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Los Angeles Past Mar 21, 2011 12:38 PM


Originally Posted by Ninja55 (Post 5206781)

This is probably my favorite random image in this whole thread. If I saw this mural in a restaurant, I'm not kidding you, I would definitely eat there every night! The table under this mural - that would have been MY table! Hey, you, that's MY table over there - by th' moose! :tup:


GaylordWilshire Mar 21, 2011 7:14 PM

Speaking of Roller Skates... Pictures Corporation

Great post, Beaudry. Love that video. I am reminded of what I think is one of the great predictive (sociologically speaking) and perhaps undersung films about youthful rebellion
and alienation amid the urban decay of the '60s: Lady In a Cage, 1964. The scene above is near the beginning...a little girl tries to wake a bum lying on the sidewalk. Or is he dead?
She's not really concerned either way. (I posted shots of the movie a while ago--it's full of a certain rage, perhaps the kind that has more to do with economic deprivation than
suburban angst, but a very interesting view of collapsing residential central L.A. 30 years before the riots. It's shot on location in what appears to have been still fairly nice Pico-Union.)


Originally Posted by Beaudry (Post 5208618)
Though we thread through the City of Angels four, five, six score behind us, there's something about LA in recent memory--unbelievably now largely lost--that's oddly beguiling. (Cf. recent posts about the Olympic, and Wall of Voodoo, and the Starwood.) Those of us whose sun has passed its midpoint think wistfully upon our youth but somehow it's not all wisteria & red tile. Nesmith's Cruisin' remains one of the most accurate depictions of early-80s LA:

Ah, SoCal of my childhood. The culture portrayed: avowed reason to become punk rock and destroy stuff. But were we not anarcho-hedonistic brethren, against The Man? Never ceases to amuse when the good folk of to-day wring their hands over modern youth, who are noticeably bereft of Us v. Them v. Them. Whatever: in the greater pantheon of Old LA and its music, this may be its Zeus.

The SoCal culture depicted there kind of portrays everything punks became punks fer. (Apart from the sociological argument, being punk-rock was just about being smart kids with irresponsible parents.)

A passage that really sums up noirish LA as it existed in the early 80s -- there's something ineffable about his inflection on "buses". In this vid Eugene defines (here's a rough transliteration) the LA experience at 1:26:

PS: What's the pent-up aggression, where's that come from?

Eugene: Well with me it just comes from like, living in the city and just seein' everything, seeing all the ugly old people, 'n just the fuckin', the buses, and just the dirt, that's what I see all the time -- all the time, I'm just fuckin' bummed, from just thinkin' about that. So, when I go there, I just, sometimes I can get out some aggression, maybe, by beatin' up some asshole.

GaylordWilshire Mar 21, 2011 7:45 PM

A couple of theater marquees in recent shots here of '20s L.A. have featured some BIG names (before pictures got small, that is):
Conrad Nagel at the Rialto on Broadway and Pauline Frederick at the Friday Morning Club's Playhouse on Figueroa. Here they
are together in Married Flirts, 1924:

Their houses:
Pauline built this house in 1918 on Sunset in Beverly Hills, now numbered 9419. She rented it to
Irving Thalberg in the late '20s, and he married Norma Shearer there in 1928. Whatever house is
now at this address is obscured by shrubbery, so I don't know if it's still the one Pauline built.
Conrad's place at 715 N. Palm Drive, BH. It has either been replaced or is now unrecognizable. Either way
it's a shame. I love these Los Angeles variations on American Colonial houses, often found in the Wilshire
District. I posted the one at 111 S. Norton, a Three Stooges location still looking good, a while back.
Here's an almost identical one (same architect?) at 1231 S. Gramercy, lived in by another BIG star,
Colleen Moore, in 1923 (per the LACD):

"Near Los Angeles"? It's practically dead center! At least now it is.... Anyway, it too still stands: Street View
The odd roof vents appear to be echoed in a structure (a garage?) to the rear. Now in a less affluent area,
it appears to be less well taken care of than its near-twin on Norton. But at least it's there. (Where's the

Beaudry Mar 21, 2011 7:53 PM

Fascinating stuff...


GaylordWilshire Mar 21, 2011 8:33 PM


Beaudry-- That's an excellent website-- has alot of good old-LA residential stuff, including something interesting about the apartment building at
410 N. Rossmore. Who knew it stood half-finished for a long time?

ethereal_reality Mar 22, 2011 12:36 AM

Snow in downtown Los Angeles!

GaylordWilshire Mar 22, 2011 12:53 AM


And just the other day on LACurbed:

ethereal_reality Mar 22, 2011 3:30 AM

The rather unusual Mode O' Day Building at Washington & Hill.
usc digital archive
usc digital archive

Can anyone explain this strange architectural style?
There is a neo-classical cartouche above the doorway on the extreme right....and an art deco 'design' on the corner pillar at the left.
The obelisks along the roof-line are oddly extravagant (as well as dangerous during an earthquake).

