Saturday, January 02, 2021

Old Los Angeles

January 2nd! So far so good, am I right? I've delved into the "Vintage Los Angeles" folder for today's selection, starting with one that I probably should have shared yesterday, since it is from January 1st, 1959. It's a glorious sunny day - just the sort of thing to make folks in ice-cold parts of the country think that maybe they need to pack up and move to Southern California. Crowds of people are heading into Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena for the 45th Rose Bowl game. The Iowa Hawkeyes defeated the California Golden Bears, 38-12. 

Next is this undated photo from the corner of Sunset and Vine, looking eastward on Sunset. NBC Radio City is that fantastic Streamline Moderne building to our left. That facility had opened in 1938. ABC Studio was located just north on Vine, while CBS Studio can be seen in the distance. Some of the other famous landmarks near this intersection were Club Morocco, Mike Lyman's, the Radio Room, the Brown Derby, and Tom Breneman's. To name but a few! 



Nanook said...


Yes, "KNBH Television Channel 4": KNBC-Hollywood, beginning January 16, 1949; then "KRCA", on October 18, 1954; and finally, "KNBC" on November 11, 1962 - coinciding with the move to "Beautiful Downtown Burbank", thus joining the 'NBC Color City Studios' there, which opened in March 1955.

Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

It's a shame that the NBC building was torn down. The CBS building is still standing, although it has a different tenant now. And we can see a sign for the Hollywood Palladium, on the side of the Palladium building. Fortunately, the Hollywood Palladium was restored back to it's original glory, in 2008, and recently had it's 80th anniversary.

JC Shannon said...

Palm trees everywhere, I miss em. In Montana we got Lodgepole pine, buried butt deep in snow, thank you very much. Check out the old traffic signal with the flag. TM, they tore that beautiful building down? Is that guy in the Rose Bowl pic wearing an alpenhat with a yellow feather? There is also a lumberjack in the center of the same photo. He is from Montana, and he is gonna chop down all the palms and plant...wait for it... Lodgepole pines. Thanks Major, great stuff today.

TokyoMagic! said...

JC Shannon, yes, they tore down the NBC building. The building that is there now (Chase Bank) is a former Home Savings and Loan, which was built in 1968 and still has it's Millard Sheets-designed mosaic mural above it's entrance. Here is the same view today, from Google street view. The palm trees sort of look the same, but maybe they have been replaced since the Major's slide was taken. Wouldn't they be taller by now?,-118.3267424,3a,75y,81.85h,101.4t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s4odmKkFNBsfJ-Y1POI6d0A!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

The 1968 mural on the current building, is supposed to depict "Hollywood's greatest stars in their best-known roles." However, I wasn't able to find out specifically who is represented up there.

The fountain in front of the current building, also includes "a 1920s Paul Manship sculpture of Europa riding Zeus in bull form."

Chuck said...

I love the food vendor outside the Rose Bowl wearing the paper Coca-Cola hat. Totally forgot to watch the game yesterday. Which is pretty much how it goes most years. Is football still a sport?

TM!, I that mural is sort of a 1968 version of Superstar Limo?

zach said...

The palm trees made me think of Ron Dominguez who died yesterday. RIP

I'm gonna grab a bag of peanuts with my Coke®, although I associate peanuts more with baseball.

I am really loving the old classic cars but can't ID any of them. I'm still trying to figure out why we're riding on the trunk of the car in the foreground.

Thanks for the trip to the past, Major


Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I wondered about the “KNBH”, until I figured that the “H” stood for “Hollywood”. Oh yes, I’m very smart! Such a shame that the beautiful Sunset studio was torn down, imagine if it was still around.

TokyoMagic!, hey, I just said that to Nanook! Most SoCal residents know that L.A. is pretty bad about saving its historic buildings. I’m glad the Palladium is still around, it’s a beautiful theater. I’ll be curious to see what happens to CBS Television City.

