Looking west on Wilshire Boulevard from Mullen Avenue, 1932-2011


Los Angeles’ hosting of the 1932 Summer Olympics propelled one of the largest planting and beautification initiatives in the city’s history, leading to the creation of the city’s modern street tree program. In addition, many of its sidewalk parkways were planted with summer flowers in the months leading up to the event. In the top photograph, workers are seen preparing one parkway on a very lightly developed part of Wilshire Boulevard, set to be adorned with petunias.

The Hancock Park section of the boulevard remained relatively barren until the later part of the 20th century, when it acquired a handful of mid-sized office buildings. Strangely enough, it seems that the lot at the northwest corner of Rimpau Boulevard, overgrown and fenced off in the contemporary photograph, has never been built on.

Source: “We’re getting ready.” Los Angeles Times. 15 May 1932. K16.
Original photo: “chs-m437 – Workers planting along the sidewalk of Wilshire Boulevard in preparation for the 1932 Olympic Games, 1932.” 1932. Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce Collection. USC Digital Library. USC Libraries Special Collections. http://digitallibrary.usc.edu/assetserver/controller/view/CHS-37110.

This entry was posted in Los Angeles, Then and now, Wilshire Boulevard and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Looking west on Wilshire Boulevard from Mullen Avenue, 1932-2011

  1. Larry Lin says:

    I found your blog while I was searching The Baker Block. I love the comparative illustrations of Los Angeles’s historical look versus current look you’ve been working on. Keep up with the good work. I’ve already made it a shortcut on my desktop for my frequent retrieves. I am a retired old man moving from Taipei to Walnut in recent years and I feel quite proud of a young man like you.

  2. Brian Hsu says:

    Thank you Larry. I’m always delighted to have new readers!

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