As part of our Mission to share the history of El Sereno with the community and public, we plan to present a new picture/historic document every month. This will allow us, the El Sereno Historical Society, to continue sharing recent historic discoveries.
But more importantly it will allow you, our readers and supporters, the chance to have any hidden or long-forgotten historic gems be shared with our great El Sereno community. Sharing and learning about our history is a community effort, and we thank all those who contribute and add to our growing historic community's website.
It would be wonderful to have the (palm) trees lit from MONTEREY ROAD to MAYCREST--YEAR ROUND.
If Councilmember Jose Huizar starts (re)allocating funds, maybe he can make it happen in time for the 2014 Holiday Season.
Located at 5380 Alhambra Avenue (right across from Holy Grounds), Pacific Flex Metal Hose Company has been a fixture in El Sereno for over 50 years. The building itself was constructed in 1926 and sports art-deco motifs from that era. The company has been in business at this location since the 1960s.
The company manufacturers metal hoses, particularly ones that are well suited for conveying hot and cold substances and pursued tightness under the most extreme condition, such as in aggressive seawater or other extreme temperatures, such as the kind found in space or when transporting cooled liquid gas.
Although it's a privately held business, the company has made parts for important companies, such as Lockheed Martin and JPL in Pasadena. It also manufactured parts essential for the Mars Rover.
An interesting Hollywood footnote: the company was also contracted to manufacture parts for the DeLorean car used in the Hollywood Blockbuster--Back To The Future.
Most of the parts manufactured at the company are constructed using the Tig welding process. The applications for these parts are used in aviation, steel industry, reactor technology, regenerative energies (solar heating, wind turbines, etc.), as well as space travel.
Pacific Flex Metal Hose Company: a small but essential company located in El Sereno that's making a difference and leaving it's mark world-wide...
Special thanks to Jose Siordia, ESHS board member, for contributing to this Picture of the Month.
For a quick-peek inside visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTO5WOMgH7w
Martinsen & Burchill Ford Dealership
5087 Huntington Drive, El Sereno, 1932 & Today
Awesome video clip showcasing the legendary Legion Ascot Speedway. Infamous for it's deadly crashes, Legion Ascot Speedway is also credited for being the first race track that featured a safety device now used by race car drivers all over the world: the racing helmet.
Legion Ascot Speedway is one of over a dozen long-gone race tracks of Los Angeles featured in "Where They Raced: Speed Demons in the City of Los Angeles." This DVD is a must for any person interested in the history of the many ghost tracks of Los Angeles.
To purchase the DVD and/or learn more about Where They Raced, visit www.WhereTheyRaced.com and/or like them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/WhereTheyRaced.
May’s “Pic of the Month” is a collection of photos featuring the different street art/murals found along El Sereno’s Alhambra Ave and the alley that runs parallel to Alhambra Ave (on the side of the Southern Pacific train tracks).
We are not condoning the spray painting of businesses without permission or the use of aerosol cans that damage our Earth’s ozone. We are simply sharing the amazing art-work that is found along this corridor of El Sereno. It shows the artistic talent that exists as well as the need for these artists to express and share their skills in a more constructive manner.
On June 2, 2014, Sierra Vista Elementary celebrated 100 years of service to the community. Many Sierra Vista alumni of various graduating classes were at hand to take part in the special celebration. Members El Sereno's Eastside Cafe entertained students, parents, and guests with live music. The rhythmic beat was too much for a few students, compelling them to join the Eastside Cafe up front and dance along.
The great event was followed by the opportunity to grab a bite and a cold drink, then make a bee-line to the school's library in order to enjoy many decades of yearbooks and school pictures. Although Sierra Vista has always been a small school, we know it will continue to serve El Sereno for generations to come.
Designed in the Craftsman style, the Sierra Vista School was built in the Short Line Villa Tract in 1913. The Short Line Villa Tract was annexed to the City of Los Angeles as part of The Arroyo Seco Annexation on February 9, 1912. Below are a few pics from the 100 Year Celebration and the school's historic collection.
Sierra Vista Elementary: 100 Year Celebration
This month's picture is courtesy of Louis Salcido, who found this wonderful piece of El Sereno's history while searching Gene Autry Museum's online site (TheAutry.org). The painting is part of the Autry's collection called Capturing California's Romantic Past: The Watercolor Works Of Eva Scott Fenyes.
