I recently enjoyed Liz Goldwyn's "Sporting Guide, Los Angeles 1897" (2015), a fictional/historical account of the prostitution trade in LA in the late 19th c. Pearl Morton, Cora Phillips, the Children's Orphan Asylum are all represented in first-person accounting. Some nice photographs as well.
I was reminded of these photos I came across a while back when reading about Bartolo Ballerino, an Italian immigrant relegated to the boonies of Los Angeles by the capo
, who eventually flourished in the low-rent stratum of the industry. His empire was in the dark alleys of Chinatown, centered in a block bounded by Aliso, and Alameda Streets and Ferguson Alley and Los Angeles Street.
Ferguson Alley, late 1800's?
Business was conducted in the rows of small rooms lining the street. Customers with means and refined tastes sought pleasures elsewhere (Pearl Morton's place for example).
These photos are from the 30's- demolition for Union Station was nigh.
A few views of the interior courtyard.
Ballerino Alley 2
I love this one, with City Hall looming in the background.
Finally, some deep noir from Los Angeles Street, showing what was apparently an entrance the courtyard. Looks like a great location for some dubious dealings.
Los Angeles Street with Aliso Street. The building was once one story high and the center arch was the entrance to a stable and possibly entry to the Ballerino Alley area.