KCET’s website has really become a wonderful cultural and educational resource for our city. It’s one of those destination sites where you are sure to get a deeper dive into subject matter that is both interesting and local.
We thought that our Larchmont Buzz readers would appreciate the KCET/LA as Subject re-discovery of The Miracle Mile’s heyday – when this stretch of Wilshire between La Brea and Fairfax became the fashionable heartbeat of our city.
According to author Nathan Masters, Miracle Mile was actually the second name for this stretch of Wilshire:It was not until 1928 that the Miracle Mile acquired its glamorous appellation. Ross originally gave his development a much less-memorable name: Wilshire Boulevard Center. According to a story — perhaps apocryphal — Ross was describing his vision for the development when a friend interjected: “From the way you talk, A.W., one would think this is really a miracle mile.” The name, with its obvious promotional value, stuck.
For those who have lived in the neighborhood a long, long….long….time, there are likely to be vivid memories of big name retailers conducting business on Wilshire between La Brea and Fairfax. For the rest of us, articles like this one on KCET.org will fill in some gaps. Click on the KCET link and enjoy a trip into the past. The pictures are not to be missed!
KCET.org – How the Miracle Mile Got Its Name: A Brief History of LA’s Unlikely Retail District
This seems like an appropriate time to share this Miracle Mile Video – shot in 1967 and courtesy of Producers Library in North Hollywood…enjoy!
Mary has lived in the Hancock Park area for over 20 years - including homes in Larchmont Village and Windsor Square. Mary has lived in some great places in her life - but none compare to the convenience and majesty of our neighborhood. For Mary, the neighborhood has been a wonderful home to her large, extended family...at one time she had family members living on seven different Hancock Park area blocks! Larchmont Buzz is a labor of love - built to celebrate the neighborhood and to elevate the conversation in the area.
3 thoughts on “Area History: The Miracle Mile’s Retail Past”
Hey, I shopped at Coulter’s, then also when it became the Broadway. We loved Phelps Terkel, Desmond’s amd Silverwood’s. It was SUCH a handy shopping experience for all of us! I go to Kinko’s now and always pause for a nostalgic moment at the DESMOND’S logo in the entranceway sidewalk — Some things ARE forever, I guess!
Our orthodontist was even in the Desmond’s building — the office part — and that was handy for one of our children who went at lunchtime from Cathedral Chapel school. Don’t think that wasn’t handy for a mom.
I do wish we had all those old stores back, along with Bullocks Wilshire and I. Magnin.
Now, shall we discuss Larchmont?
It’s so great to hear your memories of the Miracle Mile in it’s heyday, Iris! I’ve been walking to work – Beverly to La Brea to Wilshire…to end up near Marie Calendars. There are still a lot of architectural gems along the way. The one thing I notice is how many people are now walking along Wilshire in this area…the museums are the new draw. I’ll look for some old Larchmont pictures and maybe you can fill in the details:)
Well, Mary, I will say right now we remember Jurgensen’s (great turkey sandwiches for lunch!), the friendly LarchMart that delivered when you were sick, Mrs. Morris’ baby’s and children’s clothes store, Canterbury Lane putting outfits together for you, Gingham Gardens’ outdoor patio, Mr.Gutstein’s children’s shoes, the Safeway when you just needed a couple of things, Larchmont Hardware which had everything … Also, what was NOT there: parking meters and people with political petitions.