For as long as I’ve been traveling Jefferson Boulevard either by bike or car, I’ve bemoaned the bunkerfication of so many of the buildings that line it — especially those between Crenshaw and La Brea. Squat, brutal, mostly windowless boxes seemingly fortified to repel looters and rioters, there is little in the way of architectural significance or a demonstration of history, and there are little opportunities for beautification.
One of these fortresses I’ve long appreciated (going back to 2007) sits on the northeast corner of Jefferson and Victoria, one block west of Crenshaw. I’ve admired it because whoever owned it allowed it to become fully engulfed in a thriving foliage that they then kept properly manicured. In effect, making organic and giving life to what I assumed was just another soulless nondescript structure hidden beneath.
Sometime last year whatever business was operating within it vacated and For Sale signs were posted on the walls. Eventually those came down and then one day a couple months ago, I did a double-take, fully shocked when I found the massive amount of greenery had been removed down to the last leaf… as if overnight.
Much to my delight the building it had long hidden from view was not a featureless box but a beautiful brick relic, and in the weeks of finger-crossing that passed I was overjoyed to see a restoration at work. After it was completed I snapped this drive-by shot and went in vain searching through some of my old bike commute vids to see if I had a frame that would show it in its previous state. Nope.
Then it dawned on me to Google Streetview the location, and as such I’m at least able to illustrate to you the dramatic then and now. I hope you enjoy it (click to enlargify the images):