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-   -   noirish Los Angeles (http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=170279)

sopas ej Jun 24, 2009 1:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ethereal_reality (Post 4322026)
This was labeled Old Chinatown destroyed.
So, this area in the foreground is now Union Station? Is that correct?

I just noticed the buildings at the extreme bottom right are missing their roofs.

You are correct, the area in the extreme foreground is now Union Station. The street in front is Alameda Street, and those buildings ahead of Alameda were knocked down and are now landscaping and onramps to the 101 Hollywood/Santa Ana Freway. Old Chinatown started being demolished around 1933, I believe, and Union Station opened in 1939.

I have a really interesting book called "Silent Traces: Discovering Early Hollywood Through the Films of Charlie Chaplin." A very fascinating book. Old Chinatown was used in a number of Chaplin's early silents. Harold Lloyd also used this area in his silent films. It shows stills from the films from different parts of Los Angeles, and what the areas look like today.

dktshb Jun 24, 2009 1:53 AM

very cool and depressing at the same time. Keep them coming!

sopas ej Jun 24, 2009 1:59 AM

Here's a map of LA's original Chinatown, which was mostly located east of Alameda, where Union Station is now:
http://jpg1.lapl.org/pics30/00034944.jpg
From lapl.org

And here's a map of El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument, which includes Olvera Street and the Plaza where LA began as a little pueblo. But see, so much was destroyed to build the freeway ramps, and create landscaping (and a surface parking lot). Los Angeles Street was rerouted at its northern end to curve east and intersect with Alameda in front of the main Union Station entrance. The sharp triangular block of buildings where Los Angeles Street originally intersected with Alameda is now a little plaza with a fountain. The map is turned so that the South/North orientation is going left/right:
http://www.lacity.org/elp/media/El-P...ap-8-24-05.jpg
From lacity.org

george Jun 24, 2009 3:11 AM

Great thread, ethereal_reality, well done! I love the old signage & advertising, not to mention the architecture. Great before & after comparison photos.

sopas ej Jun 24, 2009 4:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ethereal_reality (Post 4322026)

Looking at this photo, it's easy to see why by the 1940s and 1950s, this part of town was considered a rundown, anachronistic blight. Plus, look how close it is to the Civic Center; this just wouldn't do for a city with aspirations of being a modern, Pacific Rim port of entry. And look how close the more prominent Bunker Hill/Fort Moore Hill was to the Civic Center, too. I can see why they wanted to eliminate those hills.

It's just a shame that these buildings had to be knocked down, it's too bad that they couldn't have been saved and fixed up; this totally could have become like an Old Town Los Angeles or something, being that this was where the City of LA originated.

Metro Matt Jun 24, 2009 5:01 AM

http://img81.imageshack.us/img81/153...ortots1951.jpg

So LA's City Hall has a rotating beacon like Williams Tower in Houston? Do they still turn it on? I've never heard of another building with a search light on top other than the old Palmolive Building in Chicago of which was the inspiration for Williams Tower & supposedly they were once synchronized together until Palmolive turned theirs off for good. I know the Eiffel Tower added a similar beacon several years back, but that really doesn't count since its technically not a building.

Wouldn't this building be too short now to have such a light with the other much taller towers in DT LA all around it?

sopas ej Jun 24, 2009 5:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Metro Matt (Post 4322999)
So LA's City Hall has a rotating beacon like Williams Tower in Houston? Do they still turn it on? I've never heard of another building with a search light on top other than the old Palmolive Building in Chicago of which was the inspiration for Williams Tower & supposedly they were once synchronized together until Palmolive turned theirs off for good. I know the Eiffel Tower added a similar beacon several years back, but that really doesn't count since its technically not a building.

Wouldn't this building be too short now to have such a light with the other much taller towers in DT LA all around it?

Yeah, it's called the Lindbergh Beacon. It was installed when City Hall was first constructed, but during WWII the beacon wasn't lit, in fact it was taken down some time after WWII and put in storage, and forgotten. When City Hall was restored and seismically strengthened in 2001, the beacon was found, restored and reinstalled. It's now only turned on for special occasions and is turned on during the Christmas season.

