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GaylordWilshire May 30, 2010 12:57 AM

Great pictures of Clara Street and other rarely-seen views of the east side, ethereal--reminds me of a very worthwhile book called Whitewashed Adobe by William Deverell, subtitled "The Rise of Los Angeles and the Remaking of its Mexican Past." It dicusses this section of town, the plague etc. As a non sequitur I might add that somewhere around there--actually I think across the river--is Gless Street, named after the family of actress Sharon Gless. Not that she grew up there--she's a Hancock Park girl.

ethereal_reality May 30, 2010 1:17 AM

651-653 S. Main Street with a speeding motorcycle.
Bancroft Library. UC Berkeley

Beaudry Jun 1, 2010 4:09 AM

Holy cow ethereal, those are just...holy cow. Of course the first thing I did was go on Google street view and then get depressed (as I knew I would) that everything's been wiped away.

GW, on your recommendation I just Amazon'd Whitewashed Adobe and'm looking forward to it. For some reason I'm not hip to the whole tale of the Bubonic Plague in LA!

I also wasn't really cognizant that Bancroft/Berkeley -- or Calisphere -- was such a good LA resource. I tend to stay within my Holy Trinity of LAPL, Cal State Library, and USC.

Now, speaking of cool images that you haven't seen before --

-- has been updated for the first time in over a year. The new post has images of the Hill in color which, I don't have to tell you guys, don't exactly come across your desk every day.

gsjansen Jun 1, 2010 1:18 PM

the plague photos are mesmerizing...thanx for posting them E_R, (and for showing the great link to Calisphere).

Beaudry..................speechless! the George Mann color photos of bunker! As my color imagery of bunker hill has been limited to the Cushman collection, "Glenn Miller Story", and "The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed Up Zombies!", these Mann photos are simply incredible. the Melrose photos in particular are astounding. WoW! WoW and WoW!

here is a cool noirish christmas view looking east on the miracle mile 1951
USC Digital Archive

gsjansen Jun 1, 2010 3:58 PM

Ingrid Bergman a day on Bunker Hill
i stumbled upon these two Life Magazine images from 1967. Ingrid Bergman is taking in the (or lack there of) sights of Bunker Hill

Nothing says california living like cruisin' grand avenue on the hill in a late model rag top. (note 325 bunker hill avenue, "The Castle" over her left shoulder).
Life Magazine

After ditchin' the wheels, Ingrid hoofs it up olive between 3rd and 4th. Angels flight is dead in her sights, so i'm sure a pleasure ride down to hill street was on the itinerary.
Life Magazine

GaylordWilshire Jun 2, 2010 12:02 PM

OK, I'll bite. Why was Ingrid Bergman touring a devastated Bunker Hill?
A noirish Ingrid
Checking out Ingrid in his rear-view mirror.

gsjansen Jun 2, 2010 5:45 PM

i can't find any information on why Ingrid Bergman was taking in the sights of CRA's newest thrill ride attraction, Bunker Flat, but i did happen to find these interesting maps over at CRA's web page.

The 1st map is the 1967 amended 1959 Bunker Hill property acquisition map.

What is interesting is that the two private properties that are outlined with the dotted hatch mark, indicating that they are still needed to be acquired, is the Stewart K. Oliver property, and the Briggs apartment house. (which explains why they are just about the last two to go)

This image is the amended 1967 proposed street grid for bunker hill.

Goodbye Clay street, Bunker Hill Avenue, Cinnabar Street and Sack Alley, (oh, and half of flower)......( i would mention Goodbye Third place, but that was always supposed to be a temporary road giving access from south bunker hill avenue to olive and hope streets when they slammed the 4th street viaduct (why a no chick?) thru.

Hello 2A Street, (General Thaddeus Kosciuszko Way), and 3A Street, (Subterranean Service Road for California Plaza).

And finally, the current Bunker Hill Development Plan map showing the remaining sites to be developed.

Goodbye 3A Street.

Hello Hope Place.

GaylordWilshire Jun 2, 2010 7:14 PM

401 S. Muirfield, March 1951: Nat King Cole's house during an IRS raid. I bet a nasty neighbor turned him in, but I'm sure it wasn't 8-year-old Sharon Gless, who lived just down the street at #465.

GaylordWilshire Jun 2, 2010 7:20 PM

When Angelenos weren't feeling noirish, they swung--not in the way of the '60s, but like this:

GaylordWilshire Jun 2, 2010 8:10 PM

Double Take
Don't get within 100 yards of the lingerie counter of this store:

STARS OF YESTERYEAR: Academy-award winner Margaret Elliot, given to driving around town drunk in her Mercury with her Oscar propped up on the dashboard, eventually crashed and burned in Tinseltown. She was then forced to take a job in the lingerie department of May's Crenshaw, but didn't last long peddling brassieres and teddies to the fat old Ebell Club matrons she had as customers, as she tended to cuss them out. Eventually she managed to sober up, finally sailing off to Catalina or somewhere with a tall blond hunk Sterling Hayden.

