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rbpjr Jun 1, 2012 10:14 PM

[QUOTE=ethereal_reality;5719967]If the thread is going to survive, forumers need to limit throwing hundreds of photos/maps at us nonstop.
The discussions that made this thread so special over the years have all but disappeared because of this onslaught of images.

I write this because numerous members have contacted me about this matter. Several have even said they're taking a break from 'noirish Los Angeles'.

This saddens me immensely. :(

My sentiments exactly...I am somewhat frustrated when a "series" of photos, which have been posted before...are posted again so that someone can make a short statement...sometimes less than a sentence. Not sure I have a solution other than referring to the post by number and/or "poster" and then a comment...well, hopefully you know what I am trying to say...without the photos or perhaps just one photo...

MichaelRyerson Jun 1, 2012 10:19 PM

A young man and his car.
image from
5043d__Porsche_356__4209968619_0a403e970a by MichaelRyerson, on Flickr

Jimmy cruising the boulevard in his 356 Speedster (not the Spyder) but what boulevard? I found a Cliff Swanson advertisment for a Frigidaire refrigerator freezer in It showed the store address as being 12123 Ventura Blvd in Studio City. That would follow as Jimmy was then renting a house from Nicco Romanos the maitre d' at Villa Capri (reportedly his favorite restaurant). The rental property was located at 14611 Sutton Street in Sherman Oaks which is just a couple of miles west of Cliff Swanson's store (and just a few blocks south of the gas station recently discussed here).

image from
James Dean's last residence by MichaelRyerson, on Flickr

Jimmy's house on Sutton Street.

image from googlestreetview
12123 Ventura Blvd by MichaelRyerson, on Flickr

The building survives albeit without Mr. Swanson who has, one imagines, since moved into larger quarters.

3940dxer Jun 1, 2012 11:13 PM


Originally Posted by fhammon (Post 5720282)
How are you doing this? What method?
This thread is truly amazing and important. A great resource for doing historical research. I think the Library of Congress should archive it. At least the Los Angeles Historical Society should.

In Firefox, I use Save Page As... in the File menu, and download each page, one at a time, to a folder that I have created with the page name. This gives me a folder that contains a copy of every image as an individual jpg (or pdf, or whatever) and files containing all the text, HTML code, etc. I keep 40 folders worth of pages in bigger master folders.

Each folder contains a file named showthread.php.html that, opened in Firefox, will create one whole Noir page, just as it would look online.

Like I said, I have no idea how one would rebuild the thread on another site if the need ever arose, but there must be some way. The pages could certainly be uploaded to a blog or viewed as an archive, but there would be no way to reply, like we do here. Anyway, it's somewhat of an insurance policy, and also a way for greedy me to have a copy of every image that has ever been posted here. And it only took 6 weeks or so to save all the files! :drowning:

Earl Boebert Jun 1, 2012 11:37 PM


Originally Posted by ethereal_reality (Post 5719967)
If the thread is going to survive, forumers need to limit throwing hundreds of photos/maps at us nonstop.
The discussions that made this thread so special over the years have all but disappeared because of this onslaught of images.

I write this because numerous members have contacted me about this matter. Several have even said they're taking a break from 'noirish Los Angeles'.

This saddens me immensely. :(


I don't mind seeing the images the first time but having them repeated over and over in replies does lead to overload. This can be drastically reduced if folks would take the trouble to replace IMG with URL in quoted text. That would allow readers to bring up the picture if they wished instead of having it forced on them.



kanhawk Jun 2, 2012 1:18 AM

8th and Flower.
According to information imbedded in the photo, the huge church to the right was the site of a long preservation battle in the 1980s. The preservationists lost.
8th and Flower, Los Angeles by jericl cat, on Flickr

kanhawk Jun 2, 2012 1:35 AM

I know the elevated wooden bike path has been discussed before but here's another photo and, according to the caption, the little building in the middle of the bike path was a toll booth. Guess you had to pay to ride.
california-cycleway by Hollywood-Graham, on Flickr

3940dxer Jun 2, 2012 5:27 AM


Thanks. I don't think we have seen that one here before.

A while back I found the very detailed L.A. Times article below, which says the fare was meant to be 10 cents, but I don't know whether they ever got that far.

Many of us have seen the classic Bikeway shot below, but here's a "now" photo that a friend on mine took when he took me to see the location a few months ago. This is the same block but I think the building is newer. This is looking East on East Bellevue Drive, near South Raymond Avenue in Pasadena.
My friend Joe's photo

ethereal_reality Jun 2, 2012 7:12 AM

"This is looking east on Bellevue Drive near S. Raymond Avenue in Pasadena."

originally posted by 3940dxer/David

So what is this very impressive building on the right?


ethereal_reality Jun 2, 2012 7:46 AM

"8th & Flower"

I am intrigued by the building down the street with the three oversized vents on the roof (circled in red).
For the life of me I can't figure it out what it could be. My only guess would be a giant laundry.

originally posted by Kanhawk

I am very sorry to hear the church on the right is gone. It looks quite impressive.

ethereal_reality Jun 2, 2012 2:31 PM

Fried Oyster Sandwich!!

