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 CALIFORNIA STATE TELEPHONE CENTRAL OFFICE'S

 

                 

AREA CODE 310

Area code 213, is one of the original California area codes established in October 1947 under the North American Numbering Plan.  When implemented in 1947, it covered the bottom third of California from the Central Valley down to the Mexico border.  It is interesting to note that when established the rotary phone was just coming into use and to keep the number of clicks" down to a minimum when long-distance dialing, Los Angeles was given six "clicks" (Each number represented a click, 1=1, 2=2, and so forth).  Los Angeles by 1947 had become the third largest city in the United States, so had the privilege of being assigned a low "click" number.  The other two cities that received low area codes were Chicago (312) and New York (212).  Due to the tremendous growth that the Los Angeles region experienced along with increasing use of telephone driving devices (fax machines, cell phones and pagers) the 213 area code has been split five times, now being reduced to just a few dense square miles of the downtown Los Angeles region.  The area code 213 has become one of the smallest in the nation and currently serves about 2.2 million telephone lines!

Communication service in Los Angeles actually started in 1860 when the first telegraph line was opened between LA and San Francisco.  In 1880 the telephone was introduced into LA by the Los Angeles Telephone Company which was granted a 10 year franchise from Bell, for use of the "Bell" Telephone.  When they started they had 7 subscribers.  By 1890 the regions of Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino were connected into the LA system and by 1900 LA was connected to the rest of the state through "long distance" telephone lines.  In 1903 the Home Telephone Company started competing service in the LA region using an "independent" patent and within a year had over 10,000 customers.  The Home Company also was first to install an automatic system where customers could dial direct another party without operator assistance as you had to with the "Bell" Company.

As telephone use grew substantial problems developed with both competing systems operating together.  Sometimes it wasn't possible to ring your neighbor if he was on the other system because the two companies were not connected.  By 1910 the Home Company was operating 13 offices and was the largest independent in the world.  With continued problems between the two the city asked that both be combined into one automatic system.  In 1916 both companies combined to form the Southern California Telephone Company which became Pacific Telephone and Telegraph in 1947 and Pacific Bell in 1984.  The company grew to be one of the largest concentrations of telephones and related equipment in the world.  Over 100 central offices serve the region which has so many telecommunications circuits that the region requires 9 area codes, more then some states. 

 




A
VALON


Very unique office that serves the island community of Avalon on Catalina Island.

In 1920, Pacific Telephone and Telegraph (PT&T) installed a local radio-telephone system to connect the island with the mainland.  Fifty-two persons were part of the initial subscribers to this service. Within a few years it was realized the radio didn't offer much privacy so PT&T installed two 23-mile long submarine cables to the island in 1923. A new central office was built in Avalon and the cables were terminated at the San Pedro central office. At the time, the cables were the first to be built in the United States and first to be voice-only. At the central office, a manual switchboard was installed to serve the island residences.

Over the next fifty years, various technologies of microwave radio were installed to supplement the two submarine cables.

Manual switchboard service remained until 1978, when Pacific Telephone converted the manual service to a 1.6 million dollar remote electronic switch hosted from San Pedro. This was the last central office in the entire Pacific Telephone territory and entire Bell Telephone system that was still "manual" when it was converted.

Remote switch now hosted by Torrance office.




BEL AIRE

This is the office that routes the calls made by the "Fresh Prince"!

Bel Air was constructed in 1955, to relieve General Telephone's "West Los Angeles" office.

Note bank of payphone along wall near entrance door.

Old Exchanges: GRanite 2 and GRanite 6





BEVERLY HILLS

Original office installed to serve the sparse Beverly Hills region during the 1910s.  Office converted to dial in the late 1920s when part of the Southern California Telephone Company. New building built in the 1970s.

The Beverly Hills office also provides foreign exchange service for the 323 area code.

Old Exchanges: BRighton 0, CRestview 1, CRestview 3, CRestview 4, CRestview 5, CRestview 6 and TRemont 8




COMPTON


Older office serving the Compton and south central areas of Los Angeles. Originally built by Compton Utilities which merged with other local telephone providers to become Southern California Telephone (SCT) in 1916. Pacific Telephone and Telegraph acquired SCT 1947. The Compton office under the Direct Distance Dialing hierarchy was considered a Class 3 Primary office and was established in 1958, to provide toll concentration and connection for the south Los Angeles and South Bay regions of the metropolis.  Trunk groups were established to the Los Angeles Class1 Regional Center with high usage trunks connecting neighboring Class 3 offices (San Diego, Anaheim, Van Nuys).

