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Los Angeles, California

City of Angels

Los Angeles in California, has all kinds of sights and attractions, here we only mention those that are related to Route 66 such as the motels, neon signs, hotels, some key historic landmarks the city's first freeways and U.S. 66's alignments through L.A. Below we list the principal sights:

Classic Route 66 motels, Landmarks and Signs in Los Angeles

Los Angeles CA

< Head West
"End of the Road" Santa Monica ¦ Beverly Hills ¦ West Hollywood

 

About Los Angeles California

Facts, Trivia and useful information

Elevation: 308 ft (94 m). Population 4,030,904 (2016).
Time zone: Pacific (MST): UTC minus 8 hours. Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7).

Los Angeles, also known by its initials, L.A., is a city located Route 66 in Los Angeles County in southern California. It is the second largest metropolitan area in the US with nearly 18 million residents. (Map of Los Angeles).

S Broadway and 7th St. Los Angeles nowadays, this was the 1926-36 terminus of Route 66 in downtown L.A.

S Broadway and 7th St. Los Angeles nowadays
View of S Broadway and 7th St. Los Angeles nowadays
Static Image by Google Street View
Click on image for Interactive Google Street View

Striking contrast: cars, trams, a lot of people, but the same buildings and the "Sprekles..." sign though faded and ghostly, is still there on the wall:

Antique ca. 1940s postcard view of the S. Broadway and 7th St. Los Angeles

Antique ca. 1940s postcard view of the S. Broadway and 7th St. Los Angeles
Antique ca. 1940s postcard view of the S. Broadway and 7th St. in Los Angeles, California, by

The history of Los Angeles

This area has been inhabited for over 10,000 years, and there were several native groups such as the Cahuilla, Tongva people in the mountins and the Chumash along the coast when Spanish explorer Juan Cabrillo reached the area in 1542, anchoring in what is now San Pedro.

The area was explored in the late 1700s and the Mission San Gabriel Archangel was established by the Franciscans in 1771. The town which became L.A. was founded in 1781 and named El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora Reina de los Ángeles de la Porciuncula "The Town of Our Lady Queen of the Angels" at a strategic site next to the Los Angeles River. It was a part of the "Alta California" (Upper California) province of the Spanish Mexican Viceroyalty of Nueva España.

Mexico won its independence from Spain in 1821 and during the 1830s the goverment nationalized most of the Mission's land, granting it to Mexican citizens. The Mexican - American war of 1846-48 led to Mexico's defeat and the cession of California (and most of what is now America's Southwest) to the U.S. and California became a state in 1850, Los Angeles incorporated as a city that same year.

L.A. grew slowly and in the 1870 took on San Francisco to become the main port and railroad hub in California. The port of San Pedro was built and L.A. city limits expanded to include it.

Oil was discovered in 1892, the city grew incorporating other districts (like Hollywood) and built an aqueduct to provide drinking water.

The film making industry moved to L.A. from New York to take advantage of the sunny California weather, ideal for filming and centered around the foothills in Hollywood.

The Name, Los Angeles

Portolás 1769 expedition discovered and named the Los Angeles River on the day of Nuestra Señora de los Angeles de Porciúncula (Our Lady of the Angels of Portiuncula -the odd name is that of a chapel in Assisi, Italy.

When the town was founded it was named after the river as "Reina de los Angeles" (Queen of Angels), but Pueblo de Los Angeles stuck (town of Los Angeles).

National Old Trails Highway (N.O.T.) in Los Angeles

By the early 1900s, the use of the automobile began to grow and by 1910 it had increased considerably. That led to the creation of the National Old Trails (N.O.T.) Association to promote a decent highway between New York and Los Angeles. The road was built and left L.A. along Huntington Ave. northeast towards Pasadena, and from there eastbound to San Bernardino

Route 66 is created

Route 66 was established 1926 and was aligned along the N.O.T. highway into South Pasadena. Route 66 would go through many changes in its alignment, both east and west over the following years which we describe below: (US 66 in Los Angeles).

The Los Angeles freeway system which began in 1940, with the Arroyo Seco Parkway would impact on Route 66 -which was aligned along it until it was decomissioned here in 1964.

Arroyo Seco

Arroyo Seco (Spanish for "Dry Stream") is a temporary river that is almost 25 mi. long (40 km) running from the San Gabriel Mountains to its confluence with the Los Angeles River.

It was a natural route from Los Angeles to Pasadena and was used by the railroad, the electric trolley and the Arroyo Seco Parkway, the first freeway in LA, was built in 1940 as a parkway next to the Arroyo Seco which had been recently channeled.

More freeways were built (like the "Hollywood Freeway", along which Route 66 was aligned in 1953) and after 1956 the Interstate highway system was built. Starting in 1964, Route 66 began to be replaced by the freeways in Los Angeles

Where to Lodge in Los Angeles

Lodging in Los Angeles

>> Book your hotel in Los Angeles.

More Lodging near Los Angeles along Route 66

Motels and Hotels close to Los Angeles, California

Heading West... Hotels & Motels in California...

Heading East.... In California

Book your Route 66 hotel now
Book your Hotel along Route 66

>> Check out the RV campground near Los Angeles, in Pomona

Weather in Los Angeles

The climate in Los Angeles is a Hot Summer Mediterranean one. Rather dry and hot in summer but cool and wet during winter (which can bring heavy rains), proximity to the ocean has a moderating effect on the daily temperature swings.

The January night temperature can be quite cool. Spring is warm and Summers are hot, with high temperatures extending into October which brings a short Fall, cool and hot, erratic.