The street signs on the lamppost say Vine St. & Sunset Blvd.

Have a great weekend everyone.


3940dxer Jun 2, 2012 3:15 PM


Originally Posted by ethereal_reality (Post 5720722)
"This is looking east on Bellevue Drive near S. Raymond Avenue in Pasadena."

originally posted by 3940dxer/David

So what is this very impressive building on the right?

OK, I did a little more digging. The Pasadena Grand Opera House that we see in the cycleway photo opened on February 13, 1889 with seating for 1000-1500. By 1890 attendance declined, amid complaints about lack of heat and concerns about being too far from the center of town. By 1891 the operating company was bankrupt.

The venture was bought by our friend Thaddeus Lowe in 1891. The theater was remodeled (including a new heating system) and he had an office set up on the first floor for sale of tickets to his Mt. Lowe Scenic Railway. He also had an appliance showroom in the building.

Lowe eventually lost the building to foreclosure. It then had a number of different owners and was at one point called the Auditorium, featuring hotel accommodations and a restaurant. The Opera House was demolished sometime around 1926.

The "very impressive" Royal Laundry Building (which is on the National Register of Historic Places) took its place in '27 and is the one in the "now" photo. The Laundry closed in the 1980s, leaving the buildings empty, but a partnership acquired the property in 1995 and converted it to office space. Disney Store is the current tenant. Here's the original (preserved) entrance, around the corner on Raymond St.

P.S. I really love those old "in the round" drive ins. Do any survive in L.A.?

Chuckaluck Jun 2, 2012 5:03 PM


Originally Posted by GaylordWilshire (Post 5714659)

The 1912 Street car map clears up a few mysteries regarding "stops."

Some of the other maps beget as many questions as answers. The terrific 1912- "Hotel Woodward" map is one such example. The bottom of that map lists "Cities and Towns." In plain English, the map legend indicates "Bliss" and "Los Nogales" are quasi-municipalities. Not sure these were ever sanctioned townships, with documented populations or any infrastructure other than the street car stops.

In the case of Los Nogales, the existence of the stop, at least through 1938, suggests there was some monetary incentive for the PE's service there. It apparently began as a Mexican land grant "Rancho Los Nogales." (Bliss sounds more like a state of euphoria rather than a place on a map.)

Not clear on the distinction between city and town, but with the benefit of 100 years of hindsight, one might infer that the map's definition should be read to include the words "planned," "proposed," or "hoped for." (Something about map (color?) reminds made of Daniel Lewis' character in There Will Be Blood.)

Chuckaluck Jun 2, 2012 5:20 PM


Originally Posted by ethereal_reality (Post 5720822)
Fried Oyster Sandwich!!

The street signs on the lamppost say Vine St. & Sunset Blvd.

Have a great weekend everyone.


Source identifies date as 1920-29. More likely post-19th Amendment (draught beer), and post-1934, considering the pictured Ford.

Northeast corner of Sunset and Vine, 1930. Similar street lighting. Bus bench.

Southeast corner of Sunset and Vine, unk. date. Competition, or could this have morphed into Carpenters? "Hambergers" LAPL

GaylordWilshire Jun 2, 2012 10:57 PM


There might have been more than one intersection that had both a Carpenter's and a Pig Stand, but it looks like they were definitely competitors at Sunset and Vine.

GaylordWilshire Jun 3, 2012 12:47 AM

The Bishop Conklin Company, makers of paint, is a Los Angeles concern I'd never heard of. Their building at 3951 Medford St in East L.A. still stands, now the home of Studio 3951, designers of "retro-modern accessories, knits, jewels."

The top photograph above was taken by Maynard Parker, whose work we've seen before. I wasn't aware that more of his work is now available online at the OAC:

Pics: Huntington Digital Library; GoogleSV, Auctionflex

GaylordWilshire Jun 3, 2012 12:50 AM Angeles Times, March 29, 1925

An unusual Beverly Hills house just sold for $5,700,000... unusual in that it had never been offered for sale in all its 87 years and appears to have been untouched inside and out in all that time. The daughter of the man who built it lived in the house until she died last year at 101. It is unlikely that it will remain untouched now that it's been sold. In fact it's highly likely that it will be demolished and something a lot less attractive and well-designed will replace it. I've written a little about it, with more pictures, here.

3940dxer Jun 4, 2012 4:31 AM


Originally Posted by sopas ej (Post 4782690)
From the USC Archive, here's a larger photo of the Dutch Chocolate Shop, circa 1914:

The Dutch Chocolate Shop is returning!

