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

GaylordWilshire Dec 15, 2009 1:16 AM

Great pictures, ethereal. Obsessive as I am, I began comparing them to my Thos Bros atlas--which is not as easy as it might seem, given the telescoped images. For example, at the bottom right of the second picture is Philippe's--but is this the location in the 300-block of Aliso Street taken out by the 101, or the 1950/51-to-present one at Alameda & Ord? Compared to maps, the streets don't seem to make sense either way. But it doesn't really matter--all these pictures reek of noir LA. Keep 'em coming. Btw--I might have said it here before, but it bears repeating-- nothing brings noir back alive like a visit to Philippe's at night... the place, the characters, Union Station down the street.... not to be missed.

NOTE: Finally figured out the photo-to-map coordination--in the second of ethereal's pictures (with Philippe's at the bottom right), the street coming from the bottom-right corner is Main; Alameda is less evident, just on the other side of Philippe's--so this is the post '50/'51 location--and now I remember that these pictures are from 1952 so it all adds up. (I know you have all been waiting for this information with baited breath.)

Johnny Socko Dec 15, 2009 2:28 AM

Agreed -- those were fantastic pictures, and yet I too had trouble reconciling some of the locations to modern-day LA!

If the name "Bozzani" on the car dealer at the bottom of the first picture rang a bell, it's probably because they're still around: Bozzani Motors

sopas ej Dec 15, 2009 9:15 AM

:previous:

Those are indeed great photos, ethereal.

I'm fascinated by the first one, the one with the Bozzani Motors. That area is now a parking lot. In fact this photo is of the current Chinatown, which used to be LA's Little Italy, so I see the Bozzani connection. The street on the left is Hill Street, leading to the Pasadena Freeway, and the street on the right is North Broadway. At the bottom of the photo, where Broadway curves, is where the old Broadway tunnel was before the hill was leveled; that little building on the corner is the one that still exists and has survived all these years even after the hill and tunnel adjacent to it was removed. You can even see the Little Joe's Italian restaurant on the east side of Broadway, which used to be a 3-story building but was later reduced to one. Though the restaurant has been long closed, the building still exists, as well as the Little Joe's sign. In the background is Cathedral High School, which also still exists but I think it has new buildings. I'm amazed at how dense this area once was, being that there are now many surface parking lots.

GaylordWilshire Dec 15, 2009 2:01 PM

Re the Paris Inn on N. Broadway (middle right of the first of ethereal's pics), which helped me locate things on maps--I came across this great site about the history of old LA restaurants:

http://www.latimemachines.com/new_page_23.htm

ethereal_reality Dec 15, 2009 4:50 PM

^^^GaylordWilshire, JohnnySocko & Sopas-ej

All your comments have made the photos that much more interesting to me.

sopas-ej, your explanation of the first photo (below) was great.
I didn't realize the building at the bottom was the one we had discussed earlier in the thread.


http://img264.imageshack.us/img264/5...yhall1952d.jpg
usc archive





I remembered the earlier post because you mentioned it was the building with the long gone Broadway tunnel behind it.


http://img187.imageshack.us/img187/5396/1la00013680.jpg
lapl posted earlier by sopas-ej



http://img187.imageshack.us/img187/3...innsigntoo.jpg
lapl


It's cool that the building had a giant sign for the Paris Inn, which GaylordWilshire had pointed out.






Below is a re-post of the illustration that started our conversation about the building in the first place.


http://img197.imageshack.us/img197/7...iaductadja.jpg

GaylordWilshire Dec 15, 2009 5:22 PM

:previous:


And N Broadway & Sunset now...

