Early Los Angeles City Views (1925 +)

Historical Photos of Early Los Angeles

 
(1920s)^ - Two women attempting to cross the street in front of Court Flight Cable Railway. In the background can be seen the Court Flight's two cable cars passing each other on the tracks. To the right is a restaurant on the ground level of the New Hotel Broadway. On the left, behind the two men on the sidewalk, is a sign that reads: "AUTOS WASHED, POLISHED, & GREASED".  

 

Historical Notes

Opened on September 24, 1905, the Court Flight was built by Attorney R. E. Blackburn of the McCarthy real estate firm and Samuel G Vandegrift. It along with Angels Flight (built in 1901) were consructed to serve the wealthy residents of Bunker Hill. ^

 

 

 

 
(1920s)^ - Court Flight Cable Railway, located next to the New Hotel Broadway, located at 205 North Broadway, opposite the Hall of Records and Courthouse. Construction material can be seen stacked on the curbside.  

 

Historical Notes

Unlike Angels Flight, Court Flight was entirely double tracked, using a pair of thirty-inch gauge counterbalanced cars, and ran for a distance of 180 feet up a 42 per cent grade between Broadway and Court Streets, in the middle of the block between Temple and First Streets.^

 

 

 
(1920s)^ - Cars parked in front of Court Flight Cable Railway on North Broadway at Court Street. An observation tower can be seen at the top of the hill. Sign on tower reads: "ONE BIG LOOK".  

 

Historical Notes

The funicular operated for 39 years, but World War II spelled its doom. Low ridership depressed profits, and the railway struggled to find engineers and conductors in the wartime labor market. In 1943, unable to keep the line profitable, owner Annie Vandegrift closed Court Flight. It would never reopen.^^^*

 

 

 

(ca. 1925)^ - View looking west to the Hall of Records and other nearby buildings. Constructed between 1909 and 1911 to the cost of over a million dollars, the 12-story original Hall of Records at 220 N. Broadway was demolished in September, 1973. Court Flight can be seen behind, on Broadway.

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1925)^ - Panoramic view of the Civic Center in the 1920s, looking north from First and Broadway, with the old Los Angeles Times building in the foreground and the Hall of Records, the old County Courthouse, and the Broadway Tunnel beyond.  

 

Historical Notes

The third Los Angeles Times building opened on Oct. 1, 1912 — on the second anniversary of the bombing of the second Times building. It was used until the new Times Building (current location) was opened in 1935. The building was torn down in early 1938.**^

 

 

 
(1920s)^ - View looking north showing a parade on Broadway rounding the corner at 1st Street and then heading east. The LA Times building stands on the northeast corner. In view is the Broadway Tunnel and the Hall of Records.  

 

 

 

 
(1926)^ - View looking toward the LA Times Building on 1st and Broadway. Cars, streetcars and pedestrians are seen at the busy intersection.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1925)^ - View showing Spring St. and Main St. at 9th St. looking south.  Main St. is on the left and Spring St. is seen above it on the right.  

 

 

 

 
(1930)^ - Looking north from 9th Street where Spring Street (left) and Main Street (right) split. The streets are shown bustling with the activity of pedestrians, automobiles and streetcars. Note the elevated kiosk at the corner.  

 

Historical Notes

Elevated booths were used by the Los Angeles Railway and the Yellow Cars as a switchman’s tower to control the flow and path of streetcars through the intersection. 

 

 

 
(1925)^ - Eagle Rock is a neighborhood in northeastern Los Angeles that derives its name from a massive boulder (seen here) at the district's northern edge. In this photo looking east toward Pasadena, the outline of a flying eagle is clearly shown on the face of a massive boulder that locals call "The Rock". Created from local hot springs millions of years ago, this impressive rock looms above the valley below, creating an eagle-shaped shadow every day around noon.  

 

Historical Notes

In the mid to late 1770s, Native Americans inhabited the caves at the base of The Rock, formerly known as La Piedra Gorda (which translates to "Fat Rock"). 100 years later, in 1874, desperadoes used these same caves, including the infamous bandit Tiburcio Vasquez, who was said to have used The Rock as a hideout and to store his loot.

In 1906 Eagle Rock Valley, as it was known then, became an independent city and was incorporated in 1911 with a population of approximately 600; in 1914 it also became home to Occidental College, designed by famed architect Myron Hunt. In 1962 this Eagle Rock landmark was appraised at $250,000 and on November 16th of that same year, The Rock was declared Los Angeles Historic Cultural Monument #10 (Click HERE to see the LA Historic-Cultural Monuments List), but it did not actually belong to the community until 1995 when the city of Los Angeles officially purchased it for close to $700,000.^

 

 

 

 
(1920s)^ - Panoramic view looking northeast along Colorado Boulevard, which is a major east-west thoroughfare that runs through Eagle Rock; commercial buildings and residential homes are on either side.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1921 a circular pavilion nicknamed "The Merry-Go-Round" was built in the center of the city at the intersection of Colorado and Eagle Rock Blvd (seen toward the right, where the street bends). This structure was to shelter and protect streetcar travelers; it was razed in the 1930s as automobile traffic became heavier.^

 

 

 
(1920s)^ - View of the "Merry-Go-Round" Pavilion at the intersection of Colorado and Eagle Rock boulevards.  

 

 

 

 
(1920s) - Looking west on Hollywood Blvd. toward Cahuenga Blvd. In the foreground is street car no. 493, in the background are 1920's cars and another street car. Over the street is a banner, reading: The Wayfarer at the Coliseum, Sept. 8-15.
 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1925)#^ - View of Vine Street looking north from Barton Avenue towards the Hollywoodland sign.  

 

 

 

 
(1926)^#^^ - View of the Hollywood Hills with the Hollywoodland Sign in the background.  

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of Hollywood (1920 +)

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1925)#* - View of the south portal of the Broadway Tunnel, near Broadway and Temple Street.  The ‘5 line’ streetcar 1435 can be seen headed southbound on Broadway.  

 

Historical Notes

The Broadway Tunnel was a tunnel under Fort Moore Hill, downtown, extending North Broadway (formerly Fort Street), at Sand Street (later California Street), one block north of Temple Street, northeast to the intersection of Bellevue Avenue (later Sunset Boulevard, now Cesar Chavez Avenue), to Buena Vista Street (now North Broadway).

The tunnel was completed and opened for traffic on Saturday, August 17, 1901.The cost in its construction was $66,000. It was 760 feet long, 40 feet wide and 22 feet high, with a grade of 6 in 100, falling toward the east.

The Broadway Tunnel was closed on June 2, 1949, and was demolished for the construction of the Santa Ana Freeway. The route cut through Fort Moore Hill and made it necessary for a Broadway overpass to be built across the freeway and the old tunnel site.*^

 

 

 
(1929)^ - Southwest corner of North Broadway and Sunset Boulevard, showing the north portal of the Broadway Tunnel, which later was demolished, the hill removed and the street widened. The newly constructed City Hall (1928) can be seen in the background.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1925)^ - The Plaza Church on Main Street across from the Plaza and Olvera Street. Behind the streetcar is the Hotel Pacific, the office of Philip Morici and Co., "Agencia Italiana," and the grocery store of Giovanni Piuma, who also made wine (Piuma Road in Malibu was named for him). The area north of the Plaza was at this time an Italian neighborhood.  

 

Historical Notes

The area’s decline as the center of civic life led to its reclamation by diverse sectors of the city's poor and disenfranchised. The Plaza served as a gateway for newly arrived immigrants, especially Mexicans and Italians. During the 1920s, the pace of Mexican immigration into the United States increased to about 500,000 per year. California became the prime destination for Mexican immigrants, with Los Angeles receiving the largest number of any city in the Southwest. As a result of this dramatic demographic increase, a resurgence of Mexican culture occurred in Los Angeles.^*

 

 

 
(ca. 1925)*# - Exterior view of the Plaza Church from across the street. An elevated LARY booth can be seen on the right edge of the photo.  

 

Historical Notes

Elevated kiosks were used by the Los Angeles Railway and the Yellow Cars (LARY) as a switchman’s tower to control the flow and path of streetcars through intersections. 

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Plaza of L.A.

 

 

 

 

 
(1926)^#*# - Walter Knott's roadside berry stand along Western Avenue in 1926.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1923, Walter Knott opened his first roadside produce stand on Western Avenue in Orange County. The dusty highway passing through Knott’s berry farm was fast becoming the principal route between Los Angeles and the beach cities of the Orange Coast, and beach-bound motorists discovered the farmer’s humble wooden shack—located near the midpoint of their drive—as a place to momentarily escape the automobile and sample Knott’s farm-fresh berries and preserves.^#*#

 

 

 

 
(n.d.)*##^ - Walter and Cordelia Knott, the power couple behind Knott’s Berry Farm, stand in front of one of their original stands. The license plate on the Model T dates to 1920, the year the couple came to Buena Park to farm berries.  

 

Historical Notes

Walter Knott and his family developed their Buena Park berry farm into a popular tourist attraction in the 1920s. Originally selling berries, homemade berry preserves and pies from a roadside stand, Knott built a restaurant, shops and stores onto the property by the 1930s. These were then augmented with minor attractions and curiosities until Knott gradually created Ghost Town, transforming them from a way-point to a Western themed destination in 1940.^*

 

 

 

 
(1958)^ - An older-model train near the Calico Saloon at Knott's Berry Farm. Employees of the western-theme park are dressed in period costumes.  

 

Historical Notes

The idea of an amusement park really picked up in the 1950s when Walter Knott opened a "summer-long county fair". In 1968, for the first time, an admission of 25 cents was required to get into the park. The Calico log ride was added in 1969.^*

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of Southern California Amusement Parks.

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1925)^ - Aerial view of The Pike, the Municipal Auditorium, right, and the pier in Long Beach. A sign, Hoyt's Vaudeville, identifies Hoyt's Theater directly behind The Pike's roller coaster. The twelve story Heartwell Building at 19 Pine Avenue, left, is under construction. The wide boulevard following the shore is Ocean Boulevard.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1928)^ - The Pike and Pleasure Pier, center, jut out into the ocean from the shore. The ornate bathhouse with its portico sits in the midway. Advertisements for the various attractions at The Pike are on the side of the pier underneath the roller coaster. Portions of the Virginia Hotel and its tennis courts are just beyond The Pike and breakwaters and ocean vessels are on the horizon.  

