An overview of L.A.'s golden age
By 1920, the city's private and municipal rail lines were among the most far-flung and most comprehensive in the world in mileage, rivaling that of New York City, as shown and parodied in the 1988 film Who Framed Roger Rabbit. By that year, a steady influx of residents and aggressive land developers had transformed the city into a large metropolitan area, with downtown at its center. Rail lines connected four counties with over 1,100 miles of track.
During the early part of the 20th century, banking institutions clustered around South Spring Street, forming the Spring Street Financial District. Sometimes referred to as the Wall Street of the West the district held corporate headquarters for financial institutions including Bank of America, Farmers and Merchants Bank, the Crocker National Bank, California Bank & Trust, and International Savings & Exchange Bank. The Los Angeles Stock Exchange was also located on the corridor from 1929 until 1986 before moving into a new building across the Harbor (110) Freeway.
Commercial growth brought with it hotel construction—during this time period several grand hotels, the Alexandria (1906), the Rosslyn (1911), and the Biltmore (1923), were erected—and also the need for venues to entertain the growing population of Los Angeles. Broadway became the nightlife, shopping and entertainment district of the city, with over a dozen theater and movie palaces built before 1932.