Fort MacArthur

When you look at a map of San Pedro Ft. MacArthur is usually marked in it’s own color because it is federal land. So technically it’s not considered San Pedro, just as much as the unincorporated area by the hospital isn’t technically San Pedro. The unincorporated area didn’t have a 10ft wall surrounding it with an armed guard at the entrance, so I walked it because I consider it San Pedro. I may have a harder time with Ft. Mac. I spoke to the officer in the guard booth and he told me all I need is someone to sponsor me to get me on base. I know a few people, so I’m going to see what I can do. If anyone reading this is in the Airforce and would like to sponsor me, please please PLEASE email me and make yourself known. But if it doesn’t happen by the time I swing back around to Cabrillo Beach, then I can always post it later. In the meantime, here are some pictures I can show you now.

This is a gun and plaque that tells you about the land the fort sits on.

Along the Pacific Ave barrier, there are plaques on each post. They have designations and names of students that were honored for different reasons.


The Muller House

This is the description of the Muller House on
“Originally located on 19th Street, this two-story Colonial Revival house was built in 1899 by a local shipbuilder. It was owned by the Mullers from 1906 to 1963, when they donated it to the San Pedro Bay Historical Society, who refurbished it and now operates it. Furnished as a family home to reflect the style of the 1920’s, it features changing exhibits in its library. Open the first three Sundays of the month, from 1 to 4 PM and by appointment. Admission free. “

Harbor View House

The Harbor View House is an unlocked residential mental healthcare facility. The five-story Spanish Colonial Revival building was built in 1926 as the Army and Navy YMCA. It provided recreation and temporary quarters for over four million men during World War II, and was visited by celebrities, including Bob Hope and Lucille Ball. The building was open to civilians in 1947 and was converted to Harbor View House twenty years later.


The mission of the YWCA of the Harbor Area and South Bay is to foster the economic self-sufficiency and emotional and physical well-being of women and girls in a world of peace, racial justice, dignity, freedom and equality for all.

The YWCA building, also called the Julia Morgan House/Building, was built in 1918. It was designed by Julia Morgan, the first female architect in California who also designed Hearst Castle. Young women used to live in the house, many sleeping on the outside patio because it was thought to be healthful.

A lot of people probably remember swimming in the pool there, it has since been filled in. There is a thrift store at the bottom of the building with a lot of books and records. I like fiddling around in there, you really never know what you’ll find.

Wikipedro: San Pedro Post Office

The San Pedro post office was built in 1935 as a Works Project Administration project.
The WPA was was the largest New Deal agency, employing millions to carry out public works projects, including the construction of public buildings and roads, and operated large arts, drama, media and literacy projects.(Wikipedia)

The Post Office also served as the US Customs house, you can still see where the letters “And Custom House” used to sit under the “U.S. Post Office” letters on the front of the building.

This mural was painted by Fletcher Martin in 1938, its called ‘Mail Transportation’.

There are some really awesome pieces in the post office, below are the original writing desks and posting clips.

Pepper Tree Plaza

Pepper Tree Plaza was dedicated October 11, 1980 in historic recognition to the demolished Beacon Street district. The plaza is named for the Pepper Tree Saloon that had been on that site once upon a time. In the same dedication ceremony, the Harbor U.S. Bicentennial committee dedicated a plaque for the urn that was moved to the plaza from the old Matson terminal in Wilmington.

A week later there were two other additions to Pepper Tree Plaza. The first being an original drinking fountain from Beacon Street, donated by Bill Santos. The Beacon Street water fountains were important because the saloons did not serve water.

The second dedication was of a sign, given by the San Pedro Bay Historical Society and the 30yr Club of San Pedro, that commemorated the walk way along the immediate north of the municipal building as Wall Street. This was the site of an alley between 6th and 7th streets along Beacon that had been called Wall Street.

Info from Boomtown San Pedro in the 1980s from the San Pedro Bay Historical Society

Wikipedro: The Warner Grand Theatre

The Warner Grand is my favorite place in the world. There’s so much to say, I don’t know where to start.

Knicknamed the ‘Castle of Your Dreams’ by Jack Warner, The Warner Bros. San Pedro Theater opened to a star studded gala on January 20, 1931. It was one of the first sound equipped theaters in the south bay. It was designed by B. Marcus Priteca, the man who designed the Pantages in Hollywood. It only took 6 months to build the theatre. Most of the ornamental elements of the theater consist of a special plaster, including the moulding works around the stage and on the ceiling (if you lightly knock on the walls just off the stage, you’d hear that it was hollow). The theater was the height of luxury. My grandma told me that she felt like a princess in a palace. In 1953 Warner Bros had to divest themselves of their movie theatres because of the Divorcement Decree, so they created a new company called Stanley Warner Theaters. In the 1960’s the Pacific Theatres purchased the Stanley Warner chain. In the 70’s the theater changed hands again, it was purchased by Arnulfo Estrada who turned it into a spanish language movie theater, Teatro Juarez. To be frank, Mr. Estrada jacked the theater up. He painted over a lot of the detailed art deco designs, in crazy bright colors and reupholstered the seats in cheap red, green and yellow vinyl(the white was too expensive) in honor of the mexican flag. When the spanish movie theater business proved a bust, Mr. Estrada rented out the theatre, which led to it being an adult theatre for a day. The community rallied and had the “art show” shutdown. Ray Howell, a former manager of the Grauman’s Chinese, bought the theatre and did his best to bring it back to its former glory. He changed the name to Warner Grand, but the multiplex theatre’s proved too much of a beast and he folded. Lee Michaels, a 70’s recording star and owner of Killer Shrimp also owned the theater. I think the PMP letters that are painted and fading on the side of the theater, were the letters of his music business. The city bought the theater in 1996 and staffs it through the Department of Cultural Affairs. The City and the Grandvision Foundation have been working together since then to restore the theater. The Grandvision has been a driving force for the restoration, raising funds to refurbish the seats, the sound system, heating and A/C, replacing the carpet, new stage rigging, installed a new travelling curtain and recently fixing the ceiling of the mezzanine lobby where a leak severely compromised the structure.

Wow, this is getting super long. Ok, things that have been filmed there. Pearl Harbor, What’s Love Got to Do With It, The Ramones and Chaka Khan played concerts there, Madonna did a photoshoot with Herb Ritz for her Blonde Ambition tour…theres more, but I can’t remember them. TV Shows film there all the time, I was watching an episode of Heroes and recognized the Warner Grand right away. There’s actually still a German exit sign backstage that they left there.

The theater is managed by Lee Sweet and his staff.