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sopas ej Jul 5, 2010 6:03 PM

:previous:

Hehe, maybe they were set on the right course when they got drafted to Korea. Or maybe they got it much later in 'Nam.

sopas ej Jul 5, 2010 8:02 PM

I'm finally starting to read that book by John Buntin, "L.A. Noir." But I'm also reading a very interesting book by Jeremiah Axelrod called "Inventing Autopia." That's my problem, often I don't just read one book at a time, but several at a time. But anyway, it's a fascinating book, it basically chronicles LA's development during the 1920s Jazz Age, when LA's population really exploded and people really took to driving, and the city itself started decentralizing away from downtown. It also explores the psycho-social aspects of Angelenos that started developing around this time, like how Angelenos don't really get too involved with their neighbors ("neighborliness" is considered minding your own business and staying out of your neighbors' business) but can make and stay connected with friends who live several miles away in another part of the metropolis (yes, being able to drive cars anywhere in LA contributed to this), how Angelenos saw their city vs. how city leaders envisioned Los Angeles at the time...

What I found interesting is that basically by the 1920s, LA's traffic patterns were already on their way of being established how they are today, namely that there really is no discernible traffic pattern, that it seems that people seem to drive anywhere and everywhere. It was in the 1920s that random business and commercial districts started popping up, seemingly overnight, in areas that never had business districts before (much to the dismay of downtown businesspeople). And these weren't just local, neighborhood businesses that were popping up, but many of these became regional centers in the sense that people from all over LA would randomly drive to these newer business districts in random areas; the book referred to them as "shoestring business districts." Western Avenue is one example, but of course many other major thoroughfares in LA developed these random commercial areas.

Western and Melrose looking east, 1928
http://img121.imageshack.us/img121/2...roselookin.jpg
USC Archive

Western Avenue looking north from Beverly (?), 1924
http://img121.imageshack.us/img121/7...ernave1924.jpg
USC Archive

Wilshire looking east from Western Avenue, 1930s
http://img594.imageshack.us/img594/5...shire1930s.jpg
USC Archive

Western Avenue looking north from 9th St., 1937
http://img571.imageshack.us/img571/6...lookingnor.jpg
USC Archive

gsjansen Jul 6, 2010 5:36 PM

a great view of the eastern elevation of the old courthouse. The exterior elevator cab is clearly visible at the bottom of the shaft. This exterior elevator was called the honeymoon elevator, as this was the way to the marriage license bureau office.

http://digitallibrary.usc.edu/assets...CHS-36690?v=hr
USC Digital Archives

gsjansen Jul 6, 2010 6:04 PM

Bouncer, "Cairo Mary" escorts another customer who had a tad too much fun to the door of Shanghai Reds, 5th and Beacon San Pedro 1953

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4098/...fdedf0ed_b.jpg
USC Regional History Center

I trust everyone had an equally fun 4th of July? :yes:

LASpaceCadet Jul 6, 2010 6:09 PM

Books
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sopas ej (Post 4901163)
I'm finally starting to read that book by John Buntin, "L.A. Noir." But I'm also reading a very interesting book by Jeremiah Axelrod called "Inventing Autopia." That's my problem, often I don't just read one book at a time, but several at a time. But anyway, it's a fascinating book, it basically chronicles LA's development during the 1920s Jazz Age, when LA's population really exploded and people really took to driving, and the city itself started decentralizing away from downtown.

I recently finished LA Noir which was pretty interesting. My only complaint is that the dual narratives unravel a bit by the end of the book, but it’s an interesting read nonetheless. Inventing Autopia looks interesting, but its going to have to wait until I can pick it up and get to it. (Bohemian LA is just one of many books collecting dust on my bookshelf at the moment.) However, along the same lines, you might enjoy Richard Longstreth’s City Center to Regional Mall: Architecture, the Automobile, and Retailing in Los Angeles, 1920-1950. I can’t think of any other book that makes better sense of LA’s sprawling landscape. It’s also copiously illustrated with old photos, drawings, and advertisements from the period he writes about.

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4141/...73651d9675.jpg

sopas ej Jul 6, 2010 8:20 PM

:previous:

Thanks for the suggestion, that book looks like it's right up my alley. I'll definitely be looking for it soon! :)

FLL David Jul 8, 2010 1:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sopas ej (Post 4299442)
I believe the one on the lower left is the Embassy Hotel and Auditorium on south Grand Avenue. I don't know what the other one is.

