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Monday, September 26, 2016

Dear Eastsider: Where can I find historic house photos?

There’s a wealth of old photos online but finding vintage images of your own block or house can be challenging, as Chris from Silver Lake has discovered:

“I live in Silver Lake and am interested in seeing if I can findsome archived photos of my neighborhood and the houses on my street. I have gone to the LA Public Library site and found some really interesting pics of the Silver Lake area over the years in their historical photo archives, but nothing really focused on streets and houses. Mostly just shots of the reservoir under construction and the freeway exit off the 101 being opened in the 1950’s. Any guidance you could offer would be appreciated.”

The Eastsider, who has done some research on behalf of the Echo Park Historical Society, has sometimes found great images via the Historic Los Angeles Times database on the public library site (library card number required). You can search by address and, if you are lucky, the results might contain a photo – albeit one of poor quality. In contrast, the historic aerial photos available via the UCLA Department of Geography are crystal clear. But you have to go to UCLA in person to view them and – as Chris from Silver Lake notes – it’s not cheap. The university charges $40 an hour to view photos and $50 for scans of images saved to a disc. If you have any affordable alternatives for, please share them in the comments.

Image from Echo Park Historical Society


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