The original photograph shows the corner of the Philharmonic Auditorium at mid-century, at a time when the venue was still home to both the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Los Angeles Light Opera Company. The storied Auditorium was demolished in 1985 by the Houk Development Company to make way for a proposed hotel and office tower complex, only to see those plans dashed by an economic recession several years later. Since then, the site has been used as a surface parking lot.
Redevelopment plans resurfaced during downtown’s construction boom of the early 2000s, this time as two proposed luxury condominium towers called Park Fifth, led once again by Houk. Much like its predecessor however, Park Fifth ultimately fell victim to the housing market crash and subsequent recession. For now, we can only hope that the third time will be a charm.
Original photo: Whittington, Dick. “5th and Olive.” 1951. Los Angeles Public Library. http://photos.lapl.org/carlweb/jsp/FullRecord?databaseID=968&record=30&controlNumber=71553.