This week’s flashback comes to us straight from the Echo Park Historical Society. They are definitely the go-to source for “the oldest existing business in Echo Park”: The Bank of America building on the southwest corner of Echo Park and Sunset. It was built sometime in the 1920s and was “partially a new construction and partially a redesign” of an earlier structure. The design of the building was done by Morgan, Wall & Clements, a prominent architectural firm of the time. They were also responsible for the Mayan, the Wiltern, the El Capitan Theatre and the Citadel in Commerce!
The above picture shows how the intersection appeared in 1942. The photo below shows how it looked in the 1951. I love both of these photos because it really gives you a sense of how a neighborhood changes… and how it remains the same. I didn’t know the Laguna Apartments were already there by 1942! Notice how the gas streetlamp has been replaced by an electric one by 1951? And see the streetcar tracks? The Pacific Electric Railway operated all over southern California. The streetcars had stopped running by the mid-1950s (when automobiles took over), but back in the day, Los Angeles had a comprehensive public transit system.