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Fab Fifties Fan Aug 12, 2011 4:49 PM

and speaking of cars....
Found this postcard on e-bay today.

America's first car wash (1927) the "El Patio Auto Laundry"! Turns out it was connected to the El Patio Ballroom which, as has been discussed on the thread before, eventually became the Palomar Ballroom. Notice the towers top left.

The Palomar

ethereal_reality Aug 13, 2011 5:08 AM

^^^Excellent find Fab_Fifties_Fan!

Handsome Stranger Aug 13, 2011 5:19 AM

I was fascinated by that photo of the El Patio Auto Laundry (what a great name!) and went searching for more info. I stumbled across this group of additional photos.

Also came across these early-1930s photos of Royal Coach Auto Body Works on Santa Monica Blvd. I assume the man in the white coat is the proprietor.

Los Angeles Past Aug 13, 2011 6:48 AM

Found it!
I've been looking for a better-quality version of this image for a long time! (Sorry for the horizontal width, but it's worth the side-scrolling.)

Civic Center, Los Angeles, March 11, 1946.
Library of Congress.

Here's a link to the full-resolution TIFF file.


GaylordWilshire Aug 13, 2011 5:45 PM


GaylordWilshire Aug 13, 2011 8:27 PM

Speaking of car washes...

Even Morgan, Walls & Clements designed one. It was at 920 S. Western Ave. Not visible here, but just to the right is a lot offering free parking for patrons of the Fox Uptown Theatre down the street. Good pictures of the car wash online are elusive--it took me forever to find this fuzzy copy of one taken by Dick Whittington in 1927. I couldn't find it among all the Dick Whittington pics in the usual libraries. (If you happen to see a copy of Richard Longstreth's [incredible] book The Drive-In, the Supermarket, and the Transformation of Commercial Space in Los Angeles, 1914-1941, there's a much sharper print of this shot in it.)

Beaudry Aug 14, 2011 2:04 AM

Greetings, gents. It's been a while. Here are a coupla things I picked up lately.

Your standard shot down Main across the Plaza church, 1957. Not that much has changed...street lamps, trolley wires...note the demo of the Citizens Bank to the north.
Don't know when it was built or when it came down. The Google "now" version shows the Vickrey-Bruswig and Plaza House during their restoration.

Looking up First across Main toward Spring, 5/27/56. Lots of haze, admit it, it's smog, adding a nice sfumato effect; the Courthouse lurks, mid-construction, at Hill. Check out how the City Hall trees have grown. The State Building is, of course, a skate park. Nice that we've retained the old combo streetlight/trolley pole illumination.

Ok, this is the one that tore me from my sabbatical to post again in the first place (what can I say, always get excited about the gas holders). Looking down Sunset across Grand, 7/55. The Croyden Apts was at 620 Sunset. Behind the Croyden a panel truck turns onto Hill St, which curved around Ft Moore. Note that in the now picture the crosswalk has been moved closer to the foreground by about twenty feet; used to be where the blue mailbox is in the 1955 shot. Noticeable lack of protesters in the older image, too. Dig the bay window in the rearview mirror!

Great work on everything of late, y'all!

ethereal_reality Aug 14, 2011 5:11 PM

Great post Beaudry! I especially love the last photo.
Your description really brings the scene to life (the topper was the mysterious bay window in the rear view mirror).

sopas ej Aug 14, 2011 6:51 PM

Ah Beaudry, I concur with ethereal, that last photo you posted is really a great one! I'd like to think that possibly that panel truck was an LA County Coroner's vehicle on its way to the Hall of Justice.

I thought this was an interesting article from the LA Times from last year. It shows that Angelenos were so in love with their cars from the very beginning that even the City Council didn't want people to have to pay for parking on city streets.

The city that loves the car was slow to pay for parking
LA Times

By Steve Harvey

Los Angeles lays claim to being the birthplace of such phenomena as drive-in church services (Emmanuel Lutheran, North Hollywood, 1949), hang-gliding (Dockweiler State Beach, about 1960) and the Cobb salad (the Brown Derby, 1937).

But the city was no pacesetter in the category of parking meters. Oklahoma City was the first to install the coin confiscators in 1935, and more than 60 other municipalities followed before Los Angeles joined the crowd in 1949. Even Fairbanks, Alaska, beat L.A.

Three times -- in 1940, 1942 and 1946 -- the City Council rejected the notion, much to the delight of The Times, which scoffed that it would be "just as fair to install turnstiles for sidewalk pedestrians."

When a nickel-an-hour rate was first talked about in 1936, The Times warned ominously that "the autoist using the space for only a few minutes would have to pay as much as he who uses it for the full period."

The newspaper also asserted that the number of parking spaces would be reduced because they "must all be long enough for cars with the largest wheelbase."

And what of the technological challenge facing autoists?