Jonathan, so you are saying that lodgepole pines are the palm trees of Montana? Hmmm! I do love the old traffic lights with the semaphores, you even see those in Charlie Chaplin’s “City Lights”. I can’t tell if that’s an Alpenhat, but it definitely has a glorious yellow feather. I noticed the Brawny paper towel man in the background!

TokyoMagic!, I’ve seen that some of the old Home Savings and Loan buildings have had their Millard Sheets tile murals removed, and hopefully preserved somewhere. Those are too wonderful to take to the landfill! But these days you never can be sure. Thanks for the link to the “today” image; I’m not sure the palm trees would be that much taller, I’ve seen other old photos where the palms are definitely the same, but they look only a little taller after 50 years. “Hollywood’s greatest stars”, eh? I see what appears to be an Errol Flynn type, and a Valentino type. I’d love to know more about it though! Paul Manship, that guy got around.

Chuck, yeah, I just love the energy of that Rose Bowl photo, with all of the people streaming in, excited for the big game. How about the lady smiling and talking to the Brawny man? She can’t wait for the kickoff. When my dad was around, I would watch college football with him all the time, but since he passed I almost never watch it anymore. It’s just not the same. Hey, I think I see Cher and Regis on that mural!

zach, oh no, I didn’t know that Ron Dominguez died! Bummer. He seemed like a nice man, I always wished I could have a conversation with him. He would slowly back away, wondering how to get out of it. I agree, I think of peanuts and baseball games… those vendors who could throw a bag of peanuts to you with deadly precision. So much fun!

Nanook said...


The 'trunk of the car we're riding on" is a 1952 Ford. And I want to say the car heading towards us with the amber 'fog lights' is a 1947 Chevrolet. And, the car turning is a 1948 Studebaker Land Cruiser. (Don't ask how I figured out that one-!

Melissa said...

That Rose Bowl sign is lovely. Would it have lit up at night?

Yes, Major, these sunny pictures are a balm to this icebound Northerner!

All the local tree talk reminds me of when I went to get tested for allergies. The doctor listed all the test that came back positive, and the last item was “trees.”

“Trees?” I said. “What, all trees?”

“Oh, no. Of course not.”

“Well, that’s a relief.”

“Just all the trees that grow in this region.”

DrGoat said...

Neat pics. I really like the colors and look of the second photo of the NBC building. Is that a Plymouth, in that particular shade of green, making that left hand turn? Dad had a 1950 Plymouth that looked very similar to that one except probably older than the one in the photo. Just a great shot.
So sorry to hear about Ron Dominguez. Will think of him every time I see a pic of the famous Dominguez palm. Such a great story and a great guy. I'd like to think I ran into him, somewhere in the park way back when in the early days.

Nanook said...

@ Melissa-
So, was the antidote for local tree allergies to simply move "out of the region"-?

HERE'S what the Rose Bowl sign looks like now.

@ DrGoat-
See my comment to zach.

Melissa said...

@Nanook Ooooooh, pretty!

I wish I could move, but I just take Singulair and don’t spend a lot of time outdoors. I tried to do the shots, but I just couldn’t keep up with the schedule.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, amazing that you can ID the car right in front of us, with so little to go by (moldings, headlights or tail lights, etc)!

Melissa, I used to live in Pasadena, and always liked driving by the stadium at night when there were only a few joggers around. The neon was comforting, somehow. I guess it would be too hard to get samples of every tree in the northeast to see which ones you might be allergic to, but still… “…all the trees that grow in this region” is kind of disheartening.

DrGoat, we must always ask Nanook about anything relating to vintage U.S. cars! Because I sure have no clue. After reading the news about Ron Dominguez, I looked up stories about his passing. I remember an article about him in “The E-Ticket” magazine, and he sounded like a good guy. And imagine, living in a farm house, and working your way up to being a Disney executive!

Nanook, I think Melissa needs to move into a plastic bubble, just like John Travolta! Yep, that’s just how I remember the Rose Bowl sign, glowing at night.

