Snail's Postcard Post

Old 7th Street

In search of Halloween decorations, I opened a musty bin in the garage. What I found was this antique postcard!IMG_6805“Seventh St. Looking East from Grand Ave., Los Angeles, Cal.”

Photograph from the Marlene Laskey Collection.. Likely 1920s, judging by the cars. I tried to date it by searching for the store advertised on the vertical sign, “The Beach Shop,” but no luck. 

Buildings from left to right:
1. The Bronson Building/The Collection
2. unidentified (littlest building) Comment if you know!
3. Brock and Co. building
4. Bank of Italy
Olive Street
5. Los Angeles Athletic Club
6. Pantages Theater
Hill Street
7. & 8. Bullocks department store

1. I think The Beach Shop’s home was in the 1913 Bronson Building/The Collection. After sitting empty its first two years, in 1915, a collection of retailers moved in–very novel before there were malls, breaking the department store model. There are still boutiques on the upper floors, which is unusual now. 

3. Built for the Brock jewelry company in 1922, Clifton’s Cafeteria had a late run here (1974-1997) with “Clifton’s Silver Spoon.” (For Clifton’s postcards and history, check out this post.) The ground floor is now Mas Malo restaurant, and the second story is the Seven Grand bar.

Below: Clifton’s Silver Spoon 1981 (thanks for the photo KCET), the building’s exterior today, Mas Malo restaurant, and the Seven Grand bar.Gazin_line



4. Before merging with Bank of America, the big orange tinted building in the postcard was the Bank of Italy. One of L.A.’s oldest architecture firms (starting in the 1870s) Morgan, Walls and Clements built it in 1922. I’m confused though, because the ground floor in the postcard doesn’t match any photos, which show most appropriate columns instead. Photos also show a continuous design around the building, not a plainer side as in the postcard. Please explain if you know why this is!
Bank_of_Italy_ca1920s Bank-of-Italy-LA-001
Bank of Italy c. 1922 from the Department of Water and Power and a photo of the building today from The Guardian.

5. In 1912, The Los Angeles Athletic Club’s 100-foot swimming pool was the first to be built above ground level. (It’s on the sixth floor of the twelve-story building.)49393_80_bCharlie Chaplin lived for a while at the club hotel, and much of silent-era Hollywood hung out there. 

1440293849_112d5e9715As it is today. Photo from the blog Big Orange Landmarks

6. The vaudevillian Pantages Theater (not to be confused with the active Pantages in Hollywood) was built in 1920 by B. Marcus Priteca. Alexander Pantages favored the Scottish born Priteca because he specialized in theaters. The old Pantages sold to Warner Bros. in 1929. In the ’70s, it became the  Jewelry District hub it is now.033110_ZThe old Pantages. Photo from the blog Travels With Auntie M 

7. & 8. Built in 1906, this was the first of Los Angeles’ Bullocks department stores. Closed in 1983, when it became a jewelry center. 00013790Bullocks in 1910. Photo from the LA Public Library archives, shared by KCET. 

This guide was extremely helpful in learning about my newest postcard, particularly the map on the guide’s last page. Thanks Los Angeles Conservancy!

This entry was published on October 28, 2013 at 11:06 pm. It’s filed under Historical, U.S.A. and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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