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  #41  
Old Posted Jun 18, 2009, 10:08 PM
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Originally Posted by ethereal_reality View Post


Los Angeles 1960 LIFE magazine
looks like much hasnt changed in regards to traffic!
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  #42  
Old Posted Jun 19, 2009, 7:07 AM
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Westwood

I think the history of Westwood is interesting in that it was originally a planned community created by the Janss Corporation to complement the new campus of UCLA, which chose the Westwood site in the 1920s and opened in 1929; it was the third site for the campus, which originally was in the location of where the LA Central Library is in downtown LA; the 2nd site was on Vermont Avenue, where Los Angeles City College is now.

Westwood Village was actually created as the "shopping center" for the area; it was actually considered an auto-oriented shopping center, even though people walked around the Village; so I guess it IS possible to make something with the automobile in mind but also pedestrian-oriented; I'd like to also point out that the main entrance to Westwood Village is from Wilshire Boulevard, another purposely auto-oriented street (on purpose, no streetcars ever went down Wilshire) but still pedestrian-friendly, at least during the pre-WWII era. In the 1980s, Westwood was a very hip hangout area for UCLA students and people from outside the area, and got very crowded on weekends, with the streets even being closed off to traffic while people promenaded to go to the many movie theaters and restaurants/nightclubs; in fact during the 80s, it was touted as one of the few places in LA where people actually walked. In the 1990s Westwood started going on the skids, even now it's very slowly making a recovery. It's still the site of many movie premieres, though.

Westwood Village, circa mid-1930s (from yesterdayla.com)




Westwood Village, circa mid-1950s. (from yesterdayla.com) Notice the specially designed streetlamps, which were installed throughout Westwood Village. The bases were purposely tiled in blue and gold, the colors of UCLA. They were all replaced in the 1960s or 1970s with the ugly twin cobra-head streetlamps. I think only one original "Westwood Special" streetlamp exists, it's on the side of that domed building you see in the center of the photo, which originally was the Janss Corporation office; in this photo it's the Bank of America. Today it's a restaurant.


Westwood Village, 2005 (from wikipedia)


LeConte and Westwood Blvd. looking southwest from entrance to UCLA campus, 1932

From lapl.org

Same scene, 1937

From lapl.org

Broxton and Westwood Blvd., 1930

From lapl.org

Fox Westwood Village Theater, 1930s

From lapl.org

Fox Westwood Village Theater, 2006

From wikipedia

Westwood Stores, 1934

From lapl.org

Westwood Village, 1940s

From lapl.org

1944

From lapl.org

1930s

From lapl.org

1940

From lapl.org

UCLA Campus, circa 1930s. The original buildings of the current Westwood campus of UCLA were designed in a Romanesque Italian red brick style, which was a popular style of architecture for American college campuses in the 1920s, but it was specifically chosen to complement the dramatic hilly location reminiscent of an Italian or Mediterranean hill town (with the exception of Kerckhoff Hall, built in a Gothic style, the only Gothic-style building on campus). After WWII, the architectural style was abandoned for contemporary modern and post-modern styles, and the campus has been built up with many buildings, obscuring the "lone hill town" look of the original cluster of buildings around the quad.

From lapl.org

An arroyo or dry riverbed used to run through the UCLA campus, with a brick bridge matching the Romanesque Italian-style original buildings crossing over it, leading to the quad on the east side from Hilgard Avenue. However after WWII, the arroyo was filled in to provide land for more buildings; the bridge was subsequently buried, and today appears to be a paved walkway with low brick walls lining it.



From lapl.org

Construction of UCLA's new campus, 1927

From lapl.org
From lapl.org

Students and the new UCLA campus, opening day, 1929




From lapl.org

The older campuses of UCLA
Here is UCLA's second campus, on Vermont Avenue, which was the location for most of the 1910s and 1920s. What was then the southern branch of the California State Normal School moved to the Vermont Ave. campus in 1914 from downtown LA. In 1919 it became absorbed into the UC system and attained University status. It quickly outgrew this campus which is why it moved to Westwood in 1929. This Vermont Avenue campus is now the location of Los Angeles City College. I don't think these buildings even exist anymore:
1920

From lapl.org

Here's where it all began, the 1st campus location of the institution that became UCLA. Hope St. at 6th St., downtown Los Angeles, looking north, about 1912. Straight ahead, Hope St. is blocked by the State Normal School, which I believe was a teachers' college. The old Normal School site would be taken by the L.A. Public Library. On the right is the Bible Institute of Los Angeles, which would later become Biola University (Biola is an acronym of Bible Institute of Los Angeles), which in 1959 moved its campus to suburban La Mirada. The old Bible Institute afterwards became the Church of the Open Door, with a neon "JESUS SAVES" sign on top. That building eventually was torn down for a mid-rise office building in the early 1990s. The neon JESUS SAVES sign was put on another old building somewhere downtown.

