Photos: When Trolley Tracks Ran Through Southland Beaches | KCET
Photos: When Trolley Tracks Ran Through Southland Beaches
Trolleys once rivaled the crashing surf in the soundscape of Southland beaches. Along much of the Southern California coast from Santa Monica to Redondo and from Long Beach to Newport, a red dot -- a distant Pacific Electric car -- would appear down the shore. As it neared, the click-clack of the wheels moving over the wooden ties, the squeal of steel on steel, and the monotonous clanging of the bell would temporarily overwhelm the Pacific's roar.
They might have been somewhat of a sonic nuisance (though no worse, perhaps, than automobile highways), but in the early twentieth century, trolleys were an essential transportation link between populated inland areas and the coast. Indeed, many beach cities were born of trolley lines.
The opening of Abbot Kinney's Venice of America coincided with the arrival of an electric car line. In the early days of Manhattan Beach, real estate sharks circled the seaside development's trolley station, waiting for prospective homebuyers to disembark. And one Orange County beach town so owed its existence to interurban trolley lines that it named itself after the region's preeminent trolley magnate, Henry Huntington.
At 75 years old, Graciela Iturbide refuses to slow down. In the coming months two exhibitions in Southern California will feature her iconic work, plus her own biography will take on graphic novel form and published by the Getty.
Nearly a decade later, public policy professionals and academics have worked to unravel the complex factors that led to the 2008 housing crisis and why minorities and women proved particularly vulnerable.
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