Although the top photograph was primarily taken to document Los Angeles’ experiment in painting cross street names in roadways, it happens to be a nicely framed view of Wilshire Center’s western border in 1960. Since then, a number of office towers and small commercial buildings have been built in the Western Avenue vicinity, complementing the Wilshire Professional Building and Pellissier Building, the tallest structures in the original view. At the sidewalk level, Wilshire Boulevard’s streetscape has been softened by a canopy of street trees, much of which was planted in the mid-1990s by Wilshire Center’s business improvement district.
The bottom photograph was taken during the most recent CicLAvia on Sunday, April 6, during the popular open streets event’s second foray onto Wilshire Boulevard. Spanning six miles from Fairfax Avenue to the Boulevard’s downtown terminus, the route is touted as CicLAvia’s most architecturally significant, and is even accompanied by a well-made guidebook, The Modernist’s Guide to Iconic Wilshire Boulevard.
Original photo: Snow. “New Los Angeles street signs, 1960 – EXM-N-12865-019~1.” 1960. Los Angeles Examiner Collection. USC Digital Library. USC Libraries Special Collections. http://digitallibrary.usc.edu/cdm/ref/collection/p15799coll44/id/73303