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of Southern California Amusement Parks

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1940)^ - Aerial view of a fairly deserted Pike amusement park and downtown Long Beach. The large roller coaster, the Cyclone Racer (center) is the largest attraction at the park. Numerous oil derricks can be seen in the background on top of Signal Hill.  

 

Historical Notes

Signal Hill changed forever when oil was discovered. The hill would soon become part of the Long Beach Oil Field, one of the most productive oil fields in the world. On June 23, 1921, Shell Oil Company's Alamitos #1 well erupted. The gas pressure was so great the gusher rose 114 ft. in the air. Soon Signal Hill was covered with over 100 oil derricks, and because of its prickly appearance at a distance became known as "Porcupine Hill".^*

 

 

 

 

 
(1922)*^#^ - Panoramic view of a residential neighborhood in Long Beach, facing north and east, with the Signal Hill oil field in the background. The neighborhood consists of hundreds of single family homes and small apartment buildings. The streets seem to be unpaved, and there are only a few automobiles parked on the street on the right. The entire horizon is lined with the oil derricks of Signal Hill.  

 

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1923)**^* - Postcard view of an oil well erupting into the air as a large group of people stand and watch.  

 

Historical Notes

Alamitos #1 well is one of the world's most famous wells. This discovery well led to the development of one of the most productive oil fields in the world and helped to establish California as a major oil producing state. Because of this it is designated as a California Historical Landmark No. 580 (Click HERE to see more in California Historical Landmarks in LA County).

 

 

 

 
(1926)^ - Two men sit on a car parked next to an oil field full of derricks in Signal Hill. A sign reading, "Pacific Coast Welding" is visible at the roofline of the small structure behind the car.  

 

Historical Notes

Between 1913 and 1923 an early California movie studio, Balboa Amusement Producing Company (also known as Balboa Studios), was located in Long Beach and used 11 acres on Signal Hill for outdoor locations. Buster Keaton and Fatty Arbuckle were two of Balboa Studio actors who had films shot on Signal Hill.^*

 

 

 

 
(1930)^ - Aerial view of Signal Hill's oil field, from Reservoir Hill. A sea of oil wells almost cover the entire City of Signal Hill.  

 

Historical Notes

Before oil was discovered in Signal Hill, there were large homes built on the hill itself, and in the lower elevations was an agricultural area where fruits, vegetables, and flowers were grown. Many of the truck farmers were Japanese.^*

 

 

 

 
(1931)*^#^- Panoramic view of the oil field at Signal Hill. There are hundreds of oil rigs, or derricks, most with sheds or circular structures nearby, distributed along dirt roads. There are a few houses scattered among the oil rigs. Steam is rising from some of the rigs in the immediate foreground.  

 

Historical Notes

Signal Hill was originally an unincorporated part of Los Angeles County. Oil was first found there in 1921, and when the city of Long Beach tried to absorb it, the oil companies banded together with the town's residents to form their own city, which was incorporated in 1924.*^#^

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1940s)*^^* - Signal Hill in the early 1940s.  

 

Historical Notes

The City of Signal Hill is completely surrounded by the city of Long Beach. It was incorporated on April 22, 1924, roughly three years after oil was discovered there. Among the reasons for incorporating was avoiding annexation by Long Beach with its zoning restrictions and per-barrel oil tax.

Signal Hill's first mayor, Jessie Nelson, was California's first female mayor.

As of the 2010 census, the city population was 11,465.^*

 

 

 
(1925)^ - Aerial view of the Rose Bowl on New Years Day, January 1, 1925. The stadium is almost full, yet crowds of people are still walking in. The football score that day was: Notre Dame, 27 vs Stanford, 10.  

 

Historical Notes

After crowds out-grew Pasadena's Tournament Park, architect Myron Hunt drew up plans for the construction of the Rose Bowl stadium in 1921. The Arroyo Seco dry riverbed was selected as the location for the stadium, which was under construction from 1921-1922. The Rose Bowl was opened on October 8, 1922 at a cost of $272,198, but was officially dedicated on January 1, 1923 with the first Rose Bowl game between USC and Penn State (USC defeated Penn, 14-3).^

 

 

 

 
(1923)*^#^ - Panoramic view of the 1923 Rose Bowl Game between Penn State University and the University of Southern California at the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena. The stands are almost filled, with the exception of some of the higher areas on the far side of the stadium. Small groups of what appear to be military men are seated on chairs on the track surrounding the field. The game is in progress, with the two teams in the middle of a series near midfield. There are men positioned at several places along the near sideline with photographic cameras, and one man near midfield has a motion picture camera. There is a very tall flag pole on the far right with a large American flag. A large number of automobiles are parked on the far right, beyond the open part of the stadium, where there are also a couple hundred people watching the game over the stadium fence.  

 

Historical Notes

January 1, 1923 was the first time that the Rose Bowl Game was held at the Rose Bowl Stadium. The game featured Penn State University and the University of Southern California, with the score ending at USC 14 to  PSU 3.*^#*

The name of the stadium was alternatively "Tournament of Roses Stadium" or "Tournament of Roses Bowl", until being settled as "Rose Bowl" before the 1923 Rose Bowl game.^*

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of USC.

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1928)^ - Aerial view of the Rose Bowl after the southern stands were constructed making it a complete bowl. Though the stadium appears to be filled to capacity, people are still trickling in, and row upon row of automobiles can be seen neatly parked in the lots. View also shows the residential homes surrounding the stadium, as well as the mountains in the background.
 

 

Historical Notes

The stadium was originally built as a horseshoe and was expanded several times over the years; the design was intended to accommodate as many patrons as possible. The southern stands were completed in 1928, making the stadium a complete bowl. For many years, the Rose Bowl had the largest football stadium capacity in the U.S., and from 1972 to 1997, the maximum seating capacity was 104,594. Current official seating capacity is 92,542.

The Rose Bowl game grew to become the "granddaddy" of all bowl games, because of its stature as the oldest of all the bowl games. The Rose Bowl stadium is a National Historic Landmark, and was added to the National Register of Historic Places on February 27, 1987.^

 

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of Pasadena

 

 

 

 

 
(1923)^ - Looking west from Olive Hill, down Hollywood Boulevard on the East side of Hollywood in what appears to be a residential area.  

 

Historical Notes

The famous street was named Prospect Avenue from 1887 to 1910, when the town of Hollywood was annexed to the city of Los Angeles. After annexation, the street numbers changed from 100 Prospect Avenue, at Vermont Avenue, to 6400 Hollywood Boulevard.^*

 

 

 
(ca. 1920s)^ - Panoramic view of a residential area in East Hollywood in the early 1920s, looking southwest from Sunset Boulevard and Edgemont Street. In the foreground are the olive trees of Olive Hill. Today, Kaiser Permanente Hospital stands at this corner.  

 

Historical Notes

Olive Hill is located in the East Hollywood district.  Barnsdall Park sits on top of Olive Hill near the intersection of Hollywood and Vermont, and is home to the famous Hollyhock House that was designed in the 1920's by the internationally acclaimed architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

 

 

 
(ca. 1925)^ - Aerial view of Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital, located at 1300 North Vermont Avenue. There is a fire station at right, and open space is seen at left and behind the hospital. Duplexes and apartment buildings are seen as well, and possibly a nursery growing ground at left.  

 

Historical Notes

Hollywood Presbytarian Hospital was founded as Hollywood Hospital in 1924.  It was later known as Queen of Angels-Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center.  In 2004, it was sold to the CHA Medical Group of South Korea for $69 million.^*

 

 

 
(1930)^ - Aerial view of Hollywood Blvd. and Vermont.  Vermont runs up and down (north/south) in this picture, while Hollywood Blvd. comes in from the left. The surrounding buildings and lawns in the Los Feliz area can be seen.  

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of Hollywood (1920 +)

 

 

 

 

 
(1925)^ - The five-story J.A. Bullard Block on Spring and Court Streets, looking north on Spring in 1925. The building is on the northeast corner of the intersection. California Importing Co. is on the southeast corner. Next to it is the L.A. Mission Cafe and California Jobbing Co., featuring dishes, glassware, silverware for restaurants and apartments. Streetcar tracks are seen on Spring, and cars are parked on the street. Behind the Bullard Block is Market Street.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1925)^ - Exterior view of the Bullard Block located on the northeast corner of Spring and Court streets. At one time the building housed the courthouse. Note the ornate 5-bulb lamps on the corners. Click HERE to see more in Ealry L.A. Street Lights.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1925)^ - Broadway and 7th Street, looking south.  The street is decorated with flags and signs welcoming the Shriners to Los Angeles.  

 

 

 

 
(1926)^ - Figueroa Street looking northwest toward West Adams Boulevard. On the left is the Automobile Club of Southern California and St. Vincent's Catholic Church.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1926)^ - View looking south on Figueroa St. toward West Adams Blvd. The Automobile Club is on the left and St. Vincent’s is to the right.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1926)^ -View looking southwest showing the Barker Brothers furniture store building, located at 818 W. 7th St. Cars are moving along Seventh St. and Pacific Electric streetcar tracks are visible in the foreground. A policeman is seen standing on a box in the middle of the intersection directing traffic.  

 

Historical Notes

Barker Brothers' fine furnishings was a Los Angeles upscale furniture chain that closed in 1992 after operating for more than 110 years.

Obadiah J. Barker was a Los Angeles business man and the founder and president of the furniture company, Barker Brothers. Born in Bloomfield, Indiana, Barker moved with his family to Colorado Springs, Colorado as a young man. He attended Colorado College and also attended dental school in St. Louis. However, he did not complete dental school and moved to Los Angeles with his parents and brothers in 1880. The family began a successful furniture business on Spring Street in Los Angeles. The company became one of the world's biggest house-furnishing stores.^*

 

 

 
(1926)^ - A view of the intersection of Broadway and 7th St. On the left is the Loew's State Theatre. On the corner across the street (right/east side) is the Sun Drug Co., Bank of America, the California Furniture Company and the Palace Theatre.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1926)*# -  View of the corner of West Broadway and South Seventh Street. A crowd of people are crossing the street from right to left while an automobile tries to make a right turn through them. Crowds of other people huddle together on the sidewalks. A few are gathered by two post boxes and a street lamp at the foreground left corner.  

