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GaylordWilshire Nov 8, 2010 1:17 AM

Milton J. Black

gs: that's a much better shot of the Mauretania, showing its full size. The same coupe seems to be parked in front in both your shot and in the one I found--there is a series of shots of Rossmore in the LAPL collection all apparently taken at the same time. The series also includes another Deco building up the street by the Mauretania's architect, Milton J. Black:
590 N. Rossmore

Today: Street View Street View

Milton Black is known for a number of small Deco building around Los Angeles. A few others attributed to him:
A 1936 building on the northwest corner of S Hobart and W 9th

Today: Street View

The 1940 Westwood Ambassador Apartments, 10427 Wilshire:

Only the wall remains: Street View

ethereal_reality Nov 8, 2010 2:52 AM

Great Milton Black finds GaylordWilshire & gsjansen.
Thankfully the Mauretania and several others still survive.
(although the Westwood Ambassador Apartments is a heart-breaker)

I'd love to know how many of these elegant apartments are haunted.

Levitating martinis anyone?

sopas ej Nov 8, 2010 3:08 AM

Ah, the Mauretania! I love it.

Say, is that Norma Shearer and Joan Blondell paying a visit? Maybe not.
Mauretania, 1936 USC Archive

BTW great link to the article about the Mauretania, Gaylord.

gsjansen Nov 8, 2010 5:06 PM

we interrupt this program to bring you some late breaking news.........
Brunettes and Redheads are taking to the street outside the Chinese theater on Hollywood boulevard to protest the newly released 20th century fox motion picture featuring Marilyn Monroe, Gentlemen prefer Blondes. The protesters claim the film is unfair to them

We now return you back to your regularly scheduled program that is in progress............................

GaylordWilshire Nov 8, 2010 8:10 PM


It's not like there wasn't a brunette in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Jane Russell was no shrinking violet:

And of course Grauman's east door and sign remain as well: Street View

gsjansen Nov 9, 2010 4:08 PM

an amazing 1926 view looking ne on what used to be spring street through the construction site of city hall

the bank of italy building on the left, was on the west side of spring street. the buildings just left of center is the back of the temple block buildings which were on the east side of spring street between spring and main. the old post office which was on the nw corner of temple and main is visible just beyond the bank of italy building. The amstoy building (on the left), and u.s. hotel (on the right), are the two buildings with the towers which were on the corner of market street (which has been wiped from the face of the earth), and main street

ethereal_reality Nov 9, 2010 10:00 PM

^^^That is an amazing photograph!

Los Angeles Past Nov 9, 2010 11:19 PM

I second that! I've never seen this view before. Really something...

GaylordWilshire Nov 9, 2010 11:59 PM

In the Shadow of the Dahlia
Have we really never discussed Jeanne French here? I find no mention of her when doing a search of the site.
L.A. Herald-Express, February 10, 1947

Police Lt. Frank Jemison's Nov. 15, 1950, report on the murder of Jeanne French three weeks after Elizabeth Short, on February 10, 1947:

Ok, I may be making a big assumption that this is same Sawtelle-area tract house that Jeanne lived in in 1947, but here is her Military Avenue house today: Street View

More info:

gsjansen Nov 10, 2010 11:05 AM

a closeup image of the jeanne french murder scene
(from the book; Sins of the City The Real Los Angeles Noir)

The Elizabeth Short, "Black Dahlia" case gets all the attention, but there certainly were a number of similar murders that were never solved in Los Angeles during the 1940's;

7-23-43 Ora Murray 42 found nude, bludgeoned to death dumped in golf club parking lot after 2am, after a night of drinking and dancing in downtown bars.

10-12-44 Georgina Bauerdorf 20 (a friend of Elizabeth Short's) found nude strangled in her own apt. bathtub, after apparently being followed home from the Hollywood servicemans club.

1-15-47 Elizabeth (Beth) Short aka Black Dahlia 22, found nude, bludgeoned to death dumped in vacat lot on downtown LA Hollywood border, after leaving downtown LA Biltmore hotel with no apparent place to stay the night. Her body was also cut in 2 at the waist, she'd been sexually assaulted, and also tortured.

2-10-47 Jeanne French 40 found nude vacant lot bludgeoned, beat to death, strangled, signs of torture, after being seen in downtown/hollywood bars with brown haired man, a message written in lipstick possibly referring to the Short crime written on body.

3-12-47 Evelyn Winters 42 found nude, bludgeoned to death in vacant lot 2 miles from downtown, strangled, last seen in bars the night before.

