In the early 1930s, the city of Los Angeles advanced two significant public works plans for Wilshire Boulevard: the widening of the existing street between Figueroa Street and MacArthur Park, and an extension of its eastern terminus from Figueroa to Grand Avenue. Although the widening project was not completed until 1934, the three-block extension, pictured above, opened in 1931. Due to the added cost of demolition, the project cost the city $3,298,848, making it at the time “the most expensive three blocks of street ever completed.”
Judging from the perspective, the two photographs were almost certainly taken from the Rex Arms, also mentioned recently. Also notable is the significant amount of peripheral downtown land dedicated to surface parking as early as the 1930s.
1. “Boulevard link to be opened.” Los Angeles Times. 20 Sep. 1931. E1.
2. “Westlake region to be decorated.” Los Angeles Times. 26 Nov. 1934. A2.
1.”chs-m473 – Birdseye view of Figueroa Street at Wilshire Boulevard before the extension of Wilshire.” c. 1931. Title Insurance and Trust/C.C. Pierce Photography Collection. USC Digital Library. USC Libraries Special Collections. http://digitallibrary.usc.edu/assetserver/controller/view/search/CHS-32522.
2. “chs-m474 – View of the intersection of Wilshire Boulevard and Figueroa Street after the improvement of Wilshire.” 1934. Title Insurance and Trust/C.C. Pierce Photography Collection. USC Digital Library. USC Libraries Special Collections. http://digitallibrary.usc.edu/assetserver/controller/view/search/CHS-32524.