Friday, October 14, 2016

Vintage Photo Friday - Venice Crossing and Beyond

Culver City-Palms Railroad Station, 1940. LA Public Library Archives

While I was shopping at our new Sprouts Market last week, I was wondering what this large piece of property was before it was made into a shopping center. The shopping center is called Venice Crossing. The Sprouts was formerly a Haggen Market, previously Albertson's. There's a Starbucks, Noah's Bagels, Ross Dress for Less and more chains.  
The Markets keep changing at Venice Crossing
Chain Stores at Venice Crossing

I do remember the A-1 Noodle Company being there, right next to what used to be the railroad tracks that run along Exposition Boulevard. You can still see the painted A-1 sign on what used to be the factory, from the tracks. Our new Expo Line now occupies these very same tracks.
In my hazy memory, during the late 1960s to the 1980s, I think this was just an industrial zone with the A-1 Noodle company and vacant land around the tracks, probably a few parking lots. Some of the areas were paved over, but the tracks were still visible. This particular line ran all the way west, behind the Westside Pavillion and ended at Fisher Lumber in Santa Monica.
Industrial Section of P.E. Tracks, facing east near La Cienega, 2007. Photo by Mike Palmer. This is how I remember the Venice Crossing area looking in the past.

Ahah! Culver Junction! I came upon some wonderful old photos online that described Culver Junction at this very same intersection, near Venice and Robertson. 
Culver Junction, located at Venice/Robertson, 1953. Photo from Historical Photos Expo Line
This was the Culver City-Palms Station, located at 9013 Venice Boulevard, a bit west of Culver Junction, serving both the Pacific Electric Railway Company and the Southern Pacific Railroad.
Palms Depot, 1953. 
The Palms Depot building is where a self-storage facility is today, near Vinton Avenue and National Blvd. in Palms. This particular building was saved and moved to Heritage Square Museum in Highland Park and now serves as their Visitor's Center. Most of those large palm trees were pulled out to make way for the Santa Monica Freeway in 1963.
My little section of Venice Boulevard has changed a lot over the decades. It would be unrecognizable to old-timers! Remember to take photos of mundane things on the streets where you live. One day, those buildings and streets will be changed forever!

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