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kanhawk Jun 9, 2010 5:08 AM

I continue to enjoy all these noirish photos and was wondering if anyone has any noirish photos of the more dangerous or notorious areas of the Los Angeles of today such as the area of the Rodney King riots or the Watts riots and what those areas looked like 50 to 70 years ago compared to today or where I might view some of those.

ethereal_reality Jun 9, 2010 2:39 PM


Originally Posted by GaylordWilshire (Post 4870904) State Library

Just found this--the Panorama Building and what I take to be Germain greenhouses, presumably later replaced by the Germain Building on gs's map at Los Angeles and 4th.

That's a great find GaylordWilshire!

gsjansen Jun 9, 2010 5:28 PM

i have become absolutely fascinated with the wolfskill groves, and it's transformation from idyllic orange groves, to the center of los angeles's industrial area.

here is some of what i have found so far;

William Wolfskill, a native of Kentucky, came to California in 1831 and settled in Los Angeles in 1836, where he soon met and married Magdalena Lugo, daughter of Jose Ygnacio Lugo. In March 1838, Wolfskill purchased a 100-acre lot bounded by 3rd to 9th streets and San Pedro to Alameda streets, which he named Wolfskill Ranch, and built a large adobe (known as "Wolfskill Adobe") located at 239 Alameda, between 3rd and 4th streets. In 1839 Wolfskill became a major grape producer when he planted the first vineyard of table grapes in California. Two years later, in 1841, he planted his first 2-acre plot of citrus behind his adobe, between 4th and 6th streets east of Alameda. In a short period of time, Wolfskill's farm had increased to 28-acres of planted citrus with over 2,500 orange trees. By 1862 he owed 3/4 of all the orange trees in California and was the biggest orange grower in the United States - for which he is considered the father of early California citrus industry. In 1865, Wolfskill purchased Rancho Santa Anita, where he planted eucalyptus seeds that he had imported from Australia. The eucalyptus trees, which still stand today, were the first of their kind in California. William Wolfskill died in 1866 at the age of 68, but the property remained in the family, with his son Louis Wolfskill taking over the operation of the ranch. Eventually, all but seven acres of the Wolfskill Ranch would either been sold or subdivided. Years later, the still-standing Wolfskill Adobe would be razed to make way for the old Southern Pacific Railroad's Arcade Station, which was located at Fifth and Alameda. This, too, would be demolished in 1914 and replaced with a larger and more modern railroad passenger depot - the Central Station. In 1916, the Ice & Cold Storage Plant was built on a portion of the land, and was located on 3rd and Central avenues. By 1958, the Ice & Cold Storage Plant had become Young's Market Company, located at 500 S. Central Avenue.

the wolfskill adobe located at Alameda between 3rd and 4th streets.

obviously the palm tree that got planted in front of the arcade station, didn't need to travel very far. Note the realty office on the right
USC Digital Archives

picking oranges in the wolfskill grove

William Wolfskill with banana trees in the grove

gsjansen Jun 9, 2010 8:26 PM

some more wolfskillranch fun
1939 aerial photo showing what was once the prominent orange grove in california, (at least the north west portion of it)

not much pickings on the trees............................................where the hell are the trees?

i actually read somewhere, that the wolfskill ranch was the origins of sunkist.............................more to follow when i have the time

GaylordWilshire Jun 9, 2010 8:42 PM

Victoriana Then and Now
The southwest corner of Adams and Monmouth "then"...

and now: Street View
At least it still stands....
The 800 block of South Bonnie Brae "then"...

and now: Street View

Probably the most famous Victorian in L.A., certainly the most photographed, is the Mooers house at 818 S. Bonnie Brae. Apparently Mr. Mooers was a raving dipsomaniac. I imagine noirish-Victorian strife at 818 during his family's tenancy--angled, heavily shadowed shots of Mooers bellowing from the top of the stairs, that sort of thing. (I'd like to think that the palm seedlings in front are those grown tall in the "now" shot. And notice the similarity of the low wall at the sidewalk to that of the house on Adams.) Soderberg

Not apparent in the modern street scene is the semi-onion-domed house next door to the Mooerses (somewhat reminiscent of the Santa Fe station downtown): Soderberg

AND... I'd like to direct your attention to two excellent pages I found in my perambulations. They are parts 1 and 2 of a Swedish family's history, which includes their life in 1920s and later Los Angeles, with pictures (some of their L.A. life is in in part 1; the bulk of it is in part 2). Well worth the time.

