SkyscraperPage Forum

SkyscraperPage Forum (
-   Found City Photos (
-   -   noirish Los Angeles (

gsjansen Apr 10, 2010 8:18 PM

Miniature Noir
In 1938, the WPA commissioned a study of downtown Los Angleles to help determine proper planning for the fast growing metropolis.

a full colored image of the model showing bunker hill. Centered on third street and hill street

is it a forgotten Japanese monster horror flick entitled, "The Giant Monster From Planning and Zoning Attacks Los Angeles"???!!!!!???

no, it's just a WP model maker placing city hall on the study model

JDRCRASH Apr 10, 2010 8:32 PM


ethereal_reality Apr 10, 2010 9:42 PM

^^^I love that colorful model of Bunker Hill. I haven't seen before.

I have a photo similar to the other one above.
I believe I found this on ebay

I love the atomic/cold war photos as well.
The movie 'Kiss Me Deadly' ties the two subjects together.
(so does the movie THEM! with the mutant ants attacking L.A.)

Earlier in the thread we briefly touched on this theme.
Below is the link/post #290 if you what to check it out gsjansen.

If you haven't seen 'Kiss Me Deadly' yet, DON'T click on the link.
After rereading my past post...some of my captions could be considered 'spoilers'.

Thanks again for sharing all these great photographs gsjansen.
You've really helped to bring the thread alive again.

JDRCRASH Apr 10, 2010 9:51 PM

I could stare at those city models forever. :redface:

ethereal_reality Apr 10, 2010 10:11 PM

Below: Los Angeles 1952.

Below: Building a fallout shelter in San Marino 1961

Below: Parking garages AND bomb shelters 1951.
usc digital archive

ethereal_reality Apr 10, 2010 10:17 PM

....not the cold war, but interesting none the less.

The mayor dedicates new Air Raid Shelter signs in downtown Los Angeles 1942.

ethereal_reality Apr 10, 2010 10:28 PM

I have to follow the above post with this one. It's actually kind of humorous.

Below: Air Raid drill in downtown Los Angeles 1943.

Below: The flip-side.

So instead of seeking shelter, everyone ran outside to see the air raid.
And some people even went up on the roofs. lol

ethereal_reality Apr 10, 2010 10:57 PM

Do any of you know about a secret movie studio at the top of Laurel Canyon?

Until recently, I would have bet money that no such place existed.
(when I first moved to L.A., I briefly lived in N. Hollywood & drove through the canyon daily)

Below: Here's a small aerial photo.
unclassified usaf

They produced films such as this. (note Lookout Mountain Laboratory)
unclassified usaf

It's difficult to find very much information about this place.

You can read about it here.

and here.

Now this is a place I'd love to sneak into.

I wonder if it still pretty much looks like this?

ethereal_reality Apr 10, 2010 11:35 PM

Perhaps workers at the Lookout Mountain Laboratory hung out here.

The name is a bit enigmatic don't you think.
I guess I'm trying to conjure up mysteries where they don't exist. ;)

gsjansen Apr 11, 2010 2:48 AM

another then and ......well maybe not now, but definately later.......
hill street and 1st looking north through the years

hill street and 1st looking north 1908

prior to the construction of the hill street tunnel which ran from just north of 1st street to temple avenue. court street is on top of the hill

hill street and 1st looking north 1923

after the construction of the tunnel, the hollywood street car line using this tunnel allowed for the city to expand to the west

hill street and 1st looking north 1955

hill at court street was completely leveled and graded to allow for the expansion of civic center. the last remaining portion of the hill can be seen on the far left of this photo. within the year, this last bit of hill would be gone

hill street and 1st looking north 1971

there is no inkling or indication that a hill with a steep grade ever existed here

Looking south at the intersection of hill street and temple

hill street and temple looking south 1908

hill street is a dirt road heading south up the hill. hill street connected temple and 1st via the steep hill prior to the construction of the street car tunnel. once the tunnel was opened, hill street running up the hill terminated at the court street cul-de-sac. connection between hill and temple would be provided through the tunnel

hill street and temple looking south 1920

hill street and temple looking south 1945

this shot clearly shows the red line trolley stop, and the steps leading up hill street. The white house on the right is 215 n hill street, burt lancasters home in the 1948 movie criss cross

hill street and temple looking south1971

nice corvair

sopas ej Apr 11, 2010 4:57 PM


Originally Posted by gsjansen (Post 4789570)
In 1938, the WPA commissioned a study of downtown Los Angleles to help determine proper planning for the fast growing metropolis.

a full colored image of the model showing bunker hill. Centered on third street and hill street

I saw this model at the LA County Natural History Museum back in 2000. I assume it still exists, though I don't know if it's still on display. I was very fascinated by it and remember thinking it would've been cool if they had a same scale model of modern-day Los Angeles displayed along with it so that you could compare the two.

ethereal_reality Apr 11, 2010 8:31 PM

^^^I love that Hill St. & Temple photo before the tunnel.

