Downtown Los Angeles
Overview
 
Downtown Los Angeles is the central business district
Central business district
A central business district is the commercial and often geographic heart of a city. In North America this part of a city is commonly referred to as "downtown" or "city center"...

 of Los Angeles
Los Ángeles
Los Ángeles is the capital of the province of Biobío, in the commune of the same name, in Region VIII , in the center-south of Chile. It is located between the Laja and Biobío rivers. The population is 123,445 inhabitants...

, California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, located close to the geographic center of the metropolitan
Metropolis
A metropolis is a very large city or urban area which is a significant economic, political and cultural center for a country or region, and an important hub for regional or international connections and communications...

 area. The area features many of the city's major arts institutions and sports facilities, sightseeing opportunities, a variety of skyscrapers and associated large multinational corporations and an array of public art and unique shopping opportunities. Downtown is the hub of the city's freeway network and Metro rapid transit system
Los Angeles County Metro Rail
Metro Rail is the rapid transit rail system consisting of five separate lines serving 70 stations in the Los Angeles County, California area. The new Expo line is due to enter service in early 2012. It connects with the Metro liner bus rapid transit system and also with the Metrolink commuter...

.

Though Downtown is generally thought to be bounded by the Los Angeles River
Los Angeles River
The Los Angeles River is a river that starts in the San Fernando Valley, in the Simi Hills and Santa Susana Mountains, and flows through Los Angeles County, California, from Canoga Park in the western end of the San Fernando Valley, nearly southeast to its mouth in Long Beach...

 on the east in Lincoln Heights, the Hollywood (101) Freeway to the north, the Santa Monica (10) Freeway on the south and the Harbor (110) Freeway on the west, some sources, including the Los Angeles Downtown News
Los Angeles Downtown News
The Los Angeles Downtown News is a free weekly newspaper in Los Angeles, California, serving the Downtown Los Angeles area.The newspaper focuses on general news with an emphasis on real estate and business...

and Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
The Los Angeles Times is a daily newspaper published in Los Angeles, California, since 1881. It was the second-largest metropolitan newspaper in circulation in the United States in 2008 and the fourth most widely distributed newspaper in the country....

, extend the area past the traditional boundary to include University Park
University Park, Los Angeles, California
University Park is a historic neighborhood in Los Angeles, California, a few miles southwest of Downtown Los Angeles. University Park refers to the University of Southern California as well as the neighborhoods immediately surrounding the University, in particular Exposition Park and North...

 and Exposition Park
Exposition Park (Los Angeles)
Exposition Park is located in University Park, Los Angeles, California, across the street from the University of Southern California. Exposition Park houses the following:* Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum* Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena...

, encompassing the University of Southern California
University of Southern California
The University of Southern California is a private, not-for-profit, nonsectarian, research university located in Los Angeles, California, United States. USC was founded in 1880, making it California's oldest private research university...

 (USC) and Central City West
Central City West, Los Angeles, California
Central City West is a name sometimes given to refer to the eastern edge of the neighborhood of Pico-Union in Los Angeles, California. The term is often used by residents, newspapers, and developers, as part of an attempt to include the area immediately west of the 110 Freeway as a part of Downtown...

 neighborhoods.
The earliest known settlements in the area of what is now Downtown Los Angeles was by the Tongva, a Native American
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

 people.
Encyclopedia
Downtown Los Angeles is the central business district
Central business district
A central business district is the commercial and often geographic heart of a city. In North America this part of a city is commonly referred to as "downtown" or "city center"...

 of Los Angeles
Los Ángeles
Los Ángeles is the capital of the province of Biobío, in the commune of the same name, in Region VIII , in the center-south of Chile. It is located between the Laja and Biobío rivers. The population is 123,445 inhabitants...

, California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, located close to the geographic center of the metropolitan
Metropolis
A metropolis is a very large city or urban area which is a significant economic, political and cultural center for a country or region, and an important hub for regional or international connections and communications...

 area. The area features many of the city's major arts institutions and sports facilities, sightseeing opportunities, a variety of skyscrapers and associated large multinational corporations and an array of public art and unique shopping opportunities. Downtown is the hub of the city's freeway network and Metro rapid transit system
Los Angeles County Metro Rail
Metro Rail is the rapid transit rail system consisting of five separate lines serving 70 stations in the Los Angeles County, California area. The new Expo line is due to enter service in early 2012. It connects with the Metro liner bus rapid transit system and also with the Metrolink commuter...

.

Though Downtown is generally thought to be bounded by the Los Angeles River
Los Angeles River
The Los Angeles River is a river that starts in the San Fernando Valley, in the Simi Hills and Santa Susana Mountains, and flows through Los Angeles County, California, from Canoga Park in the western end of the San Fernando Valley, nearly southeast to its mouth in Long Beach...

 on the east in Lincoln Heights, the Hollywood (101) Freeway to the north, the Santa Monica (10) Freeway on the south and the Harbor (110) Freeway on the west, some sources, including the Los Angeles Downtown News
Los Angeles Downtown News
The Los Angeles Downtown News is a free weekly newspaper in Los Angeles, California, serving the Downtown Los Angeles area.The newspaper focuses on general news with an emphasis on real estate and business...

and Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
The Los Angeles Times is a daily newspaper published in Los Angeles, California, since 1881. It was the second-largest metropolitan newspaper in circulation in the United States in 2008 and the fourth most widely distributed newspaper in the country....