5-11-47 Laura Trelstad (Telestad) 37 found nude strangled with strip of cloth, bludgeoned, dumped in vacant lot near oil rigs, after being last seen intoxicated bars Long Beach.

7-8-47 Rosenda Mondragon 20 found nude strangled with stocking signs of torture, dumped side of street 1 miles from Winters scene.

6-13-49 Louise Springer 28 abducted with her car while waiting in a downtown parking lot, found 2 days later in car bludgeoned, strangled with a cloth strip, sexually assulted/tortured.

8-11-49 Jean Spangler 27 starlet a onetime roomate of Beth Shorts, body never found, after going on date with new man, and being seen in bars with a brown haired men, or 2 men, purse found on street at Hollywood's Dell park.

8-18-49 Mimi Boombauer known as 'the happy widow' after going out on date to nightclubs, body never found, purse left in Wilshire phone booth with note written in lipstick

It certainly looks like Los Angeles had a serial killer on the loose in the 1940's who was never brought to justice...........................

gsjansen Nov 10, 2010 9:42 PM

i was perusing the historical los angeles forum pages at, when i stumbled upon this amazing aerial looking north on the harbor freeway across 7th street.

I am dating this photo in 1966 based on the point of construction on the union bank building.

The stuart K. Oliver house and the briggs are still sitting on their perch's at 4th and hope.

Any color photograph that shows the richfield tower is a cause for celebrating.

if you look closely towards the upper right of the photograph, you can see the salt box, and the BLUE castle on bunker hill avenue.

Cinnabar Street is still in existence, (kind of), though it and 3rd street have no buildings any longer.

what a photo!

gsjansen Nov 10, 2010 10:34 PM

another then and now

looking west towards hollywood from on top of fargo street in echo park 1930 and now

you can see the Griffith observatory as well as the hollywood(land in 1930 photo) sign in both photos as well

nativeangelean Nov 10, 2010 11:00 PM


Originally Posted by ethereal_reality (Post 4647420)
Here is a great photo showing the Hill Street Pacific Electric Station.
I noticed the advertisement on the side of the neighboring Masonic Temple building.
I was completely surprised that you could reach Mt. Lowe Resort via this transit.
usc digital archive

Below: I found this schedule/map showing a Mount Lowe route (through a wonderland) for $2.50.

Below: And I had this amazing photo showing a death-defying route ascending Mount Lowe.
usc digital archive

Below: From this photo, it looks as if once they get to a certain point on Mount Lowe
they transfered to this rather daunting incline railway.
usc digital archive
usc digital library

Below: And this is what awaited them at the top of the funicular/incline. I believe the sign reads Echo Mountain House.
usc digital archive

ucla archive

I find it amazing that Pacific Electric would build a rail-line up to Mt. Lowe.
To be truthful, my knowledge of all this is very vague.
Does anyone here know more details about this resort atop Mt. Lowe?

Could it have been owned by the Pacific Electric Co.?

My parents used to take us up there when we were little, it was a pretty long hike, but not too difficult. Seems the hotel was owned by the owner of the railway, Professor Thaddeus Lowe.

gsjansen Nov 10, 2010 11:23 PM

Welcome to the thread nativeangelean! Great Mount Lowe images!

The Mount Lowe Railway was a tourist attraction on Echo Mountain and Mount Lowe. The railway, originally incorporated by Professor Thaddeus S. C. Lowe as the Pasadena & Mt. Wilson Railroad Co. existed from 1893 until its official abandonment in 1938, and had the distinction of being the only scenic mountain, electric traction (overhead electric trolley) railroad ever built in the United States. Lowe’s partner and engineer was David J. Macpherson, a civil engineer graduate of Cornell University. The Mount Lowe Railway was a fulfillment of 19th century Pasadenans' desire to have a scenic mountain railroad to the crest of the San Gabriel Mountains.

The Railway opened on 4 July 1893, and consisted of nearly seven miles of track starting in Altadena, California at a station called Mountain Junction. The railway climbed the steep Lake Avenue and crossed the Poppyfields into the Rubio Canyon. This part of the trip was called the Mountain Division. At this juncture stood the Rubio Pavilion, a small 12-room hotel. From there the passengers transferred to a cable car funicular which climbed the Great Incline to the top of the Echo Mountain promontory.

