Nicholas Beyelia, Librarian, History and Genealogy Department

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Smiling Jack

You Don't Know (Smilin’) Jack!

October 26, 2022

Just before the Harbor Freeway ends and spits you into San Pedro, a large orange-colored object within the foothills leading to Palos Verdes usually catches your eye. Even on a foggy day, it stands out among a wall of squat white cylinders and brown earth surrounding it.


Matson Cruise Terminal 1955

Pretty in Pink: The Lost Matson Terminal, 1953-1986

August 08, 2022

It's a painful truth that Angelenos can much too easily identify architectural structures that have been erased from our city's landscape. Some structures are well-known and widely mourned while others have disappeared from our collective consciousness without much afterthought.


Graphic illustration of Aimee Semple McPherson and Angelus Temple

The Woman Nobody Knows

March 16, 2022

While scouring microfilm in the History & Genealogy Department at Central Library a few months back, I was startled to see a name that seemed entirely out of place in a particular publication.


Forman Brown seated at the piano at Turnabout Theatre. Brown's novel, Better Angel

The Lost Novel of Forman Brown

June 25, 2021

In 1987, an elderly gentleman named Forman Brown stepped inside the indie bookstore, A Different Light Books, at 4014 Santa Monica Blvd in search of a novel.


Charlotta Bass, Security Pacific National Collection

"I Promise I Will Do My Best": The Integrity of Charlotta Bass

February 26, 2021

Charlotta Bass, a name well known in Los Angeles history circles, has surfaced recently on a national front thanks in part to the ascension of Senator Kamala Harris to the position of Vice President of the United States.


Author Katie Orphan and her book, Read Me Los Angeles: Exploring L.A.’s Book Culture

In Conversation With Author Katie Orphan

September 30, 2020

I cannot begin to tell you how much I love this new book, Read Me Los Angeles: Exploring L.A.’s Book Culture from Prospect Park Books.


postcard of the Cawston Ostrich farm

For the Birds: Edwin Cawston and the Farm That Invigorated Los Angeles

December 03, 2019

For someone who only spent about 25 years in Los Angeles, Edwin Cawston made a lasting impression on the cultural history of our great city and he did so through, of all things, a farm. Dubbed by the New York Journal as “one of the strangest sights in America”, the farm was anything but ordinary.


photo of Wilshire Boulevard looking towards Bullock's Wilshire

Art Meets Commerce: The Bullocks Wilshire Building at 90

September 24, 2019

In a city where no structure is guaranteed permanence, the iconic Bullocks Wilshire building turns an astounding 90 years old this week.


"Bob Gunton and Patti LuPone as Juan and Eva Peron singing "Don't Cry For Me, Argentina" in a scene from the Broadway production of the musical "Evita."

All About Eva: Los Angeles Hosts the American Debut of the Musical, Evita

May 08, 2019

Los Angeles is a city whose theater scene is typically overlooked, yet every now and then we are host to a production that is monumental.


Cover insert with a drawing of fishing boats by Burroughs student, Keith Robinson

Terminal Education: A Junior High School Yearbook and a Lost Community

January 10, 2019

It's a rare instance when a junior high school yearbook has implications on the social history of a city so when you see it, it’s pretty amazing; the winter 1937 edition of the John Burroughs Junior High School yearbook, Burr, is one such anomaly.


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