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Do you know who made the blue tile on the William Mulholland Memorial Fountain?

Photograph courtesy flickr/ClintonSteeds Dedicated in 1940, the moderne memorial to the man who brought water to Los Angeles sits about a mile from the site of legendary tile manfacturer Gladding,...

I just saw a 1930s photo of Marion Davies’ beach house in Santa Monica, and the ocean almost touches the property line. These days the Pacific seems to be about a quarter mile away. What happened?

Photograph courtesy joeruggiero.blogpspot.com A big pile of rocks happened.The Santa Monica breakwater opened in 1934 to accommodate yachts and all other amenities the big neon pier sign promises. In...

I want to be a busker outside the Hollywood Bowl. Can anyone claim a spot or do I need a permit?

Illustration by Jason Schneider You apparently don’t need a permit—even for what emanates from the mouth of a sock puppet. Although L.A. County Ordinance 13.16 prohibits soliciting, the officials in...

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been amused by the pictures of the Peanuts characters that line the bridge over Wilbur Avenue in Tarzana. Good grief! How did they get there?

Photograph courtesy icanwritefunny.blogspot.com Thirteen lifesize panels featuring Charlie Brown and the rest of the Peanuts gang were welded to the bridge when it was built in 1969 to protect children...

Is it true that Denny’s is a Los Angeles creation?

Photograph courtesy www.imommies.com The home of the Grand Slam was born in a midcentury holy land—the quintessential insta- burb named Lakewood, which essayist D.J. Waldie describes as “A place built...

Why is there a male mannequin sitting on a can on La Cienega, just north of Beverly?

Photograph courtesy Jeremy Brooks/flickr He was “born” in the Philippines, stands five feet tall, and weighs 75 pounds. The mass-produced fiberglass sculpture was perched in front of Sherman McNulty Framing...

I live under the LAX flight path, and my car is covered with disgusting brown spots. Is this plane gunk?

Illustration by Jason Schneider Turns out that the crud isn’t from passing airplanes. It’s from feasting bees. I forwarded the Ziploc bag full of tiny brown flakes you mailed me...

Is there really a plan to place a park over the 101 freeway downtown?

Photograph courtesy seattle.gov A 22-acre freeway-capping recreational area that will extend from Vignes to Hope streets sounds far-fetched, but overpass parks in Boston, Dallas, and Seattle prove it can...

There’s a Victorian building in Canoga Park that I heard was made from pieces of Bunker Hill mansions. What’s the story?

Photograph courtesy You-Are-Here Only in L.A. can you get your oil changed—at MJ’s Auto Repair—in the shadow of a 75-foot-tall Queen Anne confection. Master carpenter Dennis Platt spent years scavenging...

What happened to the obelisk on Glendale Boulevard commemorating the film industry?

Photograph courtesy Mabel Normand It was constructed with 2-by-2s and chicken wire and was as flimsy as a movie set. It dated to 1954, when a former actor named...