675 at Hill and First
Pacific Electric car no. 675 waits at a stoplight at the intersection of Hill Street and West First Street, below a classic Foster & Kleiser billboard advertising the Admiral TV/phonograph/radio combination to watch the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl game on KTTV Channel 11 (now Fox 11). The image is undated.
Tom Gray Photo, Pacific Railroad Society Collection
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675 became 5174 in 1949, so the photo would probably be from 1948–the ad is suggesting the TV-radio-phono combo as a Christmas purchase, although at $559 back when you could buy a good used car for that price meant that it was not for the family that was counting the pennies. I doubt if units like this were available in 1947, and I’m not sure when KTTV started covering the Rose Parade; KTLA was the first to do that.
Bob Davis is almost NEVER wrong about PE history. He is correct 99.99% of the time. But this is one of those rare occations where he has made a SMALL mistake. PE car #675 became the #5074 early in the rebuilding program, Car #724 became the #5174 late in the rebuild program.
Thanks for the correction, Ralph. I was using Special 28 for a reference, so this was probably a typographical error on my part. Also, I was told by someone who was part of a more affluent family than I was in those days that TV-radio-phono combos like the one on the billboard were available in 1947. Also, if you go back much further than 1947, the electronics industry would still have been “retooling” after cranking out military radios and radar units for the war effort.
I’m trying to figure out the geography here. If this is West First St, it seems to be dead-ending at the cliff behind the sign. Was this hill removed to build the LA County Courthouse? Did West First St end here, or did it turn a corner to the left of the picture?
For Mr. O’Kane, the photo was taken from the southeast corner of the First Street-Hill Street Intersection. The hill area is now occupied by the LA Superior Courth. First Street did continue to the west and climbed the hill shown in this photo. Before 1939, the LARY “I” line terminated at First and Hill. I think that the “I” line trackage terminated at this point and did not connect to LARY tracks on either Hill or First Street, Interestingly enough, before the 1940’s, the LARY lines on Hill Street (considering rerouting, these included the “L” and the “A” line) turned east onto First and then turned north onto Broadway to use the LARY Broadway tunnel rather than use the PE Hill Street tunnels.
The hill behind the 675 was flattened but not completely removed. Today, you would be looking at the Hill Street 1st floor entrance to the courthouse. The courthouse is built on the flattened hill, so if you enter it on the Grand Avenue side, you come in the 4th floor. If you use the 1st street side entrance, you come in on the 2nd floor!
Where the tunnel was located, you would now see the Hall of Administration at Hill and Temple.