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GaylordWilshire Dec 7, 2012 9:05 PM


Originally Posted by Moxie (Post 5928701)
Thanks v. much for your post GW. I think, perhaps, that the McKinley residence is one I've been looking for. Because the angle I have is not the same as the one you posted, I'm not 100% certain, so I thought I'd post it and ask for opinions from the group.

*Screencap from the Scarecrow and Mrs. King episode "The Three Faces of Emily" originally aired on CBS on Dec. 31, 1984 (courtesy of Warner Brothers and Shoot the Moon Productions).

I'd say it's the same house, Moxie.

tovangar2 Dec 7, 2012 11:46 PM

Richard W. Lee Furniture/Ralphs/McKinley House

Originally Posted by unihikid (Post 5929015)
The building currently housing Trader Joe's was for many years (I remember it in 1960-61, when the Ralph's across the street was built) as housing a furniture store called "Richard W. Lee", purveyors of some of the ugliest stuff you could imagine. (Lots of lamps with crystal drops & the infamous glass coffee tables supported by ceramic panthers with giant rhinestone eyes). Lee occupied the premises until - I think - sometime in the '80s. In its furniture store days, the huge plate-glass windows revealed the store's contents to the world -- had always thought that the place must have been built as an auto dealership.

OMG, Richard W. Lee Furniture. That took me back. "Garish" doesn't even begin to describe their stock. "Nightmarish" comes closer. I hope no one finds pix.

Pleasant Family Shopping has much on the Ralphs architectural gems (plus other chain stores) for those who were looking: http://pleasantfamilyshopping.blogsp...ish-style.html

1940's Ralphs anniversary poster:

Yes moxie that's it. My fave pic of the house so far. The evening-wear-clad couple makes it look very glam.

BifRayRock Dec 8, 2012 12:26 AM


Originally Posted by GaylordWilshire (Post 5929522)
Sanborn Maps

I thought at first that the rounded corner of the nw corner of La Brea & 3rd might be an old Morgan Walls Ralphs store... but it seem not. (Somewhere on the thread is a newspaper ad showing all the Raplhs location, but I couldn't locate it.) It was, however once a drugstore... Angeles Times Dec 27, 1932

There is a 1954 Times article describing the assumption of the space by Beaver Hudson, which may have been in the "used auto sales" space to the north of the corner. Hudson was on its last independent legs in 1954, however, so this plan may never have come about. Pictures of the corner ever being used as a car dealer are elusive...

The Ralphs was opened in January 1962; judging by the roof of the Ralphs on the corner today (set back from 3rd Street, that is), it looks like bones of the building might be the same and that the current (unfortunate) exterior walls have replaced the interesting glass facades. Angeles Times Aug 20, 1961

Thanks for posting this information. I noticed the drug store connection in the later '30s but hadn't discovered that it existed that far back ('32) It does not appear listed in '29. Per the news item, and given the date, one assumes the 5 gallons of alcohol was medicine for the soul and only available by prescription. It probably does not come as a surprise that the same address is listed in '38 as a restaurant. I would guess this meant soda fountain/lunch counter. However, your blueprint suggests a separate but attached restaurant. H. Montgomery operated or at least had something to do with the restaurant in '38.

I also found the Ralph's image interesting. I can't say for certain, but I think the building's foot print moved or was drastically enlarged over the years. I am pretty sure that it moved back (northward) and subsumed the area that was Irv White Buick. This increased the parking lot size too.

The '61/'62 facade struck me as more business office than grocery store. I suppose I could be wrong but I remember some kind of anodized grillwork that obscured the store's interior florescent lighting. The black and white image does not appear to include this and makes the store seem more exposed. As interesting as the facade seems to be, I vaguely remember the interior of the store as small and poorly lit - not the vastly improved Ralph's of today and not as bright as the image would imply. Of course, abysmal weather during my quasi-memorable visit may have colored my impression, but the fact that the store has apparently been remodeled many times over suggests its design may have needed improvement. :rolleyes:

I too would be interested in seeing more photos of the area including the Irv White Dealership. I also wonder about the leaded/stained glass windows of the 271 La Brea building, as it seems an odd fit with a drug store.

