Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

Buzz Publisher Authors New Book on History of Larchmont Blvd.


Starting today, November 30, 2015, you’ll find a new book on the shelves of Chevalier’s Books and other local and online retailers.  It tells the story of our very own Larchmont Boulevard and was authored by our very own Larchmont Buzz co-publisher Patricia Lombard. “Larchmont,” from the “Images of America” series by Arcadia Publishing, presents the history of our favorite small-town-in-the-big-city retail district, using images from the Larchmont Chronicle, Mark Wanamaker’s Bison Archives, the Los Angeles Public Library, and photo collections at USC and UCLA. Much of the information came from local residents who kindly took the time to talk with Lombard and provide photos.

larchmontbookcoversmallAltogether, “Larchmont” showcases 200 vintage images of days gone by, many of which have never before been published.  According to the publisher, “Larchmont Boulevard is more than a street; it is the soul and spine of the surrounding neighborhoods, created in the early 1900s when Los Angeles was just coming into its own.”  The book shows how this unique area developed, starting with its origins in 1921, when the Los Angeles Times reported that developers Julius La Bonte and Charles Ramson had purchased seven lots on Larchmont Boulevard to create a business district of 30 stores between First Street and Beverly Boulevard.  By mid-century, the area was booming. In 1963, journalists Jane Gilman and Dawne Goodwin launched the Larchmont Chronicle, a monthly newspaper that has now detailed daily life on the street for more than 50 years. The Chronicle’s photo archives served as a major source for the book project, providing many of the images from the latter half of the 20th century and more recent times.

Lombard, a longtime freelance writer and community activist, in addition to her current position with the Buzz, is a resident of Fremont Place, where she lives with her family.  She is also a graduate of the University of Florida (where she studied photography), and a Trustee of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.  The NHM Seaver Center for Western History provided a key image of Larchmont that inspired Lombard’s research.

lombard“I hope my book will inspire people to appreciate the unique cultural and architectural heritage of Larchmont,” says Lombard.  “Its wonderful scale of small store fronts owned and operated by local small businesses…create the profound sense of community that we feel lucky to have in the vast city of Los Angeles.”  She also said researching and writing the book “was a wonderful journey that deepened my appreciation for Larchmont and the surrounding neighborhoods. I have also come to appreciate the importance of documenting life on the street as well as goings on in the neighborhood, and hope the Larchmont Buzz will contribute to recording our neighborhood history for the digital age.”

“Larchmont” is available at Chevalier’s Books, other area bookstores, independent retailers, Amazon and other online retailers, or directly through Arcadia Publishing. It would make a perfect gift for any local history buff on your holiday gift list.  There will also be a celebration and book signing, with the author, at Chevalier’s on Tuesday, December 8, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. Everyone is welcome.

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Elizabeth Fuller
Elizabeth Fuller
Elizabeth Fuller was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN but has lived in LA since 1991 - with deep roots in both the Sycamore Square and West Adams Heights-Sugar Hill neighborhoods. She spent 10 years with the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council, volunteers at Wilshire Crest Elementary School, and has been writing for the Buzz since 2015.

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