Monday, August 17, 2009

Garden Grove, circa 1930

Here's a great photo of Garden Grove about 1930, provided by Doug McIntosh. We're looking north through downtown in this shot. Note the Pacific Electric tracks running caddy-corner across the photo. The second photo, below, shows roughly the same location today, and was provided by Glenn Frank.
I already mentioned that my schedule would make it hard to post much for the next week or two. Well, it just got even harder. My computer is suddenly struggling to complete even the simplest tasks. This means I either need a new CPU or some kind of major overhaul on the old one. In the meantime, thanks for your patience.

14 comments:

DregerClock.org said...

I couldn't resist doing the graphics-guy thing! It it not easy to get Google Earth at the exact same altitude and angle as the original photo but I think I got close. and the Squished flat buildings look kind of funny, but here you go:

Comparing Doug's photo of Garden Grove in the 30s to today's google Earth Image.

Click the links on the page to switch between the two images.

Doug said...

Wow!!! Looking at the two views is heartbreaking. The whole area looks as though it has been sterilized. Long gone are the packing houses, old neighborhoods, at PE right of way. The area has been given over to parking lots for BIG BOX stores. This could be Anywhere USA. A bit sad.
Thank you for going to the effort of posting the 2009 aerial view.

DregerClock.org said...

Yeah, amazing what 70 years will do. the remnant of "historic main street" in Garden Grove is not much more than some cobblestone encircled restaurants. But well.. at least the community still gathers there for certain events. In our car-centric society, vast parking lots and widened sterilized streets surround places where people gather.

Doug, if you have any other interesting old aeral photos... I would be interested in doing some modern comparisons like this.

It was interesting to see where some old streets are now driveways to parking lots.

CoxPilot said...

After looking at the comparison photos (and they are great), I was diverted to the red line right of way. I ended up following it all the way to L.A. Amazing how the space is used in different ways in different towns. They even build houses in the narrow strip in some areas.

DregerClock.org said...

Yeah, some parts of the Pac Elec Right of way are still open, some are used with buildings or plant nurseries. I wish the county would make use of that strip and find a way to make it a pedestrian / bike trail that would connect to the SART (Santa Ana River Trail) it would be a handy path taking one diagonally past a lot of streets that are not totally bike friendly. There are some historical markers placed in Garden Grove at some parts of the old Pac Elect line... I have not really stopped to photograph or read them Maybe I will do that next time I bike to work and go past the ones on Trask.

my 'How I cycle to work' Video

Chris Jepsen said...

Doug and Glenn: You guys make quite the team, matching maps and aerials and such. Nicely done! I've added the modern photo to the original post for all to enjoy. Thanks again!

Doug said...

I believe the large steel structure in the lower left of the 1930s photo, is the Poultymens Cooperative Association. They milled various types of feed there. It was a great wood frame structure, covered by galvanized sheet metal.
I went through this several times before it was demolished in the late 1970s/early 1980s.
It would have made a cool restaurant/hotel location, much like the complex in Old Town Irvine.
Also sad that all of old packing house structures were torn down. They were wonderful buildings.

Amtraker-Mike said...

Here's some railfan info...

The PE line in the foreground of the 1930's photo is the Santa Ana Line

http://www.erha.org/pessa.htm

However to me that 1930's photo looks more like the PE Santa Ana Line crossing of Brookhurst St and Bixby Ave than it does of the PE line and Main Street as shown in the 2009 photo.

Note: There used to be a great web site that listed local Red Car Monuments at: http://www.river-road.net/oldcars/redcar/ but it's not longer there but the Internet Archive has the site archived:

http://web.archive.org/web/20060811104322/http://www.river-road.net/oldcars/redcar/

Doug said...

Mike, thanks for the PE info.
I promise you that is is truly downtown GG. In fact, the PE station is visible near the center left, below the packing house structure. The station is located on what is now the parking lot for Home Depot.
Also visible is the GG Japanese Language School, bottom center left.
We used this photo in the early 1990s when documenting historical resources that the city was destroying. Brookhurst is a couple miles to the west/nw.
Thanks.

DregerClock.org said...

Mike... go to the toggle between page: LINK and click back and forth on the links at the top. You can see how the streets line up better when you flip between the two.

Doug said...

View both locations on Historical Aerials....
http://www.historicaerials.com/Default.aspx
All will be shown.
Thanks.

Amtraker-Mike said...

THANKS for the Historical Aerial link Doug! Awesome site. Yes, I see the GG station now! I have a book with photos and maps of the PE stations and I thought the packing house (north of the tracks) was the station but the station was south of the tracks and north of Ocean Ave (now Garden Grove Blvd) and just west of Grove Ave and east of Pearl.

Anonymous said...

Alot more Asians now then there was in the thirtys

Doug said...

At "anonymous", yes, there may be more "asians". However do you know there was a fair sizable Japanese American population living in this area during this period. Many came to this area in the very early 1900s.
Something to consider.