The shop first appeared on on page 48 of this thread and I remember doing a huge double take when I saw these photos last year. I was really amazed by the tile work, arches, ceiling design, and the fantastic architectural details. And I have a major addiction to sweets, so a place like this is close to my heart.

The original Noir post didn't include the location but I've been wondering about this place all along, and hoped to uncover more info about it one day. Last month I got some clues from a blog post, followed by a generous helping of good luck.

The main clue was a web page that revealed that after the Chocolate Shop closed in the 1920's, the space became Finney's Cafeteria. Finney's is fairly well documented on the web, so it was easy enough to find the address -- 217 West 6th, just a block from Clifton's. The curiosity was killing me so I drove down there last Thursday to see what I might find. The space was closed and completely hidden by a roll up door but I made inquiries at the phone store next door, and got some great news. The clerk there told me that the interior was still intact, and even better, was currently being restored. They gave me a postcard that showed one of the old murals and included a web link, and told me that construction people were usually there in the morning.

The site on the post card ( confirmed that the Chocolate Shop was being restored and had some great info and photos, but I almost fell over when I saw this:

On June 3rd, 4 – 6 PM, The Dutch Chocolate Shop hosts “This is Our Batchelder”, the first in a series of public dialogues about Ernest Batchelder and the history of The Dutch Chocolate Shop. Sharing their perspectives on the matter will be tile advocate Brian Kaiser and Charles Kibby of Preservation Arts. Free and open to the public at The Dutch Chocolate Shop.

Needless to say, I was there this evening with my camera. The place looked fantastic and I was amazed to see that almost 100 years on, nearly all the tile work and murals (which cover almost every inch of wall and ceiling) have survived and are in excellent condition. It was a fun event. The owner set up a chocolate bar with free samples and the speakers filled us in on the history of the space and the plans for its restoration. Apparently Ernest Batchelder, the creator of the tiles and murals, was a relative newcomer when the shop was built. The owner wasn't completely happy with the appearance and coloration at first, and not long after the place was built, the murals were carefully hand painted to enhance their color and general appearance. They were also covered with a coat of shellac, which has since darkened in color.

After the Chocolate Shop closed in the 20's the space became Finney's and remained so until 1986. Then it became a partitioned flea market space, and finally a phone store. The flea market tenant put up false walls, which covered up the amazing tile work, but also did a good job of preserving it. The man behind the current restoration had been using the space as an office but knew nothing about the history of the space until he discovered a section of tile behind one of the walls, and asked the building's owner about it. After learning more about the place's amazing interior and history, he decided to fully restore it. I think he intends to re-open it as a cafe and chocolate shop. (I hope I've gotten these details right. :uhh:)

During today's event several NO PICTURES signs were posted but (more luck) I met the owner and after chatting for a while, he enthusiastically told me to "go for it". The lighting was kind of tough in there but I got a few decent shots, some of which follow. A friend who went with me, who is more Photoshop savvy than I'll ever be, offered to improve some other shots and merge some multiple exposures, to work around the difficult lighting in there. I was unable to get good pictures of the overall space, but here are some close ups of the fantastic tile work. The place looks amazing and I can't wait until it opens.

One of the 20 or so tile murals that adorn the walls.

Another mural. Oddly, none of these wonderful murals are visible in the older USC photo.

A sconce in the front half of the space.

A section in one of the rear murals that shows a traditional Dutch chocolate shop. In his talk, Brian Kaiser told us that Batchelder did considerable research and took great pains to make these murals accurately depict Dutch scenes that were accurate of the period.

Detail from one of the complex interior archways.

Prior incarnation as a phone store. Most of the ceiling tiles were visible but all the original walls were hidden. Who'd ever have guessed the secrets held within this ordinary storefront? I think the same phone store now occupies the space on the left.

More photos coming soon!

MichaelRyerson Jun 4, 2012 10:20 AM

Great post, David. Thanks and thanks for your ongoing efforts to archive the whole thread. You certainly don't think small.

Moxie Jun 4, 2012 1:27 PM

Wonderful photos, David! Thanks so much for attending the event, sweet talking the owner, and sharing them with us. ;) It will be great if they manage to restore it, and it looks to be in remarkably good shape, so they should be able to. Much as I detest it when false walls/ceilings are put up covering architectural gems, if they wind up helping to preserve those gems then I'm all for it.

MichaelRyerson Jun 4, 2012 1:54 PM

Once we built a railroad, made it run, made it race against time...
Here are some nice shots of Angels Flight and a couple that I don't remember being in the thread before (at least I hope so)
Angels Flight 1898 Pre Construction looking west on Third Street
Angels Flight 1910
Angels Flight from the observation tower looking east on Third Street
Angels Flight 1956
Last Flight
Last evening of operations at original location.

images from the Metro Transportation Library and Archive

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