 

Historical Notes

The Loew's State Theater building can be seen at the right. Also in view are the Isaacs Building, Marshall Field & Company, Chicago Wholesale Dry Goods, Johnson Rass Company, Wholesale Millinery, Machin Shirt Company, Clayburgh Brothers Woolens at 745 South Broadway, a dentist's office at 706 South Spring, and the Hotel Lankershim.*#

 

 

 
(1926)^^*# - View from above of 7th & Broadway, downtown's busiest intersection.  Loew's State Theater is playing "Syncopating Sue" starring Corinne Griffith.  

 

Historical Notes

Loew's State Theatre was built as the west coast showcase for the product of the Loew's subsidiary Metro Pictures. The opening was on November 12, 1921 at one of downtown's busiest intersections, 7th and Broadway. Loew's State once used entrances on both streets. The 7th St. entrance was closed in 1936.^^*#

 

 

 
(ca. 1926)^ - A view of the intersection of 7th and Broadway taken from directly overhead. On the upper-left (southwest) corner is the Loew's State Theatre.  

 

Historical Notes

Seventh Street and Broadway was a busy junction for the Pacific Electric Railway, with southbound cars leaving on the San Diego Coast Route, stopping at Whittier, Santa Ana, Oceanside, and La Jolla. Westbound trains along Wilshire Boulevard head towards the Santa Monica Bay District and Beach Road North.*#

 

 

 
(ca. 1926)^ - Exterior view of Loew's State Theatre building. The streets are crowded with pedestrians crossing and standing along the sidewalks. Marquee reads: Now- Flapper week-Doris May in "Gay and Devilish." Occupants of the building also includes a dentist, Headquarters for Moore for Senator campaign, Star Shoe Co. and the Owl Drug Co.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1924 Marcus Loew engineered the merger of Metro with the Goldwyn Co. (which Sam Goldwyn had departed from in a 1922 power struggle) and the Louis B. Mayer group --  resulting in Metro-Goldwyn Pictures. By 1925, Mayer's name was also part of the company name, thus becoming MGM.

MGM's prestige product was well suited to the type of theatres operated by the Loew's Corporation. Although at its height in the late 1920's, the circuit totaled only about 160 theatres, they were typically lavish first runs in major cities.^^*#

 

 

 
(1926)^ - A view of Broadway looking north from the roofline above 7th Street.  On the left, the large building is the Bullock's Dept. store. Beyond it is the Kress store. And on the lower right can be seen the sign for the Boos Bros. Cafeteria. Above that is a sign for the Palace.   

 

 

 

 
(1926)^ - 7th Street, east from Hill Street, with several historical buildings in view.  

 

Historical Notes

On the left: the domed building is the Pantages Theatre. It was designed by architect B. Marcus Priteca, and opened on August 16, 1920; Bullock's Department Store, built in 1906 by Parkinson & Bergstrom and founded by John G. Bullock. Bullock's grew from one building to several, encompassing real estate along Seventh and surrounding the historic St. Vincent's Court and up Hill Street. It closed in 1986, and is now the St. Vincent's Jewelry Center.

On the right: the Real Estate building, with The Sun Drug Co. occupying the ground floor, built in 1922 and designed by architects Curlett & Beelman; Loew's State Theatre, built in 1921 and designed by architect Charles P. Weeks; the I.N. Van Nuys Building, designed in the Beaux Arts style by architects Morgan, Walls and Clements, and built by Scofield-Twaits Company in 1910-1911.^

 

 

 
(1926)^ - View of 7th Street, west from Hill Street.  Crowds of people and numerous cars and trolleys can be seen lining the streets and sidewalks.  

 

Historical Notes

The prominent building on the right corner is the Pantages Theatre; its large marquee is advertising the Rin Tin Tin movie "A Hero of the Big Snows". The theater was designed by architect B. Marcus Priteca, and opened on August 16, 1920.

Directly behind the Pantages is the Los Angeles Athletic Club, built in 1911 by Parkinson & Bergstrom. This building was notable at the time for being the first in Southern California to have a swimming pool on an upper floor.

Other historical buildings visible in this photograph are: The Brack Shops, built in 1914; Union Oil Building and Roosevelt Building, both built in 1922 by Curlett & Beelman; the Real Estate Building; and The Brockman Building, built in 1911 by Barnett, Haynes & Barnett.^

 

 

 
(ca. 1926)^ - A view of the northwest corner of 7th & Hill, looking down the 7th Street side of the Pantages Theatre building. Its large marquee is advertising the Ritz Brothers movie "Marriage License". Cars, trolleys and people are seen all down the street. A horse-drawn carriage is at lower right.  

 

Historical Notes

The Pantages Theatre, a nine-story steel-framed building designed by architect B. Marcus Priteca, was the city’s second theatre (and the country’s sixteenth) built for the namesake vaudeville circuit. It is a richly ornamented Beaux Arts structure that includes a 2,200 seat theatre, shops, and offices on the upper floors.*^#

The home of the Pantages circuit prior to this was the 1910 building at 534 S.  Broadway. That theatre is now known as the Arcade.^^*#

 

 

 

 

 
(1925)#*#^ - View of the front entrance to the Pantages Theatre. Several men are seen crossing the street as a late model coupe waits to make a turn. The beautiful curved marquee reads: Irene Rich in "Compromise" and Buzington's Rube Band. Note the ornate 5-lamp streetlight posts in front of the theatre. Click HERE to see more Early L.A. Streetlights.  

 

Historical Notes

The Pantages opened as the second Pantages theater in downtown Los Angeles (the Arcade theater was the first), this B. Marcus Priteca designed theater included Greek treatments for owner Alexander Pantages. The theater’s exterior was coated in white terra cotta.##^^

Greek-born Alexander Pantages got his start in show business selling seats for readings of newspapers to miners in Alaska who were starved for information and entertainment.^^*#

 

 

 

 

 
(1926)^ - Exterior view of Walker's Department Store at the corner of Broadway and Fifth Street. A crowd of people are waiting to cross the street. A policeman is directing traffic while two streetcars pass each other.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1927)^ - Looking across the intersection of Broadway and 5th, showing the Chester Williams Building, occupied by Gensler-Lee Jewelry and Boyd's Suits and Coats. A glimpse of the Metropolitan Building at 315 W. 5th Street (far left), shows part of the sign for the Foreman & Clark's clothing store upstairs.   

 

Historical Notes

The 12-story Chester Williams Building was constructed in 1926 and located at 215 West Fifth Street.  The building also has the address 452 South Broadway.  It was designed by Architects Curlett & Beelman.

In 2012, the Chester Williams Building was converted to a 88-unit apartment complex. The opening of the renovated Chester Williams makes the intersection of Fifth Street and Broadway only the second Historic Core crossing where all four corners are occupied by residential buildings. The first such intersection, at Sixth and Spring streets, was marked in 2010 with the opening of SB Tower.

 

 

 
(1926)^ - Main and 4th streets, showing the Westminster Hotel on the northeast corner and the San Fernando Building (right) on the southeast.
 

 

 

 

 

 
(1926)**^ - View looking west on 8th Street at Francisco St.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1926)^ - View of San Pedro Street, looking north from Washington Boulevard. Streetcars are running in both directions.  

 

 

 

 
(1926)*^ -  A crowd of listeners outside Collins' Radio Shop at 223 South San Fernando Blvd in 1926, listening to the World Series.  

 

Historical Notes

The 1926 World Series pitted the NL champion St. Louis Cardinals against the AL champion New York Yankees. The Cardinals defeated the Yankees four games to three in the best-of-seven series.

This was the first World Series appearance for the Cardinals, the first of eleven World Series championships in Cardinals history, while the Yanks were in their fourth World Series in six years, winning one for the first time in 1923. They would play in another 36 World Series through the end of the 2013 season.^*

 

 

 

 
(1926)^ - View of Van Nuys Boulevard in 1926, with Pacific Electric Railway tracks and wires in the middle of the street and cars and shops on the sides. Several car dealers are seen on the right.  

 

 

 

 
(1927)^ - View of many businesses on this main street of Ventura and Van Nuys Boulevards in Sherman Oaks, in the San Fernando Valley.  

 

 

 

 
(1927)^ - View of Lankershim Blvd. in North Hollywood, looking north from Chandler Blvd. Various small retail shops are seen, with cars parked out front. At left is a sign advising that the Lankershim Branch of Los Angeles Public Library is to the left.  

 

 

 

 
(1927)^ - Aerial view of agricultural San Fernando Valley looking north from Woodman & Chandler. Houses and agricultural buildings are interspersed among rectangular fields and orchards.  

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of the San Fernando Valley

 

 

 

 

 
(1927)^ - Panaromic view showing Crescenta Valley, the location of La Cañada Flintridge. Crescenta Valley is located between the San Gabriel Mountains (background) and the Angeles National Forest.
 

 

Historical Notes

Prior to incorporation in 1976, La Cañada and Flintridge were two distinct communities. Flintridge was named after Republican Senator and developer Frank Putnam Flint.^

 

 

 

 
(1925)^ - A wet policeman directs traffic in a flooded intersection at Main and 10th Streets in 1925. He is dressed in rain gear. The Hotel Apex is on the corner, as well as W. P. Fuller & Co., paints and glass.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1926)^ - View of South Western Avenue during flood on April 7, 1926. This was a common scene after a rainstorm in the early 1900s.  

 

Historical Notes

Despite the fact that the Los Angeles County Flood Control District was formed in 1915, many streets would continue to flood decades later whenever Southern California would experience a major rainstorm.

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1927)^ - View looking north at a flooded intersection at So. New Hampshire Ave. and 5th St. The Park Lane Apartments are at 3332 West 4th St., and the Brynmoor Apartments are at 432 So. New Hampshire Ave. A car is parked in the foreground, and a barrier has been set up to stop traffic on the other side of the water.  