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/--...2520PM.bmp.jpgGoogleSV

sopas ej Dec 15, 2009 7:00 PM

I like this picture too:

http://img264.imageshack.us/img264/7...tyhall1952.jpg
USC archive

In the center you can see a 3-story apartment building; it has a sign on top that I can't read, "????? APT-HOTEL." Anyway, in 1927, a notorious, shocking murder occurred here. Back then, the apartments were called the Bellevue Arms. In December of 1927, 19 year-old William Edward Hickman kidnapped 12 year-old Marian Parker, the daughter of an LA banker. He murdered her in his apartment, which was in this building. The crime was particularly shocking and gruesome because he dismembered her but used her armless and leg-less body as a decoy to pick up the ransom money, pretending that she was still alive and fooling the girl's father, who dropped off the ransom money. The apartment building still exists and is being converted into expensive condos.

The house that the Parkers lived in also still exists. I wonder whatever happened to the family...

You can read about the crime here; the website misspells her name as Marion Parker: http://markgribben.com/?p=288

Beaudry Dec 15, 2009 7:40 PM

Wow, it's been too long since I've checked in at this forum (have had to deal with that dubiously beneficial and breathtakingly annoying "life" stuff) and I have to say, you guys are nuts. I mean, in the good way, I am after all among you. There's so much I want/need to comment on, I don't know where to start.

I liked the stuff some weeks ago about the Hotel Clark, for some reason I have a Hotel Clark fetish, and this being The Season, I'll direct you to something holiday-related I wrote here.

Oh, and I was elated to hear mention of Shockproof, as mentioned also here -- I've been collecting Bunker Hill movies and so far (I still have about seven to get through) the big winners are:
-- the remake of M: the opening with Angels Flight, the Foss/Heindel at 9:21, the 3rd and Bunker Hill bench at 31:05, the Nugent at 38:26, Hope Street at 48:03, and the tunnel chase at 49:22
Kiss Me Deadly: Third Street stairs at 27:30, the "Castle" (325 S Bunker Hill) at 29:26, Angels Flight at 55:45 and the Hillcrest right after that
The whole frickin' movie Angel's Flight
The Turning Point and Cry Danger are also primo Bunker Hill. So are Criss Cross and Indestructible Man. And noir as noir gets (Ok, Indestructible Man is less noir than, what, monster? Lon Chaney Jr. pulls a Vampira and says "I know, I'll play the part mute!" Yes, the script is that bad. However, also real cool shots of Main St, specifically the bump n grind house that was the New Follies at 548.) About 39 minutes in is where the Bunker Hill begins.

Though The Unfaithful has amazing shots of the Elmar on Hope at 1:10:33, it's a moralistic little film, and creeps me out, and about fifteen years later The Money Trap, boy, that's a predictable, dull picture, but nice shots of the Brousseau ...and some good Angels Flight action...

...plus all and sundry should buy the new 2-disc set of The Exiles, cool film, great extra features too.

Ok, more when I can get away. God bless us, everyone!

Beaudry Dec 15, 2009 8:35 PM

Ah, jeepers. Here I was about to go "productive things" and sopas, you go on and bring up The Fox. Like I'm gonna stay away from that.

Say what you will about Elizabeth Short as the hallmark of LA noir -- the Fox, Edward Hickman, and his killing of Marion Parker (the correct spelling of her name, truth be told) -- is in my estimation, hands down, the weirdest, darkest tale in LA history.

I won't go into the whole rigamarole here -- it's been written about enough elsewhere -- but one does have to wonder if anyone moving into the Bellevue has any idea...

...the school (Mt Vernon Jr) from where she was abducted still stands, as does her home on S Wilton, but the site where her body was dumped, its lifeless eyes pulled open by wire, on the east side of Manhattan between 4th and 5th, is now 50s apartment buildings.

sopas ej Dec 15, 2009 9:46 PM

:previous:
I stand corrected on the spelling of poor little Marion's name. I'm pretty sure that in the book I have called "Stolen Away" her name is spelled as "Marian." Oh well.

Her remains are at Glendale Forest Lawn:

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg...e=gr&GRid=8978

I've driven to her junior high school and the home on Wilton Place. The Wilton Place home looks eerily unchanged, at least to me; I wonder who lives there now and if they know about the Parker kidnap/murder. Unfortunately the jr. high looks nothing like it did back in 1927. It's not even called Mt. Vernon Jr. High anymore, it's been renamed the Johnnie Cochran Middle School.