Los Angeles has some 290 sunny days each year and during fall (autumn) strong dry winds blow from the desert (Santa Ana winds) drying out the area and increasing the risk of wildfires in the foothills.

The summer average high is 92°F (33°C) and the average low is 68°F (19°C).

During winter the average high is (Jan) 71°F (21°C) and the average low is 49°F (9°C) in winter, the peaks of the San Gabriel Mountains receive snow, and may very rarely fall in Los Angeles. You may occasionally experience some frost during winter (Dec. to Mar.)

Rainfall averages 21 in. per year (535 mm), most rain falls during the period from November to April, the rest of the year less than 0.5 in. falls monthly. There are 43.8 rainy days yearly.

Route 66 and Los Angeles, CA
Location of Los Angeles on the Old Route 66

Tornado risk

Los Angeles is located on the Pacific Ocean and well beyond the Rocky Montains (which are the western limit for tornados) so there is no risk of tornados in the city.

Tornado Risk: read more about Tornado Risk along Route66.
 

Getting to Los Angeles

You can reach Los Angeles along old Route 66 or via Interstate 10, 15, 5, 215, 610, US 101 or state higways 110 and 134. All of them are freeways.

Map of Route 66 in Los Angeles

, California.

The map below shows the alignment of Route 66 near Los Angeles and the color key is for Los Angeles only. It is the following:
(for the other parts of the map, check the color key of the map of the corresponding city)

Blue: The 1926 to 1931 alignment of Route 66 into downtown Los Angeles.
Orange: The 1931 - 34 alignment along Mission St. and Pasadena Ave.
Green: The 1935 alignment through Eagle Rock.
Red: The 1936 - 39 alignment along N Figueroa St. -later named US 66 Alt.
Pale Blue: The 1936⁄1940 - 1964 Route 66 through Los Angeles via the Arroyo Seco Parkway and then (after 1949 along the Hollywood freeway and Santa Monica Blvd.)
Brown: The 1936 - 1949 alignment along Sunset Blvd.

See Route 66's alignment in California Map

  Click to See the Los Angeles alignment (Western CA: the road from "Devore to Santa Monica")

Remove or restore State shading
 

Google Maps. Terms. Icons.

Route 66's alignment in California: the Historic Route 66 through Los Angeles

Route 66 logo

Route 66 across California

U.S. Route 66 does not have any Byway or Historic designation in California despite having long sections of original roadbed between Needles and Santa Monica (like this one).

Click on the following link for an overview of Route 66 across the state of California.

Below you will find detailed information on Old Route 66 in Los Angeles

Sights and Attractions in Los Angeles, California

What to Do, Places to See

The Big Orange

Los Angeles and its Route 66 attractions

Los Angeles has so many sights that we cannot list them all. Below are some of the Key Route 66 attractions, historic sites and must-see landmarks:
In Downtown Los Angeles: the Los Angeles City Hall, the Historic Broadway Theater and Commercial District and The 1926 Terminus of Route 66.
Route 66 motels: Lincoln Park Motel, The Motel de Ville, The Starlite Motor Hotel, The Paradise Motel Hollywood La Brea Hotel, Former Temple View Travelodge, Casa Lu-An Motel, Eagle Rock Travelodge, Albert's Motel, Rose Bowl Motel and the former Pueblo Motel & Dining Room
Landmarks: Cindy's Diner Sign, Chicken Boy - giant statue, "Shed" style gas station,Olivera Street and Chinatown. In Hollywood: Griffith Observatory, the Hollywood Sign and the Chinese Theatre.

The size of the city and the different courses adopted by U.S. 66 over the years make it hard to follow one single itinerary to see the different attractions along the Mother Road in L.A.; for this reason we describe them along each alignment into Los Angeles:

Get your Kicks in Los Angeles

"Route Sixty-six": is an emblematic song that immortalized Route 66 in the minds of several generations as an iconic Road Trip, a journey where the traveler can get his kicks, enjoying and savoring the moment and the freedom of riding the Mother Road. It was written by Bobby Troup in 1946 and since then, it has been a hit evoked by all those who have driven (or dream about driving along) Route 66.

Read More: Get your Kicks on Route 66, full details on the song and its context.

The song mentions Los Angeles using its abbreviation, LA:

If you ever plan to motor west,
Travel my way, take the highway that is best.
Get your kicks on Route sixty-six.

It winds from Chicago to LA...

Words and Music by Bobby Troup, Copyright 1946. London Music.

The Eagle Rock Alignment

This was the 1935 alignment which we describe below (it is shown in Green: in the Map above).

The name: Eagle Rock

Eagle Rock is named after a mountain which the Spanish called "Piedra Gorda" or "Fat Rock". It got its present name from a native Tngva myth about an eagle that was punished by the Sun god for clutching an infant, and turned to stone.

Casa Lu-An Motel

1045 Colorado Blvd. Eagle Rock

This is a classic Route 66 motel and it is still operating under the original name. The 1940s post card below tells us that it was located on "1045 Colorado Blvd. (U.S. 66 Alt. & Cal. 11 & 134) Los Angeles 41 (Eagle Rock) .... A new, 14 unit, fully carpeted "roomy" motel with glass-door, full-tile showers or tubs. Fully equipped kitchens. Near good restaurants. Owner operated."

You can Book a Room in the Casa Lu-An Motel

Casa Lu-An Motel

Casa Lu-An Motel in Los Angeles, Route 66 California
View of Casa Lu-An Motel in Los Angeles, CA
Static Image by Google Street View
Click on image for Interactive Google Street View

The motel's building looks almost the same, the old sign of course, has been changed for a more-modern one (which is a pity).

