Great Article About Googie Coffee Shop Designer Helen Fong (Click on Photo)

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Back Cover for “Greetings from Las Vegas”

Back Cover

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“Greetings from Las Vegas” Out Soon!

Greetings from Las Vegas CoverI am excited to announce that my latest pictorial history “Greetings from Las Vegas” will be available this September.  Humorous and informative, the book visually celebrates Las Vegas’ evolution from a dusty railroad town to the world’s entertainment capital.

Here’s a link to pre-order from the publisher.

In the 1920s, Fremont Street was Las Vegas’ modest commercial center.  After gambling’s legalization in 1931, its several blocks exploded with increasingly elaborate neon displays that would forever cement downtown’s identity as Glitter Gulch.  The book also examines the fascinating blend of myth and fact surrounding the creation of the fabulous Las Vegas Strip.

Las Vegas’ initial branding embraced the Old West, transitioning to sleek modernism in the 1950s, then to the exaggerated themed environments of the Strip so familiar today.  All are explored in the book.

Spectacular nightlife has been as essential as gambling in the rise of Las Vegas.  The book documents the invention of the lounge act, dazzling stage productions, gorgeous showgirls, legendary entertainers, and the antics of the Rat Pack.”

Chapter titles include Frontier Town, Glitter Gulch, Birth of the Strip, Boomtown, Vegas Modern, Tiki Vegas, Motel Paradise, Vegas and the Mob, the Rat Pack, Breaking the Color Barrier, and Swinging ‘60s and Beyond.  Numerous amateur photos show the fun average folks had both day and night.

More information about the book will be forthcoming.

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L.A.’s Backyard Oil Well Fever!

Oil fever!  It’s hard to imagine today, but starting in 1892 until its peak in 1901, there were over 1,000 oil derricks west of downtown Los Angeles crowding the neighborhoods of Elysian Park, Echo Park, Westlake, and Mid-Wilshire west to Vermont Avenue.

LA Oil Fever

As featured in my new book, “Greetings from Los Angeles,” derricks and oil storage tanks were mere feet from homes, churches, stores, and schools.  Often there were two or three derricks on one 50 x 150 foot residential lot.

Neighborhood Oil Wells

By the time the oil field was mostly depleted nine years later in 1901, many investors and homeowners had become rich.  As the Los Angeles derricks were taken down, others would soon appear in Signal Hill, Long Beach, Santa Fe Springs, Huntington Beach, and Venice, as major oil strikes in the 1920s and ’30s made the region among America’s top oil producers before World War II.

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Book Launch/Slide Talk for Moruzzi’s “Greetings from Los Angeles” at Soap Plant-Wacko August 19th

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On Saturday, August 19th at 7pm I will be giving a book launch and rollicking slide talk on my new “Greetings from Los Angeles” at Soap Plant-Wacko in Los Feliz.   The book is a comprehensive, humorous history of Greater Los Angeles as told … Continue reading

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Peter Moruzzi’s New Book “Greetings from Los Angeles” Is Finally Available!

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Introducing “Greetings from Los Angeles,” my latest pictorial history from publisher Gibbs Smith. Following the format of my other books, “Greetings” is a comprehensive, humorous, historical tour of Greater Los Angeles told through vintage images (postcards, photographs, brochures, matchbooks and other dazzling … Continue reading

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Moving a 10,000 Ton Building in 1920s Los Angeles

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I’ve always been fascinated by the number of companies that moved buildings in the early decades of the 20th century.  In Los Angeles at that time, street widening projects and new construction often necessitated the relocation of existing buildings.  In … Continue reading

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