A pictorial look at Los Angeles in the Roaring 20s! Above photo: A traffic jam in 1920.
A vintage 1920s postcard of Los Angeles’ “Busy Broadway.” The view looks south from 6th Street.
The 500 block of S. Broadway in 1920.
The Chocolate Shop moved from its original location on Fifth Street to a larger space at 217 West Sixth Street. Its new location opened in 1914.
Pasadena artist Ernest Batchelder created Dutch-themed tile murals for the new store.
Photo, c. 1920. (University of California)
A group visiting the (lost) Orchard Camp near Mt. Wilson, circa 1920.
The short-lived Beverly Hills Speedway in 1920. By 1924, it would close and a new racetrack would open in nearby Culver City. (LAPL 00033404)
The Mushroom Cafe, once located at 3500 W. Olive Ave., now the site of Central Park at Toluca Lake, a high-rise office building. While the Los Angeles Public Library states that the photo is from 1920.
An early mimetic ice cream stand in Eagle Rock, circa 1920. Assuming it didn’t move before 1931, the address would have been 402 York Blvd.
Damage to the Hotel Inglewood from the Inglewood Earthquake of June 21, 1920. It was a 5.0.
Vaughn-Schuler Battery Storage, c. 1922. Its address was 3241 S. Figueroa St.
The Calpet Super Service Station was once located at 3237 Wilshire Blvd in Santa Monica. Photo is believed to be around 1922. Camera lens distortion gives a slant to the otherwise horizontal wings flanking the central structure.
In its heyday, the station had a 55% female clientele. The tile colors on the roof were red, tan and black. The servicemen wore maroon jackets, white shirts and black bow-ties along with their breeches and putters. The station boasted a ladies room adorned with Venetian mirrors and a wicker settee with red leather cushion adorned with colorful pillows. The station also supposedly had a shoeshine station.
The address is no longer valid, but it looks like the Calpet Super Station might have been located around the corner of Wilshire and Centinela.
A barber shop believed to have once been located at 919 1/2 West 6th St. in Los Angeles. Circa 1920s.
Beverly Drive in Beverly Hills, north of Santa Monica Blvd. 1923. (LAPL 00020216 )
Two photos of the Airplane Cafe on Ventura Blvd. in the San Fernando Valley, c. 1924.
Signal Hill in 1924, the year it was incorporated.
The opening of the Mulholland Highway in December 1924. The banner in the distance reads, “Welcome. Mulholland Highway. 55 Miles of Scenic Splendor.” (USC Digital Image)
A vintage postcard view of Mulholland Drive and Franklin Canyon. (Bizarre Los Angeles)
Man receives a traffic ticket from a police officer at 2922 W. Pico Blvd., near Harvard, for riding around in an ostrich drawn cart to generate business. Photo was taken in the 1920s. (LAPL)
The Chapman Park Hotel and Bungalows, once located at 3405 Wilshire Boulevard, was completed in 1925. It was later torn down in the mid 1960s to make room for the Equitable building, designed by Welton Becket.
To see more pictures, click here.
The Grand at 110 S. Main Street, circa 1925. Far left is the California Clothier Company owned by Julius (and Isadore) Salmonson at 126 S. Main Street. (LAPL)
A summit at Topanga Canyon in the 1920s.
A view of the 12-story Hall of Records, once located at 220 N. Broadway. Behind it is the Court Flight funicular. Photo, circa 1920s. (Los Angeles Public Library 00026573)
Buster Keaton‘s Italian Villa located on Pamela Drive in Beverly Hills is southwest of the photo’s center. To the left of Keaton‘s Villa is another huge mansion that one reliable online source identified as belonging to Tom Mix and you will see Summit Drive on the other side of the possible Mix mansion winding towards —
—Charles Chaplin‘s mansion (almost directly left of photo center).
Following Summit past Chaplin‘s house heading towards the mountains, the next mansion (northwest of photo center) should be Pickfair.
To the right of Keaton‘s villa (southeast of photo center) is the Virginia Robinson estate. What looks like a property in between Keaton‘s Villa and the Robinson estate, located literally on Cove Way (south and a little east of photo’s center), was the residence of Victor Fleming.
Photo is dated around 1926-1927.
Please correct if I am wrong, but I think I figured it out.
The Freezer (occasionally confused as the Samarkand Ice Cream Parlor), was a small chain of ice cream stands in Los Angeles. Unfortunately, I don’t know the address for this one.
April showers caused flooded streets in Los Angeles on April 4 and 5, 1926. Over 2.20 inches of rain fell on April 4, flooding a number of downtown intersections with over two feet of water. The heavy rains also washed out train routes and flooded basements throughout Los Angeles, Pasadena and Glendale.
Above photo: Mariposa and 6th Street.
On April 5, an additional 1.7 inches of rain fell on Los Angeles before 2:30 p.m. Within 24 hours, the Automobile Club of Southern California received over 357 emergency road service calls from stranded motorists. Most of these calls were made by mud-splattered drivers who sped through flooded intersections, thus causing water to seep into the ignition of their cars. A few drivers had also broken a wheel of their vehicle from skidding into a curb.
The heavy rains and flooded streets made it very clear. The city needed better storm drains.
6th Street and Mariposa. The Hotel Normandie, which opened around May 1926, at 6th and Normandie, is in the background. Photo probably taken in late 1926 or early 1927. (LAPL 00019254)
Myrna Loy, c. 1926-27.
Storm drains were improved around the city, but progress was slow. Heavy rain showers continued to hit in late 1926 and early 1927, flooding streets, closing businesses, disrupting transportation, and ruining houses.
