees only a few feet apart line both sides of a wide dirt road in Elysian Park.  A single car is coming toward the camera.  


Historical Notes

Around 1895, Elysian Park received its most recognizable tree planting with the creation of the Avenue of the Palms, an allee of date palms (Canary Island Date Palms) along present-day Stadium Way.**#




(1937)^ – Avenue of the Palms in Elysian Park.  Looking down the road, palm trees only a few feet apart line both sides. A single car is parked on the left.  





(2013)++#  - View showing Avenue of the Palms, a section of Stadium Way, as it appears today. The palm trees are over 120 years old!  


Historical Notes

A fatal fungus – Fusarium wilt  – that has killed off Canary Island palms from Spain to Santa Monica has also spread to the Elysian Park trees. Faced with the prospect of a forest of dead palm trees, the Citizens Committee to Save Elysian Park, a nonprofit park support group, came up with a proposal to plant disease-resistant palms. The new palms and irrigation system were paid for with a fund earmarked for Elysian Park improvements.

As of May, 2014, Elysian Park has been planted with a grove of more than 100 knee-high palm trees that will one day replace the majestic Canary Island Date Palms that are slowly dying from a fatal tree fungus.

The new trees – Chilean Wine Palms, Jubaea chilensis – were planted in between the century-old palms that have risen about 50 feet high along the  Avenue of the Palms. +*




Then and Now

(1920s vs. 2013) – Avenue of the Palms in Elysian Park.   






(1920s vs. 2021)* - Avenue of the Palms - a section of Stadium Way. Note the new Chilean Wine Palms planted in-between the century old original palms.  





Echo Park & Echo Park Lake

(1900)* - Wooden bridge over Echo Park Lake as it looked at the turn of the century. Note the homes on the hillside behind the bridge and the woman with the hat relaxing alongside the lake.  


Historical Notes

Echo Park Lake didn’t start out as a man-made lake. Instead, its earliest use by the city was as a reservoir, storing water in a section sometimes known as the city’s “West End.” In those years this area was thought of as the city’s west side.^




(ca. 1910)^.^ – View showing a woman (Grace McCarthy) with a parasol standing on a bridge at Echo Park Lake.  William M. McCarthy Photograph Collection  


Historical Notes

Designed in the rustic style, one of the lake's two bridges (seen above) helped pedestrians reach an island, while a second bridge passed over the lake’s northwest corner, where a ditch delivered water from the Los Angeles River (and lotus now grow).




(ca. 1900)^ - View of a woman seated on a bench by Echo Park.  Behind her can be seen two men standing by their bicycles on an ornate bridge which passed over the lake’s northwest corner where lotus now grow. This is where a ditch emptied LA River water into the lake  


Historical Notes

The Los Angeles Canal and Reservoir Co. formed Reservoir No. 4 in 1868. The company obtained the water by digging a ditch that sent water flowing from the Los Angeles River – in the area now known as Los Feliz – along a zigzag path that merged with the Arroyo de los Reyes and then emptied into the reservoir.*

The Arroyo de los Reyes originates near the Catholic school on Glendale Boulevard – right by the 2 off-ramp.  It flowed southward, along Glendale Boulevard, occupied the area now taken by Echo Park Lake, and continued down to 2nd Street, then crossing through downtown LA, about a block or two south of Pershing Square, where it spread and created a big muddy mess.  These flows eventually connected with the Los Angeles River, when they didn’t seep into the ground first.^

Click HERE to see more Early LA Water Reservoirs.




(ca. 1900)^.^ – Several boys are seen fishing off a wooden bridge over lake at Echo Park.  





(1911)^^ - View of Echo Park Lake looking northwest towards the Hollywood Hills.  


Historical Notes

In the late 1880s, a carriage maker turned real estate developer, by the name of Thomas Kelley, teamed up with other investors to purchase about 70 acres that included Reservoir No. 4—what is now Echo Park Lake.  Kelley and his business partners sold off pieces of what they called the Montana Tract to individuals who built the business district along Sunset Boulevard and the densely packed homes and apartments that surround Echo Park Lake.

In 1891, city leaders struck a deal with the men who owned the land around the reservoir. Kelley and his associates – including William LeMoyne Wills, who like Kelley, would later serve on the school board – gave up 33 acres of land around the reservoir so that it could be used as a park. In exchange, the city agreed not to overflow the reservoir land, making the remaining land held by Kelley and his associates – including the street that would soon become Sunset Boulevard – far more valuable. Click HERE to see more on the Grand Opening of Sunset Boulevard.

By 1920, many of the hills surrounding the lake were still untouched. Farm houses lined the northern edge of the lake, while four-unit, Craftsman-style apartment flats ran up Echo Park Avenue and Alvarado Street. Kelley died in 1906, the same year he built a house for his sister at 1467 Echo Park Ave. Within a few years, Kelley’s heirs had sold off much of his land to Henry Christian Jensen, who built the Sunset Pharmacy at Sunset and Echo Park, the motion picture house known as the Globe Theater – now Guadalupana – at 1624 Sunset Boulevard, and the Jensen's Recreation Center at Sunset and Logan Street. *

Click HERE to see more Early Views of Echo Park (1890s).




Then and Now

1911 vs. 2022 - Echo Park Lake with the Hollywood Hills in the distance.  



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Echo Park Playground

(1909)*^ - View of the Echo Park Playground, a city playground in the Echo Park neighborhood located south of Echo Park Lake between Bellevue Avenue and Temple Street.   A Pacific Electric streetcar, a horse and buggy and an automobile are all seen on Temple Street in foreground.  Children play in the playground on a ball field, and large houses are seen on the hill.  


Historical Notes

The Echo Park Playground opened in 1907 between Bellevue Avenue and Temple Street, and was only the second public playground to be built in the city of Los Angeles. Prior to this, this piece of land south of the lake was a muddy lot and a nuisance to the neighbors. The land was filled in and a 4-acre playground was built upon the fill.

Echo Park was a relatively new district still sparsely settled when construction of the playground began. Its location, adjacent to but separate from an existing park, was a pattern that would be followed elsewhere, most notably with the Griffith Park Playground.

Playground Number Two in Echo Park (seen above) remains today, although in a highly altered form with the Hollywood Freeway (101) bisecting its grounds.^




(1907)^ - Bloomer girls enjoying a game of baseball in Echo Park Playground, the oldest existing playground in Los Angeles. The club house is the two story structure seen in upper-left. Photograph was published in 1949.  


Historical Notes

Los Angeles was, in 1904, the first major city in the country to establish a separate Playground Commission. As with many of the Progressive innovations of the day, it came with support of upper- and middle-class women’s organizations. The most important advocate was Mrs. Arabella Rodman, with the backing of the Ebell Club and similar groups.

The original playground plans called for a gymnasium, a club house, and a residence for the director. The club house also contained a meeting space with a raised platform. (In 1925 the club house was moved to a new location nearby and later become L.A. Historic-Cultural Monument No. 950.) Soon there followed similar playgrounds, such as the 1907 Solano Playground in Solano Canyon, the 1910 Slauson Playground in Southeast Los Angeles, and the 1911 Hazard Playground, between Boyle and Lincoln Heights.

By 1924 the existing club house was considered inadequate. Echo Park residents, whose groups used its meeting space, petitioned the City Council for a new building. In June of that year the City approved the construction of a new club house and awarded the commission to the Allied Architects’ Association, a cooperative that did a good deal of the City’s work. The architects produced a design that the Playground Commission saw as the first of a series of similar structures.^




(1937)^ – View showing the new Echo Park Clubhouse with fenced in playground to protect the children.   


Historical Notes

The new club house was completed in 1926 and still stands, if somewhat altered. It was described as “an attractive building” in the Spanish Colonial Revival style, and was “the first of several structures to be erected in various parts of the City.” It is constructed of brick covered in stucco and topped by a clay tile roof. Because of the sloping site, it is single story facing Bellevue Avenue and two stories in the rear. The lower level, opening to the playground, contained separate lockers and shower rooms for men and women, while the upper floor had a large meeting room, complete with stage and surrounded by supporting spaces.^

The Echo Park Clubhouse was designated Historical Cultural Monument No. 950



(1958)^^ - Cars on the Hollywood Freeway speeding by the Echo Park Community Pool. The Hollywood Freeway was constructed in the early 1950s (Click HERE to see more).  