Antique ca. 1950s postcard view of the Casa Lu-An Motel

Antique postcard view of the Casa Lu-An Motel
Antique postcard view of the Casa Lu-An Motel on Route 66 in Los Angeles, California, by

Albert's Motel, now the Islander Motel

1460 Colorado Blvd., Eagle Rock

The Albert's Motel is still open and now is the Islander Motel, they have kept the round sign on the corner building and also have an interesting neon motel sign.

The post card's back informed "... Healthiest spot in LOS ANGELES. Near all points of interest. 10 minutes to Hollywood. On State Hwy. 134, 1/2 mile west of U. S. Hwy. 66. Single rooms or complete, cozy apartments for 1 or 6 persons. Daily maid service. Closed garages. Free recreation grounds. An ideal spot for a vacation or honeymoon retreat...Mr. Albert, Owner and Manager".

the Islander Motel (former Albert's Motel)

the Islander Motel (former Albert's Motel) in Los Angeles, Route 66 California
View of the Islander Motel (former Albert's Motel) in Los Angeles, CA
Static Image by Google Street View
Click on image for Interactive Google Street View

Antique ca. 1950s postcard view of the Albert's Motel (now the Islander Motel)

Antique postcard view of the Albert's Motel (now the Islander Motel)
Antique postcard view of the Albert's Motel (now the Islander Motel) on Route 66 in Los Angeles, California, by

Cindy's Diner Sign

Sign

1500 Colorado Blvd. Eagle Rock

This is a typical American diner and has a retro style to it. A place to eat hamburgers and pancakes.

Its sign is a classic Route 66 sign and you can see it below.

The Rose Bowl Motel neon sign

The Rose Bowl Motel neon sign
Rose Bowl Motel sign
Route 66 in Eagle Rock,
Los Angeles, California, by

Cindy's Diner Sign

Cindy's Diner Sign in Los Angeles, Route 66 California
View of Cindy's Diner Sign in Los Angeles, CA
Static Image by Google Street View
Click on image for Interactive Google Street View

Rose Bowl Motel

1529 Colorado Blvd, Los Angeles

You can Book a Room in the Rose Bowl Motel

Above is a photo of its neon sign.

Continue west along Colorado Blvd.

Welcome Inn, Former Eagle Rock Travelodge

1840 Colorado Blvd. Eagle Rock

The old Eagle Rock TraveLodge is still operating as a motel, but now it is the Welcome Inn (nice wordplay).

The postcard tells us that it was "A '50 constructed, 24 unit, nicely furnished, fully carpeted motel with tubs or tile showers. Some kitchenettes. Close to Good Restaurants".

Its two floor "L" shaped layout has survived untouched:

the Welcome Inn, Former Travelodge at Eagle Rock

the Welcome Inn, Former Travelodge at Eagle Rock in Los Angeles, Route 66 California
View of the Welcome Inn, Former Travelodge at Eagle Rock in Los Angeles, CA
Static Image by Google Street View
Click on image for Interactive Google Street View

Antique ca. 1950s postcard view of the Travelodge at Eagle Rock now the Welcome Inn

Antique postcard view of the Travelodge at Eagle Rock now the Welcome Inn
Antique postcard view of the Travelodge at Eagle Rock now the Welcome Inn on Route 66 in Los Angeles, California, by

Pueblo Motel & Dining Room

1750 Colorado Blvd

This former motel and restaurant is now a hot dog shop. You can see it in a vintage postcard, and compare it with its current Street View.

Notice the building to the right which also appears in the postcard. The serrated cornice on the right corner is still there, but the original sign has gone. The postcard from the 1940s tells us: "... A lovely 42 unit motel with Coffee Shop and Dining Room in connection. Full-Tile Showers; Garages; Free Radios. Television in Lobby. Cafe Open 7 A.M. until 10 P.M. Sleep "Off the Highway"". An intersting closing comment!

This ends the Eagle Rock tour, you can head back to N Figueroa St. and head south towards L.A, our second itinerary:

The N. Figueroa St. Alignment: Alt US 66

This was the 1936-39 alignment which we describe below (it is shown in Red in the Map above), which later became US 66 Alt. until 1964.

Head south along N. Figueroa St.

Eagle Rock Motel

7041 North Figueroa, Eagle Rock

The Eagle Rock Motel
View of the Eagle Rock Motel
Static Image by Google Street View
Click on image for Interactive Google Street View

We have not been able to find confirmation on the age of this motel. But it is probably an 1950s building. You can Book a Room in this Motel.

Old Service Station

6600 N Figueroa St.

Just ahead, is a former Service Station, now a repair garage, with a flat roofed canopy over the single double pump filling area. No clues to as what brand it sold. Old gas station street view.

Chicken Boy

Route 66 Kitsch and Americana

5558 N Figueroa St. Highland Park

This "Statue of Liberty of Los Angeles" is a statue placed on the rooftop of a Design Studio and Gallery. It has a human body and a chicken's head that measures 22 ft. tall (6.7 m).

It dates back to the 1960s when it was the sign of a restaurant that sold fried chicken, located on Broadway, LA. It was an adapted big-man fiberglass statue onto which the chicken's head was placed. More recently it was moved to its present location.

The Chicken Boy

The Chicken Boy in Los Angeles, Route 66 California
View of The Chicken Boy in Los Angeles, CA
Static Image by Google Street View
Click on image for Interactive Google Street View

Continue southwards to see a very old and unusual style for a service station:

The former shed sytle gas station
View of the shed style gas station
Static Image by Google Street View
Click on image for Interactive Google Street View

"Shed" style gas station

4532 North Figueroa, Los Angeles

The firsts gas stations appeared in the 1910s and were a small shed with the pumps located in front on a gravel drive. This is one of those curbside stations. It has a hip roof and is very close to the sidewalk, surrounded by parking area, now fenced in. It appears in a 1920 and its 1950 reprint of the Sanborn Fire Insurance Co. map of L.A.

