SkyscraperPage Forum

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

Beaudry Apr 30, 2010 5:15 PM

LA at Night
I was perusing past posts and there were some great night shots -- like this one

and this one

-- and it struck me how sexy and evocative nighttime postcards are. There's even a book on the subject.

So I said well, time to fire up the scanner...

Why wouldn't every light in Los Angeles be on? And no lights burn brighter than those of the LAAC.

...that of course is the Westminster shrouded in the mist, the Van Nuys (later to be adorned with its big Barclay neon) across the street, and to the right, the Farmers & Merchants Bank.

Beaudry Apr 30, 2010 5:21 PM

(I had no idea Broadway was so...psychedelic...)

I find these next two really interesting because it illuminates (not a bad choice of words) how different two versions of the same postcard can be...

Beaudry Apr 30, 2010 5:29 PM

Did Otis really outfit his building with cute lights?

I also like the fact that there was a perpetually full moon, once upon a time.

Now, let's move on to other parts of town...

Beaudry Apr 30, 2010 5:38 PM

More about Venice and Ocean Park pcards here

Beaudry Apr 30, 2010 5:45 PM

I don't know about you, but I don't altogether relish the concept of going into these parks in the middle of the night. Even with all that moonlight.

Argh! There's something noir about misty docks.

Now enough with all this protonoir of 1910...moving ahead in time...going to linens n' things, and I don't mean the store...

Beaudry Apr 30, 2010 5:53 PM

What could be more noir than the Mullholland fountain? God bless the man who said "There it is. Take it." And since the image before was of Signal Hill...go here, download the pdf and go to page 7.

Beaudry Apr 30, 2010 6:09 PM

And now we're in the chrome era. Looking up B'way from 8th.

Below, the gala premier for Back Street -- 1961:

Pine Ave -- note the Palace amid all the neon.

True noir: of the late 60s-on-up variety.

The Greyhound Station was built in 1966 and soon became one of the sketchiest places in town. It's now just a jumble of shops. The remains of the giant sign are still there, even. Sixth and Los Angeles.

And downtown continues to be psychedelic!

ethereal_reality Apr 30, 2010 8:55 PM

^^^ Beautiful scans Beaudry!! Quite an enchanting journey through time.

TheGriz May 2, 2010 12:34 AM

John Buntin Event
Only recently put "L.A. Noir" by John Buntin on my to-read list at the recommendation of half the contributors to this thread; just got notice today that the L.A. City Historical Society is presenting a John Buntin lecture on Mayor Frank L. Shaw (where he'll also be selling/signing copies of L.A. Noir) as part of their Marie Northrop Lecture Series.

It's at the Mark Taper Auditorium of Central Library May 15, 2p; no website provided, but lists phone numbers 323-936-2912 and 213-228-7400.

Johnny Socko May 2, 2010 10:29 AM

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

ethereal_reality May 3, 2010 12:09 AM

I used to drive up to the Doheny Mansion for peace and quiet.
Are the grounds still open to the public?

ethereal_reality May 3, 2010 12:35 AM

A view of Figueroa & 7th Street in 1950.
I really like the building with the Studebaker sign.
usc digital archive

Below: A better view of the building with the Studebaker sign.
Notice the billboard for the new Statler Hotel.
usc digital archive

ethereal_reality May 3, 2010 12:43 AM

The Monarch Hotel at 5th & Figueroa, in 1928.
usc digital archive

ethereal_reality May 3, 2010 12:46 AM

The Asahi Building at Wilshire & La Brea.
usc digital archive

GaylordWilshire May 3, 2010 3:36 PM

The enduring Bradbury McNew/Reuters/NYT

I was struck by this picture, taken on Saturday, on the front page of yesterday's NY Times --large, center, and above the fold in the early edition. I was struck by the mass of people, of course, but thrilled to my noir bones to see the Bradbury Bldg at left--witness to 117 years of Broadway history. And of course it's good to see the Million Dollar, the Grand Central Market, the old Broadway store, and on down to the Eastern Columbia.

gsjansen May 3, 2010 3:46 PM

Images then and now
There is a very talented photographer who posts his works on flickr. He goes by the name of BasicShape. He has photo retouched a couple of images from the past to show how the buildings look today in the same image.

here are the ones he has done so far

2nd street tunnel looking west from Hill Street
Classic Photo Cushman Gallery, new photo and montage by BasicShape

Brunswig Building
Classic photo USC Digital Archives, New photo and montage by BasicShape

Here is a link to his photo stream on flickr, he has very nice Los Angeles photos

GaylordWilshire May 3, 2010 10:58 PM

Our druggist Brunswig, of the restored Brunswig Building on Main Street, lived in style, at 3528 West Adams. Lucien Napoleon Brunswig, born in France, was also a philanthropist, reportedly founding the French Red Cross (not sure what the difference was between the French and the 'merican) and a soup kitchen at the Plaza Mission church, near the office. His daughter, Marguerite Brunswig Staude, was, like her father, a devout Catholic. According to West Adams by Suzanne Cooper, "In 1932, inspired by her vision of a cross superimposed on the Empire State Building, [Marguerite] conceived the idea for a place of worship." The realization of her vision was, alas, not in Los Angeles--who could compete with Sister Aimee?--but rather in Sedona, Ariz.

gsjansen May 4, 2010 1:20 PM

Back in Black
Getting back to some Noir images

Rudolph Schindler's great Sardi's restaurant at 6313 Hollywood Blvd
California State Library

Opening night gala premier of City Lights at the Los Angeles Theatre
California State Library

Hollywood and vine from the Hollywood Broadway 1956
California State Library

GaylordWilshire May 4, 2010 4:53 PM

Sweet Daddy Grace

It turns out that this Berkeley Square house had quite a colorful end. I've now got a name (but still few pictures) for just about every house built on Berkeley Square--some are of original builders, most are from the early-to-mid-20s, and some are of later tenants, such as Bishop C. M. ("Sweet Daddy") Grace. It seems that the bishop, the East Coast's answer to Sister Aimee, bought this house in 1958 and died in it less than two years later. And did Mr. Haig unload it on him knowing that the "10" was about to come through?

Jet magazine, March 20, 1958:

"Daddy Grace Pays $450,000 for Calif. Mansion"

"Plunking down $450,000 in cash, Bishop C. M. (Sweet) Daddy Grace bought a million-dollar, 85-room mansion in the swank Berkeley Square section of Los Angeles as a West coast haven for his flock. In Southern California's biggest residential deal in 25 years, the 74-year-old cult leader handed former owner Haig M. Prince "more than $300,000 in cash" plus approximately $150,000 in currency for the 42-year-old English Tudor estate. The showplace has a swimming pool, a grand ballroom with a $17,000 piano and $230,000 in Oriental rugs, Ming vases and artwork. At week's end, Grace's followers were busy painting the mansion red, white and blue."

Btw, I'm not sure who Mr. Haig was, but he built this building on the nw corner of Broadway and 2nd St.

ethereal_reality May 4, 2010 11:01 PM

^^^Very interesting story.
I'm surprised at the size of his mansion in Berkeley Square.....85 rooms!!

Love the night photos also.
Especially the one of SARDI'S.

Last week I watched 'Sunset Boulevard' on TCM.
In the scene where Norma Desmond takes Joe Gillis to a haberdasher for new clothes, you can clearly see SARDI'S across the street.

I've heard the building is still there (I think it's a porn shop now).

Here are a couple more photos.
usc digital archive
ucla archive

All times are GMT. The time now is 11:59 AM.

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