by Julie Lugo Cerra, Vice President, Museum/ARC and City Historian
POSTCARD CAPTURES THE 1950s
Look at this gem from our collection! The photo is an actual Culver City postcard circa 1960. How about those cars?
On the left, note the Hull Building (now AKASHA Restaurant), one of the early sites marked by our Society. It was our first hospital space, built in the 1920s by former health officer, Dr. Foster Hull. In this postcard, it shows one occupant as Sunset Drug Co.
Do you remember the Wellington brothers, who owned more than one pharmacy in town? Society founding member and Madrina (godmother), Clarita Marquez Young, worked at the fountain in this store.
Down the street a bit further, Lucky Auto Parts is visible, just before the Security Pacific Bank. In those days, stop signs were apparently enough to protect the folks. And parking included lots of angle parking in downtown.
On the right, where Meralta Plaza and Fire Station 1 stand today, note the “Meralta block” which had Standard Floor and Wall on the corner, and the Blaine Walker Building. In those days, you could walk that block and pay your Edison bill, send a telegram at Western Union, stop to see your insurance man, Mayo D. Wright, or visit an attorney named Coombs.
And taking in a movie was possible, too, at the popular Meralta Theatre (which cost 25₵!). The theatre opened in 1922 with the legendary Will Rogers entertaining before the Thomas Ince movie, The Galloping Fish. The only business you can really see in the next block is Mary Evelyn’s Donut shop with the round sign – tasty memories for many!
Harry Culver’s hotel rises above it all, then known as Hotel Culver City. And just beyond, you can barely see the Adams Hotel, now empty as Parcel B. And the railroad tracks are a reminder of the wonderful transportation system at the time (especially the red cars) — that transversed almost the whole of Los Angeles.
COME AND JOIN US CATALOGUE OTHER SUCH WONDERFUL FINDS
Please feel invited to play a part in the sorting and cataloging of great finds like this postcard to oversize photos, maps and lots of interesting documents and three dimensional items. This is the kind of fun that can be had if you come in to the archives – or volunteer to help catalog wonderful pieces of history like this.
We are reviewing the days that the ARC is open to the public due to parking issues. For now, we will remain open the first and third Saturdays, but closed July 20. Please watch for special events and come in to see our rotating exhibits. We will also be a part of walking tours beginning in April.
And just a little historic tidbit: July 22, 2013, marks the 100th Anniversary of Harry H. Culver’s speech to the California Club, outlining his plans for his city – half way between downtown Los Angeles and the ocean. Maybe you can catch it being given again this July!