Route 66 Marker

NE corner of 26th Ave. and N Figueroa St.

See the City of Los Angeles marker "Historic Route 66, Circa 1934 to 1941", it is on the traffic light post. Street view.

This ends the Figueroa St. tour, you can continue along Figueroa St. and drive onto the Arroyo Seco Parkway for our third itinerary:

Arroyo Seco Parkway Alignment

This was the 1940-1964 alignment which we describe below (it is shown in Pale Blue in the Map above), this is the northern part, into South Pasadena and Pasadena.

This is the Map with directions. Simply head south along the Freeway cross the "Four Level Interchange". Here Route 66 took a right, along US 101. But keep southbound, then leave the freeway and return northbound, you can drive the whole Parkway until it ends, south of Pasadena. The trip in itself is "the" attraction:

Arroyo Seco Parkway

Listed in the National Register of Historic Places. National Civil Engineering Landmark. National Scenic Byway. California Historic Parkway.

The use of automobiles in LA had grown considerably in the 1920s so the city evolved and planned its layout around the car. This led to the First Freeway in the West being built in 1940.

It was a blend of "freeway" and "parkway". The freeway elements are the graded overpasses, the high-speed and limited-access road with on and off ramps. The parkway design can be seen in the landscaping and the fact that it ran through a parkland (ie.e Elysian Park).

It had 6 lanes and was designed for 27,000 automobiles per day (it now carries over 120,000 cars daily).

Several bridges and the four Figueroa Street tunnels for northbound traffic were built in Art Deco style. There are four bridges that predate the Parkway: The 1895 Santa Fe Arroyo Seco Railroad Bridge, the 1912 York Boulevard Bridge, the 1925 Avenue 26 Bridge, and the 1926 Avenue 60 Bridge.

Trucks were banned in 1943 and in 1953 it was extended to the Four-Level Interchange in downtown L.A. The following year it was renamed Pasadena Freeway.

It became the alignment of Route 66 and the old route along Colorado Blvd. and Figueroa St. became Route 66 Alt. It was this freeway carried travellers into Los Angeles during World War II and it set the example followed around the world for freeway construction.

The Arroyo Seco Parkway is California State Route 110 and runs from the interchange with U.S. 101 in downtown Los Angeles (mile post 23.69) to East Glenarm St. in Pasadena (mile post 31.89).

Arroyo Seco Parkway

Arroyo Seco Parkway in Los Angeles, Route 66 California
View of the Arroyo Seco Parkway in Los Angeles, CA
Static Image by Google Street View
Click on image for Interactive Google Street View

Vintage 1940s photo of that same spot on the Arroyo Seco Parkway

Antique photo of an accident on Arroyo Seco Parkway
Vintage photo on Arroyo Seco Parkway, Route 66 in Los Angeles, California, by

Now you can head back to Los Angeles (after visiting South Pasadena's attractions) via the original 1926 toi 1931 alignment of Route 66:

The 1926 - 1931 Alignment into L.A.

This is the first alignment of Route 66 into Los Angeles

See its description below (it is shown in Blue: in the Map above).

Drive south along Fair-Oaks Ave. past its downtown and south until meeting Huntington Drive, here it take a right and follow it until reaching N. Mission Rd. and then another right along North Broadway which will take you into downtown Los Angeles, becoming S Broadway and reaching 7th. Street which was the original ending point of Route 66. Its attractions are:

Lincoln Park Motel

2101 Parkside Ave. Los Angeles

On the NW corner at Misson Rd. and the 1926 alignment US 66 in Lincoln Heights is this motel which formerly was the Luna Park Auto Court, ca. 1920s. It is an auto court in design as it has individual cabins separated by a roofed garage area. Neat with gabled roofs and a central courtyard.

You can Book a Room in the Lincoln Park Motel

Movie Location: Pearl Harbor

The 2001 film "Pearl Harbor" directed by Michael Bay and starring Ben Affleck, Kate Beckinsale, Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Alec Baldwin, had a scene shot in this motel.

It was portrayed as the "Haleiwi Motor Court" and Evelyn (Kate Beckinsal) tells Rafe (Ben Affleck) that she is pregnant. You can see the scene showing the motel in this video.

Lincoln Park Motel

Lincoln Park Motel in Los Angeles, Route 66 California
View of the Lincoln Park Motel in Los Angeles, CA
Static Image by Google Street View
Click on image for Interactive Google Street View

As the road approaches central L.A., it passes through Chinatown:

Chinatown

Chinatown is a neighborhood of Los angeles (See map).

Many of the Chinese that had been hired in Guangdong (Canton) province to build the Central Pacific Railroad in the 1860s settled in Los Angeles near what is now the Union Station and Chinatown was born around 1880 expanding until property ownership and citizenship laws restricted furhter growth. It later declined into a sordid district with opium dens and gambling houses. The residents were finally evicted to make room for the new railway station.

The New Chinatown was created in the mid 1940s but by the late 1950s the restrictive legislation was eliminated. Chinese were now free to settle wherever they chose to.

