Grappling with modernity
The Valley, 1915
The Valley, 1915
Petit Ranch, 1920
Petit Ranch, 1920
Cahuenga Pass, 1922
Cahuenga Pass, 1922, when the trolley was king
Cahuenga Pass, 1949
Cahuenga Pass, 1949
Cahuenga Pass, 1955, no rails
Cahuenga Pass, 1955, no more rails
Last trolley car to Van Nuys, 1952
Last trolley car to Van Nuys, 1952
Hollywood Freeway, 1972
Cahuenga Pass, 1972

When was the happiest ratio between car and rail in Los Angeles?  Probably when the population was one quarter of what it is today. Let Harold Lloyd show you in three minutes of awesomeness.

Trolley photos courtesy of the Ralph Cantos Collection

5 thoughts on “Interurban”

  1. I love watching Harold Lloyd surf on top of an old streetcar. And LA in the 1920s does seem rather more charming than it does today in many ways.

    So… what’s your point here? I can’t tell if you’re looking back fondly on an era when streetcars worked well for the general population, or if you’re saying the city is too big and burdened by a swollen population to turn back. Or something else?

    Manhattan was once a collection of small farms and tiny Dutch hamlets. Is one better than the other, or are they just completely different animals? Personally, I think LA is in a pimply adolescent phase and needs a few more centuries to mature into whatever it will eventually become. That’s for future generations to decide. It might become Paris someday, or Detroit.

    1. The car has won, definitively. LA will never again be a city of less than a million people, though it would have been special to live here in the 1920s. Streetcars would have been part of the appeal.
      I see neither Paris nor Detroit in our future.
      Mexico City or Seoul, those are the options thirty years out, me thinks.

    1. It was and Yucca looked awfully different within 5-10 years of that film being made. Tall classic apartment buildings everywhere.

Comments are closed.