By the time major residential development had come to a close on Bunker Hill, First Street was lined by a dense collection of apartment houses and hotels, pictured in the top photograph. After surviving largely intact through the 1940s, the northern end of the neighborhood quickly met its demise with the growth of the Civic Center, several years before the Bunker Hill Project demolished what remained.
The buildings on the north (left) side of the view were razed in 1954 to make way for the enormous County Courthouse, which closed Olive Street north of First Street. The apartment houses on the south side of the street (and the full blocks behind them) were purchased by the city in 1956, and subsequently replaced by a parking garage and several parking lots. Meanwhile, First Street was widened on both sides and regraded to a steady 8 percent slope.
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1. “Bunker Hill property sold for $2,050,000.” Los Angeles Times. 27 Dec. 1956. B1.
2. Cameron, Tom. “New courthouse fifth for county since 1850.” Los Angeles Times. 27 Oct. 1958. 2.
3. “Huge site being dug for courthouse.” Los Angeles Times. 8 Aug. 1954. 1A.
4. Smith, Cecil. “Civic Center to be marvel of beauty.” Los Angeles Times. 25 Jun. 1956. 2.
Original photo:”ACSC-M468 – First Street, Los Angeles. Looking west along First Street from Grand Avenue, 1926″ Automobile Club of Southern CAlifornia engineering notebook photoprints. USC Digital Library. Automobile Club of Southern California. http://digitallibrary.usc.edu/search/controller/view/acsc-m468.html.