Historical Notes

As with the club house, the municipal swimming pool, or plunge as it was popularly known at that time, was a playground facility that served all ages.

A skate park is planned to be built (2019) where the now empty public swimming pool is located next to the 101 Freeway onramp at Echo Park and Bellevue avenues.


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LA Plaza Open-Air Market

(ca. 1900)^#^ - Open air market at the L.A. Plaza, view is looking north westerly from the Plaza Firehouse.  


Historical Notes

Initially, the majority of vegetable selling in Los Angeles was done around the circular Olvera Street Plaza, just South of Macy Street, where Caucasian, Japanese and Chinese farmers congregated with their goods. However, the increased presence of wagons and the long hours of the makeshift vegetable market became a nuisance to the city.

Click HERE to see more Early Views of the LA Plaza.



Los Angeles City Market

(ca. 1903)^^ - View of the Los Angeles Produce Market (Old City Market) as it appeared near the time it opened.  


Historical Notes

The City’s demand for fresh produce was only increasing; subsequently, it leased a vacant lot at 9th Street and Los Angeles Street to provide a more regulated space for the vegetable market. This new market, known as the Hughes Market, opened its stalls in 1901, expanding at a rapid rate until it outgrew its bounds and leased another vacant lot from the city at 3rd Street and Central in 1903, establishing the Los Angeles Market Company.^^^^#

In the upper left of the photo can be seen two buildings. The building in front (the one under construction) was the Produce Exchange Building and the one in the back has a sign which reads Towne Produce Co. These two buildings are still there and look like this today.*^^




(ca. 1910)^^ - View showing wagons loaded with food at the Old City Market at 3rd Street and Central Avenue.  The street is filled with parked carriages at right containing goods to be sold at the market. Crates of fruits and vegetables clutter the sidewalks.  


Historical Notes

Infighting amongst the shareholders and stall vendors led to the creation of two new markets in 1909; one was the City Market of Los Angeles on 9th Street and San Pedro, established by Mr. Louis Quan, while the other remained, in name, the Los Angeles Market Company, established on 6th Street and Alameda (the Southern Pacific railroad, wanting to run track through the 3rd and Central street location, exchanged this land for the lot on 6th street). Both markets grew at a tremendous rate, and while the City Market was able to expand three blocks south to 12th street, and 1 block west from San Pedro to Wall Street, the Los Angeles Market Company soon moved to a larger space on 7th and Central Streets.




(1920s)^ - Terminal Market, located at Seventh and Central. 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

Where previously the market was crowded with horses and buggies, this new site was designed to be large enough to accommodate automobile traffic.

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




(ca. 1930)^ - Long buildings in rows stretch across the picture. The Produce Market is stretched a block long between two of these rows, with double rows of stands. A warehouse in the back row carries the name "Union Terminal Warehouse Company".    



Click to see more on Los Angeles City Market


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(ca. 1900)^ - A horse-drawn wagon of the A. F. Gilmore Oil Co. on a Los Angeles street, in front of an advertisement for the Belasco Theater.  


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.

E. B. Gilmore appears to have invented the self-serve gas station. He created a “gas-a-teria” not far from Farmers Market where customers saved 5 cents per gallon by filling their own tanks. Those who preferred to have their gas pumped by “professionals” at the gas-a-teria got unusual service for a period of time when young ladies on roller skates would glide to the pumps to gas the cars up.^**


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(1890)^ - An early look at the newly developing Santa Monica Boulevard in Sawtelle (now Los Angeles).


Historical Notes

In 1896, the Pacific Land Company purchased a 225-acre tract and hired S.H. Taft to develop a new town named Barrett, after Gen. A.W. Barrett, local manager of the veterans home situated in the area. When the Pacific Land Company attempted to secure a post office for the new town, the postal authorities objected to the name "Barrett" on account of its similarity to Bassett, California. In 1899, the name of the town was formally changed to Sawtelle (for W.E. Sawtelle who superseded Taft as manager of the Pacific Land Company).

Sawtelle is where the U.S. Government established the National Soldier's Home (now Veterans Administration Hospital).  Click HERE to see more.

Sawtelle existed as a separate city until 1922 when Sawtelle voters decided to join Los Angeles.*^




(1900)^ - Teams of horses pulling stacks of planks on Santa Monica Bld. at Sawtelle Blvd. in the City of Sawtelle (now part of Los Angeles).  





(1906)**^*^ – View looking east on Oregon Avenue, which was the original name of Santa Monica Boulevard in this part of Los Angeles. The line going off the left of the frame is the Westgate Line that ran down the middle of Burton Way through Brentwood Park. The exact location of this photo is somewhere near present-day Santa Monica Boulevard and Purdue Avenue.  


Historical Notes

Sawtelle existed as a separate city until 1922 when Sawtelle voters decided to join Los Angeles.


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Santa Monica

(ca. 1900)^^ - View of the corner of Third Street and Santa Monica Boulevard (then named Oregon Avenue). Today the intersection is part of the popular Third Street Promenade retail district.  





(ca. 1900)^^ - View of the corner of Third Street and Santa Monica Boulevard (then named Oregon Avenue). Today the intersection is part of the popular Third Street Promenade retail district. Image enhancement and colorization by Richard Holoff.  





(1910)^ - View shows two automobiles driving on the 400 block of 3rd Street in Santa Monica. The Adelaide apartments can be seen on the left. Today, this is the Thrid Street Promenade.  



Click HERE to see more in Early Views of Santa Monica


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San Fernando Valley

(ca. 1900)***^ - An old time camp outfit near Ventura Boulevard and Valley Circle Boulevard. Leonis Adobe is in the background to the left of the photo. On the El Camino Real sign it says, "83.9 Santa Barbara, 18 Newberry Park, 47.9 Ventura, Los Angeles 26.1, Encino 8, Hollywood 19.6, San Fernando Mission 14." The El Camino Real bells were placed along the mission routes.  


Historical Notes

Leonis Adobe, built in 1844, is one of the oldest surviving private residences in Los Angeles County and one of the oldest surviving buildings in the San Fernando Valley. Located in what is now Calabasas, the adobe was occupied by the wealthy rancher, Miguel Leonis, from 1880 until his death in 1889. Following Leonis' death, the property was the subject of a legal dispute between his common law wife (Espiritu Leonis), heirs, and a daughter born out of wedlock; the dispute lasted more than 15 years in the courts.*^



(ca. 1890s)****# - Leonis Adobe as it appeared in the 1890s. The photo shows a man standing by his horse in the field. If you look closely, standing right behind the fence (center) is a woman looking at the photographer. This is purported to be Espiritu Leonis, wife of Miguel Leonis.  


Historical Notes

In 1961, the adobe had fallen victim to vandalism, and its owner applied for a permit to raze the structure and erect a supermarket in its place. Preservationists succeeded in having the adobe declared a Historic-Cultural Landmark (the first structure in Los Angeles receiving the designation in 1962 - Click HERE to see the LA Historic-Cultural Monuments List).

Leonis Adobe is also known as one of the most haunted sites in Los Angeles County, and it was profiled in the British paranormal television series "Most Haunted" in 2005. The adobe was restored and is operated as a living museum. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975.*^




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


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San Pedro

(ca. 1900)^ - View of L.A. Harbor at San Pedro showing a large ship anchored alongside the Los Angeles Terminal Railway across the channel. Railroad tracks can be seen in the foreground.  


Historical Notes

In 1542, Juan Rodriquez Cabrillo discovered the "Bay of Smokes". The south-facing San Pedro Bay was originally a shallow mudflat, too soft to support a wharf. Visiting ships had two choices: stay far out at anchor and have their goods and passengers ferried to shore; or beach themselves.

Phineas Banning greatly improved shipping when he dredged the channel to Wilmington in 1871 to a depth of 10 feet. The port handled 50,000 tons of shipping that year. Banning owned a stagecoach line with routes connecting San Pedro to Salt Lake City, Utah and to Yuma, Arizona, and in 1868 he built a railroad to connect San Pedro Bay to Los Angeles, the first in the area.*^




(1893)^ - Map of San Pedro in 1893. Drawn and lithographed by Bruce W. Pierce.  


