Downtown, Los Angeles

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  • downtown Los Angeles off Olvera St, california
    downtown Los Angeles off Olvera St,...
    by marinarena
  • Union Station at night, Los Angeles
    Union Station at night, Los Angeles
    by marinarena
  • Felix the Cat sign, Los Angeles, CA
    Felix the Cat sign, Los Angeles, CA
    by marinarena
  • Dabs's Profile Photo

    Subway Terminal Building

    by Dabs Written Nov 5, 2006

    3 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The subway tunnel running under this building has long been closed but when the Subway Terminal Building was built in 1924-1926, there were over 1,000 miles of interurban Pacific Electric railway lines transporting some 65,000 workers daily. The subway line running into the Terminal building stopped running in 1955 and altogether in 1961, not because of earthquakes as you might think but because Americans were starting to fall in love with their cars.

    The building has been renovated and reopened in 2005 as loft apartments. But you can still see some remnants of the original building, "Svbway Terminal" printed on the sidewalk leading into the building and the two transportation motif mosaics on the two entry doors. You can enter the lobby and see some of the remnants of the original buildings such as the elevator doors in my photo.

    You can see the similarity in architectural style between this building and the nearby Biltmore Hotel, this Beaux Arts building was designed by the same architects, Schultze and Weaver. Our guide pointed out though that the decor that you see on the south side of the building (along 5th Street) isn't nearly as ornate as the Biltmore because at the time it was built, the Philharmonic Building was in front of it instead of a parking lot.

    Located at 417 S. Hill Street between 4th and 5th Streets.

    Subway Terminal Building Subway Terminal Building Subway Terminal Building Subway Terminal Building

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    Pacific Mutual Building

    by Dabs Written Nov 5, 2006

    In addition to the Edison Building, the LA Conservancy tour stopped inside the Pacific Mutual Building now known as the Pacific Center.

    Located at 523 W. Sixth Street between Olive and Grand, downtown LA

    Pacific Mutual Building Pacific Mutual Building

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    Million Dollar Theater

    by Dabs Updated Nov 1, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Next door to the Grand Central Market is a building that didn't show up in my guidebook, the Million Dollar Theater. I love ornate terra cotta facades and this one was the most ornate that I saw in the downtown area, designed in a style called churrigueresque. You can see bison heads, Texas longhorm skulls and dancing women adorning the facade of this building, which can be seen in the attached photo.

    The Million Dollar Theater was one of America's first movie palaces, built by Sid Grauman (also responsible for Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood) in 1918 at a cost of, you've guessed it, $1 million.

    Although you are no longer allowed inside, there was a 2,200-seat auditorium that resembled a Spanish Colonial cathedral. It was later turned into a church and appears to currently be vacant.

    Located at 307 S. Broadway, next to the Grand Central Market

    Million Dollar Theater Million Dollar Theater Million Dollar Theater Million Dollar Theater Million Dollar Theater
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    Southern California Edison Co. Building

    by Dabs Written Nov 1, 2006

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    Now known as One Bunker Hill, this 14 story building was originally the headquarters of the Southern California Edison Company. On the exterior of the entryway into the art deco building, there are three figures representing light, power and hydroelectric energy.

    If you are passing by, be sure to pop into the lobby, decorated with 25 different types of marble, for a look around. Not unlike banks of the day, the Edison building lobby was designed to impress, you'd want your customers, who unlike today would come there to pay their bills in person, to feel secure about their energy company. It was fittingly one of the first all electric heated and cooled buildings in the US.

    The mural hanging over the reception desk is by Hugo Ballin, titled The Apotheosis of Power. You can see Benjamin Franklin and Dr. William Gilbert, a 16th century English doctor who made significant discoveries about static electricity, on the right side of the mural, and at the bottom the worker that makes electricity possible.

    Be sure to also take a look at the old photographs in the hallway by the exit opposite the main entrance to see the Edison sign that at one time topped the building.

    Located at 601 W. 5th Street at Grand

    Edison Building Edison Building The Apotheosis of Power Edison Building lobby Edison Building lobby

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  • marinarena's Profile Photo

    Do an "Only in L.A." thing- FIDM

    by marinarena Written Oct 16, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    If you like original L.A. kind of fashion, you should stop by FIDM (Fashion Institute of Design and merchandise). Located in emerging South Park, FIDM is one of those "only in L.A." attraction. Each year, there is a showcase of Academy Awards winning costumes and accesories for any Oscar fan to see. If not the Oscar, there is often some kind of fashion on display that is related to Hollywood glamour and glitz. The FIDM Museum and Galleries house exquisitive and all-original works by designs, clothing and beyond. Exhibitions are free usually. FIDM is by the intersection of 9th St and Grand Ave. Parking is available underground but there is no validation. The parking cost can run up to about $6 unless able to find outside meters for parking.

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Women's Travel
    • Arts and Culture

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    Discover California Plaza/Water Court area

    by marinarena Updated Oct 13, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    How could I not love a place where the simple wonder of water is honored! It is situated within the California Plaza, just steps away from world-class arts venues, including the new Walt Disney Concert Hall and upscale hotels and restuarants. In the summertime, there are outdoor concerts. Here, it is a smaller scale version of the concerts in squares and plazas of New York City. If the Today show would go to Los Angeles, it would probably broadcast here.

