A Visit to Old Los Angeles

9a. Later Around Broadway and Eighth...


Brent C. Dickerson

Copyright © Brent C. Dickerson

Index to Episodes (click here)

• Within a very few years after our family's visit, this corner of Broadway and Eighth Street would show stunning growth. Here's a peek...

• We look north on Broadway from Eighth Street. No longer is the wall-sign of Barker Bros. visible!—the large building at right, the Los Angeles Investment Building, has replaced the low buildings formerly at this corner. But we still have the comforting presence of City Hall far in the distance.

• The massive Los Angeles Investment Building dominates the picture; but let's also note the building in the lower right foreground. This is the Garrick Theater, built ca. 1914, by Arthur S. Hyman; indeed, it was originally known as the Hyman Theater. At the lower far right, we can also see just a bit of the Copeland Building, alias the Armory Building, at the northwest corner of Spring and Eighth Streets.

• The Garrick can also be seen in this view, at the lower left. Featured, however, is the building of the Southern California Music Company, address 806-808 S. Broadway; the building was completed in 1923. Both of these structures face Hamburger's Department Store across the street.
• The western side of the street in the 700s and 800s would become no less grand. In the middle distance, we see Bullock's at the corner with Seventh Street. The corner with Eighth Street is just out of the view at the left; the car we see turning near bottom left is turning onto Eighth Street.

• Here are the western corners of Broadway and Eighth Street. Hamburger's Department Store is the building close to us on the far left.

• The grand Broadway entrance of Hamburger's Department Store. Hamburger's Department Store endured under that name at this location at least until 1927, though bought by the May Company in 1923. Later, the name would change to May Company. Much later in the century, the May Company and Robinsons chains of department stores would affiliate under the name Robinsons-May; and this entity would be bought out by Macy's in 2005.

• Hamburger's was proud of being not only the "Largest Dep't Store in the West," but also of having the "Largest Store Aisle in U.S." at a width of 32 feet and a length of 330 feet, reaching all the way through the block from Broadway to Hill Street to the west.

• But this was not a one department store stretch of Broadway. Just a few steps away down the street, at 741 S. Broadway, was Christopher's Department Store, owned by L.J. Christopher, who came to Los Angeles in 1880, opening at a succession of sites on Spring Street and Broadway. He finally sold out September 3, 1919, having been at the 741 address since 1915. We can be sure that Minnie would have been delighted to have ended her walk down Broadway with a visit to the store's soda fountain and candy counter. "Sweets to the sweet indeed!", I think I hear her saying, as she picks out a nice dark chocolate buttercream.

• We look north on Broadway from the middle of the 800s block. Hamburger's dominates at left, and at mid-right we can pick out the Garrick Theater and the Southern California Music Company building. The corner of the Los Angeles Investment Building stares us down from a bit further into the image at right, making us feel very small down here on the street. The human-scale world of the Aughts and Teens is giving way to the different urban experience of the Twenties and Thirties...

Return to Broadway part three; or on to Hill Street . . .

Return to BCD Home Page...