 

Historical Notes

Quibbling between city and county governments delayed any response to the flooding until a massive storm in 1938 flooded Los Angeles and Orange Counties. The federal government stepped in. To transfer floodwater to the sea as quickly as possible, the Army Corps of Engineers paved the beds of the river and its tributaries. The Corps also built several dams and catchment basins in the canyons along the San Gabriel Mountains to reduce the debris flows. It was an enormous project, taking years to complete.^*

 

 

 

 
(1927)^ - View of south Hill Street on the left, and west 7th Street on the right. Several business advertisements can be seen on the buildings of this southwest corner. Some are just the names of the business, such as: Coffee Dans; Payne Bros. Dentists; Kimono House, and Wetherby Shoe. And some offer a bit more information, such as: Scott Bros.; the Los Angeles Hat Co.; Autobanx; Mandel's; and the shop on the very corner announcing a sale. A billboard above Mandel's promises "Love at first light!" with its Old Gold cigarettes that sell for .15 cents. The American Telephone & Telegraph building peeks from behind all of this. Several people can be seen crossing the street and a traffic sign reading "Left turn prohibited" has been posted in the middle of the intersection facing both directions.  

 

 

 

 
(1927)#^#* - Charles Lindbergh in his Spirit of Saint Louis preparing to land as spectators waive.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1927, Charles Lindbergh landed The Spirit of St. Louis at the Vail Field, Montebello (outside of Los Angeles), while on a nationwide tour following his transatlantic flight (May 21, 1927).^*

 

 

 
(1927)#^#* - Charles Lindbergh in front of the Spirit of St. Louis.  

 

Historical Notes

Charles Augustus Lindbergh (1902-1974), an Army reserve officer and U.S. Air Mail pilot gained instant world fame when on May 21, 1927, he flew solo on a non-stop flight from Roosevelt Field on Long Island to Le Bourget Field in Paris in the single-seat, single-engine monoplane named the "Spirit of St. Louis". Because of this historic exploit, Lindbergh - nicknamed "Lucky Lindy" and "The Lone Eagle", was awarded the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest military decoration. In his later years, Charles Lindbergh became a prize-winning author, international explorer, inventor, and active environmentalist.^*

 

 

 

 
(1927)^ - View of a parade honoring Col. Charles A. Lindbergh, as it passes in front several large buildings along Broadway and 10th Street, in Downtown Los Angeles. Col. Lindbergh (wearing a dark suit) can be seen sitting atop the seat at the rear of the car decorated entirely with white roses; then-Mayor Porter sits next to him. Multitudes of people line both sides of the street, and colorful and patriotic banners hang across the street as far as the eye can see.  

 

Historical Notes

The parade through Downtown Los Angeles took place on September 21, 1927, four months to the day after Col. Lindbergh flew solo non-stop from Roosevelt Field to Paris aboard the "Spirit of St. Louis".^

 

 

 

 
(1927)#** - Photograph of parked automobiles at the parade for Charles Lindbergh. Approximately nine rows of cars are parked door-to-door in an alleyway flanking the parade route. Two billboards are attached to the wall at left and advertise for "Sun-Maid Raisins" and "Snowdrift for Cake". A second parking lot can be seen across the street.  

 

Historical Notes

On June 1st, 1927, the U.S Post Office issued a commemorative 10-cent "Lindbergh Air Mail" stamp depicting the Spirit over a map of its flight from New York to Paris, and which was also the first stamp issued by the post office that bore the name of a living person.^*

 

 

 

 
(1927)#^#* - Three men are in the process of fueling the Spirit of St. Louis.  

 

Historical Notes

The Spirit of St. Louis had a fuel capacity of 450 U.S. gallons or 2,385 pounds which was necessary in order to have the range to make the transatlantic non-stop flight. The large main fuel tank was placed in the forward section of the fuselage, in front of the pilot, which improved the center of gravity. While locating fuel tanks at the front reduced the risk of the pilot's being crushed to death in the event of a crash, this design decision also meant that there could be no front windshield, and that forward visibility would be limited to side windows only. A periscope was installed to provide a forward view, as a precaution against hitting ship masts, trees, or structures while flying at low altitude. Lindbergh also used special navigation instruments such as the Earth Inductor Compass as its main instrument, allowing Lindbergh to navigate while taking account of the magnetic declination of the earth.^*

 

 

 

 
(1927)#^#* - Mechanic priming propeller of the Spirit of St. Louis as Charles Lindbergh prepares to take off to continue his goodwill tour.  

 

Historical Notes

After his historic May 1st, 1927 transatlantic flight, Lindbergh flew the Spirit on promotional and goodwill tours across the United States and Latin America for over 10 months.^*

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Aviation in Early Los Angeles

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1928)^ - Crowds of pedestrians are crossing the street in front of the Bullock's department store. A policeman is directing traffic in the lower left of photo.  

 

Historical Notes

Bullock's was founded in 1907 at Seventh & Broadway in downtown Los Angeles by John G. Bullock, with the support of The Broadway Department Store owner Arthur Letts. In 1923, Bullock and business partner P.G. Winnett bought out Letts' interest after his death and the companies became completely separated.*^

Bullock’s flagship store proved so successful that it expanded quarters in 1912. The company purchased adjacent buildings in 1917 and 1919 for a total of 460,000 square feet. By 1920 Bullock’s and Robinson’s functioned as anchors to an elite shopping precinct that was unprecedented in Los Angeles.^##^

 

 

 
(ca. 1930)^ - Crowds of pedestrians are crossing the street in this picture of the intersection of 7th and Broadway. On the far corner (northwest corner of Broadway) is the Bullock's Department Store.  

 

Historical Notes

Between 1923 and 1928, Bullock’s added an additional 400,000 square feet through the construction of three more additions while also purchasing two adjacent buildings.^##^

 

 

 
(1951)^ - Corner of 7th and Broadway with Bullock's Department Store. A large crowd of pedestrians is in front of the store and crossing the street. Cars, including a convertible, are waiting for the pedestrians to pass in order to turn the corner.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1923, John G. Bullock and business partner P.G. Winnett bought out Arthur Letts' interest after his death and the companies became completely separated. In 1929 Bullock & Winnett opened a luxury branch on Wilshire Boulevard, named Bullock's Wilshire.^##^

Bullock’s Downtown closed in 1986.  The building is now the St. Vincent's Jewelry Center.^

 

 

 
(1929)^ - Looking north on Broadway the street is filled with pedestrians crossing 4th St. A trolley and cars can be seen waiting their turn. The Million Dollar Theater can be seen in the distance (upper right of photo). Note the variety of stylish hats being worn.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1929)^ - A view of Variety Arts Theater located at 940 S. Figueroa which at the time of this picture was named Figueroa Playhouse. Across the view of cars and a boy on a bicycle hitching onto a truck, you can see the marquee: "Anne Nichols Abie's Irish Rose".  

 

 

 

 
(1920s)* - View of the original Mercury Aviation Field located on the southwest corner of Fairfax Avenue and Melrose Avenue, across the street from where Fairfax High School stands today.  

 

Historical Notes

Cecil B. DeMille founded the Mercury Aviation Company (aka Mercury Air Lines ) in 1919. Mercury was the first American airlines to carry air freight and passengers commercially on regularly scheduled runs. It scheduled service to Santa Catalina Island and San Diego, later San Francisco, with Junker-Larsen JL-6 monoplanes. Inaugurated five months before KLM began operations in Europe.**^^

 

 

 
(1920s)*# - Aerial view of the intersection of Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue looking north during an aviation fair. Automobiles are parked off the roads at the fringes of the open fields that skirt them. Oil fields are visible along with mountains in the background, while at center, people crowd around a collection of airplanes that are situated next to small vendor booths. In a field in the left background, a building shows a sign which reads "Mercury Aviation Company".  

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Aviation in Early Los Angeles

 

 

 

 

 
(1920s)^^ - The Gilmore Gas Station was one of the first gas stations in Los Angeles. Located at the corner of La Brea and Wilshire Blvd.  

 

Historical Notes

Today, you can find a replica of a gas station modeled after a 1936 era Gilmore Gas Station at Farmers Market. The 1936 replica and the one shown above are very similar. The station was put in place when the Grove Shopping Center was constructed adjacent to Farmers Market in 2002.

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1930s)**^ - View of the Gilmore Gas Station located on the southwest corner of Fairfax and Wilshire.  The building on the right still stands today.  

 

Historical Notes

Gilmore Gas Stations were eventually bought out by Mobil Oil Co.

 

 

 

 
(1927)^ - Aerial view looking southeast of Fairfax High School located on the southeast corner of Fairfax and Melrose Avenues. Mercury Aviation Airfield occupied the land in the lower-right of photo in the early 1920s. (see previous photo).  

 

Historical Notes

Fairfax High School opened in 1924. Most of the original campus facilities were demolished in 1966 because they did not meet earthquake safety standards, but the historic Auditorium and its iconic Rotunda were spared by preservationists and are still in daily use. Greenway Court, originally built in 1939 as a social hall by the students at Fairfax as a class project, was also spared and was moved to its current location on Fairfax Avenue, where it now stands as a theater and has served since 1999 as the home of the Greenway Arts Alliance.^*

 

 

 

(1926)#*#* - View of what appears to be two lily ponds in front of the Fairfax High School Rotunda and Auditorium. Both the Rotunda and Auditorium are the only two original buildings still standing today.

 

 

 

 

 

(ca. 1931)^ - Students standing outside the Moorish style archway of the entrance to the Fairfax High School auditorium.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Historical Notes

Fairfax High School was named for Lord Fairfax of Colonial America.

Fairfax was the only resident “Peer of Scotland” in North America. In 1748, he made the acquaintance of George Washington, a distant relative of the Yorkshire Fairfax family who was then a youth of 16. Impressed with Washington's energy and talents, Lord Fairfax employed him (his first job ever) to survey his lands lying west of the Blue Ridge.

