Tuesday, June 29, 2010
sunset boulevard

Here's a change of pace post. A look at some of Sunset Boulevard, past and present. Sunset Blvd. is 22 miles long and goes from Union Station, downtown Los Angeles, to the Pacific Ocean. You can see just about everything there is to see, on Sunset Blvd. Let's start with the traffic on Sunset Boulevard in the middle of West Hollywood, otherwise known as 'The Strip'. This area is known for many things, not the least of which are lots of Clubs, Great Shopping, Serious Business, and Lots of History.This is the 9000 Building. (Looking east). Back in the day, when it was brand new, it was THE place to have offices, especially if you were in Show Business.... This is a view of the 9000 Building from below, looking North on San Vicente Blvd....It may seem strange that I would care about a building on Sunset Blvd., but this particular building has a lot of history for me, plus, it was, for many years the tallest Office Building on The Strip, and in fact, I think it still is......For many years we had very few tall buildings here in Los Angeles...I think the tallest was 9 stories high.... So, when it was built and finished, (1963) it was quite something, given our earthquake possibilities. By the time this was built in the early 1960's the building laws had changed considerably because of better construction in regard to earthquakes....Above, looking West on Sunset Blvd.....So, about two years after it opened, The Byrds, (the singing group) management people took offices there after their first incredible flush of success with 'Turn Turn Turn' and 'Mr. Tambourine Man'...... What is my connection to The Byrds? Well, I put up a sum of money so that they could rehearse 8 hours a day for six months, honing their skills and becoming a really cohesive group. They were all very talented. And for that sum, I got a small piece of the action. One never knows what will happen when one puts up money in any kind of enterprise like this---it could go either way. Luckily, these young men became a huge success, almost immediately. So, I spent some time in the 9000 building back in those days. More about The Byrds in another post at another time...... Just past the 9000 Building on the right hand side is a street called San Vicente...(That's the same street we were on when I showed you the 9000 Building looking north...) But, back in 1947 it was called Clark Street and it was just a regular two lane street with lots of little Bungalow's, on either side of the street, and I was in Summer School there with this sweet little lady named Miss Thorne. (I have written about her previously a few yearsw back...). Her Bungalow was just south of Sunset Blvd. on the West side of the street....... Miss Thorne wouldn't recognize this street now. It's a wide wide four lane street with left hand turn lanes and big apartments and Condo buildings where her house was and across from her is a big Hotel now.....It would be completely unrecognisable to Miss Thorne, in fact. Dear Miss Thorne wouldn't believe the traffic either, that's for sure. And the amount of advertising that is all over the place....It really looks terrible to my eye.......Here below, the corner of Sunset, Holloway & Horn....I know that sounds impossible, but it's Holloway on the right, as you are going East, and Horn is on the left..... Another closer view of all this junk, below....... And then, below, a view where you cannot see all that distracting advertising...... As we pass the curve here going East, this takes us to a small section of the 'Strip' known as Sunset Plaza. It's a high end shopping area with Boutique type stores and some very busy trendy Restaurants with side-walk seating...... This area holds a lot of memories for me going back to the summer of 1947--the Miss Thorne summer.....See those big buildings over on the right---that one, almost out of sight......There are these charming one and two story buildings over on the North side of the street---just as they were back in 1947. The South side has all these tall many-storied buildings now, to the consternation of many people who live up on Sunset Plaza Drive. Their 'Views' were deeply effected by these big buildings. Below, you can see this very famous Nightclub Restaurant called La Rue's.....And across the street another famous Nightclub back-in-the-day, The Trocadero.....They were both there in 1947.......La Rue's was on the North-West corner of Sunset Blvd., and Sunset Plaza Drive---as you can see in the picture above, as I said, the South side of Sunset had all these lovely low buildings, too. And that's The Trocedaro over on the South side. Both sides looked like a beautiful small-high-end-town with these charming low buildings: It was very welcoming. Both these Nightclub/Restaurants are long gone now, of course. Very near La Rue's---in fact it may have been right next door to it, was this charming 'Ice Cream' Parlor called Will Wright's. It was the richest Ice Cream I have ever tasted...so rich with Butterfat that it coated the roof of your mouth! We spent a lot of time there in the Summer of 1947...lol! And even carried some of their Ice Cream, packed in dry-ice, on the plane going home to New York......Will Wright's was just about here, below.....Will Wright's color scheme was Red & White Stripes, as you can see from the matches...... And their slogan was: "It's Heavenly", and it was, it was, it was.........! And I love the little drawing of the sweet angelic looking boy with wings and a Halo over his head.....Charming as all get out! This place was a real Gem....Back in 1947, this little shop was the one and only, though they did expand as time went on...... I turned 16 years old, that summer of 1947, and we celebrated at the very famous---now gone, too---Coconut Grove in the Ambassador Hotel, not on Sunset Blvd. From left to right, my mother, me, and my sister Gene. They had a roving photographer at The Grove---as they did at all these kinds of places back-in-the-day---and they would take your picture, for a fee, and give them to you at the end of the evening in a folder with what you see below on the front of the folder....... Memorable, in every way.....I am glad I am a pack-rat when it comes to 'history', personal and otherwise........I thought it would be fun since I just celebrated my Birthday to show this picture at The Grove, when I turned sixteen. I have posted it before, but many of you probably have not seen it because it was a long time ago......There will be.....

More To Come.........

NOTE: Our "Ladies Who Lunch" is Wednesday and it will take me a while to get those pictures together. Hopefully though, I can show you some pictures from my actual Birthday Dinner on Sunday at Betty's....I'm working on those now. And I want to thank everyone for their very dear dear Birthday Wishes to me. Each and every one was very meaningful to me and you all enriched my special day, more than I can say.....Hugs To You All......!

