Old Photographs of Los Angeles

I get thrilled every time I see old photographs of the city of Los Angeles. I think it has to do with the rapid growth and transformation of the city’s landscape over the last century. My favorite place to see old photos is the building and safety department in Beverly Hills, where some of the walls show old photos of famous street intersections. The changes that have taken place in the last 50 years are simply incredible.

If you are like me, you will most definitely enjoy the following links:
Los Angeles, before

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Wee Kirk O’ The Heather (F.A. Hansen, Architect)

Address: 1712 S. Glendale Blvd. in Glendale, CA.

The Wee Kirk O’ The Heather is located within the grounds of Forest Lawn Memorial Park. It is said to be a reproduction of the village church attended by Annie Laurie in Glencairn, Scotland. The original church was erected in 1310 and destroyed in 1805 A.D.


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Widney Hall, USC (Kysor & Octavius Morgan, Architects) – 1880

Address: USC Campus at 650 Childs Way.

(Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 70)

The first building of the University of Southern California, built during the first year of the school’s existence (1880). Over the years the building came to be known as Widney Hall, its facade was altered and painted, and moved to different locations on campus. It has survived as Alumni House, now located across from the Doheny Library.

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William Andrews Clark Memorial Library (Robert Farquhar, Architect) – 1926

Address: 2520 Cimarron Street in the West Adams district

(Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument no. 28)

The library was established by William Andrews Clark, Jr. (1877 – 1934), a prominent philanthropist and founder of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra (1919). The library is named in honor of his father, Sen. William Andrews Clark, who had built a mining fortune in Montana. Clark lived at the corner of Adams Blvd. and Cimarron Street.

Between 1924 and 1926 he engaged prominent architect Robert D. Farquhar

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Watts Towers (Simon Rodia, Designer-Builder) – 1921-1954

Address: 1765 E. 107th Street in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles.

(Los Angeles Historic Cultural Monument No. 15)

A colorful lacework of 17 whimsical towers designed by Sabato Simon Rodia in his spare time over a period of 33 years. The towers are a fantasy of found objects Rodia picked up from the nearby railroad tracks and broken pieces of pottery from the Malibu Pottery, where he worked for many years.

Scrap rebar, wrapped with wire mesh, coated with mortar, and imbedded with broken china, scrap metal, pieces of

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Warren & Belle Dunn Mansion (C.W Buchanan, Architect) – 1904

Address: Oakland Avenue and Ford Place, on the campus of Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California.

The mansion was designed in the Craftsman style and maintains much of the character of the original design, except for the enclosure of the back porch.

The building is currently named for Herbert J. Taylor, a close friend and counselor of Charles Fuller, the Founder of Fuller Seminary. Taylor was President of Club Aluminum Company, a devoted Christian, he established the Christian Workers Foundation and was a charter

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William H. Monroe House, ‘The Oaks’ (Solon I. Haas) – 1887

Address: 250 N. Primrose Avenue, Monrovia, California

The Oaks, also known as William N. Monroe House, is a Stick/Eastlake Queen Anne Style house built for William N. Monroe, for whom the city of Monrovia was named. Monroe first brought his family to the Los Angeles area in 1875; serving on the Los Angeles City Council from 1879 until 1882, moved to Texas, and then returned in 1884. That year he purchased 240 acres for $30,000 from E.J. ‘Lucky’ Baldwin, land which was part of the Azusa de Duarte and Santa Anita ranchos.

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William H. Perry Residence (E.F. Kysor, Architect) – 1876

Designed by noted Architect E. F. Kysor for lumber baron William Hayes Perry in the Greek Revival/Italianate Style. The house originally stood in Boyle Heights, a fashionable suburb of Los Angeles at the turn of the century. Its design and sheer size reflect the social class of the owners: marble fireplace mantles, formal staircase and fine hardwood floors. It was considered in its time to be the ‘finest and most expensive home yet seen in Los Angeles.’

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William Mead House (Hudson & Munsell) – 1914

Address: 4533 Cockerham Drive in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles.

Described as a ‘Prairie’ influenced-style, the house was designed by the eminent architectural firm Hudson & Munsell for William Mead, a pioneer real estate developer in Los Feliz. Mead purchased 400 acres adjoining Griffith Park in 1911 from Col. Griffith J. Griffith and began planning what would become one of the City’s most beautiful subdivisions. He added another 132 acres to his holdings in 1925. For a period of time, Mead owned the

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William Mulholland Memorial Fountain (W. Clayberg, Designer) – 1940

Address: Intersection of Riverside Drive and Los Feliz Blvd. in Los Feliz

(Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 162).

William Mulholland was a ‘penniless Irish immigrant’ and a self-taught engineer who became head of the Los Angeles Bureau of Water Works & Supply at a time when business and civic leaders in Los Angeles were realizing that development would remain limited without additional water resources. Mulholland, with the support of another visionary, Fred Eaton, implemented a plan to redirect water

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William R. Staats House (Marston, Van Pelt & Maybury) – 1924

Address: 293 S. Grand Avenue in Pasadena, California.

French Provincial Revival style house designed for William Staats, by the distinguished firm Marston, Van Pelt and Maybury in 1924. Staats arrived in Pasadena in 1887, establishing what would become a well-connected real estate firm. Henry Huntington hand-picked him to subdivide and sell the exclusive Oak Knoll area.

