Rediscovering Los Angeles – Ferguson Alley

Nov. 11, 1935, Rediscovering Los Angeles

Nov. 11, 1935: For their second installment of “Rediscovering Los Angeles,” Times artist Charles Owens and Times columnist Timothy Turner visit Ferguson Alley, which as Turner notes was going to be demolished for Union Station. Turner writes:

Ferguson Alley, which ducks into Chinatown from the Plaza, is still a piece of authentic old western color. It is narrow and dark and the wooden awnings make it darker for they cannot be raised. It was a busy place in the 1860s and ’70s, a hangout for cowboys, miners, gamblers and sailors from San Pedro, who came up by stage.

Unlike the later “Nuestro Pueblo” series, which was published in book form, “Rediscovering Los Angeles” was never republished and languished unknown – at least by me – until I stumbled across it while research the wonderful work of Charles Owens. It’s worth noting that even in 1935, Los Angeles was being “rediscovered.”


About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
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6 Responses to Rediscovering Los Angeles – Ferguson Alley

  1. Cal and Lulu says:

    Are there any old photographs of Ferguson Alley still in existence?


  2. Charles Owens did so many amazing illustrations – I especially like his 3D aerial maps, and cutaway views showing both the exterior and interior of famous buildings and theaters.


    • lmharnisch says:

      Judging by a comment I found in the Times archives at the Huntington, Owens was quite cantankerous but I love his artwork. It’s too bad Rediscovering Los Angeles was never published. I’m not sure what’s in ProQuest or on microfilm is good enough to be reproduced in a book.


  3. As someone who passes often through Union Station, this was an interesting revelation. So much in LA has been torn down and replaced by something else. Thanks for the post.


  4. Caesar Gomez says:

    Does anyone have a photo of Jims Rib Joint in Ferguson’s Alley?


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