, extend the area past the traditional boundary to include University Park
University Park, Los Angeles, California
University Park is a historic neighborhood in Los Angeles, California, a few miles southwest of Downtown Los Angeles. University Park refers to the University of Southern California as well as the neighborhoods immediately surrounding the University, in particular Exposition Park and North...

 and Exposition Park
Exposition Park (Los Angeles)
Exposition Park is located in University Park, Los Angeles, California, across the street from the University of Southern California. Exposition Park houses the following:* Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum* Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena...

, encompassing the University of Southern California
University of Southern California
The University of Southern California is a private, not-for-profit, nonsectarian, research university located in Los Angeles, California, United States. USC was founded in 1880, making it California's oldest private research university...

 (USC) and Central City West
Central City West, Los Angeles, California
Central City West is a name sometimes given to refer to the eastern edge of the neighborhood of Pico-Union in Los Angeles, California. The term is often used by residents, newspapers, and developers, as part of an attempt to include the area immediately west of the 110 Freeway as a part of Downtown...

 neighborhoods.

Early years

The earliest known settlements in the area of what is now Downtown Los Angeles was by the Tongva, a Native American
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

 people. Later European settlement arrived after Father Juan Crespí
Juan Crespi
Father Juan Crespí was a Majorcan missionary and explorer of Las Californias. He entered the Franciscan order at the age of seventeen. He came to America in 1749, and accompanied explorers Francisco Palóu and Junípero Serra. In 1767 he went to the Baja Peninsula and was placed in charge of the...

, a Spanish missionary charged with exploring sites for Catholic missions in California, noted in 1769 that the region had "all the requisites for a large settlement." On September 4, 1781, the city was founded on the site that currently holds La Placita Olvera
Olvera Street
Olvera Street is in the oldest part of Downtown Los Angeles, California, and is part of the El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Monument. Many Latinos refer to it as "La Placita Olvera." Circa 1911 it was described as Sonora Town....

.

Land speculation increased in the 1880s, which saw the population of the city explode from 11,000 in 1880 to nearly 100,000 by 1896.

Infrastructure enhancements and the laying of a street grid eventually brought development south of the original settlement into what is today the Civic Center
Civic Center, Los Angeles, California
The Civic Center neighborhood of Los Angeles, California is the administrative core of the City of Los Angeles and a complex of city, state, and federal government offices, buildings, and courthouses.-Location:...

 and Historic Core
Historic Core, Los Angeles, California
The Historic Core is a neighborhood in Downtown Los Angeles between Hill and Main streets on the west and east, and 3rd and 9th street on the north and south. It overlaps with the Jewelry District on its western end and Skid Row on its eastern end. It was the center of the city before World War II...

 neighborhoods.

Downtown's golden age

By 1920, the city's private and municipal rail lines were among the most far-flung and most comprehensive in the world in mileage, rivaling that of New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

, as shown (and parodied) in the 1988 film Who Framed Roger Rabbit
Who Framed Roger Rabbit
Who Framed Roger Rabbit is a 1988 American fantasy-comedy-noir film directed by Robert Zemeckis and released by Touchstone Pictures. The film combines live action and animation, and is based on Gary K. Wolf's novel Who Censored Roger Rabbit?, which depicts a world in which cartoon characters...

. By that year, a steady influx of residents and aggressive land developers had transformed the city into a large metropolitan area, with Downtown at its center. Rail lines connected four counties with over 1100 miles (1,770.3 km) of track.

During the early part of the 20th century, banking institutions clustered around South Spring Street, forming the Spring Street Financial District
Spring Street Financial District
The Spring Street Financial District, sometimes referred to as the Wall Street of the West, is a historic district in Downtown Los Angeles. The historic district includes 23 financial structures, including the city's first skyscraper, and three hotels all located along a stretch of South Spring...

. Sometimes referred to as the "Wall Street of the West," the district held corporate headquarters for financial institutions including Bank of America
Bank of America
Bank of America Corporation, an American multinational banking and financial services corporation, is the second largest bank holding company in the United States by assets, and the fourth largest bank in the U.S. by market capitalization. The bank is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina...

, Farmers and Merchants Bank, the Crocker National Bank
Crocker National Bank
Crocker National Bank was a United States bank headquartered in San Francisco, California. It was acquired by and merged into Wells Fargo Bank in 1986.-History:The bank traces its history to the Woolworth National Bank in San Francisco...

, California Bank & Trust, and International Savings & Exchange Bank. The Los Angeles Stock Exchange
Pacific Exchange
The Pacific Exchange was, until 2001, a regional stock exchange with a main exchange floor and building in San Francisco, California, USA and a branch in Los Angeles, California, USA. Its history began with the founding of the San Francisco Stock and Bond Exchange in 1882 and the Los Angeles Oil...

 was also located on the corridor from 1929 until 1986 before moving into a new building across the Harbor (110) Freeway
Interstate 110 (California)
Route 110, consisting of two segments of State Route 110 joined by Interstate 110 , is a state highway in the Los Angeles area of the U.S. state of California, mostly built to freeway standards...

.

Commercial growth brought with it hotel construction—during this time period several grand hotels, the Alexandria (1906), the Rosslyn (1911), and the Biltmore (1923), were erected—and also the need for venues to entertain the growing population of Los Angeles. Broadway
Broadway Theater and Commercial District
Broadway Theater and Commercial District in Downtown Los Angeles is the first and largest historic theater district listed on the National Register of Historic Places...

 became the nightlife, shopping and entertainment district of the city, with over a dozen movie houses built before 1932.

Department stores also opened flagship stores in Downtown, including The Broadway
The Broadway
The Broadway was a mid-level department store chain headquartered in Los Angeles, California, United States of America. Founded in 1896 by English born Arthur Letts, Sr., who later went on to develop Holmby Hills, The Broadway became one of the dominant retailers in Southern California and the...

