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Old Posted Aug 29, 2010, 5:47 PM
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Location: South Pasadena, California
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Originally Posted by Los Angeles Past View Post
I remember reading somewhere that Wilshire was originally laid out as a real four-lane boulevard, but clearly that was not the case.
Actually, it was-- but only if you look at it from when and where Wilshire was originally laid out.

Wilshire originally only extended west from what's now MacArthur Park; it was from there that it was originally a real, true four-lane boulevard; it even had the restriction that no streetcar line would ever "clutter" it. It wasn't until the 1930s that Wilshire was extended eastward through MacArthur Park and into downtown; the trouble was, east of MacArthur Park, the only street that would line up with the Wilshire Blvd. axis was Orange Street, a narrow street that was broken up by city blocks. So they actually had to demolish whole buildings and blocks to extend Wilshire to Grand Avenue; this stretch east of MacArthur Park was always the lackluster part of Wilshire Blvd. and never became the prestige address that it did on the western part. In fact, the downtown section of Wilshire was lined with many surface parking lots well into the 1950s and 1960s.

Here's a picture of the intersection of where Wilshire ends at Grand Ave., looking west, in downtown LA in 1946. The large parking lot in the foreground is now the site of the One Wilshire building.


Here's Wilshire Blvd. downtown, looking east to where it ends at Grand Ave. and the One Wilshire Building, in 2006.

SpaceMan1's photo from SkyscraperCity
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