I last drove by the Bellevue Arms about a year ago or so and it was all covered in scaffolding due to the condo-ization. I'm wondering if I should pay it another visit. ;)

kanhawk Dec 16, 2009 7:42 AM

With all the fascinating changes to Los Angeles over the years, I hope some day someone incorporates all these changes into a computer animation of the history of the city from it's beginnings to the present time with all the changes, the growth , the destruction, and even the change in terrain. I know that would be quite an undertaking requiring lots of data but I feel it would be well worth the effort for history buffs.

ethereal_reality Dec 17, 2009 2:01 AM

Below: The intersection of Figueroa & First Street in 1934.
This photograph is interesting on so many different levels (pun unintended).


http://img519.imageshack.us/img519/9...illfiguero.jpg
usc digital archive

ethereal_reality Dec 17, 2009 2:49 AM

Below is the Rossmere Apartments on Hope Street.


http://img519.imageshack.us/img519/5...merehadden.gif
usc or lapl


I vaguely remember reading that the Rossmere was home to dentist offices in it's waning years.
Please let me know if this is incorrect.






Below: Here is another view of the Rossmere.....looking NW from Second St. and Bunker Hill St.
At this point, I believe even the dentists are long gone.


http://img519.imageshack.us/img519/9...merein1959.png
Charles W. Cushman, Indiana University.

ethereal_reality Dec 17, 2009 3:05 AM

Below: The Carroll Apartments in 1960.


http://img51.imageshack.us/img51/469...illcarroll.jpg
Cal State





Below: The Stevens Apartments in 1960.


http://img51.imageshack.us/img51/836...illstevens.jpg
Cal State


I know these buildings were located in the Bunker hill area, but I lack their street address. :(

ethereal_reality Dec 17, 2009 3:20 AM

Below: The corner of 3rd & Beaudry in 1948.



http://img51.imageshack.us/img51/296...dry1948cal.jpg
cal state library

Beaudry Dec 17, 2009 6:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kanhawk (Post 4609888)
With all the fascinating changes to Los Angeles over the years, I hope some day someone incorporates all these changes into a computer animation of the history of the city from it's beginnings to the present time with all the changes, the growth , the destruction, and even the change in terrain. I know that would be quite an undertaking requiring lots of data but I feel it would be well worth the effort for history buffs.

I had a sit down with a couple computer types a some months ago (over a bottle of High West 21-year-old rye). Our plans got more and more elaborate as the bottle got emptier, but the plan seems doable; the guys who build video game "worlds" could definitely recreate Old Los Angeles using topographies and vintage photographic records though, to be done with a degree of accuracy, it would entail a lot of guys with lots more photos and a lot more rye. It's an intriguing prospect and I hope to see it in my lifetime.

Beaudry Dec 17, 2009 6:26 AM

http://img519.imageshack.us/img519/5...merehadden.gif
usc or lapl


I vaguely remember reading that the Rossmere was home to dentist offices in it's waning years.
Please let me know if this is incorrect.

Below: Here is another view of the Rossmere.....looking NW from Second St. and Bunker Hill St.
At this point, I believe even the dentists are long gone.

Where did you here there were dentists in there? I'm not saying that's not so, but it's the first I've heard of it, and I'd love to know where that info comes from. Check out more about the Rossmere here and here.

Beaudry Dec 17, 2009 6:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ethereal_reality (Post 4611225)
Below: The Carroll Apartments in 1960.


http://img51.imageshack.us/img51/469...illcarroll.jpg
Cal State





Below: The Stevens Apartments in 1960.


http://img51.imageshack.us/img51/836...illstevens.jpg
Cal State


I know these buildings were located in the Bunker hill area, but I lack their street address. :(

The Carroll was at 343 South Olive, that I know for sure; there was a Stevens Apts at 150 North Hill but also a Stevens Hotel at 321 South Grand. I'm wagering this is the Hill Street address but a real historian needs a time machine, dammit.

sopas ej Dec 17, 2009 9:01 AM

"They'll love it in Pomona."

