Looking north on Los Angeles Street from First Street, c.1910-2012

c. 1910-2012

In the early decades of Los Angeles’ industrial growth, Los Angeles Street was the primary artery of the city’s wholesale and manufacturing districts, immediately to the east of its civic and commercial center. In addition to its many warehouses, the top photograph shows the thoroughfare’s thick traffic of horse-drawn wagons, which loaded and unloaded their goods along the sidewalk.

During the interwar years, the upper end of Los Angeles Street fell into obsolescence as the city’s growing industrial core spread to newer districts to the south and east. The scattered old structures that remained on the north 100 block were demolished in the early 1950s to make way for two Civic Center projects, the General Services Department (far left) and the Los Angeles Police Department’s Parker Center (right).

An elevated view of the same block in 1907 [USC Digital Library]

Original photo: “CHS-M578 – Los Angeles Street, north from First Street, Los Angeles, ca. 1910.” Title Insurance and Trust/C. C. Pierce Photography Collection. USC Digital Library. USC Libraries Special Collections. http://digitallibrary.usc.edu/search/controller/view/chs-m578.html.

This entry was posted in Civic Center, Downtown, Los Angeles, Then and now and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Looking north on Los Angeles Street from First Street, c.1910-2012

  1. jk2001 says:

    I think this area was absorbed into Little Tokyo. During WW2 when it was Bronzeville, thre was a nightclub called Shepp’s on 1st and Los Angeles. Rip Rense wrote an article about the potential construction of a jail next to Nishi Hongwanji, and in it described how part of Little Tokyo was demolished to make way for Parker Center.

    You’re making it sound like it was a ghost town of empty buildings. In all likelihood, it was just populated by less lucrative businesses, or by businesses that the city considered less important, because they were run by people of color.

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