Sunday, February 20, 2011

Would Jed Clampett still come here?

Although it’s hard to believe now, Los Angeles was once a major oil center. Remnants of its former oily past are hiding in plain sight.

Beverly Hills High School has its own oil derrick, which still produces oil.

Baldwin Hills still has oil derricks, as does Signal Hill in Long Beach (shown below- the derrick’s in the middle of a parking lot for a restaurant!).

The city of El Segundo means “the Second” in Spanish. It was the site of Chevron (Standard Oil)’s second oil refinery in California.

The Union Oil building in downtown LA was the headquarters for- you guessed it- Union Oil.

Back when many oil companies had their headquarters in downtown, they had their own private club called (appropriately enough) the Petroleum Club, located in the Hilton Center Office Building. It closed its doors in the early 1990’s and was demolished in 1995. However, a wall of mosaic tile survived the wrecking ball. It shows the buildings and oil wells of the 1950’s.

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