Historical Notes

San Pedro was named for St. Peter of Alexandria, a Fourth Century bishop in Alexandria, Egypt. His feast day is November 24 on the local ecclesiastical calendar of Spain, the day on which Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo discovered the bay in 1542 which would be known as San Pedro. Santa Catalina Island, named after Catherine of Alexandria, was claimed for the Spanish Empire the next day, on her feast day, November 25. In 1602–1603, Sebastián Vizcaíno (1548–1624) officially surveyed and mapped the California coastline, including San Pedro Bay, for New Spain.

The land was granted in 1784 by King Carlos III to Juan Jose Dominguez, a retired Spanish soldier who came to California with the Gaspar de Portolà expedition.

Under United States control after 1848, when the United States defeated Mexico in the Mexican-American war, the harbor was greatly improved and expanded under the guidance of Phineas Banning and John Gately Downey, the seventh governor of California.*^




(ca. 1900)^ - View of Front Street at San Pedro Harbor showing a multitude of people disembarking from a commuter train. Commercial storefronts can be seen acroos the unpaved road to the far right of the photo.  





(1904)^ - Photo of workers building the breakwater in the San Pedro Harbor. Work was started in 1899.  


Historical Notes

Most of the boulders used to construct the breakwater in San Pedro Harbor came from the mountains of west San Fernando Valley. Between 1898 and 1904, Southern Pacific was grading, cutting, and tunneling through the Santa Susana Mountains near Chatsworth Park as they establshed their new Coast Line connection from Ventura to Burbank. This provided San Pedro with an ample supply of boulders for their new breakwater. Click HERE to see more in Early Views of the San Fernando Valley.



(1905)^ - View looking over a portion of San Pedro, toward Deadman's Island, and the beginning harbor. Building at extreme left is the Southern Pacific depot. In the distance is a dredge at work along the breakwater.  


Historical Notes

Deadman's Island was one of two islands near San Pedro in the 19th century. The land, sometimes referenced as Dead Man's Island, Isla Del Muerto, and Reservation Point, was dredged away in 1928 as part of a harbor development effort. Rattlesnake Island, the other islet in the area, became Terminal Island.*^



(ca. 1907)* - Exterior view of the San Pedro City Hall. A rail yard and the Los Angeles Harbor are visible in the background on the right.  


Historical Notes

In 1906, the City of Los Angeles annexed the Harbor Gateway, a long narrow strip of land connecting the city to the coast, and in 1909, the city annexed San Pedro and the adjacent town of Wilmington. The odd shape is still seen in the map of the city.*^



(1910)^ - San Pedro waterfront looking south along Harbor Boulevard from 4th Street. City Hall is the building with the large dome; the smaller dome belongs to the Carnegie library building.  




(1913)^ - The Port of Los Angeles in 1913. The harbor appears to be filled to capacity with steam ships and train cars are full of cargo.  


Historical Notes

In 1912 the Southern Pacific Railroad completed its first major wharf at the port. During the 1920s, the port passed San Francisco as the west coast's busiest seaport. In the early 1930s a massive expansion of the port was taken with the construction of a massive breakwater three miles out that was over 2 miles in length. In addition to the construction of this outer breakwater an inner breakwater was built off of Terminal Island with docks for sea going ships and smaller docks built at Long Beach.*^


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


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Hill and 6th Street

(ca. 1900)^ - View looking east on Sixth Street from Hill Street with the First Methodist Episcopal Church on the left (N/E corner). Three women and a man are in front of the church while another man is riding a bycicle. Streetcar tracks can also be seen on the unpaved road.  






(ca. 1900)^ - View looking east on Sixth Street from Hill Street with the First Methodist Episcopal Church on the left (N/E corner). Three women and a man are in front of the church while another man is riding a bycicle. Streetcar tracks can also be seen on the unpaved road. Image enhancement and colorization by Richard Holoff.  






(2022)* - Looking east on 6th Street at Hill Street.  






Then and Now

(1900 vs 2022)* - Looking east on 6th Street at Hill Street.  




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Central and 1st Street

(Early 1900s)^ - View of the corner of First Street and Vine (later renamed Central Ave.) A few pedestrians on the street, no automobiles. Hardware and furniture store on corner. Signage on building: "The Olive Flats, furnished rooms," "Owl cigar now 5 cents."  


Historical Notes

This is in Little Tokyo. The building at center left was later replaced by a Buddhist temple, later the Japanese-American Museum. The building further to the left later had a very famous restaurant/cafe within. View is to the northwest..





Normandie and 3rd

(1900)^^ - Looking east down Third Street at Normandie Avenue in 1900. The unpaved street appears to be muddy.  





Then and Now

1900 vs. 2022 – Looking east on 3rd Street from Normandie Ave.  




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Hollywood Area

(ca. 1900)^ - View looking west on Melrose Avenue from Western Avenue. Trees were planted in the early 1880's and felled on the right side in 1922 and on the left side in 1923.  


Historical Notes

Melrose Avenue was named by ranch owner E. A. McCarthy after his hometown of Melrose, Mass. The McCarthy Ranch occupied most of the area bounded by Western to Wilton and Melrose to Santa Monica Blvd.^*^





(ca. 1910)^ - Tree-lined Melrose Avenue at Western Avenue. Houses and street curbs can now be seen. This was a favorite street for horse and buggy rides on Sundays.  





(1906)^ - Large rural area with a few houses and trees. The future site of Melrose and Normandie, 1906. Mt. Hollywood peak can be seen in the upper right of the photo.  


Historical Notes

The above farm is where the Hollywood Frwy crosses Melrose Avenue today. Just to the west and out of view is the location of the McCarthy Ranch. In 1887 E. A. McCarthy named Melrose Avenue after his hometown of Melrose, Mass.^*^




(ca. 1915)^^ - View from the E. A. McCarthy ranch showing the Hollywood Hills in the background.  


Historical Notes

In 1896 Griffith J. Griffith donated over 3000 acres of Rancho Los Felis to the City of Los Angeles to create a public park in his name. Mount Hollywood, the highest peak of the park, rises to an elevation of 1640 feet. Griffith Park was declared Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument  No. 942 in 2009 (Click HERE to see complete listing).^



(1901)^ - Panoramic view of Hollywood looking southeast from near Vista Street and Franklin Avenue. The scene is largely agricultural.  


Historical Notes

The Hollywood area was still very rural in the turn of the century with the first substantial residences built around farmland.



(1901)^ - A man walks through a sweet pea field located at about Fairfax and Sunset, in West Hollywood.  



Click HERE to see more in Early Views of Hollywood (1850 - 1920)


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(1901)^ - A delivery truck for the Los Angeles Times in 1901. Several men are looking toward the photographer.  




(1902)^ - Two unidentified vehicles used to transport a large number of people,"Sports" is the note on the photograph. From another copy of the subject the team is identified as the "Bank baseball team, Second Street and Spring Street, 1902." Los Angeles Trust Company, engraved in the arch of the doorway to the building in the background, may be the "Bank" referred to.



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





(1906)^ - Delivery vehicle of the H. Jevne Co., a wholesale grocery supplier, taken in Highland Park in 1906. The company was located at 208 and 210 South Spring Street. This early truck has no steering wheel but uses a metal post device and has no front enclosure.  


Historical Notes

Hans Jevne, in the grocery business in downtown Los Angeles from 1882-1920, didn’t want to miss a sale. At some point quite early in his operations (perhaps right from the start), he determined that if customers in the vicinity couldn’t come to him—or did come but didn’t want to tote the groceries—he’d have the merchandise delivered to them.

While free home delivery by a grocery store was certainly not originated by Jevne, he eventually provided that service on an exceptionally grand scale.

He employed deliverymen at least as early as 1893. On As of 1889, when “The Illustrated History of Los Angeles County, California” was published, H. Jevne Co. had 13 horses (and employed 27 men). His store, at 38 and 40 North Spring Street, had by then expanded from a single room in the building to both floors, according to the book.

