Time Capsule: Intersection of Wilshire and La Brea

Wilshire Boulevard looking east, circa 1929. Photo courtesy of MiracleMileLA.com
Wilshire Boulevard looking east, circa 1929. Photo courtesy of MiracleMileLA.com

The MiracleMileLA.com website is a great place to get lost in the history of the Miracle Mile. They have a collection of old photos that provide a glimpse of the area when oil wells ruled our land.

As Wilshire Boulevard gets more dense at the key intersection of Wilshire and La Brea, we’ve chosen to share a few old pictures that take us back…back to the 1920s when even traffic lights were scarce.

The picture below shows the Wilshire-La Brea intersection when most of the buildings were between one and three stories. On the north east corner, there’s a Gilmore Gas Station (currently the site of the E. Clem Wilson Building/Samsung)

Intersection of Wilshire Boulevard and La Brea Avenue, 1928. Looking east along Wilshire. Note the Gilmore gas station on the northeast corner of Wilshire and La Brea.
Intersection of Wilshire Boulevard and La Brea Avenue, 1928. Looking east along Wilshire. Note the Gilmore gas station on the northeast corner of Wilshire and La Brea.

The Fox Theater was on the south east corner of Wilshire and La Brea until 1977, according to the MiracleMileLA.com website. That south east corner is currently being developed by BRE Properties. The BRE will be the future home to 478 apartments, 997 parking spaces and 40,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space…with a scheduled 2014 opening.

wilshire fox-ritz-ca-1931
The Fox Ritz Theatre, 5214 Wilshire Boulevard (on the southeast corner of Wilshire and La Brea), circa 1931. Designed by architect Lewis A. Smith, the 1600-seat Fox Ritz opened in 1926. It was demolished in 1977. (Los Angeles Public Library.)

No traffic lines, no lane lines…no pot holes.  Wilshire and La Brea has obviously changed.

In that next few years, the change will be continuous. Three of the four corners will be totally different between the BRE project, the Metro station and rumored changes to the Bank of America corner. So enjoy the trip to the past!  And buckle up for the future.

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About Mary

Mary has lived in the Hancock Park area for over 20 years - including homes in Larchmont Village and Windsor Square. Mary has lived in some great places in her life - but none compare to the convenience and majesty of our neighborhood. For Mary, the neighborhood has been a wonderful home to her large, extended family...at one time she had family members living on seven different Hancock Park area blocks! Larchmont Buzz is a labor of love - built to celebrate the neighborhood and to elevate the conversation in the area.

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