Category Archives: Los Angeles

Los Angeles Plaza – 1860s

Screen shot 2014-03-29 at 10.50.44 AMI am doing a little work on the Los Angeles Plaza and the things going on there during the nineteenth century – eventually I want to look at twentieth-century efforts to preserve the area as an historical landmark. Public memory in action in the City of Angeles! Here’s a shot of the Plaza in the late 1860s, before the city turned it into a park. The image is part of the California Historical Society Collection at USC.

With compliments,

Keith

A Drive Through Bunker Hill and Downtown Los Angeles

Screen shot 2014-03-07 at 9.38.05 AMWhile clicking around on the Internet Archives website for some useful film footage I stumbled across this great six-minute film plate of a drive through Bunker Hill and Downtown Los Angeles in the 1940s. Studios would shoot shorts like these for background footage in feature films. Most of the apartment buildings, retail structures, and Victorian homes are long gone – though I did catch a glimpse (at 2:20) of City Hall in the distance. There is no sound on this film so you will have to use your imagination. And if you pay attention, you will see that the film crew is being followed by a pair in a black sedan. I wonder who was in it…
 
 

With compliments,
Keith

From the Mountains to the Sea

Screen shot 2014-01-09 at 1.30.43 PMHere’s an image for those of us in Los Angeles wishing our current (limited) subway system went to the beach. Once upon a time the Los Angeles Pacific Railway did exactly that. They had a line (the Pasadena-Pacific) extending from Pasadena to…you guessed it…Santa Monica.

So for a short time in the 1880s and 90s, Angelenos had what they are currently looking for. From what I understand, there are plans underway to construct a new underground line – due for completion in 2030 or something. That all sounds great to me – but I wish the city would take care of the swimming pool sized potholes on Highland Avenue first.

With compliments,

Keith

Old (Really Old) Town Pasadena

Picture 6Things have changed a lot in Pasadena since the city’s early years. I’m not sure you can still get lumber on Colorado Blvd. But you could in 1880. My guess is that lumber and other building supplies were in high demand during this era. The 1880s saw a Southern California boom cycle and cities like Pasadena were growing exponentially. Picture 7

One thing is for sure – Colorado Blvd quickly gained a reputation for bad traffic. Did the powers that be ever get a handle on that? Well…I’ve seen worse. Here’s the same general area today – known as “Old Town Pasadena.” I think I can even see a parking space.

With compliments,

Keith

Any Ideas?

Picture 1I found this image extremely interesting. For one, it is remarkably clear and detailed considering the era and the presence of movement. But I can’t figure out the location or the precise year. The LOC websource where I found the image states simply: “general view, Los Angeles California, between 1880 and 1899.”

That’s not particularly helpful. I’m thinking that the shot is closer to 1899 – judging by the clothing and the well-manicured grounds. Any ideas?

With compliments,

Keith