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MichaelRyerson Feb 23, 2012 10:17 PM

The entrance to the Harvey Apartments with its perfunctory,
neo-industrial signage, the ideal image for working-class Santa Monica Boulevard. As you probably remember, it was in the Harvey's lobby, in December 2010, that Harold Martin Smith, an ex-con and the prime suspect in the Ronni Chasen murder, shot himself as police 'closed in'. Back in 1957 (yes, a fleabag even then) the Harvey was home to Louis Spivak and Richard McFall, the 'mastermind' and his number one co-conspirator, respectively, a couple of California State Department of Corrections alumni (Folsom), who with a couple of other suitably shady characters, were involved in the armed home invasion, kidnapping and robbery of Lauritz Melchior, his wife and housekeeper. It all came to naught, everyone being rounded up within a few days and most of the loot being restored to the Melchiors. All very noirish.

KevinW Feb 24, 2012 2:05 AM

After all the talk about the Lookout Mountain Film Lab, I came upon this Production of Theirs on Youtube. Talk about Noirish L.A.

Video Link

jg6544 Feb 24, 2012 3:45 AM

This is almost as silly as the "duck and cover" exercises we used to have to do in elementary school, as though less than an inch of plywood was going to protect you from the effects of a thermonuclear attack.

ethereal_reality Feb 24, 2012 5:28 AM

:previous: KevinW..thanks for providing the link to the Civil Defense film produced at Lookout Mountain's 'secret' facilities in 1954.

Here are a few screen-grabs.

below: The old shelter signs in downtown Los Angeles.

below: A view of the Hollywood Freeway.

below: Even the May Co. Department Store on Wilshire Blvd. has a cameo.

Thanks again KevinW!

ethereal_reality Feb 24, 2012 5:38 AM

A group of albumen photographs taken in Los Angeles circa 1904.

Does anyone recognize any of these mystery places?


ethereal_reality Feb 24, 2012 6:09 AM

below: The La Wanda Arms in 1936.

above: USC has this apartment building at 1217 N. Berendo Ave. I believe this is a mistake.

below: The apartment building at 731 North St. Andrews Place.
google street view
google street view
google street view

below: The complete matchbook.


3940dxer Feb 24, 2012 6:10 AM


Originally Posted by KevinW (Post 5603033)
After all the talk about the Lookout Mountain Film Lab, I came upon this Production of Theirs on Youtube..

Thanks for your post -- I found the film interesting. For what it is, the production is really professional and. It's a kick to see an example of what they were doing on Wonderland.

I guess that building is still for sale? You know, when I explore the hills -- one thing I keep seeing -- it's amazing many of these mega mansions in the hills above Hollywood, etc. are unoccupied, or for sale. About 1/3 of them, maybe more. I'm talking about the really big, extravagant homes. It seems the bigger the house, the more likely it is that nobody lives there.

Back to the film, I really enjoyed all the little L.A. vignettes. I thought maybe there was one brief scene from the viewing platform at city hall - did anyone else see that?

unihikid Feb 24, 2012 6:51 AM


Originally Posted by johnjohn7188 (Post 5602096)
I believe you're right! I used to live a few blocks away from the Cineramadome. I had forgotten all about the Greyhound station. Now I remember seeing a Greyhound sign every morning on my way to school. Unfortunately, I never got to see the interior.

the detail inside looked like it got made over in the 60s,they had the black old style pleather lax seats,and 2 old wooden phone booths,it was kinda a plane jane.

BDiH Feb 24, 2012 10:19 AM

Fred Harvey's

Originally Posted by ethereal_reality (Post 5601568)
I've been trying for some time now to find the location of this Fred Harvey Restaurant.
LAPL lists no information with this photograph.

Well, I finally found the answer via this postcard.

I naively thought all Fred Harvey Restaurants were in train stations
(Los Angeles Union Station had a beautiful Fred Harvey until it closed in 1967).

After I found out the address I was able to find more information on this particular Fred Harvey Restaurant. It turns out, the restaurant
was part of a Santa Fe Trailways Travel Center that used to be located at 1735 Cahuenga Boulevard. (phone GLadstone 1266)

below: This ad says it all.

Of course now I would like to find out more about this travel center that I knew nothing about.


