Friday, April 5, 2013



1880 - Main Street and Temple Street – Los Angeles, CA.  Although the streets
were not paved LA had established a modern horse drawn Trolley car system
providing mass transportation for their growing community.

*   Special thanks to “Water and Power Associates”, "".

by Felicity Blaze Noodleman

Los Angeles; at the turn of the Twentieth century was growing at an explosive rate.  It was a product of the century which had just ended.  A metropolitan city, which had grown out of the old west.  Angelino's had a vision of greatness for their cityThe population here was growing and a new type of American city was taking shape - a metropolitan city which would rival New York on the east coast or the metropolitan cities of Europe.  

During this period of early Los Angles history, three European styles of architecture are very predominate in the city,  The “Victorian & Gothic” style of Western Europe, Eastern European structures featured their “Onion Dome” embellishments and the “Mediterranean” influences of Spain each also employ their own Gothic styles.  Also mixed in with these structures is the “Adobe” influences of the South Western US.

The New buildings of the Twentieth century were beginning to rise higher than ever before with new building techniques which employed the use of a “super structure”, constructed with iron beams and then covered with concrete.

As Los Angeles expanded to the out laying areas of Glendale, Hollywood and Santa Monica tunnels were built to move the traffic through the hilly region.  These tunnels are gone today but were essential in the early years of the century.  LA even had a subway of sorts which was linked to the trolley car system of the day.  So much has changed!

(1905) - Photograph of the Bryson Block on the corner of Second Street and Spring Street, Los Angeles, 1905. The eight-story building towers above the streets and other buildings nearby. The first two floors are constructed of stone masonry, while the top two floors are constructed of brick. The building has a circular, tower-like corner. A street banner announces, "Pasadena floral parade and chariot races, first prize $1000.00." The street is busy with pedestrian, bicycle, horse-drawn carriage, early model car and streetcar traffic.

(1900) - View of the State Normal School, located at Grand Avenue and 5th Street. Here, clusters of students can be seen on the balcony, going up the stairway, and scattered around the grounds. 

 Historical Notes
The California State Normal School was a teaching college that was founded on May 2, 1862 in San Jose. In March 1881, after heavy lobbying by Los Angeles residents, the California State Legislature authorized the creation of a southern branch of the school to be built in downtown Los Angeles, which would train teachers for the growing population of Southern California. On August 29, 1882, the State Normal School at Los Angeles opened its doors.
In 1919, the Los Angeles State Normal School became part of the "UC system" and was absorbed into UCLA, moving to a larger campus on Vermont Avenue in Hollywood (the present site of L.A. City College). The L.A. Public Library would take the old Normal School site, which was located on 5th Street between Grand and Flower streets.

 Looking west up 4th Street from Hill Street, 1939. Up the block, that little narrow alley is Clay Street; the street between the Mutual Garage and the Hotel Clark Garage is Olive. So already by 1939, there were multi-level parking structures on Bunker Hill.   USC Archive

  (1925) - Ceremonies commemorating the opening of the Pacific Electric tunnel under Bunker Hill, from Beverly Boulevard to 5th and Hill Street.

 The lower photo shows how apartment buildings replaced the frame structures of earlier years. The Crocker Mansion is the fancy building at the top of Bunker Hill, and the viewing tower stands behind it to the right. There appear to be electric lights in the tunnel: In June 1903 a journalist had suggested coating the walls of the tunnel with radium to provide illumination.

 (1929) - Southwest corner of North Broadway and Sunset Boulevard, showing the north portal of the Broadway Tunnel, which later was demolished, the hill removed and the street widened. The newly constructed City Hall (1928) can be seen in the background.

(1915) - The dazzling facade of Quinn’s Superba Theater at night, 518 South Broadway. The theater was later sold and converted to a coffee house before being razed in 1931 to make way for the Roxie.

 (1928) - Looking westerly at the southern side of the 390' long open spandrel arch bridge located at Fourth and Lorena Streets in Boyle Heights, not long after in was built in 1928. The bridge, a declared city of Los Angeles historic monument, No. 265 , is located in a residential neighborhood, as indicated by the various homes present in the background.

 1917 - Looking south on Main from the Westminster Hotel tower at Fourth St..  In the left foreground is the San Fernando Building.  Across Main St. are the Farmers and Merchants Bank and the Isaias Hellman Building, all of which are part of the old bank district residential development.  

(1920) - Temple Block, junction of Main, Spring and Temple streets; Spring Street at left, Main Street at right, Temple Street in foreground. Photograph shows a large 1800's brick commercial building with sign on top reading: "INTERNATIONAL STEAMSHIP AND RENTAL TICKET OFFICE" and another sign on the middle facing reading: "PAINLESS DENTISTRY".

