Private Property sign in foreground with beach behind it | Still from "Access Denied" on SoCal Connected

Then & Now: Arlington and Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard

This is a photo of Arlington and what is now MLK Boulevard near Leimert Park. Look at the northwest corner. You'll see a Gilmore Gas station, owned by the Gilmore family. Talk about luck and timing! Imagine owning a dairy farm at turn of the century. You're drilling for water only to discover OIL right when L.A.'s car culture was about to go from zero to 50. A few decades later you've got 3500 independently owned gas stations up and down the west coast.The Gilmores were natural promoters. They built a raceway, sponsored car races, contests, radio shows, comic books, and even had a traveling circus. With a lion as their mascot, they hired a pilot to fly in an open cockpit plane with a lion cub in the back seat safely equipped with a parachute.

In 1945 the Gilmores sold their enterprise to Mobil Oil. So Gilmore gas is now "Nomore" gas. Alas. But you can still see their classic cream and red pumps at the Farmer's Market on 3rd and Fairfax, close to where it all began.

Our thanks to the Automobile Club of Southern California Archives for sharing this photo of Arlington and what was then Santa Barbara. Photos of Gilmore Field, the Gilmore Gas Station at Wilshire and La Brea, and the Gilmore Settlers Parade Wagon are courtesy of the L.A. Public Library.

Use the slider below to compare then and now.

 
before
 
after

Get the free PBS App

Full Episodes

Upcoming Airdates

Fire Station 9

Take a rare behind-the-scenes look inside the busiest fire station in the country, where firefighters act as both primary care providers and emergency responders for the nearly 5,000 people living on Skid Row.

  • 2020-10-28T22:00:00-07:00
    KCET-HD

Heat

How hot will your neighborhood get? "SoCal Connected" looks at the ground-level effects of climate change on southern California.

  • 2020-11-04T21:00:00-08:00
    KCET-HD
  • 2020-11-07T11:00:00-08:00
    KCET-HD

The New Normal

California's wildfires are more severe and deadlier than ever before. Debates are raging as to what to do, who will pay for billions of dollars in damage and what can be done to lessen the destruction as California adjusts to its new normal: year-around fire.

  • 2020-11-11T21:00:00-08:00
    KCET-HD

Under the Influence

Influencers - they are powerful, persuasive, and they are everywhere. Marketers use them to reach you, to form what you buy, how you live, and what you do. You may not know it, but you could be living under the influence.

  • 2020-11-18T21:00:00-08:00
    KCET-HD