The Village of Sherman Rises around the Trolley Yard

Museum Without Walls
Sherman Yards at 8800 Santa Monica Boulevard – the Metro bus facility, Sheriff’s Department and Pacific Design Center occupy the property today

The transcontinental railroads reached Los Angeles in the 1880s, transforming it seemingly overnight from a dusty, brawling pueblo at the end of the trail to a bustling, prosperous town on its way to being one of America’s great metropolises. Neighborhoods grew up around the old pueblo, including the town of Hollywood, about six miles west of Los Angeles. A vast interurban railroad was also constructed across the region, including westward lines to Hollywood and the beach town of Santa Monica.

At the intersection of Santa Monica and San Vicente Boulevards, railroad entrepreneur Moses Sherman built a train yard that served as the service stop for the trolleys and as his corporate headquarters. A small town grew up around the yards which came to be known as Sherman, now known as West Hollywood. Family farms dotted the rolling hills north of Sherman, where the principal crops were avocados, poinsettias and melons. Today, the Sunset Strip cuts through that former farmland.

This aerial view shows Sherman Yards in the foreground, with Santa Monica Boulevard angled toward the northeast. The Emser Tile building (back then it was Bekins storage) on Santa Monica, Sunset Tower on the Strip and multi-story apartment buildings on Crescent Heights Boulevard are in view in the distance.

Aerial view of West Hollywood, circa 1920s (Click photo for larger view.)