Oregon Avenue in Sawtelle, 1906
In this 1906 postcard from the Pacific Railroad Society Collection, we are looking east on Oregon Avenue, which was the original name of Santa Monica Boulevard in this part of Los Angeles, California. The line going off the left of the frame could be the Westgate Line that ran down the middle of Burton Way through Brentwood Park. The exact location of this photo is somewhere near present-day Santa Monica Boulevard and Purdue Avenue.
Pacific Railroad Society Collection
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A “today” photo would probably show the 405 Freeway in the background. It’s highly unlikely, but do any of the buildings in the picture survive?
Where would this location be on today’s Google Map? I find an “Oregon Ave.” in Culver City but it turns into “Washington Place” after the I-405. I see tracks tuning to MY left in photo, were these going to the Veteran’s Home? CHEERS!
Oregon Avenue is Santa Monica Blvd today. The Sawtelle junction is a block or two south of the 405. The actual junction is between Sawtelle and Barrington Ave. It went north on private right of way through the old soldiers’ home (the Veteran’s Administration today). It crossed Wilshire Blvd and entered the San Vicente median right of way to Ocean Ave in Santa Monica. This was known as the “Westgate Line.” The line was abandoned in June of 1940.
The Westgate line cut north from SM Blvd. between Butler Ave. & Purdue Ave., probably through the present day electric substation or perhaps just west of it where a few apartment buildings sit. It headed north through the Soldiers Home property and crossed Wilshire to join San Vicente at its original intersection with Wilshire. This is before SV was moved during 405 construction as part of a land swap (the fed gov lost some land to the 405 so they got some on the other end – the part that is now being considered as a park. You can honk for the vets protesting it every sunday). The line proceeded west as Jim Crippen describes above, passing the area’s namesake street Westgate Ave. – which is still there – and into Santa Monica. The aerial photograph from 1952 I believe is available on the net and shows portions of the remnant of the line on the VA grounds prior to re-landscaping. You’ll need a sharp eye.
Oh and to Mr. Davis: not a brick from that era survives in the area. That stretch of SM Blvd. is a particularly depressing commercial district plagued with traffic. In fact there is no trace north of SM Blvd. of where the Westgate Line might have cut north; it’s only from maps that one can figure it out.
Check out Sawtelle north of Santa Monica Bl. Most of buildings remain. I used to live at Bundy Lock and we had an outhouse. This building from 1800’s. Sam Sing laundry there STILL.
This is the corner of Santa Monica Blvd and Sawtelle Blvd. On the SouthWest Corner (two stores in) my grandfather had a produce store. That store is still there and is occuppied by a Flooring store. I have photos from the early 1920’s of the store and I matched up bricks to verify.
The Red Cars stopped right in front of his store. All the kids remembered catching the cars at that location and going to the beach or downtown.
Since the signage of building to the left reads “News Depot”, would this be Martini’s location (publisher of the card)?