A quickie tour of East Los Angeles, pictures I took this past Sunday, August 16, 2009. And this is actual East Los Angeles, not LA's "East Side," not Boyle Heights, but East Los Angeles proper. I thought I'd bring my camera along.
I was inspired to go there by this photo from the USC Archive. This is Whittier Boulevard in 1928 near the eastern end of Montebello, in what was then the unincorporated town of Pico. Back when Whittier Blvd. was also highway route US 101:
From USC Archive
I just had to drive to that location to compare that photo to what it looks like now:
Graffiti now, a billboard in Spanish, and missing globes from the cast concrete lamp post, among a few other changes. And this stretch of Whittier Blvd. is now California highway State Route 72. And, this location is now in the incorporated City of Pico Rivera, Rivera having been a separate but adjacent town to Pico, but they decided to unite and form one city in the 1950s. Here are some old businesses nearby:
And behind that, some uh, interesting housing:
Since I was already at this point, I thought I may as well go into East LA. So heading west from this point, through the City of Montebello, we enter East LA. Cue the "Chico and the Man" theme.
Here's an example of programmatic architecture. I think this picture dates from the 1920s, courtesy of the LAPL website. It's a place that sold tamales, in a building that was shaped like a huge tamale-- I mean tamal:
Surprisingly the building still exists, except now it's a hair salon and looks like this, hemmed in by other little businesses:
More East LA... I just started driving and walking around and taking pictures.
Outside of the OG King Taco, with a soon-to-open light rail stop adjacent to it.
The soon-to-open light rail line on 3rd Street in East Los.
This abandoned building always fascinated me every time I would drive by it.
After finally looking it up online, I recently learned that it's on the National Register of Historic Places. And apparently, it used to be the Golden Gate Theater, built in the 1920s. It used to have a courtyard, with a commercial structure around it, but that was knocked down following the 1987 Whittier Earthquake. I always wondered why it was set back from the street as it is, that explains it. This is what it used to look like:
In the 1950s.
I don't know what the inside looks like now, but this is what it used to look like:
Above 2 pics from laeastside.com
I also learned online that recently, the owner of the property wanted to strip it of its landmark status so that it could be converted to a CVS pharmacy. Let's see if that actually happens!