Melissa, the outdoors is overrated anyway. At least there’s something you can take to alleviate the symptoms, thank goodness. For some reason, my older brother is allergic to many things, while I have no real allergies to speak of. He can’t eat bananas, avocados, shellfish, fresh corn, and tons of other good things. And when there's pollen in the air, he's miserable.

Anonymous said...

+Wow, nice pictures today!

I think I remember the NBC building, but never visited the Rose Bowl.

Ron Dominguez lived every farmer's dream; sell at the top and then go to work on the property for the new owner. I think of him when I see the big palm. Heard some V-logger say the other day, that the palm had been relocated by Disney. Lots of misinformation floating around.

Major and Melissa, full sympathy for the allergy sufferers. Several of my family, including me, have odd quirks related to foods and some pollens. Mine have mostly subsided with age, but they can be a real hindrance and misery when wide spread and comprehensive like those. Farming is a miserable job when allergic to grass.


Melissa said...

I just noticed the yellow-feathered blue Tyrolean hat on the boy in the light blue shirt at the right of the first picture! Was that a common type of souvenir hat, or would he have had to get it at Disneyland?

DrGoat said...

Wow. A Studebaker Land Cruiser. Name just conjures up coolness. I was way off base on that one. Believe it or not, my Dad actually owned a white '56 or '57 Studebaker Hawk for about 2 or 3 years. He bought it from my sister's boyfriend around 1966. I think I cried even back then when he sold it because I got to drive it when I got my license. It sounded so cool starting it up and driving it was a dream for a 18 year old.
Love that sunshade on the Chevy across the street. I guess that shade of green was popular back then. Thanks Nanook.

Major Pepperidge said...

JG, glad you liked these! I went to school in Pasadena years ago, so the Rose Bowl was a part of regular life. I liked to go to the nearby arroyo to hike, or even to draw, and used to run (occasionally) around the area where the stadium is, though my poor knees decided maybe running wasn’t my thing. Ron Dominguez was one of the few people who actually knew Walt, it feels like there aren’t too many of those folks out there anymore. I never thought about being a farmer with allergies! Yikes.

Melissa, I have the feeling that the feathered hat wasn’t uncommon in those days; I’ve seen similar hats in photos from POP, and even the LA County Fair. And maybe even the 1964 World’s Fair.

DrGoat, my friend’s dad still gets dreamy-eyed when he talks about the Studebaker that he had six decades ago. He loved that car! I’ve seen some Studebakers that are real beauties, if I ever win the lottery I’m going to buy a couple to keep in my warehouse-sized garage. Maybe I’ll let you drive one! ;-)

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, I went back and looked at that mosaic. I see the actors you were pointing out and I also see Charlie Chaplin. I read that above the entrance on the backside of the building, there are stained glass panels (by another artist), depicting famous chase scenes, include the Keystone Cops. Now I want to go check out that artwork, in person!

I was also reading about the Millard Sheets mosaic, from the former Home Savings and Loan (now Chase) in Santa Monica. That mural is currently being removed, and will be donated to Chapman University in the city of Orange. Apparently, there are many people in Santa Monica who are upset, because the mural was offered to the city of Santa Monica first, but there were government people who "dropped the ball" on it, so now they won't get to keep the mural which has been enjoyed by the public for five decades, in their own city:

I also just discovered a book about the Home Savings/Millard Sheets mosaics, titled, "Banking on Beauty." I just might need to get that book.

Anonymous said...

@Tokyo, thanks for the info about Millard Sheets and the Home Savings designs. I remember those very clearly. There were several branches in Fresno where I was a kid. Dad had an account at one for a while.

The buildings were dramatically different from anything else in town in that era, the look really stuck with me. I'm not surprised that there was a book written about the projects.

At least that one mural is being conserved, unlike so many other Home Savings branches, and the long-lamented Mary Blair murals.