The painting is dated 1916, which more than likely means the painting was done using a picture of the adobe-farmhouse (see photo above Picture of the Month). The adobe-farmhouse burned down in 1908 during the making of an early silent movie.
Here is a great link with more information about the historic adobe and Rancho Rosa de Castilla.
A special Thanks to Louis Salcido for sharing this great find.
El Sereno's Berkshire Craftsman and Revival Bungalow District
The Berkshire Craftsman and Revival Bungalow District is the best example of Arroyo culture in El Sereno, with significant architectural design and distinguished landscaping of early 1900s-style railway subdivisions. The preservation of this historic neighborhood is a priority for the community of El Sereno.
The proposed HPOZ is a neighborhood which features many architecturally distinctive homes that create a neighborhood of unique character and charm. This unique and historic neighborhood constitutes a significant cultural and architectural resource. The preservation and enhancement of the unique and positive characteristics of this residential neighborhood.
Did you know El Sereno's historic Rancho Rosa de Castilla development and growth, was largely influenced by women?
Did you know El Sereno's historic adobe, built in 1771, was occupied and destroyed by U.S. soldiers during the Mexican-American War (1846-1848)?
We are glad to present this well researched article, written by John R. Chavez, which holds many little known facts and historic information about El Sereno's historic Rancho Rosa de Castilla. Click on photo to view document.
Los Angeles State College (now California State University, Los Angeles) was created on July 2, 1947 with the passage of Assembly Bill 586. It was the first state college to be established in California since 1913 and was known as Los Angeles State College. The founding of Cal State LA was spurred by returning World War II veterans who could not find space in an already crowded southern branch of the University of California, at the time Southern California’s only four-year public college.
Cal State L.A. held its first classes for 136 students on September 1947, on the Vermont campus of the Los Angeles City Junior College. In June 1948, seven students, all of them transfers from other colleges and universities, made up the first graduating class.
From 1949, the student body increased at the rate of 1,000 a year. With the fifties came an urgent need to establish a permanent home for Cal State L.A. That site, the former Rancho Rosa Castilla (today El Sereno), a 100-acre hilltop in northeast Los Angeles, hosted its first classes on February 6, 1956, in temporary bungalows.
Below is a collection of photos depicting the El Sereno hills before, during, and after they were leveled to construct Cal State LA. Also included are early architectural models of Cal State LA.
Since its humble beginning in 1956, Cal State LA has been part of the El Sereno community. In fact, during the school’s expansion in the 1960s, many El Sereno homes and even a local elementary school (Gravois Elementary) were sacrificed in order to make way for the college. The institution was given University status in 1972.
Articles below are from the El Sereno Star
Special thanks to historian Robert A. Lerner and California State University, Los Angeles, John F. Kennedy Memorial Library, CSULA Collections, for the photos and information.
Located at 5458 Alhambra Ave. in El Sereno, the Pasadena Model Railroad Club operates the Sierra Pacific Lines, one of the largest HO Scale operating Model Railroads in the world covering almost 5000 square feet. The railroad has over 30,000 feet of hand laid steel rail. The 1700 foot single to four track mainline with ten cabs allows for operation of multiple 30+ foot trains (up to 60 cars long). Yard panels throughout the railroad allow for operation of another 15 to 20 trains.
Sierra Pacific Lines operates trains from all eras: steam, diesel and electric motive power, old and modern freight, classic passenger trains and Amtrak; with each train being prototypically accurate for that railroad and era. Breathtaking scenery, operating semaphore signals, and theatrical lighting all combine to make this Model Railroading as you always dreamed it could be - with the long train physics and vistas that just cannot be found on any other layout. Every locomotive is powered... and there's a reason for that. Power changes en route, helpers and multi-unit consists and DPU are not just for show - they are for physics. Come on by for the show of a lifetime.
For the third year in a row, the "Picture of the Month" will feature homes/businesses in El Sereno, where the Christmas lights shine bright and the Community Pride remains strong. We will continue to add pictures to our El Sereno Community Pride and Holiday Spirit 2014 album throughout the Christmas Season. We don't know if we'll be able to photograph every home & business showing Community Pride and Holiday Spirit in El Sereno, but we'll try our best.