, Hamburger & Sons, May Company
May Department Stores
The May Department Stores Company was a national department store chain in the United States, founded in 1877 by David May. The company ceased to exist in 2005 when it was merged with Federated Department Stores, Inc . Prior to the merger it was headquartered in Downtown St. Louis, Missouri...

, JW Robinson's and Bullock's
Bullock's
Bullock's was a department store based in Los Angeles, California. The company operated full-line department stores all across California, with some stores in Arizona and Nevada. Bullock's also operated the more upscale Bullocks Wilshire in parts of Southern California.- History :Bullock's was...

, serving a wealthy residential population in the Bunker Hill
Bunker Hill, Los Angeles, California
Bunker Hill, in the downtown area of Los Angeles, California, is a short, developed hill with its peak located roughly around 3rd Street. It is located directly east of the Harbor Freeway...

 neighborhood. Numerous specialty stores also flourished including those in the jewelry business which gave rise to the Downtown Jewelry District. Among these early Jewelers included the Laykin Diamond Company (later becoming Laykin et Cie http://www.laykinetcie.com) and Harry Winston
Harry Winston
Harry Winston was an American jeweler. He donated the Hope Diamond to the Smithsonian Institution in 1958 after owning it for a decade, and traded the Portuguese Diamond to the Smithsonian in 1963.-History:...

 & Co. both of which found their beginnings in the Alexandria Hotel at 5th and Spring Streets.

The Los Angeles Union Passenger Terminal (Union Station) opened in May, 1939, unifying passenger service among various local, regional and long-distance passenger trains.

Decline and redevelopment

Following World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, suburbanization
Suburbanization
Suburbanization a term used to describe the growth of areas on the fringes of major cities. It is one of the many causes of the increase in urban sprawl. Many residents of metropolitan regions work within the central urban area, choosing instead to live in satellite communities called suburbs...

, the development of the Los Angeles freeway network and, subsequently, increased automobile ownership, led to decreased investment in Downtown. Many corporate headquarters slowly dispersed to new suburbs or fell to mergers and acquisitions. The once-wealthy Bunker Hill neighborhood became a haven for low-income renters, its stately Victorian mansions turned into flophouse
Flophouse
A flophouse , doss-house or dosshouse is a place that offers very cheap lodging, generally by providing only minimal services.-Characteristics:...

s. From about 1930 to the 1960s, numerous very old and historic buildings in the Plaza area were demolished to make way for street-level parking lots, the high demand for parking making this more profitable than any other option that might have allowed preservation. The drastic reduction in the number of residents in the area further reduced the viability of streetfront businesses that would be able to attract pedestrians. For most Angelenos, Downtown became a drive-in-drive-out destination as they would come into the area for a particular objective, and then leave immediately once their business was completed.

In an effort to combat blight and lure businesses back to Downtown, the Community Redevelopment Agency of the city of Los Angeles undertook the Bunker Hill Redevelopment Project in 1955, a massive clearance project that leveled homes and cleared land for future commercial skyscraper development. This period saw the clearing and upzoning of the entire neighborhood as well as the shuttering of the Angels Flight
Angels Flight
Angels Flight is a landmark funicular railway in the Bunker Hill district of Downtown Los Angeles, California. It has two funicular cars, Sinai and Olivet ....

 funicular railway in 1969. Angels Flight resumed operation in 1996 for a period of five years, shutting down once again after a fatal accident in 2001. On March 15, 2010, the railway once again opened for passenger service following extensive upgrades to brake and safety systems.

With Class A office space becoming available on Bunker Hill, many of Downtown's remaining financial corporations moved to the newer buildings, leaving the former Spring Street Financial District
Spring Street Financial District
The Spring Street Financial District, sometimes referred to as the Wall Street of the West, is a historic district in Downtown Los Angeles. The historic district includes 23 financial structures, including the city's first skyscraper, and three hotels all located along a stretch of South Spring...

 devoid of tenants above ground floor. Following the corporate headquarters' moving six blocks west, the large department stores on Broadway shuttered, culminating in the 1980s.

However, the Broadway theaters saw much use as Spanish-language movie houses during this time, beginning with the conversion of the Million Dollar Theater
Million Dollar Theater
The Million Dollar Theater at 307 S. Broadway in downtown Los Angeles is one of the first movie palaces built in the United States. It opened in February 1918...

 in the 1950s to Spanish-language film.

Recent years

Because of the Downtown office market's migration west to Bunker Hill and the Financial District
Financial District, Los Angeles, California
The Financial District is a neighborhood in Downtown Los Angeles on the redeveloped section of Bunker Hill. The area is dominated by upscale corporate office skyscrapers, hotels and related services as well as banks, law firms, and real estate companies...

, many historic office buildings were left intact, simply used for storage or remaining empty during recent decades. In 1999, the Los Angeles City Council
Los Angeles City Council
The Los Angeles City Council is the governing body of the City of Los Angeles.The Council is composed of fifteen members elected from single-member districts for four-year terms. The president of the council and the president pro tempore are chosen by the Council at the first regular meeting after...

 passed an adaptive reuse
Adaptive reuse
Adaptive reuse refers to the process of reusing an old site or building for a purpose other than which it was built or designed for. Along with brownfield reclamation, adaptive reuse is seen by many as a key factor in land conservation and the reduction of urban sprawl...

 ordinance
Local ordinance
A local ordinance is a law usually found in a municipal code.-United States:In the United States, these laws are enforced locally in addition to state law and federal law.-Japan:...

