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Spring Street revisited

August 2, 2008 |  6:18 am

Photograph by the Los Angeles Times

This picture shows the later stages in the realignment of Spring Street. Demolition workers have sheared off the fronts of several buildings.


One of the most recognizable downtown landmarks--the Hall of Records (1908-1973).


Barely visible behind the Hall of Records is the courthouse, demolished after the Long Beach earthquake, and the Hall of Justice at Temple and Broadway, which has survived. Today, of course, Spring goes just east of the Hall of Justice.

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I missed this the first few times I looked at the photo. Here's a fellow in the middle of the picture next to an older style streetlight. Recall that by 1928, when City Hall opened, the streetlights looked like this. These 1920s style streetlights also appear in the 1920s farther south on Spring.

According to the City of Los Angeles Bureau of Street Lighting, this is a five-globe Llewellyn, a style that was installed about 1900.

Interestingly enough, the bureau's website includes a photo of a carbon arc light from 1882 to 1885. The bureau says about 30 of these lights were installed on 150-foot poles. I'll have to reexamine some of the photos I have posted to see if I can find any of them.
Photograph by the Los Angeles Times

Here's another view of Spring, published May 19. 1929. Notice that we now have the newer style streetlights--and that one of the buildings has disappeared.


Here's a better view of the Hall of Records.


What else do we find in 1929? Aha! At left, traffic semaphore (and you thought they only existed in cartoons). And above, a crosswalk. I do not recall seeing a crosswalk in any earlier pictures I have examined of Spring, Broadway or Main. I'll have to do a little more digging. 


For a moment, I was thrilled because I thought these posters were advertising Erich von Stroheim's "Greed" (wouldn't that be cool?). Unfortunately, no. These posters are advertising auto dealer Perry H. Greer, who was running for mayor in 1929. Note the posters for the other candidates: Porter and Quinn.

At left, Perry H. Greer, local Hupmobile and Chrysler dealer who wanted to bring his business skills to city government. Greer ran fourth in the May 1929 primary, after John C. Porter, William Bonelli, John R. Quinn.

Porter was elected mayor in June 1929. Bonelli went on to write a little book called "Billion Dollar Blackjack."

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