The Pacific Electric Subway Terminal

pacific_electric_subway_terminal_los_angeles_1926As of 1926 Los Angeles could boast one more thing it had that New York had: a subway. Sure, it was only about a mile long, but it was a subway. It started from 417 S. Hill St.- far below the Pacific Electric Railway’s 12-story terminal designed by Schulte & Weaver, architects of the Biltmore Hotel.



The cars had actually begun operation on November 30, 1925, while the office floors above were still under construction. At the gala celebration, old-timers exchanged memories of 40-odd years ago, when they’d ridden the first horse-cars to traverse the streets of Los Angeles. The subway went west under Bunker Hill, terminating at Glendale & First streets in Glendale. From there the route continued on to Hollywood and other points west at surface-level.


2-12-1926, CSL

The terminal was open during construction. Here, in February 1926, Janss Investment Co. is readying its new home on the second floor.



On June 3, 1926, real estate developers Janss Investment Co. had a gala open house to celebrate its silver anniversary and the opening of its new offices in the the Subway Terminal Building, which took up the entire 2nd floor. The Los Angeles branch of the Pinkerton Detectives would have its offices in the building too, on the 7th floor, starting in 1927.


5-5-1926. CSL

The building had frontage on Olive St. as well as a wing on Fourth St., wrapping around the existing 1923 Black & White Cab Co. garage.


The PE also had its passenger station at Sixth & Main streets where cars to the beach cities and other suburbs came and went.

The subway operated until June 1955. Both the subway building and the original  PE station are now loft apartments.


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