In 1890, Jevne moved to a three-story building at 136 and 138 N. Spring St. (in the “Wilcox Block”), and in 1896 relocated to 208/210 S. Spring Street (in the newly opened “Wilcox Building”). Jevne continued to offer home delivery, shifting from reliance on horse-pulled wagons to motorized vehicles.^^^**


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La Fiesta de las Flores Parade

(1901)^ - President McKinley reviewing the Americus Club marching in the La Fiesta de las Flores Parade from the steps of the Los Angeles City Hall building on Broadway.


Historical Notes

La Fiesta de Los Angeles which began on April 10, 1894, was a four day festival that the city threw in its own honor celebrating its many different cultures. It continued throughout the 1890s and early 1900s. The event featured parades, floats, many flowers, athletic competitions, a costume ball, and carnival attended by masked revelers. It was conceived of by a local business man as a way to attract tourism at a time when the effects of the 1893 depression were being felt.

The City Hall building as seen above was LA's third. It was built in 1888 and stood until the current city hall was completed in 1928.^



(ca. 1901)^^ - View of the La Fiesta Parade between Broadway and Sixth Street showing President McKinley. McKinley turns the corner of the two streets in a horse-drawn carriage that has been decorated with a layer of roses while a cavalcade of police officers follow him to his side both on foot and on horseback, as well as behind him in rank. Spectators sit and stand in the bleachers in the left background. To the right, a brick business building advertises yeast for the Golden Gate Compressed Wheat Company.  




(1901)^^ – View looking north on Spring Street from 4th Street showing crowds of spectators observing the Chinese dragon in a parade at the Los Angeles Fiesta. One parade marcher carries a stool on which the head of the dragon sits when at rest. American flags hang from lines strung across the road. Onlookers sit on the edge of the roof in the foreground.  




(ca. 1901)^^ – View showing a carriage drawn by 6 horses and decorated with flowers, the Friday Morning Club float, standing at the corner of Second Street and Hill Street, during La Fiesta de Los Angeles.  


Historical Notes

Founded by abolitionist, suffragist, mother and homemaker Caroline Severance in 1891, the Friday Morning Club (FMC) was the largest single women's club in California, with membership of over 1,800 women by the 1920s. Women's clubs were a mainstay of middle-class women's social and intellectual life across America from the end of the Civil War until the middle of the 20th century, when their numbers declined as opportunities increased for women's equal participation in mainstream business, educational, and social institutions.*^



(1903)^ - View of La Fiesta de las Flores parade passing in front of several large buildings along Spring Street in Downtown Los Angeles. Multitudes of people line both sides of the street and numerous others can be seen enjoying the parade from open windows and rooftops high above.  




(1903)+*+ - View showing the same floats as previous photo but now Broadway. Thousands of people line the street and/or sit in the stands. Sign on building reads "Conservative Life".  




(1903)+*+ - Chinese Dragon winds its way heading north on Broadway in front of Los Angeles City Hall , at the Fiesta de la Flores Parade. The County Courthouse tower can be seen in the upper-left.  


Historical Notes

The 1903 La Fiesta de la Flores parade was notable because President Theodore Roosevelt was in attendance and watched as it passed this reviewing stand. On each side, flanking the Presidential stand, is the Grand Stand containing the Executive Committee, sub-committees, County and City Officials, and invited guests.  After the Floral Parade, the Presidential party entered the carriages in waiting and with military escort, drove to Sixth Street Park (later Pershing Square).+*+



(ca. 1910)*^ - The Wheelmen were regular participants in the La Fiesta de Los Angeles downtown parade in April.  


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Tournament of Roses (Pasadena)

(1902)^ - This was the 1902 Tournament of Roses parade, with a butchers band marching down the Pasadena street. There was nothing spectacular about the parade then, and the spectators were few. This was also the first year of the Rose Bowl game.


Historical Notes

Members of Pasadena's Valley Hunt Club first staged the Tournament of Roses parade in 1890. Since then the parade has been held in Pasadena every New Year's Day, except when January 1 falls on a Sunday.

Many of the members of the Valley Hunt Club were former residents of the American East and Midwest. They wished to showcase their new California home's mild winter weather. At a club meeting, Professor Charles F. Holder announced, "In New York, people are buried in the snow. Here our flowers are blooming and our oranges are about to bear. Let's hold a festival to tell the world about our paradise." So the club organized horse-drawn carriages covered in flowers, followed by foot races, polo matches, and a game of tug-of-war on the town lot that attracted a crowd of 2,000 to the event. Upon seeing the scores of flowers on display, the professor decided to suggest the name "Tournament of Roses."

Over the next few founding years, marching bands and motorized floats were added.*^






(1902)^ - First Tournament East-West football game, January 1, 1902, Michigan vs. Stanford. Note the crowd of people standing in foreground, and to the right side of the football field. Horse-drawn carriages are lined along a fence beyond the crowds of people.  


Historical Notes

Before the Rose Bowl was built, 1923, games were played in Pasadena's Tournament Park, approximately three miles southeast of the current Rose Bowl stadium near the campus of Caltech. Tournament Park was determined to be unsuitable for the larger and larger crowds gathering to watch the game and a new, permanent home for the game was commissioned.*^



Click HERE to see more in Early Views of Pasadena


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(1900)### - View looking northwest from the top of the County Courthouse located on Temple Street and Broadway. The tall building with a clock tower is Los Angeles High School. The Broadway Tunnel would be bored through Fort Moore Hill, at the end Broadway (center-right), within a year of this photo.  


Historical Notes

The Broadway Tunnel was a tunnel under Fort Moore Hill, built in 1901, 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).*^

Buildings seen include the Hotel Aberdeen and the Women's Christian Temperance Union building with a rounded corner and a balustrade on the cornice. Signs read: "Hotel Aberdeen" "W.C.T.U, Temperance Temple, Furnished Rooms" and "Sanitarium and Health Office." Multi-story Victorian houses have half-timbering, dormers, and turrets.



(1901)^ - Close-up view of the second building housing Los Angeles High School, located on north Hill Street between California and Bellevue. There are numerous oil derricks behind it, all part of the Los Angeles Oil Field.  


Historical Notes

This was Los Angeles High School's second home, built in 1891 on Fort Moore Hill.

Los Angeles High School was founded in 1873 and is the oldest public high school in the L.A. Unified School District. The original building was at Temple and Broadway (the current site of the Los Angeles County Court House). In 1891, L.A. High School moved to its second building at a new location (seen above) on nearby Fort Moore Hill, located on north Hill Street between California (now the 101 Freeway) and Sunset Blvd (now Cesar E. Chavez Ave).^

Early buildings commissioned to house the Los Angeles High School were among the architectural jewels of the city, and were strategically placed at the summit of a hill, the easier to be pointed to with pride. One of the school's long standing mottos is "Always a hill, always a tower, always a timepiece."

In 1917, the school moved to its current location at 4650 West Olympic Boulevard (which incidentally is not on a hill).*^



(1900)^ - Group photo of members of Los Angeles High School's Kodak and bicycle club. Some hold their cameras, other stand near bicycles.  




(1899)^ - Los Angeles High School's commercial practices class, in 1899. Click HERE to see more Early Views of Los Angeles High School.  



(ca. 1902)^ - View from Broadway between Temple and California Streets, northwest. The tall building with a clock tower is Los Angeles High School. The Los Angeles Oil Field is in the background behind the school. The Broadway Tunnel can be seen in the lower right corner of this photo.  


Historical Notes

Discovered in 1890, and made famous by Edward Doheny's successful well in 1892, the Los Angeles Oil Field was once the top producing oil field in California, accounting for more than half of the state's oil in 1895. In its peak year of 1901, approximately 200 separate oil companies were active on the field, which is now entirely built over by dense residential and commercial development.*^



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 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.

Third Street Tunnel under Bunker Hill was also completed in 1901.*^




(ca. 1924)* – View showing the south portal of the Broadway Tunnel.  Note the pedestrian staircase on the face of the tunnel.  


Historical Notes

The Broadway Tunnel was 760 feet long, 40 feet wide and 22 feet high, with a grade of 6 in 100, falling toward the east.*^




(ca. 1905)^^ - Panoramic view looking northwest as seen from the LA County Courthouse (S/E corner of Broadway and Temple Street) showing a completed Broadway Tunnel at center and Los Angeles High School in the background.  





Before and After

(1900)### vs. (1905)^^ - View looking northwest from the top of the County Courthouse located on Temple Street and Broadway.  






