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ethereal_reality Mar 3, 2011 5:21 AM

Thanks for the info on the First Western Bank Building sopas_ej. Your before/after photo is perfect!!

What is that odd thing on top?

sopas ej Mar 3, 2011 5:33 AM


In architectural terms I think it's called a lantern. And fittingly so; at night, there's actually a bright light that comes on, kind of like a beacon, but it's just a steady light, it doesn't rotate or anything.

ethereal_reality Mar 3, 2011 5:49 AM

Thanks sopas_ej. I was going to guess it was a lantern.

So it still lights up after all these years? That's great.

GaylordWilshire Mar 3, 2011 2:34 PM


Originally Posted by ethereal_reality (Post 5185249)
The Los Angeles First National Trust & Savings Bank. This is an extremely interesting building. (no location given)
usc digital archive

What a great building. Here's another (partial) shot of it, maybe ten years later, and one of the sad
thing that now stands in its place: Street View

At least the building a block east at the SW corner of Colorado and Mentor
still stands: Street View

One for sopas: the South Pasadena branch, newly opened:
824 Fair Oaks Blvd.--NE corner of Mission St.

And now (we may have seen this here before): Street View

Same architect as the Pasadena branch? Another Los Angeles First National Bank building at the corner of
San Fernando Rd. and Brand Blvd. (gone):

gsjansen Mar 3, 2011 3:50 PM

every once in awhile, a noirish los angeles thread needs some noirish images!

Barbara Stanwyck & Fred MacMurray on the set of Double Indemnity (1944, dir. Billy Wilder)

Wartime food shortages meant that security guards were posted to protect the real cans of food in the grocery store from sticky-fingered cast & crew members. Despite this, the aggrieved store owner reported to the LA Times that some scoundrel had managed to pinch a can of peaches & four bars of laundry soap.
Source: Old Hollywood

gsjansen Mar 3, 2011 4:48 PM

while on the subject of noir films, particularly those that take place on bunker hill, here's is a 1951 classic that was not only filmed on bunker hill, but actually inside some of the buildings as well.
Source: Wikipedia

this was a remake of Fritz Lang's 1931 movie of the same title starring Peter Lorre as the child killer.

the movie begins at angels flight - (I apologize for the lousy images, but my copy of the dvd is not the best quality)

the 1st victim is a little girl on her way home from school. she and her mother live in the alta vista on bunker hill avenue and third. her mom looking at the clock waiting for her daughter to return from school. (actually filmed in the alta vista)

realizing that her daughter has not come home with the other kids, the mother hysterically starts to search for her. image looking up the stairwell of the alta vista

mom running up the back stairs of the alta vista up to bunker hill avenue

the baloon that the killer bought the daughter floats forlornly above the sunshine, astoria, and hilltop inn indicating that the girl is dead, (very chilling shot)

and our killer actually lives on bunker hill at the foss heindel house - 315 bunker hill

a girl who escapes at the last minute by meeting up with her mother skips up grand towards third past the nugent, (grand). our killer tries to lure her at the corner store, but mom shows up in time

he does succeed in getting a little girl to go with him, but is recognized as the killer and is chased through bunker hill. looking from on top of the 2nd street steps down hope street

running down the 2nd street steps from hope street down to the third street tunnel

running out of the third street tunnel towards hill street.

he is eventually cornered in the bradbury building, where the remainder of the movies takes place.

great catch GW about bus stop! here's one more image from bus stop, showing more of the brousseau house

GaylordWilshire Mar 3, 2011 7:52 PM

Sometimes bigger is better. The detail, the detail!


Originally Posted by gsjansen (Post 5185826)
every once in awhile, a noirish los angeles thread needs some noirish images!

Barbara Stanwyck & Fred MacMurray on the set of Double Indemnity (1944, dir. Billy Wilder)
Source: Old Hollywood

I've always been curious as to why Fred, playing the single BSD insurance man, wore a wedding ring in
Double Indemnity. I'm sure it has been noted here before, but MacMurray once famously owned The Bryson
(from 1944 into the '70s). Of course, The Bryson itself starred in a number of noirs and "neonoirs", including
Lady in the Lake and The Grifters. (I've got to watch that again, for the Bryson's role and for Annette
Bening's memorable scene in the store.)

At one time The Bryson had its own garage, at 623 N. Rampart (now gone):

And finally, a lovely color shot with The Bryson in the distance:

Beaudry Mar 3, 2011 10:11 PM


Originally Posted by gsjansen (Post 5184609)
Andy961 at flicker posted some images that he had taken back in 1962 during the construction of the i-10 santa monica freeway.

he graciously gave me permission to post them here.

our good friend the young apartments
Source: Andy961 flicker photostream

Sometimes I think this is Facebook and I'm looking for the "Like" button.

Beaudry Mar 3, 2011 11:38 PM


Originally Posted by GaylordWilshire (Post 5185126) Century-Fox

I'm a few minutes into 1956's Bus Stop the other day, with Don Murray and Arthur O'Connell having just
gotten off the bus in Phoenix. Phoenix? The prop signs didn't fool me. I knew I was looking at The Nugent/
New Grand at 3rd and Grand on Bunker Hill.

