By the early 1910s, near the end of the Wilshire District’s initial phase of development, Wilshire Boulevard was flanked by a number of large residences built for Los Angeles’ upper class. Due to the frenetic pace of the city’s westward growth, nearly all of these houses were ultimately short-lived. Following the boulevard’s 1927 road widening, its early estates were swiftly removed by a wave of commercial redevelopment. Despite the apparent tranquility of the original view, most of its visible buildings were replaced within a few years.
The property on the right side of the photograph, 655 Wilshire Place, was almost immediately demolished to make way for the landmark Bullock’s Wilshire, completed the following year. The more distant homes at the left edge were torn down shortly afterwards for a series of two-story commercial buildings (better visible here). The building near the photograph’s center at 3020 Wilshire Boulevard proved to be more resilient, holding on until 1958. The house and its inhabitants are well-documented in this feature by Wilshire Boulevard Houses.
Wilshire Boulevard – when it was residential [The Historic Los Angeles Blogs]
1. “Wilshire’s new pavement done.” Los Angeles Times. 17 Jul. 1927. G5.
2. Zone Information and Map Access System (ZIMAS). City of Los Angeles, Department of City Planning. http://zimas.lacity.org/.
Original photo: “Dick” Whittington Studio. “Street intersections and views around 6th Street and Vermont Avenue, Los Angeles, CA, 1928 – DW-1928-08-20-75.” “Dick” Whittington Photography Collection. USC Digital Library. USC Libraries Special Collections. http://digitallibrary.usc.edu/cdm/ref/collection/p15799coll170/id/7153