, making it easier for developers to convert outmoded, vacant office and commercial buildings into renovated lofts and luxury apartment and condo complexes.

As of early 2009, 14,561 residential units have been created under the adaptive reuse ordinance, leading to an increase in the residential population. With 28,878 residents in 2006 and 39,537 in 2008, a 36.9% increase, Downtown Los Angeles is seeing new life and investment.
  • Staples Center
    Staples Center
    Staples Center is a multi-purpose sports arena in Downtown Los Angeles. Adjacent to the L.A. Live development, it is located next to the Los Angeles Convention Center complex along Figueroa Street. Opening on October 17, 1999, it is one of the major sporting facilities in the Greater Los Angeles...

    , which opened in 1999, has contributed immensely to the revitalization plans, adding 250 events and nearly 4,000,000 visitors per year to the neighborhood.

  • A growing rail transit network
    Los Angeles County Metro Rail
    Metro Rail is the rapid transit rail system consisting of five separate lines serving 70 stations in the Los Angeles County, California area. The new Expo line is due to enter service in early 2012. It connects with the Metro liner bus rapid transit system and also with the Metrolink commuter...

     centered in Downtown has increased mobility and access to jobs throughout the region.

  • On August 7, 2007, the Los Angeles City Council
    Los Angeles City Council
    The Los Angeles City Council is the governing body of the City of Los Angeles.The Council is composed of fifteen members elected from single-member districts for four-year terms. The president of the council and the president pro tempore are chosen by the Council at the first regular meeting after...

     approved sweeping changes in zoning and development rules for the Downtown area. Strongly advocated by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa
    Antonio Villaraigosa
    Antonio Ramón Villaraigosa , born Antonio Ramón Villar, Jr., is the 41st and current Mayor of Los Angeles, California, the third Mexican American to have ever held office in the city of Los Angeles and the first in over 130 years. He is also the current president of the United States Conference of...

    , the changes allow larger and denser developments Downtown; developers who reserve 15% of their units for low-income residents are now exempt from some open-space requirements and can make their buildings 35% larger than current zoning codes allow.


Projects along the Figueroa Corridor such as Wilshire Grand Tower I
Wilshire Grand Tower I
Wilshire Grand Tower I is an approved supertall building for Downtown Los Angeles. Scheduled to break ground in 2012, the Wilshire Grand Tower complex is planned to consist of two towers. The tallest and central tower would be while the other is planned to reach a height of . The development of...

 are also being approved that will further the progressive revitalization of downtown; attracting businesses, tourists and new residents, and rivaling other spots, like Times Square. With the addition of new skyscrapers such as the Wilshire Towers, Downtown is slated to have a skyline in prominence rivaling those ranked among the top in the world.

Pueblo (Union Station and Olvera Street)

  • On the northeastern edge of Downtown Los Angeles, the bustling Los Angeles Union Station
    Union Station (Los Angeles)
    Los Angeles Union Station is the main railway station in Los Angeles, California. The station has rail services by Amtrak and Amtrak California and Metrolink; light rail/subways are the Metro Rail Red Line, Purple Line, Gold Line. Bus rapid transport runs on the Silver Line...

     (known as the "Last of the Great Railway Stations") serves as the region's main transportation hub, with the convergence of six commuter rail lines, two subway lines, a light rail line, Amtrak service and multiple local and regional bus services. The station, opened May 1939, is a massive building in the Art Deco, Moorish and Spanish Mission styles, that serves a growing rail and bus passenger market. Station grounds include soaring ceilings, deep leather-and-wood chairs, and two adjoining greenspaces and fountains flanking the main passenger concourse. The Los Angeles Conservancy offers guided tours of Union Station for a small fee.

  • Across Alameda Street from Union Station is the historic center of the city, El Pueblo de Los Angeles, enshrined as Olvera Street
    Olvera Street
    Olvera Street is in the oldest part of Downtown Los Angeles, California, and is part of the El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Monument. Many Latinos refer to it as "La Placita Olvera." Circa 1911 it was described as Sonora Town....

    , a collection of historic shops, restaurants and several museums, as well as La Placita Olvera and Our Lady Queen of the Angels Church
    La Iglesia de Nuestra Señora Reina de los Angeles
    La Iglesia de Nuestra Señora la Reina de Los Angeles is a Catholic church founded on August 18, 1814 by Fray Luis Gil y Taboada, who placed the cornerstone of a new church amid the ruins of the former "sub-mission," the Nuestra Señora Reina de los Angeles Asistencia to serve the local...

    .

  • The Old Plaza Firehouse is a museum dedicated to historic firefighting artifacts and memorabilia, including historical maps of the city of Los Angeles.

  • The Chinese American Museum
    Chinese American Museum
    The Chinese American Museum is a museum located in Downtown Los Angeles as a part of the El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Monument. It is dedicated to the history and experience of Chinese Americans in the state of California, first such museum in Southern California...

     is located in the historic Garnier Building and features exhibits detailing the lives of Chinese Americans in early California as well as contemporary works by Chinese American artists.

  • Philippe the Original
    Philippe's
    Philippe's, or "Phillippe the Original", is a restaurant located in downtown Los Angeles, California. The restaurant is well known for continuously operating since 1908, making it one of the oldest restaurants in Los Angeles. It is also renowned for claiming to be the inventor of the French Dip...

    , a 1908 eatery that lays a competing claim (along with Cole's Pacific Electric Buffet
    Cole's Pacific Electric Buffet
    Cole's Pacific Electric Buffet, also known as Cole's P.E. Buffet, is a restaurant and bar located at 118 East 6th Street in the Historic Core district of downtown Los Angeles, California....

