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.
Southwest El Sereno (1940)
Hilly terrain of La Calandria hill marked by winding roads is visible in the foreground. In view on the left bottom is Alhambra Avenue/Valley Boulevard. Valley Blvd and Eastern Ave intersection can also be seen on the middle left of the picture. The Title Insurance Company Archives Building (now the Korean Church) can be seen at 2241 Eastern Avenue. A housing subdivision can be seen at center, note that Druid Street and Richelieu Ave has not been developed yet. Also seen is the old foundation of the El Sereno Country Club, site where the new Woodrow Wilson High School was built in the late 1960s. Behind the Wilson hill can still be seen remnants of the old Legion Ascot Speedway.
Note: Ramona Gardens and General Hospital are also visible in the picture. Further in the distance, Los Angeles sprawls out into the background.
Photograph of Valley Blvd and Soto Street Bridge, El Sereno, 1936. Looking west towards Lincoln Park.
Notice that Soto St. used to cross over the tracks (on the left of picture). This street is now closed. Also notice the stairs that gave pedestrians access to and from Soto Street.
Melissa Dominguez is a sophomore at Wilson High School. Since Wilson High School is an International Baccalaureate (IB) school, students are required to do a personal project which begins in the 9th grade and completed in the 10th grade.
For her project Melissa chose El Sereno's History, her culminating product was a video. Melissa acknowledges that "this wouldn't have been possible without your (ESHS) website and dedication to keeping El Sereno's history alive."
Furthermore she states, "the purpose of this video is to teach the residents of El Sereno to appreciate their community and to help others steer away from stereotypes that El Sereno is just a place of violence and gangs."
We, ESHS, are proud to present Melissa's video as our Picture (Video) of the Month!
Looking north (towards South Pasadena) at Newtonia Drive and Guardia Ave.
Remstoy Drive is now located on the foot of the hill to the right.
In the far background (where the two hills converge) is South Pasadena.
Van Horne Ave and Portola Ave will be on the left, with Elephant Hill in the left background.
Old Huntington Drive Bridge, El Sereno 1925, 1932.
Before the automobile became popular, the Pacific Electric Red Line served as the primary transportation mode for the majority of people. These pictures depict a snapshot of the Pacific Electric Redcars that ran through El Sereno, as well as the long-gone Huntington Drive Bridge that once traversed above the four-track Pacific Electric lines.
Below, looking west right before Huntington Drive and Harriman-1932 and today.
Below, looking east towards Huntington Drive and Harriman-1925 and today.
Notice how much the roadway has been leveled over the years.
A view towards Huntington Drive and Monterey Road from Edloft Ave and Waldo Ct. You can see the Rose Hill Courts in the mid-background.
View of Huntington Drive and Monterey Rd today, from Edloft Ave and Waldo Ct.
A view towards Huntington Drive and Monterey Road from Waldo Ct. You can see Huntington Drive North in the background.
View of Huntington Drive and Monterey Rd today, from Waldo Ct. El Sereno's Fire Station 47 can be seen behind the huge Ficus Tree.
Directed by Art Garcia, Wilson class of 1988
One of four plaques marking the original boundary of the City of Los Angeles can be found in Debs Park/El Sereno border. From Northeast Newspaper article, September 24, 1980. Click on pic below to read entire article.
In 1910, Col. and Mrs. Carson purchased 44 acres from Mr. Baird between Eastern and Fithian Street, abutting Huntington Drive, to build the well known Military Academy.
Mrs. Carson was so captivated with the beauty and serenity of the community, she spearheaded a movement to have the area officially re-named El Sereno. When the area was officially made a part of Los Angeles, the name became El Sereno. The Los Angeles Military Academy was located at 4800 Huntington Drive. It operated from 1910 to the early 1920s. Thanks to Louis Salcido for helping us locate this picture (undated).
1910 LA Times Article about the Los Angeles Military Academy moving from Westlake Park area to El Sereno (then known as Bairdstown).
Above: Location of the Los Angeles Military Academy. It was bordered by Huntington Drive South, Eastern Ave (then known as El Sereno Ave), Twining St and Minto Court.
Originally built in 1929, the "rickety" stairway was condemned by the city. It was replaced in 1968 and still in use today. The stairway is said to be the longest of the many stairways that dot El Sereno, totaling 226 steps (give or take a step or two that I might have missed in-between catching my breath).
After much researching, we compiled and created this video with rare and historic footage of the
Pacific Electric red cars running through El Sereno, circa 1930s and 1940s.