It isn't every day that my jaw drops, I mean, actually physically drops. Of course now I had to just purchase it on Amazon.

That's 256/259 BH Ave behind, where Indus Arthur lives in Angel's Flight (from which the nosy old lady sees her murder the guy across the street on the bench). The big white building across the way is the Alta Vista, which gsjansen just wrote about as having been featured in M. And I've never seen an image with that particular neon cafe sign over the coffee shop at the Alto...

ethereal_reality Mar 3, 2011 11:50 PM

Here are a couple more photos of the beautiful Bryson taken in 1917.
USC Digital Archive

below: From this angle, the front portion of the top floor of each wing appear to be open air porches (for lack of a better word).
If you look again at the above photo, you can see large potted trees in this open air area.
USC Digital Archive

below: In the contemporary photo posted by GaylordWilshire this open area is now enclosed

Beaudry Mar 4, 2011 12:08 AM

He drove down to Wilshire and we turned east again.

Twenty-five minutes brought us to the Bryson Tower, a white stucco palace with fretted lanterns in the forecourt and tall date palms. The entrance was in an L, up marble steps, through a Moorish archway, and over a lobby that was too big and a carpet that was too blue. Blue Ali Baba oil jars were dotted around, big enough to keep tigers in. There was a desk and a night clerk with one of those mustaches that get stuck under your fingernail.

Degarmo lunged past the desk towards an open elevator, beside which a tired old man sat on a stool waiting for a customer. The clerk snapped at Degarmo's back like a terrier.

"One moment please. Whom did you wish to see?"

Degarmo spun on his heel and looked at me wonderingly. "Did he say 'whom'?"

"Yeah, but don't hit him," I said. "There is such a word."

Degarmo licked his lips. "I knew there was," he said. "I often wondered where they kept it."

Chandler, Lady in the Lake, 1943

sopas ej Mar 4, 2011 2:18 AM

Great pics, of those long-demolished buildings, Gaylord. And of the Bryson, too; that's always been one of my favorite LA buildings.


Originally Posted by GaylordWilshire (Post 5185727)
One for sopas: the South Pasadena branch, newly opened:
824 Fair Oaks Blvd.--NE corner of Mission St.

And now (we may have seen this here before): Street View

You know, I may have posted that corner here before, but I'm not 100% sure. Thanks for posting that old photo of the bank, I've never seen that earlier picture before, I have another old photo from about the same era of that building.

I'm glad to say that the building has been painstakingly restored and is now a Comerica Bank.

In November of 2009 they started stripping away the 1950s or 1960s remodel, revealing what was underneath. There was some damage to the original architectural elements. The bank was long gone, a furniture store having been there since at least the late 1990s (when I moved to South Pas).
Photo by me

They saved what they could and recreated other architectural details, and it looks pretty close to what the building first looked like when it was built in 1920. By June of 2010, the restoration was complete. From what I've read, Comerica Bank wanted to contribute something positive to the community and it invested in the restoration/recreation.
Photo by me

As a postscript, towards the end of last year, it was in the local newspaper that some people felt that the palm trees that were planted after the restoration didn't match the building. Then, about a month ago, someone uprooted two of the trees on the Mission Street side of the building; police believe they were knocked over on purpose by a car. No witnesses reported the incident, the trees were discovered uprooted and on their sides early one morning. To date, they haven't been replaced.

Silly people.

Muji Mar 4, 2011 4:59 AM

Wow, looking at the So. Pas Comerica bank today I never would've guessed what it's been through! What a happy ending :)

I hope these haven't been posted already, but I've simply been amazed by these 1930 photos of traffic (pedestrian and vehicular) on Spring Street.
USC Digital Library
USC Digital Library

Mark L Mar 4, 2011 5:03 AM


Originally Posted by GaylordWilshire (Post 5181618)
Mark L: A few other small notes on 2412 W. 7th... the building is listed in vintage city directories as the Kosloff Building, and at one time it housed J. G. Davenport & Associates, the L.A. representatives of Boy's Life magazine. An office of the Encyclopaedia Britannica is also listed in city directories there, as are some other publisher's reps, insurance offices, and other firms. All 2412 listings were in the DUnkirk telephone exchange... now, we're getting into real Asperger territory here, but I couldn't help but notice that the "382" in the neon number over the door today (213-382-7229) corresponds to "DUnkirk".... The name Kosloff is likely that of the owner and/or builder--there were a few other small (though not as architecturally interesting) apartment buildings in the area bearing the name Kosloff. The name Kosloff seems, not surprisingly, to be of Russian derivation. I can find no connection with 2412 and two other well-known Kosloffs in L.A. (though one or the other could conceivably be the investor/developer of it): Theodore, a ballet promoter/coach (, and Maurice.... In my Googling I've also read of a producer by the name of Maurice Kosloff (also apparently connected to the ballet-- He may or may not be--but likely is--the same Maurice Kosloff who was the proprietor of the "Maurice Kasloff School of Dancing-Singing-Radio & Acting", once on the top floor of the Art Deco building still at the SW corner of Wilshire and Robertson:

Detail: Angeles Art Deco

and today: Street View

OK... now for the (anti-climatic, I'm afraid) Dahlia connection: As the writer does in the second Times link
above, some people speculate on some of the BD boards (most of which are decidedly loopy) that "Maurice
the Voice Teacher", sometimes mentioned in connection with the Florentine Gardens, was Maurice Kosloff....
No? Oh well, Mark L (if you're still reading), I know this probably has little to do with 2412 W. 7th, but I do
like to try to make a noir connection here if I can.. and the building above is pretty, isn't it?

