The Miracle Mile Residential Association has a very active web presence for updates on everything related to LA’s Miracle Mile – Wilshire Blvd between Fairfax and La Brea. One of our favorite places to visit on the MMRA site is the HISTORY tab – a fun cyber space to explore on a weekend morning over your cup of coffee.
Miracle Mile residents Justin Fields and Christine Haeberman shot current photographs of some of the iconic buildings and familiar corners that make up the Miracle Mile, and posted them alongside images from earlier years in their online exhibition: Miracle Mile: Then & Now Photographs.
Fortunately, many Wilshire Boulevard buildings have not been altered significantly over time, such as the Clem Wilson Building on the corner of La Brea and Wilshire that doesn’t look much different in 1935 from its current incarnation in 2013 as the “Samsung” building.
Other images may break your heart though – such as the Ralph’s Supermarket on Wilshire and Hauser. In the 1930s Ralph’s Grocery was at home in a Spanish Colonial Revival building, complete with a beautifully arched sidewalk arcade and an elegant roofline. It was demolished in the early 1980s and replaced with the behemoth massing of ugly big box architecture that does nothing for the fabled Wilshire Boulevard.
Many thanks to the MMRA and the Fields and Haeberman duo for letting us stroll through the past and appreciate what we have in the Miracle Mile. Some of the 2013 images will themselves become history in the next few years as more change comes to Wilshire with the redesign of the May Company Building, the Petersen Automotive Museum‘s new remodel, the large residential addition being added to the Desmond’s Building, and the loss of the deco Oasis Church building to make way for another residential development. These are only a few of the projects underway that are transforming Wilshire Blvd.