    ) to the invention of the French dip sandwich
    French dip sandwich
    A French dip sandwich, also known as a beef dip, is a hot sandwich consisting of thinly sliced roast beef on a "French roll" or baguette. It is usually served au jus , that is, with beef juice from the cooking process...

    , is among the oldest eateries in the city.

Chinatown

North and west of Union Station lies Chinatown
Chinatown, Los Angeles
Chinatown in Los Angeles, California is located in the city's downtown area. Built in 1938, it is the second Chinatown to be constructed in Los Angeles. The original historic Chinatown was founded in the late 19th century, but was demolished to make room for Union Station, the city's major rail...

, a mixed-use district of restaurants, nightlife, art galleries, trinket shops, a branch of the Los Angeles Public Library
Los Angeles Public Library
The Los Angeles Public Library system serves the residents of Los Angeles, California, United States. With over 6 million volumes, LAPL is one of the largest publicly funded library systems in the world. The system is overseen by a Board of Library Commissioners with five members appointed by the...

 system and residences. The neighborhood is accessible via the Metro Gold Line Chinatown Station
Chinatown (LACMTA Station)
Chinatown Station is an elevated light rail station in the Los Angeles County Metro Rail system. It is located at the intersection of North Spring Street and College Street, on the edge of Chinatown just north of Downtown Los Angeles...

.
  • Centered along North Broadway and North Hill Street, Chinatown Central Plaza, also known as "New Chinatown," is the central gathering place in the neighborhood.

  • Operated by the Chinese Historical Society of Southern California
    Chinese Historical Society of Southern California
    Chinese Historical Society of Southern California is located in Los Angeles Chinatown, at 415 Bernard Street. Its Chinatown Heritage & Visitors Center is open to the public...

    , the Chinatown Heritage & Visitors Center is open to the public and aims to share the Chinese-American history of the Los Angeles area.

  • Los Angeles State Historic Park, Downtown's largest greenspace, lies north of the light rail station on North Spring Street.

Little Tokyo

Despite the suburbanization of Southern California's Japanese American
Japanese American
are American people of Japanese heritage. Japanese Americans have historically been among the three largest Asian American communities, but in recent decades have become the sixth largest group at roughly 1,204,205, including those of mixed-race or mixed-ethnicity...

s over the past several decades, Little Tokyo remains the cultural heart of the Japanese American community. The neighborhood is home to several Buddhist temples, dozens of shops, restaurants and taverns, two museums, and a branch of the Los Angeles Public Library
Los Angeles Public Library
The Los Angeles Public Library system serves the residents of Los Angeles, California, United States. With over 6 million volumes, LAPL is one of the largest publicly funded library systems in the world. The system is overseen by a Board of Library Commissioners with five members appointed by the...

 system.

Little Tokyo is accessible via the nearby Metro Red/Purple Line Civic Center Station
Civic Center (LACMTA Station)
Civic Center Station is a heavy-rail subway station in the Los Angeles County Metro Rail system. It is located on Hill Street between 1st and Temple Streets in the Civic Center area of Downtown Los Angeles. This station is served by the Red Line and the Purple Line. It is also served by the...

, and the Little Tokyo light-rail station on the Metro Gold Line.
  • Pedestrian activity in the neighborhood is centered around the Japanese Village Plaza, an open-air shopping area spanning First and Second streets. The center is home to Nijiya Market, Mikawaya Ice Cream, Yamazaki Bakery and several other stores and eateries, as well as a landmark watchtower on First Street.

  • Historic First Street is an active restaurant row, with many establishments specializing in Japanese ramen
    Ramen
    is a Japanese noodle dish. It consists of Chinese-style wheat noodles served in a meat- or fish-based broth, often flavored with soy sauce or miso, and uses toppings such as , , kamaboko, green onions, and occasionally corn...

     noodles. Fugetsu-do, a century-old establishment that specializes in mochi
    Mochi
    Mochi is a Japanese rice cake made of glutinous rice pounded into paste and molded into shape. In Japan it is traditionally made in a ceremony called mochitsuki. While also eaten year-round, mochi is a traditional food for the Japanese New Year and is commonly sold and eaten during that time...

    , a Japanese rice-based snack, is located on this corridor.

  • Weller Court is a retail complex anchored by Marukai Market at the intersection of Second and San Pedro streets. Three levels of Japanese-themed shops and restaurants face an interior courtyard. The shopping center also features a memorial to the seven crewmembers killed in the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster
    Space Shuttle Challenger disaster
    The Space Shuttle Challenger disaster occurred on January 28, 1986, when Space Shuttle Challenger broke apart 73 seconds into its flight, leading to the deaths of its seven crew members. The spacecraft disintegrated over the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of central Florida at 11:38 am EST...

    .

  • The Japanese American National Museum (JANM) is Little Tokyo's largest cultural facility and plays host to several exhibits detailing the plight of Japanese American citizens during the World War II era
    Japanese American internment
    Japanese-American internment was the relocation and internment by the United States government in 1942 of approximately 110,000 Japanese Americans and Japanese who lived along the Pacific coast of the United States to camps called "War Relocation Camps," in the wake of Imperial Japan's attack on...

    , as well as historical perspectives and contemporary works by Japanese American artists.

  • Little Tokyo is home to a secondary campus of the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA)
    Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
    The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles is a contemporary art museum with three locations in greater Los Angeles, California. The main branch is located on Grand Avenue in Downtown Los Angeles, near Walt Disney Concert Hall...

    , the Geffen Contemporary.

