Saturday, October 20, 2012
Los Angeles is a city that is constantly rebuilding itself, so there aren't a lot of artifacts from the early 1900's. One of my favorite remnants of "old L.A." is Angels Flight, a funicular railroad that first opened in 1901. It is said to be the world's shortest railway!
Angels Flight (that's right, there's no apostrophe in the word "Angels") is seen here as it glides up (and down) the very steep hill between Olive Street and Hill Street. There are two cars, the "Sinai" and the "Olivet", that are pulled via cables up and down the two-block stretch. They used to run very close to many apartments and offices that shared the hill, but those buildings were razed in the 1950's as part of an effort to modernize the city's image.
Angels Flight was removed five years after these photos were taken, but the original cars and the decorative orange gates (one can be seen at the bottom of the hill) were saved while the property was developed. 27 years later, new track was built half a block south of where it used to be, and the little railroad reopened on February 24, 1996. It closed again after a fatal accident; new modifications and safety measures were added, and it finally reopened in March of 2010. For a mere 50 cents, you can ride Angels Flight today!