Time Capsule: Los Angeles Development Boom of the 1950s

In its July 13, 1953 issue Life magazine ran one of many photo essays on the city of Los Angeles. This one focused on the immense population and development growth the city and surrounding area encountered in the late ’40s and early ’50s. Here then is a gallery of the most interesting photos — some unpublished — that went into its story called “400 New Angels Every Day.” There were all shot in either December ’52 or July ’53 by J. R. Eyerman.

Less than two years after this piece ran in the magazine, Life published another, less sunny L.A. story — this one about an October 1954 smog emergency. You can see those pics here.

Los Angeles Development Boom of the 1950s
Aerial view of busy shopping center parking lot.
Los Angeles Development Boom of the 1950s
Overall exterior view of new CBS Television City complex, consisting of offices and station studios.
Los Angeles Development Boom of the 1950s
Showing a construction site in front of the downtown City Hall building.
Los Angeles Development Boom of the 1950s
Ariel view of new housing development in Pomona, featuring one-story houses.
Los Angeles Development Boom of the 1950s
Expansive view of newly-built houses jammed side-by-side, divided by a never-ending street clogged with moving vans including Pan American Van and Storage, Bekins Van and Storage, McCallson Van and Storage, unloading families’ possessions on moving day in this housing development.
Los Angeles Development Boom of the 1950s
Besiege of the salesmen calling on one family, the first week after they moved into new home.
Los Angeles Development Boom of the 1950s
Exterior view of new Samuel Gompers elementary school in Lakewood, with students and teachers in front.
Los Angeles Development Boom of the 1950s
Ariel subdivider Fritz Burns, flying over new housing development, dictating memos while inspecting the houses.
Los Angeles Development Boom of the 1950s
Closeup of ” Welcome to Lakewood/America’s Fastest Growing Community” sign, featuring census statistics on growth of area.
Los Angeles Development Boom of the 1950s
Control towers at new department stores, with electric signals directing shoppers where to park.
Los Angeles Development Boom of the 1950s
Typical family displaying conveniences needed for living in the area.
Los Angeles Development Boom of the 1950s
Aerial view of road construction in Hollywood.
Los Angeles Development Boom of the 1950s
Group of salesman selling various goods and services, who call on a new family in development.
Los Angeles Development Boom of the 1950s
Garbage disposal salesman demonstrating unit to possible buyers.
Los Angeles Development Boom of the 1950s
Aerial view of construction of cloverleaf.