Though a frank and avowed Loyalist, Fairfax was never insulted or molested by the Whigs. His domain, however, was confiscated during the hostilities by the Virginia Act of 1779. Less than two months after the 1781 defeat of Cornwallis at Yorktown, the 88 year old Fairfax died at his seat at Greenway Court.^*

 

 

 

 

The coat of arms of Thomas Fairfax, 6th Baron Fairfax of Cameron (1693–1781), which became the emblem of the County of Fairfax, Virginia, USA.^*

 

 

Historical Notes

There is a connection between Fairfax High School, Gilmore Gas Co., and Thomas Fairfax: The Lion

Both Fairfax High School and Gilmore's first oil well are located in proximaty to each other and to Fairfax Avenue.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fairfax High School's Mascot is a lion (left).

Gilmore Oil Company's logo was also a lion.

 

 

 

 

 

 
(1935)*^#^ – Night view of the Gilmore Service Station located at 7870 Beverly Boulevard, one block east of Fairfax Avenue. Note the lion on top of the illuminated Gilmore sign.  

 

Historical Notes

A.F. Gilmore and his son, Earl Bell (E.B.) turned their Gilmore Oil Company into the largest distributor of petroleum products in the Western U.S.

In 1944, Gilmore's 1200 filling stations became Mobil stations.^*

 

 

 
(1939)**^ - View of two men standing next to a Gilmore tanker truck.  One of the two gentlemen is non-other than Earl Gilmore.  

 

Historical Notes

Earl Gilmore, son of Arthur F. Gilmore, was president of A. F. Gilmore Oil, a California-based petroleum company which was developed after Arthur struck oil on the family property near 3rd and Fairfax. The area was rich in petroleum, which was the source of the "tar" in the nearby La Brea Tar Pits.^*

 

 

 
(1922)*# - Aerial photograph, looking east, showing the intersection of Wilshire and San Vicente boulevards. 10th Street (later Olympic Blvd) runs from lower right and parallels Wilshire Blvd.  

 

Historical Notes

San Vicente is named for the Rancho San Vicente y Santa Monica that had previously occupied the area.^*

Olympic Boulevard was originally named 10th Street. In 1932, the entire length of the street, from East L.A. to Santa Monica, was renamed Olympic Boulevard for the Summer Olympics being held in Los Angeles that year.^*

 

 

 
(1926)*# - Photograph of an aerial view looking east at the intersection of Wilshire Boulevard and San Vicente Boulevard, August 6, 1926. Wilshire is at center and runs away from the camera while San Vicente runs from the lower left corner to the middle of the right edge. The land around the two large streets is divided into small blocks by narrow residential roads, and countless small houses are filling the blocks. The only open land is La Cienega Park, visible at left, and a large open field in the bottom right corner. In the center-right of photo can be seen The Carthay Circle Theatre between San Vicente and Olympic.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1922, J. Harvey McCarthy began the development of an upscale residential district along the San Vicente Boulevard line of the Pacific Electric Railway, bounded by Wilshire Blvd. on the north, Fairfax Avenue on the east, Olympic Blvd. on the south and Schumacher Drive on the west. McCarthy originally named the district Carthay Center (Carthay being a derivative of the developer's last name). The areas to the south of Olympic Boulevard remained undeveloped until 1933, when developer Spyros George Ponty built several hundred homes in two districts later named "South Carthay" and "Carthay Square". ^*

 

 

 
(ca. 1927)^ - Aerial view, looking northeast, of Carthay Circle Theatre on San Vicente Blvd. In the background can be seen a large oil field north of Wilshire Blvd. and east of Fairfax Ave. This is the area, just north of La Brea Tar Pits, where Arthur F. Gilmore found oil in the 1890s.  

 

Historical Notes

The Carthay Circle Theatre was one of the most famous movie palaces of Hollywood's Golden Age. It opened at 6316 San Vicente Boulevard in 1926 and was considered to be developer J. Harvey McCarthy's most successful monument, a stroke of shrewd thinking that made a famous name of the newly developed Carthay residential district in the Mid-City West district of Los Angeles.^*

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1927)^ - Aerial view of the Carthay Circle Theater (center of photo), near Olympic and San Vicente, in Los Angeles.  

 

Historical Notes

Initially developed by Fox, it was called the Fox Carthay Circle Theater. The theater became better known than the development in which it was located, and this has led to confusion in the name of the area. The theater's name meant "the Circle Theater, by Fox, located in Carthay", but became incorrectly interpreted as "The Fox Theater, located in Carthay Circle." The misinterpretation has stuck, and now the region is more or less officially known as Carthay Circle, even as its theater namesake has been gone for half a century.^*

 

 

 
(1927)**^* - Exterior view of the Carthay Circle Theater as seen from across the street. A late model car is parked at the curb.  

 

Historical Notes

The Carthay Circle Theater provided the "circle" for which Carthay Circle has come to be named. The auditorium itself was shaped in the form of a perfect circle, extended vertically into a cylinder, set inside a square that fleshed out the remainder of the building. McCarthy's development was called Carthay—an anglicized version of his last name. The theater was called the Circle Theater for its unique floor plan.*^

 

 

 
(1930s)*^*^* - View of a premier night at the Carthay Circle Theater. Flood lights fill the sky.  

 

Historical Notes

The Carthay Circle Theatre hosted the official premieres of some of the more notable films of the 1930s including: The Life of Emile Zola (1937), Romeo and Juliet (1936), Walt Disney's first animated feature length film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) and Gone with the Wind (1939), among many others.

For Disney's Fantasia (1940), the most elaborate audio system in use at the time, Fantasound, a pioneering stereophonic process, was installed at this theatre.^*

 

 

 
(1930)*# - Photograph of an aerial view looking east at the intersection of Wilshire and San Vicente Boulevards, March 11, 1930. Wilshire is at center and goes away from the camera, while San Vicente cuts across the image from left to right. La Cienega Park is visible at left, and what appears to be a school is visible in the lower right corner.  

 

 

 

Before and After

 
(1922)*# - Aerial view of the intersection of Wilshire and San Vicente boulevards.   (1930)*# - Aerial view of the intersection of Wilshire and San Vicente boulevards.

 

Historical Notes

Within a short span of 8 years, the area surrounding the intersection of Wilshire and San Vicente boulevards would see dramatic changes. J. Harvey McCarthy's 1922 Carthay Circle development would be the catalyst to the region's explosive growth.

 

 

 

 
(1927)^^ - View looking east of Pico Boulevard at San Vicente. The event taking place is the dedication of the new 1000-foot viaduct bridging Pico Boulevard. Three Pacific Electric Red Cars can be seen stopped on the new Pico Blvd. viaduct.  

 

Historical Notes

On November 2, 1927, city and county officials, together with Pacific Electric executives, gathered for the opening ceremony of the Pico Boulevard Viaduct to be used by the PE Red Cars. The viaduct was demolished only 23 years later when PE's Westside lines were abandoned and replaced with busses.^^

Pico Boulevard was named in 1855 after the 14th and last governor of California under Mexican rule, Don Pio Pico, whose grandfather and father had come to the area with a 1776 expedition. Pio Pico, who was born in 1801 at Mission San Gabriel, built the Pico House hotel, the first three-story building in Los Angeles, which still stands.^*^

 

 

 
(1927)^ - Buyers create a traffic jam at the Los Angeles wholesale produce market. Building on right is the wholesale terminal, built in 1918 on Pacific Electric Railroad property for shipping produce to out-of-state customers by railroad.  

 

Historical Notes

Terminal Market, located at Seventh and Central, was constructed to provide a larger central marketplace for wholesale produce.  Where previously the market was crowded with horses and buggies, this new site was designed to be large enough to accommodate automobile traffic.^^*

 

 

 
(ca. 1900)*# - View of the Los Angeles Produce Market as it appeared at the turn of the century.  

 

Historical Notes

In the upper left of the photo can be seen two buildings. The building in front (the one under construction) was the Produce Exchange Building and the one in the back has a sign which reads Towne Produce Co. These two buildings are still there and look like this today.**^

 

 

 
(1920s)^ - Terminal Market as seen in the circa 1920s. The entire center area consists of cars and at least one horse & cart, parked while people walk to or from the market area around the outside.  

 

 

 

 
(1937)^ - Buyers are lined up at the Los Angeles wholesale produce market and wholesale terminal.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1926)**^ – Panoramic aerial view looking northeasterly showing the Vitagraph Studio (today, Prospect Studios) at the corner of Prospect and Talmadge Avenues (named in honor of silent screen star Norma Talmadge), just east of Hollywood.   Prospect Avenue runs east-west and merges into Hollywood Boulevard as it heads west past Vermont Avenue.  In the upper-left can be seen the newly built (1926) Shakespeare Bridge on Franklin Avenue.  

 

Historical Notes

Opening in 1915 as The Vitagraph Studio, the original silent film plant included two daylight film stages, support buildings and many exterior film sets. In 1925, Vitagraph's founder Albert Smith sold the company to the Warner brothers. In 1927, the facility became The Warner East Hollywood Annex and was used for many large-scale films. Here, in 1927, Warner Bros. shot portions of the historical first sound film, The Jazz Singer, using the Vitaphone process which synchronized audio and picture.

In 1948, the property was sold to the newly formed American Broadcasting Company, and the film lot was transitioned into the new world of television as the ABC Television Center.

In 1996, ABC became part of The Walt Disney Company, the origins of which trace back to its first studio in Silver Lake. As the television and film industry entered the next millennium, the lot was renamed The Prospect Studios.^*

 

 

 
(1932)##** – Aerial view looking northeast of the community of Franklin Hills showing the Shakespeare Bridge, left-center, on Franklin Avenue.  John Marshall High School can be seen in the upper-center, located at 3939 Tracy Street.  

 

Historical Notes

John Marshall High School first opened its doors on January 26, 1931, with approximately twelve hundred students and forty-eight teachers. Joseph Sniffen, for whom the auditorium was named, served as the first Principal, while Hugh Boyd and Geraldine Keith acted as Marshall's first Vice-Principals. The football field was named in honor of Mr. Boyd, while the library was named for Mrs. Keith.^*

Franklin Hills borders Los Feliz proper on the northwest and west; Silver Lake on the northeast, east, and southeast; and East Hollywood on the south. The area is residential, boasting very well-kept homes set on the hills east of Los Feliz Village.