Atop Echo stood the magnificent 70-room Victorian hotel, the Echo Mountain House. Only a few hundred feet away stood the 40-room Echo Chalet which was ready for opening day. The complement of buildings on Echo included an astronomical observatory, car barns, dormitories and repair facilities, a casino and dance hall, and a menagerie of local fauna. Passengers could then transfer to another trolley line, the Alpine Division, which would take them to the upper terminus at Crystal Springs and Ye Alpine Tavern, a 22-room Swiss Chalet hospice with a complement of amenities from tennis courts, to wading pools, to mule rides.

The Mount Lowe Railway was officially abandoned in 1938 after a horrendous rain washed most everything off the mountain sides.

Here is a 1968 photo of the remains of the mount lowe railway

GaylordWilshire Nov 11, 2010 12:03 AM

gs-- your north-on-the-Harbor shot brought my attention to a forum that somehow I didn't even know existed. In it I found this shot:™'s photostream

I'm posting this because when I recently posted a current Google Street View shot of Grauman's Chinese to align with yours of the theater in 1953, I wasn't aware that between Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and now, it was missing its vertical "CHINESE" signs and that marquees covered the arches.

BUT--more important is the set of pictures from verner_oscar™'s photostream to which the picture above belongs. It is in a color series of all sorts of L.A. locations in the '60s:

nativeangelean Nov 11, 2010 2:36 AM


Originally Posted by Johnny Socko (Post 4821906)
The most impressive residence I've seen around here is Edward Doheny's Greystone Mansion (and even then, I only saw it from the street below). In fact, it's so vast that I'm having trouble finding contemporary photographs that properly impart the scale of this place:
LAPL (not dated)

It's in Beverly Hills, so it's not technically L.A., but it's still a hell of a building. The Tudor architecture belies the fact that it was completed (relatively) recently, in 1928.

Of course, Greystone had its own "noir" part to play in local history: In 1929, 36-year-old Edward "Ned" Doheny, Jr., married father of five, was the victim of a murder-suicide committed by his personal secretary (and suspected lover) Theodore Plunkett. Below is an illustration of the event overlaid on a crime scene photo:

Below: Greystone Mansion today

Somewhere in my garage (don't anyone hold their breath) I have photos of the inside of the the Greystone Mansion. The grounds are open to the public, the interior is not. In 1992, my friends and I slept there on a dare (they worked for the City of Beverly Hills and had the keys) and it was a long, spooky and extremely dark night. There are passageways between the walls of each room with peepholes everywhere (strange), there is an old hidden bar and an old 2 lane bowling alley. The movie "There Will Be Blood" ends in that same bowling alley. The bathrooms are beautifully tiled floor to ceiling with built-in scales. It is a beautiful and very creepy house.

jhny12 Nov 11, 2010 2:46 AM

A little off topic, but couldn't help but notice the mustang & corvette in GaylordWilshire's picture of the chinese theater:tup:

nativeangelean Nov 11, 2010 5:14 AM


Originally Posted by Earl (Post 4866607)
I was revisiting Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammet and swung a search, to fill in the mental imagery, found this thread. Thank you, all posters, for gifting us with such beautiful, fascinating imagery. I've read a lot of books, seen a lot of movies, that fit perfectly with the photographs I've seen here.
So much so, that I may now be Australia's leading expert on Los Angeles c1920 to C1960.
Five weeks and I've got to page 56 of the thread. Keep it going, I dig it.

I second that emotion! I have been hooked on this thread for three days and am on page 72? Thank you so much for all your hard work and amazing photographs! We should get all of these together and make a gigantic photo map (before and after). I am in love with this site!

ethereal_reality Nov 12, 2010 12:02 AM


Originally Posted by nativeangelean (Post 5050864)
Somewhere in my garage (don't anyone hold their breath) I have photos of the inside of the the Greystone Mansion. The grounds are open to the public, the interior is not. In 1992, my friends and I slept there on a dare (they worked for the City of Beverly Hills and had the keys) and it was a long, spooky and extremely dark night. There are passageways between the walls of each room with peepholes everywhere (strange), there is an old hidden bar and an old 2 lane bowling alley. The movie "There Will Be Blood" ends in that same bowling alley. The bathrooms are beautifully tiled floor to ceiling with built-in scales. It is a beautiful and very creepy house.

^^^Now that's a great story!

Welcome to the thread nativeangelean.
I like your enthusiasm.

ethereal_reality Nov 12, 2010 12:11 AM

Below: Mike Todd's residence on the day of his death in 1958.
usc digital archive
usc digital archive

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