(1905)^^ - Detail view showing houses, dirt road, and a horse-drawn carriage above the finished tunnel.  Note the wooden steps on the right.  Also, there is a sign above the tunnel entrance that warns of a $50 fine "For Riding Or Driving Through This Tunnel Faster Than A Walk".  


Historical Notes

On June 2, 1949, the Broadway Tunnel was demolished for the construction of the 101 Freeway. The route cut through Fort Moore Hill and made it necessary for a Broadway overpass to be built across the freeway and the old tunnel site.*^




(1987)^#^ - View looking north from Temple between Broadway and Spring Street.  The Hollywood Freeway now cuts through where the Broadway Tunnel used to be. Same view as previous photo but 82 years later.  


Historical Notes

A bridge now stands where there once used to be the Broadway Tunnel. Not only was the entire hill removed, but a freeway crossing was excavated beneath the level of Broadway at exactly the point where the tunnel used to be.^#^




Then and Now

(1905 vs. 1987) - 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.  




Click HERE to see more Early Views of the Broadway Tunnel





(ca. 1905)^^ – Panoramic view looking northwest from the LA County CourthouseLos Angeles High School stands tall in the background.  The Temperance Temple building is seen in the lower-left located on the northwest corner of Temple and Broadway.  The Broadway Tunnel is out of frame at right-center.  






(ca. 1890s)^ - Street view of the Temperance Temple of the Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU), located at 301 N. Broadway at Temple Street. A horse-drawn carriage is shown parked along the street past the Temple and other neighboring buildings.  






(ca. 1900)^ - View of Broadway looking south toward Temple Street, with the County Courthouse on the left.  The northern wall of the Temperance Temple Building (N/E corner of Broadway and Temple) is at center-right.  City Hall (built in 1888) stands tall in the distance.  






(ca. 1901)#^^ – View looking northwest showing Temple Street as seen from the LA County Courthouse.  A horse-drawn carriage and a streetcar can be seen at the intersection of Temple and N. Hill streets at center of photo. The Temperance Temple Building is at lower right.  


Historical Notes

At the end of Temple Street can be spotted one of Los Angeles' earliest streetlights. They were carbon-arc lamps mounted on 150-foot tall poles. Click HERE to see more in Early Los Angeles Streetlights.





(ca. 1905)^^ - View looking northwest from the top of the LA County Courthouse toward the intersection of Temple and North Hill streets. The Hollywood Hills can be seen in the background. Same view as previous photo but 4 years later.  






(ca. 1905)### - View showing the Los Angeles County Courthouse located on Poundcake Hill at the southeast corner of Temple and Broadway as seen from the Women's Christian Temperance Union Building across the street. In view are pedestrians, a cable car, horse-drawn buggies, houses and commercial buildings.  


Historical Notes

Constructed in 1891, the Los Angeles County Courthouse stood where the city’s first high school, Los Angeles High School, had been located. The high school was there from 1873 until 1886 when it was moved to North Hill Street to allow for construction of the courthouse.^


* * * * *



Third Street Tunnel

(1901)^ - View looking west on 3rd St toward Hill St showing the newly completed 3rd Street Tunnel through Bunker Hill. A conductor is seen standing on the outside steps of a streetcar as a woman carrying a parasol and a young boy walk by. Edwin B. Crocker's mansion is seen above on Bunker Hill. Angels Flight has not been built yet.  


Historical Notes

On July 3, 1893, residents and taxpayers presented a petition to the Los Angeles City Council asking that a tunnel be created to connect those who lived in the Crown Hill neighborhood with the business district located on this side of Bunker Hill. Their plans called for a tunnel 1080 feet long, with a twenty-six foot roadway and eight foot sidewalks. Nothing happened for five years.

In 1898 the City Council ordered the City Attorney to draw up an ordinance putting tunnel bonds in front of the public via a special election. That election was held on July 6, 1898, and funds were approved for both the Third Street and Broadway tunnels.

On January 21, 1900, a serious disaster struck. Thirteen men were "entombed" in the tunnel dig after a massive cave-in on the western end. Several were killed in the collapse, but others were trapped inside with only the air in the tunnel. Frantic efforts were made to dig into their position. Ten men were rescued, while three perished.

In March of 1901 the tunnel was opened to the public. It was unpaved and unlit. Gutters weren’t installed until 1902.*#




(1903)^#^ - View of the western terminus of the Third Street Tunnel. An early model automobile and a horse-drawn carriage can be seen after they exit from the tunnel while a bicycle is parked along the curb.  





(ca. 1901)^ - Half of a stereoptic view of 3rd Street, looking west past office buildings to the newly constructed 3rd Street Tunnel under Bunker Hill in the far distance. Horse-drawn vehicles and a streetcar are on the unpaved street.  






(ca. 1901)#*^^ - View of 3rd Street looking west from Spring Street. A dog appears to be drinking from a puddle of water in the street (lower left). The 3rd Street Tunnel is seen in the distance with an observation tower perched above it. The Ramona Hotel with the beautiful corner tower is seen on the left, SW corner of 3rd and Spring. The Douglas Building is seen on the NW corner and is still standing today. Click HERE for contemporary view.  






(ca. 1901)^ - View looking west on 3rd Street toward Spring Street with the 3rd Street Tunnel seen in the distance.  Streetcar, horse-drawn carriages, and pedestrians share the streets. The Ramona Hotel with its 4-story tower can be seen on the SW corner of 3rd and Spring streets. The Douglas Building on the NW corner is still standing today.  





Then and Now

(1901 vs. 2017)  





Then and Now

(1901 vs 2022)* - Looking west on 3rd Street toward Spring Street with the Third Street Tunnel seen in the distance.  






(1901)^ -  View looking west on 3rd Street at Hill Street showing the terminus of the recently completed Third Street Tunnel located at the base of Bunker Hill.  Angels Flight, also completed in 1901, is seen on the left. Crocker Mansion stands at the top of Bunker Hill.  






(ca. 1901)* – Looking west on 3rd Street toward Hill Street showing the Third Street Tunnel and Angels Flight.  






(ca. 1901)^ – Panoramic view showing a horse-drawn wagon and two horse-drawn carriages heading toward the entrance to the Third Street Tunnel shortly after it opened.  On the left can be seen the newly constructed Angels Flight.  


Historical Notes

Sign above tunnel entrance reads:  "Notice, $50.00 fine for riding or driving through this tunnel faster than a walk".


Angels Flight

(1901)^#^ - Photo of Angels Flight at the grand opening of the incline railway, December 31st, 1901.  


Historical Notes

Built in 1901 with financing from Colonel J.W. Eddy, as the Los Angeles Incline Railway, Angels Flight began at the west corner of Hill Street at Third and ran for two blocks uphill (northwestward) to its Olive Street terminus.*^

An observation tower and a 'Camera Obscura' were also constructed on top of the hill adjacent to the Crocker Mansion .

A Camera Obscura (Latin: "dark chamber") is an optical device that consists of a box or room with a hole in one side. Light from an external scene passes through the hole and strikes a surface inside, where it is reproduced, rotated 180 degrees (thus upside-down), but with color and perspective preserved. The image can be projected onto paper, and can then be traced to produce a highly accurate representation.*^




(ca. 1901)**#** – Brochure for Angel’s Flight, compliments of J.W. EDDY.  “Have You Visited the Angel’s Flight?  If Not Why Not?  It is the most unique, interesting and picturesque inclined railway in the world.”  


Historical Notes

Brochure reads: "It is in the heart of the city--Hill and Third Street, Los Angeles, Cal. The ride is inspiring and perfectly safe. The view from the tower--'Angel's View'--is grand beyond compare, overlooking city, sea and mountains. The Camera Obscura, the most perfect in existence, puts a beautiful living picture of Third Street and vicinity on canvas before you.

Fares 4 cents, three for 10 cents, ten for 25 cents, 100 for $1.00.  Angel’s View with Camera Obscura and Field Glasses 5 cents, 3 for 10 cents.  Best Pavilion, “Angel’s Rest,” overlooking city, Kiddy Park and Fountain Free.  Easy chairs.  Search Light at night.  Come and bring your friends and enjoy yourselves.**#**

A Camera Obscura was also installed in Santa Monica in 1898. Click HERE to see more.




