A Brief History of Sunset Junction: Street Cars, Gay Rights, and Its Namesake Festival

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A Brief History of Sunset Junction: Street Cars, Gay Rights, and Its Namesake Festival

With Silver Lake's Sunset Junction in the news, L.A. as Subject's latest contribution to the KCET SoCal Focus blog looks at the history of the intersection, from its origins as a node in L.A.'s streetcar network to its pivotal role in the early gay rights movement:

With the recent decision by the L.A. Board of Public Works to deny the Sunset Junction Music Festival a permit, the thirty-year history of the neighborhood festival may be coming to an end. But Silver Lake's Sunset Junction—known for its unusual configuration and as a locus of fashionable cafes, bars, and shops—is steeped in local transportation and social history that will continue to survive in Southern California's archives.

Sunset Junction's name—as well as its peculiar layout—is a relic of L.A.'s heritage as a streetcar city. Rolling northeast from downtown Los Angeles on Sunset Boulevard, Pacific Electric Red Cars reached a fork in the tracks: they could continue on Sunset toward Hollywood Boulevard or turn west onto Santa Monica Boulevard toward the town of Sherman, better known today known as West Hollywood. The other street at the intersection, Sanborn Avenue, did not carry streetcar traffic but did add complications to the junction's layout.

Keep reading the full post at KCET.org.