View Single Post
  #42  
Old Posted Jun 19, 2009, 7:07 AM
sopas ej's Avatar
sopas ej sopas ej is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: South Pasadena, California
Posts: 4,529
Westwood

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

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

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




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


Westwood Village, 2005 (from wikipedia)


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

From lapl.org

Same scene, 1937

From lapl.org

Broxton and Westwood Blvd., 1930

From lapl.org

Fox Westwood Village Theater, 1930s

From lapl.org

Fox Westwood Village Theater, 2006

From wikipedia

Westwood Stores, 1934

From lapl.org

Westwood Village, 1940s

From lapl.org

1944

From lapl.org

1930s

From lapl.org

1940

From lapl.org

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

From lapl.org

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



From lapl.org

Construction of UCLA's new campus, 1927

From lapl.org
From lapl.org

Students and the new UCLA campus, opening day, 1929




From lapl.org

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

From lapl.org

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

From lapl.org

Church of the Open Door, 1980

From lapl.org

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

From lapl.org
__________________
"If the climate were a bank, the U.S. would have already saved it."

---Hugo Chávez

Last edited by sopas ej; Jun 19, 2009 at 11:25 PM.
Reply With Quote