(ca. 1903)^ - A view of Third Street looking west. A horse and carriage are seen coming out of the Third Street Tunnel. To the left is the newly constructed Angels Flight. Two cable cars now run up and down making it easier for poeple to traverse the hill. On the right are the 123 steps built to provide an alternate route to the top of Bunker Hill.  


Historical Notes

Angels Flight consisted of two vermillion "boarding stations" and two cars, named Sinai and Olivet, pulled up the steep incline by metal cables powered by engines at the upper Olive Street station. As one car ascended, the other descended, carried down by gravity.*^

For at least 25 years after Angels Flight opened, there was an observation tower adjacent to the incline railway from which one could take in a breathtaking overlook of downtown Los Angeles.




Before and After

(ca. 1885)^   (ca. 1903)^






(1902)^#*^ - View looking down from the top of Angels Flight east on Third Street.  A woman holding a small dog is posing on the stairway adjacent to the Bunker Hill furnicular.  The bottom of the observation tower is seen at right.  






(ca. 1903)^^ - View showing Angels Flight and observation tower at the 3rd Street tunnel. A horse-drawn carriage approaches the tunnel opening and several pedestrians are on the sidewalk at left. Legible signs include: "Angels Flight", "S. Hill St.", "Notice, $50.00 fine for riding or driving through this tunnel faster than a walk".  





(ca. 1903)* - Pedestrians wearing the latest styles cross the street in front of Angels Flight with the 3rd Street Tunnel seen in the background. The sign on the building to the right reads ‘Battle Creek Sanitarium’. This builidng would later be converted into an Apartment House.  


Historical Notes

The original Battle Creek Sanitarium was a health resort in Battle Creek, Michigan, founded by the Seventh-day Adventist Church. It was known for its focus on health and wellness and its strict vegetarian diet.




(1907)^ - Angels Flight - A view from a nearby roof shows 2 cars on the rail, houses, and Hill Crest Inn on the right side, the observation tower above in the middle, and the Third Street Tunnel below. There is a partial view of the Crocker Mansion on the left.  


Historical Notes

When the construction on the Third Street tunnel began in 1900, Mrs. Crocker filed a petition claiming that the mansion was endangered by the street tunnel which was “unsafe, improperly constructed and a veritable death trap.” According to the Los Angeles Times, “the walls of her house are settling, the foundations giving way and the plaster is falling off…Unless something is done, the building is liable to topple into a hole.” The house never did topple and was alive and well in 1902 when Angels Flight began operating and dropping riders off practically on the Crocker doorstep.

The Victorian building was razed in June 1908 and the cornerstone for the Elk’s Annex was laid the following September.*^#*




(ca. 1910)^*## - Postcard view showing Angels Flight and the newly construct Elk Building where the Crocker Mansion once stood. A horse-drawn wagon is about to enter the 3rd Street Tunnel.  





(ca. 1910)^#^ - View of Angels Flight and the 3rd Street Tunnel. The new Elks Building has now replaced Crocker Mansion. A woman is seen walking down the stairs on the right.  





(ca. 1910)^#f - View of Angels Flight's new terminal at the top of the hill on Olive and Third St. The observation tower is seen in the background with a woman standing on its platform.  


Historical Notes

When Angels Flight - "the shortest railroad in the world" - first opened in 1901, there was only a small shelter at the top; in 1910, a larger and permanent depot was built.




(Early 1900s)^ - Standing at the top of Olive Street just under the observation tower, the cable car is descending on the right of the picture. Straight ahead you can see several blocks down 3rd St., which is filled with cars.  





(Early 1900s)^#^ – Postcard view looking east on 3rd Street as seen from the observation tower at the top of Angels Flight.  





(ca. 1907)^ - Seen from directly across Hill Street are, from left to right, Marsden Drug Co., the arch for Angels Flight, 3rd Street Tunnel with observation tower at the top of the hill, Vegetarian Cafeteria with a horse-drawn wagon in front, and the YWCA Building with top floors visible.  


Historical Notes

An archway labeled "Angels Flight" greeted passengers on the Hill Street entrance, and this name became the official name of the railway in 1912 when the Funding Company of California purchased the railway from its founders.*^




(ca. 1907)^ - View of the west side of Hill Street showing the YWCA Building.  Several horse-drawn wagons, early model cars and trucks are parked along the curb. The 3rd Street tunnel is just to the left of the 'Vegetarian Cafeteria'.  Across Third Street can be seen one of the two Angels Flight cars stopped at the lower terminus.  





(ca. 1910)* - Looking toward the Third Street Tunnel and Angels Flight as seen from near the NE corner of 3rd and Hill. The Vegetarian Cafeteria is on the ground floor of the building on the NW corner.  





Then and Now

(1910s vs. 2022)* - Looking toward the Third Street Tunnel and Angels Flight.  






(1910)^.^ - View looking west toward the 3rd Street Tunnel and Angels Flight showing a streetcar sharing the road with horse-drawn wagons and cars while bycicles are parked along the curb.  American flags and banners are seen throughout (probably in honor of 4th of July).  Photo Martin Behrman  





(ca. 1910)^#^ - Autos and horse-drawn carriage are heading toward the 3rd St. Tunnel. Angels flight can be seen in the upper left. Cars are parked along the curb fronting commercial storefronts. A large sign for the Vegetarian Cafeteria can be seen on the building located on the northwest corner of 3rd and Hill.  





(ca. 1913)#^^ – Postcard view showing Angels Flight with traffic flowing in and out of the Third Street Tunnel. Sign on right reads: LEFT TURN PROHIBITED.  





(ca. 1915)#^ – View showing a newspaper boy standing next to a traffic officer in the middle of the intersection at 3rd and Hill streets.  Angels Flight and the Third Street Tunnel are in the background.  





(1919)^#^ – View looking east toward the intersection of 3rd and Hill streets as seen from the top of the staircase railing opposite Angels Flight.  Notice the Vegetarian Cafeteria on the left, which is seen in other pictures but from across the intersection, looking west towards the 3rd Street Tunnel and Angels Flight.   





(1922)^^ – View looking looking east along 3rd Street from east portal of the Third Street Tunnel with Angels Flight on the right.  




* * * * *



Aliso Street

(Early 1900s)^ - Los Angeles historical view looking northeast showing the heart of downtown in early 1900s. Aliso Street runs diagonally away from the center of photo.  


Historical Notes

The wide avenue in the background pointing almost straight at us is Aliso Street, which today is the alignment of the 101 freeway east of the Civic Center. It turns slightly to the viewer’s left then and becomes The Slot as it passes through the site of the Baker Block - that long building at center-left with the three large cupolas, located on the 300 block of Main Street.

Down at the lower right can be seen a portion of Temple Square - the "Times Square" of old L.A. And at the extreme right edge you can just barely see a corner of the Temple Block - one of the most important buildings in the early political and commercial life of the city.^^#





(ca. 1900)^ - View looking northeast along Aliso Street from San Pedro Street. Street cars and a gas storage tank (aka 'Gasometers') are seen in the background. On the left is a Los Angeles Fire Station. On the right, second building, is a barber shop. A few horse and buggies are waiting at the curb. Today, the 101 Freeway runs in alignment with Aliso St.




* * * * *




Los Angeles Camera Club

(Early 1900s)^ - Members of the Los Angeles Camera Club relax next to their bicycles on a dirt road. The club's outings took place at the beginning of the 20th century.  


Historical Notes

A Mr. Sturdevant put in a notice calling the first meeting; only three showed up. Then Carl K. Broneer put in another notice, and ten camera enthusiasts showed up at the office of the Los Angeles and Pasadena Electric Railway, 222 West 4th Street, where he was office boy. Then Mr. Valentine, assistant to Frank Wiggins, director of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, moved the meeting to the chamber director's office. From that time on the club grew by leaps and bounds and signed a lease for the top floor of the Wright & Callender Building on Hill Street.^



Early Modes of Transportation

(1902)* - Employees stand by early motorcycles and "horseless carriages" that are parked on a wooden floor in this view of Ralph Hamlin's wallpapered salesroom on Main St. Inner tubes hang on the wall in back. Photo caption reads: "This was Hamlin's salesroom in 1902, located at 1837 South Main street. Hamlin was born in San Francisco and was brought to Los Angeles by his parents at the age of six."  





