Combination of the Sontag Drug Store image, circa 1941 and a contemporary view of Wilshire Beatuy Supply. Justin Fields and his wife, Christine Haeberman, have lived in the Miracle Mile area since 2006. They first met in high school, but didn’t begin a serious romance until after college (thankfully, they admit, given the short shelf-life of most high school relationships).
Justin’s father grew up in the area and it was sort of a homecoming when they found an apartment here. They enjoy walking around the neighborhood and were struck by how many of the places and landmarks featured in old family photos still exist. It was this connection between the past and the present that inspired them to combine their love of history and photography to create this collection of “Then and Now” images of the Miracle Mile.
Justin and Christine utilized selected images from our
Historical Photo Collection to document the past and then carefully replicated the angle and framing of those images to document how these landmarks appear today. As you can see, the pairing of old and new photographs vividly displays how the rich architectural heritage of the Miracle Mile is still very much in evidence. It also reinforces how critical it is that these historical structures are preserved – a cause that is important to Justin and Christine. “With all the changes coming to the Miracle Mile in the next decade – including the subway and the redesigns planned for Petersen Museum and LACMA – we wanted to capture our community as it exists now,” Justin said.
Justin and Christine generously offered these photos for posting on the MMRA website. We liked them so much that we created this page. This will be an on-going series of paired images juxtaposing the past and the present – so, check in from time-to-time for updates.
The MMRA is grateful to Justin and Christine for these fascinating photographs.
Miracle Mile: Then & Now Photographs © 2013 by Justin Fields. All rights reserved. They may not be reproduced or distributed without permission.
Click on an image below to start slideshow…
Sontag Drug Store, 1941/Wilshire Beauty Supply, 2013.
Top photo: The Sontag Drug Store, located at the northwest corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Cloverdale Avenue, 1941. It was designed by Anderson and Norstrom in the Art Deco style and completed in 1935. (Top: Richard Stagg; USC Digital Library – Bottom: Justin Fields)
Security Pacific Bank, circa 1938/Art Deco Building, 2013. Top photo: The Security First National Bank later became known as the Security Pacific National Bank; photogragh circa 1938. (“Dick” Whittington Photography Collection, 1924-1987; USC Digital Collection.)
The Darkroom, circa 1975 & 2013. Left photo: The Dark Room, 5370 Wilshire Boulevard. Constructed in 1937 as the facade for a camera shop. Architect: Marcus P. Miller. Present location of El Toro Cantina. (Top: Marvin Rand, Photographer; Library of Congress – Bottom: Justin Fields)
Desmond’s Building 1936 & 2013. Top photo: A view of Silverwood’s in the Wilshire Tower (better known as the Desmond’s building). A large sign on top of the store displays “Silverwoods, Hart Schaffner & Marx, clothes”. The corner of the building is curved and has a large expanse of glass that covers two stories. A 20 mph speed limit sign is posted on a street light. Photo dated: Jun. 24, 1936. (Top: Los Angeles Public Library – Bottom: Justin Fields)
Desmond’s Building, circa 1937 & 2013. Top photo: Desmond’s building, circa 1937. (Top: Mott-Merge Collection; California State Library – Bottom: Justin Fields)
Arthur Murray Building, 1948 & 2013. Left photo: The Arthur Murray dance studio at 5828 Wilshire Boulevard (the southeast corner of Wilshire and Stanley), 1948. The dance studio was designed by Stiles O. Clement and constructed in 1942. (Top: Dick Whittington Studio; USC Digital Library – Bottom: Justin Fields)
Dominguez-Wilshire Building, circa 1933 and 2013. The building opened in 1931 with retailer Myer Siegel as the major tenant. (Bottom photograph: Justin Fields.)
Ralph’s Grocery Store, circa 1930 & 2013. Top photo: Ralph’s Market at Hauser and Wilshire Boulevards, circa 1930. The Spanish Colonial Revival building with a sidewalk arcade was designed by Morgan, Walls and Clements and constructed in 1928. It was demolished in the early 1980s and replaced with a modern structure. (Bottom photograph by Justin Fields.)
Flying Sauce Restaurant and Brown’s Bakery, 1978/Staples Office Supplies, 2013. Top photo: Looking north across Wilshire Boulevard towards three businesses, the Flying Saucer restaurant (left), Brown’s Wilshire Bakery, and the Roman Foods Market (right); photograph dated 1978. In the late 1980s the Flying Saucer – formely Wimpy’s – and Brown’s were demolished and a new building was constructed to include the Roman Foods structure as a Staples office supply store. (Top: Marlene Laskey Collection, Los Angeles Public Library – Bottom: Justin Fields)
Atlantic and Pacific Food Palace, circa 1937 combined with the Staples Office Supplies, 2013. Top photo: The Atlantic and Pacific Food Palace on the north side of Wilshire Boulevard between Cochran and Cloverdale Avenues, circa 1937. It later became the Roman Food Market and the original structure is now incorporated into a Staples office supply store. (Bottom photograph by Justin Fields.)