Moxie Dec 8, 2012 2:05 AM

Thanks GW and tovanger! :tup:

BifRayRock Dec 8, 2012 2:05 AM

Recall poking my nose in a large auto garage in the general La Brea vicinity, possibly near Pico or Washington. I think the shop was performing smog tests and this would have probably been in the early '80s. There was a very large "Simplex Piston Rings" sign covering much of a wall along with many references to the '29 Indianapolis 500. The sign looked something like the small image below and may have been hand painted. There was another large image I found amusing. It was similar to the ad below with the uniformed man bearing the caption: "You can have confidence in him - he is a trained Simplex expert." As I was absorbing this an elderly gentleman wearing a bow tie and a suit from another generation tried to explain something about the historical significance of the Simplex company and/or the preparation of the car or engine and its connection to Los Angeles. Unfortunately, he was difficult to understand. I did make the effort to look things up and only found references to Cleveland and Indianapolis.

When recently exploring the '29 directory I noticed a listing for Simplex Piston Rings at 1818 S. Grand Avenue. Unclear whether this was a franchisee/distributor or an actual fabrication shop.

Much of 18th Street and Grand Avenue retains its antiquated industrial flavor. This antique store at 18th and Grand may offer a tiny glimpse of how the area looked in '29.$(KGrHqUOKnQ...sUORo!~~_3.JPGEbay!~~60_57.JPGEbay

Godzilla Dec 8, 2012 2:31 AM

The Gray Building smolders - 336 South Broadway, November 6, 1939

Evidently, this fire was significant for several reasons including it being the second to last time the LAFD used its LaFrance "water tower." According to one article the "water tower" as the pumper was called, was thought to be a good firefighting tool in case of a serious earthquake or fire due to its ability to move massive amounts of water. Unfortunately, in the case of the Gray building, the water tower put more water into the building than its fire-weakened upper floors could support, resulting in collapsed flooring and loss of life. Read more here>

rcarlton Dec 8, 2012 4:35 AM

Rather noirish car: Daily 1936 Daily 1936
Harlan Fengler (on the right) along with Lucien Hubbard (producer of Speed), Jimmy Stewart, Wendy Barrie (Stewart’s co-star), Edwin Marin (director of Speed), and the Golden Eagle Special, as Fengler apparently called it. 1936 life life life life CORD DUESENBERG CLUB CORD DUESENBERG CLUB CORD DUESENBERG CLUB

Attraction for the Village Inn (try their salad bar) in Missouri.

Don't is being restored in Arizona.

tovangar2 Dec 8, 2012 5:10 AM

Swanee Inn + Stand-Out
The scale of much of La Brea is so large it's easy to miss some of the nifty smaller buildings, including the Spainish-Moorish former Swanee Inn at 143 N. La Brea.
It's is almost entirely untouched, even retaining it's small copper dome.

Bob Lewis' Swanee Inn was a venue for what were then called "Sepia" acts. Nat Cole was booked for a long run in 1937. It was Lewis who suggested Cole form a trio before the run started and it was also Lewis who nicknamed Cole "King". Cole started to sing while at the Swanee, merely to break-up their, until then, exclusively instrumental act. If any building deserves to get a Blue Plaque, this one does.

There was mail-order business at the back of the Swanee.
141 N La Brea's entrance is on the alley:

A boy could learn a lot reading the back pages of Weird Popular Science.

kznyc2k Dec 8, 2012 5:56 AM


Originally Posted by BifRayRock (Post 5929762)
I also found the Ralph's image interesting. I can't say for certain, but I think the building's foot print moved or was drastically enlarged over the years. I am pretty sure that it moved back (northward) and subsumed the area that was Irv White Buick. This increased the parking lot size too.

You are correct in guessing the building has moved backwards. Check this slide-comparison aerial with 1980 on your left and 2003 and your right:

There's also footage from 1994 showing the changes happening by then, so it must've been some time in the 1980s or early '90s that the 1962 structure was demolished and lots were consolidated to make for the current Ralphs.

But looking at the earliest footage available, this 1948 shot shows what appears to be a decent-sized park on this block?

It was gone by 1952...anyone know what that was?

Those Who Squirm! Dec 8, 2012 7:01 AM

Retro Street Lighting
I know this is somewhat tangential to the thread, since it isn't about buildings or architecture as such; but even so I think many here will appreciate the following pictures of vintage styled street lamps. I noticed them on the Overland Avenue bridge over the 10 freeway.

I've noticed quite a few retro lamps here and there, particularly after street widening projects and the like. The standards and casings feature an extra curlicue here and there so you can tell that the designer was aiming for a vague quasi-retro effect; at the same time it's still obviously of contemporary manufacture. The same is true of these, but they do carry through the simulation much more effectively.