JeffDiego Mar 22, 2011 5:08 AM

Temple of ModeO'Day
Good Lord, what a weird and unusual building. A true pastiche. An L.A. original. There must be a story behind that one.
It has a bit of everything, especially touches of most of the architectural styles that were popular in L.A. in the late 20's/early 30's. I'd call it a kind of neo/classical/moderne version of a "modern" office building with touches of "Neo-Norman French" (those odd towers on one side of the bldg's top), Regency arches (the triangular moldings above some of the windows on the second floor), those strange obelisks, "classical" pediments topped with ornaments, the neoclassical decoration you point out and also the elaborate art deco ornament perched on one side.
Whoever designed this must have been high on something!
When I was a child in the late 50's/ early 60's, I remember that ModeO'Day was an advertiser on our local Three Stooges program. The announcer would say "here's Bernice from ModeO'Day to show us some of the latest lady's fashions." It now seems odd they would have advertised on a kid's show. ModeO'Day was a lower-priced "second tier" women's store, similar to Lerner's. (Nancy Reagan wouldn't have been caught dead in a ModeO'Day's store LOL). I assume they're long out of business, but this bldg. was surely their headquarters.

gastarre Mar 22, 2011 6:25 AM

These two streetcars still exist. The 1423 turning the corner resides at the Orange Empire Railway Museum in Perris, California in operating, albeit unrestored, condition. The 1435 is tucked away in the former Hill Street station next to the Subway Terminal Building at 425 So. Hill St. and can be seen from Hill Streets between 4th and 5th.

GaylordWilshire Mar 22, 2011 1:26 PM

Neither the Long Beach, the Northridge, the Whittier Narrows... Street View
While the lower floors have been stripped of their whimsy--I especially miss the Fontainebleauish shell on
the corner--the obelisks on top remain... as does a descendant of the Los Angeles Railway's W line along
Washington Boulevard.

Thanks, ethereal--never knew this building was there. While there are architects in
residence at 155 West Washington Blvd. (one of whom might know the answer), I can't
find the name of the imaginative one of their brethren who designed this crazy palace.
Mildred Pierce wore these in the early days with Bert....
The holiday decorating on this corner is no less strange....

gastarre Mar 22, 2011 8:10 PM


Originally Posted by ethereal_reality (Post 4970692)
Two Los Angeles Railway 'yellow cars' on San Pedro Street in 1957.

below: A Pacific Electric Railway 'red car' and bus on San Pedro Street in 1957.

Question about the bus:
Is this a Los Angeles Railway trolley bus? It has the same green & yellow color scheme.

below: Inglewood 1951.
Cory / Pbase

The two yellow Los Angeles Transit Lines streetcars still exist. The 1423 turning the corner resides at the Orange Empire Railway Museum in Perris, California in operating, albeit unrestored, condition. The 1435 is tucked away in the former Hill Street station next to the Subway Terminal Building at 425 So. Hill St. and can be seen from Hill Streets between 4th and 5th.

ethereal_reality Mar 23, 2011 1:53 AM


Originally Posted by GaylordWilshire (Post 5210295)
The holiday decorating on this corner is no less strange....

Does anyone know the building in the distance to the left of the Mode O' Day Building? It looks like it has a rather large 'lantern' on top.

Also...that is the worst Christmas tree EVER...I wonder why they attached it to the top of a pole?

sopas ej Mar 23, 2011 2:27 AM

That is the old building of the California Medical Center.

And I agree with you, that X-mas tree looks like it's supposed to be disguising a cellular tower. Not that those would have existed back then, of course.

ethereal_reality Mar 23, 2011 3:02 AM

A few more images of the Mode O' Day Building.
usc digital archive

above AND below: Looking west along Washington Blvd. from Main Street in 1935.
usc digital archive

below: Before the Mode O' Day sign was erected on the 'blank' side of the building.
usc digital archive

ethereal_reality Mar 23, 2011 3:05 AM

Even the Mode O' Day Building has a touch of 'noir' history.

below: Esther Stein jumps from the 11th floor of the Mode O' Day Building on March 13, 1958. :(
usc digital archive

ethereal_reality Mar 23, 2011 3:10 AM

A year after Esther's suicide.
This 1959 photo shows the street level facade already missing the art deco ornament on the prominent corner pillar.
usc digital archive

below: A Mode O' Day Store to the right of the Los Angeles Theater in 1948.
usc digital archive

GaylordWilshire Mar 23, 2011 1:04 PM
A closeup of California Hospital, with the Transamerica/Occidental/AT&T building now on the skyline.

gsjansen Mar 23, 2011 2:26 PM

some more harold lloyd fun on bunker hill.........

poor harold is hanging on for dear life on the side of a runaway double decker bus heading west on third street as viewed from bunker hill avenue in "For Heaven's Sake" - 1926

the runaway bus is now heading north on clay street, viewed form just north of 4th street. (note the track for angels flight in the distance)

the runaway bus heading north on clay street viewed looking south from under angels flight

GaylordWilshire Mar 23, 2011 5:11 PM
1151 N. Highland. I love the sihouette on the left wall.

Could it be lurking to this day behind the addition? Street View

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