Civic Center

Los Angeles's Civic Center is the government center of the city and is home to several federal, state, county and municipal administrative buildings. The main office of the Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
The Los Angeles Times is a daily newspaper published in Los Angeles, California, since 1881. It was the second-largest metropolitan newspaper in circulation in the United States in 2008 and the fourth most widely distributed newspaper in the country....

 is located in the district. The neighborhood is accessible via the Metro Red/Purple Line Civic Center Station
Civic Center (LACMTA Station)
Civic Center Station is a heavy-rail subway station in the Los Angeles County Metro Rail system. It is located on Hill Street between 1st and Temple Streets in the Civic Center area of Downtown Los Angeles. This station is served by the Red Line and the Purple Line. It is also served by the...

.
  • The new Los Angeles Police Department
    Los Angeles Police Department
    The Los Angeles Police Department is the police department of the city of Los Angeles, California. With just under 10,000 officers and more than 3,000 civilian staff, covering an area of with a population of more than 4.1 million people, it is the third largest local law enforcement agency in...

     Police Administration Building, designed by DMJM Architects, replaced the aging Parker Center
    Parker Center
    Parker Center was the headquarters for the Los Angeles Police Department from 1954 until October 2009, and is located in Downtown LA. It is named for former LAPD chief William H. Parker. Originally with the prosaic name, the Police Administration Building, ground for the center was broken on...

    , which is slated for demolition. A public park is located on the Second Street side of the building.

  • As part of the Caltrans District 7 Headquarters
    Caltrans District 7 Headquarters
    The Caltrans District 7 Headquarters building at 100 South Main Street in Downtown Los Angeles, California serves the California Department of Transportation and the Los Angeles Department of Transportation. Built on a $165,000,000 budget it opened on September 24 2004...

     project, a public art project was placed in the entrance plaza. The large-scale artwork uses a series of neon tubes to mimic the flow of traffic on a freeway.

  • The Los Angeles Mall (park) stretches between City Hall on the east and the Los Angeles Music Center
    Los Angeles Music Center
    The Music Center is one of the three largest performing arts centers in the nation. Located in downtown Los Angeles, the Music Center is home to the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Ahmanson Theater, Mark Taper Forum and Walt Disney Concert Hall...

     on adjoining Bunker Hill
    Bunker Hill, Los Angeles, California
    Bunker Hill, in the downtown area of Los Angeles, California, is a short, developed hill with its peak located roughly around 3rd Street. It is located directly east of the Harbor Freeway...

    . Plans call for a 16 acres (64,749.8 m²) replacement park designed by Rios Clementi Hale Studios. The plan includes a large community gathering space at the foot of City Hall, new gardens and green space between the Los Angeles County Hall of Administration and the court houses
    Superior Court of Los Angeles County
    The Superior Court of Los Angeles County is the Superior Court located in Los Angeles County. It is the largest single unified trial court in the United States....

    , and an overhaul of an existing fountain.

  • An observation deck on the 27th floor of City Hall
    Los Angeles City Hall
    Los Angeles City Hall, completed 1928, is the center of the government of the city of Los Angeles, California, and houses the mayor's office and the meeting chambers and offices of the Los Angeles City Council...

     is open to the public on weekdays.

Bunker Hill

Bunker Hill is the cultural heart of Los Angeles, with several arts schools, theaters and performance venues along Grand Avenue. Guided tours of the neighborhood are provided by the Los Angeles Conservancy for a small fee. The neighborhood is accessible via the Metro Red/Purple Line Civic Center Station
Civic Center (LACMTA Station)
Civic Center Station is a heavy-rail subway station in the Los Angeles County Metro Rail system. It is located on Hill Street between 1st and Temple Streets in the Civic Center area of Downtown Los Angeles. This station is served by the Red Line and the Purple Line. It is also served by the...

.
  • Central Los Angeles Area High School Number 9, a new performing arts school on Grand Avenue, is scheduled to open in September 2009. At $232 million, the high school is among the most expensive ever built in the United States and features a futuristic post-Modern design by Austrian architecture firm Coop Himmelb(l)au. The project is noted for its conical theater, spiral tower facing the 101 Freeway and glass-and-steel entryway on Grand Avenue.

  • Acting as the headquarters of the Los Angeles Archdiocese, the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels
    Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels
    The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, also called "COLA" and the Los Angeles Cathedral, is a cathedral of the Roman Catholic Church in Los Angeles, California, United States...

     at Grand Avenue and Temple Street was completed in 2002 after the nearby St. Vibiana's Cathedral
    Cathedral of Saint Vibiana
    The Cathedral of Saint Vibiana, often called St. Vibiana's, is a former cathedral church building and parish of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles...

     was damaged in the 1994 Northridge earthquake. The 58000 ft2 complex can hold 3,000 attendees and was designed by Spanish architect Rafael Moneo
    Rafael Moneo
    José Rafael Moneo Vallés is a Spanish architect. He was born in Tudela, Spain, and won the Pritzker Prize for architecture in 1996. He studied at the ETSAM, Technical University of Madrid from which he received his architectural degree in 1961. From 1958 to 1961 he worked in the office in Madrid...

     in a post-Modern
    Postmodernism
    Postmodernism is a philosophical movement evolved in reaction to modernism, the tendency in contemporary culture to accept only objective truth and to be inherently suspicious towards a global cultural narrative or meta-narrative. Postmodernist thought is an intentional departure from the...

     style. A plaza and small park are open to the public.