Although I didn't notice them right away, I was mildly astonished by the fact that they feature what appear to be chimneys. Here's a closer look:

Some days after I noticed them we were driving home over this bridge, after dark. I couldn't fail to notice the rich yellowish hue of the light coming from these lamps. Making a mental note to return next evening with the good camera, I did so and got this shot:

Gadzooks! I was amazed to see what looks like a gas flame! In fact, I was so amazed that I groped instinctively for my smelling salts, only to remember that I had left them in my other suit. As it happens I've recently learned that there are other cities where, even today, gaslight is used extensively or even exclusively for public street lighting, so I had to wonder: Was it possible? As it turns out, not in this case. Lumec Philips, the manufacturer, offers a Victorian Series of electric street lamps intended to resemble the gas lamps of old. They're quite effective at that.

Still, even from looking at my own pictures I can't make out exactly how they do work. Clearly, the light doesn't come from within the chimney, but rather above it. In the daylight closeup (second in this post) you can see a bulb-like structure that appears to be fastened to the top hanging down, as it were. But there seems to be a hole at the bottom of this "bulb" Now that I look at this picture again, I notice what appears to be a filament, or perhaps a tiny inner bulb; I now believe that in the nighttime shot, the brightness of this component is such that it washes out the details.

jaco Dec 8, 2012 8:20 AM

[QUOTE=ethereal_reality;5926939]As many of you probably know Dave Brubeck died today.

Nice little "Album" history and place of recording.

fhammon Dec 8, 2012 11:46 AM


Originally Posted by tovangar2 (Post 5928587)
The second link adds that the victim had been a famous roller skater. I'll bet she had a story worth knowing too.

Isn't that the crux of the death penalty argument?
When you willfully take someone's life in a non physically threatening situation (murder), you take away everything they have and anything the might have had and possibly anything they could have given to anyone else. For what?
The discussion continues.

rcarlton Dec 8, 2012 2:51 PM

Since we have been discussing car dealerships I thought it would be interesting to see the evolution of Los Angeles police cars.
Ed Hunt, park policeman for Griffith Park, in open terrain, holding the reins to his saddled horse. Photo dated: 1912.
Photo of Los Angeles' first horseless patrol wagon, which also served as an ambulance. It was bought in 1904, was driven by electricity and boasted 20 miles per hour. At right is George Home, who became Chief of Police in later days. Captain C. L. Johnson is second from left. Photo dated: June 27, 1927.
No date. 1900's? Long Beach's first police patrol wagon. "Police Dep't" is painted on the bottom of the windshield.
A driver is receiving a traffic ticket in 1926 from motorcycle police. Next to the car is a truck marked "Justice Court," perhaps with a judge to dispense instant justice?
No date. Various units of the police department are lined up one behind the other in rows. In front are horses. Next comes a row of bicyclists, with the riders standing beside their cycles. Behind them are travel cars with several passengers, but marked "Police Department City of Los Angeles".
New Los Angeles police cars lined up in front of Albertson Motor Company building, circa 1925 LAPD Museum
1927 The L.A. Coliseum was used to present police and equipment for review and inspection. Here the police cars are lined up in a row around part of the infield.
A police car of the Pasadena Police Department equipped with a radio, in 1930. View l: A worker points to parts that will be installed into the police car. View 2: A worker installs the wiring on the police car. View 3: Two officers look at radio parts to be installed into the police car. LAPL
View of a late 1930s police car. 1947
Los Angeles Police Department officers J. A. Burnett and C. J. Keeton on patrol, checking a list of stolen automobiles.
LAPD West Valley 1947 Ford
1947 squad car radio. Post
A 1947 Plymouth police car joins a parade of vintage police cars. 1950
Officers display some of the equipment used by the Pasadena Police Department. Some of which are: a camera, safety flares, clip boards, shot gun, rifle, a broom and a police car. State Peace officers Museum
Los Angeles (LAPD) Officer Ingram poses with his 1950 Ford Custom police car in 1951. 1961
nterior view of a Los Angeles Police Department freeway interceptor car with a special speedometer on the dashboard, a police radio which not only communicates with downtown headquarters but also listens to other cars' broadcasts on his channel, and microphone.
1961 Dodge Seneca LAPD (last year of the tail fins)

