A vanished city lives again...

Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Spring Street diagonal, revisited

In this post from May, I talked about the original diagonal alignment of Spring Street from its intersection with First north to Temple Street. I stated then that the old alignment was done away with when construction began on the new City Hall in 1927. I didn't make that up – I'd read it somewhere else before – but this past week, while looking up reference material on the LAPL website for my last post, I was delighted to discover photographic evidence that at least a portion of the old diagonal still existed until after the new City Hall was completed.

First, here is the Spring Street diagonal looking north from First Street circa 1883:

Photo courtesy U.S.C. Digital Archive.

And here is the same view, only 45 years later:

Photo courtesy Los Angeles Public Library.

See? There's the southern section of the diagonal alignment, still intact, with the completed City Hall in the background!

Then I found this photo of a Spring Street in transition taken around the same time from atop the new City Hall:

Photo courtesy Los Angeles Public Library.

Isn't that neat? I was especially surprised to see that the intersection of Spring and Franklin (foreground) still existed as late as 1928.

Finally, here's a view from the north side of the new City Hall. That trapezoidal building at center is the ancient Temple Block – once the center of civic life in 19th century Los Angeles – also still standing much later than I imagined.

Photo courtesy Los Angeles Public Library.

And, from this old post, here's the Temple Block and City Hall as viewed from Temple Square:

Photo from La Reina - Los Angeles in Three Centuries, Published by Security Trust & Savings Bank, Los Angeles, 1929.

I love discovering new stuff like this. It really brings the old city alive for me! :-)



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