JOIN US on Sunday August 7th at 1pm when we welcome Don as our virtual presenter in lieu of our Ice Cream Social; again postponed due to the Covid closure of the Center for the Arts and our concerns for our extended family. This will be a fascinating exploration of the Verdugo family’s history and continuing legacy in Southern California. Feel free to attend the virtual presentation with your own bowl or cone of ice cream to enjoy as we all listen to the presentation together!
Although Eagle Rock’s development was made possible by the construction of the L.A. Railway in 1906, our long romance with the automobile began soon after. Beginning as a rich man’s plaything, the car increasingly became an everyday desire and necessity for life in far-flung Los Angeles. The privacy and convenience of the personal car overshadowed and eventually totally replaced the extensive local and interurban rail networks that made Los Angeles’ development possible.
The fragile nature and constant needs for fuel, oil, tires and water made the corner service station a necessity. Many car enthusiasts opened small businesses to provide these and other mechanical services. The story inside this issue outlines the changes in these services over the years at Juett Clements Lenny, the largest independent, family-owned service station in early Eagle Rock. Many others came and went over the years.
We will take a Zoom tour along Colorado Boulevard and look into the auto facilities past and present along the route on April 19 at 7:00 P.M. A link will be posted on our website and in our email blast.
During the bulk of the twentieth century, automotive services were the dominant type of businesses along Colorado Boulevard. Beginning with dealerships out of garages, car dealerships grew. By the 1960s, dealerships were by far the largest businesses on the Boulevard. The dual nature of the Boulevard as our main street and a vital link in regional transportation drove this development. This combined with the then-substantial undeveloped space in the areas between concentrations of hometown service businesses encouraged highway-oriented development. Dealerships finally left the area when their need for space exceeded that available.
Beginning late in the twentieth century, the need for automotive services had declined causing many of the small service businesses to close. Retail had also evolved toward larger centralized malls, still oriented toward the car and often physically discouraging access by any other means.
Countering this concentration was the desire by many to re-emphasize the hometown services provided by the Boulevard. Efforts were made to encourage pedestrian oriented businesses. The revitalization of the Boulevard occurred but paradoxically, the primary means of access to these businesses continued to be the private car. Fuel and mechanical services thus remained a vital part of the urban mix.
Meeting ID: 880 7808 0226