Hermosa Avenue in Hermosa Beach, late 1920s

by Steve Crise

This was the view south along Hermosa Ave. in Hermosa Beach from about 20th St. during the late twenties. The two tracks gently curving through the photo are the Pacific Electric Railway’s Redondo Beach – Del Rey Line. These rails were originally laid by the Los Angeles Pacific Railway in 1902 as a narrow gauge line; however in 1908, it was rebuilt into standard gauge line with the width being 4 foot 8 ½ inch. In the Great Merger of 1911, the Pacific Electric Railway took over the operations from the LAP until the line was abandoned in favor of bus service on May 12, 1940. The best year for passenger traffic on this line that spanned a distance of 25.39 miles from 4th and Hill Streets in Los Angeles to Cliffton-By-The-Sea, was in 1913, with a total of 1,384,710 passengers using this line. In 1911, thirty round trips daily were made between Los Angeles and Redondo Beach! Travel times between the two cities varied from 65 to 87 minutes. The large building at the right was the Surf & Sand Club which was later to become the Hermosa Biltmore Hotel. It was located on the Strand between 13th and 14th Streets and demolished in 1969.

Pacific Railroad Society Collection, used with permission

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