  • The Los Angeles Music Center
    Los Angeles Music Center
    The Music Center is one of the three largest performing arts centers in the nation. Located in downtown Los Angeles, the Music Center is home to the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Ahmanson Theater, Mark Taper Forum and Walt Disney Concert Hall...

     is a complex of music and theatrical halls on the Grand Avenue cultural corridor between Temple Street to the north and Second Street to the south, including the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion
    Dorothy Chandler Pavilion
    The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion is one of the halls in the Los Angeles Music Center . The Music Center's other halls include the Mark Taper Forum, Ahmanson Theatre, and Walt Disney Concert Hall.The Pavilion has 3,197 seats spread over four tiers, with chandeliers, wide curving stairways and rich décor...

    , Mark Taper Forum, Ahmanson Theater and Walt Disney Concert Hall. The Disney Hall opened in 2003 as the new home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic
    Los Angeles Philharmonic
    The Los Angeles Philharmonic is an American orchestra based in Los Angeles, California, United States. It has a regular season of concerts from October through June at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, and a summer season at the Hollywood Bowl from July through September...

     and the Los Angeles Master Chorale
    Los Angeles Master Chorale
    The Los Angeles Master Chorale is a professional chorus in Los Angeles, California. It was founded in 1964 by Roger Wagner to be one of the three original resident companies of the Music Center of Los Angeles County...

    , increasing the number of major theaters at the Music Center
    Los Angeles Music Center
    The Music Center is one of the three largest performing arts centers in the nation. Located in downtown Los Angeles, the Music Center is home to the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Ahmanson Theater, Mark Taper Forum and Walt Disney Concert Hall...

     to four. Also housed in the Disney Hall complex is the smaller REDCAT
    REDCAT
    Opened November 2003, REDCAT is a contemporary arts center that is an extension of CalArts campus, and serves as the professional presenting arm of the Institute...

     Theater and art studio. Audio and guided tours are provided by the Music Center.

  • Architecture firm A.C. Martin designed the 1964 Los Angeles Department of Water and Power
    Los Angeles Department of Water and Power
    The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is the largest municipal utility in the United States, serving over four million residents. It was founded in 1902 to supply water and electricity to residents and businesses in Los Angeles and surrounding communities...

     headquarters building at the intersection of First and Hope streets, which was later renamed the John Ferraro Building after the late City Councilman John Ferraro
    John Ferraro
    John Ferraro was the longest-serving Los Angeles City Council member in the history of the city—thirty-five years, from 1966 until his death in 2001—and the president of the council for fourteen of them...

    . It is noted for its iconic modern architecture and backlit fountains.

  • South of the Music Center is the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA)
    Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
    The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles is a contemporary art museum with three locations in greater Los Angeles, California. The main branch is located on Grand Avenue in Downtown Los Angeles, near Walt Disney Concert Hall...

    , the only museum in Los Angeles dedicated solely to contemporary artworks produced after 1940.

  • The Colburn School of Performing Arts
    Colburn School
    The Colburn School is a music, dance, and drama school located in downtown Los Angeles adjacent to the Museum of Contemporary Art and across the street from the Walt Disney Concert Hall...

     is a leading performance and music school, consisting of the School of Performing Arts and the Conservatory of Music.

  • Dining and performances are available at the Water Court at California Plaza
    One California Plaza
    One California Plaza is a skyscraper located on the Bunker Hill District district of downtown Los Angeles, California. The tower is part of the California Plaza project, consists of two unique skyscrapers, One California Plaza and Two California Plaza...

    . Free outdoor concerts are scheduled during the summer, operated by the nonprofit Grand Performances. Several new restaurants have opened in the area in recent years.

  • The historic Angels Flight
    Angels Flight
    Angels Flight is a landmark funicular railway in the Bunker Hill district of Downtown Los Angeles, California. It has two funicular cars, Sinai and Olivet ....

     funicular railway sits at the eastern portion of California Plaza. Re-opened in 2010, the twin rail cars Olivet and Sinai serve the Historic Core
    Historic Core, Los Angeles, California
    The Historic Core is a neighborhood in Downtown Los Angeles between Hill and Main streets on the west and east, and 3rd and 9th street on the north and south. It overlaps with the Jewelry District on its western end and Skid Row on its eastern end. It was the center of the city before World War II...

     neighborhood. On a steep incline of Bunker Hill, the railway previously ran from 1901 to 1969, and 1969 to 2001.

Historic Core

The Historic Core neighborhood is a heavily residential neighborhood of Downtown Los Angeles, and many of those residences are adaptive reuse
Adaptive reuse
Adaptive reuse refers to the process of reusing an old site or building for a purpose other than which it was built or designed for. Along with brownfield reclamation, adaptive reuse is seen by many as a key factor in land conservation and the reduction of urban sprawl...

 loft units created from formerly vacant historic commercial and office buildings. Guided tours of the Historic Core are offered by the Los Angeles Conservancy for a small fee.

The neighborhood is accessible via the Metro Red/Purple Line Pershing Square Station
Pershing Square (LACMTA Station)
Pershing Square Station is a heavy-rail subway station in the Los Angeles County Metro Rail system. It is located on Hill Street between 4th and 5th Streets, near Pershing Square in Downtown Los Angeles. This station is served by the Red Line and the Purple Line and various local bus services. ...

.
  • The Old Bank District, centered around Fourth and Main streets, is a mixed-use loft district, with many of the historic buildings being converted to residential use under the city's adaptive reuse
    Adaptive reuse
    Adaptive reuse refers to the process of reusing an old site or building for a purpose other than which it was built or designed for. Along with brownfield reclamation, adaptive reuse is seen by many as a key factor in land conservation and the reduction of urban sprawl...

     ordinance. At the same time, a growing number of restaurants, coffee shops, and bars are contributing toward the revitalization of this neighborhood.