The Compton office also provides foreign exchange service for the 323 area code.

Old Exchanges: NEvada 6 (Los Angeles Foreign Exchange), NEwmark 1, 2, 5, 8 and 9






CULVER CITY


Office originally built by Southern California Telephone and became dial pre-1942.  This office was the first metro office to provide Direct Distance Dialing (DDD) in 1944.  Also provided foreign exchange service to Los Angeles prefixes.  Became Pacific Telephone & Telegraph and then Pacific Bell office.

The Culver City office also provides foreign exchange service for 323 area code.

Old Exchanges: ADmore 4, 8, VErmont 6, 7, 8 and 9 UPton 0, 1 (Los Angeles FX)




CULVER CITY "MAR VISTA"


Original office built by Associated Telephone in the 1920s to serve the growing communities of Venice and Mar Vista. Became General Telephone then GTE now Verizon California.

Old Exchanges: EXbrook 1, 7, 8 and EXmont 1, 7 and 8.




EL SEGUNDO


Replaced the original El Segundo office in 1999.  Original office had the Centrex service for the Hughes & Aerospace Complex and also served as the Centrex for the Los Angeles AFB.

Old Exchanges: EAstgate 2, MItchell 8 and NIagara 3




GARDENA


Original office built in the 1920s by Southern California Telephone Company. The building on left side of picture added by Pacific Telephone & Telegraph in the mid 1950s to relieve the Los Angeles 13 "Plymouth" office. Became Pacific Bell, SBC and now AT&T.

The Gardena office also provides foreign exchange service for the 323 area code.

Old Exchanges: DAvis 3, DAvis 4, DAvis 7, DAvis 9, FAculty 1, MEnlo 4 and MEnlo 9.






GARDENA TANDEM


The Gardena Tandem was constructed in the early 1973, to be the tandem and toll office replacing the Compton office from toll duties due to the explosive growth of telephone and toll service in the South Los Angeles/South Bay/Harbor areas of the region. The Gardena Tandem was both a local and access tandem and was considered a Class 3 Primary Center with direct trunk groups to the Los Angeles Class 2 Sectional Center under the Direct Distance Dialing Hierarchy. This office also had L-3 Coax cables to Anaheim and LA 03 Madison and Fiber to LA Madison Complex and Long Beach (GTE). In May 1973, a #4A ETS Toll Switch was installed at Gardena (GRDNCA0221T) and this was followed by the installation of a 4ESS switch in April 1993. Gardena Tandem is expected to have the tandem switch decommissioned and all tandem traffic rehomed to the Los Angeles 05 "Pleasant" office by 2014.

This office once had microwave service for the urban (local LA) long distance AT&T network. See link for more information on microwave service. Southern California Microwave Sites



HAWTHORNE


The Hawthorne office was built in 1950 by Pacific Telephone & Telegraph to relieve the Inglewood office.  Also provided Los Angeles foreign exchange service in the 1960s.  Became Pacific Bell-SBC-AT&T.

The Hawthorne office also provides foreign exchange service for the 323 area code.

Old Exchanges: OSborne 5, OSborne 6, OSborne 9 and SPring 2




HERMOSA BEACH


Original Associated Telephone office built in the mid 1920s to serve the Hermosa Beach community. Became General Telephone, GTE and now Verizon California.

Old Exchanges: FRontier 2, 3, 4, 6 and 9




INGLEWOOD


Original Southern California Telephone office built in the 1920s.  Became dial in 1939. Remodeled and expanded in the 1980s (Note Pacific Bell "orange" accents).

The Inglewood office also provides foreign exchange service for the 323 area code.

Old Exchanges: ORchard 1, 2, 3, 4, 7 and ORegon 8.




LOMITA


Constructed in the late 1940s by Pacific Telephone Company to relieve the Torrance office. Became Pacific Bell, SBC and now AT&T.

Old Exchanges: DAvenport 5 and 6




AIRPORT OFFICE WITH ENCLOSED MIROWAVE TOWER CIRCA 1990s
(Thanks to Mark for photo)




LOS ANGELES 07 "AIRPORT"


Los Angeles 07 or the "Airport" office was built in the late 1950s to relieve the Inglewood office from the telephone growth in the Westchester area and in 1960, to replace the "LAX" office and take over service of the LAX Centrex system. The office was once a Serving Test Center for many of the FAA circuits feeding the airport.

