Friday, June 03, 2016

Parking Lot & Town Square, July 1958

Today's photos are not the most amazing things in the world, but they have some interesting details. 

This first one is just odd; I'm not sure what possessed the photographer to want to capture the scene for posterity, and yet... I'm glad he did. It looks like we're looking East across South Walnut Street, with Disneyland's vast parking lot just beyond those scraggly trees. 

Zooming in, we can see the entrance to Holidayland to the left. Near the center of the photo you can just see the top of the Moonliner, while the Opera House is visible next to the telephone pole. Oh, and there is a tram in the parking lot too.

Next is this shot of Town Square; did any real town square ever look so neat and tidy? 

I wanted to get a better look at the people. My god, that woman to the left is wearing pants! What is this country coming to? Behind the flagpole is the mostly-obscured "Liberty Street" façade. Notice the banner spanning Main Street, advertising the Grand Canyon Diorama, the new Alice in Wonderland attraction, and the Columbia.


Nanook said...


You gotta love that first image of the parking lot, the orange trees, and beyond - to some sort of "amusement park". (I don't think I'm familiar with that one, although the stripy tent is nice).

And as for that woman wearing PANTS-! Just what will the Ladies Auxiliary League have to say about that-??!!

Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

I believe they are also called peddle pushers or Capri pants (but not hostess pants!) Nanook, what about the Wednesday Afternoon Fine Arts League? ;-)

Who was the person that said, "I have an idea....let's surround the Disneyland parking lot with poisonous oleander plants!"?

Chuck said...

Wow, that camera had a seriously wife-angle lens.

I think that first picture is the photographer's attempt to catch the Matterhorn rising above the parking lot. Unfortunately, he pushed the shutter button 11 months too soon. Timing - the bane of action photography.

TM! - I think that was the last order C.V. Wood gave at Disneyland, just seconds after he'd been fired.

Interesting angles today, Major. Thanks for the different perspectives.

Chuck said...

Make that "wide-angle" lens. Although, depending on the wife...

Anonymous said...

...and one of the original parking lot trams...

Unknown said...

Capris!? My God man, those pants are positively bordering on calm-diggers! O tempora, O mores!

Let's go into the Park. No need to look both ways 'cause there's not much traffic this time of decade.

P.S. Went to the Park Wednesday: with all the changes and crowd levels it's yet a pretty wonderful place.

K. Martinez said...

Love the open expanse of the first image. It's even got a lone telephone/power pole and wires too! Thanks, Major.

Nanook said...

@ TM-

'Wednesday Afternoon Fine Arts League", you say-?? (You really are torturing The Major).

The oleander suggestion was probably made by the same person who green-lighted their use on California freeways. (They'll grow practically anywhere - and fast). No munching, however.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I believe that the amusement park in question is “Mirthville”. I’ll bet that lady with the pants will wonder why her daughter became a hippie in 10 years!

TokyoMagic!, oleanders were planted everywhere, including along some freeways; if you drive on the 101 through Santa Barbara there are still tons of them. They are pretty, and fairly hardy; my guess is that the toxicity was the last thing anybody was thinking about back then.

Chuck, the lens is so wide-angle that the photographer was actually standing inside the park when that first photo was taken. C.V. Wood wanted the Mickey portrait to be made of poison ivy, hemlock, wolfsbane, and deadly nightshade.

Chuck, wife-angle, there’s a Wally Boag joke in there somewhere.

Anonymous, I mention the tram in my text!

Patrick Devlin, calm-diggers. I dig calm! ;-) It is pretty astonishing to see the lack of traffic, and even a largely-empty parking lot on such a beautiful sunny day. Glad to hear that you had a nice time at the park on Wednesday!

K. Martinez, there are lots of people who love photos of the parking lot, but there aren’t too many who love telephone poles!

Nanook, ha ha, just as I finished typing my replies, I see that you and I made the same point about oleanders on the freeways.

Unknown said...

"Calm-diggers..." Ah, auto-correct: the bane of modern communication...

Unknown said...

One of my favorite parts of looking at old photographs is people watching. The town square shot was perfect for doing just that!

Also, it's amazing to me that even after 60 years, Town Square is still recognizable. It even looks nearly the same.

Patrick Devlin - You are so right. I went earlier this month and it felt just as magical as it always does.

Thanks once again, Major!

Major Pepperidge said...

Patrick Devlin, I have been burned by auto-correct more times than I can count!

Medley, I agree with you; of course I love the park itself, but I really do good photos with plenty of vintage people of all kinds. Town Square and Main Street still feel the closest to the "old Disneyland", even though there have been many changes - it still has a great vintage atmosphere.

walterworld said...

Let's not forget that C.V. Wood went on to lay out the master plan for Lake Havasu City, AZ. A well planned city with a projected population of 65,000 (AZ Highways 1966) ..that currently sits at 52,000+. Ready to expand in a nicely planned way.

He was no slouch. He cooked a great chili too, apparently:

Thanks Major!