E. Clem Wilson Building, circa 1935 & 2013. Left photo: The E. Clem Wilson Building was built in 1929. Architects: Meyer & Holler. The building was in Art Deco (Zigzag) Moderne style. Photograph circa 1935. (Security Pacific National Bank Collection; Los Angeles Public Library.)
Best Western Auto Supplies, circa 1931/IHOP, 2013. Top photo: The Western Auto Parts store at the northwest corner of Wilshire and Hauser, circa 1931. Designed by Carl Lindbom and completed in 1931, it is the current location of a IHOP restaurant. (Bottom photograph: Justin Fields.)
Lee Tower, 1961 & 2013. Top photo: Lee Tower, 5455 Wilshire Boulevard. Photograph dated 20 August 1961. (Los Angeles Examiner Collection, 1920-1961; USC Digital Library.) Built by W. Douglas Lee, it was the tallest office bulding in Los Angeles at the time of its contruction in 1960. (Bottom photograph: Justin Fields.)
May Company, circa 1947 & 2013. Architects: Albert C. Martin & S.A. Marx. Constructed in 1939, the building was purchased by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1994. It will be the future home of the Academy Museum. (Bottom photograph: Justin Fields)
May Company , circa 1940 & 2013. Top photo: View of Fairfax Avenue side of the May Company, circa 1940. The original building opened in 1939. The store was expanded to the north in 1946. It is this addition that will be razed for the construction of the new Academy Museum. (Bottom photograph: Justin Fields)
Prudential Square, 1952/Museum Square, 2013. Top photo: Photographed in February 1952 by the renowned architectural photographer, Julius Schulman, the western headquarters of the Prudential insurance company was designed by the Beckett Weldon firm. The building, located at Curson and Wilshire, is now known as Museum Square. (Top: USC Digital Library – Bottom: Justin Fields)
Tilford’s Restaurant, circa 1949/Metro Customer Service Center, 2013. Top photo: Tilford’s restaurant and cocktail lounge, located at the northwest corner of La Brea Avenue and Wilshire Boulevard, was designed by Los Angeles architect Welton Becket and opened in 1949. Welton Becket is best known for designing the LAX Theme Restaurant, the Capitol Records Building, Parker Center and other notable Los Angeles landmarks. The property was acquired by Metro in 1984 and will be the location of the La Brea/Wilshire portal of the Purple Line subway extension. (Bottom photograph: Justin Fields)
Wilshire Boulevard, circa 1963 & 2013. Top photo: Windshield view from a car driving east along Wilshire Boulevard, circa 1963. The Muellen and Bluett store is on the right is decorated for the Christmas holiday. The white vehicle is a 1963 Ford Falcon.
Seibu Department Store, circa 1962/Petersen Automotive Museum, 2013. Located at 6060 Wilshire Boulevard and built in 1962 for the U.S. branch of Japanese department chain store, Seibu, from 1964-1986 it housed Ohrbach’s department store. Many years later, Robert E. Petersen, founder of Hot Rod and Motor Trend magazines purchased the building, and along with his wife, Margie, founded the $40 million dollar Petersen Automotive Museum in 1994. The historic building was designed by Welton Becket and Associates. (Bottom photograph by Justin Fields.)
Seibu Department Store, circa 1962/Petersen Automotive Museum, 2012. Left photo: The Seibu department store opened in 1962 across from the May Company at Wilshire and Fairfax. This view is looking north along Fairfax with the May Company in the distance. Seibu closed in 1964 and the building later housed Orbach’s department store and is now the home of the Petersen Automotive Museum. (Photograph at right: Justin Fields.)
Slapsy Maxie’s, circa 1947/Office Depot, 2013. Top photo: Slapsy Maxie’s, circa 1947. The original building, known at the the Wilshire Bowl, was a nightclub that opened in 1933. Slapsy Maxie’s took over around 1943 and closed about 1947. By 1952 it was Van de Kamp’s Wilshire Coffee Shop. (Bottom photograph: Justin Fields.)
Looking east along Wilshire Boulevard @ Cloverdale, 1954 & 2013.
Combination of the Sontag Drug Store image, circa 1941 and a contemporary view of Wilshire Beatuy Supply photographed by Justin Fields.
Combination of the Desmond’s building and Wilshire Boulevard, 1936 with a contemporary view by Justin Fields.