This was one of the few local offices that had microwave transmission TN (11 gHz) which connected it to the Madison Complex in Downtown Los Angeles (Via Baldwin Hills) and the Gardena Tandem office. An interesting story about the microwave route to the Madison Complex has to do with the building of the ARCO Towers downtown in the 1970s. On its original location, the south tower would have just blocked the path from Madison to Airport. Negotiations between Pacific Telephone and the developer got the building moved ten feet, so the shot wouldn't be blocked.  Many more such negotiations took place as high-rise development continued downtown, until finally, there was no alternatives left.  During the 1980s, microwave traffic from the Airport office was rerouted through Topanga Ridge. (See Southern California Microwave Sites) Microwave service was retired in the early 1990s. Today the office handles the FAA circuits from LAX Airport and the high telephone traffic of the airport commercial/hotel area.

The "Airport" office also provides foreign exchange service for the 323 area code.

Old Exchanges: MIssion 5, 6 and ORchard 0




LOS ANGELES 08 "MELROSE"


Office was built by Pacific Telephone & Telegraph in the late 1950s to relieve the Beverly Hills, Hollywood, and Los Angeles 10 "Webster" offices. This office provided foreign exchange service for the popular Beverly Hills prefixes.

The "Melrose" office also provides foreign exchange service for the 323 area code.

Old Exchanges: OLdfield 4 and 6, OLeander 5, OLive 1, 3 and OLympia 2 and 7 (Beverly Hills FX)




MALIBU


Originally constructed by Associated Telephone in the 1930s to serve the rich and famous along the beautiful Malibu coastline.  Office was reconstructed in the 1970s by General Telephone.  Became GTE now Verizon California.

Old Exchanges: GLobe 6




MALIBU XF "ZUMA"


The Zuma office was originally constructed by Associated Telephone in the 1960s to serve the far end of the Los Angeles/Ventura County coastline along the Pacific Coast Highway and replaced the old manual toll stations.

Old Exchanges: GLenwood 7




MANHATTAN BEACH


Office was built in the early 1960s by General Telephone to relieve the Hermosa Beach office. Became GTE and now Verizon California.



PACIFIC PALISADES


General telephone office built in 1955 to relieve Santa Monica "Main" office.  Became GTE now Verizon California.

Old Exchanges: GLadstone 4




PLAYA DEL REY


The "Del Rey" office was built in the late 1960s to relieve General Telephone's Culver City "Mar Vista" office and provide service to the new Marina del Rey development. Became GTE now Verizon California.



REDONDO BEACH "EL NIDO"


Built in the late 1950s by General Telephone to relieve the Hermosa Beach office.  Became GTE now Verizon California.

Old Exchanges: FRontier 1




ROLLING HILLS


Office originally built by Associated Telephone in the 1930s to serve the communities of Crest, Mary Mount and Rolling Hills on the Palos Verdes Peninsula south of Los Angeles. Became General Telephone, GTE and now Verizon California.

Old Exchanges: FRontier 7




SAN PEDRO


San Pedro was built by Southern California Telephone Company in the 1920s to provide service to the Los Angeles Harbor region.  The office went dial in 1945, and subsequently became the host office for the remote switch at Avalon on Santa Catalina Island about 25 miles off the coast. Avalon was connected by both radio and coax cable and eventually microwave service hence tower on building. 

Old Exchanges: TErminal 1, 2 and 3 (Exchange was fitting as San Pedro is located right across from Terminal Island in the harbor)




SANTA MONICA XG "MAIN"


Original office built by Associated Telephone in the early 1900s to serve the Santa Monica community. Dial service was introduced in the 1920s and tandem functions transferred to the "new" Santa Monica XP tandem office in the 1960s. Became General Telephone, GTE and now Verizon California.

Old Exchanges: EXbrook 3, 4, 5 and GLadstone 1




SANTA MONICA XJ "SUNSET"


The Sunset office was originally built in the 1920s by Associated Telephone to replace the old Ocean Park manual office.  Reconstructed by General telephone in the 1970s office now serves, Ocean Park, Venice and Santa Monica.  Became GTE and now Verizon California office.

