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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Melvyn’s Restaurant hits Los Angeles Times front page!

Los Angeles Times celebrates Palm Springs’ Melvyn’s restaurant on front page! We’re so lucky that the last, great classic dining restaurant in the desert, with its top notch seasoned staff, remains for us to enjoy. Here’s to Steak Diane flamed table side!!


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A Eulogy for the Four Seasons Restaurant

A well written article from the NY Times.  However, I disagree with the conclusion that the new, relocated Four Seasons will be worth watching.  There will never be another Four Seasons. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/10/nyregion/four-seasons-lunch-spot-for-manhattans-prime-movers-moves-on.html?_r=0  

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Fine Dining at 30,000 Feet

Check out this great article in Los Angeles Magazine about the history of airline food.  It appeared in the magazine’s online “Ask Chris” column penned by my good friend Chris Nichols.



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