This Insanely Detailed Diorama Captures Everything About 1930s L.A., Right Down to the Trees

Friday August 23, 2019 Written by James

If you want to know exactly what Hollywood looked like in the 1930s, take a walk down Hollywood Boulevard. The real one.

In a dusty shopfront, once the site of the famous De Longpre Gardens, there’s a hand-made (and very detailed) diorama of Los Angeles, divided over three tables.

The miniature world was built by cabinetmaker Joe Pellkofer and a team of 25 artists in the 1930s. The whole thing took them four years. Joe and the crew painstakingly miniaturised every part of L.A., right down to trees, cars and passing pedestrians. The Hollywood Heritage organisation is currently restoring the diorama (you can see one of the trees being dusted to the left) and running the occasional Open House tour.

Of course, to make this a proper Diorama-Rama experience, on the tiny Hollywood boulevard there should really be a tiny shop, with a tiny you in there, looking down on an even tinier diorama, and so on and so on, until the universe curls up and vanishes into some hyper-dense singularity. But hey, a nerd can dream.

For more photos and info on the diorama’s fascinating history, head over to Atlas Obscura.