The first time I saw the film "Sunset Boulevard," I thought that was a funny line when William Holden's Joe Gillis says that to Gloria Swanson's Norma Desmond about the script she's working on. I thought "Pomona" was random. But apparently, prior to WWII, Pomona was considered to be a good area to test films, being that Pomona was primarily an agricultural town back then, and many Hollywood film makers thought that Pomona represented the rest of the US, attitude-wise. To this day, Pomona still hosts the annual Los Angeles County Fair. Of course now, Pomona is a very developed city, with its own "big city" problems of crime and gangs in some of its neighborhoods.

So for shits and giggles, I thought I'd post some old photos of Pomona.

Divided highway near Pomona, 1938
http://img194.imageshack.us/img194/1...ynearpomon.jpg
USC archive

Designed by Clifford A. Balch and Floyd E. Stanberry, Pomona's Fox Theater cost $350,000 to build. It included top-of-the-line customer comfort, state-of-the-art projection and sound systems, and was the first refrigerated air conditioned theater east of Los Angeles. Opened on Friday, April 24, 1931, the theater served as an English language movie house until 1977, at which time it switched to Spanish. In the late 1990s/early 2000s, it was used as a live venue for a concerts, which caused significant interior damage to the structure. After a costly restoration and upgrade, the theater reopened in early 2009.
http://jpg1.lapl.org/00080/00080181.jpg
lapl.org

State Theater, built in 1940
http://jpg1.lapl.org/00080/00080196.jpg
lapl.org

Now in its 87th year, the L.A. County Fair is the largest county fair in the United States, with attendance topping one million people in every year but one since 1948, and generating a national economic impact of more than $250 million dollars. The Fair is held each September on 543 acres of fairgrounds known as Fairplex (L.A. County Fair, hotel and exposition complex), and is operated by the Los Angeles County Fair Association.
LA County Fair, ca. 1930s:
http://jpg1.lapl.org/00081/00081987.jpg
http://jpg1.lapl.org/00081/00081998.jpg
http://jpg1.lapl.org/00082/00082007.jpg
http://jpg1.lapl.org/00082/00082011.jpg
http://jpg1.lapl.org/00081/00081989.jpg
http://jpg1.lapl.org/00081/00081997.jpg
lapl.org

Hot rods in Pomona, 1952
http://img188.imageshack.us/img188/8...pomona1952.jpg
USC archive

OK Pomona is getting a little too provincial for me; time to head back to Los Angeles.

sopas ej Dec 17, 2009 9:26 AM

I went to the Farmers Market this weekend; it made me think to look up a few old photos of the Farmers Market.

These are from the USC archive:

1945
http://img63.imageshack.us/img63/6418/dw1111914isla.jpg

http://img97.imageshack.us/img97/8265/dw01143isla.jpg


I did a quick glance and at first I thought this woman was Bette Davis. "I'd kiss ya but I just washed my hair."
http://img97.imageshack.us/img97/7231/dw101195isla.jpg

Los Angeles Past Dec 17, 2009 10:24 AM

Now we're getting close to home! My home, that is...

Quote:

Originally Posted by sopas ej (Post 4611591)
Divided highway near Pomona, 1938
https://otters.net/img/lanoir/99atholt1938_sky.jpg
USC archive

That stretch of what was then Highway 99 (it was called Arroyo Avenue back then) is less than 1 mile as the crow flies from the house in the Covina hills where I grew up. Today, this is the San Bernardino Freeway (I-10) looking eastbound right before the Holt Ave. underpass. (That's the intersection with Holt Ave. just ahead in the photo above.) Unfortunately, the Street View of this intersection today is too murky to see any real detail, so I can't do a proper 'then-and-now'...

And the Fox Theatre - the photographer is standing on the northeast corner of Third and Garey with his back to the Mayfair Hotel, where my paternal grandmother had a beauty shop on the ground floor. (My dad - Edward Shannon, Jr. - graduated from Pomona High School in '32, the year after the Fox Theatre opened.)

