Welcome to Los Angles (Downtown)

Introduction


When people refer to Los Angeles, they are typically referring to Los Angeles County or even nearby Orange County (home of Anaheim’s Disneyland). The city of Los Angeles is the second largest city in the U.S. by population and the largest by square miles.



Downtown Los Angeles is located close to the geographic center of the metropolitan area. This area features many of the city's major sports facilities, art institutions and sightseeing opportunities. There is also many unique shopping opportunities. Downtown is generally bounded by the Los Angeles River on the east, the Hollywood (101) Freeway to the north, the Santa Monica (10) Freeway on the south and the Harbor (110) Freeway on the west.

Map of Downtown Los Angeles


History


The earliest known settlements in Dowontown Los Angeles was by the Tongva, a Native American people. On Wednesday, August 2, 1769, Father Juan Crespi, a Franciscan priest accompanying the first European land expedition through California, led by Captain Fernando Rivera Y Moncado, described in his journal a "beautiful river from the northwest" located at "34 degrees 10 minutes." They named the river Nuestra Señora de los Angeles de la Porciúncula.

In the Franciscan calendar, August 2 was the day of the celebration of the feast of the Perdono at the tiny Assisi chapel of St. Francis of Assisi.

Early in St. Francis’ life, the Benedictines had given him this tiny chapel for his use near Assisi. The chapel, ruined and in need of repair, was located on what the Italians called a porziuncola or "very small parcel of land." Painted on the wall behind the altar was a fresco of the Virgin Mary surrounded by angels. Now contained within a Basilica, the chapel was named Saint Mary of the Angels at the Little Portion.

The newly discovered "beautiful river" was named in honor of this celebration and this chapel. In 1781, a new settlement was established along that river.


The settlement came to be known as El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Angeles de Porciúncula or The Town of Our Lady the Queen of Angels of the Little Portion although its official name was simply El Pueblo de la Reina de Los Angeles.

On Septemper 4, 1781, the Los Angles was founded on the site that currently holds La Placita Olvera. Land speculation increased in the 1880s, which saw a population of the city explode from 11,000 in 1880 to nearly 100,000 by 1896.

Laying of a street grid and other infrastructure enhancements brought development to the area south of the original settlement into what is today the Civic Center and Historic Core neighborhoods.

By 1920, the city had been transformed into a large metropolitan area, with Downtown as the center. The city's rail lines connected four counties with over 1,100 miles of track. The banking institutions clustered around South Spring Street, forming the Spring Street Financial District. Sometimes referred to as "Wall Street of the West." The Los Angeles Stock Exchange was located here from 1929 until 1986. During the early part of the 20th century, many people worked and lived in Downtown Los Angeles.

Following World War II, several factors lead to the decline of Downtown Los Angeles including suburbanization and the development of the Los Angeles freeway network enabled many corborate headquarters and people to disperse to these new suburbs. The remaining financial corporations moved to newer buildings, leave the former Spring Street Financial District buildings vacate above the ground floor. Many historic office buildings were left intact. They were used for storage or left empty.










Today's Financial District of Downtown Los Angeles


In 1999, the Los Angeles City Council passed and ordinance that made it easier for developers to convert vacant commercial and office buildings into renovated condo, lofts and luxury apartments. Residential population has increased from 28, 878 residents in 2006 to 39,537 in 2008. The Staples Center, which opened in 1999, has been a major contributing factor to the revitalization of Downtown Los Angeles. It added 250 events and approximately 4,000,000 visitors to this area.



Who's Taller



The first high-rise in Los Angeles was the Braly Building. The Braly Building was completed in 1903 it has 13 floors and stands 174 feet high. In 1904, the Los Angeles City Council enacted a 150-foot height limit on on future buildings. This building was originally a commercial structure and has since been renovated into a residential tower. It is now known as the "Continental Building".



