Thursday, October 15, 2020

Then and Now

 When living in an old house I like to imagine what it would've been like to live there at the time the house was built.  What is the story that the home tells?  In Tacoma, I lived on D street and discovered that it was  where the street car travelled from Puyallup into downtown Tacoma.  That street was a flag-stop area -- there were no dedicated stations, you would just flag the street car down and jump on.  In Long Beach, the Red Line street car system would've been in operation for 12 years at the time this house was built.  From what I can tell, it would've travelled down Broadway which would've been the nearest stop from our house.

It is crazy to think how things have changed 106 years later in 2020.  First, Los Angeles county became an area completely reliant on the car where as before it had one of the nations most extensive street car systems.  How would've daily life been different without the tremendous reliance on the car?  What about design, would houses, building and retail coridors look different?  Would the area have sprawled like it did, or would it have grown upwards like New York and Chicago?  Would we see urban development more centered around street car lines?

Turns out the last trip on the red line was sometime in the early 1960s.  Just 9 short days before it was completely shuttered, the following video was shot from the front of the red line street car as it departed downtown LA towards Long Beach.  

It is a pretty amazing experience to watch this and to consider how things have changed.  How will they change again and where will they go?

At some point in the future I would like to research this further and learn more about what it was like to live in this home in 1914.  For now, this is a pretty good glimpse into what was and the extent by which it all has changed.

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