The top photograph, via Metro’s Transportation Library and Archive, shows a busy rush hour curbside scene at Broadway and Seventh Street roughly 30 years ago. The far left of the picture also provides a quick glimpse of the Hotel Lankershim (1904) in its final days. Once one of the city’s largest and finest hotels, the neglected building became Los Angeles’ tallest seismically unsound structure in 1981, following the passage of the city’s earthquake safety ordinance. Unwilling or unable to fully retrofit the building, its owner decided to demolish all but its bottom two floors in 1984, despite its inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places. In the early 1990s, what little was left was replaced by a seven-story parking structure with a ground-floor food court.
No more curbside loading takes place today where the Oldsmobile is parked in the top photograph. Just visible at the bottom right of the contemporary view is the entrance ramp for the St. Vincent Jewelry Center’s parking garage (go figure) that now lurks behind the walls of the original Bullocks building.
Source: “Rehab near on Lankershim.” Los Angeles Times. 19 Feb. 1984. O2.
Original photo: “Broadway.” 1 Mar. 2011. Metro Transportation Library and Archive. Flickr. The Dorothy Peyton Gray Transportation Library and Archive at the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. http://www.flickr.com/photos/metrolibraryarchive/5490028708/in/photostream.