From lapl.org

Church of the Open Door, 1980

From lapl.org

Street-level view of the Church of the Open Door on the right, looking north on Hope Street towards the LA Central Library, site of the old State Normal School, 1983

From lapl.org
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Last edited by sopas ej; Jun 19, 2009 at 11:25 PM.
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  #43  
Old Posted Jun 20, 2009, 4:09 AM
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Crime

I find old Los Angeles crimes fascinating. Somehow glamorous, even.

This photo-diagram shows where a beautiful blonde girl was found stabbed to death at 721 Turner Street, downtown, east of Alameda, in the industrial area, south of where the 101 freeway would be now, adjacent to the Arts District. Dotted lines shows the path of the car of her slayer. Cross shows where her nude body was found. Marks on the ground indicated that she had put up a terrific struggle for life. Photo dated: December 26, 1939.

From lapl.org

1949, body in the LA River

From lapl.org

Photograph caption reads, "Photo-diagram of yesterday's holdup at Grauman's Chinese Theater, in which robbers escaped with two days' receipts of $15,000. Officer Crowley is shown firing at the trio, who return the fusillade, wounding James P. Thorpe, a bystander." Photograph dated July 16, 1929.

From lapl.org

Lena Trontey shows how she looked through a window of her apartment and saw a man "put on the spot" by gunmen. The photo-diagram shows the scene of the shooting as viewed from Miss Trontey's window and what she saw, according to her story, included the gunmen taking their victim with them. This crime took place outside Theodore Kotzin, located on East Pico. Photo dated: August 11, 1930.

From lapl.org

This picture cracks me up, this is Mrs. John Bersinger, the woman who discovered the Black Dahlia's body. I get the feeling she got all dolled up before going to the police station and sitting for this very posed picture. January, 1947

From lapl.org

This is a wide angle shot showing Sherry's Restaurant (on the right side) where Mickey Cohen and 3 others were ambushed at 3:45 a.m. in front of the restaurant on the Sunset Strip. Mickey's car drove up to the curb and gunmen (hiding across the street under an advertising sign indicated in the area circled on the left side of the picture) opened fire with shotguns. The gunmen then sped away in a gray auto, tossing out the guns a block away. Mickey was the least seriously wounded. (File date: July 20, 1949)

From lapl.org

Three women placed under arrest at 5667 W. Olympic Blvd., 1948

From lapl.org

LA City Jail in Lincoln Heights, 1936

From lapl.org

Drunk tank in Lincoln Heights Jail, 1956

From lapl.org
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  #44  
Old Posted Jun 20, 2009, 5:51 AM
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Originally Posted by ethereal_reality View Post
^^^ Off the top of my head, here is my take on it.

In the 1950s/60s the powerful automobile industry (GM especially) used their significant political clout to lobby AGAINST electrified transit....and to lobby FOR gas powered buses and cars ("a car in every garage" was a motto back then)
They lobbied for highways and expressways that slashed through the urban fabric, destroying whole neighborhoods. In turn, downtowns became pockmarked with hundreds of hideous parking lots. We lost thousands of vintage buildings for nothing more than a place to park.


OK, I just found an essay that explains it much better.
Below is an excerpt by Harvey Wasserman

In a 1922 memo that will live in infamy, GM President Alfred P. Sloan established a unit aimed at dumping electrified mass transit in favor of gas-burning cars, trucks and buses.

Just one American family in 10 then owned an automobile. Instead, we loved our 44,000 miles of passenger rail routes managed by 1,200 companies employing 300,000 Americans who ran 15 billion annual trips generating an income of $1 billion. According to Snell, "virtually every city and town in America of more than 2,500 people had its own electric rail system."

But GM lost $65 million in 1921. So Sloan enlisted Standard Oil (now Exxon), Philips Petroleum, glass and rubber companies and an army of financiers and politicians to kill mass transit.

With a varied arsenal of political and financial subterfuges, GM helped gut the core of America's train and trolley systems. It was the murder of our rail systems that made our "love affair" with the car a tragedy of necessity.

