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Looking back: the USC archives

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This photo is of 6th Street in downtown LA, looking east, between Hope and Grand. The Hotel Savoy on the left later became the Crocker National Bank Tower (how it looked in 1969 or so, when it was the tallest building in LA). The building is still there, and -- no surprise -- it's slated to go condo.

LA so relentlessly tears down its buildings that I'm always hoping to find a way to peer into the LA that came before. So I can happily waste hours wandering around USC's recently digitized photo archives; the pictures are amazing, and the database is easily, and functionally, sortable.

They've also got pictures sorted by decade, by place by interest area (African Americans) and by photo collection. The set from the Los Angeles Examiner -- which was always a little sleazier and salacious than the LA Times -- is chock full of starlets and society ladies.

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Rights to most of the photos are reserved, but the pictures are generally available for personal use. The above photo is owned by the California Historical Society, who we hope won't mind us sharing it with you.

Guest Day Editor Carolyn Kellogg joins LAist with a few posts throughout the day. Read the introductory interview and check out her litblog.