Thursday, August 27, 2009

1959: Changing Landscape of Riverside Dr.

Photo: Mack, Herald Examiner, June 16, 1959. Cranes dismantling the Pacific Electric Red Car Viaduct crossing Riverside Drive at Glendale Blvd. Monte Sano stop was on the left; the LA River, right. (Click on photo to enlarge.)

The Pacific Electric Glendale Line was decommissioned in 1955. It was another four years before the two viaducts at Fletcher & Riverside Dr. and this one, at Riverside Dr. & Glendale Blvd. were removed.
Photo: Clarence Inman Collection, 1959. Monte Sano still sits atop Waverly and Glendale Blvd. (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Compare this photo with the 1954 Inman photo. The Red Car tracks and the viaduct are gone. The original 1904 Pacific Electric Ivanhoe power substation is gone, but the larger structure, built in 1930, remains in 1959, sitting below grade of Monte Sano Hospital at Glendale & Riverside at the viaduct remnants.

Bob Inman, who grew up a few doors away, recalls the substation stood for a few years after all the equipment was removed. The building was unsecured and Inman, as a kid, "would wander through the one big room full of trash and broken glass."

Monte Sano Hospital removed their traffic circle median by 1959. Perhaps they needed the additional parking lot square footage since they were no longer public transit convenient.

Homes and industrial businesses on Riverside Drive were removed to clear the path for the 5 Freeway, between Riverside Drive and the LA River.