Wilshire History Resources

Interesting websites and photo
collections related to the history of

Wilshire Boulevard and Westwood...

Here are some Wilshire history resources I've come
across that are fun to explore. Please contact me if you
  know of other sites or photo collections of interest.

--Bill Counter

 about photos from other
websites that appear on this page...

I've tried to give appropriate credit. Please
advise me if there are incorrect attributions, links that
no longer work or other issues. Please assume that
all the images are subject to copyright restrictions.

    Curating the City    


A view of the interior of the Wilshire Temple by
Larry Underhill as part of the Wilshire tour photo gallery.

This 2005 project of the LA Conservancy takes
you on a journey along Wilshire via an interactive map
There are lots of thumbnail images along the way to
click on for more information.  Also check out the
 downloadable tour booklet.

The site got an upgrade in 2010
with many new photos added.

     Elizabeth Fuller's LA Postcards    


  Elizabeth Fuller has amassed a wonderful collection
of Los Angeles postcards-- 686 at last look. Here's a
classic Miracle Mile view from her collection.

Here we're looking east. The El Rey Theatre sign is
poking out at the left. Down the street in the middle
of the image there's the roof sign for the Fox Ritz.
full size view |
on Flickr

Also see Elizabeth's cards of:
Wilshire at night |  Prudential Building  |
  1947 Miracle mile night view  |

    Miracle Mile Residential Association   


A late 70s photo of the El Rey
Theatre by Tom Zimmerman.
full size view | on the MMRA site

Check out this site's great collection of
photos borrowed from a number of sources.

    Miracle Mile on Flickr    


The Miracle Mile photo pool has lots of great images. 

Here's a view of a Miracle Mile sign in

the pool by MR38.   full size view

Also see Mr38's
Movie Theatres & Marquees set.

    Carlos Rossi on Flickr    

Carlos Rossi's Wilshire Blvd.set has over 200 nice
views of the architecture along the Boulevard.

Here's a shot of a detail on the
Department Store building.
full size view.

    Tejana on Flickr    


A 2006 view of marquee soffit of the Fine Arts
by Tejana as part of the Wilshire Beauty set. 
full size view

In addition to many nice photos in the Wilshire set,
see also Tejanas's
Hollywood set and Neon set.

    Henry Gaylord Wilshire    

The Millionaire Socialist
by Louis Rosen


Check out Louis Rosen's book "Henry Gaylord Wilshire,
The Millionaire Socialist" for a great read about the man
 and the territory that became Wilshire Blvd.

The book discusses Wilshire's early life; his purchasing of a 35
acre barley field in Los Angeles; his land companies in Long Beach
 and Fullerton; his running for Congress and Parliament; his publication
of Wilshire Magazine; his gold mine in Bishop California; his return
to Pasadena; and invention of the I-on-co belt that supposedly cured
cancer, diabetes, baldness and constipation. The book contains 80
historic photos and is available from Amazon, Barnes and
Noble or direct from the author.
more about the book

    Wilshire Blvd: Grand Concourse  


Kevin Roderick's book "Wilshire Boulevard: Grand
 Concourse of Los Angeles
" (Angel City Press, 2005,
 2008 pages, $40) celebrates "one of the most
 magnificent thoroughfares on the planet" (to quote
 a blurb for the book).

Kevin gives you a glorious ride down
 the "Main Street of Los Angeles."



A 2008 view of the Granada Shoppes from the
  Wikipedia article on Monuments along Wilshire Blvd.  
full size view

Wikipedia's Article on Wilshire Boulevard  has all

 sorts of interesting data as well as links
for additional browsing.

The Miracle Mile article has some history on
 the stretch between Fairfax and La Brea.

And there's even an article on
 the Mid-Wilshire area.

 A movie shoot in Westwood.

photo: Bill Counter - 2007

[ click to enlarge ]

The former Ralph's market in Westwood.

photo: Bill Counter - 2007

[ click to enlarge ]

     Card Cow    


A wonderful collection of vintage postcard views of the city. 
Shown here is a Dick Wittington view of Wilshire Blvd.
 full size view

Search the site:
  |  wilshire blvd.  |  beverly hills  |  westwood  |  santa monica  |

    Early Santa Monica    

by Louise B. Gabriel and the Santa Monica Historical Society Museum
Arcadia Press Images of America Series, 2006


preview and buy on Amazon preview on Google Books  |

The book has many wonderful photos of early Santa Monica.
Here we're looking at the North Beach Bathhouse, built in 1894.
On Google Books:  larger view

Also see:

"Santa Monica: A History on the Edge
by Paula Scott

    Eric Lynxwiler on Flickr    


Browse through Eric's Wilshire Blvd. set for a great
stroll along the boulevard. There are photos, postcards,
restaurant menus, matchbook covers and lots more. 

Here we have a photo of the Wilshire Bowl,
nightclub on the Miracle Mile, at Wilshire and Masselin.
full size view  |  another Wilshire Bowl view  c.1938

See also his terrific Los Angeles Theatres set.

    Penny Postcards from California    


Lots of fun here browsing through submissions
 from many contributors.  Shown here is a view of
Wilshire Boulevard at MacArthur Park from the
site's Los Angeles section.
full size view

Search the site:
 |  beverly hills  |   los angeles  |  santa monica  |

    Public Art in L.A.    


This terrific website has lots of photos
of signage and historic buildings. Check
out the Wilshire Neon Signs page.

Here we're at Wilshire and Norton for Perino's and

the Los Altos Apartments.   full size view

    Vintage Los Angeles    


Alison Martino's Facebook page is a wonderland for
vintage photos. Here we're looking at a view of the Beverly
Wilshire posted on the site by Brian McCray. 
full size view

A 1928 cover of "Wilshire Topics" added
to the archive by Nile Hight.
full size view

Go browsing!


by Marc Wanamaker
Arcadia Press Images of America Series, 2010

| on Amazon | preview on Google Books |

  A nice history of the area with many historic photos from
 from Mr. Wanamaker's Bison Archives.   Here we're looking at the
 observation tower at Wilshire and Beverly Glen.

On Google Books:  larger view

    You Are Here   

Take Martin's tour down  Wilshire Boulevard for
lots of terrific photos. Clicking on the name of any
building will get you a photo.

Here's Martin's view of Bullock's Wilshire

full size view

     Archives to Browse...    

California State Library

Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection

Online Archive of California:

UCLA Calisphere

    [part of the UCLA library and associated
with the California Digital Library]

UCLA L.A. Times Photograph Collection 
   On Calisphere: calisphere.org/collections/153/

UCLA S. Charles Lee Archive:

The USC Digital Archives

Water and Power Associates
The DWP museum pages have a fine series
of vintage photos of Santa Monica. See
"Early Views of Santa Monica page 1" and
Early Views of Santa Monica page 2."