A Once Neat City.


Looking from Wall Street between 8th and 9th Streets. "Japanese and Negro District" The California Historical Society has a fine website with old photographs of Los Angeles. The Anton Wagner Collection is especially notable for its images of our city in the 1930s. The Great Depression was in full swing and Los Angeles was a…

Option A: An Open Letter to Ms. Sheila Kuehl


"Sheila James Kuehl (born February 9, 1941) is an American politician and former child actor, currently the member of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors for the 3rd District. In 1994, she became the first openly gay California legislator and in 1997, she was the first woman to be named Speaker pro Tempore in…

Builders Emporium, Van Nuys, CA, 1950s


Item: Valley News, October 30, 1955 With $1,013,430,131 LA building permit valuations recorded for the first nine months of this year, all indications point to 1955 topping any previous year in the history of Los Angeles County construction, according to Ouentin W. Best, chairman of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce Construction Industries Committee. The…

Resurrection Through Colorization.


I’m not the first person to happen upon these colorized photographs of old black and white images. But I'll write about it anyway. “Imbued With Hues” is Patty Allison’s project to bring to life vintage photos and somehow breathe new life into dead people and lost places. 25,000 follow her on Facebook. She is in…

Make Me Prove What I Say About Van Nuys


Mark Pitts, a reader of this blog, sent me this clipping from the Los Angeles Herald, Number 148, 16 March 1912.  

The Golden Age of Gasoline.


In the 1920s, fanciful, imaginative, inventive gas stations were built all over the Southland. They mined every era in history, borrowing minarets from the Middle East, Chinese pagodas and southwestern adobe ranch houses. But the most memorable and dazzling ones looked forward to the future, sweeping in with illuminated glass signage, polished steel pumps and…