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  #12421  
Old Posted Feb 10, 2013, 7:25 PM
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DouglasUrantia DouglasUrantia is offline
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Let's take a stairway to the stars.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by kznyc2k View Post
The fabled Court Circle has been covered plenty of times before on these pages, but I don't remember an instance where anyone pointed out some ruins that still exist of it.


Has this been covered before? Has anyone actually snuck a look around? How about photos?? This is a roadbed in the middle of the city that hasn't been touched in 60+ years!

What could be more iconic and symbolic of Los Angeles 'City of Dreams' than the photo of these "Stairs to Nowhere".

Someone once lived in the house at the top of those stairs. They had a life, dreams and a history. The house is gone, the dreams have faded and now we're left with only the stairs.
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  #12422  
Old Posted Feb 10, 2013, 9:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ProphetM View Post
I looked over the area and saw it during a previous discussion of Court Circle, but I think that was when I was still a lurker - I hadn't registered to post yet at the time. If you go south down the block, there are two more sets of stairs to nowhere, and then there is an unsigned corner which is the stub end of Mignonette Street. Today's Mignonette stops in a cul-de-sac on the other side of the freeway.
I don't know why I didn't bother to look any further south than I did last night (chalk it up to it being late) but you're totally correct -- there's plenty more to ponder.

So once again, here's the area in question looking east:


1940, USC

And looking west:


1910s, USC

Last night I showed the roadbed and northernmost of three stairs that still exist, so now let's hop back in the Googlemobile and tour the southern portion. These are the middle
stairs at roughly 280 Fremont (with the northern stairs visible at far right):



Another angle of the middle stairs:



The southern set of stairs:





And the stub of Mignonette Street:



Now putting it all together, here's the remains overlaid on an aerial from 1948:



So I've done about all I can from 3,000 miles away -- who wants to go out in the field, maybe break some laws and get some REAL pictures? I want closeups of all this stuff!
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  #12423  
Old Posted Feb 10, 2013, 9:42 PM
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The remnants of Court Street will soon be gone. There will be another Italian style building along Fremont. I walk this street every day, and there are some sections where you can still see parts of the brick road. Particularly where Mignonette meets Fremont


Curbed LA

Brick visible under the asphalt
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  #12424  
Old Posted Feb 10, 2013, 10:09 PM
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LAPD upgrading

I'm not totally into modern architecture but I will admit from time to time I cheat on this thread and check out others on the forum. And by coincidence last night I saw pics of the new LAPD digs on this forum.

Check out the modern LAPD at this link:

http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/show...postcount=1193

It is quite an upgrade for the police from the old LAPD building traffic building in 1942.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kznyc2k View Post
LAPD's Traffic Division moves into its new home at 123 South Figueroa, 1942:



And a shot of it undergoing renovation with the 1st Street bridge of Figueroa being erected on March 7th, 1940:



Originally built in 1925 as an office building on the edge of Bunker Hill, according to On Bunker Hill:



Here's a shot of it from the mid-'60s:


On Bunker Hill

And as for its fate:
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  #12425  
Old Posted Feb 10, 2013, 10:13 PM
ProphetM ProphetM is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westcork View Post
The remnants of Court Street will soon be gone. There will be another Italian style building along Fremont. I walk this street every day, and there are some sections where you can still see parts of the brick road. Particularly where Mignonette meets Fremont


Curbed LA

Brick visible under the asphalt
Well then, for heaven's sake get out there with a camera and take pictures of the bricks, the street, the stairways, everything. Lots and lots of pictures.

We're lucky that digital photography is here - we can take way more pictures than we may think necessary, because the cost is essentially nil. The same driveway from 8 different angles? No problem! It's just ones and zeros anyway.
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  #12426  
Old Posted Feb 10, 2013, 11:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westcork View Post
The remnants of Court Street will soon be gone.


Future site of the Da Vinci.


google street view

I'd hate to have an apartment adjacent to the Harbor Freeway. How does the developer handle this? Thick walls?
Minimal windows on the western facade???
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Last edited by ethereal_reality; Feb 10, 2013 at 11:12 PM.
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  #12427  
Old Posted Feb 10, 2013, 11:04 PM
tovangar2 tovangar2 is offline
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upgrading

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Swink View Post

Check out the modern LAPD at this link:

http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/show...postcount=1193

It is quite an upgrade for the police from the old LAPD building traffic building in 1942.
The Death Star? No thanks. There it sits with City Hall and the LA Times. When sub-text becomes text.



It replaced the old Parker Center at 150 Los Angeles Street, not the Traffic Division:


Now if we only could upgrade the actual police.
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  #12428  
Old Posted Feb 10, 2013, 11:12 PM
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Heavy-duty? I felt like was raining anvils.......LOL

You make many valid points, and a few go off the rails.