Chinatown gateway and City Hall, looking west along N Broadway

Chinatown gateway and City Hall, looking west along N Broadway, Los Angeles, Route 66 California
Chinatown gateway and City Hall, looking west along N Broadway, Los Angeles CA now
Static Image by Google Street View
Click on image for Interactive Google Street View

At W. Cesar E Chavez Ave, take a left towards Main Street to visit the famous Olivera Street, just two blocks away:

Olivera Street

Olivera Street in Los Angeles
View of Olivera Street, Los Angeles
Static Image by Google Street View
Click on image for Interactive Google Street View

Part of El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Monument

Olivera Street, Los Angeles (Map with Location).

This was the original townsite where Los Angeles was founded and the old town's city center and plaza was located next to it, the 1818 Avila Adobe is here too.

Originally named Wine St. it was renamed in 1877 to honor the first Superior Court Judge of L.A. County Agustín Olivera.

The street was restored due to Sterling's efforts in 1928, creating a Mexican marketplace on this pedestrian street originally named "Paseo de Los Angeles", a romanticized recreation of the "old" Los Angeles.

Head back to Broadway and keep on towards the center of the city:

Downtown Los Angeles

The original Route 66 approached the central district of L.A. along Broadway, where many iconic buildings survive:

Los Angeles City Hall

200 N. Spring Street, to your left, one block away, across the Grand Park.

Built in 1928 and recently seismically stabilized and restored, it was designed in "Modern American" style by architects, John Parkinson, Albert C. Martin, and John C. Austin.

Its crowning stepped pyramid is its outstanding Art Deco feature.

Broadway Theater and Commercial District

Listed in the National Register of Historic Places

Broadway between 2nd and 9th Streets.

Los Angeles Theatre in Los Angeles
View of the "Los Angeles Theatre"
Static Image by Google Street View
Click on image for Interactive Google Street View

this area was residential until the early 1900s when it boomed into a commercial and entertainment district and Broadway the main street in town.

It became a theatrical center after 1910 with luxurious theaters which were the venues of premiers for the Hollywood movie industry.

Route 66's original terminus was located on Broadway and 7th Street. Below we list some of its main buildings:

  • Million dollar Theatre (307 S. Broadway - 1918) a movie palace. Recently restored.
  • Roxie Theatre (518 S. Broadway - 1931) Art Deco building. Lobby is nowadays a retail store.
  • Arcade Theatre (534 S. Broadway - 1910) its lobby is currently a retail store.
  • Cameo Theatre (528 S. Broadway -1910) closed in 1991, now it is a retail store.
  • Lerner's (533 S. Broadway - 1931), a women's clothing store buitl in Art Deco Style.
  • Los Angeles Theatre (615 S. Broadway - 1931) a movie palace in lavish ornate style.

The western terminus of Route 66 (1926 -36)

Route 66 Attraction

Ezat Delijani Square on Broadway and 7th. St.

Route 66 ended at this point, its "Western Terminus" from 1926, when it was created until 1936 when it was extended to Santa Monica (Read about The Western Terminus of Route 66 1936-1964). This was the heart of Los Angeles.

There is a sign on the NW corner, marking the spot.

The sign marking the 1926 Terminus of Route 66
Upper left part of the image

The 1926 Terminus of Route 66 in Los Angeles, Route 66 California
View of sign marking the 1926 Terminus of Route 66 in Los Angeles, CA
Static Image by Google Street View
Click on image for Interactive Google Street View

The name, Ezat Delijani remembers a philanthropist who helped revitalize four historic downtown movie palaces.

There are many hotels and motels in Los Angeles, we will mention only two. Head south along S. Broadway for 3 blocks and take a right along W Olympic Blvd., just six blocks away, on the NW corner of South Figueroa St. is a classic hotel: (this is the Map of this circuit).

Hotel Figueroa

939 S Figueroa St. Los Angeles

This is a classic motel and you can see its present appearance below, and how it was depicted in a 50s postcard, with a "modern car" and a mosaic-tiled pool.

The Figueroa Hotel vintage postcard

The Figueroa Hotel in a 1950s postcard
Figueroa Hotelel vintage postcard
,
Los Angeles, California, by

Present day view Figueroa Hotel

The Figueroa Hotel today
View of Hotel Figueroa nowadays
Static Image by Google Street View
Click on image for Interactive Google Street View

Take a right along S Figueroa St. and a left along 7th St., head west, and after crossing the Harbor Freeway (CA-110) you will reach another classic motel:

The Motel de Ville

1123 West 7th St., Los Angeles

You can Book a Room in the Americas Best Value Inn

The former "Motel De Ville" is still open and receiving guests as the "Americas Best Value Inn". The postcard (below) announced that it wass "Located in 'Downtown' Los Angeles at the Hub of all Freeways", and we can see that it has not changed too much: The Commodore Hotel building with the rooftopo sign is still htere (though now it offers apartments), and the current Americas Best Value Inn sign with a crown-like appearance can also be seen in the postcard, but now set on the rooftop. The original sign on 7th Sts. is also still there. The furniture looks great in the postcard.

The Motel de Ville nowadays is the Americas Best Value Inn

The Motel de Ville in Los Angeles today: Americas Best Value Inn, Route 66 California
View of the former Motel de Ville in Los Angeles, CA
Static Image by Google Street View
Click on image for Interactive Google Street View

Antique ca. early 1960s postcard view of The Motel de Ville

Antique postcard view of The Motel de Ville
Antique postcard view of The Motel de Ville on Route 66 in Los Angeles, California, by

Bonus oldie Motel

Close by is another vintage motel and its Now and Then views: the California Redwood Lodge Motel (906 S. Alvarado St.) in a vintage postcard and present street view.

Sunset Boulevard

The US 66 alignment 1936 - 1953

Now head to your next itinerary, along Sunset Boulevard (See how to get there -map).

