The top photograph shows a southbound streetcar on the Los Angeles Railway’s R line, which connected Hancock Park and Boyle Heights via Downtown. Though primarily an east-west route, its streetcars traveled along a short but busy section of Vermont Avenue between Third and Seventh Streets. Long one of the city’s busiest transit lines, the R line was among the last five rail routes to be replaced by bus service in 1963.
Since the mid-20th century, each of the buildings that stood at the corners of Sixth Street and Vermont Avenue has disappeared. The unnamed brick commercial building at the northwest corner, shown at the top, is now the site of a parking lot for a Walgreens pharmacy. In order to correct the uneven alignment of Sixth Street at Vermont Avenue, the former was widened at both sides of the intersection after the corner buildings were destroyed, creating the much longer crosswalks there today.
1. “End of streetcars will expand bus service.” Los Angeles Times. 6 Feb. 1963. A1.
2. “What the transit companies say about their services.” Los Angeles Times. 20 Sep. 1953. B5.
Original photo: Weeks, Alan. “014 LATL 1391 R Line 6th St. & Vermont Av. 19480622 AKW.” 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/7441525052/.