Metro Matt Jun 24, 2009 5:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sopas ej (Post 4323010)
Yeah, it's called the Lindbergh Beacon. It was installed when City Hall was first constructed, but during WWII the beacon wasn't lit, in fact it was taken down some time after WWII and put in storage, and forgotten. When City Hall was restored and seismically strengthened in 2001, the beacon was found, restored and reinstalled. It's now only turned on for special occasions and is turned on during the Christmas season.

What was it with pre-WWII buildings & Lindbergh beacons? Chicago's Palmolive Building had one too, but was turned off because neighbors in the newer, taller towers around it complained it was shining in their windows at night.

Williams Tower at over 900 ft. has the advantage of being by far the tallest structure in the immediate area giving the beacon on top that much more visual impact being visible for at least 20-30 miles away on a clear night over Houston's flat coastal plains.

ethereal_reality Jun 24, 2009 10:34 PM

Thanks for the explanation and map of the old Chintown sopas_ej.
Very cool stuff about the early silent films using this area for location.

Anna Mae Wong was discovered in old Chinatown during a location 'shoot'.

ethereal_reality Jun 24, 2009 11:13 PM

The following images are from the USC digital archive.




http://img79.imageshack.us/img79/104...ationsitef.jpg

above: Old Chinatown, the proposed Union Station site looking northeast from City Hall 1931.
This is such a great photo.





http://img79.imageshack.us/img79/311...rminalsite.jpg

above: Union Station site in 1934.
The Los Angeles County Hospital is in the far distance.






http://img79.imageshack.us/img79/871...ationsiteo.jpg

above: Union Station site overlay 1934







http://img91.imageshack.us/img91/315...ation1934o.jpg

above: Another angle with overlay 1934.






http://img79.imageshack.us/img79/846...ationsitel.jpg

above: Union Station site in 1933.
This is looking west I believe.








http://img91.imageshack.us/img91/846...ationsitel.jpg

above: Looking west, two years later in 1935.
It's great to compare the two.







http://img91.imageshack.us/img91/422...ationsite4.jpg

above: Union Station site overlay 1935







http://img91.imageshack.us/img91/348...tionsite4u.jpg

above: Union Station site in 1936




More to come..........

ethereal_reality Jun 25, 2009 12:05 AM

^^^This photo started a new page.
Be sure to see the earlier posts of the Union Station site, a.k.a Old Cinatown.



http://img91.imageshack.us/img91/342...ationlooki.jpg

Los Angeles Union Station almost complete 1938.







http://img79.imageshack.us/img79/297...ationb2lig.jpg

above: Los Angeles Union Station 1939.

ethereal_reality Jun 25, 2009 12:15 AM

http://img79.imageshack.us/img79/502...ationnoir1.jpg

Los Angeles Union Station noir 1941.

BigKidD Jun 25, 2009 5:25 AM

The following photographs are from the collection of Charles W. Cushman:

http://webapp1.dlib.indiana.edu/coll...ull/P05735.jpg
http://webapp1.dlib.indiana.edu/cush...ch&pnum=P05735
http://webapp1.dlib.indiana.edu/coll...ull/P05736.jpg
http://webapp1.dlib.indiana.edu/cush...ch&pnum=P05736
http://webapp1.dlib.indiana.edu/coll...ull/P05734.jpg
http://webapp1.dlib.indiana.edu/cush...ch&pnum=P05734
http://webapp1.dlib.indiana.edu/coll...ull/P05738.jpg
http://webapp1.dlib.indiana.edu/cush...ch&pnum=P05738
http://webapp1.dlib.indiana.edu/coll...ull/P05739.jpg
http://webapp1.dlib.indiana.edu/cush...ch&pnum=P05739
http://webapp1.dlib.indiana.edu/coll...ull/P05740.jpg
http://webapp1.dlib.indiana.edu/coll...ull/P05740.jpg
http://webapp1.dlib.indiana.edu/coll...ull/P10763.jpg
http://webapp1.dlib.indiana.edu/cush...ch&pnum=P10763
http://webapp1.dlib.indiana.edu/coll...ull/P10765.jpg
http://webapp1.dlib.indiana.edu/cush...ch&pnum=P10765
http://webapp1.dlib.indiana.edu/coll...ull/P10764.jpg
http://webapp1.dlib.indiana.edu/cush...ch&pnum=P10764
http://webapp1.dlib.indiana.edu/coll...ull/P05737.jpg
http://webapp1.dlib.indiana.edu/cush...ch&pnum=P05737