For many people, the many skyscrapers of Bunker Hill are synonymous with downtown Los Angeles. Downtown is actually a diverse collection of neighborhoods including Little Tokyo, the New Chinatown and the El Pueblo de Los Angeles along with Civic Center, Financial District, Jewelry District and Fashion District. Downtown is also home to some of the most unique and stunning examples of architecture.


KPMG buildingBank of America Plaza
US Bank TowerUS Bank TowerCitigroup CenterWestin BonaventureAON CenterPaul HastingsUnion BankFigueroa at Wilshire









Move your Mouse over picture to see the names of the buildings.


This is a view of Downtown Los Angeles from Angels Point. Many of the tallest buildings are located in Los Angeles. Los Angeles is ranked first in the Pacific Coast Region and fifth in the United States (after New York City, Chicago, Miami and Houston). The tallest building in Los Angeles is the U.S. Bank Tower. Completed in 1989 this 73 story builing rises 1,018 feet. This building is also the tallest building in California and the 9th tallest building in the United States. The ten tallest buildings in Los Angeles are:


  • (1) U.S. Bank Tower, 73 stories, 1,018 feet, 1989

  • (2) Aon Center, 62 stories, 858 feet, 1973

  • (3) Two California Plaza, 52 stories, 750 feet, 1992

  • (4) Gas Company Tower, 52 stories, 749 feet, 1991

  • (5) Bank of America Plaza, 55 stories, 735 feet, 1974

  • (6) 777 Tower, 52 stories, 725 feet, 1991

  • (7) Wells Fargo Tower, 54 stories, 723 feet, 1983

  • (8) Figueroa at Wilshire, 53 stories, 717 feet, 1990

  • (9) City National Tower, 52 stories, 699 feet, 1972

  • (9) Paul Hastings Tower, 52 stories, 699 feet, 1972





To view photo gallery for Los Angeles Skyline, click here.


Location used in Media

  • 4Movies: The Omega Man, Collateral, The Day After Tomorrow, Independence Day, Dragon Wars and Blade Runner.
  • 4Television miniseries: 10.5.


References


1. ^ a b "Downtown Los Angeles". wikipedia.org. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Downtown_Los_Angeles. Retrieved on 2009-08-14.

Downtown Los Angeles

Skyline view of Downtown Los Angeles
When people refer to Los Angles, they are typically referring to Los Angeles County or even nearby Orange County (home of Anaheim’s Disneyland). The city of Los Angeles is the second largest city in the U.S. by population and the largest by square miles. Los Angeles translated from Spanish is the City of Angels.
Downtown Los Angeles is commercial and central area of Los Angeles. Downtown is generally bounded by the Los Angeles River on the east, the Hollywood (101) Freeway to the north, the Santa Monica (10) Freeway on the south and the Harbor (110) Freeway on the west. For a map of Los Angeles, click here.

For many people, the many skyscrapers of Bunker Hill are synonymous with downtown Los Angeles. Downtown is actually a diverse collection of neighborhoods including Little Tokyo, the New Chinatown and the El Pueblo de Los Angeles along with Civic Center, Financial District, Jewelry District and Fashion District. Downtown is also home to some of the most unique and stunning examples of architecture.

KPMG buildingBank of America PlazaUS Bank TowerUS Bank TowerCitigroup CenterWestin BonaventureAON CenterPaul HastingsPaul HastingsUnion BankFigueroa at Wilshire

Move your Mouse over picture to see the names of the buildings.