(ca. 1902)^ - This picture shows a man driving a Waverley Electromobile car on Spring Street (looking north from 8th Street).  Behind him on the left the Copeland Building tower (also called the Armory Building) can be seen. On the right side (east side of Spring) a sign for the Corum Paper Box Factory is visible on the side of a building.  


Historical Notes

By the turn of the century, America was prosperous and cars, now available in steam, electric, or gasoline versions, were becoming more popular. The years 1899 and 1900 were the high point of electric cars in America, as they outsold all other types of cars. One example was the 1902 Phaeton built by the Woods Motor Vehicle Company of Chicago, which had a range of 18 miles, a top speed of 14 mph and cost $2,000. Later in 1916, Woods invented a hybrid car that had both an internal combustion engine and an electric motor.#*




(1902)^ - View of a man driving a Waverley Electromobile car on Spring St. (looking south near 8th St.). Behind him on the left (east side of Spring) a sign for the Corum Paper Box Factory is visible on the side of a building.  


Historical Notes

Electric vehicles had many advantages over their competitors in the early 1900s. They did not have the vibration, smell, and noise associated with gasoline cars. Changing gears on gasoline cars was the most difficult part of driving, while electric vehicles did not require gear changes. While steam-powered cars also had no gear shifting, they suffered from long start-up times of up to 45 minutes on cold mornings. The steam cars had less range before needing water than an electric's range on a single charge.#*




Los Angeles Examiner (1st Building)

(ca.1903)^^ -  View showing two women crossing the street at Spring and Fifth Street looking west toward a group of buildings at a distance.  The buildings are located on the west side of Broadway just south of Fifth Street with the Los Angeles Examiner building visible at center.  


Historical Notes

The Los Angeles Examiner was founded in 1903 by William Randolph Hearst as a union-friendly answer to the Los Angeles Times. At its peak in 1960, the Examiner had a circulation of 381,037. It attracted the top newspapermen and women of the day. The Examiner flourished in the 1940s under the leadership of City Editor James H. Richardson, who led his reporters to emphasize crime and Hollywood scandal coverage.*^




(ca. 1903)^ - View showing a horse-drawn wagon and three bicycles parkd in front of the Los Angeles Examiner building located at 509 South Broadway.  


Historical Notes

The Herald Examiner would move into a new, larger building in 1914, located at the southwest corner of Broadway and 11th Streets. Click HERE to see the Examiner's 2nd buidling located at 1111 South Broadway.




Broadway and 5th Street

(1903)^*# - View looking south on Broadway from 5th Street. Men and women are crossing the street in all directions. The sign on top of the building on the southwest corner reads: The 5 Cents Store - S & H Green Stamps  





(ca. 1903)^ - The intersection at Broadway and 5th, looking south from 5th. The Los Angeles Examiner building is visible on the right. Pedestrians line the sidewalks, and horses and buggies are on the street. A lone bicycle rider leads the pack. Signs for "Mammoth Shoe House", "United Millinery Company", and "Angelus Studio" are visible.  





(ca. 1908)^^ - View looking south on Broadway from Fifth Street showing two streetcars heading in opposite directions.  One streetcar sign reads “Boyle Hts” and the other “Downey Ave". On the left can be seen several horse-drawn carriages and on the right a young man is riding a bicycle with a package under his arm. Also at right, commercial buildings line the street, including the Los Angeles Examiner building.  


Historical Notes

In 1967, Herald Examiner employees began a strike that lasted almost a decade and resulted in at least $15 million in losses. The paper never recovered from the strike and went out of business November 2, 1989, leaving the Los Angeles Times as the sole city-wide daily newspaper.*^


* * * * *




(1903)^ - An early photo looking west on 6th Street from Main Street. Streetcar tracks cross at this intersection, and horse-and-carriages are seen. The Lion Cafe is at right, and houses are on both corners. Pedestrians are walking  





Then and Now

(1903 vs 2022)* – Looking west on 6th Street from Main Street.  






(1903)^ - A group of people standing outside of Platt's Popcorn Palace on 5th and Main Streets. The Rosslyn Hotel later came to occupy this site.  





(ca. 1903)^^ - Panoramic view of downtown Los Angeles looking east from the Fremont Hotel, 4th Street and Olive Street.  Notable buildings include the Angelus Hotel (top-center), W.E. Cummings building (left), Niles Pease Furniture Co. (right). Legible signs include: "Conrad's, men's furnishings", "factory, climax, isolar [...]", "W.E. Cummings", "the Angelus", "restaurant", "Niles Pease Furniture Co.", "429, delicatessen, B.W. [...] & Co.".  


Historical Notes

The Angelus Hotel was built in 1901 by G.S. Holmes (also the proprietor of The Knutsford Hotel in Salt Lake City, Utah). Advertised then as the tallest building in Los Angeles, the hotel consisted of two, seven-story buildings joined by a central structure with a lobby, dining rooms, meeting rooms and other shared facilities, including a central court yard on top.^^*^




(ca. 1902)^ - View of the Angelus Hotel located on the southwest corner of Spring and Fourth streets. A sign with the name "Angelus" and containing a clock is located on the corner of the building. The street is filled with people and horses and carriages, and a streetcar coming from the left.  


Historical Notes

According to The American Globe, Independent Illustrated Monthly of 1909, The Angelus was sold circa 1903 to the Loomis Brothers, who were experienced hoteliers.

The Angelus had a Turkish-themed room in its early days, along with a bowling alley, billiards, a buffet and hair dressing parlor. Under the Loomis Brothers, the hotel later offered onsite "progressive tailoring" services by Eisner & Company.^^*^




(ca. 1903)^ - Spring Street between 2nd and 3rd Streets, looking north. The National Bank of California is on the northeast corner and H. Jevne Grocers at 208-210 South Spring. Two streetcars can be seen at the intersection of Spring and 2nd. Horse-drawn wagons and several bicycles are parked at the curb.  





Broadway and 9th

(1903)^ - View looking south on Broadway from 9th Street.  Several couples are seen out for a drive in their open buggies (cars).  





(1903)^ - A view of the west side of Broadway south of 9th St. A group of people are seen in their parked cars by the curb. Some of the cars have their tops down. Pennants are attached to the automobiles. On the opposite side of Broadway are homes.  





(1904)^ - View of Broadway looking south from 9th St. Note the cars with signs such as "3 Daily Deliveries" lined up on one side of the street.     





Then and Now

(1903 vs. 2022)* - Looking south on Broadway from 9th Street.  





Sunset Boulevard - Echo Park

(ca. 1903)* – Early view of Echo Park looking NW toward the Hollywood Hills with the intersection of Sunset Blvd and Innes Ave at center-left.  


Historical Notes

This was Edendale, later Echo Park, with Silver Lake over the hills in the center middle distance. The photo was taken from atop the Everett St. hill, circa 1903.

* Left lower middle, Sunset Blvd. with the Hollywood Line trolly electric poles appears, continues diagonally up to the right, bears left, and bears left again.

* Very lower left, the road by the large dark house was and is Innes Ave.

* Closest left middle, the intersection closest was Elysian Park Ave. (now Vin Scully Ave.) proceeding uphill to the right.

* Center and right bottom, the road became Lilac Pl.

* Left middle, the dark path across from Elysian Park Ave. was and is Allison Ave.

* Left middle, the road crossing Allison and Sunset was and is Douglas St.

* Upper left middle, the road crossing Sunset and proceeding to the right is Echo Park Ave., with the Echo Park Ave. Line trolly electric poles.

* Left middle, Reservoir No. 4 / Echo Park Lake was behind the hill with trees.

(Above Notes: Courtesy of Mike Forster)




Then and Now

(1903 vs 2022) – View of Echo Park with the intersection of Sunset Blvd and Innes Ave shown on the left. Elysian Park Ave (now Vin Scully Ave) is one block to the north.  





Sunset Boulevard - Grand Opening (Echo Park)

(1904)^ – View of Glendale Boulevard (then Lake Shore Ave), still a dirt road, with a ‘parade’ of cars near Sunset Boulevard.     


