Los Angeles photos in the 1950s.
Above: Downtown in 1950.
A traffic jam on Figueroa Street facing Sunset, circa 1950.
7th Street approaching Figueroa, circa 1950. Notice the sign announcing the future site of the Statler Hotel? The hotel (completed in 1952) once stood on the corner of Figueroa and Wilshire. In the far distance is the Wellington Apartment Hotel. Photographer: Arnold Hylen.
” ‘Death Symphony’ Jest Turns on Rodzinski”
LOS ANGELES TIMES (Feb. 4, 1950) — The laugh with which Arthur Rodzinski defied the death and superstition which lurk around Tschaikowsky’s [sic.] “Symphonie Pathetique” as he conducted the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra through that composition Thursday night had assumed a hollow tone today.
Although it was being kept very quiet, it was learned that Radzinski narrowly escaped possible death in his room at the Biltmore at 1:30 a.m. yesterday, less than four hours after the concert in which the “death symphony” had been played.
FINDS BLANKETS ON FIRE
The noted conductor awoke to find his bed blankets afire!
“I don’t know how it started,” Rodzinski said. “Ashes from my pipe, perhaps.”
The smoldering fire in the blankets had not made much headway when Rodzinski discovered it. He managed to snuff it out with other blankets and towels.
Before going to the podium at the Philharmonic Auditorium to conduct Thursday night’s concert in which “Symphonie Pathetique” was programmed, Rodzinski said:
“It is beautiful music. I told the orchestra not to worry, that I would take all the blame for playing the number.”
The strange superstition concerning the classic was revived last week when a clarinetist in a Stockholm orchestra died suddenly after playing the symphony.
Although he reported his near-mishap in a half-kidding manner yesterday, Rodzinski’s laughter was just a trifle flat.
Facing southwest on Wilshire Boulevard from Citrus Avenue in 1950. (LAPL 00104336)
A house being moved past the Chateau Marmont (8221 Sunset Blvd.) in 1950, gets stuck on Marmont Lane. It took hours for movers to squeeze the house past a telephone pole, and they did it by rocking the house to and fro. (LAPL 00068660)
In 1951, the Horseless Carriage Club held its fourth annual caravan through Southern California. In order to join the club, a vintage auto could not be newer than 1915. That April, the caravan of approximately 60 autos began its trek in Los Angeles, driving through Pasadena, Arcadia, Azusa, LaVerne, Pomona, Ontario, Bloomington, Rialto, San Bernardino, Colton and Riverside. While in Riverside, they attended a party at the Mission Inn (and probably stayed the night there). On Saturday, the caravan dove through Arlington, Corona, Olive, Santa Ana, Seal Beach and Long Beach. The event was sponsored by the General Petroleum Corp.
ABC-KECA TV (now KABC) on the air in 1951. The location was the old (pre-Burbank) Vitagraph/Warner Bros. studio at 4151 Prospect Avenue. Today, the site is known as the Prospect Studio. (LAPL 00095953)
Driving on to the M-G-M lot in the early 1950s.
Traveling along South Broadway Street, north of 9th Street, in 1951. (LAPL 00104599).
Jefferson Blvd. in 1951. (LAPL 00028449)
Downtown Los Angeles, taken from City Hall in 1952.
Beverly Drive in 1952.
Hungry for Hungarian? In the early 1950s, the place to dine on the Sunset Strip was the Little Gypsy Restaurant at 8917 Sunset Blvd.
KTLA’s live coverage of the high winds and roaring waves that pounded Redondo Beach in January 1953. (LAPL 00043344)
Testing new 3-D technology on May 1, 1953. This picture, however, appears to have been taken after the November 1952 release of Bwana Devil, the first full-length 3-D feature film. (LAPL 00029819)
Wilshire Blvd., circa 1953. Photograph by Weegee (real name: Usher Fellig)
A lost residential neighborhood on Odin Street, circa 1954. It’s now part of the Hollywood Bowl’s parking lot. (LAPL 00041564)
A Navy dirigible gathers smog samples in downtown Los Angeles, circa 1954. (Coy Watson Photos / LAPL 00050664)
Models Connie James, Carol Brewster, and Dolores Berruezo show how glamorous it is to live in a 44-foot trailer home. The photo was taken in 1954 at the Trailer Life Show, held at the Shrine Exposition Hall.
Brewster (the one in the middle) was an actress, who appeared in the films Untamed Women (1952), Cat-Women of the Moon (1953) and A Virgin in Hollywood (1953). LAPL 00044917
“The Haunted Shack” at Knott’s Berry Farm, circa 1954.
“Founded in 1915 as a ‘home’ for Christian missionaries on furlough, Pilgrim Place [located on Mayflower Street in Claremont] has expanded its mission over the years to provide quality housing and services for persons with careers in religious or humanitarian, non-profit organizations who share a concern for a more peaceful, just world and ‘walking gently on the God’s earth.'” — Pilgrim Place.