This is a view of Downtown Los Angeles from Angels Point. Many of the tallest buildings are located in Los Angeles. Los Angeles is ranked first in the Pacific Coast Region and fifth in the United States (after New York City, Chicago, Miami and Houston). The tallest building in Los Angeles is the U.S. Bank Tower. Completed in 1989 this 73 story builing rises 1,018 feet. This building is also the tallest building in California and the 9th tallest building in the United States. The ten tallest buildings in Los Angeles are:

(1) U.S. Bank Tower, 73 stories, 1,018 feet, 1989
(2) Aon Center, 62 stories, 858 feet, 1973
(3) Two California Plaza, 52 stories, 750 feet, 1992
(4) Gas Company Tower, 52 stories, 749 feet, 1991
(5) Bank of America Plaza, 55 stories, 735 feet, 1974
(6) 777 Tower, 52 stories, 725 feet, 1991
(7) Wells Fargo Tower, 54 stories, 723 feet, 1983
(8) Figueroa at Wilshire, 53 stories, 717 feet, 1990
(9) City National Tower, 52 stories, 699 feet, 1972
(9) Paul Hastings Tower, 52 stories, 699 feet, 1972

Angels Flight

General Information




315 South Hill Street
Los Angeles, CA 90013
Type: Funicular railway
Architect: Merceau Bridge & Construction Co.; Train & Williams
Built/Founded: 1901 Reopened: 1996

Map It



Angels Flight is located in the Bunker Hill district of downtown Los Angeles, California. Angels Flight, the "Shortest Railway in the World," opened in 1901 and quickly became a city landmark. Col. James Ward Eddy was the visionary who convinced City Hall to grant him a 30-year franchise to construct and operate an inclined railway. The funicular system of two counterbalanced cars moving up and down parallel tracks was an efficient means of transporting passengers along the steep grade between Third and Hill Streets and fashionable Bunker Hill. The ride lasted one minute and cost one cent.

The correct name for the railway is Angels Flight (as seen on the arch) which is grammatically incorrect as there is no possessive apostrophe before or after the 's'. The original archway was made of cast iron pipe structure with the name Angel's Flight (grammatical correct).



Station House in California Plaza








This is the Station House located at the top next to the fountain filled Watercourt at the California Plaza complex. The decorative Beaux-Arts archway entrance and station house were added around 1910.


History

Angels Flight has operated in two slightly different sites, using the same cars. This first Angels Flight operated from 1901 until 1969. It connected the residential areas on the hill with shopping, financial and entertainment districts on Hill, Broadway and Spring streets. From 1905 until 1920 Angels Fight served the wealthy who lived in big Victorian houses. Later it served the less fortunate who lived houses converted to flats, hotels, apartments and flop houses from the 1920's through the 1950's. After the most of the residences were destroyed, Angels Flight became more of a tourist attraction.

The second Angels Flight reopened nearby in 1996, and closed in 2001 because of a fatal accident. It has been scheduled to be reopened several times, but reconstruction on the Angels Flight Railway continues. Once the cars, station house and Hill Street arch are completely restored, the next challenge will be to combine them into a working inclined railway. Angels Flight will be an integral part of the exciting, California Plaza complex that includes office and residential buildings, a hotel and the Museum of Contemporary Art.

The second Angels Flight reopened in 1996 from Hill (between 3rd and 4th streets) up a 298 foot incline to the Watercourt at California Plaza (a half a block south of the original site). On February 1, 2001, Angels Flight suffered a serious accident that killed a passenger and injured several others. On November 1, 2008 both of the repaired and restored Angels Flight cars were put back on their tracks and testing began January 2009. Angels Flight has not yet reopened for the public.







Place mouse over picture for black & white version


The original Angels Flight, initially known as the "Los Angeles Incline Railway," ran northwest from the west corner of Third and Hill Streets. Angels flight consisted of two carriages. As one car ascended the other descended. The two cars were named Sinai and Olivet were named after mountains mentioned in The Bible. Originally, Sinai and Olivet were adorned in white. In the 1930's they were painted orange and black.



The second Angels Flight reopened in 1996 from Hill (between 3rd and 4th streets) up a 298 foot incline to the Watercourt at California Plaza (a half a block south of the original site). On February 1, 2001, Angels Flight suffered a serious accident that killed a passenger and injured several others. On November 1, 2008 both of the repaired and restored Angels Flight cars were put back on their tracks and testing began January 2009. Angels Flight has not yet reopened for the public.