Historical Notes

Sunset Boulevard had its grand opening on May 14, 1904.  A parade of a dozen or so automobiles — accompanied by horse-drawn carriages, tally-hos, and electric rail cars — puttered over the freshly macadamized roadway that now connected Los Angeles with the then-independent city of Hollywood. Crowds of well-wishers gathered along the route.*




(1904)**# - The procession at the intersection of Sunset and Glendale (then Lake Shore Avenue).  This view looks west toward the present-day site of the Echo and Echoplex music venues.  Courtesy of the Automobile Club of Southern California Archives.  


Historical Notes

Property owners in the hilly area now known as Silver Lake and Echo Park soon realized that the road would catalyze development and boost the value of their holdings. In 1892, led by the Los Angeles and Pacific Railway and a Confederate Civil War veteran named George H. Smith, they petitioned the city to open Sunset Boulevard through their land. The city council mapped out a route the following year, tracing the path of the defunct Ostrich Farm Railway. Actual work, however, didn't begin in earnest until April 18, 1903, when contractor Charles Stansbury and his workers began carving the boulevard's meandering path into the area's soft sandstone hills.*




(1904)^ - Automobile Parade on Sunset Boulevard. The vehicles are going down the sidewalk past redwood electric poles with palm fronds attached. There are boards stacked to lessen the shock of returning to the road, the curbs have not yet been cut for driveways.  


Historical Notes

When the new boulevard finally opened in the spring of 1904, its future as one of L.A.'s iconic automobile routes might have seemed unlikely. The road surface was uneven in places, and there had been no effort to plant shade trees — an oversight that celebrants hastily remedied by fastening palm fronds to telegraph poles. Furthermore, the boulevard didn't yet extend to the sea and wouldn't until 1934, when sinuous Beverly Boulevard was remade into the westernmost stretch of Sunset.*




Then and Now

(1904 vs. 2022)* - Looking north on Glendale Boulevard (then Lake Shore Ave) toward the Sunset Boulevard overcrossing. Lake Shore Ave is still there as the street on the right past the overcrossing.  




* * * * *



Sunset Boulevard

(1912)* - Looking east on Sunset Boulevard from near Occidental Boulevard (about 2751 Sunset Boulevard).  






Then and Now

(1912 vs 2019)* - Looking east on Sunset Boulevard from near Occidental Boulevard (about 2751 Sunset Boulevard).  




* * * * *





(ca. 1904)^^ - View looking north on Main Street. The streets are filled with horse-drawn carriages, streetcars, and pedestrians. Large business signs can be seen throughout.  






(ca. 1904)^ - At the intersection of Main (foreground) and 9th streets, a bicycle group prepares to depart for Griffith Park.  





(ca. 1904)^^ – Portrait of veterans "Teddy's Terrors" at First Street and Broadway.  Soldiers from the Spanish-American War who served under Theodore Roosevelt stand in front of a two-story brick corner building in their cavalry uniforms with a group of young boys standing with their bicycles to the left. More onlookers are visible to the right and peering out of the windows above. These soldiers were campaigning for the soon-to-be President Roosevelt at the time.   







* * * * *




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References and Credits

* DWP - LA Public Library Image Archive

^ LA Public Library Image Archive

**LADWP Historic Archive

^^USC Digital Library

^*The Valley Observed: Street Name Origins; Timeline of Valley History

+*The Eastsider LA: Avenue of the Palms

*# blogdowntown: Third Street Tunnel

#* About.Com: History of Electric Vehicles

#*^Library of Congress: Venice Lagoon

#^^Calisphere Digital Archive

##*A Visit to Old Los Angeles: CSULB

*##LA Times: Dig Into History You'll Find Snake Oil..Victor Girard Kleinberger ; 1900 Fashion

^##Metropolitan Transportation Library and Archive

##^CSUN Oviatt Library Digital Archives

###Denver Public Library Image Archive

*#*Historical Los Angeles Theatres: The Philharmonic Auditorium; Downtown Theatres

*^#LincolnHeightsLA.com: Legion Ascot Speedway

**#KCET - Lost Tunnels of Downtown LA; Three Forgotten Railway Inclines; Edendale Red Car Line; The Origins of Elysian Park; When L.A. Was a Horse-Powered Town; How L.A. Celebrated Sunset Boulevard's Opening in 1904

^*#California State Library Image Archive

^^#forum.scraperage.com: Aliso St; Hill Street Tunnel, 1903; Broadway Tunnel

*#^History of Hermosa Beach - Maureen Megowan

^#*City of Redondo Beach HIstory

^#^Noirish Los Angeles - forum.skyscraperpage.com; Broadway Tunnel; Sugarloaf Point; Angels Flight; Avalon; Boylston Yard; Angels Flight Observation Tower View

+#+Silentlocations.wordpress.com: Venice Minitiare Railroad


^^*Early Downtown Los Angeles - Cory Stargel, Sarah Stargel; Hollenbeck Hotel

***Los Angeles Historic - Cultural Monuments Listing

**^Historicechopark.org: Echo Park Lake; Elysian Park


*^*California Historical Landmarks Listing (Los Angeles)

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

^*^LA Street Names - LA Times

^^^Aerofiles - US Aviation Firsts

***^Oviatt Library Digital Archives

***#Pinterest.com: 1890's to 1920's Los Angeles - Anna Blanc's LA; Snapshots - Avalon Bay

#***S.S. Hermosa: pasadenastarnews.com

#**^LA County Library Image Archive

#*#^Brand Park and Studios: glendale.ca.us

*^#*On Bunker Hill: Crocker Mansion

*^#^Huntington Digital Library Archive

^^*^Restaurantwarecollectors.com: Angelus Hotel

^^^#Los Angeles Fire Department Historical Archive

#*^^Flickr.com: Views of Los Angeles

^*##Calisphere: University of California Image Archive

^##^Glendale Historical Society

^#^#U.S. Geological Survey Photographic Library

*#**Los Angeles Westerners Corral: Venice Miniature Railway

^#*^Facebook.com - Bizarre Los Angeles

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

^#*#Angels Flight Goes to the Movies

*##*Chatsworth Historical Society

+##+Restaurant-ing Through History: Ice Cream Parlors

**#*Creating a Landmark: the Historic Casino Point

*###Pacific Coast Architecture Database (PCAD): Bryson-Bonebrake Block

###*Glendalecagov.org: Glendale History

*##^Wikimapia: Pacific Electric Edendale Cut

#**#Debunking Venice's Historic Myths

#^^#Facebook.com: Garden of Allah Novels, Martin Turnbull

****#Tumblr.com: LA History - Leonis Adobe

#+++Facebook.com: West San Fernando Valley Then And Now

#+#+Glendale News-Press: Tropic

+#+#Silent Film Locations

**#**Electric Railway Historic Association: Angel's Flight

**^*^Pacific Electric Historical Society

^^^**Metropolitan News: H. Jevne Co. Offers Free Home Delivery

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

*#*#*Venice Miniature Railroad - Jeffrey Stanton

*^ Wikipedia: H.J. Whitley; Occidental College; Beverly Hills; Beverly Hills Hotel; Los Angeles Railway; Pershing Square; Broadway Tunnel: Isaac Van Nuys; Sawtelle; Port of Los Angeles; Tournament of Roses Parade; Angels Flight; Occidental College; Mt. Washington, LA; Broadway, LA; Hancock Park; La Brea Tar Pits; Los Angeles City Oil Field; Deadman's Island (San Pedro); Moses Sherman; Rose Bowl Game; Hollywood Hotel; Hollywood HIgh School; California Club; San Pedro; Salt Lake Oil Field - Gilmore Oil Field; Westwood; 2nd Street Tunnel; Hermosa Beach; Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum; Redondo Beach Pier; Redondo Beach; West Hollywood; Pacific Palisades; 1910 L.A. International Air Meet at Dominguez Hills; Hancock Park; Marlborough School; Pacific Electric Building; History of the Los Angeles Police Department; History of Los Angeles Population Growth; Avalon Bay Stereoscopic View; History of UCLA; Leslie Brand; Venice Canal HIstoric District; Leslie Brand; Grand Central Airport; Leonis Adobe; Los Angeles Herald-Examiner; Camera Obscura; Friday Morning Club


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