LA High was a huge loss, but in the early 70s I don't think the city was there yet with respect to saving and rebuilding vs. bulldozing and starting fresh. After all, it took the razing of Penn Station for people in New York to wake up.

The "car and freeway thing" was inevitable though. We can look to all the cute trams and such in Europe, but remember - they've had mass access to cars in far less numbers and for far less time that we had in the 20th Century. Giving up ROW was the biggest mistake.

LA Live: I'm not a fan either, but we are not everyone. Not by a longshot. "Everyone" seems to like it. And developers are anything but stupid. They build what "everyone" likes. Fail to do so and they trade in their hillside Brentwood home for a shopping cart on Santee. LOL LOL.......

And it's fair to note developers are not ignorant of a growing desire for smaller scale.......take a look at Caruso's work. Nothing he does is in hopes to be "biggest".....it strives for "most comfortable". The Grove seems too ersatz for me and probably most who read this, but again, "everyone" seems to like it.

I think we agree that CRA or no CRA, very little of what was on Bunker Hill could have lasted to the present. Most structures were crappy fire-traps - it's surprising they lasted as long as they did. Assume CRA did not bulldoze Bunker Hill....what then? Horrid high rise public housing, such as what was proposed (perhaps deceptively so) for Chavez Ravine? Or perhaps equally horrid Geoff Palmer "Italianate" apartment fortresses, as described on this page or the one previous? And remember - if you save Bunker Hill, then by default the Historic Core goes away. And even if you saved BOTH Bunker Hill AND the Historic Core,and kept tens of millions of s.f. of office space out of Downtown and forced it out elsewhere.....what then? Downtown would have fallen into an even greater abyss than it did in the 70s, 80s and 90s.

No easy choices.



Quote:
Originally Posted by tovangar2 View Post
Not to get too heavy-duty about it, but every time I see one of these damn planning overlays I'm reminded of the Milgram Experiment http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milgram_experiment. What are people thinking? The conclusion dawn from the experiment was, "Ordinary people, simply doing their jobs, and without any particular hostility on their part, can become agents in a terrible destructive process." Moreover, even when the destructive effects of their work become patently clear, they continue under instruction from "authority".

If anyone here hasn't read Jane Jacobs Death and Life of Great American Cities (the fiftieth anniversary edition is out), relatively cheap, used copies may be had from Amazon.

Yet still the Robert Moses "solution" is turned to again and again because it makes the rich richer. More money was to be made tearing down LAHS rather than repairing the tower, the ghastly Staples Center/LA Live complex is supposed to be "fun". The freeway "system" (as opposed to the Red Cars, the "best public transit in the world") and Bunker Hill...well there's a gazillion examples. Our alleys and byways and lanes are gone. Depopulated, pedestrian-hostile, weird, abstract, anxiety-producing environments are in.

It's like we've lost the will to resist, ashamed to want human-scale, convenient, charming, decent streetscapes including Dragon Dens and Spotlights. Afraid to speak up.
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  #12429  
Old Posted Feb 10, 2013, 11:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westcork View Post
The remnants of Court Street will soon be gone. There will be another Italian style building along Fremont. I walk this street every day, and there are some sections where you can still see parts of the brick road. Particularly where Mignonette meets Fremont
RIGHT, I remember seeing that on Curbed a couple months ago. Well, like ProphetM said, drag out a camera and document this stuff before it's gone forever! Tick tock, tick tock...

Oh and I, for one, welcome our new Italianate overlords. Huzzah!
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  #12430  
Old Posted Feb 11, 2013, 12:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malumot View Post
Most structures were crappy fire-traps
This is one of those dirty little truths to all these buildings we pine for: that they probably wouldn't have lasted simply due to their own shortcomings, and not just because the planning gods were out to get them. Bunker Hill, Court Circle, Ferguson Alley...many structures in these areas were cruddy to begin with and only became more rickety with time as they didn't get proper maintenance and upkeep. Perhaps gentrification could have creeped up in time to save them, or maybe not...we'll never know.
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  #12431  
Old Posted Feb 11, 2013, 12:21 AM
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Death Star or Imperial Cruiser?

Yes Tovanger the new LAPD HQs does look Death Staresque. But even more like the city saved some money and cut an Imperial Cruiser in half. Compare the two below...


from: image shack
http://img708.imageshack.us/img708/201/74261224.jpg

Upgrade in police? This does makes sense this week with LAPD accidentally opening fire like Imperial Storm Troopers on senior citizen news paper delivery personnel.

But to stay on historical topic with this thread. I do like the LAPD museum and the old station it is housed in, in Highland Park... http://www.laphs.org

Quote:
Originally Posted by tovangar2 View Post
The Death Star? No thanks. There it sits with City Hall and the LA Times. When sub-text becomes text.