sopas ej Jun 25, 2009 2:24 PM

OMFG I totally have a raging hardon over these photos, ethereal and BigKid! The shots of old Chinatown are great and the color photos of old LA are too! You rarely get to see color shots of the old semaphore traffic lights, too; I forget that the poles were painted yellow and the signalheads were painted silver. Those old traffic lights are so associated with old LA, too.

http://webapp1.dlib.indiana.edu/coll...ull/P05739.jpg
Cushman

I particularly like the above shot because that is the intersection of 2nd St. and Hill, which I always wanted to try to visualize what it looked like decades ago. There is currently a surface parking lot to the right of the tunnel, and the ornate concrete railings don't exist anymore, they never existed since I started driving near this intersection. The pattern of those railings, though I know I'm sure it exists in other cities, I associate that pattern with Los Angeles because many older buildings in LA have that pattern too in their windows or whatever. Great photos!

ethereal_reality Jun 25, 2009 9:05 PM

Cushman's photographs are always great to see.

Kudos for posting them BigKidD.

BigKidD Jun 26, 2009 4:50 AM

You're welcome sopas ej and ethereal_reality.

ethereal_reality Jun 26, 2009 10:23 PM

oops. photos missing...see below.

ethereal_reality Jun 27, 2009 1:56 AM

ahhhh....yes, the HOLLYWOOD sign.


http://img341.imageshack.us/img341/3...lywoodland.jpg

above: It originally spelled out HOLLYWOODLAND for a real estate
venture around 1923.




http://img25.imageshack.us/img25/475...odlandin19.jpg

Hollywood sepia.




http://img25.imageshack.us/img25/885...oodlandb3a.jpg

The men doing NONE of the work, are foolishly waving their hats.





http://img341.imageshack.us/img341/8...7hollyland.jpg

Hollywoodland noir, late 1920s



http://img341.imageshack.us/img341/7924/hollywood.png

This is me, hanging upside-down from the letter H around 1987.
This is before all the fences and infra-red cameras.

FLL David Jun 28, 2009 9:17 PM

The one on the right is the RKO Hillstreet Theater, on the SW corner of 8th & Hill Street. Demolished in the mid-1960s.

Buckeye Native 001 Jun 29, 2009 1:05 AM

Absolutely wonderful finds, all of you! :tup:

ethereal_reality Jun 29, 2009 6:20 PM

L.A.'s Old Chinatown was destroyed in the 1930s to make way for Union Station.
I finally found some excellent photographs hidden in the enormous archives at USC.

The photos were undated, but by looking at the cars and signage,
I believe these were taken on the cusp of their destruction.




http://img229.imageshack.us/img229/4...atownveryc.jpg








http://img229.imageshack.us/img229/5...chinatown1.jpg









http://img229.imageshack.us/img229/2...inatownk1a.jpg









http://img229.imageshack.us/img229/1...hintownt5r.jpg








Below: This is one of my favorites.
City Hall can be seen in the distance, giving this an added noirish quality.

http://img229.imageshack.us/img229/7...atownwithc.jpg

ethereal_reality Jul 1, 2009 12:11 AM

This photograph of Old Chinatown is from 1898.
Almost 30 years before the above photos.



http://img229.imageshack.us/img229/8...natown1898.jpg

ethereal_reality Jul 1, 2009 3:51 AM

http://img231.imageshack.us/img231/7...linoverlei.jpg

Graf Zeppelin over Leimert Park area of Los Angeles, August 1929.




http://img23.imageshack.us/img23/556...gtonnearla.jpg

Cafe in Wilmington CA (adjacent to the Port of Los Angeles and San Pedro)

sopas ej Jul 2, 2009 4:04 AM

More crime.

