Weird History 41 Mind-Blowing Photos of Historic Los Angeles  

Jude Newsome
9.3k votes 1.8k voters 156.9k views 41 items

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.

1 424 VOTES

United Artists Theater, 1928

United Artists Theater, 1928 is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 41 Mind-Blowing Photos of Historic Los Angeles
Photo: via Reddit
This Spanish Gothic-style theater is now a part of the Ace Hotel.
348 76
Is this beautiful?
2 338 VOTES

Sunset Blvd., 1900

Sunset Blvd., 1900 is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 41 Mind-Blowing Photos of Historic Los Angeles
Photo: via Twitter
This is what gridlock looked like in 1900.
285 53
Is this beautiful?
3 318 VOTES

New Years, 1933

New Years, 1933 is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 41 Mind-Blowing Photos of Historic Los Angeles
Photo: via Imgur
So wasted.
264 54
Is this beautiful?
4 238 VOTES

Spring Street, 1888

Spring Street, 1888 is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 41 Mind-Blowing Photos of Historic Los Angeles
Photo: via Wikimedia
206 32
Is this beautiful?