Gardner Junction (1954)

Ralph Cantos Collection

Ralph Cantos Collection

By Ralph Cantos

What a difference 30 years makes. It’s now 1954 and Gardner Junction is in the last months of its life. Three Hollywood cars can be seen in this photo.

For reasons lost to history, Pacific Electric management decided to discontinue two-car rush-hour train service on the Hollywood Boulevard/Beverly Hills line on June 1, 1953. Instead, 4-minute one-car service was provided to Gardner Junction.

At this point, every other car turned back, with 7-minute rush hour service to Beverly Hills…not bad at all.

This service continued until the line was torpedoed and sunk by Metropolitan Coach Lines on September 26, 1954.

Over the next 60 years, the “back yard” private right-of-way (PRW) (from La Brea to Fairfax Avenues) would be sold off, piece by piece, for development of large apartment houses. The very last piece of PRW to be sold for development was done just 2 years ago and it was the segment of PRW shown in these two photos: from Vista Street to just short of Sunset Boulevard.

This portion of abandoned PRW had sat, undisturbed, behind Gardner Street Elementary School for 58 years. Then in 2012, an enterprising developer removed the fences at each end of this historic piece of PE land, graded the property, and “shoe horned” a row of mobile home-sized “town houses” into the former PRW.

I wonder if anyone living in these mini houses wakes up in the wee hours of the night because he or she thought they heard a PE whistle while sleeping…stranger things have happened.

Ralph Cantos Collection

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Showing 7 comments
  • Bob Davis

    There’s another piece of PE right of way that’s been filled with housing in Pasadena. There’s an old house that was moved to the short section of r/w between the south end of Lake Ave. and Oak Knoll Ave. Although the house looks like it’s been there since the wooden-streetcar days, it was moved to the spot in 1978.

  • Peter T

    Peter T from Adelaide South Australia here.

    To all who have contributed to this great website, keep up this valuable historic journey.

    Adelaide is a far smaller city than Los Angeles. Nevertheless I can remember riding the trams from our newly built house in the Adelaide foothills suburb of Rostrevor to the city, Henley Beach, and to my cousin’s house in Colonel Light Gardens. To say that I’m a rail freak is and understatement!!

    Adelaide had an extensive tram system, beginning as horse trams in 1878, moving to electric trams in 1909 and reduced in 1958 to a single tram line which runs from Adelaide’s Central Business District to Glenelg. It was dismantled by the same mob who destroyed yours, bar this single route to the seaside suburb of Glenelg which had it’s own private right of way.

    It is only in the last 10 years that they have extended this single remaining route through some of the original routes at an astronomical cost. More extensions are planned. It is a fact that wherever a rail system is installed, social and business activity flourishes as we have seen in the city of Hindmarsh. The Hindmarsh extension of the Glenelg route which also passes through the main strip of downtown Adelaide will probably be extended to the city of Port Adelaide sometime in the future.

    Here is a website which documents the history of trams in Adelaide.

    Adelaide Tramway Museum (

  • Gary S

    I saw those horrible town homes being built as I owned a condo at the corner of Hawthorn and Martel. For years I never understood why there as a diagonal parking lot between Gardner and Sierra Bonita and then learned that it was the PE ROW, right in my back yard. I would walk my dogs and follow the line between Santa Monica and Hollywood hoping to find relics. My grandmother journaled about the red car, trying to find these.

  • Neil Shattuc

    I can remember as far back as 1935 my brother went to Gardner st when in kindergarten we lived on Curson Ave then move closer to Hollywood and Vine Born in Hollywood Ca 1930 never lived other Southern Ca Don’t all the changes

  • M

    I rent a small bungalow that is said to be a former PE Station at one point near Gardner Junction. There are these brick troughs out front with horse ties still attached. Our driveway is diagonal Too. I would love to know more about the history of this property. If any of you could point me to a good place to start my research it would be greatly appreciated- thanks

  • Steven Crise

    Dear M,

    The station for the PE was located south of Sunset Blvd. I’m not sure where your rental is but anything is possible. If you could send a few photos of the horse ties, that would be helpful to us to be able to answer your question. – Steve Crise. PERyhs Archivist.

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