Visitors Info

The railway has been closed since a fatal accident in 2001. It is currently being rebuilt. The tentative re-opened date is late in 2009. For more information, click here Angels Flight Information.


Photo Tips


Even though Angels Flight is closed the cars are on the track. You can take photos from Hill street looking up or from the Station House next to Watercourt at California Plaza looking down. Besides pictures of Angels Flight, from the Station House there are opportunities for photos of the civic center and historic core city below. Keep in mind that if you are on private property of a business, you will need to ask permission from that business. Especially, if you are using equipment such as a tripod.












Location used in Media

  • Movies: The Glenn Miller Story, Kiss Me Deadly, Indestructible Man and Criss Cross.
  • Television Series: Perry Mason and Dragnet.

Additional Links


References

1. ^ a b "Angels Flight". Los Angeles Conservacy. http://www.laconservancy.org/tours/downtown/angels_flight.php4. Retrieved on 2009-07-15.
2. ^ a b "Angels Flight". wikipedia.org. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angels_Flight. Retrieved on 2009-07-15.

Avila Adobe

The Avila Adobe, was built in 1818 by Francisco Avila, and has the distinction of being the oldest standing residence in Los Angeles, California, USA. It is located in the paseo of famous, historical Olvera Street and is now a part of El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Monument, a Los Angeles State Historic Park.

The Bradbury Building

General Information


exterior of building
304 South Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90013

Type: Commercial Office Building
Architect: George H. Wyman
Built/Founded: 1893

Map It



The Bradbury Building is the oldest commercial building in downtown Los Angeles. The light-filled cathedral-like atrium that rises almost 50 feet. The building serves as headquarters for the Los Angeles Police Department's Internal Affairs division and other government agencies.

view of back of the atrium








History


The Bradbury Building is an unique treasure lies behind its modest exterior. The light-filled cathedral-like atrium that rises almost 50 feet with ornate iron railings, marble stairs and two open cage elevators.

5 story atrium frontLewis Bradbury, a mining and real estate millionaire, had a plan to have a five story office building constructed close to the Bunker Hill neighborhood. Sumner Hunt, a local architect, was hired to complete a design for the building, but was replaced with George H. Wyman. Bradbury felt that Wyman could understand his own vision for the building better than Hunt. There is no evidence that Wyman changed the design which leave's the identity of the building architect a subject of debate. Wyman designed other buildings in the Los Angeles area, but the Bradbury Building was his only major success. Sumner Hunt went on to design many other notable building including the Southwest Museum.
Initially, Wyman refused the offer to design the building had a ghostly talk with his dead brother Mark Wyman while using a planchette board with his wife. The ghostly message came through said "Mark Wyman/ take the / Bradbury building/ and you will be / successful" with the word "successful" written upside down. After this episode, Wyman accepted the job.
During construction of the building, an active spring was found beneath the work-site which could potentially shut down work on the building by weakening the foundation. Mr. Bradbury believed that this project would be greatest monument to his memory: he imported massive steel rails from Europe in order to bolster the building and allow construction to continue. Unfortunately Lewis Bradbury died months before the building opened in 1893.


Architecture


The exterior of this building is an Italian Renaissance-style of brown brick, but it is the interior of this building that gives it magnificence. The five-story central court features glazed brick, rich marble, tiling, ornamental case iron and polished wood. The skylight allows the entire cour to be flooded with natural light. The cage elevators are surrounded by wrought-iron grill work rather than masonry. The use of ornately designed wrought-iron railings which are suppose to give the illusion of hanging vegetation.







Place mouse over picture for black & white version

Bradbury spared no expense for this project. The floors are composed of Mexican tile, the marble used for the stairs was imported from Belgium and the walls are made of pale grazed brick. The wrought-iron was executed in France and before being installed in the building it was displayed at the Chicago World's Fair.


View looking from Ground Floor of Atrium












To view photo gallery for Bradbury Building, click here.