Links to this post:


had this to say:

When I walk down the front steps of my house, turn left and walk to the end of the street, and then turn right at the STOP sign, I am on Sunset Boulevard! But my Sunset Boulevard doesn't look anything like yours! My Sunset Boulevard is lined with tidy homes, an Anglican Church and a Public School. And no billboards or advertising and hardly any traffic.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010 at 6:35:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

I LOVE history, can't get enough of it! I also love to see pictures of then and now to compare the changes. I think it's so cool that you saved all these things. Oh, and funding The Byrds - awesome! The stories you have and the life you've lived, I love reading all of it.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010 at 7:45:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Thanks for the local tour and history lesson.

As for the Byrds, more so than the money returned on your investment, think of what the world would have missed had you not taken the chance.


Tuesday, June 29, 2010 at 8:24:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Loved the Byrds, that was a shrewd investment.
I hope you realize how much money and aggrivation you save me with these tours.
Those billboards are awful. They really junk up what could be an enjoyable view. Thanks for blocking them out of us.
Looking forward to your two parties.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010 at 11:59:00 AM PDT 

Blogger Ily
had this to say:

The 9000 Building, The Byrds, your beautiful 16th birthday photo...this post is full of good stuff, my friend! I loved the tour of Sunset Blvd. and I can't wait to see what happened at Betty's...and what's to come from the Ladies Who Lunch bunch!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010 at 1:24:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I loved remembering the days when things seemed to have more value to our hearts then now. The picture of you, mom, and your sister is wonderful. Oh the moments how did they pass so quickly.

Thanks for the memories they are truly wonderful and so good of you to share. I'm doing fine..hope all is well with you.

And thanks for visiting my site..

Dorothy from grammology

Tuesday, June 29, 2010 at 1:52:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I remember the photo from the Coconut Grove and it's nice to see it again. You had such a pretty, fresh face! I've been on most of those streets, but I don't really remember them - so it is nice to see reminders.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010 at 4:44:00 PM PDT 

Anonymous Anonymous
had this to say:

What a wonderful history Naomi! I do agree that those billboards or ads ruin the beauty of the area. The city should have a strict policy of no standalone ads or billboards just like here in our city of Bergen. Most of the establishments hanged their billboards on their own buildings instead.

Thursday, July 1, 2010 at 1:27:00 AM PDT 

Anonymous Anonymous
had this to say:

9000 Sunset! Back in the day I was setting up 35mm screenings in Joe Shore's screening room on...the third? fifth? floor.

And Wil Wright's-- I had a writing partner who was manager of their Crenshaw store...and after closing for the night, a bunch of us would dance around and do musical parodies, jumping on the marble soda fountain, tap dancing on the chairs, etc. I bought a set of those wire chairs when they closed, and found a new home for the last one just this spring. He also had a Nash Metro mini-car, (ha ha)which I pushed and pushed (by hand as the bumpers did not meet up) almost every time I went there.(LOL)

the fat lady

Thursday, July 1, 2010 at 6:42:00 PM PDT 

Anonymous Kevin R.
had this to say:

Naomi, I love the pictures of you with your teacher. It seems you had a wonderful upbringing. I guess, in spite of their divorce, one or both parents managed to give you and your siblings each a lovely childhood. Kevin

Thursday, July 1, 2010 at 8:14:00 PM PDT 

Blogger Pat
had this to say:

How kind and wise of you to back the Byrds. That must have been such a satisfying thing to do.
Thank you for the educational trip round Sunset Boulevard.
I'm ready for my close up now Mr de Mille;)

Friday, July 2, 2010 at 7:31:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Great post of Sunset Boulevard!
You did here an interesting reportage with great history and amazing pictures.
I am always enchanted with your lovely memories and family's photos. So great to have such a precious archive.
(((Many hugs)))

Friday, July 2, 2010 at 12:44:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

It looked so much more simpler in the older photos. I was reading to the tune of "77 sunset strip" theme song. I don't know if I will ever visit so it was enjoyable to see what it's like.

Friday, July 2, 2010 at 8:57:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Hi Naomi! First of all let me say that I'm so very sorry that I missed your birthday. So a very belated Happy Birthday to you dear lady!!

I have always heard of Sunset Boulevard and I so enjoyed reading about it and how it has all changed (like everything else!!) over the years. Loved the pictures of you back then!!

Big hugs to you and Sweetie!!

Saturday, July 3, 2010 at 12:44:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Aunt Vi spoke of her visits to the Coconut Grove. I bet she took some photos. I still have so many to get through. How great for blogs and that you can share all this history. Thank you.

Saturday, July 3, 2010 at 9:05:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Such a busy place to travel in!

I'm glad you're a pack-rat too! You make me want to have some of the digital photos we have printed out. I realize that since getting a digital camera, there are NO photos around to look at.

Sunday, July 4, 2010 at 5:56:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I'm always fascinated by these 'then and now' posts of your area. You have a great way of telling it plus the personal links in the stories.

Its also interesting to see how the march of progress can sometimes hide whats underneath and yet you can somehow pick out the essence.

Thursday, July 8, 2010 at 8:48:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

The 9000 building was used in the Peter Falk Columbo episode "Murder by the book" aired in 1971 starring Jack Cassidy. An office in the building was used as their office.

Sunday, April 30, 2017 at 8:27:00 AM PDT 

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Name: OldOldLady Of The Hills
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