"Can a stranger, or even a forgetful homebody, be mulcted for a fine if he doesn't know how to work the contraption?" asked Times columnist Chapin Hall in 1940. "Even the mechanics of dropping a nickel in a slot is a major problem for some."

But others pushed for the gadgets, including council members searching for new sources of revenue, lobbyists for the meter manufacturers and merchants who wanted to eliminate that early 20th century villain known as the "parking hog."

Finally, in 1949, the City Council gave in and installed 400 of the 5-cents-an-hour devices on an experimental basis on Lankershim Boulevard near the present site of the Metro Red Line station in North Hollywood.


Read the rest by clicking on THIS.

ethereal_reality Aug 15, 2011 9:01 PM

Dedication of the State Building, circa 1932.

above: This building was a lot larger than I had remembered. Notice the people along the roof line.

below: The State Building facing the Los Angeles Times Building lower left.

below: The foundation is still visible.
If I remember correctly sopas_ej posted close-up photos of the foundation earlier in the thread.
google street view

So why was this particular building torn down?


ethereal_reality Aug 15, 2011 9:41 PM

Palm being moved to Central & 5th for depot, 1889.
usc digital library

I love the Wolfskill shanty.


sopas ej Aug 16, 2011 12:42 AM

Great pics, ethereal, I really like the one of the dedication.


Originally Posted by ethereal_reality (Post 5379800)
If I remember correctly sopas_ej has posted close-up photos of the foundation earlier in the thread.

So why was this particular building torn down?

Yes, I did post close-ups of the foundation and the still-visible leftover floor tiles of the State Building, but I don't remember what page of the thread those are on.

The State Building was torn down after sustaining structural damage caused by the 1971 Sylmar Earthquake.

ethereal_reality Aug 16, 2011 1:10 AM

I wonder why the State Building suffered structural damage and not City Hall which was constructed several years earlier.

Sopas_ej, I searched for your earlier photos of the State Building's foundation/tiles to no avail.
This thread is HUGE now......and that's a GOOD thing. :)

malumot Aug 16, 2011 4:29 AM

Hey Ethereal!

I noticed that postcard is missing one particular item........


(Some air-brushing perhaps? Surely the 1907-era IBB didn't square with the whole "Civic Center" vibe.)

Wasn't torn down until 1954 - and that post card/air photo surely pre-dates '54.

Do I get a cookie? LOL LOL LOL

gsjansen Aug 16, 2011 5:34 PM


also in that postcard, automobiles are shown driving up and down, and being parked on court street between broadway and hill!!

I'd pay good money to see that happen!

ethereal_reality Aug 16, 2011 8:05 PM


Originally Posted by ethereal_reality (Post 5379800)

below: The State Building facing the Los Angeles Times Building lower left.

below: An aerial view from 1931 showing the State Building under construction. This is the exact same angle as the postcard above.
usc digital archive

I didn't realize the old Los Angeles Times building was still standing as the State Building was rising. They look like they're mere feet from each other.
If you look closely you can see the two funicular 'cars' going up and down Court Flight.

Does anyone have any information on that slightly curved 'alley' in the lower right hand corner?
It seems to abruptly dead end behind one of the building facing Los Angeles Street.


ethereal_reality Aug 16, 2011 9:50 PM

Here is an interesting snapshot from ebay.

The seller says it is a view of Spring Street near 2nd Street. (Higgins Building in the distance)
The back of the photo is annotated in pencil "Levy's-Spring Street side".

ethereal_reality Aug 16, 2011 10:17 PM

Another dedication photo, this time it is a cornerstone laying ceremony for an Acute unit at Los Angeles County Hospital in 1930.

I am always astonished by the sheer size of the county hospital. I believe it's one of the most impressive art deco buildings in the world.

Fab Fifties Fan Aug 16, 2011 10:23 PM

State building shrapnel1
Hi etheral_reality and sopas_ej here are a couple of shots from the old posts


Originally Posted by gsjansen (Post 4865571)
This building was never a favorite of mine. It always felt overbearing, and very cold. However, i did find this 1950 photo of the state building that makes it appear really cool in a seamy noir way
USC Digital Archives

S EJ, Thank you so much for posting the telephoto closeup shot of the floor tile. I wasn't aware that so much remained either. Wow! they should restore the tile flooring, and open the foundation up for some type of public space. It's really a shame that it's been fenced off for so long.

Fab Fifties Fan Aug 16, 2011 11:20 PM

Court Flight
I came across this picture of Court Flight that I don't recall seeing on here (can't guarantee that, after all the 70's were very very good to me :dissy:).

I really like this shot because you can see just how steep it was. Also, this blurb that I was reading said that some huge railway memorabilia collector in Woodland Hills has both cars and several of the signs in his private collection! I'd love to see those:D


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