Below: South Main & 6th Street.
usc digital archive

Below: Looking north on Spring from W. 5th Street.
usc digital archive

Below: Looking north on Main between 1st and 2nd streets.
usc digital archive

Below: 1120 S. Main, the Santa Rita Hotel.
usc digital archive

ethereal_reality Apr 11, 2010 9:01 PM

Below: Main & 12th Street. (note Santa Rita Hotel)
usc digital archive

Below: Looking north on Main between 4th & 5th streets.
usc digital archive

Below: Main & 11th Street in 1939.
usc digital archive

gsjansen Apr 11, 2010 9:57 PM

4th and HIll Street Looking West 1939
looking west on 4th street from hill street, the fremont hotel is visible at the sw corner of olive and 4th, and further up the street the zelda apartments is visible at the sw corner grand and 4th

both the Zelda and the Fremont will be destroyed in conjunction with the construction of the 4th street viaduct in 1954. If you visit the parking lot on the sw corner of Olive and 4th, which still exists today, exactly as it has since the Fremont was torn down in 1954, the original Fremont retaining walls are still intact running east west on 4th and north south on Olive. There was absolutely no reason at all for the Fremont to be demolished.........sigh

gsjansen Apr 11, 2010 10:08 PM

Pre-Noir Los Angeles
this 1868 shot looking south from poundcake hill is amazing. a completely barren bunker hill before Beaudry's development is on the right. Third street is the main street off in the distance running from right to left. Broadway is the street in the middle of the photo. Hill Street at the base of Bunker Hill is just a dirt path at best. In later years, this view would be looking right smack at the north elevation of the hall of records. this view today would be looking at the north side of the LA times building complex

The street at the lower left side running left right, (court street?), is clearly at an offset angle to the eventual grid. This is the same angle that the old hall of records building will be built to...................................40 years after this photo was taken!!!!!

The North One Apr 11, 2010 10:26 PM


Originally Posted by ethereal_reality (Post 4789695)

So instead of seeking shelter, everyone ran outside to see the air raid.
And some people even went up on the roofs. lol

are you surprised? it just shows how stupid people can be.

sopas ej Apr 12, 2010 10:21 AM

Very cool photos, ethereal and gsjansen! That 1868 photo is very fascinating. And those other shots of downtown LA are also very cool-- so much material for my hobby of before and after photos, of which my facebook album is continuing to grow.

If anyone doesn't already know, the American Cinematheque in LA has been having its Film Noir Festival, which ends next weekend. I went tonight (Sunday night) and snapped this photo of the ceiling of the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood; kind of a crappy photo, taken in dim lighting with my cell phone:

Here's a 1925 photo of the ceiling from the LAPL:

Of course back then, the theater was much more ornate. My understanding is that when the Egyptian was restored and reopened, they were only able to salvage a little of what was damaged of the interior over the years.


An accident involving two cars, one motorcycle and the Los Angeles Transit Lines' car 1523 on March 10, 1946. This is at the intersection of Figueroa and Piedmont in the Highland Park neighborhood.

Here's the intersection again in 1946. Notice the Los Angeles Public Library branch in the left of the photo.

Here, the old streetcar tracks are being ripped up in 1958.

Here's the same intersection on April 11, 2010. The old library building has since been replaced with a Craftsman-themed, larger library structure.
Photo taken by me.

gsjansen Apr 12, 2010 1:55 PM

Wow! great shots Sopas ej! I myself spent the weekend viewing my own little private noir festival. I had received my copy of the exiles on Friday....Great movie with some fabulous extras, particularly bunker hill 1956, and the last day of angels flight. I also watched, (much to my wife and kids annoyance), Acts of violence, M, the indestructible man, (alright, i actually fast forwarded through that one to the street scenes of the follies, and the entire angels flight scene, and the murder scene in the Bradbury building), criss cross, the turning point, (what cracks me up with this one, is that it's supposed to take place in a mid-western Indiana town:haha: ), the scar, and finished off last night with angels flight. I've seen kiss me deadly so many times, i chose to leave this one off the agenda this weekend. Has Marian Carr done anything other than Kiss me Deadly and The Indestructible Man?

here are some aerial photos taken over civic center showing how the street grid changed through the decades;

This 1924 aerial shows the street layout before the extension of spring street. The off angle layout of the hall of records makes sense with the original street grid around civic center
Cal State Library

In this 1938 aerial, New high (formerly Justica) street still kind of exists in this photo, even though it has been reduced to a half block angled road forming the triangle park between city hall and the hall of records

In this 1955 aerial, the re-gridding of the streets around civic center have been completed. The hall of records now takes on it's weird angle appearance due to the straightening of the streets around it

gsjansen Apr 12, 2010 2:01 PM

Some more Mini Noir
this shot shows the detail that went into the model particularly with regards to the grades of the terrain. this view shows the terrain of bunker hill. this angled view is from approximately 4th and hill
USC Digital Archive

Bunker hill section of the model centered on Clay street between 3rd and 2nd
USC Digital Archive

This view is looking north east from fremont and 6th street. (Fremont essentially no longer exists due to the freeway construction
USC Digital Archive

Los Angeles Past Apr 12, 2010 2:10 PM

Great series on the evolution (or devolution) of Hill Street, gsjansen! Easily one of my very favorite postings in this thread.

To get a further appreciation of the extent of this huge change in the natural landscape, I'm reposting this image. In the foreground is the Hill Street portion of Bunker Hill that was completely leveled and of which no trace remains today.

This hill was apparently the highest point in the original city limits of Los Angeles. Court Flight – which for two score years ran up the steep dirt slope in the right foreground – used to be advertised as the "highest view" of Los Angeles. And I remember reading somewhere that the Bradbury Mansion (far upper right at Court and Hill) was built on the highest lot in all of Los Angeles at the time. To think that what was once the highest elevation in the city is now not even recognizable as a hill... that's quite a sobering realization...

All times are GMT. The time now is 3:40 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2023, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.