Franklin Hills is also home to the Shakespeare Bridge, a small 1926 built bridge on Franklin Avenue east of Talmadge Street that links Franklin Avenue between two tall, steep hills. To the east of the bridge begins the Franklin Hills public stairway system, which provides pedestrian linkages among the curvy streets, a series of 14 staircases originally built in the 1920s to provide hillside homeowners pedestrian access to the trolley lines below.^*

 

 

 
(1926)**^- Aerial view showing a closer look at Shakespeare Bridge (Franklin Avenue Bridge) and the ravine it crosses. Located on Franklin Avenue east of Talmadge St., in the Franklin Hills neighborhood of Los Feliz.  

 

Historical Notes

The ravine over which the bridge was built was once a perennial stream called Arroyo de la Sacatela.^*

 

 

 

 
(1926)**^** – Ground view of the Shakespeare Bridge (Franklin Avenue Bridge) looking north as seen from the dry bed of the Arroyo de la Sacatela.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1926)^- View of the Shakespeare Bridge, originally known as the Franklin Avenue Bridge, still under construction.  

 

Historical Notes

The Gothic-style Shakespeare Bridge was built in 1926 and designed by J.C. Wright of the City Engineer's Office. It is 30-feet wide and 230-feet long and is made of concrete.^*

 

 

 

 
(1928)*# – Street view showing an early model car as it begins to cross the Shakespeare bridge. The bridge is bookended by Gothic-style copula, four on each side.  

 

Historical Notes

As for why it’s called the Shakespeare Bridge, that seems to be a mystery. It was originally known as the Franklin Avenue Bridge, but the name changed at some point, with most information pointing to a neighborhood council-type decision.

 

 

 

 

(1956)^* - View of the Shakespeare Bridge through one of its eight ornate Gothic copulas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Historical Notes

The bridge was rebuilt in 1998 after the Northridge earthquake due to concerns that the structure would not be stable in the even of an earthquake in the Franklin Hills area. As part of the seismic retrofit, the deck, sidewalks, and railings were removed and reconstructed using reinforced concrete. The expansion joints were also removed, so the bridge deck is now a one-piece structural diaphragm built to transfer all seismic forces into the abutment walls at either end of the bridge. All of the rebuilding was done in an effort to preserve the historic appearance of the bridge.^*

 

 

 
(2014)#^** - View of the Shakespeare Bridge as it appears today.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1974, the Shakespeare Bridge was designated Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument #126 (Click HERE to see complete listing).

 

 

 

 
(1928)**^** – View of the construction of the Lorena Street and Fourth Street Bridge showing the centering for two west arches from the east bank of Los Angeles River.  

 

Historical Notes

The Fourth St. and Lorena St. Bridge was constructed in 1927-28 as a complex grade separation that assured the flow of traffic from Fourth Street downtown to East Los Angeles. The bridge is noted as an engineering achievement in catenary arch, reinforced concrete, bridge construction.^*#

 

 

 

 
(1928)^ - Looking westerly at the southern side of the 390' long open spandrel arch bridge located at Fourth and Lorena Streets in Boyle Heights, not long after in was built. The bridge is located in a residential neighborhood, as indicated by the various homes present in the background.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1983, the Fourth and Lorena Street Bridge was dedicated LA Historic-Cultural Monument No. 265 (Click HERE to see complete listing).

 

 

 
(2012)##*^ - View of the underside of 4th Street Bridge over Lorena Street showing its ribbed compound arches up close.  

 

Historical Notes

The 4th and Lorena Street Bridge-Built in 1928, is one of the few remaining catenary, or curved, arch bridges in the city. It is one of the most graceful of the open spandrel arch bridges designed in 1920’s.

 

 

 
(2001)^*# – Aerial view looking northwest at the 4th Street Bridge at Lorena Street.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1928)*# - Panoramic view of Lincoln Heights from Elysian Park, showing the location of the new Tujunga Parkway (later Golden State Freeway), February 9, 1928. A hill covered with dry grass in the left foreground obscures a portion of the newly constructed Dayton Avenue Bridge.  

 

Historical Notes

This concrete bridge replaced the earlier Dayton Avenue Bridge built in 1903. The new bridge was later renamed the Riverside Drive-Dayton Avenue Bridge, alternately called the Riverside Drive-Figueroa Bridge, when Dayton Avenue was renamed North Figueroa as a continuation of original Figueroa Street.**^**

 

 

 

 
(1928)**^** - Close-up view of the Dayton Avenue Bridge showing its arched ribs and easterly haunches.  

 

Historical Notes

The bridge was completed in 1928, and was designated a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 908 in 2008.

 

 

 

 
(1928)^ - View of traffic traveling on Hollywood Blvd. at Cahuenga in 1928. The Security Trust & Savings Bank building is on the far left side of the photograph.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1928)^ - A customer gets full service at the gas pumps at Muller Bros. Service Station on Sunset Blvd.  

 

Historical Notes

The Muller family is one of Hollywood’s pioneers. Jacob Muller came to Hollywood in 1893, establishing the first meat market in Hollywood, across from the present Cinerama Dome on Sunset Boulevard. He sold the market in 1907 and established the first ice company in Hollywood, selling that business in 1913. The family’s original house was built Sunset Boulevard at Ivar. This site later became the location of  the RCA Building, built by the Muller Family in 1963. (currently the Los Angeles Film School Building).

Jacob Muller’s sons, Walter and Frank, opened the Muller Bros. Service Station in 1920.^*^*

 

 

 
(1938)**^ - View of what appears to be an Auburn Cord being attended to in "full service" at the Muller Brothers Service Station at 6380 Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood.  

 

Historical Notes

The Muller Brothers Service Station was located on the south side of Sunset Boulevard on 4 acres, where the Cinerama Dome Theater is now located. Opened in 1920 by the Muller brothers, Walter and Frank, this became the largest service station in the world (including a large automobile supply center), employing 120 people by 1937. Celebrities, from Rudolph Valentino to Clark Gable, came by regularly to get gas or just work on their cars. In 1963 the site was sold for the Cinerama Dome Theater, and, at that time, an eventual hotel.^*^*

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of Hollywood (1920 +).

 

 

 
(1928)^ - The intersection of Wilshire Blvd. and La Brea Avenue, looking east. The Dyas-Carlton Cafe (which opened in 1928) is at left, then a Gilmore Gasoline station and a branch of Security Trust & Savings Bank. At right is the Sturgis Radio Co. and the Bank of Italy. Some vacant lots are seen on Wilshire, and the afternoon sunlight is highlighting the scene.
 

 

 

 

 
(1928)*# - Aerial view of Wilshire Boulevard at night. The original Brown Derby restaurant is visible on the right. Note how well lit the Boulevard is and the numerous signboards on both sides of Wilshire Blvd.  

 

Historical Notes

Wilshire Boulevard was designated by The Octagon Museum of the American Architectural Foundation as one of the 'Grand American Avenues' was decorated with this Wilshire Special pole and lantern for nearly six miles of its length. Approximately 100 poles still remain over the distance of about one-and-a-half miles. The original lanterns are solid bronze and stand 7½ feet tall from the base of the lantern to the top of the finial.^^#

 

 

 
(1934)*# - Photograph of a view of the intersection of Wilshire Boulevard and Crenshaw Boulevard, 1934. At center, a wide, two lane boulevard can be seen extending into the distance where highrise buildings can be seen while at center, a narrower road intersects the wide boulevard. To the left of the center foreground, a street lamp can be seen, beginning a procession that extends down the right side of the road.  

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Los Angeles Street Lights

 

 

 

 

 
(1928)^ - View looking west at a divided Melrose Avenue, near Detroit St. (2 blocks w/o La Brea).  The building on the right with flagpole in front is Melrose Elementary School.  

 

 

 

 
(ca.1928)^ - Cars travel in both directions through the Cahuenga Pass near the Hollywood Bowl. The roadway through the Pass, the lowest through the Santa Monica Mountains, connects the Los Angeles Basin to the San Fernando Valley. The hills are truncated where they were excavated for the road bed. On the left, a large hillside billboard advertises the The Outpost development in the Hollywood Hills. A roadside vendor is setup near the Hollywood Bowl parking sign on the right (Click HERE to see more in Early Views of the Hollywood Bowl).
 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1928)^ - A view looking east of Hollywood Boulevard from the pedestrian level with cars both parked and moving down the street, a pedestrian crossing in the middle and various businesses. A radio tower with "KFWB" on it, and Christmas tree decorations along the sidewalk can be seen.
 

 

Historical Notes

KFWB's history goes back to 1925, when it was launched by Sam Warner, a co-founder of Warner Brothers. The station launched the careers of such stars as Ronald Reagan and Bing Crosby. The station was the first to broadcast the annual Rose Parade in Pasadena.

The original KFWB studios and transmitter location were at the Warner Bros. Studios, which is now KTLA, at 5800 Sunset Boulevard. One of the two original towers still stands prominently out front. Due to RF interference getting into the movie studio's "talkies" sound equipment, the transmitter was moved in 1928 to the roof of the Warner Theater, now the Hollywood Pacific Theatre, at 6423 Hollywood Blvd. Eventually the studios were also moved to the Warner Theater. Those two towers are still there, as well.^*

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of Hollywood

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1925)^ - L. A. County Courthouse viewed from the east, with the Hall of Records on the left. The very edge of the Hall of Justice is barely visible on the right.  

 

 

 

 
(1927)^ - View is looking northwest toward three powerhouses: Hall of Records, County Courthouse, and Hall of Justice, which sit amid other equally important buildings in Downtown. An advertisement painted on the upper portion of a building (lower forefront) reads, "Los Angeles Daily Journal - official paper for City of and County of Los Angeles - Legal advertising".  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1927)^ - View is looking northwest toward three powerhouses: Hall of Records, County Courthouse, and Hall of Justice. The construction site of the new Los Angeles City Hall can be seen in the forefront.  

 

Historical Notes

The Hall of Records was built in 1906 and demolished in 1973; the County Courthouse was built in 1891 and demolished in 1932; the Hall of Justice was built in 1922 by Allied Architects and is the only one of the three buildings still standing today.^

 

 

 
(1926)*# - View of the Los Angeles City Hall construction site. Across Spring Street in the center of the photo is the County Hall of Records and, to its right, the red sandstone County Courthouse. The LA Times building tower can be seen at upper center-left.  

