Travel back to a time before smog and freeways ruled Los Angeles with a list of vintage LA photos. We all have an image of LA, whether it's based on the beaches of Santa Monica or the glitz of Hollywood, but these photos from the 1800s and early 1900s show the City of Angels in a whole different light.
Los Angeles is a city that is constantly changing, which makes looking at old pictures of the LA area a strange experience. Though the city's history goes back much further, California's induction into the United States and the railroad's arrival in the mid-19th century resulted in a massive immigration boom and breakneck industrialization. That's when LA as we know it began to take shape.
These mind-blowing black and white photos from the period allow us to trace the origins of modern Los Angeles, illuminating just how much has changed and how much has stayed the same in the Southland.
United Artists Theater, 1928
This Spanish Gothic-style theater is now a part of the Ace Hotel.
Griffith Observatory, 1933
The skeleton of an LA landmark that has famously appeared in films such as Rebel Without a Cause, The Terminator, and The Rocketeer.
Santa Monica Beachgoers, 1900
What's with the rope? A whole lot of people at the beach couldn't actually swim, so they would hang on the rope to avoid being swept underwater.