Part 1:; Part 2:

gsjansen Jun 10, 2010 1:04 PM

some more wolfskill ranch images

this is the lithograph i had posted earlier showing the general extent of the ranch which was located between Alameda and San Pedro from third street to ninth street

i marked up this 1961 aerial showing the extent of the orange groves

Green = extent of wolfskill ranch
Red = Location of Southern pacific terminal (Young's Market Company in the photo)
purple = location of arcade station
yellow = location of the Wolfskill adobe
USC Digital Archives

image looking through the orange grove

1885 image of the wolfskill adobe

image of the demolition of the southern pacific terminal
USC Digital Archives

gsjansen Jun 10, 2010 2:55 PM

i had never seen this 1907 image looking north up hill street before.

this image is taken from the roof of the Wright and Calender Building at the SW corner of 4th and hill.

you can see the tracks of angels flight going up third and the rose McCoy house just peaking out at the far center left.

The courthouse is quite prominent at the upper right, and the bradbury mansion is visible just left of upper center

gsjansen Jun 11, 2010 3:38 PM

an interesting view of the old courthouse from on top of the broadway tunnel. Old city hall is visible on the far center right.

what is really intriguing, are those old cannons scattered around on the ground?
USC Digital Archives

gsjansen Jun 11, 2010 4:20 PM

a 1952 aerial looking east at the civic center. the photograph is labeled indicating what's to happen in the future.

Interesting location for the DWP.

the st. Angelo is quite lonely at the intersection of grand and temple.

bunker hill avenue is still very much alive extending all the way to temple
USC Digital Archives

ethereal_reality Jun 11, 2010 6:26 PM

You've been posting some exceptional photographs gsjansen.
I always look forward to reading your posts.

Here's a photo of pre-bomb L.A. Times Building at 1st & Broadway in 1905.
usc digital archive

Sorry, this image is missing.

ethereal_reality Jun 11, 2010 6:39 PM

Spring Street, looking south from 6th Street in 1914.
usc digital archive

ethereal_reality Jun 11, 2010 6:51 PM

Valencia Orange Show 1926.
usc digital archives

and postcard

ethereal_reality Jun 11, 2010 6:58 PM

A great looking auto court on Glendale Blvd. in Silver Lake.
I read somewhere that this area is now a Ralph's and CVS.
usc digital archive

gsjansen Jun 11, 2010 8:00 PM

1928 view of the U.S. hotel and the amstoy - 1928
USC Digital Archives

and this really cool 1958 view out the "perry mason" joint. looking east
USC Digital Archive

gsjansen Jun 11, 2010 8:20 PM

1895 looking north up main street from 5th.......................

today, this would be standing outside the rosslyn............................

did i say yoiks!!!!!!!?

Los Angeles Past Jun 11, 2010 8:59 PM


Originally Posted by ethereal_reality (Post 4874319)

A great looking auto court on Glendale Blvd. in Silver Lake.
usc digital archive

This is my mother with her first car, July 1938. Note the location. Could it be the same auto court?

The complete story on my blog here.

gsjansen Jun 12, 2010 5:54 PM

an amazing 1876 view looking south from temple down spring street from on top of the temple block.

home have only just begun to be built on bunker hill
USC Digital Archives

gsjansen Jun 12, 2010 6:39 PM

1938 view from union station construction site looking south west towards civic center

the plaza is visible far left center. The Brunswig Building is visible behind the plaza with pico house just to the left of the plaza.

The "It's in the Examiner sign, which was located at the entrance to the broadway tunnel is visible just above the brunswig building.

the grand central hotel is center
USC Digital Archives

here's a 1950 image looking north east from city hall at union station. all the buildings in front of union station on Alameda are being demolished to extend the plaza to the station, (not to mention a little thing known as the 101)
USC Digital Archives

The huge building out on the horizon in East Los Angeles, is the Los Angeles County General Hospital, which can be quite noirish especially at night
USC Digital Archives

and not to mention creepy if you need a surgical proceedure
California State Library

It looks like the engine room of the star ship enterprise..........(or maybe those are just the controls to raise and lower that humongous window shade)
USC Digital Archives

i hope that's Ben Casey getting ready to work........................

Policy Wonk Jun 13, 2010 11:27 AM


Originally Posted by sopas ej (Post 4848220)
Why, why, why did the Richfield Building get demolished??

Apparently it was still in pretty good condition even on the inside, right up to its demolition.

The plight of many towers on the west coast was they eventually became impossible to insure without extremely costly earthquake retrofits that were just not economical.

gsjansen Jun 14, 2010 11:16 AM

dedication of the Union Bank Building Sundial - 1966.

this image offers a great view across Figueroa Street of the stuart k. oliver house up at the corner of hope and 4th.

This image is looking west at the sturat k. oliver residence from north of 4th street on what is left of bunker hill avenue

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