Saturday, June 2, 2012

St. Vincent Court - Pizza, Gyros and Some History

Once upon a time, Broadway was the financial and high-end commercial shopping hub for metro Los Angeles. But in the 1960s and 70s a wave of new commercial development on Figuaroa left the historic core basically deserted. The upside was that many of the best surviving examples of Beaux Art and Art Deco architecture were left unmolested. One such jewel is the alley called St. Vincent Court, about a half block west of Broadway on the north side of 7th Street.

Occupying the site of the old St Vincent's College for boys (founded in 1865 by the Vincentian Fathers, it eventually changed location and grew to become Loyola Marymount University), this charming food court is hidden away in an alley surrounded by Los Angeles' Jewelery District. The District is roughly defined as the area between Broadway, 6th Street, Hill Street, and 7th Street. And just so you know, 7th Street is the downtown section of historic Route 66, which until 1936 terminated at the intersection of 7th and Broadway.

Originally the entrance to the college, which became the Bullock's complex, later the St.Vincent Jewelery Center, in 1956 it was redecorated by a group of city boosters with the decorations, awnings and facades seen today. Small ethnic restaurants moved in, and today we can find a pizza place, a French bistro, Greek gyros sandwiches and Armenian kebab, and should you feel the need, there's a busy barber shop, as well. 

But even with all that history, it wouldn't be LA if there weren't a Marilyn, so she's here, too.

For more info on LA's historic core, see the informative LosAngeles Conservancy pamphlet, Strolling on Seventh Street.

Click on the images for larger versions. Images taken with a Nikon D70s w/Nikkor 18-70G EF f/3.5-4.5