News

How El Camino Real, California's 'Royal Road,' Was Invented

Sat, 06/04/2016
Content Along Highway 101 between Los Angeles and the Bay Area, cast metal bells spaced one or two miles apart mark what is supposedly a historic route through California: El Camino Real. Variously translated as "the royal road," or, more freely, "the king's highway," El Camino Real was indeed among the state's first…
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A Snowstorm in Los Angeles? It’s Happened.

Sat, 06/04/2016
Content Angelenos dreaming of a White Christmas, take note: The scene above may be set in Hollywood, but it’s no special effects shot. The photo from the Los Angeles Public Library’s collections documents the result of a freak snowstorm that passed over Hollywood on Jan. 22, 1921, dusting the gabled rooftops of the Charlie…
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Before Its Time: Burbank’s Experimental Monorail

Sat, 06/04/2016
Content Decades before Walt Disney moved his studio there and dreamed up Tomorrowland, Burbank glimpsed another man’s futuristic vision in 1910, when a colorful inventor named Joseph Fawkes built an experimental monorail, the Aerial Swallow. Keep reading the full post at Los Angeles magazine's City Think blog.
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The L.A. That Might Have Been

Sat, 06/04/2016
Content A spiraling, 1,290-foot tower built of magnesium. A rapid-transit system with hundreds of miles of subways and elevated tracks. A comprehensive network of parks, beaches, and open spaces linked by greenbelts and parkways. These are just a few unrealized visions for Los Angeles featured in an upcoming exhibition at the…
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Sipping Black Gold from the Center of La Cienega Boulevard

Sat, 06/04/2016
Content Petroleum provided the raw materials for the gasoline that powered Angelenos’ automobiles as well as the asphalt on which they drove, so in one sense the middle of La Cienega Boulevard was a fitting place for an oil derrick. But many failed to see the logic. For decades, photos of this bizarrely located well, which…
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When Hollywood Boulevard Became Santa Claus Lane

Sat, 06/04/2016
Content Today, shopping malls hang garland, pipe in holiday tunes, and build showy reproductions of St. Nicholas' polar hideout, attracting customers to their privately owned concourses and encouraging the buying spirit. But before malls, holiday shoppers flocked to Los Angeles' downtown and suburban retail districts where…
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The Lost Train Depots of Los Angeles

Sat, 06/04/2016
Content   Before the Jet Age brought safe and comfortable air travel to the masses, most newcomers in Los Angeles arrived by rail. Train depots thus provided tourists' and emigrants' first introduction to Los Angeles, helping shape their ideas about the city. The city's grandest passenger terminal, Union Station, survives…
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When the Los Angeles River Ran Wild

Sat, 06/04/2016
Content Imagine the Los Angeles River before its metamorphosis into a concrete flood control channel, and Mark Twain’s quip about falling into a California river and coming out “all dusty” might come to mind. But the historical record, including photos like the shown here, paints a much different picture. Keep reading the…
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What the LAPD Leaves Behind at Parker Center

Sat, 06/04/2016
Content From 1955 until 2009, when most staff moved to a new administrative building a block away, the Los Angeles Police Department’s Parker Center was as a proud symbol of police modernization and a focal point for controversy. Last week Chief Charlie Beck padlocked its front doors, and the aging building now stands vacant. …
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Where Were the Mack Sennett Studios?

Sat, 06/04/2016
Content In April, the newly renovated Mack Sennett Studios at Fountain and Effie in Silver Lake welcomed then-mayoral candidate Eric Garcetti for a campaign event. “This isn’t just a place, it’s really a symbol,” Garcetti remarked about the historic building, recently purchased by music producer Jesse Rogg. “People think…
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The History of Turning Right in Los Angeles

Sat, 06/04/2016
Content With apologies to Woody Allen, making a right turn on a red light is certainly not Los Angeles’ only cultural advantage. In fact, while it was once a Los Angeles idiosyncrasy, today the maneuver is permitted nationwide, with some local exceptions. Keep reading the full post on Los Angeles magazine's City Think…
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Catalina Island’s Lost Landmark, Sugar Loaf Rock

Sat, 06/04/2016
Content In 1929, dynamite forever changed the look of Catalina’s Avalon Bay. Long one of Catalina’s most prominent landmarks, Sugar Loaf Rock was a volcanic monolith rising some 50 feet above the harbor where Avalon’s iconic Casino building stands today. Early 20th-century guidebooks described the Sugar Loaf as Avalon’s…
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Incline L.A.: Catalina's Island Mountain Railway (Episode 3)

Sat, 06/04/2016
Content The year was 1892, and Catalina Island was in foreclosure. Its owner, George Shatto, had envisioned a resort town on the island but had built few tourist amenities apart from the three-story Hotel Metropole. When the island finally slipped from Shatto's hands, its new owners purchased it for just $280,000. Today,…
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CSUN Institute for Arts & Media, Department of Journalism awarded NEH grant

Sat, 06/04/2016
Content The Institute for Arts & Media, Department of Journalism at California State University, Northridge has received a $290,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities for the creation of a digital database of the university’s African-American photography collection, which contains more than 550,000 images…
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L.A. as Subject Honors Wally Shidler

Sat, 06/04/2016
Content L.A. as Subject has honored private collector Wally Shidler with its 2013 Avery Clayton Spirit Award. Wally Shilder has been amassing his “Historical Collection of Southern California Ephemera” since he was a teenager.  He is a third generation Angeleno and his interest in history was piqued by his grandmother who…
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