Harriman Avenue

Named after New York railroad tycoon Edward Henry “E.H.” Harriman (1848-1909), who, when this street was laid out (1902), was head of both the Union Pacific and the Southern Pacific. Henry Huntington had hoped to take charge of the latter after the death of his uncle Collis but was blocked by banker James Speyer, who held the SPRR’s purse strings. Huntington then sold his third of the railroad – which the ruthless and brilliantly strategic Harriman then acquired – and came to L.A. to set up the Pacific Electric streetcar system. This street was christened by William Henry Carlson (1864-1937) on his Pasadena Villa tract. Carlson, a shifty character who was once mayor of San Diego, liked to name streets after famous American industrialists: he did it here and on his 1906 Redondo Villa subdivision, where you’ll find a Harriman Lane.