I love LA: the 1930's

My sweetheart and I are looking for a house. To buy. In Los Angeles. Yes, in this market. We know. But we're patient, and we're ready, and it doesn't really matter if it would have been a better investment a year ago, because we weren't ready then. If you're unfamiliar with the real estate market in LA, it's a little like applying for college, except the other applicants might be willing and able to pay more than you, and they only admit one student. And you have 24 hours to apply. It's pretty stressful, but it's afforded me another excuse to dig into the history of our enchanting city. I've lived here for over ten years, and it still startles me when I come across areas of LA I've never seen. And being a history nerd, the first thing I do is see what they looked like during one of my favorite aesthetic periods, the 1930's and 40's. Here are some after and before greatest hits from my current street, Beverly Boulevard. Auto body shop where Beverly Boulevard and Silver Lake split. I drive by this almost every day and had no idea it had been there since the 1930's.

Aerial view of an early "mini mall" at 3649 Beverly Boulevard, consisting of Barkies Sandwich Shops, which features a puppy's head on the roof and paws by the entrance. Also shown are the Tip-Top Drive in Market and a bodyshop.

I find this absolutely fascinating. This building on the right has basically always been an auto body shop. And you can still see a bit of the original archway behind the Matthew Perry billboard signpost. Here's another one:

Looking across the street towards an Art deco style commercial building at 8360 Beverly Boulevard containing the De Luxe Super Market and General Cleaners. The sign mounted on the supermarket's roof advertises White King Soap, produced by the Los Angeles Soap Company.

We're looking to move a bit further south, to the other side of the 10, both for its affordability and its historical interest.

Opening of the Ralphs Market at Exposition and Crenshaw. This was one of the "new design" markets--quite different from what super markets had looked like prior to this time. This was one of the highest volume markets ever operated by Ralphs. Today, the local Ralphs sits further south, at Rodeo and Crenshaw, and this location is home to a typical strip mall.

Eighth Avenue between 43rd Place and Garthwaite Avenue. The trees, how they grow!

The same row of apartment buildings on 8th Avenue, ca. 1929.

I wish I had a "before" picture for this one.

Signage was so much more sophisticated then.