On December 7, 1934, Los Angeles’ civic leaders celebrated the opening of the Wilshire Boulevard causeway, which for the first time established the roadway as a continuous thoroughfare between Downtown Los Angeles and Santa Monica. Spanning the northern edge of the MacArthur Park lake, the causeway linked the road’s original section, which terminated at the park’s western edge, to its eastern addition, formerly Orange Street. It was the culmination of a trio of major road projects along the boulevard, which included its widening between Alvarado and Figueroa Streets and a three-block extension to Grand Avenue.
With its gentle curve and slope, the causeway has long been known for its scenic views of both the surrounding park and the growing Downtown skyline. The bottom photograph was taken during the most recent edition of CicLAvia on June 23, which closed six miles of Wilshire Boulevard to motorized traffic for the safe enjoyment of cyclists and pedestrians.
A birdseye view of the causeway in 1935 [USC Digital Library]
1. Grant, Ross. “Causeway plan favored for Wilshire traffic.” Los Angeles Times. 29 Dec. 1929. E1.
2.”Great Wilshire project completed.” Los Angeles Times. 7 Dec. 1934. 5.
Original photo: “View of the Wilshire Causeway adjacent to Westlake Park (later MacArthur Park), 1930-1939 – CHS-42205.” California Historical Society Collection. USC Digital Library. USC Libraries Special Collections. http://digitallibrary.usc.edu/cdm/singleitem/collection/p15799coll65/id/5256/rec/2