-Scott

GaylordWilshire Dec 17, 2009 3:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sopas ej (Post 4611597)

I did a quick glance and at first I thought this woman was Bette Davis. "I'd kiss ya but I just washed my hair."
http://img97.imageshack.us/img97/7231/dw101195isla.jpg

Which reminds me of, "And after you kissed me, I used to wipe my mouth. Wipe my mouth!"

And speaking of Sunset Blvd and towns outside of LA--I'll never forget "I've got oil wells in Bakersfield, pumping, pumping, pumping!" (Norma pumping her leg up and down for emphasis)

Aside from all that --amazing pictures, all of them, from Pomona to Bunker Hill

Johnny Socko Dec 17, 2009 6:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Los Angeles Past (Post 4611613)
Now we're getting close to home! My home, that is...



That stretch of what was then Highway 99 is less than 1 mile as the crow flies from the house in the Covina hills where I grew up. Today, this is the San Bernardino Freeway (I-10) looking eastbound right before the Holt Ave. underpass. (That's the intersection with Holt Ave. just ahead in the photo above.) Unfortunately, the Street View of this intersection today is too murky to see any real detail...

WOW, thanks for identifying the location of that photo, Scott! I'm very glad you did, because the company I work for is located in the small office park at Holt Ave & the North side of the 10 fwy. In the 1938 photo, the building site would be at the top of the small hill at the NE corner of Holt & Hwy 99. Today, the the Holt Ave offramp for the Westbound 10 cuts through a part of that hill.

ethereal_reality Dec 17, 2009 7:05 PM

I agree, great photos sopas_ej. I never ventured out to Pomona
so it was nice to see the photographs.

In your 1st photo of the Farmers Market I was confused at first.
I could see Gilmore Field in the distance, and yet I wondered what the
other building was with Gilmore painted on it.



So I googled it...
and found out there was both a Gilmore Field AND a Gilmore Stadium.


Missing photo. sorry
http://img412.imageshack.us/img412/8259/11fmslide2.jpg
unknown



Missing photo. sorry
http://img412.imageshack.us/img412/6...restadium2.jpg
I believe the 3rd large building in the distance is the Pan Pacific Auditorium.

In the past when I saw glimpses of the stadium, I thought it was Fairfax High School's football/track field.
Forgive my ignorance, (it's been awhile since I lived in L.A.)......but isn't Fairfax High School also in this area?

_

Los Angeles Past Dec 17, 2009 7:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Johnny Socko (Post 4612039)
WOW, thanks for identifying the location of that photo, Scott! I'm very glad you did, because the company I work for is located in the small office park at Holt Ave & the North side of the 10 fwy. In the 1938 photo, the building site would be at the top of the small hill at the NE corner of Holt & Hwy 99. Today, the the Holt Ave offramp for the Westbound 10 cuts through a part of that hill.

It's a small world! :cheers: It was interesting to me to discover that Holt crossed Arroyo Ave. (Hwy. 99) at street level. Did not know! Also interesting to see that little lemon grove on the adjacent hill (it was lemons, not oranges). That was still there when our family moved into our new house in December, 1959 (50 years ago this coming Saturday, as a matter of fact). Actually that little grove was still there even into the late-'70s. Me and my buddies used to drive their dune buggy on that hill where your office park is now!

-Scott

Los Angeles Past Dec 17, 2009 7:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sopas ej (Post 4611597)

That looks a lot like my mother! She used to go to Farmer's Market a lot when I was little. I hated Hated HATED that place! I can still bring to mind the smell of Farmer's Market even 40+ years later. Ack! :yuck:

ethereal_reality Dec 17, 2009 7:57 PM

Fremont Hotel at 4th & Olive.


http://img412.imageshack.us/img412/5...hotelatfou.jpg
usc digital archive


Missing photos. I'll try and replace them.