Old Exchanges: EXbrook 2, 6 and 9




SANTA MONICA XP "SANTA MONICA TANDEM"


Built by General Telephone in the 1960s to take over the functions of a tandem and toll switch from the original Santa Monica Main office.  This office serves the old GTE and current Verizon central offices along the western flank of Los Angeles County.  The office is now host tandem to offices in western and northern Los Angeles County including the offices in the Lancaster high desert region as well as the offices located in Ventura County.  Santa Monica at one time was one of the first to use fiberoptic connections between this tandem and Pacific Telephone/AT&T Madison Complex in downtown Los Angeles.

The Santa Monica Tandem office was classified as a Class 4 Toll Office as part of the Direct Distance Dialing Hierarchy with direct trunk connections to the Los Angeles Class 2 Sectional Center. A #4A ETS toll switch was installed in the 1970s, later being replaced by 4ESS and eventually a Western Electric 5ESS switch (Rare amongst other then "Bell" companies). No local calls are routed through this office, as it is strictly a local/access tandem office.



TOPANGA


Original Associated Telephone office built in the 1920s to serve the Topanga Canyon and Tuna Canyon areas within the Santa Monica Mountains. Remote switch hosted from the Pacific Palisades office.

Old Exchanges: GLadstone 5




Classic Bell logo inlay tiles in wall at Torrance office




TORRANCE


Built by Southern California Telephone Company in the 1930s and became dial in 1950. Wall at entrance facade shows inlaid "classic" bell system logos. Became Pacific Telephone & Telegraph office, Pacific Bell, SBC and now AT&T.

The Torrance office is host to the Avalon remote switch on Catalina Island.

Old Exchanges FAirfax 0 and 8: 




TORRANCE XF "DEL AMO"


Office built in the early 1970s by General Telephone to relieve Hermosa Beach and Torrance "Palos Verdes" offices.  Became GTE and now Verizon California.



TORRANCE XG "PALOS VERDES"

Office built by Associated Telephone in the early 1950s to relieve the Rolling Hills office. Became General Telephone, GTE and now Verizon California.

Old Exchanges: FRontier 5 and 8




WEST LOS ANGELES 01 "CENTURY CITY"


Placed into service in 1967 to relieve Beverly Hills office and serve the new "Century City" commercial development.  This was the first central office in Pacific Telephone territory to utilize the new Electronic Switching System (ESS) equipment.  Became Pacific Bell, SBC and now AT&T.

The "Century City" office also provides foreign exchange service for the 323 area code.

Old Exchanges: CRestview 7 and TRemont 9




WEST LOS ANGELES XF "MAIN"


West Los Angeles was originally constructed by Associated Telephone in the 1920s to serve the west Los Angeles and Westwood area (which at the time was rural horse ranches).  Office later became part of the General Telephone-GTE network before becoming the current Verizon California office.

Old Exchanges: ARizona 3, ARizona 7, ARizona 8, ARizona 9, GRanite 3, GRanite 7, GRanite 8 and GRanite 9




WEST LOS ANGELES XG "WESTWOOD"


The Westwood office was built in the late 1950s to relieve General Telephone's West Los Angeles XF Main office.  This office handled UCLA telephone traffic until replaced by the "University" office. Became GTE and now Verizon California.

Old Exchanges: GRanite 4




WEST LOS ANGELES XH "BUNDY"


Bundy was constructed in the mid 1970s to relieve both the West Los Angeles XF Main and Santa Monica offices

Although not the best picture, Bundy fits right in a highly active commercial area in western Los Angeles. Office looks like an office building and has underground parking for service trucks (Note entrance). Became GTE and now Verizon California.




WEST LOS ANGELES XJ "UNIVERSITY"


Office was built in early 1970s by GTE to relieve the West Los Angeles XG Westwood office. This office once served the UCLA Centrex system and today handles a large portion of the telephone traffic generated by the UCLA campus, hence the office name "University." Now a Verizon California office.



WILMINGTON


Built in the early 1940s by Pacific Telephone & Telegraph to relieve San Pedro and provide service to the northern Los Angeles harbor area and Wilmington. Became dial in 1945 and relieved the Compton office in the late 1950s in providing service to the Carson area. Became Pacific Bell, SBC and now AT&T.

The Wilmington office also provides foreign exchange service for the 323 area code.

Old Exchanges: TErminal 0, 4 and 5 and SPruce 5 

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