List of LAPD cars since 1956:

1956 Chevrolet 4 door sedan
1957 Ford 4 door sedan
1958 Chevrolet 4 door sedan
1959 Ford 4 door sedan
1960 Patrol: Plymouth Savoy 4 door sedan
Interceptor: Pontiac Catalina 4 door
1961 Patrol: Dodge Dart 4 door
Interceptor: none purchased
1962 Patrol: Plymouth Savoy 4 door
Interceptor: Pontiac Catalina 4 door
1963 Patrol: Ford 300 4 door
Interceptor: Oldsmobile Dynamic 88 4 door
1964 Patrol: Plymouth Savoy 4 door
Interceptor: Oldsmobile 88 4 door
1965 Patrol: Plymouth Belvedere 4 door
Interceptor: Oldsmobile Dynamic 88 4 door
1966 Patrol: Plymouth Belvedere 4 door
Interceptor: Oldsmobile 4 door
1967 Patrol: Plymouth Belvedere 4 door
Interceptor: Oldsmobile Delmont 88 4 door
1968 Patrol: Plymouth Belvedere 4 door
Interceptor: Oldsmobile Delmont 88 4 door
1969 Patrol: Plymouth Belvedere 4 door
Interceptor: none purchased, last year of Interceptor program
1970 Mercury Montego 4 door
1971 Plymouth Satellite 4 door
1972 AMC Matador 4 door
1973 AMC Matador 4 door
1974 AMC Matador 4 door
1975 Plymouth Fury 4 door
1976 Plymouth Fury 4 door
1977 Plymouth Fury 4 door
1978 Plymouth Fury 4 door
1979 No patrol cars purchased
1980 Plymouth Gran Fury 4 door
1981 Plymouth Gran Fury 4 door
1982 thru 1991 a mix of Chevrolet Impala/Caprices and Ford (LTD) Crown Victorias were used.
1992 unknown if cars purchased
(LAPD a few 1992 Chevrolet Caprices, they got them from MTA Police that were merged into the LAPD)
1993 Chevrolet Caprice
1994 Chevrolet Caprice
1995 Chevrolet Caprice
1996-2007 Ford Crown Victoria
2008 Dodge Charger
Ford Crown Victoria
2009-2011 Ford Crown Victoria

Police Car Web Site

GaylordWilshire Dec 8, 2012 3:06 PM


Originally Posted by kznyc2k (Post 5930025)
You are correct in guessing the building has moved backwards. Check this slide-comparison aerial with 1980 on your left and 2003 and your right:

There's also footage from 1994 showing the changes happening by then, so it must've been some time in the 1980s or early '90s that the 1962 structure was demolished and lots were consolidated to make for the current Ralphs.

But looking at the earliest footage available, this 1948 shot shows what appears to be a decent-sized park on this block?

It was gone by 1952...anyone know what that was?

A little history of the northeast corner of 3rd and La Brea...

1921 Map Works

1923 LAT Dec 30, 1923

1932 LAT Nov 6, 1932
Similar ads appeared through 1939.

According to the Westdale Homeowners' Association,

"At Barrington and National was Paul J. Howard's Flowerland Nursery. It was a huge and beautiful nursery. Mr. Howard had moved his nursery from 3rd and La Brea to this location as he felt there was a great future here in the outskirts of Los Angeles.... 'Colonial Corners' was the name given to the intersection of National and Barrington when Howard's Nursery started in 1940.

Meanwhile, back at 3rd and La Brea... after Howard's nursey decamped, it sounds like there might have been some temporary uses during the war and postwar years such as a "public hiring hall" in 1949. And then...

1952 LAT March 28, 1952

Which was taken over by Irv White, who owned Beverly Buick (see LAT

Which, as we've seen, gave way to the bigger Ralphs...

All illustrations aside from first: Los Angeles Times

DouglasUrantia Dec 8, 2012 3:12 PM


Originally Posted by rcarlton (Post 5930237)
Since we have been discussing car dealerships I thought it would be interesting to see the evolution of Los Angeles police cars.

The Crown Victoria seems to be a police all-time favorite nationwide. Thanks for the post....more to come?

1925 Studebaker Paddy Wagon...Los Angeles Police vehicle.

rcarlton Dec 8, 2012 4:13 PM



L.A. police change their paddy wagon to party wagon Irish groups complained about ethnic slur


Still grappling with life in an increasingly politically correct society, Los Angeles police said they will rename the "Paddy Wagon" program that offers free rides home for St. Patrick's Day tipplers.

