Ironically “Come Fly With Me” came to mind when I saw this piece of public art. I’m sure that’s not response the artist intended to inspire. Unfortunately, being misunderstood is a risk an artist takes. To be honest, one glance didn’t do it justice. I saw other people circle it with a more serious consideration. Once I’ve managed to get memories of my aerophobia under control, I took a more appreciative look at the piece.
What do you think? You’ve probably seen this work before. Like a number of featured items in our quizzes this location happens to be a very popular place.
Where in Los Angeles are we? See our LA Quiz next month for the answer.
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The Answer to the Last LA Quiz: The Gilmore Gas Station- It’s a Gas-A-Teria!
How did you do with the last LA quiz? Did you recognize it? How about the location? More importantly, did it inspire you to run over and nosh? Shop? Sightsee?
Naturally, there’s an interesting story behind the Gas-A-Teria. You see, it all started as a dairy farm. Around 1905 Albert Gilmore, owner of a 256-acre dairy farm, (out in the country, way far–off to the west of the city) started drilling extra water wells so he could expand his dairy herd. Much to his surprise, and good fortune- he hit oil. The water wells quickly became oil derricks.
Under the shrewd management of son Earl, The Gilmore Oil Company grew into a local empire. However, the City of Los Angeles relentlessly expanded westward and eventually encompassed the oil derricks within its borders. Restrictions were placed on the derricks and they disappeared.
When Mobil Oil bought out the Gilmore Oil Company, Earl then opened a statewide chain of gas stations featuring the famous self-service Gas-A-Terias, such as we see in the post. Customers got a nickel-per-gallon discount for pumping their own gas.
Well, during the depression years farmers began selling produce out of the back of their trucks on Gilmore’s empty lot. In July of 1934, two gentlemen, Fred Beck and Roger Dahlhjelm, approach Earl with an idea. They wanted to build a village on the lot. Within a few months farmers and merchants were building permanent stalls.
That village still stands to this day. That idea roared on to become the international destination for visitors at the corner of 3rd and Fairfax- The Farmers Market. The Gas-A-Teria we featured (a quaint museum), was eventually added as a reminder and an attraction.
Also, during the depression years of 1934 Earl built the Gilmore Stadium and used it to promote the company’s products with midget car races. It was also the home of the Los Angeles Bulldogs, the city’s first professional football team. In 1939, he also built the Gilmore Field, home of the Hollywood Stars, a professional baseball team.
The Gas-A-Teria museum that we see today reminds us of those fabulous times and Gilmore’s place in the history of Los Angeles.
By the way, the CBS Studios now stands where the mighty Bulldogs and Hollywood Stars once played. Oh, yes, about the petroleum that started it all, some of it still sloshes under the ground. You can still glimpse the bubbly crude- over at nearby La Brea Tar Pits.
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Here are Previous LA Quizzes:
If you love to meander around the city like I do, you’re probably familiar with many popular and famous places I’ve featured on these posts. Here’s a chance to test your knowledge of Los Angeles. Take a look at these previous posts and test yourself. Start at the top and go to the next in line for the answer.
Take the LA Quiz! (Oct. 2013)
The Goddess Of Music (Jan. 2104)
Tower and Ramp Sculpture In Los Angeles (Feb, 2014)
Shoshone Sculpture On A Quiet Morning (April, 2014)
Reflections Downtown (May, 2014)
Our Famous Promontory (June, 2014)
Go Visit a Gift from Friends Across the Sea (July, 2014)
Here’s a Bit of Los Angeles History (Sept. 2014)
See the Beautiful Face? Where is She? (Oct. 2014)
The Gilmore Gas Station- It’s a Gas-A-Teria! (Dec. 2014)
(For the answer to this month’s quiz go to post: Church Spires Loom Above the Los Angeles Cityscape, Feb, 2015)