Shakespeare Bridge, located on Franklin Avenue east of Talmadge Street, was still under construction in 1926 when this photo was taken. The bridge was designated a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural historic landmark in 1974
Los Angeles’ Bureau of Power and Light installing a street light. Since the billboard in the background is advertising the Constance Talmadge film The Duchess of Buffalo, the photo date is probably late 1926. (DWP)
The Los Angeles Fire Department football team in action, circa 1926. (LAPL 00055695)
Twins pose near Eagle Rock in the 1920s. (USC Digital Archive)
A postcard image of the Carthay Circle Theatre, completed in 1926, with Henry Lion’s sculpture of a prospector in the foreground.
A fancy hood ornament.
Photo taken in Los Angeles, c. 1927, for Chevrolet Motors. (USC)
A race car driver at the Culver City Speedway in 1927. (LAPL)
A crowd waits to see the stage version of “Desert Song” at the Mason Theatre (127 South Broadway, Los Angeles) in 1928.
The Jail Cafe was located at 4212 Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, c. 1927. The site is now the El Cid Restaurant. Note the guard in the tower.
A waiter in prison guard taking an order. Bread and water was on the house.
Running in heels, circa 1927. According to the Los Angeles Public Library, the runners are (left to right) Dana Robinson; Lorraine Desmond; Charlotte Tobias; Ruby Wallen; Baulah Friend and Newtie Thornton (LAPL 00053873).
The El Patio Auto Laundry, circa 1927, was located at 260 S. Vermont Street. It was owned by B.K. Gillespie, who is credited with coming up with the super service station concept.
By 1928, Gillespie and other investors started a chain of super centers under the Gillespie Automobile Laundry System name. One of these early backers was Will Hays, a cleaner of motion picture content.
The Pacific Auto Laundries claimed that they could do a 10 minute quick wash, and a 40 minute detailed wash, which included a polish and a cleaning of the engine.
An acrobat performs dangerouse stunts on the roof of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce building at 1151 S. Broadway.
A waitress offers tea to a police officer directing traffic at the corner of Broadway and 11th Street in 1927. (LAPL)
Los Angeles “Motorcycle Officerettes,” 1927.
The Igloo located at 4302 W. Pico St., c. 1927. (LAPL 00068650)
The balcony exit of the Mayan Theater (1038 South Hill Street) in August of 1927, the month and year that it opened. The building was designed by Stiles O. Clements of Morgan, Walls and Clements. The sculptor was Francisco Cornejo, a Mexican artist. (LAPL: 00015393). The building is now a nightclub.
Two showrooms at J.W. Robinson’s, a department store once located on 7th Street, between Hope and Grand, circa late 1920s.
According to Wikipedia:
The hotel was built in 1928 by John and Vada Somerville, socially and politically prominent black Angelenos. John Somerville was the first black to graduate from the University of Southern California. The hotel was built entirely by black contractors, laborers, and craftsmen and financed by black community members.
In 1930, it became the Hotel Dunbar and was a major hub of Los Angeles’ jazz scene. All the greats either played or stayed here: Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong, Cab Calloway, Lena Horne, Lionel Hampton, Pearl Bailey, etc.
Looking north around Hill St. Not too far from where the 10 freeway is now. Circa April 1928.
Darling’s Flower Shop was one of the oldest florists in Los Angeles. It was located inside the Hayward Hotel, situated on the southwest corner of Sixth and Spring. This photo shows their delivery vehicle circa 1928. Sadly, Darling’s Flower Shop was hit hard by the Depression, declaring bankruptcy in 1934.
The Cornucopia Ice Cream stand at 1934 San Fernando Blvd in 1928. (LAPL 00068651)
An early forerunner of the ATM machine. This cash on wheels truck was called the Roving Bank Teller, which made selected stops around Los Angeles in 1929. Built somewhat like a tank, this motor vehicle belonged to the Seaboard National Bank. Seaboard National Bank of Los Angeles, in 1936, was acquired by Bank of America.
Chapman Market on the corner of 6th Street and Alexandria. Architects: Morgan, Walls & Clement. This photo was taken in June of 1929, not long after it was completed.
The “City of Glendale” was an all-metal dirigible designed to fly around 100 mph and carry 40 passengers. However, on its test run in 1929, the air ship exploded. The Slate Aircraft Company, who built the dirigible, claimed that heat from the sun pressurized the gas chamber, causing the riveting to separate.
Photo taken at the Grand Central Air Terminal in Glendale, California. The airport closed in 1959.
The Automobile Club of Southern California Sign Posting Department, circa 1929. (LAPL 00059578)
A Union Ice Company delivery truck, provided by the F & F Six Wheel Company.
F & F existed from approximately 1929 to 1932.
A Union Motor Oil Truck, c. 1929-1932.
The Round House Cafe, formerly located at 250 N. Virgil Avenue. It originally opened around 1927, but this photo was taken around 1929. (LAPL: 000686)
The parking garage of the Packard Building, 1000 S. Hope Street (on the corner of Hope and Olympic) in 1929. The original building was constructed in 1913, however, this building may have been part of the 1929 addition. Pretty modern looking, even by today’s standards. (Photo source: California State Library).
Sometime in the 1920s early 1930s, a shriner, clown and a bear cub decide to have a photo op in the middle of Olive Street.
The Shrine Circus arriving in Los Angeles. The Los Angeles Public Library doesn’t have a specific date for their photo; however, they claim that the airplane in the background belonged to Standard Airlines. If true, I’m thinking that the photo was taken sometime between 1927 and 1930. (LAPL: 00079017)
Those zany Shriners, probably gearing up for their parade. I’m guessing this photo was taken in the late 1920s. Their camel car is parked in front of the Hotel Mayan, which was completed in 1926, and is located at 3049 W. 8th Street (at the corner of New Hampshire). The building is still around, but is not in the best of shape. (LAPL: 00078989)