This year, tipsy celebrants can pile into the LAPD-sponsored "Party Wagon," renamed because of objections to the word "paddy."

"We received calls from groups in the Irish community who said: 'That's really not a nice word,' " said LAPD Cmdr.

Paddy Wagon

The word paddy wagon is of American origin. The precise origin of the term is uncertain and disputed, though its use dates back to at least the beginning of the 1900s. There are at least two theories as how the phrase originated.

The most prevalent theory is based on the term "Paddy" (a common Irish shortening of Patrick), which was used ( often as derogatory slang) to refer to Irish people. Irishmen made up a large percentage of the officers of early police forces in many American cities. Thus, this theory suggests that the concentration of Irish in the police forces led to the term "paddy wagon" being used to describe the vehicles driven by police.
An alternative theory is similarly based on the term "Paddy" but states that the term arose due to the high crime level among Irish immigrants.Wikipedia

Chuckaluck Dec 8, 2012 5:00 PM DukeUDigLibrary

Chuckaluck Dec 8, 2012 5:36 PM

Mack Sennett's "Mabel at the Wheel" - 1914 (Principal photography in Venice California)

Eddie Rickenbacker - America's first Ace


1914 American Grand Prize (#20 Mason)- February 28, 1914

With both the Vanderbilt Cup and American Grand Prize races failing to materialize in 1913, the 1914 edition of the classics moved forward from the traditional mid-autumn date to February. Continuing their westward migration, the races also moved across the continent. Lured by the Western Automobile Association, the races were offered a highly regarded 8.4 mile road course in Santa Monica, California. During a February 16 practice run, Dave Lewis lost control of his Fiat and jumped a curb and plowed into a group of spectators. Six spectators were injured including a fatally, a 69-year Civil War veteran named Louis G. Smith. Lewis and his mechanician Eddie Arnett suffered bruises and shock. The Fiat entered by Hollywood celebrity Mack Sennett was severely damaged and out of the race. Sennett replaced the Fiat entry with a Mason to be driven by “Baron Richenbacher” with Augie Duesenberg as the mechanician. A Los Angeles newspaper told the mythical tale of the “Baron”:

“A young Prussian nobleman who had fallen victim to the deadly Bacillus Motorus. Crazed by a lust for speed , he had absconded from the Vienna Military Institute in a stolen Mercedes. Expelled from the institute and disinherited by his father, he went to America to enter the AAA tour”.

“Baron Edward von Richenbacher” was actually Columbus native Eddie Rickenbacker, the son of Swiss immigrants, Ohio. Despite these facts and Eddie’s previous racing accomplishments, Baron Richenbacher was listed as the driver of the Mason in the official Santa Monica Program Guide. However, heavy rains pushed back the races five days and allowed Dave Lewis to recover from his injuries and bump Eddie from the Vanderbilt Cup Race in the Mason. Using his connections with the organizers, Mack Sennett made a film “Mabel at the Wheel” with the real Vanderbilt Cup Race and spectators in the background. The film starred Mabel Normand, Charlie Chaplin, Ben Turpin and Sennett and is the only known documentation of the race.

With Dave Lewis driving the rebuilt Fiat that was damaged during practice, the “Baron” drove in the American Grand Prize Race. After completing 38 of the 48 laps in the #20 Mason, Eddie left the race due to a broken crankshaft. He finished a respectable 8th in the field of 17 cars. With World War approaching with Germany, it was one of the last races in which Eddie was promoted as Baron Richenbacher.

Chuckaluck Dec 8, 2012 6:03 PM

Carroll Shelby and Venice (aka Marina Del Rey) CA
(a whisp of noir?)

1042 Princeton Drive (recently sold - 2012) Shelby's former headquarters.

1964 - Venice

Shelby's Venice production line!~~60_12.JPGebay

1964 (?) Carroll and some actor named McQueen

Godzilla Dec 8, 2012 6:27 PM

Venice clearly appealed to a wide spectrum of racing fans.

1920 ( monkeys + cars + traffic + cahuenga pass = ??) lapl

Undated Dog races (Whippets according to source) ('20s - '30s ?)

For those who like to feel the wind in their hair?
The Venice Miniature RR, ca., 1906. (Covered on this thread many times, more info here: )


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