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

    Bradbury Building

    by Dabs Updated Jan 29, 2012

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    You might be tempted to pass by this building if you were to judge it from the non descript exterior but if you venture inside you will be in for a treat-the naturally lighted atrium courtyard topped with a skylight, the intricate design work of the wrought iron staircases, the Victorian birdcage elevators that are still manually operated.

    It was designed in 1893 by novice architect George Wyman who is said to have taken the job after communicating with his dead brother, via a Ouija board, who said "Take the Bradbury; it will make you famous." His inspiration was a science fiction book, Looking Backward by Edward Bellamy.

    The Bradbury Building was used to film parts of Blade Runner, Chinatown, (500) Days of Summer and The Artist in the scene where George and Peppy meet on the stairs and he is going down and she is going up, both physically and professionally.

    It's located at 304 South Broadway and you can visit the first floor lobby between 9 and 5 every day although it sounded like with a little "donation" that the guards might take you up to the 5th floor. After visiting, if you want a bite to eat, hop across the street to the Grand Central Market.

    Bradbury Building Bradbury Building Bradbury Building Bradbury Building Charlie Chaplin

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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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    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

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    Nobody Walks in LA?

    by Stasigrace Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    (This is a duplicate of one of my transpo tips)

    Enjoy a walking tour of Downtown Los Angeles. It's a part of this city (one of the only) best explored by foot.

    Very interesting & educational walking tours are offered by the LA Conservancy. I believe they are $8. Red Line Tours is another good company.

    There are also Self-Guided tours. One, called "Angels Walk", offers a guidebook at any of the DTLA tourist kiosks throughout the city. Once you have your book, you'll walk from place to place and come upon an Angel's Walk kiosk that will tell you all about the area you're standing in or nearby attractions. You'll notice these all over downtown. They're a fun way to get more out of your visit.

    Finally, if you type "Downtown Los Angeles Walking Tour" into google, you'll get USC's Architecture school's walking guide. It's more heavy into the architecture, obviously, but it's also good.

    Recently a company began offering a tour where you get a headset and, using GPS, it figures out where you are and tells you about the area. The unique thing is that it tells you about it 100 years ago! (yep, DTLA was THE place to be back then)

    Angels Walk Kiosk (with feathered friends)
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    Bella Union Hotel & The Los Angeles Star Markers

    by Yaqui Updated Jan 17, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Located on a wall facing west towards Main Street from the Fletcher Bowron Square are two California Historical Landmark plaques. The first is the California Historical Landmark #656 Bella Union Hotel Site,

    The plaque reads: "Near this spot stood the Bella Union Hotel, long a social and political center. Here, on October 7, 1858, the first Butterfield Overland Mail stage from the east arrived 21 days after leaving St. Louis. Warren Hall was the driver, and Waterman Ormsby, a reporter, the only through passenger."

    The second one is the site of Los Angeles Star, State Historic Landmark #789. The plaque reads: "Southern California's first newspaper, The Los Angeles Star, was founded in this block on May 17, 1851 and for many years exerted a major influence upon this part of the state. Suspended temporarily from 1864 to 1868, it continued later as an effective voice of the people until its final termination date in 1879."

    Located Fletcher Bowron Square, 300 block of N Main, between Temple and Aliso Sts, Los Angeles, Ca 90012

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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
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    Angels Flight Railway

    by Dabs Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Angels Flight funicular was nicknamed "the shortest railway in the world" and unfortunately I think you need to add another adjective, non operational.

    It opened on December 31, 1901, the two railcars, Olivet and Sinai (named for two mountains in the Bible), carried passengers between the fashionable residential neighborhood on Bunker Hill to the offices and shops below. The fare in 1901 was a penny, it rose to a nickel in 1914 where it stayed until the railway was dismantled and put into storage in 1969.

    In 1996, the restoration of the funicular was completed , the fare being raised to a quarter. After a fatal accident in 2001, the funicular was shut down and remains out of operation as of October 2006.

    Located at 351 S. Hill Street

    Angels Flight Railway

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    Frank Putnam Flint Fountain

    by Yaqui Updated Jan 17, 2010

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    This plaque reads: The fountain is dedicated to and commemorates the public service of Frank Putnam Flint, United States Senator, 1905-1911. "While representing California in the US Senate in 1906, Senator Flint led the campaign to permit construction of the Los Angeles Aqueduct on federal land. The US Senate readily approved his legislative proposal. But when the House of Representatives resisted it, Senator Flint obtained the support of his friend, President Theodore Roosevelt. Soon thereafter, the House approved Senator Flint's bill. Thus, the Los Angeles Aqueduct became possible, leading to a reliable water supply from the Owens Valley and modern development of the Los Angeles region. Senator Flint's many other accomplishments included securing significant federal funding for the development of Los Angeles Harbor."

    Located within the City Hall Park on W. 1st Street and N. Main Street.