(1915) - Even though this old photo is damaged, we see the Corner view of J.W. Robinson's department store.   This beautifully designed cream colored brick structure
is at 7th Street and Grand. 

 (1917) - A view of the Pacific Mutual Building, the tallest on the northwest corner of Olive and 6th Streets. Built between 1908-1912, the original structure (as seen above) has undergone many changes: a North Side addition was built in 1916 by William J. Dodd; a twelve-story structure was built in 1921 by William J. Dodd and his associate William Richards; the Garage Building was added in 1926 by Schultze and Weaver; and the West Side addition was erected in 1929 by Parkinson and Parkinson. The building underwent modern remodeling in 1936 by Parkinson and Parkinson.

(1920s) - Exterior view of Bovard Hall, U.S.C.'s Administration building. Note the arch over the entrance and windows, the architectural designs on the building and carved statues on the tower. Students may be seen coming and going in front of the hall.

 (1950) - Scenic view of Bovard Hall at U.S.C.

(ca. 1924)* - Exterior view of the Elks Club building at 607 South Park View Street. Searchlights beam into the sky, illuminating the building at night. The outline of many parked cars may be seen in front of the building. Date built: 1923-24. Architects: Curlett & Beelman.

(1924) - A construction fence and temporary buildings surround the St. Vincent Catholic Church, 621 W. Adams Blvd., as it is being built. Scaffolding is on the dome and sides. Limestone blocks for the facade lie on the ground in front of the entrance. The surrounding neighborhood has stately homes with extensive grounds.

 (1926) - Exterior view of the second B'nai B'rith Temple on the corner of 9th and Hope streets. Neighboring businesses, hotels and apartment buildings are visible all along Hope Street, which runs from the foreground to the left side of the image.

(1929)- Looking north on Hill Street from 8th Street on Dec. 5th, 1929. The street is illuminated by streetlights, electric signs, and lights on the Christmas trees.

 The United Artists Theater building (sign pictured in the above night photo) - was the tallest in Los Angeles for one year after its completion - was Formerly the "Texaco Building" and then later "The Los Angeles University Cathedral" At 933 S.Broadway Los Angeles,Ca.   Built in 1927 by the United Artist studio, was the flag ship for other theaters built around the nation in the same style.  The building is now under going renovation and will become the Ace Hotel.

(1929) - Traffic on Wilshire Boulevard at the intersection of Western Avenue. The offices of real estate developer Henry de Roulet are on the opposite corner.

Meanwhile  . . .  In Hollywood  . . .

(1920s) - Aerial view of the Hollywoodland Sign showing the newly developed land in the foreground as well as the farmland of the San Fernando Valley behind the Hollywood Hills.
The HOLLYWOODLAND sign sits below Mt. Lee. Another sign ( just the letter 'H') is seen to the left on top of Mt. Cahuenga.

(1923) - View of Hollywood Blvd. at Cahuenga with traffic and pedestrians waiting to cross in 1923. The Security Trust & Savings Bank building is on the left side of the photograph.

(1927)* - Night view shows theater lights and throngs of fans packing the streets for blocks around Grauman's Chinese Theatre. Publicity of Hollywood premiers usually brought stars and other distinguished visitors to magnificent events such as the one seen here - possibly the opening night of a movie starring Douglas Fairbanks. 

(1925) - Aerial view of the Japanese estate and gardens, once owned by the brothers Charles and Adolph Bernheimer, located at 1999 N. Sycamore Avenue in Hollywood.

 (1934) - The Griffith Observatory and the main building, the planetarium, are seen from below and from the back. A hiking path has been cut into the hillside below, on the south side, but brush still covers much of the area. 


(1924) - View shows an amusement park, complete with wooden roller coaster,
on the Santa Monica pier.


There seems to be a wealth of vintage old photographs documenting the growth of Los Angeles from its earliest years.  Very few American cities compare to the success of Los Angeles.  It is fascinating to see how functional the old metropolis was, as it gave way to the Los Angeles of today.  We hope to visit more vintage sights in the future!

Next week we will be writing about April 15th.  That’s right – TAX day in the Obama economy and look at so many of the “WHY” questions people are asking these days.  Once again, I’m Felicity with the Noodleman Group.  See ya!

* “The Noodleman Group” is pleased to announce that we are now carrying a link to the “USA Today” news site.We installed the “widget/gadget” August 20, and it will be carried as a regular feature on our site.Now you can read“Noodleman” and then check in to “USA Today” for all the up to date News, Weather, Sports and more!Just scroll all the way down to the bottom of our site and hit the “USA Today” hyperlinks.Enjoy!

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