Los Angeles history

echo park

jensen

jensen

Whenever I move to a new neighborhood (or in this case, just want to move to a new neighborhood) I nurse my crush by delving in to obscure local history. The LA public library is great for this; you can search the photo database by street name or neighborhood to see what a given corner looked like in 1930, and it gives you all kinds of leads for further investigation. For example:

or:

strangler

strangler

Or this:

canoe

canoe

But what really gets me is the now-and-then photo potential. While obsessively refreshing craigslist looking for an apartment, I came across this really lovely place:

echopark

echopark

which I would love to live in but obviously my dogs are over 20 pounds (does it really matter?). And then browsing the photo library I came across this photo and thought it seemed familiar:

echo-park-ave

echo-park-ave

Crazy, right? I just sat there flipping back and forth between the two photos, marveling about how rarely, but sometimes, things stay the same – but I do wish we still had street cars. Even the little porch light and the ironwork is original. (Sadly, the little bungalow next door is now a fenced in cement lot.) Most of the other Echo Park photos in the database portray fishing and tiny yacht racing in the lake and the Angelus temple, but it’s definitely worth checking out. The lake is truly beautiful. There are protests and riots in the 60s, 70s, and 80s. The storefronts and complete obliteration of the city that used to be are sad but interesting:

bellevue

bellevue

Now I just have to find a way to actually move here.

in April 10, 2012

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3 Comments

  • KT April 10, 2012 at 11:18 pm

    Oh thank you for reminding me of this … I just recently tracked down where my grandpa and dad lived when they were growing up so I could look up their areas. Where my grandpa lived was only just transforming from farmland when he moved here, and it’s cool to see what it looked like way back then: http://jpg1.lapl.org/00079/00079178.jpg. Plus there is this awesome guy: http://jpg3.lapl.org/pics30/00064564.jpg. And this one from my dad’s neighborhood from the year he was born: http://jpg1.lapl.org/pics35/00037280.jpg. I should probably do some work though ….

    Reply
  • jessica April 11, 2012 at 4:58 am

    Oh wow, those are great! What area? I love the guy with the bunny. He’s like, kind of a badass? With, you know, a fluffy bunny.

    Reply
  • KT April 12, 2012 at 5:53 am

    These are Lynwood and Bell, both in the South Central area. I found out by looking at these pics that there was a big earthquake right after my grandpa moved here!

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