 

 

 

 
(1927)^ - Preparation of the site for construction of Los Angeles City Hall. Behind are the old County Courthouse and the Hall of Justice to its right.  

 

Historical Notes

The new 28-story Los Angeles City Hall was replacing the old City Hall building located on Broadway between 2nd and 3rd Streets that had been government headquarters since 1889. That building had replaced a one-story adobe City Hall, formerly the old Rocha House, on the northeast corner of Spring and Court Streets.*^*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1927)*# – View showing steel griders going up in the early construction stages of the new City Hall. In the background, a multitude of warehouse-type buildings are visible, while at left, The Amestoy Building located at the intersection of North Main and Market streets can be seen. To its right, the U.S. Hotel is visible. Two very tall cylindrical “gas holders” (gas storage tanks) can also be seen at left.  

 

Historical Notes

Temple Block, one of the earliest buildings in Los Angeles, is seen still standing at left center. The Old Courthouse occupied Temple Block between 1861 and 1891.*

 

 

 
(ca. 1926)^ - Temple Block as it appeared just one year before construction began on new City Hall. A group of people are seen crossing Main Street. The sign on the face of the Temple Block building reads: PAINLESS DENTISTRY.  

 

Historical Notes

This site, at the intersection of Spring, Main and Temple, is where John Temple built his original two-story adobe in the early 1800s. Click HERE to see more in Early City Views (1800s).

Jonathan Temple was one of Los Angeles’ first developers, constructing the original Temple Block and the Market House, which later served as city and county administrative headquarters, contained the county courthouse, and featured the first true theater in southern California. Temple Street carries his name.^*

 

 

 
(1927)*^^# - The last stand of the historic Temple Block. As the steel frame of the new City Hall neared completion the proud building, once dominant in the business and professional life of the city, was razed.  

 

 

 

 
(1927)^ - This photo faces east, and you can make out the central tower of the Baker block behind it, and also the framework of LA City Hall under construction. Arcadia St. is the street on the right edge of the photo, across which lies the Jennette Block.  

 

Historical Notes

Arcadia St. was just one block long, running between Main and Los Angeles Sts., and was named for Arcadia Bandini de Stearns Baker. She was first married to Abel Stearns, who built the Arcadia Block, and then after his death she married Robert Symington Baker, who built the Baker Block on the site of the former Stearns residence, a large and apparently lavish adobe (and he also co-founded Santa Monica, among other things). So both of the buildings that bordered the south side of Arcadia St. were built by Arcadia's husbands.**^

Click HERE to read more about Arcadia in Early Views of Santa Monica.

 

 

 
(ca. 1927)*# - View of the City of Los Angeles garage. In the background from left to right can be seen the Hall of Justice, County Courthouse and Hall of Records. In the far background stands the steel framing for the new City Hall.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1927)*# - Another view showing the steel framing of City Hall as seen from the 300 block of N. Hill Street.  

 

 

 

 
(1927)*# - View of City Hall under construction, with steel framing complete.  

 

 

 

 
(1927)*# - View of City Hall looking northeast, still under construction but beginning to take form.  

 

 

 

 
(1927)**^**– View looking southeast at the Los Angeles Civic Center from near the intersection of Temple and Hill streets. City Hall, still under construction, stands tall behind (from L to R) The Hall of Justice, the Old County Courthouse, and the Hall of Records. Photo Date: 12/30/27  

 

 

 

 
(1928)**^** – View looking north toward the newly constructed City Hall Building the day of its opening ceremony.  Banners hang from the building’s south fascia.  Main Street is seen on the right.  Photo Date: 4/26/1928  

 

Historical Notes

City Hall's distinctive tower was based on the purported shape of the Mausoleum of Mausolus and shows the influence of the Los Angeles Public Library, completed soon before the structure was started.

An image of City Hall has been on Los Angeles Police Department badges since 1940.^*

 

 

 
(1928)*# - View of Los Angeles City Hall decorated with banners for its opening ceremony. A crowd of people are gathered at the curb, bleachers are full of spectators, and a parade is in progress on Spring Street. Photo Date: 4/26/28  

 

Historical Notes

The big dedication, overseen by Sid Grauman and attended by an estimated 15,000 people, featured emceeing by Joseph Schenck and speeches by Mayor George E. Cryer and San Francisco Mayor James Rolph, Jr. After Rolph spoke, Irving Berlin sang, as did “Chief Yowlache, the Yakima Indian; Elsa Alsen, the grand opera singer; the Mexican chorus of Los Angeles, in costume; Virgil Johannson, and others." *^*^

 

 

 
(April 26, 1928)* - Opening Ceremony of the Los Angeles City Hall.  

 

Historical Notes

April 26, 1928, was a day of thrills. On that date was thrown the new City Hall, a great white building towering 28 stories, and casting its shadow upon the historic spot where a century and a half before came a ragged and footsore procession, grubbed out standing room in the tangle of sage and cactus, and christened the spot “Queen of the Angels.” Past the impressive granite entrance rolled hour after hour a mighty host. There were National and State troops, cadet bodies from neighboring cities, marines, and bronzed and swaggering sailors, ex-soldiers and veteran organizations. Mounted and afoot, and on gorgeous floats, came groups of foreign-born, in gay and picturesque native costumes. The police and firemen made a tremendous showing, as did the departments of public parks, schools and libraries, water, power and harbor, the street and sanitary forces, those of the engineering and accounting departments – employees by the thousands. There was stirring music by bands and bands without number. Hour after hour the public stood rooted, amazed at the vastness of its own machinery of service and government.

From the broad steps of the great building Mayor Rolph of San Francisco – like the good neighbor that he was, spoke with eloquence and feeling. President Coolidge, at the White House, touched a button that set aglow the Lindbergh Beacon, perched festivities roared.

Los Angeles was opening one of the nation’s most beautiful and modern public buildings, on a site hallowed by a century and a half of historical association. The “city without a past,” that “has no memories, because it has nothing to remember,” was establishing anew its “capitol” on ground where it had governed itself in the days of the alcaldes and the ayuntamientos. Here it could commune with its Fathers while looking with Anglo-Saxon eyes into the future. This was possible, for does not the old Spanish proverb say that “the walls have ears”? Who knows but that from out a romantic past, the winds may carry to the great white tower the strum of guitars and the click of castanets at the Governor’s fandango; the creaking of Don Juan Temple’s ox carts; the vengeful shouts of Pico’s Vigilantes; the cheers of Hancock’s Boys in Blue; the song of paisanos laboring in Pryor’s orange groves; the laughter of children and the hum of bees under Vignes’ arbors? Do not the shades of all these mingle in the very shadow of the new yet ancient seat of City Government? Quien Sabe? **

 

 

 

 
(1925)* - Exterior view of L.A.'s third City Hall, located at Broadway, between 2nd and 3rd streets. Within three years of this photo, the old City Hall building would be torn down.  

 

Historical Notes

Los Angeles’ third City Hall was erected in 1888 at 226-238 South Broadway.  This grand Romanesque edifice of marble and red sandstone building stood for 40 years until 1928 when the present day City Hall was completed.

On January 10, 1928 an auction of the furnishings and other items inside the structure was conducted on the front steps before the building was torn down later that same year. A new, larger City Hall had been built to replace this historic building that for so long was the seat of Los Angeles government.*

 

 

 
(1928)^ - View showing the demolition of old City Hall building on Broadway with the new City Hall standing tall in the background.  

 

 

 

 
(1920s)^ - Broadway looking south toward Temple Street circa the 1920s. The Hall of Justice is seen on the left, after which is the Hall of Records. Sign to the right reads: APPARTMENTS $25 PER MONTH.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1928)^ - View looking northwest from City Hall toward the Hall of Records, County Courthouse and Hall of Justice, sometime between 1928 when City Hall was occupied and 1932 when the Courthouse was demolished. Spring Street is in the foreground.
 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1928)^ - View from City Hall looking northwest toward the County Courthouse, with banners hanging from its windows, and the new Hall of Justice.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1930)^ - Cars parked on New High Street in front of the old County Courthouse. The Hall of Records is on the left.
 

 

 

 

 
(1930)*# -  View looking southeast at the intersection of Temple and Broadway.  The old Courthouse stands at center with the Hall of Records to its right.  City Hall towers above both in the background.  

 

Historical Notes

The old LA County Courthouse was demolished in 1932.

The Hall of Records stood until 1973.

 

 

 
(1928)^^ - Aerial view looking northeast of downtown on a crispy clear day. The new City Hall stands out as not only the brightest building in the civic center but also its tallest.  

 

Historical Notes

Although there are dozens upon dozens of buildings, for decades no building in Los Angeles was allowed to exceed the height of City Hall, until 1957. It remained the tallest building in California from 1928-1964, at 28 stories tall (450 feet).^

 

 

 
(ca. 1928)^ - Aerial view of the Los Angeles Central Library, which is located on the southeast corner of S. Flower and W. 5th streets (lower left). The trio of connected buildings in the background (upper right) make up the Biltmore Hotel, and directly behind that is Pershing Square bounded by 5th, Hill, Olive, and 6th streets. The Church of the Open Door/Biola Institute is the large white building with arches on the right, and the Engstrum Apartment building is directly to the left of the library, on Bunker Hill. Numerous other buildings are visible as far as the eye can see.  

 

Historical Notes

The Central Library building was constructed between 1922 and 1926.

Originally named the Central Library, the building was first renamed in honor of the longtime president of the Board of Library Commissioners and President of the University of Southern California, Rufus B. von KleinSmid. The new wing of Central Library, completed in 1993, was named in honor of former mayor Tom Bradley. The complex (i.e., the original Goodhue building and the Bradley wing) was subsequently renamed in 2001 for former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan, as the Richard Riordan Central Library.^*

 

 

 
(1928)^- Olive Street between 4th and 5th Streets, looking south toward Pershing Square and the Biltmore Hotel. Cars are seen, and a Savoy Auto Park is at right. Also at right is a small German-speaking church, the First German Methodist Episcopal Church (later United Methodist), founded in 1876.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1928)*# - View of the intersection of South Figueroa Street and West 7th Street. Note the 5-bulb streetlight in the foreground. Click HERE to see more in Early Los Angeles Streetlights.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1928)^ - A view of the intersection of Broadway and 7th St., looking west on 7th. On the southwest corner is the Loew's State Theatre. Four wires can be seen holding up a star on the 7th St. side of the theater. The streets are crowded with cars and tolleys and pedestrians crossing.   