The drive along Sunset Boulevard is 3.6 miles long (Map with directions). As you drive across CA-110 Freeway, look towards your left to see the Four Level Interchange.

Four Level Interchange (Bill Keene Memorial Interchange)

It was the first stack interchange in the world and links three freeways (Arroyo Seco - Harbor, Holywood and Santa Ana Freeways). It was finished in 1949 and fully operational in 1953.

Just one block ahead (0.2 mi.), to your left is the Paradise Motel:

The Paradise Motel

1116 Sunset Blvd. Los Angeles

The Paradise Motel on Sunset Blvd was built in the mid 1940s very close to downtown L.A., and is still open under the same name. Don't miss its purple neon sign.

Its postcard proclaimed that it was "In the center of L.A. and Everything... All super highways lead to Grand Junction and the Paradise Motel - one block north".

The Paradise Motel

The Paradise Motel in Los Angeles, Route 66 California
View of The Paradise Motel in Los Angeles, CA
Static Image by Google Street View
Click on image for Interactive Google Street View

The Texaco service station on the corner has gone and the neighborhood is more built up, but the "L" shaped layout of the motel remains untouched.

Antique ca. 1940s postcard view of The Paradise Motel

Antique postcard view of The Paradise Motel
Antique 1940s postcard view of The Paradise Motel on Route 66 in Los Angeles, California, by

Continue along Sunset for 1.9 miles and you will reach the Olive Motel:

Olive Motel

2751 Sunset Blvd. Los Angeles

The Olive Motel dates back to 1946. It has a "L" shaped layout in Streamline Moderne style. Its neon sign is a classic.

It was the site of a 2007 murder of a 15-year old and is located on the Route 66 alignment that existed between 1936 and the completion of the Hollywood Freeway (1953).

The Olive Motel

The Olive Motel in Los Angeles, Route 66 California
View of The Olive Motel in Los Angeles, CA
Static Image by Google Street View
Click on image for Interactive Google Street View

Head along Sunset until you reach Santa Monica Blvd. which is the end of our itinerary, you can return via Sunset, or head west along Santa Monica Blvd. to continue your trip to the western part of Los Angeles, or return downtown along the Hollywood Freeway, option which we describe below:

Hollywood Cemetery

6076 Santa Monica Blvd.

To your right, is a landscaped green area where many stars and celebrities rest, including Rudolph Valentino.

The Hollywood Freeway

Head west along Santa Monica Blvd. and take a left onto the Hollywood Freeway, into downtown LA (See map with directions). This is a 6.2 mile drive to the LA City Hall, and it takes you across the Four Level Interchange on US-101.

Hollywood Freeway

It was planned in 1924 to link downtown L.A. with the San Fernando Valley in the north. The section along which Route 66 was aligned opened in 1954. It carries plenty of traffic and is, after the Arroyo Seco Parkway, the second oldest freeway in the city. It is now part of US 101 north of the Four Level Interchange, but until 1964, Route 66 also ran along it until Santa Monica Blvd.

You can exit at Exit 5B to visit the former Starlite Motor Motel (only 0.3 mi. away - See map with directions):

The Starlite Motor Hotel

250 tan. Silverlake Blvd

The Starlite Motor Hotel is still open as a motel, it is the Silver Lake Hotel of the Quality Inn chain.

This is an imposing structure, with a "V" shaped three story building overlooking both Smilax St. and Silverlake Blvd. which could be seen from the Freeway with its (now gone) neon sign perched on the roof.

You can Book a Room in the Silver Lake Hotel

The former Starlite Motor Hotel now Silver Lake Hotel

The Starlite Motor Hotel in Los Angeles, Route 66 California
View of The Starlite Motor Hotel in Los Angeles, CA
Static Image by Google Street View
Click on image for Interactive Google Street View

Antique ca. late 1950s postcard view of The Starlite Motor Hotel

Antique postcard view of The Starlite Motor Hotel
Antique postcard view of The Starlite Motor Hotel on Route 66 in Los Angeles, California, by

The journey ends at downtown L.A.

Western Los Angeles on Route 66

Route 66 took a left along Santa Monica Blvd. through the Hollywood district of the city before passing through two other, separately incoporated towns: West Hollywood and, right next to it, Beverly Hills.

Los Angeles city appears once again, between Beverly Hills and the last town on Route 66, Santa Monica, and it is this segment and the Hollywood segment that we describe below:

Hollywood

This is a 2.1 mile segment along Santa Monica Blvd. from US-101 to West Hollywood city limits between N. Sycamore Ave and N. La Brea Ave., Map of the segment,

Los Angeles has hundreds of attractions and landmarks, many exotic or interesting sights but we will focus on a few, close to Route 66 or that can give you a great view of the City:

When you reach Hollywood as you drive along Route 66 - Santa Monica Blvd., take a right along N. La Brea Ave. and drive 1 mile to reach Hollywood Blvd. there is a classic hotel, the Chinese Theatre and the Hollywood Walk of Fame along Hollywood Blvd. (Map with directions):

Hollywood La Brea Motor Hotel

7110 Hollywood Blvd. Los Angeles

The postcard below, from the 1940s announces it as "BEST IN THE WEST... 1 block to Grauman's Chinese Theatre - Heart of Hollywood. TV and Telephone in Rooms." In those days it was a Motor Hotel, it is still opereating as a Hotel to this day.

Its streamline moderne style has survived relatively unchanged (the canopy over the drive in has gone) but the ribbed facade is still there. The new sign is a retro-looking one, which fits in neatly with Route 66; the palm tree in front of it has grown taller too. Compare postcard with present view below:

You can Book a Room in the Hollywood La Brea Hotel

Hollywood La Brea Hotel.

