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Cut Into Downtown Streets and Find History

By Eric Richardson
Published: Wednesday, August 27, 2008, at 03:06PM
Tracks under 2nd Eric Richardson [Flickr]

Construction work for the new LAPD Headquarters has temporarily uncovered some Downtown transportation history at the corner of 2nd and Main. Buried beneath four to six inches of asphalt are old streetcar tracks from the old Los Angeles Railway.

The Los Angeles Railway, incorporated in 1895, ran its yellow cars on many streets Downtown.

The more famous Pacific Electric, with its Red Cars, was more focused on service to and from Downtown, with little local service inside the commercial center.

A 1924 traffic study recommended that streetcars be removed from 2nd street to make more room for automobiles, after the opening of the 2nd street tunnel did nothing to help with congestion on 2nd and 3rd streets.

A great 1920 map of Los Angeles railways can be accessed through the Online Archive of California.

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