Saturday, 25 July 2015

Angels Flight [1]

Neil : 10/06/1977 to 07/07/2015
In March this year, No 3 son flew to the USA to spend a few days with No 2. This is the last time any of the family saw him. He was blessed with an amazing level of love and kindness but equally by an amazing ability to make a mess of his life. Tragically on 7th July it was one mess too far.

But as part of the holiday, Neil insisted that his brother send the old man a picture of Angels Flight. Here is an extract from the press report on its opening.

Novel Enterprise Is Visited by Mayor Snyder
The Mayor made a speech congratulating Colonel Eddy upon his scheme to afford transportation for residents of the Hill Section.
Colonel J. H. Eddy's electric railway, known as the Angels' Flightt, which scales the heights of Third street hill, was formally opened to the public yesterday. In the morning the promoter of the enterprise conducted Mayor Snyder and the city and county officials from Hill Street up the miniature railway to the landing on Olive Street where a large crowd awaited the ceremonies. The mayor made a speech in his happiest vein, in which he complimented Mr. Eddy, on his enterprise in furnishing transportation facilities for the hill residents and In beautifying the formerly rough and unsightly face of the hill.

 It required about one minute to make the ascent or descent. Instead of dropping the regular fare into the collecting receptacle some of the 'hill residents showed their appreciation of what they considered an advantage to them by reason of the road bv giving large sums for their first ride. A. P. Hoffman, who owns property on the hill, dropped in a $3 gold piece.

One check for $1,000,000. signed by the Queen of Bavaria, was found in the box.

Hill Street is a major north-south thoroughfare in Los Angeles ...

... but there are hills to he west thereof. Angels Flight (seen here in 1903) ran alongside a road tunnel and linked Hill Street to Olive Street. The tunnel is called simply the Third Street Tunnel and burrows under the former Bunker Hill residential district.

Here it is in 1960.

In 1955, Los Angeles city planners decided that Bunker Hill required a massive slum-clearance project. The top of Bunker Hill was cleared of its houses and then flattened as the first stage of the Bunker Hill Redevelopment Project to populate Bunker Hill with modern plazas and buildings. When the height limit of buildings for Los Angeles was finally raised (previously buildings were limited to 150 feet) ...

... developers built some of the tallest skyscrapers in the region to take advantage of the area's existing dense zoning. In approving such projects, the city sought to project a modern, sophisticated image.

And here it isn't now!
In 1901 a funicular railway was built to carry passengers from Bunker Hill to the burgeoning downtown area below. The funicular ran between Hill St. and Olive Street, a distance of some 300 feet. The railway was dubbed Angels Flight and was billed as the world’s shortest railway with a fare of five cents each way.

It operated uninterrupted until 1969 when it was dismantled and the cars put into storage.
It looked quite weird as it stood exposed until its final closure.
And despite this notice it didn't re-open two years later!

So what picture did Neil want to send to his old man?

We shall see tomorrow.
Happy is the person who honours the Lord,
who takes pleasure in obeying his commands.
He is not afraid of receiving bad news;
his faith is strong, and he trusts in the Lord.
from Psalm 112

 Next tram/train blog : Saturday 25th July 

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