Below: Y.M.C.A. at 207 Fort St.


http://img412.imageshack.us/img412/8...fortst1900.jpg
usc digital archive






Below: Another view of the Y.M.C.A. along with the California Bank Building at Fort (now Broadway) and 2nd Street in 1899


http://img526.imageshack.us/img526/8...iforniaban.jpg
usc digital archive






Below: California Club Building at 5th & Hill.


http://img412.imageshack.us/img412/3...niaclubbld.jpg
usc digital archive

ethereal_reality Dec 17, 2009 8:06 PM

Downtown 1952



http://img229.imageshack.us/img229/3...nmap195053.jpg

Johnny Socko Dec 17, 2009 9:35 PM

(Very) Historic Map Resource
 
Here's another great map resource that a friend tipped me off to. It predates the "noir" era by decades-to-centuries, but I thought it would be appreciated here.

Anybody who searches historic maps on the internet is probably familiar with the Dave Rumsey Collection. The only problem was that the collection's website had a mediocre user interface (not as horrible as Hypercities, but still).

Well, now the Dave Rumsey Collection has a new site that has the entire map collection referenced to Google Earth. Although there is only one Southern California map (William Hammond Hall, 1880), it's definitely worth a look.

And if you haven't done so already, do yourself a favor and check out Hypercities. Los Angeles Past posted a very useful how-to on navigating that site. It still gives me fits, and I'm the one who tipped-off Scott about it in the first place!

Los Angeles Past Dec 17, 2009 11:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Johnny Socko (Post 4612312)
I'm the one who tipped-off Scott about it in the first place!

Gregg?! That's you? What a surprise! I'd love to tell you some stories about the area where your office is. Drop me an email and let's talk!

-Scott

Los Angeles Past Dec 18, 2009 12:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ethereal_reality (Post 4612165)
Below: Another view of the Y.M.C.A. along with the California Bank Building at Fort (now Broadway) and 2nd Street in 1899


http://img526.imageshack.us/img526/8...iforniaban.jpg
usc digital archive

This is the best view of this corner I've ever seen. Ethereal, you definitely have a knack for finding great images! I really liked that photo of Figueroa and First you posted yesterday, too. Keep 'em coming! I hope this thread goes on forever. :tup:

ethereal_reality Dec 18, 2009 12:36 AM

Thanks Scott.....you're always very kind to show your appreciation.

GaylordWilshire Dec 18, 2009 12:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ethereal_reality (Post 4612165)
Below: Y.M.C.A. at 207 Fort St.

http://img412.imageshack.us/img412/8...fortst1900.jpg
usc digital archive

Intrigued by "We Sell the Earth" over the entrance, I came up with this ad for the real-estate firm Bassett & Smith--scroll down--the publication itself is fun to look at.

http://books.google.com/books?id=0Wc...0earth&f=false

sopas ej Dec 18, 2009 2:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ethereal_reality (Post 4612082)
(it's been awhile since I lived in L.A.)......but isn't Fairfax High School also in this area?

Yes it is, on Fairfax and Melrose. Unlike Los Angeles High School, it looks like they kept one older building, which I will guess is an auditorium or something.

Great pics btw, ethereal! I really like that map, too!

ethereal_reality Dec 18, 2009 2:32 AM

I've been burning cds tonight, and this pic caught my eye.
I guess I've had Pomona on my mind since viewing sopas_ej's excellent photos from yesterday.






Below: Pomona High School 1902.


http://img405.imageshack.us/img405/2...ighschool1.jpg
usc digital archive


What a proud and soaring building.

ethereal_reality Dec 18, 2009 3:22 AM

Another beautiful example of scholastic architecture.


http://img259.imageshack.us/img259/8...terlaterpa.jpg
usc digital archive



Above: Clearwater (later Paramount) School.

ethereal_reality Dec 18, 2009 3:37 AM

Below: Hotel Palomares in Pomona.


http://img259.imageshack.us/img259/8...lomaresinp.jpg
usc digital archive

Johnny Socko Dec 18, 2009 6:55 AM

ethereal, those pictures of the downtown YMCA remind me of another building near my home -- one of my favorite buildings in Los Angeles, and relevant to your post because it's a former YWCA. I was surprised to see that one of my favorite blogs, Big Orange Landmarks, did a profile of it and I didn't even know!