 

 

 

 
(1928)^ - View looking north on Broadway at 7th Street with large crowds crossing the intersection. On the southeast corner is Sun Drug. Across the street on the northeast corner is Bank of Italy, later to become Bank of America. And on the left side (southwest) is Lowe's State Theater.  

 

 

 

 
(1929)^ - View looking north on Broadway over 7th St. On the right (east side) can be seen the Bank of Italy (later known as the Bank of America), Boos Bros. Cafeteria, and California Furniture Company. Farther north on the street one can also see the Mullen & Blett Clothing Co. sign on the side of a building and the Walter P. Story Building name on top of a site.  

 

 

 

 
(1928)^ - View of a car set up for broadcasting with microphones on the roof and above the driver's head. On the truck are the call letters of KEJK radio station of the MacMillan Petroleum Co., and the name Freeman Lang.  

 

Historical Notes

Lang was the chief engineer of the station, which he founded in 1927 under the call sign of KRLO. He sold the station in February 1928 to Ernest J. Krause, who changed the call letters to fit his initials, KEJK. Just two months later, KEJK was sold to R.S. MacMillan Petroleum Company of Beverly Hills, which owned KEJK when this photo was taken. They would change the call letters on March 14, 1930, to KMPC to fit the company name.^

 

 

 
(1929)*# - Graf Zeppelin over Leimert Park area of Los Angeles, August 1929.  

 

Historical Notes

The Zeppelin was a type of rigid airship pioneered by the German Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin in the early 20th century. It was based on designs he had outlined in 1874 and detailed in 1893. His plans were reviewed by committee in 1894 and patented in the United States in 1899. Given the outstanding success of the Zeppelin design, the term zeppelin in casual use came to refer to all rigid airships.

Zeppelins were first flown commercially in 1910 by Deutsche Luftschiffahrts-AG (DELAG), the world's first airline in revenue service. By mid-1914, DELAG had carried over 34,000 passengers on over 1,500 flights. After the outbreak of World War I, the German military made extensive use of Zeppelins as bombers and scouts.^*

 

 

 
(1929)*# - View of the 776-foot-long Graf Zeppelin docked at Mines Field, the present-day site of the Los Angeles International Airport.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1929, Graf Zeppelin made perhaps its most famous flight; a round-the-world voyage covering 21,2500 miles in five legs from Lakehurst to Friedrichshafen, Friedrichshafen to Tokyo, Tokyo to Los Angeles, Los Angeles to Lakehurst, and then Lakehurst to Friedrichshafen again.^*

 

 

 

 
(1929)*# - Photograph of the Graf Zeppelin and the small Goodyear pony blimp floating (or parked?) next to each other, 1929. The Graf Zeppelin is about ten times the size of the Goodyear blimp. Both the blimps are on the other side of the fence in the foreground. Several warning signs are posted up including a no-parking sign.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1930, the Graf Zeppelin began regular transatlantic commercial flights. It had 20 sleeping berths for passengers and a crew of 36. Its first flight was in 1928, its last in 1937, after 590 total flights. The Graf Zeppelin was retired one month after the Hindenberg disaster.^*

 

 

 

 
(1929)^## - Closer view of the Goodyear Blimp alongside the Graf Zeppelin showing the size disparity. Click HERE to see more in Aviation in Early Los Angeles.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1929)^#^* - View of the Maddux Air Lines fleet at Mines Field.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1927 Jack L. Maddux, an owner of a Los Angeles Ford and Lincoln car dealership, founded Maddux Air Lines. The airline’s inaugural flight was on September 22, 1927 when the airline’s Ford 4-AT Tri-motor carrying 12 passengers flew from San Diego to Los Angeles.  This flight was to a small dirt landing strip that would later become Mines Field then Los Angeles International Airport, although the landing strip, called Inglewood Site, was not suitable for the airline, and Jack Maddux chose instead Rogers Airport, with improved facilities, and later Grand Central Air Terminal in Glendale.

On August 26, 1929 a Maddux Tri-motor, along with other aircraft, escorted the famous LZ 127 Graf Zeppelin airship to Mines Field where it stopped during its around the world flight.

Among the famous aviators who were involved with Maddux were Charles Lindbergh and Amelia Earhart. Maddux also had a publicity department that advertised the celebrities who flew with the airline. These included Will Rogers, who rode on the inaugural flight, and Hollywood actors Arthur Edmund Carewe and Dolores del Río.^*

 

 

 
(1930s)^ - Adminstration building in foreground and hangars in background at Mines Field (later to become the L.A. International Airport).  

 

Historical Notes

In 1928, the Los Angeles City Council selected 640 acres (1.00 sq. mile) in the southern part of Westchester as the site of a new airport for the city. The fields of wheat, barley and lima beans were converted into dirt landing strips without any terminal buildings. It was named Mines Field for William W. Mines, the real estate agent who arranged the deal.^*

 

 

 
(1930)^ - Dedication of Mines Field (later L.A. International Airport) watched by large crowd and with lots of planes flying overhead.  

 

Historical Notes

Mines Field was dedicated and opened as the official airport of Los Angeles in 1930, and the city purchased it to be a municipal airfield in 1937. The name was officially changed to Los Angeles Airport in 1941, and to Los Angeles International Airport in 1949. The main airline airports for Los Angeles had been Burbank Airport (then known as Union Air Terminal, and later Lockheed) and the Grand Central Airport in Glendale. By 1940 most airlines served Burbank only; in late 1946 most airline flights moved to LAX, but Burbank always retained a few.^*

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Aviation in Early Los Angeles

 

 

 

 

 

 

* * * * *

 

 

 

For more Historical Los Angeles Views click one of the following:

 

 

For Other Historical Views click one of the following:

 

 

See Our Newest Sections:

 

 

To see how Water and Electricity shaped the history of Los Angeles click one of the following:

 

Water:

 

 

Power:

 

* * * * *

 

 

References and Credits

* DWP - LA Public Library Image Archive

^ LA Public Library Image Archive

**LADWP Historic Archive

*^Oviatt Library Digital Archives

*#USC Digital Library

^^LA Times Photo Archive; New Viaduct for Red Car Line

#*MTA Transportation and Research Library Archives

#^California Historical Society Digital Archive

^**Flickr: Enock 1

^*#Library of Congress: 4th Street Bridge

*^#Los Angeles Conservancy: LA Stock Exchange Building; Warner Bros.Theatre; Downtown Jewelry Exchange/Warner Bros. Theatre

*#*Westland.net: Venice History

**#The California History Room, California State Library: William Reagh

^^#The George A. Eslinger Street Lighting Photo Gallery

^## Facebook.com: Photos of Time Travelers

^^*Early Downtown Los Angeles - Cory Stargel, Sarah Stargel

***Los Angeles Historic - Cultural Monuments Listing

*^*California Historical Landmarks Listing (Los Angeles)

*^^Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles: losangelespast.com

^*^LA Street Names - LA Times

**^^Aerofiles - US Aviation Firsts

**^*California State Library Image Archive

*^^*Pinterest.com: Bertrand Lacheze

*^*^Big Orange Landmarks: Los Angeles City Hall

^^^*KCET.org: Three Forgotten Incline Railways

*^#^Huntington Digital Library Archive

*^^#Los Angeles Past: Temple and Main Streets, Los Angeles - Then and Now

^^*#Historical LA Theatres: Loew's State Theatre; Warner Bros.Theatre

*##^LAist.com: The Knott's Berry Farm You May Not Know

^#^^Flickr.com: Michael Ryerson

^#*#LA Magazine: When Knott’s Berry Farm Was Actually a Farm

#*#*Fairfax High School Home Page

#*#^Facebook.com - Los Angeles Theatres: Warner Bros. Downtown

#^#*San Diego Air & Space Museum Archive

^##^Online Archive of California (OAC): Bullock's Department Store Building

##**Franklin HIlls Residents Association

##^^Cinema Treasures: Warner Bros.Theatre

##*^Fourth Street Bridge Over Lorena Street

#^**Water and Power Associates

**^**Los Angeles City Historical Society

*^*^*Wehadfacesthen.tumblr.com

**^ Forum.Skyscraperpage.com; 8th and Francisisco; Muller Bros. Service Station; Gilmore Aerial; Shakespeare Bridge; Prospect Studios; Gilmore Tanker Truck; Gilmore Station

^* Wikipedia: Hollywood Sign; Carthay Circle; Carthay Circle Theatre; Fairfax High School; Park La Brea; San Vicente Boulevard; Etymologies of place names in Los Angeles; Los Angeles Central Library; Broadway Tunnel; Pershing Square; Pacific Electric Railway; Gilmore Field; GilmoreStadium; Union Station; Westwood; 6th Street Viaduct Bridge; Figueroa Street Tunnels; Chavez Ravine; 2nd Street Tunnel; Hollywood Freeway; Los Angeles International Airport; Los Angeles City Hall; Wilshire Boulevard Temple; Egyptian Theatre; The Pig 'N Whistle; Sunland-Tujunga; Van de Kamp Bakery Building; Los Angeles County Art Museum; Los Angeles City Oil Field; Los Angeles City Hall; Lafayette Park; Signal Hill; Jonathan Temple; Bullock's; Broadway Theater District: Lowe's State Theater; Obadiah J. Barker; Los Angeles Plaza Historic District; Knott's Berry Farm; KFWB; Rose Bowl Stadium; Olympic Boulevard; Thomas Fairfax; Zeppelin; Los Angeles International Airport; Maddux Air Lines; Charles Lindbergh; Spirit of St. Louis; Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center; Hollywood; Shakespeare Bridge; Franklin HIlls; John Marshall High School; Prospect Studios; History of Los Angeles; 1926 World Series

 

< Back