Sunday, January 08, 2012

L.A.'s equivalent to "Grand Central station"

Until 1961 the Pacific Electric station in Los Angeles was a working railway commuter station. In fact, Main Street station was the nearest L.A. equivalent to Grand Central station in New York, with a constant flow of people...people waiting for buses or trains throughout the day and evening. To enter the station you walked through a foyer or retail arcade that was flanked on either side by small stores. Then you passed through another set of doors into the station. In the middle of the open area was the information booth where you could obtain schedules or brochures. To the right bus gates were along the south wall.

The station had a variety of services — a popcorn stand, soda fountain, shoe shine stand, a separate phone room, public lavatories. In the late '40s PE was earning $100,000 a year from the "concessions" in the Main Street station.

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