The Culver CityBus Will Celebrate 90 Years

Although Harry Culver’s early ads boasted “All Roads lead to Culver City,” one needed transportation around the town, after arrival.  By the late 1920s, the Evening Star News pointed out a drawback in the system as the “burdensome rates charged by the Pacific Electric.” Mayor Reve Houck, after exploring options, announced that the city, under a provision of the state constitution, could operate its own transportation service! Mayor Houck and the Board of Trustees, recognizing the need for inexpensive public transportation, brought to life the second oldest municipally-owned bus line in the state of California!

Mayor Reve Houck stepping into the Culver City Bus. (Culver City Historical Society Collection)

On March 3, 2018, Culver City will have provided 90 years of continuous bus service to its citizens. According to his daughter, Alene Houck Johnson, Mayor Houck was very concerned that the buses rented might be sabotaged. Legend has it that Houck then financed the first bus. Bus transportation was enthusiastically supported by the community that voted for a bond to finance our own municipal bus line!

 

 

Our Centennial Tap card.

In celebration of our Centennial, your Culver City Historical Society was delighted to work with Culver CityBus by furnishing a choice of vintage photos for a Centennial “bus wrap,” and for their Limited Edition Centennial TAP (transit access pass) card!

 

We have also worked out a free public bus tour for the September 16, 2017, Birthday Party in the Park led by Culver City Historical Society docents you probably know! You might even meet a Culver family descendent on the ride!  We have a history of doing tours with the city for the Fiesta in earlier times.  Check our website for details at www.CulverCityHistoricalSociety.org/bustours or call our information line at (310) 253-6941.

The Centennial Wrap Bus with vintage photos from the Culver City Historical Society (Culver CityBus)

 

 

Today, Culver CityBus boards approximately 5.8 million passengers each year, for safe rides on its fleet of compressed natural gas (CNG) buses. In 2012, the City of Culver City was named the 3rd Best Municipal Fleet in North America, out of 38,000 public fleets.

 

 

Question: Do you know why the Culver CityBus logo is so recognizable?

Answer:  The fonts/script came from the lettering on the landmark tower and neon sign of the 1947 Culver Theatre, which is now the Kirk Douglas Theatre.

Special thanks to Art Ida and Dia Turner of Culver CityBus for their help.

Join us – be a part of the fun!

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July 19 General Meeting and Program

The History of the Culver City Fire Department

Multipurpose Room, Veterans Memorial Building, 7 PM

 

Fire Chief David L. White (Culver City Fire Department)

Very soon after Culver City was incorporated in 1917, the Culver City Fire Department was created to protect the city’s citizens and their property. Our program will feature Culver City’s Fire Chief David L. White who will speak about today’s Fire Department and offer a PowerPoint presentation of its history.

The public is invited to this free program.  The entrance to the ARC is from the back parking lot.

The Archives will be open that evening for you to come and see the latest exhibits.

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April 19 General Meeting and Program

Stu Freeman

This month our program takes us on a trip from Latvia to Culver City where Stu Freeman, a local businessman and past president of the Culver City Historical Society, pays tribute to his grandparents and family. Molly and Louis Freeman opened Freeman’s Market in downtown Culver City in the 1920s. They serviced many country clubs, restaurants, the MGM Studios, and even Leo the Lion ate their products! Later, they opened Freeman’s Furniture in the Hull Building, still owned by the family and now hosting the Akasha Restaurant.

Hull Building

The Freeman family has been an integral part of Culver City. Their history will be presented through a PowerPoint presentation that also will also describe the many uses of the historic Hull Building over the years.

“While celebrating our Centennial, I congratulate the city that my family has been a part of for 90 of its 100 years,” Stu says.

Prior to the program, we will have a very special presentation, as Mr. and Mrs. Dennis Shapiro and Rabbi Zachary Shapiro of Temple Akiba will officially gift the Historical Society an original letter by Harry Culver to the Hal Roach Studio about (what else?) the mail delivery.

All are welcome to enjoy this free program. Entry is through Archives and Resource center from the parking area in the back of the building.

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January 18 General Meeting and Program

Our City Founder, Harry H. Culver

Multipurpose Room, Veterans Memorial Building, 7PM

 

In celebration of our city founder, Harry H. Culver’s January 22, 1880, birthday, City Historian Julie Lugo Cerra will offer a look back into Culver’s dream city. Many of us remember the Culvers’ only child, Patricia, helping out at the annual fiestas, and even taking our bus tours as a special guest! We enjoy a wonderful tie to our founding family, which continues with Pat Culver Battle’s tradition of being a ready resource for photos and records of Harry Culver’s life and plans. Cerra will give a visual presentation and discussion using many of these materials.

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Harry H. Culver (1913)

Take time to visit our Archives and Resource Center that evening as well, to view special Culver-related items, like the original ads that Mr. Culver designed to draw residents and businesses to Culver City.

 

Members and the public are invited to enjoy this free program. Entry is through the ARC from the back parking lot.

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October 19 General Meeting and Program

Costumes Galore…MGM and More

Multipurpose Room, Veterans Memorial Building, 7PM

 

The Culver City Historical Society will present a special multi-faceted program featuring the care and display of Culver City’s MGM costume collection by Denice Renteria, Costume Chair, and Sharon Shore, past Costume Chair, plus a presentation by Louise Coffey-Webb, former Society President.

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Denice

Renteria, a prop maker for Knott’s Berry Farm, and Shore, an internationally and nationally known conservator of textiles, will begin with a visual presentation and discussion about the costume collection held in the

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Sharon

 

Archives and Resource Center (ARC), and will show several costumes. Coffey-Webb, costume historian Project Manager for the James G. Gallanos Foundation, and author of Managing Costume Collections: An Essential Primer, will give a lively illustrated introduction to the joys and trials of costume collections of all shapes and sizes.

Coffey-Webb will be selling her book at a special price and will sign them.

The ARC will be open after the meeting where additional costumes will be on

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Louise Coffey-Webb

display.

 

Members and the public are invited to enjoy this free program. Entry is through the ARC from the back parking lot.

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