Hollywood La Brea Hotel in Los Angeles, Route 66 California
View of Hollywood La Brea Hotel in Los Angeles, CA
Static Image by Google Street View
Click on image for Interactive Google Street View

Antique ca. 1940s postcard view of Hollywood La Brea Hotel

Antique postcard view of Hollywood La Brea Hotel
Antique postcard view of Hollywood La Brea Hotel on Route 66 in Los Angeles, California, by

Take a right along Hollywood Blvd. and park your car.

Chinese Theatre in Hollywood

Chinese Theatre, Static Image by Google Street View
Click on image to enlarge

TCL Chinese Theatre

Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument

6925 Hollywood Blvd. Hollywood, Los Angeles, map with directions

This movie theatre (now has 3D Imax projectors) was built in 1927 in an opulent oriental pagoda style, it opened as Grauman's Chinese Theatre.

Star Wars premiered here in 1977.

Don't miss the concrete blocks in the court which record the signatures, footprints, and handprints of almost 200 popular movie stars since the 1920s.

The Hollywood Walk of Fame

There are over 2,500 five-pointed stars embedded in the sidewalk along fifteen blocks of Hollywood Blvd. with the stars, The Hollywood Walk of Fame comprises more than 2,500 five-pointed terrazzo and brass stars embedded in the sidewalks along 15 blocks of Hollywood Boulevard and three blocks

Return to Route 66 and drive through both West Hollywood and, right next to it, Beverly Hills, to reach L.A. once again:

West Los Angeles

This is the segment of Route 66 that runs through L.A. between the cities of Beverly Hills and Santa Monica, this is the Map of the segment, which is 3.6 miles long and begins in the east, on Heath Ave. and ends in the west on Centinela Ave. in the West, crossing the Century City and West Los Angeles neighborhoods of Los Angeles City.

Former Temple View Travelodge now Azul Inn

10740 Santa Monica Blvd. Los Angeles

The postcard shown below tells us: "Temple View Travelodge Near the Mormon Temple, centrally located. 57 Modern Units, wall to wall carpeting. Some Kitchenettes. Television and Radios. Room Phone Service. Heated Pool", all that you could possibly need in the 1950s.

Antique ca. 1950s postcard view of the Temple View Travelodge Motel

Antique postcard view of the Temple View Travelodge Motel
Antique postcard view of the Temple View Travelodge Motel on Route 66 in Los Angeles, California, by

Nowadays it is still operating as a motel of the Travelodge chain, and it is the Azul Inn, and it is relatively unchanged:

You can Book a Room in the Azul Inn.

Former Temple View Travelodge now Azul Inn

the Former Temple View Travelodge now Azul Inn in Los Angeles, Route 66 California
View of the Former Temple View Travelodge now Azul Inn in Los Angeles, CA
Static Image by Google Street View
Click on image for Interactive Google Street View

An old motel and the "signs" on lamp posts

See the old neon signs of the old Royal Santa Monica Motel on your right at 10811 Santa Monica Blvd. (Street View here).

Dont miss the Urban Art, placed on the lamp posts along the Boulevard all the way from Beverly Hills city limits to I-405. These metal "sculptures" depict things related to Route 66 such as an armadillo (Street View here) on the corner of Santa Monica Blvd. and Glendon Ave. or other objects like a Navajo dancer, a surfboard, a cactus and even Sears Tower.

Head west into Santa Monica and the "End of the Road" or take a 14 to 24 mi. trip (depending on the road you choose) to visit the Griffith Observatory for a panoramic view of Los Angeles.

Griffith Observatory

Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument

Map with Directions from the Azul Inn.

This Art Deco building was built in 1933 on the southern slope of Mount Hollywood, in Griffith Park. An ideal spot to get a great view of Downtown L.A., Santa Monica and the Hollywood Sign.

Admission is free and it was built on land donated by Col. Griffith J. Griffith to the city, who also provided the funds for the observatory, planetarium and exhibition hall.

It served as location in the James Dean film Rebel Without a Cause (1955) and The Terminator (1984) among others.

See the "Rebel Without a Cause" video (knife fight scene at Griffith Observatory).

Hollywood Sign

Erected in 1923 to promote a local real estate development named "Hollywoodland", it was later shortened to "HOLLYWOOD".

It is located on Mount Lee in the Hollywood Hills. Each letter is 45 ft. tall (15 m) and the sign measures 350 ft. long (110 m).

Tours & Itineraries

Old Route 66 in Los Angeles, California

Now the detailed course of Route 66 from South Pasadena to Los Angeles:

From South Pasadena to Los Angeles

route 66 shield California

The first highway through the area built specially for cars, was the National Old Trails highway projected in the early 1910s to link Los Angeles and New York, it passed just south of Sierra Madre along Foothil Blvd. Route 66 was aligned along it when it was created in 1926.

The different alignments of Route 66 near South Pasadena

There were several alignments of Route 66 from South Pasadena into Los Angeles during the period spanning 1926 to 1940. It was only after 1940, when the Arroyo Seco Parkway became the route for US 66 into LA that these changes stopped. Contemporary maps don't clearly mark the course of US 66 into LA, but the following alignments are clear:

1926 to 1931 Alignment

This is shown in Blue in the Map above.

The 1927 and 1931 maps by the Automobile Club of Southern California shows the main highway reaching Pasadena along Colorado Street. Here the road took a left and headed southwards into South Pasadena along Fair-Oaks Ave. past its downtown and south until meeting Huntington Drive, here it took a right and followed it until reaching Missoin St. and then taking a right along North Broadway following it all the way into downtown Los Angeles. Ending on 7th. Street which was the terminus of Route 66.