    The Water Court, Los Angeles
    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Music
    • Arts and Culture

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    Ooh and Aah Over St Vincent Church!

    by marinarena Updated Sep 30, 2006

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    Actually just before heading into downtown Los Angeles, one may catch a glimpse of a gorgeous church off the freeway (esp 110) over in the neighborhood of North University Park (USC area). Located at the corner of Adams and Figueroa St is the late-Baroque style place of worship that sits at a 45 degree angle and demands your attention.

    Architect: Albert Martin
    621 West Adams

    St Vincent Church
    Related to:
    • Religious Travel
    • Architecture

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    Downtown LA - Climb towards world city status.

    by Jerelis Updated Sep 13, 2006

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    The Opera House is where every year you'll see the Academy Awards winners and the Los Angeles Opera created a sensation with its debut production of Verdi's Otello starring Placido Domingo in October 1986.

    Finally we saw the Los Angeles Central Library, which its cylindrical structure on the left was completed in 1989 using plans from J.M. Pei and Partners. At 1017 feet, it is the tallest building west of Chicago and east of Hong Kong, and perhaps symbolized the final rung in Los Angeles' climb toward world city status.

    Directions:
    Downtown Los Angeles is generally thought to be bounded by the Los Angeles River on the east, the U.S. Route 101 on the north, the 10 Santa Monica Freeway on the south and the 110 Harbor Freeway on the west.

    The Opera House.
    Related to:
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    • Luxury Travel
    • Architecture

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    Downtown LA - The largest hotel of LA!

    by Jerelis Updated Sep 13, 2006

    there are quite a lot of hotels situated in the New Down Town, like the Marriot Hotel, the Wilshire Grand Hotel and the Bonaventure Hotel. The last one was designed by John Portman and opened in 1978. The four cylinders that flank the central cylinder are made of mirrored glass and contain luxury rooms and suites.

    A restaurant on the 35th floor boasts a revolving cocktail lounge that provides a 360 degree panoramic view of L.A. The Bonaventure is the largest hotel in Los Angeles, with 1368 rooms (468 more rooms than any other hotel in Downtown Los Angeles). At street level, pedestrians are welcomed to the Bonaventure by unfriendly fortress facades.

    Directions:
    Downtown Los Angeles is generally thought to be bounded by the Los Angeles River on the east, the U.S. Route 101 on the north, the 10 Santa Monica Freeway on the south and the 110 Harbor Freeway on the west.

    The Bonaventure Hotel.
    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Luxury Travel
    • Business Travel

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    Downtown LA - "Financial District"

    by Jerelis Updated Sep 13, 2006

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The "New Down Town" (or "Bunker Hill," or "Financial District") in Los Angeles is largely the product of the efforts of the Community Redevelopment Agency of the City. Beginning in the 1960s this agency coordinated the investment of millions of dollars to develop a "new" downtown with a tall skyscraper profile that would contribute to Los Angeles' world city status.

    Having major office buildings and hotels, today the area is a focal point for international capital and international travellers.

    Directions:
    Downtown Los Angeles is generally thought to be bounded by the Los Angeles River on the east, the U.S. Route 101 on the north, the 10 Santa Monica Freeway on the south and the 110 Harbor Freeway on the west.

    Relinde is having a look around in New Down Town.
    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Business Travel
    • Luxury Travel

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    See how nice where one would arrrive-Union Stn.

    by marinarena Updated Aug 31, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Union Station/Patsouras Transit Plaza

    Here is a lovely,colorful spot on the grounds of a place thought to be rather mundane. Here is where thousands of weary travellers and city workers pass throughout the day, waiting for Metro, municipal, Dash and other bus connections, as well as rail connections for Metro and Metrolink and Amtrak. If you happen to be travelling or just in the area, stop here for a little picnic or just a rest !

    Across from the station and plaza is El Pueblo de Los Angeles, which is truly the heart of L.A. with Mexican roots. Traditional Mex food, entertainment and celebration is enjoyed here throughout the year.

    An interior Union Station shot is included also.

    patio area of Union Station, Los Angeles inside L.A.'s Union Station, California Union Station Palms, Los Angeles at Union Station, Los Angeles Union St at Patsouras Plaza, Los Angeles
    Related to:
    • Trains
    • Historical Travel
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    The jewelry district.

    by islandtaryn Written Mar 18, 2006

    WOW! Anything you could want can be found here. Take a walk through St. Vincent's. It sort of like a mall but the only thing you will find is jewelry or jewelry components.

    I could have spent the entire afternoon here but there was more to do.

    St. Vincent's is located at:

    640 S. Hill
    Los Angeles, CA 90014

    The jewelry district has a website at http://www.lajd.net/

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    Broadway Theater District

    by Dabs Updated Mar 16, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Broadway, from around 3rd Street to 9th Street, was LA's theater district with most of the theaters built in the 1920s and 1930s, the largest concentration of pre WWII movie theaters in America.

    The LA Conservancy walking tour has a walking tour that showcases some of the still standing theaters and they also run a program called Last Remaining Seats where you can watch classic films in one of the grand old movie theaters.

    Here's a nice summary of the theaters in this area, not sure of it's accuracy but you can get an idea of where the theaters are and some of their history.

    Million Dollar Theater
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Theater Travel
    • Architecture

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    Working winery in downtown LA!

    by tattud_gurl Updated Dec 10, 2004

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    Kinda hard to find...but worth it, once you do. It's hidden in an industrial part of town, across from Chinatown...down the street from Union Station.
    They have a small restaurant and wine/liquor store. The tour is free and lasts about half an hour. Bring a jacket...it's chilly inside the wine storage rooms.
    This is a very nice detour from all the amusement parks and beaches.

    Winery

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