The misalignment of Los Angeles’ two different street grids at Hoover Street created several quirks in the paths of the city’s east-west streetcar lines. The top photograph shows a westbound “L” streetcar of the Los Angeles Railway turning onto Hoover Street. The “L,” which ran west of downtown on Eleventh Street, made a one-block detour on Hoover before running west on Tenth Street (renamed Olympic Boulevard). This portion of the streetcar route turned out to be particularly irksome to motorists; in 1928, the Automobile Club of Southern California took the above photograph and several others of this intersection to document limited clearance given to automobiles between turning streetcars and the curbside.
The Automobile Club soon had its way. In the early 1930s, Hoover Street was widened to a minimum of 80 feet between Wilshire Boulevard and the University of Southern California. This removed the once generous setbacks of residences on the west side of the street, arguably accelerating their abandonment and replacement. In 1940, the “L” streetcar line was discontinued west of downtown and replaced by bus service along Olympic Boulevard.
1. “Hoover-Street project added” Los Angeles Times. 8 Aug. 1931. A1.
2. “Olympic Blvd. Bus Service Ordered by State Rail Board.” Los Angeles Times. 24 Jan. 1940. p. 11.
Original photo: “On 11th Street opposite Park View Street looking northwesterly across Hoover Street showing limited clearance for automobiles between curb and street car making turn, Los Angeles, 1928 – acsc-m636.” 1928. Automobile Club of Southern California engineering notebook photoprints. USC Digital Library. Automobile Club of Southern California . http://digitallibrary.usc.edu/assetserver/controller/view/AAA-EN-28-127.