Mary Andrews Clark Residence

As Floyd B. Bariscale points out, the building is so large, it's hard to capture in a photograph. So here's the bird's eye view from Bing:

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2699/...1d664cd4_o.jpg

The building has appeared in countless movies, and portrayed a mental hospital in at least two that I know of: "Changeling" starring Angelina Jolie, and "The Ring 2" starring Naomi Watts.

A commenter at B.O.L. even posted the building's old phone number! HU 3-5780

sopas ej Dec 18, 2009 3:05 PM

ethereal, great pics of those old school buildings. And the YMCA has a sign that says Los Angeles Conservatory of Music & Art; did it really have a music school there, I wonder?

Johnny Socko, that's cool info about the Mary Andrews Clark Residence; I've driven by that building many times and have always liked it, but never knew what it was.

sopas ej Dec 19, 2009 6:46 PM

Aliso Street viaduct, early 1950s
http://img687.imageshack.us/img687/4...aductearly.jpg
USC archive

This of course is now the 101 freeway headed west into the LA Civic Center/downtown LA area. This photo really puts things into perspective for me, on how huge those gas storage tanks were. They look like they dominate the skyline. It's funny to me that those tanks basically were like a gateway into downtown when approaching from this route; I always associated the City Hall and the skyscraper skyline as being the visual focal point when headed this way. This would make a great "then" for a then and now. Looking at the lamp posts on the Aliso St. viaduct, I think it's a shame they couldn't have kept the old twin-pendant street lamps. This picture was also taken not too long after the Pacific Electric streetcar was abandoned through this area; you can see the curved right-of-way along the bottom left corner of the photo; the poles that held the trolley wires are still standing too at this point in time.

sopas ej Dec 19, 2009 8:07 PM

Old Plaza Firehouse, early 1950s
http://img24.imageshack.us/img24/266...ouseca1951.jpg
USC archive

This picture fascinates me, not only for its run-down, film noirish qualities, but also for the fact that the old late 19th Century firehouse at this point became a dumpy cafe. Talk about adaptive reuse! It was always my assumption that this building used to be a firehouse, and was just later abandoned (and of course is now a museum). But in fact, the old Plaza area was still a living, working part of town. I like the Plaza today for the fact that it's where the city of LA began, and that it's all fixed up, but now, it just has that museum look to it, artificially frozen in time, apart from Olvera Street (which isn't what it once was either).

Compare the above photo with this:
1968
http://jpg1.lapl.org/00079/00079160.jpg
LAPL

And this:
Today
http://www.inetours.com/Los_Angeles/...za_SW_7313.jpg
inetours.com

Johnny Socko Dec 20, 2009 9:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sopas ej (Post 4614918)
Aliso Street viaduct, early 1950s
http://img687.imageshack.us/img687/4...aductearly.jpg
USC archive

This of course is now the 101 freeway headed west into the LA Civic Center/downtown LA area. This photo really puts things into perspective for me, on how huge those gas storage tanks were. They look like they dominate the skyline. It's funny to me that those tanks basically were like a gateway into downtown when approaching from this route; I always associated the City Hall and the skyscraper skyline as being the visual focal point when headed this way. This would make a great "then" for a then and now. Looking at the lamp posts on the Aliso St. viaduct, I think it's a shame they couldn't have kept the old twin-pendant street lamps. This picture was also taken not too long after the Pacific Electric streetcar was abandoned through this area; you can see the curved right-of-way along the bottom left corner of the photo; the poles that held the trolley wires are still standing too at this point in time.

That was indeed a fantastic photo from a perspective I had never seen before. I agree 100% with everything you said -- this was not at all the "grand entrance" to downtown that people my age are familiar with.

