Author Archives: mdrakereitan

Saint Paul’s and its Peripatetic Organ

The earthquake shook the city awake at 6:00am on February 9, 1971. While the trembling only lasted for 12 seconds, sixty-four individuals lost their lives and landmarks across Los Angeles were damaged or destroyed. In Saint Paul’s Cathedral, at 615 South Figueroa Street, hairline cracks spider-webbed the building’s plaster interior. The damage was not structurally […]

Mary Louise Schmidt: Architecture’s “Fairy Godmother, Patron Saint and Guardian Angel”

Fairy godmothers are rarely the subject of history and you have to look hard to find Mary Schmidt’s name among the giants of architecture. She is not mentioned in Nathan Marsak’s history of the Architects Building at Fifth and Figueroa, which she financed and had built,[1] nor is her work as the organizer of the […]

Veterans Memorial Square and the Monument to Peace That Wasn’t

Los Angeles City Councilman Gilbert Lindsey roared at the demonstrators who filled the council chamber, “I don’t care what you do, just shut up!” Lindsey’s anger had been aroused on behalf of members of the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the other “real people of America,” who wanted to erect a veterans […]

Los Angeles’ Health Department Buildings: A Most Unpleasant History

The sewage seeping through the walls was absolutely the last straw. With a leaking roof, peeling plaster and weak gas lighting, the City Health Department Building at Spring and Temple Streets was no longer functional. The building had been described as “unhealthy” as early as 1939. However it wasn’t until September 3, 1953 when the […]

Late Googie Coffee Shop in Cypress Park – The Preble’s IHOP

An icon of mid-century architecture at Figueroa and 26th Avenue? Today it doesn’t really look like much, but the IHOP located just off the 110 freeway’s Figueroa exit in Cypress Park may be something special (figure 1). Designed by the firm of Armét and Davis, the building was briefly the fourth location of the Preble’s […]

Conference for LA Urbanists

Lately I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus from the blog – but with very good reason. For the last year or so, I’ve been part of a group planning a large national conference here in LA. Now about a week away, the event brings together about 400 planning historians at the Biltmore Hotel […]

Mother’s Day Walk with a Side of Women’s History

History is best experienced in situ and so I was excited to join a group earlier this month for a mother’s day walk along Figueroa Street. Organized by Victoria Bernal of @LAHistory, our journey included an overview of sites associated with the famous, but mostly not so famous, women of Los Angeles. Bits and pieces […]

The Shoestring Strip: Los Angeles Goes Out on a Limb

Have you ever wondered why the city of LA looks the way that it does? With that bulbous north west growth atop a long skinny stick, it’s always reminded me of a droopy lollypop or perhaps a lopsided barbell. Over the years, the city that began in 1781 as a perfect square clearly morphed into […]

Signal Film Company: Helen Holmes and Highland Park’s Very Own Movie Studio

As a genre, the action film has a long pedigree. The massive explosions, thrilling chases and courageous heroes who barely, but inevitably, defy death to win the day have been the backbone of Hollywood cinema since its inception. Today, we typically think of these films as largely created by, and for, men but this wasn’t […]

Sycamore Grove Park: A Garden for the Masses

A brief and cryptic paragraph in the October 11, 1910 edition of the Los Angeles Herald caught my eye. Sandwiched between a story about a restaurateur cited for allowing patrons to shoot craps with “dice made of lumps of sugar” and the previous night’s bowling scores, was the headline, “Japanese Will Prepare Plans for Park […]

visual/method/culture

by Gillian Rose

HistoryProfessor.Org

Zachary Schrag's Guidelines for History Students

Nursing Clio

The Personal is Historical

Eric Brightwell

My writings, mappings and photography

Longreads

The best longform stories on the web

Los Angeles Revisited

Avenue: 1. a broad road in a town or city, typically having trees spaced at regular intervals along its sides, 2. a way of approaching a problem or making progress toward something.

Live to Write - Write to Live

We live to write and write to live ... professional writers talk about the craft and business of writing

Tropics of Meta

historiography for the masses

LAST ONE ON THE BUS

. . . RETRO & REGIONAL HISTORY OF L.A. & THE WEST COAST

L.A. Creek Freak

towards healthy Southern California streams, creeks, rivers and neighborhoods

Remaking Los Angeles

An insider look at researching and writing L.A.'s dynamic history

Boom California

Avenue: 1. a broad road in a town or city, typically having trees spaced at regular intervals along its sides, 2. a way of approaching a problem or making progress toward something.

Delirious LA

work and writings in urbanism by Alan A Loomis

David Rumsey Historical Map Collection » Blog

Avenue: 1. a broad road in a town or city, typically having trees spaced at regular intervals along its sides, 2. a way of approaching a problem or making progress toward something.

Historic Highland Park

Avenue: 1. a broad road in a town or city, typically having trees spaced at regular intervals along its sides, 2. a way of approaching a problem or making progress toward something.

Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles

Avenue: 1. a broad road in a town or city, typically having trees spaced at regular intervals along its sides, 2. a way of approaching a problem or making progress toward something.

Photo Friends LAPL Blog

Avenue: 1. a broad road in a town or city, typically having trees spaced at regular intervals along its sides, 2. a way of approaching a problem or making progress toward something.

HISTORIC LOS ANGELES

Avenue: 1. a broad road in a town or city, typically having trees spaced at regular intervals along its sides, 2. a way of approaching a problem or making progress toward something.