Visitors Info

Even though this is a working office building, the building is open to the public. For more information on hours of operation, click here. Visitors are not allowed above the first landing.


Photo Tips


The biggest challenge when photographing the interior of the building is the contrast of the large skylight and the hallways. There will be glare in the skylight area. It is very helpful if you plan your trip very early (before 8am).



Location used in Media


  • Movies: Blade Runner (1982), Chinatown, Double Indemnity, Marlowe, D.O.A., Wolf and Lethal Weapon 4.
  • Television Series: City of Angels, Outer Limits ("Demon with a Glass Hand"), Pushing Daisies and Quantum Leap.


References


1. ^ a b c d e "The Most Famous Building In Science Fiction". io9. http://io9.com/5128982/the-most-famous-building-in-science-fiction?skyline=true&s=x. Retrieved on 2009-07-15.
2. ^ a b "Blade Runner Film Locations: Bradbury Building". BRmovie.com. http://www.brmovie.com/Locations/Bradbury_Building.htm. Retrieved on 2009-07-15.
3. ^ a b "Bradbury Building". wikipedia.org. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bradbury_Building. Retrieved on 2009-07-15.
4. ^ a b "Bradbury Building". Los Angeles Conservacy. http://www.laconservancy.org/tours/downtown/bradbury.php4. Retrieved on 2009-07-15.

Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels

General Information



555 West Temple Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Type: Roman Catholic Church
Architect: Rafael Moneo
Built/Founded: 2002



Map It





The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels is the first Cathedral to be built in the United States in over a quarter of a century, and the first in the new millennium. It is the mother church of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and seat of its archbishop, who is currently Cardinal Roger Mahony. The cathedral was designed by an award-winning Spanish architect, Rafael Moneo. Besides the striking modern architecture, this is an important Catholic shrine. The Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels opened in 2002.












History


In 1996, the City of Los Angeles condemned the St. Vibiana’s Cathedral in Downtown Los Angeles because of the extensive earthquake damage from the Northidge Earthquake. The estimate to refit would have cost a minimum of $18 million. In addition to the cost to refit, the capacity of the old cathedral was inadequate for the current and future needs. The archdiocese decided to find a new site for a new cathedral. Cardinal Roger Mahony announced the location of the new site and revealed the new name would be Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. This title had been approved by the Pope in 1945 (anticipating unfulfilled plans for the reconstruction of St. Vibiana’s). The name reflects the original name of Los Angeles, El Pueblo de la Reina de Los Angeles, “City of Our Lady, Queen of Angels.”







Place mouse over picture for black & white version

The consecration and dedication of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels was on September 2, 2002. It is home to the relics of Saint Vibiana, brought from Rome by Thaddeus Amat y Brusi, the first bishop of Los Angeles. The new cathedral is 58,000 square feet and accommodates 3,000 worshipers. The structure will be able to last for five centuries.



Architecture


For the design for the cathedral, Rafael Moneo used elements of postmodern architecture. He chose "Light" and "Journey" as his unifying themes. The Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels is an impressive and unusual building that makes minimal use of right angles. The Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels is 12-story building on a 58,000 square foot complex. Moneo made a conscious choice of not having the entrance directly on the street. He believed that worshipers and visitors will travel a spiritual path; each step will be a transition from the secular to the sacred.


The main sanctuary is 333 feet long. This was purposely one foot longer than St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York. The internal height varies from 80 to 100 feet. The more traditional stained glass windows were replaced with alabaster. The Cathedral uses the largest amount of alabaster in the country. This allowed the interior with soft, warm, subtly multi-hued illumination.


The pews and organ are wood, and the Baptismal Font is granite. The organ has 105 ranks of pipes and was built by Dobson Pipe Organ Builders of Lake City, Iowa. Some of the pipes were retained from the 1980 Austin organ from St. Vibiana's Cathedral. Besides the main sanctuary the complex includes cathedral proper, several gardens and water features, the Cathedral Center (gift shop, Galero Grill, conference center, and cathdral parish offices), and cathedral rectory. The exterior materials are concrete, the floors are stone, the ceiling is wood and the roof is copper.

