For those who were interested in yesterday's “then & now” post from Florence Avenue, below are a few more then & now photos taken along or near the alignment for the Crenshaw/LAX Line project (the project map is at the end of this post).
One other note: all the streetcar photos were taken by Alan Weeks. His photography and tons of other photos of old streetcars, trains and buses that served the Los Angeles area can be seen on the Metro Transportation Library & Archive's Flickr stream, which has 8,876 photos and is growing all the time.
Alan is now 81 and still shooting photos of transit — his photos of construction of the Gold Line Foothill Extension can be seen on the Metro Library's Flickr page.
A Los Angeles native, Alan has been interested in transit since he was 10. At 15, he started taking photos with his family's box camera. The photos below were taken with a 35mm SLR made in Germany with a 50mm Zeiss Tessor 2.8 lens and Kodachrome slide film. Kodachrome was known for its sharp colors but Kodak stopped manufacturing it a few years ago. (More below on photography then and now).
Alan worked for many years as a transit scheduler first with the RTD and later the MTA. He is now retired and — as he should be — very proud of his many years of public service.
Photo by Alan Weeks, via Metro Library & Transportation Archive's Flickr stream.
Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.
The top photo of an eastbound streetcar on 54th Street was taken in 1955, just a few steps east of Crenshaw Boulevard. The bottom photo was taken Thursday; the only real difference: there are no streetcars or Metro buses running anymore on 54th. The bus bench from 1955 is now gone.
Otherwise, all the buildings in the 1955 photo are still there in the 2013 photo. The brick building at right no longer has an awning over its ground-floor windows, but the 2nd story windows do have awnings. The billboard atop the building is still there. And the building on the opposite side of Crenshaw is still there, but the red roof of 1955 is now a green roof. I can't tell if the palm trees behind the green roof are the same. But I doubt it.
Photo by Alan Weeks, via Metro Transportation Library & Archive's Flickr stream.
Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.
The top photo was taken in 1955 looking north on Crenshaw Boulevard from 54th Street. The bottom photo was taken from a few feet to the left of that spot on Thursday.
The most obvious similarity is that the building with the rounded top at right is still there; it's now the Pacific Beauty College. I'm not sure what it was 58 years ago. The streetcar tracks down this stretch of Crenshaw were replaced by a median. The median will in the next few years be replaced by tracks for the Crenshaw/LAX Line.
A few other differences. Firestone is gone from Park Mesa Heights. Access roads were added to Crenshaw at some point, likely after the streetcars were gone. The access roads will disappear as part of the Crenshaw/LAX Line project — there will be a parking lane and bike lane.
I should have taken a photo of a bus here. I missed the first few southbound on Crenshaw. They had green lights and I didn't feel like playing chicken with traffic. Another day, people!
More photos after the jump!