Sunday, January 08, 2012

Angels' Flight

At 3rd and Hill Streets in Los Angeles a visitor in the '40s would have encountered another long-time L.A. institution — Angels' Flight incline railway, which charged a nickel fare. The railway was removed from the hill by the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) prior to 1970 so that the entire top of the hill could be lowered to allow construction of a two-level access environment, with plaza and pedways on top and auto roads underneath. The plan reflected the philosophy of the modernist or International Style, which rejected the traditional city street. Angel's Flight was re-installed on the hill about a half block south of the original site, and now unites California Plaza to the more plebeian city below. In the photo below left we see the turn-of-the-century Hillcrest Hotel and Astoria Hotel, on Olive Street, on Bunker Hill. These were residential hotels. The four brick buildings in the view at right are the Ferguson Building — a 7-story office building — the Hulbert Apartment Hotel (at 3rd and Clay Street), a 5-story apartment building at 3rd and Clay, and, next to the Angels Flight station, the 8-story former Elks building at Olive and 3rd, which was an residence hotel by the time of this view. "Apartment hotels" were a type of apartment building in the early 20th century that offered various services such as housecleaning. Note the old-style multi-globe street lights in these photos.

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