    Los Angeles, California Convention and Visitors Bureau
    333 S. Hope St. 18th Flr
    Los Angeles, CA 90071

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    Don't overlook St. Vincent Court

    by marinarena Updated Aug 31, 2008

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    Years after first discovering downtown, I just stumbled across St. Vincent Court, a rather charming alley (yes, a downtown alley with charm can exist!) in an otherwise a fairly drab area. The palette of the buildings make this well-hid spot eyecatching. It is located off Broadway and Hill streets and with main entry by way of 6th. Entering here is as if you were going to a quaint, part of the Mediterrean village with a decidedly middle eastern influence atmosphere. Perhaps, you'd feel as if you were in Turkey.

    Here, is where the regulars are- particularly vendors from the jewelry center of the court's namesake. Many are of Armenian or Persian decent which reflects the food options here at the enchanting eateries, including the popular deli named after the jewelry center. Choose from kebobs, lamb gyros or hummus on the menus. Even if you want coffee, you can try an Armenian variety. There is a Frenchy cafe for your croissant fix and as well a decent pizzeria.

    Look out for the pigeons here that try to get any crumb you may leave.

    cafe dining at jewelry center court, Los Angeles off 7th Street, St Vincent court, Los Angeles fountain at St Vincent court, Los Angeles
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    Sister Cities of Los Angeles

    by Yaqui Written Jan 17, 2010

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    Located on the corner of N. Main Street and W. 1st Street. It's a unique mileage signpost with arrows pointing to Los Angeles 21 sister cities.

    Los Angeles, California Convention and Visitors Bureau
    333 S. Hope St. 18th Flr
    Los Angeles, CA 90071

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    Fire Department War Memorial

    by Yaqui Written Jan 17, 2010

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    Located near the corner of W.1st Street and Temple Street within the City Hall Park it is dedicated to the memory of Firemen who have lost their lives during duty. It was dedicated in 1944.

    Los Angeles, California Convention and Visitors Bureau
    333 S. Hope St. 18th Flr
    Los Angeles, CA 90071

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    But, Yes, There is a Downtown Here!

    by marinarena Updated Mar 6, 2013

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    OK, so, tourists that come to L.A. say that they want to see the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Hollywood Sign, the beach and the other usual sights. The tourist guides really cater to those but much to my chagrin, there is less mention of the downtown area. It DOES exist! Many locals in the L.A. are quite ignorant about downtown. This is changing though, as developers are promoting the up and coming area better. Fancy lofts are increasingly being rented and purchased here left and right. More and more people are saying an enthusiastic "OK!" to downtown L.A. Look out Manhattan- the heart of L.A. is beginning to rival you. Mark my words- Downtown L.A. will be very close to the grandeur of the Big Apple island about 20 years from now. For now though, downtown is very much a work of progress-but aren't we all?

    So, here is a summary of what downtown offers:

    -world-class theater venues, including the Ahmanson Theater.

    -fabulous 4 and 5 star hotels and restaurants (see about the Bonaventure and eventually, I'll have a restaurant review)

    -new and ultra-modern and contemporary lofts (for those who plan to stay for a while. Some are quite expensive ($2000/month, but others surprising affordable)

    -rapid transportation

    -a "New York" kind of feel on a smaller level.

    -bargain shopping at the Fashion district and throughout.

    So, here I include the whole downtown area as an off the beaten path for all of those who just think and dream of Hollywood when it comes to Los Angeles.

    downtown Los Angeles off Olvera St, california Downtown Los Angeles downtown LA shot, California Urbano pizzeria, downtown Los Angeles, CA Union Station at night, Los Angeles
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    Best Blues Show in Town (Shh! its a secret)

    by kschmitty0 Written Apr 4, 2007

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    If you are in town on a Monday night, a truly unique experience is seeing Mickey Champion sing the blues at "Babe and Rickys". This is an old gritty, beat up bar, with the best music in town. Anybody that says L.A. has no soul would probably think twice after checking out this one of a kind show.
    9pm the band comes on, 10 PM Mickey comes out, and at 11PM free southern cooking is served buffet style. Its a trip! $8.00 to see a legend (she's about 85) hollering at the top of her lungs.

    If you google Mickey Champion you can see a trailer of her singing to get an idea...

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    Caltrans Building

    by Yaqui Written Jan 17, 2010

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    This is the California Department of Transportation district 7 Headquarters which stands out. The huge number 100 is the adress for the buidings. A very unique futuristic archetiture.

    Located on W. 1st Street and N. Main Street.

    Los Angeles, California Convention and Visitors Bureau
    333 S. Hope St. 18th Flr
    Los Angeles, CA 90071

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    Parker Center - Los Angeles Police Department

    by Yaqui Written Jan 17, 2010

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    The beautiful building replaced the orginal buildilng that was built in 1954. It was decided to rebuild since it would cost too much to seismic retrofit the old one. It was named after the Chief William H. Parker and reopened Oct of 2009.

    Located 100 W. 1st Street Los Angeles, CA 90012, just south of Los Angeles City Hall.

    Los Angeles, California Convention and Visitors Bureau
    333 S. Hope St. 18th Flr
    Los Angeles, CA 90071
    800-366-6116

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