Kind of a non-descript Spanish-style home, but according to the caption on the LAPL website...

Shown is the Glab home of mystery at 12744 Ventura Boulevard, where Mrs. Glab claims she was playing cards with her niece when her husband was shot to death in a driveway on the opposite side. Photo dated: June 25, 1928.
http://jpg2.lapl.org/pics29/00049444.jpg

I entered the address into Google Maps, and was surprised to see that the building still exists, though it's now squeezed between what I assume are two commercial structures of much later vintage.

This picture shows the murder scene and the death auto in the driveway near the Glab house, with Lieut. Edwin L. Berger posing to illustrate how Glab was found dying. He was found on the left side of the sedan with hat and key beside him. The door on this side was locked and the right open. Photo dated: June 21, 1928.
http://jpg2.lapl.org/pics29/00049442.jpg
LAPL.org


Detective Lieut. Hugh A. Crowley is lying on the floor of the office of the Village Theater in Westwood, where he was shot to death by two bandits on January 12, 1932. The two bandits waited for Crowley and fired when he opened the office door. As he fell dead, he shot the gun from one bandit's hand. Investigators at the scene believe the killing was deliberately planned.
http://jpg2.lapl.org/pics29/00049166.jpg
LAPL.org


This is an undated photo; my guess is that it's from the 1920s, judging by the clothes/uniform and car... but the caption says "Murder victim lying by the side of the road next to a car and a police officer. The man in the straw hat is Melvin Purvis of the FBI."
http://jpg1.lapl.org/pics46/00042681.jpg
LAPL.org

I like this picture because of the oil derricks in the background, which I find to be quintessentially LA from the first half of the 20th century. The caption reads "Investigators (left to right): E.H. Kennedy, unidentified man, Lorin Q. Martin, and Ralph Simonds are inspecting the body of an unidentified woman found slain one block off Long Beach Blvd, Monday, May 12, 1947."
http://jpg3.lapl.org/pics17/00028182.jpg
LAPL.org

If anyone has seen the Angelina Jolie movie "Changeling," here's a picture of the boy the story was based on, Walter Collins.
http://jpg3.lapl.org/pics15/00027496.jpg
LAPL.org

Here is a picture of the real Christine Collins.
http://jpg3.lapl.org/pics15/00027492.jpg
LAPL.org

The Walter Collins imposter: The boy who returned as Walter Collins pencils specimens of his writing, which proves he is not the real Walter Collins, according to Milton Carlson, handwriting expert. Later it was learned his real name is Arthur Hutchens, alias Billy Fields.
http://jpg3.lapl.org/pics15/00027490.jpg
LAPL.org

Here is a picture of Sanford Clark, child murderer Gordon Northcott's nephew, who first revealed the so-called "murder farm" and accused Northcott of killing at least three boys there. He declared he was held captive at the farm and made to assist in the murders.
http://jpg3.lapl.org/pics16/00027503.jpg
LAPL.org

Child murderer, Gordon Northcott
http://jpg3.lapl.org/pics15/00027481.jpg
LAPL.org

The murder farm in Wineville (name changed to Mira Loma largely because of the negative publicity from the notorious murders) in Riverside County, California
http://jpg3.lapl.org/pics15/00027479.jpg
LAPL.org

ethereal_reality Jul 2, 2009 9:34 PM

^^^Interesting crime pics sopas_ej.....I love all the archaic 'white-out'.