We should all be so lucky:

GaylordWilshire Jun 2, 2010 8:56 PM

R.I.P. Mercury
No sooner do I post an item here about actress Margaret Elliot and her Mercury do I read on the NYT website that Ford is killing the Mercury brand after 71 years. I then went looking for noir-vintage Mercurys cruising around Los Angeles--and what do I come up with but a shot of Miss Elliot herself, bourbon to lips, in her Merc, with Oscar riding the dash:
A Star is Born, 1954. James Mason going up for Pancake with
a '53 Mercury Monterey wagon at left.

And another '53 Merc wagon, in a previously posted shot from a 1966 Perry Mason episode, with the Hall of Justice behind.

And of course:

ethereal_reality Jun 2, 2010 9:26 PM

^^^ Pretty cool Mercury shots GaylordWilshire. I love the paint job on that Make-Up Dept. Building.

That last CRA/LA map of the Bunker Hill Development Plan is really helpful in understanding the area as it exists today.
Thx for posting it gsjansen.

GaylordWilshire, I had also forgotten how the May Co. on Crenshaw resembled the May Co. on Wilshire.
below: The May Co. at Lakewood Center in 1954.

Somewhat inspired by the hanging gardens of Babylon?

ethereal_reality Jun 2, 2010 10:01 PM

Here is a before and after photo from the plague study group.
You can see the Shell logo in both pics, as well as the R.A. Rowan sign.

Below: The buildings are completely gone.

ethereal_reality Jun 2, 2010 10:09 PM

Another before and after photo from the plague study of the stables at E. 1st Street & Rio Street

Below: After the clean up.

ethereal_reality Jun 2, 2010 10:57 PM

568 So. Central Ave.
Shacks adjoining the Southern Pacific Depot yards.

If you look closely you can see trains, a few passengers (extreme right) and a corner of the Depot itself.
There also appears to be a child posing on the frighteningly precarious roof of one of the shacks.

sopas ej Jun 2, 2010 11:43 PM

Wow, really great posts. I'm also curious to know why Ingrid Bergman was on Bunker Hill. I wonder what she thought of it. Of course a few years after that photo was taken she'd be in that general vicinity again, along with other celebs, for the first Oscars ceremony held at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on April 14, 1969. She would present Best Actress that year and make her "It's a tie!" exclamation (Katharine Hepburn AND Barbra Streisand tying for Best Actress).

sopas ej Jun 3, 2010 12:13 AM


Originally Posted by ethereal_reality (Post 4863238)

The May Co. at Lakewood Center in 1954.

Somewhat inspired by the hanging gardens of Babylon?

Ah, the May Company. I know this one particularly well...

Right before my family moved to Cerritos in the late 1970s when I was 7, we lived in the Miracle Mile District; we would shop at the May Company on Wilshire/Fairfax. Even after we moved to Cerritos, we would still go into LA to visit family friends and also to do some shopping. Though Cerritos had (and still has) a shopping mall, it didn't have a May Company, so when we wanted to go to the May Company, we would go to the one in Lakewood. Into the 1990s, the Lakewood Mall had a Clifton's Cafeteria, and of course it was mostly old people who ate there.

I've seen and saved that old picture a while ago so that I could do a then and now of it:

November 2009, photo by me

It's now a Macys; the outside more or less looks the same, except for a faux half-assed deco-type pediment that was added in the early 1990s, which obliterated those central recesses where the hanging plants were (which by the time my family started going to this May Co., there were no longer any plants) and ruins the modernistic lines of the original design. The demographics of the mall shoppers have also changed since I was young.

ethereal_reality Jun 3, 2010 2:06 AM

^^^ Interesting before and after photo sopas_ej.
It's amazing how tone deaf corporations can be.
By adding that lame architectural element, they pretty much destroyed the integrity of the building.

Below: An example of a building with no foundation on Ceres St. in 1924.
This building is a half block from the Southern Pacific Depot.

Notice the major smoke stacks in the distance.
Does anyone have an idea what factory/industry they belong to?

ethereal_reality Jun 3, 2010 2:38 AM

Here is a very interesting photo of 427 North Main Street.
It's odd how the lower facade extends beyond the building (extreme right).

Beaudry Jun 3, 2010 7:09 AM


Originally Posted by ethereal_reality (Post 4863568)

Below: An example of a building with no foundation on Ceres St. in 1924.
This building is a half block from the Southern Pacific Depot.

Notice the major smoke stacks in the distance.
Does anyone have an idea what factory/industry they belong to?

First of all, I love this pic because of the sign leaning up against it -- "GILDA GRAY" -- she was the Shimmy Queen!

S'anyway, those stacks are the Gas & Electric Co. power plant, on Central between Factory and Palmetto.

looking N up Central, it's 7th that dead-ends at the large gas tank.

Therefore, our friend the Golden West barber shop was on the south of Ceres, btw 5th and 6th, half a block from the depot just like it said, and you can see the power station "across the tracks" as it were:

I'd forgotten how crazy that Southern Pacific station was...ethereal, you posted some pix of it, #587, but I got to thinking about it again, since it's ground zero of plague and rats and all that good stuff --

But, I mean, look inside this thing.

This was taken in 1956, about a year before they demolished it. There's a meat packing plant there now.

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