-Harvey Wasserman

thanks for your response I found it helpful. To bad that's the way things went though.
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  #45  
Old Posted Jun 20, 2009, 8:10 PM
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The crime photos are fantastic sopas_ej.
I love when they used white-out and black ink over the photos.
It's the first time that I've seen hand drawn gangsters.
(with puffs of smoke coming out of their guns....how cool is that?)


Also thanks for the info. and pics concerning Westwood.
I have to go back and read your comments more thoroughly though.

I have a few old color pics of Westwood I'll post in a day or so that
you'd probably like to see.

Last edited by ethereal_reality; Jul 29, 2009 at 2:09 AM.
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  #46  
Old Posted Jun 20, 2009, 8:26 PM
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sopas_ej wrote:
This is a wide angle shot showing Sherry's Restaurant (on the right side) where Mickey Cohen and 3 others were ambushed at 3:45 a.m. in front of the restaurant on the Sunset Strip. Mickey's car drove up to the curb and gunmen (hiding across the street under an advertising sign indicated in the area circled on the left side of the picture) opened fire with shotguns. The gunmen then sped away in a gray auto, tossing out the guns a block away. Mickey was the least seriously wounded. (File date: July 20, 1949)


lapl originally posted by sopas_ej

I thought it was interesting you posted the above pic sopas_ej.
I have three additional photos in my file from the USC archive.
(but I didn't have the one you posted)





above: The would be assassins hid behind this billboard across the street.





above: stray bullet holes.






above: Cohen's car in front of Sherry's.

Last edited by ethereal_reality; Jun 22, 2011 at 1:09 AM.
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  #47  
Old Posted Jun 20, 2009, 8:53 PM
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Cohen had his Cadillac overhauled to make it bulletproof and bombproof.
(I don't know if he did this before or after the Sherry's attack)


below: the 3 inch thick windshield.


unknown




below: the 3 inch (or more) side window vent.


unknown




below: Cohen's Cadillac in the shop.


unknown

Last edited by ethereal_reality; Jun 22, 2011 at 1:38 AM.
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  #48  
Old Posted Jun 21, 2009, 1:45 AM
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ethereal_reality thanks for posting those pics! Very interesting; and that window glass on Mickey Cohen's Cadillac was THICK!

Seeing the address of Sherry's in those pics you posted, I typed it into Google Maps and I see that the site is now where the Key Club is located. I must admit, once I find out the address of where something notorious in LA happened, I usually have to look it up and drive there to look at it myself. I remember when I first read "Helter Skelter" and the addresses of the Manson Murder locations were mentioned, I just had to drive to the locations.
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  #49  
Old Posted Jun 21, 2009, 6:52 PM
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Fascinating thread. I look at these and think of Jimmy Stewart or Humphrey Bogart or Jack Nicholson wearing fedoras and tailing mobsters. Noirish indeed.
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  #50  
Old Posted Jun 23, 2009, 7:39 PM
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USC archive

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.

Last edited by ethereal_reality; Jun 23, 2009 at 8:03 PM.
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  #51  
Old Posted Jun 24, 2009, 1:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ethereal_reality View Post
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.
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  #52  
Old Posted Jun 24, 2009, 1:53 AM
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very cool and depressing at the same time. Keep them coming!
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  #53  
Old Posted Jun 24, 2009, 1:59 AM
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Here's a map of LA's original Chinatown, which was mostly located east of Alameda, where Union Station is now:

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:

From lacity.org
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  #54  
Old Posted Jun 24, 2009, 3:11 AM
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Great thread, ethereal_reality, well done! I love the old signage & advertising, not to mention the architecture. Great before & after comparison photos.
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  #55  
Old Posted Jun 24, 2009, 4:33 AM
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Originally Posted by ethereal_reality View Post

USC archive
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.
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  #56  
Old Posted Jun 24, 2009, 5:01 AM
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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?
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  #57  
Old Posted Jun 24, 2009, 5:12 AM
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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.
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Old Posted Jun 24, 2009, 5:38 AM
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Originally Posted by sopas ej View Post
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.
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  #59  
Old Posted Jun 24, 2009, 10:34 PM
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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'.

Last edited by ethereal_reality; Jul 29, 2009 at 2:12 AM.
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  #60  
Old Posted Jun 24, 2009, 11:13 PM
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The following images are from the USC digital archive.






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







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








above: Union Station site overlay 1934









above: Another angle with overlay 1934.








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










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









above: Union Station site overlay 1935









above: Union Station site in 1936




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

Last edited by ethereal_reality; Jun 25, 2009 at 12:01 AM.
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