Top: Looking west down the 8300 block of Sunset Boulevard on the Strip in the late 1930s; bottom: the same view in 2014

Both these photos were taken around Sweetzer Avenue and Sunset on the Strip looking west map]. The Art Deco tower to the left in both shots is the Sunset Tower, which was completed in 1931.

The top photo dates to the mid-1930s because we know that the Sunset Strip was not paved until then, probably as part of the Depression-era Works Project Administration. Prior to that, the Strip had been a graveled road, first graded in 1906 and probably sprayed with an asphalt-like substance that helped keep dust down, but which did nothing to prevent the road from rutting out in winter rainstorms.

The roadway was covered in concrete in the 1930s, which remained in place until 2009, when the Strip was resurfaced as part of the recovery from the Great Recession of 2008.