The interior of the main sanctuary is decorated with three sets of earth-toned tapestries by painter John Nava. There are 25 tapestries titled the Communion of Saints, depicting 135 saints and blesseds from around the world, on the side walls. Behind the baptismal font are the five Baptistery Tapestries, which depict the Baptism of Christ. On the east wall are seven Altar Tapestries feturing a schematic map of Los Angeles converging with a Cosmateque design.














The bronze doors and Virgin Mary over the entrance were designed by Robert Graham, a local California sculptor. As with many features of the cathedral, the statue of the Virgin Mary is not traditional. She is not wearing a veil. Her arms are bare, outstretched to welcome all. From the side can be seen a thick braid of hair down her back that would suggest an Native American or Latin women. Other features such as eyes, lips and nose convey Asian, African or Caucasian features.



The bronze doors do not have the expected biblical scenes, instead are decorated with cultural and symbolic images. Christian mystical numbers are incorporated into the images. At the bottom of the inner doors there is a grapevine the contains 40 ancient symbols including eagle, griffen, goose, ostrich, Southwest Indian Flying Serpent, bee, dove, Chinese turtle, and the dolphin. Above this are 15 manifestations of the Virgin Mary from Europe and the New World.














Mausoleum


On the lower level of the Cathedral is the mausoleum. There are 6,000 masoleum cripts and columbarium niches for burials. There are a number of prior Bishops and Archdiocese buried in the crypt mausoleum which include:


      • Saint Vibiana, patron saint of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles

      • Thaddeus Amat y Brusi, first Bishop of Los Angeles

      • James Cardinal McIntyre, first Cardinal Priest Archbishop of Los Angeles

      • Bishop Juan Arzube

      • Bishop Thomas James Conaty

      • Bishop Carl Anthony Fisher



      The laity are permitted to purchase burial crypts or niches for their own use or use of their family members.


      The mausoleum features a number of stained glass windows that were originally installed in the Saint Vibiana's Cathedral. There were two new windows featuring guardian angels were placed at the entrance of the crypt mausoleum. The restoration of the old Cathedral and the new wondows were done by The Judson Studios.




      To view photo gallery for Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, click here.

      Visitors Info

      The Cathedral is open to the public. Visitors can tour the Cathedral (including the Mausoleum) and the grounds. For more information, click here for the official site.


      Photo Tips


      Wide angle shots of the entire building can be taken from Temple Street or Hill Street. The sun will be behind you in the morning for these shots. The interior of the Cathedral has many amazing peices of artwork including angel dedication holders, tabernacle and tapestries. The large crypt mausoleum, in its lower level, is decorated with stained glass windows from Saint Vibiana's Cathedral and two new windows of guardian angels.



      References


      1. ^ a b c d e "Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels". http://www.olacathedral.org/. Retrieved on 2009-08-15.
      2. ^ a b "Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels". wikipedia.org. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cathedral_of_Our_Lady_of_the_Angels. Retrieved on 2009-08-15.
      3. ^ a b "Jose Rafael Moneo Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels". wikipedia.org. http://www.arcspace.com/architects/moneo/cathedral_feat/. Retrieved on 2009-08-15.
      4. ^ a b "Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels, Los Angeles". wikipedia.org. http://www.sacred-destinations.com/usa/los-angeles-cathedral-of-our-lady-of-the-angels. Retrieved on 2009-08-15.

      Chinatown

      Fifty years ago on the sunny Saturday of June 25, 1938, California's Governor Merriam and a host of dignitaries dedicated Los Angeles Chinatown's Central Plaza in a gala Grand Opening ceremony. One of the Nation's first malls and certainly the first modern American Chinatown, owned and planned from the ground up by Chinese, Central Plaza would provide a magnificent hub and lexus for growth into the famous colorful, vibrant Chinese American community we all know today.