Wow. That is interesting stuff GW. I will ask the tenants I know at 2412 if they have heard the Kosloff name in any lease docs.
And yes, the art deco building on Robertson is beautiful.


Beaudry Mar 4, 2011 5:41 AM

Ok, more matchbooks
...because I'm too lazy to put them all away, and when I do, they're not coming out of their workboxes for a while. Soooo...

Wash between Lincoln and Walnut -- 1962 structure now houses an Ortho Mattress.

I don't use the word cute often or well, but damn that's cute. Now the site of a pretty good 1958 lo-rise office building.

Now the parking lot of Otto's Cleaners at Slauson and Van Ness. This place has (had) a li'l noir history to boot:

August 24 & 27, 1955. Back to the books:

Much can be said of the Morrison Hotel. Many a tale of misery and woe about five years ago when its owners were hauled before a judge for their slum conditions there. So they evicted 120 tenants and boarded it up and it sits empty today.

Built for Belgian-born tycoon Victor Ponet, the Morrison Hotel was designed by the master architectural firm of Morgan, Walls & Morgan and run up by builder F.O. Engstrum for about $95,000 in 1914. Though that firm’s career was brief (1910-23), it left an enduring mark on the look of downtown L.A., with still-standing designs like the Globe Theater, the Arcade Theater, and the Hass Building gracing South Broadway and the dramatic Santa Fe Building dominating its neighbors on S. Los Angeles and W. 6th Street. from

Another survivor...sort of...

Really? Of all the Deco-yness and tile and so forth, that's what we have to show for it? And it is the original structure; City records indicate this as having been built in 1937.

(Joe Borgia ran the Chateau Trianon, a French-themed nightclub, at 8610 Sunset.) I like how the landscape behind has remained basically the same:

Another liquor store:

...of course at the time, demographically, "White Spot" didn't seem so curious a name for the middle of Compton.

This is a "feature" matchbook, which is damn lovable:

This corner (Temple is now Bullis) is a dirt lot. Again, hafta wonder if it fell to the Rodney King riots. Apt, thinking about that, as the beating was twenty years ago today.

Read all about mobsters and pirates (government agents as pirates -- awesome) here:

Programmatic goodness:

Four remain; Mr Cecil's Ribs, Kim Chuy, Roche Guadalajara, and Valley Dealer Exchange. I'm kind of tempted to patronize all four in one day.

More mimetic architecture! And a happy ending. Awww.

The Barrel! It has a new lease on life: Ok, not the one on the matchbook (the site is a '50s medical office with flagcrete and eyebrow canopies), but one on Vineland in NoHo. Which's been approved as a landmark, and with some perseverance (and luck) someone special will move in and restore her, and start a-pouring suds again.


GaylordWilshire Mar 4, 2011 2:14 PM Calisphere
West Center Street--later Lincoln Ave.--Anaheim Calisphere

There is no listing for Kustiner's in any LAPL Los Angeles city directory of the
'30s or '40s. How did the set designers of the new HBO Mildred Pierce decide
on the signage of an Anaheim clothing store for a Manhattan set meant to
represent the facade of period downtown L.A.? (Perhaps there was a
Kusitner's branch in Pasadena, and this is meant to be that city's downtown.
I guess we'll have to tune in on March 27th to find out.)

SW corner of Madison Avenue and 27th Street, New York: Alan Miles/LACurbed Street View
LACurbed refers to this as Park Ave. and 27th, but it's actually a block

Updates from LACurbed on the new Mildred:

Sebisebster Mar 4, 2011 7:23 PM

Some then and now pics around Pershing Square
5th Street and Grand, looking east in 1938 and now:

Uploaded with

Pershing Square, 6th and Hill, looking north, circa 1931 and now:

Uploaded with

The vintage pictures:

Uploaded with

Uploaded with

Thanks to LAPL and Google Earth.

ethereal_reality Mar 4, 2011 10:44 PM

Surprisingly, this 1969 photo accompanied an article on the safety of these homes on stilts.

ethereal_reality Mar 4, 2011 11:08 PM

Two interesting cabinet cards on ebay.

GaylordWilshire Mar 5, 2011 1:52 AM

1945: An old paint store at 8109 Beverly Blvd., rumored to be a bookie joint--Mickey Cohen once operated here as a small-time bookmaker. Oh, and once he killed a man here in "self-defense." All this, and "Kon-Kre-Kota", too.

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