Look For A Sign

Driving along National Blvd near the 405 the other day, I noticed this sign for the first time ever and I have lived in this neighborhood for almost 10 years. (Click for more detail.)

Nothing fancy, just a street sign. But I have never seen one that color. Most LA street signs are a varying mixture of older blue and white signs like this:
or newer ones like this:

Have you ever seen an off-white one like National? Let’s look at more signs styles after the jump

You can usually tell when you have crossed into another city by the signs. Culver city has green signs with their city name on it:

And some named after famous people who worked in the city:

Santa Monica has the blue/orange signs which I’ve always assumed represented a sliver of beach and a big blue sky (hey, I used to live right near there!):

And of course Beverly Hills has the pristine white with old school details:

I’ve seen brand new signs around LA streets — new font, brighter blue — here is one I saw the other day — click for much bigger:

Amanda did a nice combo for the old and new Wilshire:

I dig the new font — anyone know what it is?

Has anyone seen an old, off-white one like National? I’m trying to get to LA City Nerd’s story that I found via google, but Blogger is not waking up this morning and I can’t open any Blogger sites. (Blogger not waking up is giving me a spot of bother.)

Blogger is back and here is a link to the Nerd’s article about new street signs. Seems to be about dotting the i’s and not so much about crossing the t’s.

Photo credits:
Culver City street sign (Lincoln and Culver) from Nathan Matthews flickr stream

Culver City street sign (Astaire and Garland) from Seeing Stars website

Wilshire Blvd (old and new) from Amanda, snapper of dragon’s flickr stream

Rampart sign from YellowTornado44’s flickr stream

Beverly Dr sign from CW Images’ flickr stream

Santa monica signs from brianwayne73’s flickr stream

Hollywood sign adnghiem501’s flickr stream

Olympic and National blvd. sign photos by me.

13 thoughts on “Look For A Sign”

  1. Interesting. The shift to blue background with white letters was because it’s easier to read on the fly at night as less glaring than the white background. Also it was rolled onto the main thoroughfares first. Not sure when it all changed, but there are a few spots still in the valley where you see both the white and blue grounds.

    Also…thanks for mentioning the blogger problem I’ve been trying to check all my friends on that and getting a google server error. Argh….

  2. All the signs in Beverly Hills are black and white. Is that part of National in BH? (I don’t think BH extends that far south, but I’ve only lived in LA a few months.)

  3. I can’t remember where, but I could swear I’ve seen black and white signs elsewhere in West L.A. – maybe down in Mar Vista where I used to live. Maybe there was some weird civic divide in that part of town, or a district delineation in the past?

  4. Great find!

    And to answer Stevejust’s question: Beverly Hills’ does have a southwestern border tip that goes all the way to Pico and Century Park West, but National’s further to the south and west.

  5. This sign must date to pre-annexed West Los Angeles (before 1927), back when it was an unincorporated area. That stretch of National was not affected by the realignment forced by the Santa Monica Freeway, so that is probably why that sign survived.

  6. Thanks for that pointer, DB.

    And Mr. Militant, are you saying that sign might be 80 years old? Or have I not had enough coffee and/or reading comprehension practice this morning?

  7. Om second glance, since it’s mounted on a temporary traffic light, it might very well be a “generic” street sign placed by CalTrans as part of their freeway widening project. After the construction is finished, the City would likely replace it with an actual sign (also denoting block number).

  8. the sign has been there easily since the ’80s or ’70s, by my own eyes. I believe it dates back to the ’40s and I suspect if you look at old WLA photos from back then, you’ll find other signs like it.

    the sign is almost impossible to notice unless you approach from the alley, and I believe it has simply gone unnoticed by the city all this time. frankly it’s one of my favorite WLA quirks, and I’m worried that by spreading awareness of it, it will disappear.

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