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Elysian Park landslide wreckage
Alternative Title
Los Angeles Photographers Photo Collection;
Schultheis, Herman
Made accessible through a grant from the John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation
Date Created and/or Issued
Contributing Institution
Los Angeles Public Library
Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection
Rights Information
Images available for reproduction and use. Please see the Ordering & Use page at for additional information.
Title supplied by cataloger.; Herman J. Schultheis was born in Aachen, Germany in 1900, and immigrated to the United States in the mid-1920s after obtaining a Ph.D. in mechanical and electrical engineering. He married Ethel Wisloh in 1936, and the pair moved to Los Angeles the following year. He worked in the film industry from the late 1930s to the mid-1940s, most notably on the animated features Fantasia and Pinocchio. His detailed notebook, documenting the special effects for Fantasia, is the subject of a 14-minute short-subject included on the film's DVD. In 1949, he started employment with Librascope as a patent engineer. Schultheis was an avid amateur photographer who traveled the world with his cameras. It was on one of these photographic exhibitions in 1955 that he disappeared in the jungles of Guatemala. His remains were discovered 18 months later. The digitized portion of this collection represents the images Schultheis took of Los Angeles and its surrounding communities after he relocated to the area in 1937.
The Elysian Park landslide, which started near the top of Point Grand View (Buena Vista Peak) as a small crack in the earth and grew to 500-foot fissure over three weeks, culminated on November 26, 1937 when a million and a half tons of loose rock and dirt created a "moving mountain" destroying a 600-foot stretch of Riverside Drive. Dayton Avenue (later N. Figueroa Street) has had three different bridges. The Riverside Drive-Dayton Avenue Bridge first built in 1903 was replaced with a concrete one completed in 1928. In 1939, after the Elysian Park landslide and heavy floods in 1938, the Army Corps of Engineers built a replacement bridge with steel trussing, known as the Riverside Drive Bridge (Riverside-Figueroa Bridge) that was demolished in 2011.
The Elysian Park landslide has bent steel framing like wire and destroyed a Automobile club speed limit sign.
1 photographic print :b&w ;11 x 15 cm.
Photographic prints
Herman J Schultheis Collection; Los Angeles Photographers Collection;
N-007-889 8x10
Automobile Club of Southern California
American Automobile Association.--Highway Information Services
Signs and signboards--California--Los Angeles
Landslides--California, Southern
Natural disasters--California--Los Angeles
Rocks--California--Los Angeles
Mountains--California, Southern
Santa Monica Mountains (Calif.)
Elysian Park (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Schultheis Collection photographs

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