ethereal_reality Jul 2, 2009 9:47 PM

http://img406.imageshack.us/img406/9...aydowntown.jpg
USC archives

above: Downtown in the rain. 1940s





http://img406.imageshack.us/img406/4...eeastfromb.jpg
USC archives


above: Wilshire Blvd. looking east from Burnside.






http://img406.imageshack.us/img406/9...wilsonworl.jpg
julie_wilson's_world flickr



above: Wilshire Blvd. in 1954.

ady26 Jul 3, 2009 5:52 PM

Simply great!

ethereal_reality Jul 6, 2009 4:22 PM

http://img219.imageshack.us/img219/9...4juliewils.jpg
julie_wilson's_world


above: Another view of Wilshire Blvd. in 1954.

pegasusbsb27 Jul 6, 2009 9:01 PM

Wow! I love this kind of stuffs! Thanks

ethereal_reality Jul 8, 2009 10:53 PM

.....oops. sorry

ethereal_reality Jul 9, 2009 7:05 PM

...........another repeat. my computer is having hic-cups. :(

ethereal_reality Jul 10, 2009 12:01 AM

A HUGE map of downtown Los Angeles circa 1954


http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/909/ZQ6UPi.jpg
Hammond's Ambassador World Atlas 1954



This old map helped me to place many of the older buildings in their proper location.
Before, I was lost as to where these buildings were in relation to each other.

_____

ethereal_reality Jul 10, 2009 1:20 AM

downtown 1949

I'm working on replacing the image.

sopas ej Jul 10, 2009 1:56 AM

Great pics! I like that old map, too (I love maps). Interesting that what is now Interstate 110/The Harbor Freeway was once called the Harbor Parkway.

And that color pic with the Mobiloil Building is great. Of course now, that building is the Pegasus Lofts:
http://www.you-are-here.com/los_angeles/pegasus.jpg
From youarehere.com

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3188/...f4e0d1.jpg?v=0
From flickr.com

ethereal_reality Jul 10, 2009 2:29 PM

I didn't know the Mobile Oil Bldg is now Pegasus Lofts.
That would be a very cool place to live.

sopas ej Jul 10, 2009 3:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ethereal_reality (Post 4350854)
I didn't know the Mobile Oil Bldg is now Pegasus Lofts.
That would be a very cool place to live.

Oh totally. It's got that whole mid-20th Century Modern thing going on.

ethereal_reality Jul 11, 2009 5:20 PM

http://img301.imageshack.us/img301/1...undarroyos.jpg
USC archive


above: A 1947 photograph of the southbound lanes of the Arroyo Seco Parkway backed up at the Figueroa tunnels.

ethereal_reality Jul 12, 2009 8:15 PM

The black and gold Richfield Building at 555 South Flower St. (near 6th Street)
Built in 1928, it was demolished in 1968.



http://img149.imageshack.us/img149/1...ldlettersg.jpg
USC archive


above: Soon after it's completion in 1929. Starting to put the letters on the tower.








http://img149.imageshack.us/img149/6...chfieldoil.jpg
USC archive


above: This a great view showing the arch.







http://img149.imageshack.us/img149/7...lddramatic.jpg
USC archive






http://img149.imageshack.us/img149/6...ldandneigh.jpg
USC archive


above: Interesting neighbors, a couple SROs (single room occupancy) hotels.





http://img81.imageshack.us/img81/682...ieldwith14.jpg
USC archive





http://img61.imageshack.us/img61/870...es1957poss.jpg
USC archive


above: You can see the brilliantly lit 130-foot tower atop the Richfield Bldg. in the upper right hand corner. I believe the glowing building to it's
immediate left is the Southern California Edison Bldg (now One Bunker Hill)





http://img406.imageshack.us/img406/5...ideebay194.jpg
found on ebay


above: A rare color slide from 1940s.



http://img406.imageshack.us/img406/1...ld110freew.jpg
USC archive


above: The Richfield can be seen to the right of the 110 Freeway. No date given.

sopas ej Jul 12, 2009 8:25 PM

I've never seen photos of that side of the Atlantic Richfield Building with the arch. I would assume maybe because that's the "back" of the building? I wasn't aware it had a light well, either. Very interesting!

