Saturday, February 21, 2015
Today I thought I would compare some vintage views of Westwood Village, located near Wilshire Boulevard and the 405 freeway. It opened in 1929, and at the time, the buildings were designed with plenty of charm - at least compared to most developments. There are lots of nice shops, restaurants, and movie theaters in the area, and it is frequented by students from nearby UCLA. All three of today's vintage photos are from a group taken sometime in the mid-1950's. They had turned slightly magenta, but I corrected the color as much as possible.
Here we are on Westwood Boulevard, looking north from the corner of Lindbrook Drive. I love that old Ralph's grocery store building to our right, as well as all of the fabulous vintage vehicles passing by. The domed Bank of America (also known as the "Janss Dome") in the distance is now a sushi restaurant!
Here's a Google Maps screen grab; as you can see the Ralph's building is still there, though it now contains several businesses, including a pizza restaurant and Peet's Coffee. Maybe it's the glowering sky, but this place doesn't look very charming anymore.
Heading a few blocks north on Westwood Blvd, we come to the corner of Weyburn Avenue (facing eastward). The stately building is the Security First National Bank of Los Angeles, looking almost like a structure from a movie lot. To the extreme right you can see part of Bullock's Westwood.
The bank has been replaced by a inelegant structure that houses The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf shop. Finally, a place to get coffee and/or tea! At least the Bullock's building is still there.
Moving about 1/2 a block north and looking westward, we see more shops. The buildings have an early-California look to them, though some very 1950's façades have been applied to the lower levels. To our left is Holmby Hall - the first retail building in Westwood Village.
Curse you, trees! Your leafy beauty totally messed up my blog post! But Holmby Hall is still there, just visible through the blooming jacarandas. The clock tower was damaged in a fire in 2003, but it still looks OK from the outside. You'll just have to take my word for it!
I hope you enjoyed these vintage views of Westwood Village. I have more, if anybody is interested.