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Olympic Boulevard Bridge with a view of Sears
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
Circa 1938
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 Sears, Roebuck & Company Mail Order Building, located at 2650 East Olympic Boulevard in Boyle Heights, was built in 1927 as a distribution center for the company's mail order department. It was designed in the Art Deco style by the architectural firm of George Nimmens Company and was constructed by Scofield Engineering-Construction Company in record-breaking time: a mere 6 months, at a cost of $5,000,000. On completion, the building had nine stories and a basement, a 226-foot Art Deco tower, and a total floor area of approximately 11 acres. The Sears building was one of the largest in Los Angeles, and it attracted more than 100,000 visitors in the first month of operation. In May of 1991 after 64 years of operation, Sears announced that it would close its regional distribution center in Boyle Heights, and its doors were officially closed in January 1992 - eliminating 585 full-time, and 775 part-time jobs. Considered to be one of the iconic landmarks of LA's Eastside, it has been the subject of several renovation proposals since the mid-1990s. The Boyle Heights Sears building was designated Historic-Cultural Monument #788 in August 2004, and was listed in the National Register of Historic Places on April 21, 2006 - #05001407.; Twenty-seven bridges span the Los Angeles River between the San Fernando Valley and Long Beach. Within the City of Los Angeles, fourteen of these bridges were built between 1909 and 1938. The styles of the bridges evolved over time, from an early preference for highly ornamental, classical designs (Macy Street/Cesar Chavez, Olympic Boulevard), to simpler, period revival styles (Fourth Street, First Street), and ultimately adopting clean and modern lines (Glendale-Hyperion, Sixth Street). In 2008 eleven bridges were designated as Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monuments: # 900 North Spring Street Bridge, # 901 North Main Street Bridge, # 902 Olympic Boulevard Bridge, #903 Washington Boulevard Bridge, #904 Seventh Street Bridge, #905 Sixth Street Bridge, #906 Fourth Street Bridge, #907 North Broadway-Buena Vista Street Bridge, #908 Riverside-Figueroa Bridge, #909 First Street Bridge and the #910 Riverside-Zoo Drive Bridge.
View of the Boyle Heights Sears from the Olympic Street Bridge.
1 photographic print :b&w ;15 x 11 cm.
Photographic prints
Herman J Schultheis Collection; Los Angeles Photographers Collection;
N-008-493 8x10
Sears, Roebuck and Company
Department stores--California--Boyle Heights (Los Angeles)
Warehouses--California--Boyle Heights (Los Angeles)
Art deco (Architecture)--California--Boyle Heights (Los Angeles)
Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monuments
Bridges--California--Los Angeles
Streets--California--Los Angeles
Olympic Boulevard Bridge (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Olympic Boulevard (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Boyle Heights (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Schultheis Collection photographs
Scofield Engineering-Construction Company
George Nimmens Company

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