Double L Jul 15, 2009 10:30 PM

A lot of history in this thread.

ethereal_reality Jul 16, 2009 8:18 PM

http://img148.imageshack.us/img148/1...geboylehei.jpg
USC archives


above: The Los Angeles Orphan Asylum at 7th Street and Boyle Ave.
in Boyle Heights area.





http://img139.imageshack.us/img139/9...lsorphanag.jpg
USC archives


above: Another view of the Los Angeles Orphan Asylum in Boyle Heights.

ethereal_reality Jul 17, 2009 12:54 AM

http://img148.imageshack.us/img148/9...juliewilso.jpg
Julie_Wilson_World


above: May Co. and a very cool Miracle Mile sign , May 1954.

213 Jul 17, 2009 3:07 AM

A quick "then and now" exercise I tried earlier this year... Current photos are by me.

Southbound Hope @ 6th, 1930 - lapl.org

http://i86.photobucket.com/albums/k8...25_5495434.jpg

http://i86.photobucket.com/albums/k8...44_6874988.jpg

SE corner 6th & Hope, 1905 - lapl.org

http://i86.photobucket.com/albums/k8...46_3115845.jpg

http://i86.photobucket.com/albums/k8...31_2628305.jpg

NW corner 6th & Hope, 1927 - lapl.org

http://i86.photobucket.com/albums/k8...53_5227813.jpg

http://i86.photobucket.com/albums/k8...55_5523575.jpg

NE corner Wilshire & Hope, 1938 - lapl.org

http://i86.photobucket.com/albums/k8...56_3713231.jpg

http://i86.photobucket.com/albums/k8...62_4407748.jpg

NE corner Wilshire & Hope, 1965 - lapl.org

http://i86.photobucket.com/albums/k8...63_2880506.jpg

http://i86.photobucket.com/albums/k8...64_5472797.jpg

Northbound Hope @ Wilshire, 1951 - USC Digital Archive

http://i86.photobucket.com/albums/k8...65_1134523.jpg

http://i86.photobucket.com/albums/k8...09_3680287.jpg

sopas ej Jul 17, 2009 7:59 AM

:previous:

Great then and now photos!

ethereal_reality Jul 17, 2009 9:33 PM

I agree, the before and after shots are very cool.

latennisguy Jul 17, 2009 10:52 PM

great work 213! It is very interesting looking at the differences.

213 Jul 18, 2009 2:34 AM

Thanks!

Given the sheer volume of archived photos at LAPL and USC, one could pretty much make a 20-page thread of it. If I had more time, better camera skills and maybe a federal grant...

;)

ethereal_reality Jul 20, 2009 1:20 AM

http://img504.imageshack.us/img504/6...aerial170n.jpg
USC archive


above: The U.S. Hotel at 170 North Main Street.
This aerial is so much fun to study.
Notice the small gas station center right, and the interesting building directly behind it.










http://img504.imageshack.us/img504/3...170nmainst.jpg
USC archive


above: The U.S. Hotel at 170 N. Main St.




http://img504.imageshack.us/img504/5...170northma.jpg
USC archive


above: The U.S. Hotel in 1935.

ethereal_reality Jul 20, 2009 1:53 AM

http://img504.imageshack.us/img504/2...street1943.jpg
USC archive


above: The building at 125 Main Street in 1943.
I love the dingy pool hall.

Can you imagine what goes on in the rooms upstairs.

sopas ej Jul 20, 2009 2:00 AM

:previous:
Really great photos! It's a shame that these Victorian buildings in LA were all destroyed. I think many people don't realize that LA had some really old buildings, and I wouldn't doubt that those same people think that LA is a "new" city that only developed after WWII. What they don't realize was that many earlier buildings were destroyed, either because of freeway construction, earthquakes, or just because a newer building was desired; or as in the case of Bunker Hill, "redevelopment."


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