A vanished city lives again...

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Mom's first car at the Silver Lake Auto Court

Mother's new position as General Secretary of the Los Angeles Civic Light Opera was apparently sufficiently remunerative for her to be able to buy her first car. It was a used 1936 Pontiac Master Six Coupe. Here she is with her new Pride and Joy at the Silver Lake Auto Court at 2500 Glendale Blvd. in July, 1938.

Link to original photo on Flickr.

I know Mom did not live there, though. In 1938, she and her sister were living in their first apartment at the Barker Hotel in Westlake.

Here is a contemporaneous linen postcard of the auto rest.

On the reverse of the card it states: "A 67 unit Auto Court with Trailer Sites. Resort Atmosphere in the heart of the City, well known for its Hospitality and Service. Rates Most Reasonable."

Here is an aerial view. As best as I'm able to determine, Mom was posing with her car near the spot where the red arrow is pointing.


Remarkably, Michael Smith, a/k/a Kansas Sebastian on flickr, posted this Then & Now composite of the Silver Lake Auto Court in the 1920s with a comparison shot from 2010. His sleuthing revealed that the older aerial view was taken approximately 11 years before Mother was there posing with her Pontiac.

Click image to view the original photo on Flickr.

Amazing the things one can find on the 'net, eh!



Erwin Calverley said...

Your photos remind me of the years I spent with my grandparents as a child. Your mother made a great choice with the Pontiac. They look good together in the photo.

gabriele gray said...

I lived in LA one summer (1962, I think) and I remember looking for a cheap place to stay. When I went to the address it was small wooden cabins, not well maintained but with clean (although thin, old) sheets and the room was available by the week.
I ended up sharing with someone else but I always remembered the place and when I moved back in 1984 I couldn't remember enough to see what had happened to it.
How wonderful to find out this is the place, it wasn't a faulty memory. Thanks so much.

J Scott Shannon said...

Very interesting, Gabriele! I'm surprised to learn that the old auto rest survived into the 1960s. Thank you for your contribution to this story!

Anonymous said...

My mother remembers walking through it in the 60's but by that time it was all empty as far as she remembers. I was born in 1960 and don't remember anything other than the shopping center. Of course, in my memory, there was no Ralphs, it was Hughes and Sav On complete with an ice cream counter. Ah the memories. My sister worked at Rainbow Records and I worked at Winchell's Doughnuts.

Unknown said...

Hi, I went back and looked up when the houses was built behind the auto park. The one with what seems to be 3 little lofts atop one another and the little shed next to it. The house is still there at 2480 Silver Lake Blvd 90039 built in 1939 and the one in the back is also still there at 2466 McCready Ave 90039 was built in 1936 if that might narrow it down the year for you . I was born and raised in east Hollywood so I know this area very well. :) I kept the picture of your mom people on Facebook loved it and thought she was beautiful so do I!

Unknown said...


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