Photo c. 1954. LAPL
The Notre Dame Cathedral set used in the 1939 version of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” at RKO’s Encino Ranch.
This photo was taken in 1954, the same year the ranch was sold to developers, who tore down the old Hunchback sets to build new homes.
The Vermont Ave. exit off the Hollywood Freeway, c. 1950s.
A 1950s era billboard for Max Barish (incorporated in 1949) placed next to the Mona Lisa Restaurant, once located at 3343 Wilshire Boulevard (next to the Gaylord Apartments and across the street from the Ambassador Hotel).
Chinatown in the 1950s.
Dining aboard the Union Pacific Railroad, circa 1955.
Looking west along 5th Street from Central Avenue at 1:45 a.m. on April 7, 1955. Notice Trader Joes? It’s not the supermarket we all know today. This was skid row. (LAPL 00041853)
Crawford’s Village Store in El Monte at Five Points (corner of Valley and Garvey).
Hill’s Barber Shop at 1421 W. Manchester, probably in the 1950s. In the back of the room, there is a sign for Wildroot Cream Oil, and if you look closely, you’ll see the photographer’s reflection in the middle of the photo.
I’m thinking this photo might have been taken at the Burbank Airport, circa 1954-1955.
A hallway inside the Los Angeles Police Facilities Building (aka”The Glass House,” aka Parker Center), located on the corner of 1st and Los Angeles Street, in 1955.
The building itself was designed by Welton Becket. Looking at the picture, there are perforated Fenestra panels on the left, which were used as restraining barriers in the jail section. Prisoners could look through the panels to see outside; however, the panels made it practically impossible for people on the outside to see into the building.
When the building opened, the police department began conducting tours, and in 1966, it was renamed Parker Center, in memory of William H. Parker, who served as Chief of Police during the construction.
Over the years, Parker Center appeared in numerous television cop/lawyer shows, such as Dragnet, Perry Mason and Hunter; it also was the scene of an early demonstration during the Rodney King trial; however, over time, the building was considered dated and a newer police facilities building was constructed in 2009 to take Parker Center’s place.
On January 15, 2013, Parker Center officially closed and an Environmental Impact Report was in the works, which will no doubt play a key role in determining the building’s fate (if it hasn’t already).
Broadway looking toward 7th Street in 1956. (Photographer: Mildred L. Harris. LAPL 00110059)
Young African-American children in Los Angeles, circa 1950s.
A Los Angeles skid row hotel room in 1955. (LAPL)
Note: According to the L.A. Times, right around the time this photo was taken, “skid row” was the Bunker Hill area.
The opening of a Dairy Queen in 1957 at 11334 Moorpark Street in Studio City, now the site of the Girasol Restaurant. (LAPL 00021847)
Drag racing in the concrete Los Angeles riverbed. Photo probably came from a Life Magazine shoot in 1957.
A 1957 postcard for the long gone Bell Motor Hotel, once located at 1126 East Colorado St. in Glendale.
Los Angeles showing off its new fleet of garbage trucks in 1957! (LAPL 00060216)
Pay television in 1957. (LAPL 00046569)
Broadway and 6th Street, around 1957.
An uncomfortably smoggy day in Los Angeles in September 1958. Looks like the photo was taken on Broadway Street. (Photographer: Art Worden / LAPL 00048416)
Smog in downtown Los Angeles, December 11, 1958.
Heading east on Wilshire Boulevard after passing Ogden Drive in January of 1959. (LAPL 00104343)
These waitresses once worked at the Cave Club, a nightclub that opened in April 1959. According to liquor license permits, the Cave Club’s address was 8511 Beverly Place.
Photo: Ralph Morris (the club’s proprietor)
Broadway and 7th Streets, around 1959. The State Theatre (703 S. Broadway) is showing Ben-Hur.
Thirty-six-year-old Aurora Vargas was forcibly evicted from her home at 1771 Malvina Avenue in the Chavez Ravine in May of 1959. At the time, local residents were required to leave their neighborhood so that the land could be developed into Dodger Stadium. (LAPL 00041424)
Court Reporter Pat Swanson rollerskating inside the newly constructed Los Angeles County Courthouse, circa 1959. (LAPL 00093280)
Mary Audio, left, was judged “Most Beautiful” at the Beaux Arts Ball of Verdugo Hills Art Association in November of 1959. In this photo, master of ceremonies and head judge Will Turner hands her a prize, a painting by Ralph Hulett, well-known background artist for the Walt Disney Company. Hullet’s film credits include Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Alice in Wonderland, Aristocats, Jungle Book and many other animated films. (LAPL)