Looking west on Wilshire Boulevard from Figueroa Street, 1934-2012

1934-2012

The top photograph shows the downtown portion of Wilshire Boulevard in 1934, shortly after it was widened by 30 feet east of MacArthur Park. Near its eastern terminus, the building line was pushed back only on the north side of the street, creating the numerous surface lots in the picture’s right foreground. The Wilshire Boulevard widening has previously been written about on this site at Westlake AvenueSt. Paul Place, and viewed from the Rex Arms.

All of the buildings in the original view were later demolished to make way for the Harbor Freeway and the gradual western push of the central business district. The buildings on the left made way for city’s Statler Hotel, a 1200-room hotel and office complex completed in 1952. Most recently known as the Wilshire Grand, the property is now the target of a major redevelopment proposal by Korean Airlines and Thomas Properties which aims to replace the 16-story building with two skyscrapers. The Wilshire Grand was closed in late 2011 and is currently awaiting demolition. Also visible in the present view are two office towers, 915 Wilshire (1980, right) and the Wilshire-Bixel Building (1985, center).

Wilshire Grand redevelopment [CurbedLA]

Source: “New Statler opens – with no fanfare.” Los Angeles Times. 7 Aug. 1952. A1.
Original photo: “CHS-M466 – View of Wilshire Boulevard looking west from Figueroa Street, after widening and paving, 1934.” Title Insurance and Trust/C. C. Pierce Photography Collection. USC Digital Library. USC Libraries Special Collections. http://digitallibrary.usc.edu/assetserver/controller/view/CHS-42207.

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