The 5 line was the longest line on LARY, running from Townsend and Colorado in Eagle Rock to Broadway and Hawthorne Blvd in Hawthorne. The line had many miles of private right of way. In the 1920s the line was designated the "E" because it ran along Eagle Rock Boulevard.
The comprehensive transit plan of the 1920s proposed to elevate this line onto embankment and viaduct from Grand and Figueroa to Inglewood and patch it into a proposed downtown subway.
The portion of this line from Grand and Jefferson to Hawthorne was built originally by the Los Angeles and Redondo Railway in 1902, and was originally on private right of way the entire length.
The northern half of the line, built by Huntington interests in 1907, was entirely on private right of way beyond Ave. 28 in Cypress Park. In the photo below see see two cars laying over in the median of Eagle Rock Boulevard. The bus in the distance is at Colorado Boulevard.
In the following photo an outbound car is at Elm Street on the right of way along Cypress Avenue.
The next photo looks west at the Elm Street stop in 1947.
The next shot looks up Broadway in 1947. The 5 line entered Broadway from South Main using the street curving in from the right -- Broadway Place.
In the next photo, taken in 1955, we are on the southern half of the line. A chartered car, running on the 5 line, has just turned off Santa Barbara Ave. (now M.L. King Jr. Blvd) onto Grand Ave. This scene has been obliterated by the Harbor Freeway. It is no longer possible to turn north onto Grand Ave. at this point.
The next photo (circa 1955) looks west down Santa Barbara Avenue (now ML King Jr Blvd) from Grand Avenue. The Coliseum Hotel is at right. Notice that there are three streetcars running inbound on Santa Barbara Avenue in this shot. There were three streetcar lines that shared this section of the line — the 9 line (which ran out 48th St), the 5 line to Hawthorne, and the F line which ran south on Vermont to 120th Street. Until the late '30s the Los Angeles Railway was in a reserved median in Santa Barbara Ave at this point.
The next photo shows the landscaped private right of way in the median of Leimert Blvd. in Leimert Park.
When Walter Leimert opened his business center for Leimert Park in 1928, he touted it as the next Miracle Mile. Although Leimert certainly had his eye on the widespread auto ownership of the white professional/business classes, who he targeted for his development, he was also aware that many people still used public transit. Unlike A.W. Ross's Miracle Mile, Leimert also sited his center at a major stop on the Los Angeles Railway, at Vernon Ave. At that time the 5 line was called the "E" line.
The next photo in our tour looks south down the right of way in the median of Crenshaw Blvd. at 54th St. The car in the photo is inbound on the 5 line. The track diverging to the left is a track connection to the 8 line which terminates at this point. As we can see here, a neighborhood commercial center has developed around the streetcar junction.
In the photo below an outbound 5 line streetcar is running past the cemetary near Prairie Avenue. The private right of way ran along the south side of Florence Avenue.
A bit further along the right of way the line crossed Hillcrest Boulevard. In the next photo, looking east, an inbound streetcar is approaching Hillcrest Boulevard.
The next photo is a rush hour shot showing three outbound 5 line streetcars running on the private right of way along Florence Avenue.
In the rapid transit plan of the 1920s the 5 line would have been raised onto an embankment with concrete retaining walls along this section of the line.