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Wilshire United Methodist Church (Allison & Allison and Whittlesey, Architects) – 1924

Address: 4350 Wilshire Blvd. in the Hancock Park neighborhood of Los Angeles.

(Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 114).

The architects were among the most important architects in Los Angeles during the first half of the 20th Century. The church combines Romanesque and Gothic elements in the design. The tower and facade were inspired by La Giralda in Sevilla, Spain as well as the facade and 140-foot tower, inspired by Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi in Brescia, Italy.

Singer Jeanette MacDonald married Gene

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Wilshire Blvd. Temple (Edelman, Tilden Norton & Allison, Architects) – 1922-29

Address: 3663 Wilshire Blvd. (at the corner of Hobart Boulevard).

(Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 116).

The Wilshire Boulevard Temple reminds of other great churches and temples of Byzantium. Massive and mysterious, the interior is opulent with black marble, inlaid gold, rich mosaics, rare woods and exquisite murals depicting the history of the Hebrews (by Hugo Ballin). The temple is also on the National Register of Historic Places.

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Wilshire Ebell Theater & Club (Sumner Hunt & Silas Burns, Architects) – 1924-27

Address: 4400 Wilshire Boulevard in the Hancock Park neighborhood of Los Angeles.

(Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 250).

Neoclassical in style, the Wilshire Ebell Theater and Club was founded as a non-profie woman’s organization in 1894, and is one of the oldest and largest in the nation.

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Wilshire Vermont Station- (Arquitectonica Architects) – 2007

Address: Intersection of Vermont St. and Wilshire Blvd.,

Miami firm Arquitectonica designed this eye-catching complex, sitting atop the Metro subway station in the heart of Koreatown. The station is highlighted by a gigantic (8200 square foot) image by artist April Greiman. The complex held its grand opening on October 7, 2007.

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Wilshire Ward Chapel (Harold W. Burton, Architect) – 1928

Address: 1209 Manhattan Place.

(Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 531).

Harold W. Burton was the most prolific architect of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The outstanding feature of the church is the octagonal tower in a Moderne/Art Deco motif.

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Wiltern Theater (Morgan, Walls & Clements, Architects) – 1930-31

Address: 3780 Wilshire Boulevard (corner of Western Avenue).

(Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 118).

The Pelliser Office Building and Wiltern Theater(formerly the Warner Brothers Western Theater) is among the most recognizable and loved landmarks in the City of the Angels. Located along the Wilshire Boulevard Corridor, The exterior is completely covered with blue-green glazed terra cotta tiles in a style referred to as French Zigzag Moderne.

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Ziegler Estate (Hornbeck & Wilson, Architects) – 1904

Address: 4601 North Figueroa Street.

(Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 416).

The Zeigler Estate located in historic Highland Park combines Queen Anne, Craftsman and Shingle Style into an elegant statement. The mansion has 6 bedrooms and four baths and features an arroyo stone wall. It is situated in the historic core of Highland Park next door to Casa de Adobe.

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Yoakum House, 1895-1915

Address: 140 S. Avenue 46

(Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 287).

Tudor Revival style house built by volunteer labor for Finis Ewing Yoakum, founder of ‘Pisgah House’, a halfway home. Located in the Highland Park neighborhood of Los Angeles.

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Wrigley Mansion ‘Tournament House” (G. Lawrence Stimson, Architect) – 1906-1914

Address: 391 S. Orange Grove Blvd

Owned by chewing-gum magnate William Wrigley, the Wrigley Mansion was given to the City of Pasadena in 1958, upon Mrs. Wrigley’s death, with the stipulation that it be used as the headquarters for the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association. The house is magnificently situated at. and includes the Wrigley Gardens, with 4.5 acres of roses representing 1,500 varieties.

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Wright-Mooers House, 1880

Address: 818 S. Bonnie Brae Street

(Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 45).

The Wright-Mooers House is representative of the ‘West Coast Victorian’, an eclectic blend of Queen Anne Victorian with other styles. Note the small pairs of Romanesque columns and the elongated domed roof, perhaps a touch of the Islamic. Located at in the Westlake neighborhood of Los Angeles.

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Wolf’s Lair (Milton Wolf, Designer) – 1927

Address: 2869 Durand Drive

Historic castle-chateau located at the end of the hiking trail which runs alongside the Castillo del Lago at the foot of Lake Hollywood. Designed by Developer and Art Director Milton Wolf, it has been the residence of both Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. and Doris Day and was featured in the film, ‘Return from Witch Mountain’, starring Bette Davis. The fairy-tale fortress with its crenellated walls, turrets and towers gained a local reputation as being haunted after Wolf died at the dining room table.

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Woit House (Jno H. Fleming, Architect) – 1934

Address: 3607 Shannon Road

Architect Jno H. Fleming designed the English Tudor Revival style house for Charles S. Woit in 1934. Located in the Los Feliz district of Los Angeles. The architect also designed the Spanish Revival style Lee Holtz Residence on Amesbury Road in 1935.

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Wirin House (Richard Neutra, Architect) – 1950

Address: 2622 Glendower Avenue

(Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 812)

Located directly across the street from the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Ennis House in Los Feliz, the Wirin House was purchased by celebrity photographer Mark Seliger in 2004. An extensive restoration under the direction of Architect Sharon Johnston-Lee was completed in 2008. Located in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles.

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