An “American Bobby” traffic control device at Figueroa St and Adams Blvd, Los Angeles, looking north, circa 1924

An "American Bobby" traffic control device at Figueroa St and Adams Blvd, Los Angeles, looking north, circa 1924We’re looking at the intersection of Figueroa St and Adams Blvd, looking north circa 1924 (just north of University of Southern California.) What’s interesting about this photo is that we can see in the center of the intersection is an experimental traffic control device. It was called an “American Bobby” because it stood in the same place as a London traffic cop. According to the notes on this photo, it was installed by the Auto Club of Southern California (and not LA city, as I would have expected.)

A close up of an American Bobby:

American Bobby traffic device, circa 1920s

The same intersection in November 2015:

Intersection of Figueroa and Adams - Nov 2015

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3 Responses to An “American Bobby” traffic control device at Figueroa St and Adams Blvd, Los Angeles, looking north, circa 1924

  1. Jean Hunter says:

    Looks like this intersection was really thriving in the ’20s. Sure don’t like what it looks like today.

    Thanks, Martin, as always, for insightful pics of the wonderful past!

    Jean

  2. Pey-droh says:

    @Jean Hunter: Actually, both buildings on the west side of Fig are quite attractive in my opinion. St. Vincent Catholic Church on the northwest corner was built by Edward L. Doheny. They lived just west on Adams from the intersection (the land is now part of Mount St. Mary’s College), his wife was a catholic and he was embroiled in the Teapot Dome scandal and probably looking for a way to improve his image.

    The Automobile Club of Southern California built their Spanish Colonial Revival style headquarters on the southwestern corner of the intersection. That three story L shaped building was designed by Sumner P. Hunt and Silas R. Burns who also designed the Southwest Museum, JW Robinson House, Wilshire Ebell, CW Leffingwell residence and more.

    The east side of Figueroa as well as Figueroa north of that intersection has been compromised by the 110 freeway which starts curving west just as it passes under the W. Adams St. bridge.

  3. Jean Hunter says:

    Yes, you are right! The sun hitting that church building and the greenery and the palms poking up towards the sky take me back. I like how the green branches on the far right with the hedges seem to embrace the church.

    Martin, you saw the beauty – I was too busy wanting it to be in the ’20s again!

    Jean