It replaced the old Parker Center at 150 Los Angeles Street, not the Traffic Division:


Now if we only could upgrade the actual police.
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  #12432  
Old Posted Feb 11, 2013, 12:24 AM
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GaylordWilshire GaylordWilshire is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tovangar2 View Post

Now about this Cronan Massage Therapy. Are happy endings being administered in City Hall Park, in the police building, or right in the middle of 1st Street?
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  #12433  
Old Posted Feb 11, 2013, 12:53 AM
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I've searched this thread (and many other places online), and can't seem to find many good pictures of El Dorado or The Rowan in their hey-day

I know LA Times said when Rowan was being built crowds would line up outside to watch the cranes swing massive steal beams around. There's gotta be some pictures of that right???

El Dorado Hotel (now El Dorado Lofts). Can't find anything on this.


Rowan Building. Was the largest office building in the city when built.
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  #12434  
Old Posted Feb 11, 2013, 1:15 AM
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Hey kids, guess what....we're gonna live next to a freeway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ethereal_reality View Post
Future site of the Da Vinci.


google street view

I'd hate to have an apartment adjacent to the Harbor Freeway. How does the developer handle this? Thick walls?
Minimal windows on the western facade???
__
I agree Bruce. Living even five blocks from a freeway is a noise hazard to your health and peace of mind [which is often the case anywhere in LA county].

Recently I spent a night in a motel near a little used freeway. The noise all night was a, well, nightmare. Plus, you'd breathe the polluted air constantly if you lived in those proposed condos. No thanks.
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  #12435  
Old Posted Feb 11, 2013, 1:16 AM
tovangar2 tovangar2 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Swink View Post

But to stay on historical topic with this thread. I do like the LAPD museum and the old station it is housed in, in Highland Park... http://www.laphs.org
Hmmm, did you read "The History of the LAPD" at their museum site? http://www.laphs.org/history.html

If that was true norish Los Angeles wouldn't exist.

GW, you've gone straight over my head again. Pls explain.
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  #12436  
Old Posted Feb 11, 2013, 1:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HunterK View Post
I've searched this thread (and many other places online), and can't seem to find many good pictures of El Dorado or The Rowan in their hey-day

I know LA Times said when Rowan was being built crowds would line up outside to watch the cranes swing massive steal beams around. There's gotta be some pictures of that right???

El Dorado Hotel (now El Dorado Lofts). Can't find anything on this.


Rowan Building. Was the largest office building in the city when built.

The current El Dorado was once the Stowell:

http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/show...postcount=6684

http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/show...postcount=6698


I think the Rowan Building was originally called the Bilicke-Rowan Building.
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  #12437  
Old Posted Feb 11, 2013, 1:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westcork View Post
Brick visible under the asphalt
Quote:
Originally Posted by kznyc2k View Post
The tiny road that once connected Fremont Ave to Court Circle still exists just to the east of the freeway fenced off, and it looks to be reasonably intact. Also, note the stairs that once led to a house (they can be seen in the first shot I posted):


Wow, I'd give my eye teeth to have an original L.A. paving brick! From the air, it looks like there might be quite a few exposed ones on that old section of Court St. If I lived within driving distance, I'd be out there with a sledge and chisel tomorrow!

-Scott
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  #12438  
Old Posted Feb 11, 2013, 1:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GaylordWilshire View Post
The current El Dorado was once the Stowell:

http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/show...postcount=6684

http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/show...postcount=6698


I think the Rowan Building was originally called the Bilicke-Rowan Building.
Thanks! Those links gave some great info!

Still can't find any old Rowan pictures.. Or real pictures of the El Dorado back in the day.
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  #12439  
Old Posted Feb 11, 2013, 1:44 AM
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I think the King Edward may have been called the El Dorado for a time.
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  #12440  
Old Posted Feb 11, 2013, 1:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ethereal_reality View Post

I had no idea, until tonight, that the Avodon Ballroom was originally an auto park.


http://digitallibrary.usc.edu/cdm/si.../id/8240/rec/1

And not just any parking garage, but an elegant and dignified one.






As I zoomed in to savor the details, I was surprised to see that the sign says 'The New Orpheum Auto Park'.


http://digitallibrary.usc.edu/cdm/si.../id/8240/rec/1

Was the auto park built by the Orpheum Corp. or simply billed as such?
If it was built by Orpheum, it makes me wonder if there was a back entrance or passage-way to it's namesake theater on Broadway?
Without a shortcut, you would have to go way out of your way (using 9th Street) to reach the movie palace.


below: The auto park on Spring Street in relation to the Orpheum Theater on Broadway.

http://digitallibrary.usc.edu/





I was also surprised to see that the roof-top Orpheum sign still advertises vaudeville.


detail







below: I can't resist posting this matchbook graphic again.

The Avodon Ballroom aka New Orpheum Auto Park.

ebay

I wonder about the lighting scheme. Do you suppose this 'moderne' facade was bathed in aquamarine flood-lights?
God, I'd love to go back in time!


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Last edited by ethereal_reality; Feb 11, 2013 at 6:01 AM.
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