Here’s Hollywood: History

The film industry was both pushed and pulled to the West Coast. Pushing it were the East Coast patent lawyers hired by Thomas Edison and others who wanted to control and monopolize their film processing inventions. Pulling it was the weather. City boosters could boast of the region’s 350 days of glorious sunshine. […]

Pico Tour: History

Some Background:

Back in the early years of the 20th century, local real estate developers predicted it was just a matter of time before their city’s downtown expanded south to Pico Boulevard and beyond. After all, hadn’t history shown that with each decade since the first population boom of the 1880s, L.A.’s downtown hub had […]

7th Street/Metro Center Tour: History

First, some nationwide downtown myths – a sampling:

There’s nothing to do in Philadelphia except leave it. New York’s Times Square is a dirty, drug-infested hole. The only thing to do in Seattle is open your umbrella.

We now know they’re all the stuff of tired, urban legends. But maybe no downtown suffers quite […]

Los Angeles History

The River:

It all started with a river.

Winter rains and, in the spring, mountain snowmelt fed a river whose waters coursed to the Pacific Ocean. By late summer, that river was a trickle yet it remained sufficient to quench the thirst of mastodons, saber tooth tigers and, from at least 7,000 […]

Civic Center Tour: History

Some Background:

Here’s what you get: the nation’s third largest performing arts center (with four venues including the iconic Disney Hall), a performing arts high school, a performing arts college, an art museum (and another on the way), a city hall, a federal courthouse, a county courthouse, a criminal courthouse, a police headquarters and a […]

Union Station Tour: History

Los Angeles owes it all – the farms, the freeways, the film and defense industries – everything – to a little stream. The site that was to become the nation’s second largest metropolis was chosen for one reason: the water that flowed within a stream. Although blessed with agreeable weather and soil, the region’s agricultural […]

Pershing Square Tour: History

Los Angeles – the city so many claim has no downtown – actually has two. The “new” downtown shines with glassy skyscrapers whose height, if not spread, is the match of any major metropolis. The other, the “old” downtown, sits just three or four blocks away – almost like a Hollywood set, circa […]