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The Trolley Took Us There 08.27.10

August 27, 2010

The Yellow Car's "W" line turns up York Blvd. at Branch Street in Highland Park in 1954. Photo by Alan Weeks via The Metro Transit Library and Archive.

Yet another brilliant Kodachrome photo by Alan Weeks of Highland Park’s “W” Streetcar in 1954. Recapturing the exact angle of this photo was more challenging than most. According to the Flickr caption this is York Blvd at Branch Street. (Bonus trivia: According to LA Creek Freak, the very dry Branch Street is named so because it once was the location for a BRANCH of the Arroyo Seco that came down from on top of Figueroa Street.)

Unlike many of the other locations around Highland Park that where mostly preserved over the past 60 years, this part of York Blvd. looks quite different today. The main thing that threw me off is the angle curve looks sharper, and many of the buildings seen in the 1954 are either gone, remodeled, or painted differently. Roofs went from green to brown. The houses on the right became Amberwood convalescent hospital. The Westinghouse Alliance shop today is a thrift store / smoke shop / DVD store, and a tile roof was added. At the floral shop on the right, gates, fences, and a new color was added over the years. More houses went up on the hills in the background. The electric lines and poles were moved. A traffic island was added. But what I couldn’t find was that building on the left, the cool storefront with brick and orange trim. It is not there anymore. Neither is that fire hydrant. Or the W Streetcar for that matter.

York Blvd. at Branch Street today. The palm on the left is a bit bigger than it was in 1954.

This is what replaced the cool brick and orange trim building on the left. (Um, yeah.)

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Yourmom permalink
    August 27, 2010 4:16 pm

    Too bad Highland Park will never return to it’s former glory.

    • rewan permalink
      August 27, 2010 6:20 pm

      That’s a bit of a gloomy for cast.

  2. August 30, 2010 1:49 pm

    I closed escrow on my home at the ugly yellow building

  3. September 1, 2010 11:01 am

    Great job recreating the original focal point.

  4. Menziesii permalink
    September 9, 2010 4:36 pm

    The orange and brick building use to be a garage. I have no idea when it was built, but is certainly was not built for the cars of the 1950s or even the ’40s. I can remember walking by the garage, on my way home from Garvanza elementary in the ’50s, and having the rear of cars sticking out over the side walk.

    The garage closed maybe in the early ’60s. The building was torn down sometimes in the late ’60s, as I recall. It remained a small, empty triangular concrete slab for many years, about the size of the area between the fence and the new building.

    The Floral shop use to be a canvas awning, canvas repair shop.


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