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  • View LAist's LAistory Map in a larger map Our team of researchers* are still knee-deep in material prepping for the next big entry in our series, so in the meanwhile, we thought we'd assemble this map that locates the places and events we've covered so far as LAistory closes in on its 1-year anniversary. Many of the places we've covered aren't even there anymore, but some vestiges remain in the form of buildings re-purposed or...
  • Pickfair in its glory days. As any fan of LAistory knows, Los Angeles is a city of vanished places. We tear free of the past, and generally, whatever comes next, is not as fabulous or interesting as what was there before. The same holds true for the property called Pickfair. Superstars Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks purchased the property at 1143 Summit Drive, in the San Ysidro Canyon in 1919. It was fifteen acres...
  • In our weekly LAistory series we take a look at the people, places, and events in our city's amazing history. Our topics range from the long-forgotten, old familiar, or completely new to Angelenos, and hopefully our work reminds you that although our city is rich with history. Some of you may want to learn more and do your own digging...so this week we're bringing you some cool historical events that are happening that can help...
  • Crowds gather outside Schwab's on Sunset in 1950 (Photo: Underwood & Underwood/Corbis) It was just over a year ago when the doors closed for good at the Virgin Megastore in the retail complex towering over the southeast corner of Sunset Boulevard and Crescent Heights. For many, it was the end of an era; the music store was the much-lauded anchor of the stores at 8000 Sunset and a regular stop for locals, celebs, starry-eyed...
  • Photo by erinpk, via Flickr. Hollyhock House is a wonder wrought by Frank Lloyd Wright for our fair city. Though old Frank was a dick in person, he was unquestionably one of the more prominent architects of the twentieth century. Usually associated with his midwestern "Prairie Houses" (very influential in the arts and crafts movement, they were extended, low buildings with sloping roofs and deep terraces and overhangs. These, incidentally, were also an early...
  • Old Spanish Kitchen photo used with permission by eyetwist via Flickr Some ghosts (though it's a little late in the season for it) aren't what you think. They aren't wailing waifs or glowing skulls. They're a restaurant called the Spanish Kitchen. I'm not talking about the Spanish Kitchen on La Cienega -- decorated like there's a South America Land in Disneyland and it's in it, though they have a sign that is an authentic...
  • What better way to celebrate Halloween than to talk about Harry Houdini, the greatest magician who ever lived. He died on Halloween in 1926 and on that day for 10 years thereafter, his wife tried to contact him by holding seances. He starred in a few early movies even -- mostly silent pics and serials. And he lived here for a time, though he was based mostly out of New York. These days, magicians...
  • Photo of Pilgrimage Bridge via Historic Bridges of the United States Recently there was a brief news item on LAist (and some ensuing traffic headaches) about some construction materials spilling onto the 101 Hollywood Freeway near the Pilgrimage Bridge. Sure, most of us have driven through the Cahuenga Pass on the freeway or northbound on Cahuenga or southbound on Highland and have passed the Bridge, or we've crossed it--maybe en route to the Bowl...
  • Photo by jeffkingla via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr Last week came the news that the Clinton family (yes, Clinton) had decided to sell the building that has housed Clifton's Cafeteria, known as Clifton's Brookdale because of its whimsical forest themed decor, since 1935. Although few people admit to finding the food offered at the last of the Clifton's Cafeterias a gastronomic revelation, the news brought the immediate fear that this would...
  • Ken Kesey told us that “Some things are true, even if they never really happen.” What if a woman was never killed in a house that looks like it might gobble you up if you’re not careful? What if that crime felt true? Then where are you? Well, the answer is, of course, Los Angeles. The Sowden House was built in 1926, for artist and photographer, John Sowden. He wanted a startling space with...
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