Friday, July 06, 2012

Vintage Photo Friday

Mid to Late 1940's, Photo from L.A. Public Library Archives

Description from the L.A. Public Library Archives:
Students and instructors of the Fred Archer School of Photography use MacArthur Park as a campus, especially at noon hour when they go there to eat their lunches and visit while enjoying its beauty; the school is located across the street from the park. In this photo we see clusters of students reclining on the grass. Sunbathers and boaters also frequent the park - as seen here. MacArthur Park, created in the 1880s under the name Westlake Park, was later renamed in honor of General Douglas MacArthur. By the 1890s, it was a vacation destination surrounded by luxury hotels; in the early part of the 20th Century, the area became known as the Champs Elysees of Los Angeles. MacArthur Park has been designated City of Los Angeles Historic Cultural Monument #100.

Fred Archer was a well known photographer in Los Angeles. In 1935 he helped found the photography department at Art Center College of Design, then located near downtown L.A. After World War II, he founded the Fred Arthur School of Photography.

"Champs Elysees of Los Angeles" !? My, how times have changed. Yes, I know there has been re-development and revitalization at MacArthur Park, but I still would not go for an afternoon stroll there without an escort! We need more safe parks in Los Angeles. Be aware of your surroundings and have a great weekend.

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