The other one is the RKO Hillstreet Theater

GaylordWilshire Jul 8, 2010 3:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LASpaceCadet (Post 4902250)
I recently finished LA Noir which was pretty interesting. My only complaint is that the dual narratives unravel a bit by the end of the book, but it’s an interesting read nonetheless. Inventing Autopia looks interesting, but its going to have to wait until I can pick it up and get to it. (Bohemian LA is just one of many books collecting dust on my bookshelf at the moment.) However, along the same lines, you might enjoy Richard Longstreth’s City Center to Regional Mall: Architecture, the Automobile, and Retailing in Los Angeles, 1920-1950. I can’t think of any other book that makes better sense of LA’s sprawling landscape. It’s also copiously illustrated with old photos, drawings, and advertisements from the period he writes about.

http://jpg3.lapl.org/pics33/00066494.jpgLAPL
First Ralphs store, Spring and 6th streets, ca. 1873


http://jpg3.lapl.org/pics33/00066406.jpgLAPL


http://jpg2.lapl.org/pics09/00014271.jpgLAPL
Another early Ralphs, just south of the first, ca. 1910


Also excellent (and in similar text/photo layout) is Longstreth's The Drive-In, the Supermarket, and the Transformation of Commercial Space in Los Angeles, 1914-1941 (yep, that's the gripping title). These books are valuable not only for their scholarship, but because they concern buildings more ordinary than those you find in architecture guides (such as Gebhard etc), which cover the city piecemeal and give only a limited sense of L.A.'s evolution. You really are able to understand L.A.'s expansion and commercial innovation with Longstreth--everything you ever wanted to know about Ralphs, for example, which naturally anticipated or followed customers as they filled up new tracts. Also, while it must be said that I'll read anything on the subject of L.A., I think Inventing Autopia is definitely worthwhile.

gsjansen Jul 8, 2010 5:28 PM

they must be updating the image library over at lapl. i have never seen this color aerial photo of bunker hill.

http://jpg1.lapl.org/pics49/00044255.jpg

i'm guessing it was taken 1959/1960.

and here's a 1921 image of the Gaylord i know i have never seen before

http://jpg3.lapl.org/pics14/00026723.jpg

sopas ej Jul 8, 2010 7:14 PM

:previous:

Great images, gsjansen. I like the color photo, it makes it easier for me to imagine what downtown looked like back then. And the traffic on the Harbor Freeway was really light for it being in the middle of the day!

gsjansen Jul 8, 2010 8:22 PM

one of la's best known iconic elements that gave the city it's noir feel comes to an end. the semaphore traffic signals are being replaced with conventional light only signals.

this image is the removal of the semaphore from the intersection of main and sunset at the plaza 1956

http://jpg1.lapl.org/pics43/00041058.jpg
LAPL

gsjansen Jul 9, 2010 1:55 PM

in 1887 William Randolph Hearst took over the San Francisco Examiner. One of the big showy events that he staged, was commissioning a balloon to take high altitude photographs to show images that no one had ever seen before.

This is the 1887 aerial taken from the examiner balloon of downtown los angeles.

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4119/...1d217a1c_o.jpg

some amazing sights in this aerial;

The downtown triangle formed by alameda, main and 2nd streets

the los angeles river is running past downtown in it's unadulterated natural state

The wolfskill grove is still in it's full citrus rural beauty between san pedro, alameda,3rd and 9th.

The Los Angeles School building is sitting proudly on it's newly relocated to fort moore hill site

The courthouse site on poundcake hill, (where the school building formerly was), shows that it has been cleared and the courthouse construction is about to begin.

down broadway from the courthouse site between 2nd and 3rd, the city hall building is nearing completion.

crocker mansion is clearly visible at 3rd and olive

the bradbury mansion is visible at court street and hill

the melrose and reichlieu are visible on grand street between 2nd and 1st., (grand street seems to have a break just north of the melrose to court street...???!!!)

looking left of the school building on sunset, that looks like it could be our porch heavy friend 601 sunset

the westminster is visible at 4th and main

and most amazing, if you begin just east of the plaza, looking diagonally downwars to the right, (north west), you can clearly make out the elevation contour of fort moore and bunker hill. you can also see how new high street parallels this contour which is the angle that the hall of records was set at!

gsjansen Jul 9, 2010 5:37 PM

hey GW!

this is an image looking south on western across the intersection of western and washington....................

http://digitallibrary.usc.edu/assets.../CHS-9908?v=hr
USC Digital Archives

ain't that clump of trees dead ahead going off to the right Berkeley Square?

..........................

gsjansen Jul 9, 2010 11:21 PM

just a great shot

ford tri-motor over city hall 1929


http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4076/...3f38d7a5_o.jpg
usc digital archives

GaylordWilshire Jul 10, 2010 2:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gsjansen (Post 4906451)
hey GW!

this is an image looking south on western across the intersection of western and washington....................


ain't that clump of trees dead ahead going off to the right Berkeley Square?

