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PACIFIC PALISADES
Photo date: 1930
Along Pacific Coast Highway
Santa Monica

The bluff overlooking Pacific Coast Highway and the beach between Colorado Avenue and San Vicente Boulevard in Santa Monica is officially known as Pacific Palisades. It is the site of a green-belt style park maintained by the Santa Monica Parks and Recreation Department and known as Pacific Palisades Park.




MALIBU
Photo date: 1939
Along Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu

Malibu is an area consisting mostly of a 21-mile stretch of beach along Pacific Coast Highway approximately 13 miles northwest of Santa Monica. With a population of about 13,000, Malibu is one of L.A. County's most affluent communities and, historically, home to many film celebrities. The city of Malibu was incorporated in 1991.

Sadly, there were no restrictions on building along the coast when most of the homes in Malibu were built and, as a result, many of the beach areas are either private or inaccessible. Today, Malibu looks nothing at all like the idyllic coastal scene shown in this 1939 photograph.




SAN FERNANDO VALLEY
Photo date: 1941
North of Los Angeles
(Multiple Communities)

Located about four miles north of downtown Los Angeles beyond the Cahuenga Pass through the Santa Monica Mountains, the San Fernando Valley extends from West Hills to Burbank and north to Sylmar. The larger communities in the valley include Canoga Park, Van Nuys, Burbank, Chatsworth, and San Fernando.

This photo looks past the Hollywood(land) sign on Mount Lee into the San Fernando Valley from above Hollywood. Today's view is quite different with none of the open areas of land you see in this image.




BEVERLY HILLS
Photo date: 1928
Rodeo Drive
Beverly Hills

Beverly Hills began as a land development venture in 1906. It was named for Beverly Farms in Beverly, Massachusetts. The "planned development" was restricted to white residents. Beverly Hills' exclusivity appealed to members of the film community, including Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford, Will Rogers, and Rudolph Valentino..

This 1928 photo shows Beverly Hills' main artery, Beverly Drive, looking south toward Wilshire Boulevard. The city was incorporated in 1914.




ARROYO SECO PARKWAY
Photo date: 1941
California SR 110
Pasadena

You're looking at California's very first freeway! Completed in 1940, the Arroyo Seco Parkway was designed to provide a high-speed route (35-50 mph) without intersections between Los Angeles and Pasadena. Known locally as the Pasadena Freeway, this section of highway is still in use 70+ years after its construction.




RALPH'S SUPERMARKET
Construction date: 1940
West Manchester Boulevard & Crenshaw Drive
Inglewood

This supermarket designed in a Streamline/Moderne' style by Stiles Clements is one of eight the noted architect designed for the Ralph's chain just before WWII. Note the 75-cents/pound price for round steak shown in this 1960s era photo. (This building no longer exists.)




ACADEMY THEATRE
Construction date: 1939
3141 West Manchester Boulevard
Inglewood

Designed in the Moderne style by S. Charles Lee, the Academy Theatre opened in 1939. It is said the theatre was built as a home for the annual Academy Award ceremonies, but it was never used for that purpose. Several premieres were held at the Academy, though, including the 1939 opening of Another Thin Man.

The Academy was operated by Fox West Coast Theaters until 1976, at which time it was converted into a church. The building is still in use for that purpose and looks today very much as it does in this 1960s photo.




RODEO DRIVE SHOPS
Photo date: 1937
300 block of Rodeo Drive
Beverly Hills

These shops in the 300 block of Beverly Hills' exclusive Rodeo Drive shopping area were designed by Douglas Honnold and George Vernon Russell in a unique interpretation of the Moderne' style. While the buildings remain today, the facades have changed so as to make them unrecognizable.




I. MAGNIN & COMPANY
Construction Date: 1939
3240 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles

NOTE: This photo appears in the "Other Areas" section of this article because L.A. IN THE 30's incorrectly identifies it as being in Beverly Hills. While the I. Magnin chain had a smaller store in Beverly Hills, this branch was located in Los Angeles. The error has not been corrected in more recent editions.

I. Magnin hired Myron Hunt and H. C. Chambers to design the white marble Art Deco facade of the L.A. store in a similar motif to that of their flagship San Francisco store. The building still exists as the Wilshire Galleria Department Store.




V.E.G.A. AVIATION PLANT
Photo date: 1940
West Empire Avenue & North Hollywood Way
Burbank

VEGA Aircraft was formed in 1937 as a light-plane subsidiary of Lockheed Aircraft. The company's Streamline/Moderne' administration building was designed by John & Donald Parkinson and built around 1940. The VEGA plant was located adjacent to Burbank's Union Air Terminal (now Bob Hope International). The location of this building is now an airport parking area.




VULTEE AIRCRAFT
Photo date: 1940
12214 Lakewood Boulevard
Downey

The Vultee Aircraft plant's Streamline/Moderne' administration building with this unique curved entryway was designed by Gordon B. Kaufmann was built in 1938-1939. The plant continued to be used for aircraft and aerospace manufacturing for multiple companies until it was closed by Boeing in 1999. Soon thereafter the facility became the Downey Motion Picture Studio. At that time the administration building still existed and look much as it does in this photo. Unfortunately, the studio closed down and the buildings were demolished in 2012.




LOU HENRY HOOVER SCHOOL
Photo date: 1938
6302 South Alta Avenue
Whittier

Designed in the Streamline style by Henry Harrison with an entrance way sculpture by Bartolo Mako, Lou Henry Hoover Elementary School was built in 1938. Named for President Herbert Hoover's wife, the school is still in use today and the entrance looks much as it does in this 1938 photo.


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All of the photographs on this page are Copyright 1975 by David Gebhard & Harriette Von Breton