During the first few decades of the 20th century, the section of Vermont Avenue between Adams and Washington Boulevards developed a substantial neighborhood business district serving northern University Park. Although many of its older buildings have since disappeared, a fairly well-preserved portion remains in the vicinity of 24th Street, just to the south of the Santa Monica Freeway.
Two of the commercial buildings in the original view’s foreground have survived until the present. The one-story building on the left, 2300-2312 S. Vermont Avenue, was completed in 1915. As seen in the top photograph, the relatively simple structure was mainly ornamented by decorative brickwork above its storefronts. Although much of that work has been lost to later renovations, a small portion can still be seen on the building’s corner. The two-story building on the opposite side of the street (c. 1912) has gone through some more substantial changes, leaving it instead with a more elaborate pink facade.
The top photograph also provides a glimpse of the original St. Agnes Catholic Church which stood at the southwest corner of Vermont Avenue and Adams Boulevard. Built between 1905 and 1907, the Gothic Revival edifice was initially one of Los Angeles’ largest and tallest suburban churches, with two spires which rose to to 150 feet. The church appears to have been demolished around 1960, when the parish completed a newer building whose shorter tower is seen in the present view.
A postcard view of the first St. Agnes Church [Boston Public Library on Flickr]
1. “At the city’s gates.” Los Angeles Times. 3 Jun. 1907. II3.
2. Zone Information and Map Access System (ZIMAS). City of Los Angeles, Department of City Planning. http://zimas.lacity.org/
3. “Rush work on new church.” Los Angeles Times. 22 Dec. 1905. II10.
Original photo: Dick Whittington Studio. “Intersection, West 23rd Street & South Vermont Avenue, Los Angeles, CA, 1929 – DW-1929-11-23-128~03.” Dick Whittington Photography Collection. USC Digital Library. USC Libraries Special Collections. http://digitallibrary.usc.edu/cdm/ref/collection/p15799coll170/id/33198