New life for Fred Harvey space at Union Station

fred-harvey-franklin-ave.jpgThe first time I snuck into the vacated Fred Harvey cafe at Union Station, maybe 20 years ago, I could almost smell the 1940s cigar smoke. The room and adjacent lounge just exude a certain L.A. era, helped by some furnishings left behind and that great floor. It's good to hear, via Franklin Avenue, that Metro is looking for a restaurant tenant to move into the space. For decades it has been used mostly for film and TV shoots and for private parties, including Franklin Avenue's own wedding reception. He has more pics over there.

More retro L.A.: The other location that most conjures up the cigar era for me is the Park Plaza, for some reason especially the big tiled men's room off the lobby. It's easy to picture the place as an Elks Lodge for the white and powerful of 1930s L.A. There's a photo from the Elks Lodge #99 era on the cover of my Wilshire Boulevard book with Eric Lynxwiler.

Photo: Franklin Avenue

More by Kevin Roderick:
Ralph Lawler of the Clippers and the age of Aquarius
Riding the Expo Line to USC 'just magical'
Last bastion of free parking? Loyola Marymount to charge students
Matt Kemp, Dodgers and Kings start big weekend the right way
LA Times writers revisit their '92 riots observations
Recent Food stories on LA Observed:
Expo Line grand opening at noon hour on Friday
Advice to aspiring food writers from Amanda Hesser: don't do it
Southern California's romance with the taco is now a book
Frank Bruni, ex-NYT food critic, blogs about his gout
Five reasons to respect Taco Bell

New at LA Observed
Follow us on Twitter

On the Media Page
Go to Media
On the Politics Page
Go to Politics

LA Biz Observed
Arts and culture

Sign up for daily email from LA Observed

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

LA Observed on Twitter and Facebook