L.A. is one of the world’s great regional economies and global labs, and this is in large part because its citizens have been willing to invest in public infrastructure. From railroads to housing, learn more about the history of how L.A. has developed. One fascinating look at L.A.’s growth is The Rise and Fall of Urban Economies: Lessons from San Francisco and Los Angeles by Michael Storper, which studies the stark differences between trends in Southern and Northern California’s economies and how this impacts the entire state. This book is part of a collection from the John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation that we’re spotlighting this summer. You can also journey down L.A.’s money trail with Steven P. Erie’s book, Globalizing L.A.: Trade, Infrastructure, and Regional Development.
View of a trolley car emerging from the Broadway tunnel north portal, the last trolley ride of the day, with a view of City Hall in the background. The construction is leveling Fort Moore Hill for the yet-to-be-built freeway connector through downtown Los Angeles. Photo dated 1969, part of Shades of L.A.
Aerial view of Los Angeles International Airport with control tower and theme building, 1973.
Explore more about urban reform, lost communities, housing challenges, and other issues faced in a growing L.A. with these other books:
Tong Kee & Co. market on Yale Street. It was later demolished to make space for an onramp of the Pasadena Freeway. Photo dated 1951, part of Shades of L.A.
Beyond Chinatown: The Metropolitan Water District, Growth, and the Environment in Southern California by Steven P. Erie
At Terminal Island fishermen tie up and string nets to dry in sun. Photo dated June 23, 1949, part of Valley Times Collection.
Terminal Island: Lost Communities of Los Angeles Harbor by Naomi Hirahara and Geraldine Knatz
The Haynes Foundation and Urban Reform Philanthropy in Los Angeles: A History of the John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation by Tom Sitton
Houses of Los Angeles Volume 1 by Sam Watters
Los Angeles Preface to a Master Plan edited by George W. Robbins and L. Deming Tilton
Exterior view of the I. Magnin store automobile entrance and portico. Photo by Maynard L. Parker, 1939.
Maynard L. Parker: Modern Photography and the American Dream by Jennifer Watts
Cities Are for People; The Los Angeles Region Plans for Living by Mel Scott
If you want to learn more about local history, check out the LAPL’s photo collection series Shades of L.A., which includes several of the above photos made accessible through a grant from the John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation. Read more about the life and work of Haynes in Tom Sitton’s book John Randolph Haynes, California Progressive.