And what a coincidence it was to see that abandoned PE right-of-way. Minutes ago, I finished reading this book, which was an early Christmas present from my wonderful wife. It's chock full of amazing pictures, including the very last LARY streetcar entering the railyard after its final run in 1963. A very informative book, but very sad. :(

(My wife also got me this book and this book. I can't wait to dive in!)

sopas ej Dec 20, 2009 4:27 PM

:previous:
Wonderful wife indeed, Johnny!

I have this book too. Needless to say I've looked at it and have read it to death.

ethereal_reality Dec 20, 2009 7:51 PM

sopas-ej I loved the comparison photos of the Plaza Fire house.

I have a couple to add to your collection.




Below: Plaza Fire House 1888.



http://img137.imageshack.us/img137/4...rehouse188.jpg
usc digital archive





Below: Plaza Fire House 1920.


http://img693.imageshack.us/img693/4...rehousein1.jpg
usc digital archive





Below is the great 1951 photograph posted by sopas-ej. 30 years later than the above photo.



http://img693.imageshack.us/img693/5...afirehouse.jpg
usc digital archive

Above: If you look closely, you can make out the 'ghost' sign for the 'Cosmopolitan Saloon' on the side of the building.
It's great how one photograph can lead to discoveries in another. Thx again sopas-ej.

It's also interesting how the 1951 is very 'noir' looking, while the 1920 photo isn't (to me anyway).
The 1920's photo seems more 'frontier' or 'western'.

Los Angeles Past Dec 20, 2009 8:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Johnny Socko (Post 4615675)
That was indeed a fantastic photo from a perspective I had never seen before. I agree 100% with everything you said -- this was not at all the "grand entrance" to downtown that people my age are familiar with.

;) The tanks actually were quite a grand/impressive entrance to the city, just not a very attractive one. :D In our post-9/11 world, though, I'm glad they're gone now. They'd be way too tempting as a terrorist target today, that's for sure...

sopas ej Dec 22, 2009 2:18 AM

ethereal those are great photos of the Plaza Fire House! I agree with you, the 1920 photo doesn't look noirish to me either. I wonder how long the fire house was an actual working fire house, since by 1920 it was already a saloon, hotel and cigar store. Very interesting!

Johnny Socko Dec 22, 2009 5:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Los Angeles Past (Post 4616084)
;) The tanks actually were quite a grand/impressive entrance to the city, just not a very attractive one. :D In our post-9/11 world, though, I'm glad they're gone now. They'd be way too tempting as a terrorist target today, that's for sure...

You wouldn't even need a deliberate act to result in a disaster, as seen in the Pittsburgh Gasometer Explosion. I remember reading about this in "The Book of Lists" as a kid.

I found an interesting post on LA's gas tanks in BlogDowntown, which also references the Pittsburgh disaster.

ethereal_reality Dec 23, 2009 12:10 AM

This photograph is looking north on Spring Street from between 8th & 9th Street in 1939.



http://img43.imageshack.us/img43/115...orthsouths.jpg
usc digital archive

ethereal_reality Dec 23, 2009 12:15 AM

Christmas noir


http://img43.imageshack.us/img43/933...nnoirfacin.jpg
usc digital archive



Above: Facing north on South Broadway at West 7th Street.

Los Angeles Past Dec 24, 2009 4:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ethereal_reality (Post 4619390)
This photograph is looking north on Spring Street from between 8th & 9th Street in 1939.



http://img43.imageshack.us/img43/115...orthsouths.jpg
usc digital archive



Here's another view of the southern intersection of Spring and Main Streets (the northern intersection of Spring and Main being Temple Square - was there ever a name for this "square," too?)


https://otters.net/img/lanoir/CHS-5767.jpg
USC Digital Library


Anyway, what I really like about this photo was my unexpected discovery of the store in the extreme left foreground, on what would have then been 10th Street (now Olympic Blvd.). It's a used record store, in 1917! I always thought those were an innovation of the 1960s. It makes sense, though, that there would have been a demand for a "record exchange" as far back as sound recordings were being marketed - people wanting to trade in records they don't listen to anymore for ones they don't already have. Still, it's a little surprising to me to find such a thing at this early stage in the history of recorded sound...


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