1931 to 1934 Variant

This is shown in Orange in the Map above.

This was an alternate secondary route shown on those same maps: From Mission St. in South Pasadena and then right, crossing the Arroyo Seco, and into Highland Park, along Pasadena Ave., and continuing along it until meeting N. Brodway and the other alignment.

1935 Alignment through Eagle Rock

This alignment bypassed South Pasadena and it is shown in Green line: in the Map above.

The 1935 map shows Route 66 leaving Pasadena and crossing the Arroyo Seco along the Colorado Street Bridge, and then from Eagle Rock, heading west along Colorado Blvd., taking a left along Eagle Rock Blvd., and then another left along San Fernando Blvd. (which was also US 99) until reaching Los Angeles. The alternate route along Figueroa St. was marked as State highway 11.

1936-1939 Alignment (Later US 66 Alt.)

This route also bypassed South Pasadena and it is shown in Red in the Map above

By then the road had moved to Colorado Pl. and Colorado St. in Arcadia, bypassing Foothill Ave. in Sierra Madre. It kept the 1935 alignment until reaching Eagle Rock, but now headed south along the western flank of the Arroyo Seco via N. Figueroa St. which is now clearly marked on the map as US 66, and the former route is now marked as CA134 (Colorado Blvd.) and CA61 (Eagle Rock Blvd.).

1940 to 1964 Arroyo Seco Parkway

Through South Pasadena. It is shown in Pale Blue in the Map above.

It followed the Arroyo Seco Parkway, which begins in southern Pasadena and continues through South Pasadena, and ends in Los Angeles:

The Caltrans map of 1940 shows Route 66 aligned along the newly opened Arroyo Seco Parkway and also along Figueroa Street (which would become Route 66 Alternate), actually it is one of the earliest examples of the use of the "alternate" designation, which would become far more common during the early 1960s as Interstate highways bypassed the central districts in cities across the U.S.

The construction of I-210 in 1958 reduced the flow of cars along Colorado Blvd. and U.S. Highway 66 through Pasadena. When the interstate was completed in 1975, the US 66 shields were removed.

1936: Route 66 extended from Los Angeles to to Santa Monica

It is shown in Pale Blue in the Map above for the Hollywood Freeway and Santa Monica Blvd. segments and Brown in the Map above for the 1936 - 1949 alignment along Sunset Blvd.

When Route 66's western ending point was moved from S. Broadway and 7th St. in L.A., to Santa Monica, it was again realigned:

Sunset Blvd. The 1936 - 1953 alignment

Sunset Blvd. follows the path of a 1780s cattle trail from the Pueblo de Los Angeles to the ocean. This alignment headed NW from N. Broadway, along what is now W. Cesar E Chavez Ave (named so in 1994 along with Macy Street and Brooklyn Avenue in honor of the late Mexican-American union leader and civil rights activist).

It followed its continuation, Sunset Blvd. (described above) until Myra Ave. where it turned left and then SW until reaching Santa Monica Blvd and from there westwards all the way to Santa Monica. Then in the late 1940s it was realigned on the Freeway US 101 up to Santa Monica Blvd., from the exchange with the Arroyo Seco Parkway, which took several years to be completed.

Hollywood Freeway 1953 - 1964

The Hollywood Freeway along which US 101 ran, replaced Sunset Blvd. after its completion (1953-1964).

US 101 marks the norther limit of the L.A. Westlake neighborhood and the southern one of Echo Park and Silver Lake. Then it enters Hollywood neighborhood where Route 66 takes a left along Santa Monica Blvd.

Santa Monica Blvd. 1936 - 1964

It heads west, until the "End of the Road" in Santa Monica and crosses two other cities: West Hollywood and Beverly Hills and the Western part of L.A.:

West Hollywood

This city is surrounded by Los Angeles, north, south and east, and to its west is Beverly Hills (City map). Route 66 ran from the easter border with L.A. -halfway down the block between N. Sycamore Ave and N. La Brea Ave. on Santa Monica Blvd. all the way to N. Doheny Drive on the border with Beverly Hills, a total lenght of 2.9 miles (Map of US 66 in West Hollywood).

Beverly Hills

To its east is West Hollywood, and Los Angeles is to its west, south and north (City map). US 66 starts at N. Doheny Dr. on the border with West Hollywood and ends on Heath Ave. in the west; total length: 1.8 miles. This is Map of US 66 in Beverly Hills.

West Los Angeles

Once again US 66 enters Los Angeles city west of Beverly Hills and runs for 3.6 miles between Heath Ave. and Centralia Ave., crossing the Century City and West Los Angeles neighborhoods of Los Angeles City. Map of US 66 in West Los Angeles.

Santa Monica

West of Centralia Ave., Route 66 enters Santa Monica (City map) and originally headed south along Lincoln Blvd, where it took a left and ended on the junction with Olympic Blvd. Read More on The Western Terminus of Route 66 1936-1964.

> > See the previous segment San Bernardino to Pasadena (east)

> > See this segment Pasadena to Los Angeles (west)

> > See this segment through Los Angeles, W. Hollywood and Beverly Hills (west)

> > See last segment End of Route 66 Santa Monica (west)

Sources

Image Used as per Google Street View Image Api Updated Dec. 31, 2014.

A Guide to the Golden State, by the Federal Writers' Project of the Works Progress Administration, Hastings House, New York, 1939.

Image by Vítězslav Válka adapted under its CC BY-SA 3.0 CZ License

Map Icons by Nicolas Mollet under its CC BY SA 3.0 License