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Arts and Entertainment

Photos: Bunker Hill's Colorful Victorian Past Before It Was Demolished

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Today, Downtown L.A.'s Bunker Hill section is dominated by towering skyscrapers, business plazas, and sleek, contemporary art museums. But back in the day, its skyline was quite different: think Victorian boarding houses in lieu of banks.

As KCET writes, Bunker Hill was a posh neighborhood for L.A.'s elite, who built enormous Victorian mansions starting in the 1880s. But over time, as the wealthy left Bunker Hill for other areas further from Downtown, the mansions became dilapidated and the neighborhood's population poorer. Because of this, developers considered Bunker Hill an undesirable locale, and in the 1960s "slum clearance" began, demolishing all of the old buildings in order to make room for brand spanking new high-rises.

Luckily, actor and vaudevillian George Mann managed to capture early-1960s Bunker Hill as it was on the cusp of its destruction. According to the Los Angeles Public Library, the Silver Lake-born Mann was also quite the photographer, and took approximately 12,000 photographs of the vaudeville scene, many of which you can see here.

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