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ethereal_reality Apr 16, 2010 1:14 PM

^^^Those are fantastic sopas_ej!! I enjoyed them immensely.
Your Venice before/after photos are the best I've seen.

Interesting 'noir' tale in the L.A. Times.
It includes many of the shady characters we have recently discussed.

GaylordWilshire Apr 16, 2010 2:32 PM

More Reflections on Noir
"Straight down the line...."

I've mentioned John Buntin's suggestion in his book L.A. Noir that the origins of noir might be in the smog attacks starting in 1943. Gsjansen posted images here of the wartime dimouts, which made me wonder if they contributed to the noir effect in films. I remembered that Richard Rayner had something to say about noir in A Bright and Guilty Place, which I went back and found:

"... the expressionless blue of the sky and the unchanging rhythm of perfect days that followed each other one after the other added to the melancholy. 'Outside the bright gardens had a haunted look, as though wild eyes were watching me from behind the bushes, as though the sunshine itself had a mysterious something in the light,' wrote Raymond Chandler.

"Cities have characters...states of mind that run through daily life.... Chandler's 'mysterious something' was a mood of disenchantment, an intense spiritual malaise that identified itself with Los Angeles at a particular time, what we call noir. On the one hand noir is a narrow film genre, born in Hollywood in the late 1930s when a European visual style, the twisted perspectives and stark chiaroscuros of German Expressionism [at a time of a vast influx of German filmmakers fleeing Europe and settling in Los Angeles], met an American literary idiom [Chandler, Cain etc].

"...L.A. is city of big dreams and cruelly inevitable's a counter-tradition, the dark lens through which the booster myths can be viewed, a disillusion that shadows even the best of times.... Noir...was born when the Roaring Twenties blew themselves out and hard times rushed in; it crystallized real-life events and the writhing collapse of the national economy before finding its interpreters in writers like Raymond Chandler." Times
Act of Violence, 1948 Coulthart
Can you identify this?

sopas ej Apr 16, 2010 4:19 PM


The Bradbury Building?

BTW I have the book "A Bright and Guilty Place." I got it last year, put it aside, and actually forgot I had it. I do indeed want to read it though.

sopas ej Apr 16, 2010 4:22 PM


Originally Posted by ethereal_reality (Post 4797639)
^^^Those are fantastic sopas_ej!! I enjoyed them immensely.
Your Venice before/after photos are the best I've seen.

Thanks! Going through those archives of old photos, I have so many ideas for before and after shots I want to do that could keep me busy for a very long time.

GaylordWilshire Apr 17, 2010 1:23 AM

Bradbury Building, Broadway & 3rd Coulthart


Originally Posted by sopas ej (Post 4797934)

The Bradbury Building?

That's right, sopas--I'd never seen a shot straight up toward
the ceiling before. At first glance this picture looked to me
sort of like a cell block in a futuristic prison or a set from
an old science-fiction movie.

The Bradbury Building was the first thing I wanted to see
on my first trip to L.A. ca. 1970--in those days you could
just wander right in, which I did, walking all over the
building, going up and down in the elevators, practically in
a trance.

Soon after its 1893 completion--no hint as to what's inside

During a fire, May 3, 1947/California State Library
Taken from Spring and 3rd toward Broadway

ethereal_reality Apr 17, 2010 2:30 AM

Is this the Bradbury Building mid-block on the right hand side?
usc digital archive

View north on Broadway from 4th Street in 1898.

ethereal_reality Apr 17, 2010 2:34 AM

Douglas Sirk's SHOCKPROOF 1949

Interior: Bradbury Building

GaylordWilshire Apr 17, 2010 1:14 PM


Originally Posted by ethereal_reality (Post 4798836)
Is this the Bradbury Building mid-block on the right hand side?

Yes, that's the Bradbury Building--interesting that the roof appears to be solid, not glass.
Apparently alot of buildings painted over their skylights during WWII (the Tiffany-
glass lights of the Alexandria's Palm Court, for example), but your shot is, of course, way before
that, only five or six years after the Bradbury was built. Here are couple of other shots up
Broadway, the old City Hall tower also at right:

And a shot south:

Couldn't help but notice Coulter Dry Goods on the west side of
the street--which reminded me that it was the rare store that
gave up a downtown presence entirely and moved to the Miracle
Mile in 1938:

ethereal_reality Apr 17, 2010 3:10 PM

Thanks for the photos and info GaylordWilshire.
I was pretty sure it was the Bradbury Building, but like you said,
the roof of the atrium appears to be solid.
It appears as opaque as the roof on the old City Hall tower.

Boy, wasn't Coulter's a beautiful example of streamline moderne.
Here are a few photos I have of the store.
usc digital archive

Above: At this point it was no longer Coulter's.

Below: A close up of it's wonderful lines.
usc digital archive

This elegant building survived until 1980.

GaylordWilshire Apr 17, 2010 9:52 PM

More shots of Coulters on Wilshire, this time toward the east. The first is from the roof of the Prudential building (now called Museum Square). I think the street-level color shot is great--a reminder that while we tend to think of noir as being strictly black and white, we shouldn't.

ethereal_reality Apr 18, 2010 7:48 PM

General view of 4th Street & Grand Ave, August 17, 1954.
usc digital archive

Below: A closer view.
usc digital archive

ethereal_reality Apr 18, 2010 7:57 PM

Looking east from 1st Street Bridge near Mission Road, 1954.
usc digital archive

ethereal_reality Apr 18, 2010 8:19 PM

Washington Blvd. looking east from fwy overpass, 1954.
usc digital archive

ethereal_reality Apr 18, 2010 8:46 PM

Looking west from Union Station, 1954. The Plaza area can be seen on the left.
usc digital archive

Below: Another view with a slightly different angle (and more smog).
usc digital archive

gsjansen Apr 19, 2010 6:06 PM

Norish Philharmonic
Leonard Bernstein Conducts the New York Philharmonic Orchestra at the Hollywood Bowl 1963

GaylordWilshire Apr 19, 2010 6:53 PM


Originally Posted by gsjansen (Post 4802171)
Leonard Bernstein Conducts the New York Philharmonic Orchestra at the Hollywood Bowl 1963

Reminds me of:

All photos LAPL

GaylordWilshire Apr 19, 2010 8:20 PM

More Curves
SW corner of Wilshire Blvd and S Elm Dr, Beverly Hills, 1942. With no new cars to sell--pushing coffee pots.

ethereal_reality Apr 19, 2010 11:13 PM

The caption on this photo was: Interior of a Los Angeles supermarket, 1942.
I was amazed at how well stocked it was, especially during the war.
I guess food rationing was still to come.
usc digital archive

GaylordWilshire Apr 19, 2010 11:45 PM

Kitty Packard

GaylordWilshire Apr 20, 2010 12:15 AM

I'm reminded of another great L.A. read: The Drive-In,
the Supermarket, and the Transformation of Commercial
Space in Los Angeles, 1914-1941
by Richard Longstreth.
Sounds dry, but it's not at all. Neither is Longstreth's City
Center to Regional Mall: Architecture, the Automobile,
and Retailing in Los Angeles, 1920-1950

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