Tuesday Tube: Bunker Hill in Downtown L.A. 1940s and Today

The New Yorker’s YouTube channel has a clever new video that lines up 1940s film footage on downtown L.A.’s Bunker Hill with contemporary video. It is a great peek into the heyday of L.A. transit, and, frankly, the anti-urban results of late 20th Century “urban renewal.”

7th Street then and now - part of the xxx
7th Street then and now – part of A Fare to Remember up now at El Pueblo. Images via PERHS website.

If readers enjoy that video, plan to catch a similar series of still photo juxtapositions in the “A Fare to Remember” show at El Pueblo‘s new El Tranquillo Gallery at 634 N. Main Street in downtown L.A., located right next to La Golondrina Restaurant on Olvera Street. The free exhibition is open now through July 28. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Details at Pacific Electric Railway Historical Society.

  • Kenny Easwaran

    One thing I found amazing was how often the old footage was actually more smoggy and auto-dominated than the new footage! Certainly the buildings look more urban-friendly in the old footage, but the density and the street trees in the new footage often appear to make up for it.

  • BJToepper

    I once found a diary from a guy who lived in Long Beach during the 1950s. Many, many entries started with something like, “The smoke was real bad today.” That’s the smog that eventually led to California’s emission control laws, which made L.A. (mostly) livable again.


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