Broadway Bound: Looking Back At Historic Streetcars On Broadway In Los Angeles’ Historic Core

Cable car on Downey (now, North Broadway), circa late 1880s. Courtesy Huntington Library Photo Archives collection. (Click to enlarge)

It was announced yesterday that plans to bring streetcars back to Broadway in downtown Los Angeles took a giant step forward.

Business owners and residents with an approximate three-block radius of the proposed streetcar route voted to tax themselves to help fund the project.

The new parcel tax is expected to fund approximately half of the streetcar’s estimated $125 million construction budget, bringing streetcar service to the area for the first time in a half century.

This development provides us with an opportunity to look back at streetcars on Broadway — once one of the most important streets in all of Los Angeles.

Even more photos of early streetcars on Broadway can be found in our online Flickr photo archive and in our image collection mapped on Historypin.

Los Angeles Transit Lines southbound on Broadway at Olympic Boulevard, circa 1956 (Click to enlarge)



Los Angeles Transit Lines “P” Line, Broadway at 7th Street, circa 1956 (Click to enlarge)



“5” Line on Broadway at Main Street alongside “F” Line, December 7, 1954 (Click to enlarge)


Los Angeles Transit Lines “P” Line northbound on Broadway at 7th Street, circa 1956 (Click to enlarge)


LAMTA “P” Line southbound on Broadway at 11th Street, 1960 (Click to enlarge)


Los Angeles Railway “P” Line in “War Bond and Stamps” livery, 1943 (Click to enlarge)