..........................

gs-- Berkeley Square is somewhere in this shot, but way way in the distance. This is indeed a picture looking south on Western toward the L.A. plain, but I'd say farther north than Washington, rather at the intersection of Sunset in Hollywood. The lettering on the fence at lower left isn't all that clear, but it looks like it says "William Fox Studios" (note also the water tower across the avenue), which were at Western and Sunset in the early '20s. The Hollywood Freeway now cuts diagonally across this scene toward the upper right. I don't know how USC captioned this pic-- but I have to say that I've found all kinds of mistakes in their captions (not just USC, but LAPL and the Cal State Library, all of them). I hate to complain to them, because I know how much work goes into these digital libraries, and I'm just an amateur. Sometimes if I've noticed something off I've sent emails suggesting that the monitors check their information--usually I've gotten note of thanks, so I think they do appreciate the input. I wonder what that house in the grove of trees is at bottom....

gsjansen Jul 10, 2010 12:48 PM

you are absolutely right GW about it being western and sunset, and not washington.

i didn't notice the sign saying fox studios until you pointed it out. here's an aerial of the fox studios, (before merging with 20th century), at the intersection of western and sunset

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4013/...409f0820_z.jpg
LAPL


the 1st image i posted was captioned on the USC site as being western and washington. i got all excited, as there was a clump of trees, that would be on the correct side of the road, that if it was a view looking south from washington, would have been about the spot of the elusive berkeley square.........

i have noticed over the years errors on all the photo archive sites with regards to location, (and dates), but usually it's on an image of a area i was familiar with and looking for, so it doesn't really bother me, as i recognize the mistake. since i'm only mildly familiar with berkeley square, (and only through your postings actually), i just didn't know the difference. If USC say's it's western and washington, i then only assumed that the grouping of trees on the west side of the street was berkeley square.



the search continues.............................

GaylordWilshire Jul 10, 2010 3:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gsjansen (Post 4907295)
you are absolutely right GW about it being western and sunset, and not washington.

i didn't notice the sign saying fox studios until you pointed it out. here's an aerial of the fox studios, (before merging with 20th century), at the intersection of western and sunset

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4013/...409f0820_z.jpg
LAPL


the 1st image i posted was captioned on the USC site as being western and washington. i got all excited, as there was a clump of trees, that would be on the correct side of the road, that if it was a view looking south from washington, would have been about the spot of the elusive berkeley square.........


the search continues.............................

Well, I've compiled an entire notebook on Berkeley Square, its houses and inhabitants, but more than a few photographs do remain elusive... Until they surface, I'll try to find out more about the house in the grove at the top of the picture. (Los Angeles never lacks for quarry in the study of the built environment, does it?) Is this the 19th-century Warner estate I've read about--is this house in the grove the original center of the Warner property, the creeping development of which shows in this picture ? I know I've read that Carlton Way and Harold Way were named for Warner's sons-- this Warner, btw, isn't related to the studio brothers-- anyway... anyone have more on this Warner tract in Hollywood?

Los Angeles Past Jul 12, 2010 12:17 AM

Were the stones in this wall at Temple and Spring once part of the retaining wall around the north and east perimeter of the old County Court House? They sure look familiar to me!

https://otters.net/img/lanoir/wallst...gandtemple.jpg
Google

https://otters.net/img/lanoir/CHS-41445.jpg
USC

There's precedent for the re-use of these stones. When Spring Street was realigned in the 1920s, the stones were saved and used to rebuild the wall. (You can see them piled up on the lawn there above the new cut.)

https://otters.net/img/lanoir/courth...ringstreet.jpg
eBay

Spring and Temple, late 1930s.
https://otters.net/img/lanoir/DW-17-7-6-3-ISLA.jpg
USC

Could some of the stones have been re-used again for the wall in front of the Criminal Justice Center? Like I said, they look awfully similar!

This is an historically important question, because if the answer is yes, these stones would be the oldest remaining remnants of Los Angeles's Civic Center...

-Scott

gsjansen Jul 12, 2010 1:56 PM

Scott,

In Gernot Kuehn's book, Views of Los Angeles, he makes the same observation that you have.

Here are scans from the page where he shows a 1912 image of the old courthouse, and a 1978 image of the current foltz criminal courts building

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4080/...0ba2d1d6_b.jpg
Gernot Kuehn / Views of Los Angeles

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4118/...12cbdf2a_b.jpg
Gernot Kuehn / Views of Los Angeles

I did some searches, but have found no discussions as of yet indicating whether the sandstone wall is made from the original court house perimeter retaining wall stones, or if it is made of new stones paying homage to the sites history

Los Angeles Past Jul 12, 2010 4:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gsjansen (Post 4908905)
Scott,

In Gernot Kuehn's book, Views of Los Angeles, he makes the same observation that you have.

I did some searches, but have found no discussions as of yet indicating whether the sandstone wall is made from the original court house perimeter retaining wall stones, or if it is made of new stones paying homage to the sites history


Wow, fascinating! It was during my last day in L.A. in late June that I was taking the 728 bus to Union Station and it stopped for a red light at Temple and Spring. I had a few seconds to look at the otherwise unremarkable building standing where the old Court House was, when I spied the wall in front there and immediately went, "Hmmm!" The chiseled relief on the stones looked very familiar. So, that set me to wonderin' if maybe, just maybe...

Thanks GSJ! I guess there's no way of knowing for sure (other than finding an historical account affirming the fact), but I'd be willing to bet that those stones are from the original wall. That's a great pic of the old County House, too. Haven't seen that particular one before. :)

-Scott


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