Fred Harvey's on Cahuenga was a hot spot in the 1930's. Grace Ralston claimed to have named her favorite morning after drink, the Bloody Mary, there. Years later, the Crush Club opened in the 1960's, with little alteration to the exterior. Eventually, the building was boarded up. About ten years ago, the space was rebuilt and opened as the White Lotus. The site is no longer recognizable as Fred Harvey's, just as the old Tick Tock restaurant across the street is no longer recognizable. After closing down in the 1980's, it became Gorky's and is now Sharkey's.

The Greyhound Bus depot on Vine Street was closed awhile back and a new one was built just south of the old Fred Harvey's about ten years ago. The original Greyhound sign was moved from the Vine Street location to the new site on Cahuenga. This involved negotiations with Greyhound, who wanted to discard it in order to update their image. The original Vine Street Geyhound depot can be seen in many Hollywood movies, including The Killing (1956) with Sterling Hayden.

GaylordWilshire Feb 24, 2012 1:22 PM


Originally Posted by ethereal_reality (Post 5603218)
A group of albumen photographs taken in Los Angeles circa 1904.

Does anyone recognize any of these mystery places?


Upper left is a shot of the 23rd Street gates of Chester Place; middle left is the boathouse at Westlake Park; middle right the Cumnock School (see here:; the upper right/lower right and lower left appear to be on the same street or in the same subdivision--looks like it might be Sugar Hill... I'll see what I can find.

GaylordWilshire Feb 24, 2012 1:50 PM Jewell
I love cars of the '50s, but I've never understood the appeal of continental kits except as
kitsch (and when they're on the original '40s Continentals). The aftermarket maker of this
conti kit on a '54 Buick must have realized that more than a ponderous fifth wheel was going
to be needed to give a four-door sedan some glamour when it chose this background for an ad. Jewell
A pink Cadillac--a '57-- at the BH Hotel is more like it. I wonder how many factory-
pink Cadillacs were actually sold that year....

jg6544 Feb 24, 2012 7:15 PM

Pink was a popular color for cars in the mid 50s; I remember Ford had a pink and black one. We'd consider it garish today.

GaylordWilshire Feb 24, 2012 8:20 PM

... and then there's this pink 1970 Caddy at 19611 Ventura Blvd in Tarzana...

Fab Fifties Fan Feb 24, 2012 9:57 PM


Originally Posted by GaylordWilshire (Post 5603943)

... and then there's this pink 1970 Caddy at 19611 Ventura Blvd in Tarzana...

Thank you for posting that G_W! I am both horrified and amused by it!!!

I have never even heard of that building and am very curious regarding the WHY???:shrug:

~Jon Paul

Fab Fifties Fan Feb 24, 2012 10:04 PM


Originally Posted by jg6544 (Post 5603791)
Pink was a popular color for cars in the mid 50s; I remember Ford had a pink and black one. We'd consider it garish today.

Garish??? Never! A stupendous work of art? Absolutely!!!
Personal photo collection

~Jon Paul

Mayor Shaw Feb 24, 2012 11:04 PM

Hello everyone. For years I have been following this site, checking in sometimes twice or more during the day. I have found it to be one of the best sources for Los Angeles research on the internet (I'm also a big fan of Mr. Harnish's work). For a researcher, this site is like a trip to Clifton' is sure to find something that catches one's eye.

I hope that once I've worked out the mechanics of posting, I will be able to contribute and give back some of the knowledge I have received here. In the meantime, a few posts back Ethereal Reality mentioned something about the L.A. Freepress ads. I hope this link helps.

GaylordWilshire Feb 24, 2012 11:33 PM County Archives

It was out in Brea--not sure when it met the wrecking ball, but what a loss... almost looks like something that might have been at a world's fair.

Two photos above: Maynard Parker/Calisphere

so-cal-bear Feb 24, 2012 11:37 PM


westcork Feb 25, 2012 1:27 AM

I believe that Union 76 Research Facility was the Harley Research Center located at the corner of Imperial Highway and Valencia Ave.

It is gone as of a couple of years ago, and will soon be a mixed use development

GaylordWilshire Feb 25, 2012 1:48 AM

A few shots of the Union Oil research center; Valencia is at left in the top picture, with Imperial Hwy crossing it.

All pics: LAPL

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