  • Downtown's Gallery Row is a city-recognized art gallery district in the Historic Core
    Historic Core, Los Angeles, California
    The Historic Core is a neighborhood in Downtown Los Angeles between Hill and Main streets on the west and east, and 3rd and 9th street on the north and south. It overlaps with the Jewelry District on its western end and Skid Row on its eastern end. It was the center of the city before World War II...

    . Starting with three art galleries in 2003, Gallery Row claimed 50 art galleries as of 2009. The Downtown Art Walk is held on the Second Thursday of every month from 12 - 9 pm, and attracts nearly 5,000 attendees.

  • The Bradbury Building
    Bradbury Building
    The Bradbury Building is an architectural landmark in Los Angeles, California. The building was built in 1893 and is located at 304 South Broadway in downtown.-History:...

    , built in 1893, is the oldest office building in Los Angeles and features an interior courtyard with intricate wrought-iron staircases and railings, and a glass-and-iron ceiling.

  • Grand Central Market, an open-air produce market and food court, captures a multi-ethnic, early-1900s feel, with vendors selling produce, spices, and ethnic meals in the ground floor of the 1905 Homer Laughlin Building
    Homer Laughlin Building
    The Homer Laughlin Building, at 317 South Broadway in downtown Los Angeles, is a landmark building best known for its ground floor tenant, the Grand Central Market, the City's largest and oldest open air market....

    .

  • Cole's
    Cole's Pacific Electric Buffet
    Cole's Pacific Electric Buffet, also known as Cole's P.E. Buffet, is a restaurant and bar located at 118 East 6th Street in the Historic Core district of downtown Los Angeles, California....

     is the oldest existing restaurant in Los Angeles, opening in 1908. Known for its French dip sandwich
    French dip sandwich
    A French dip sandwich, also known as a beef dip, is a hot sandwich consisting of thinly sliced roast beef on a "French roll" or baguette. It is usually served au jus , that is, with beef juice from the cooking process...

    es, along with Philippe's
    Philippe's
    Philippe's, or "Phillippe the Original", is a restaurant located in downtown Los Angeles, California. The restaurant is well known for continuously operating since 1908, making it one of the oldest restaurants in Los Angeles. It is also renowned for claiming to be the inventor of the French Dip...

     to the north, the restaurant and bar recently underwent a renovation with a new kitchen, chef, and restored bar.

  • The Broadway Theatre District
    Broadway Theater and Commercial District
    Broadway Theater and Commercial District in Downtown Los Angeles is the first and largest historic theater district listed on the National Register of Historic Places...

     is a collection of historic movie palaces, some of which are undergoing renovation for use as performance spaces. Guided tours of the neighborhood are offered by the Los Angeles Conservancy for a small fee.

Financial District

South of Bunker Hill is the Financial District of Downtown Los Angeles, the center for corporate headquarters and skyscrapers in Los Angeles. The neighborhood is accessible via the Metro Red/Purple/Blue Line 7th Street/Metro Center Station
7th St/Metro Center (LACMTA Station)
7th Street/Metro Center Station is a subway station in the Los Angeles County Metro Rail system located in the Financial District of Downtown Los Angeles at the intersection of Seventh Street and Flower Street...

.
  • The U.S. Bank Tower, formerly known as the Library Tower, is the seventh-tallest building in the United States, and the tallest building between Chicago
    Chicago
    Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...

     and Auckland, New Zealand, at 310 m (1018 ft) tall. Designed by architect I.M. Pei and constructed in 1989, it was initially called Library Tower because the purchase of air rights
    Air rights
    Air rights are a type of development right in real estate, referring to the empty space above a property. Generally speaking, owning or renting land or a building gives one the right to use and develop the air rights....

     from the Los Angeles Central Library, located across the street. The air rights purchase allowed a building of such height to be built and paid for a renovation and expansion of the Central Library.

  • After suffering two arson fires in 1986, money from air rights purchased for the construction of the Library Tower was used toward expanding and renovating the Richard Riordan Central Library, which was built in 1926 in ancient Egyptian revival style. The library is the third largest in the United States. An ornate rotunda and exhibition gallery greet visitors on the second floor.

  • Adjacent to the library is Maguire Gardens, a public greenspace and sculpture garden at the intersection of Fifth and Flower streets.

  • At the base of Bunker Hill
    Bunker Hill, Los Angeles, California
    Bunker Hill, in the downtown area of Los Angeles, California, is a short, developed hill with its peak located roughly around 3rd Street. It is located directly east of the Harbor Freeway...

     and the Library Tower lie the Bunker Hill Steps, a classically designed stairway consisting of 103 steps connecting the Financial District to Bunker Hill. The Bunker Hill Steps are often described as Los Angeles's version of Rome
    Rome
    Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

    's "Spanish Steps
    Spanish Steps
    The Spanish Steps are a set of steps in Rome, Italy, climbing a steep slope between the Piazza di Spagna at the base and Piazza Trinità dei Monti, dominated by the Trinità dei Monti church at the top. The Scalinata is the widest staircase in Europe...

    ."

  • The Millennium Biltmore Hotel
    Millennium Biltmore Hotel
    The Millennium Biltmore Hotel, originally named the Los Angeles Biltmore Hotel of the Biltmore Hotels group, is a luxury hotel located on Pershing Square in Downtown Los Angeles, California. Upon its grand opening in 1923, the Los Angeles Biltmore was the largest hotel west of Chicago, Illinois in...

     is one of the grandest hotels in Los Angeles, opening in 1923. The Beaux-Arts-style architecture and several historic ballrooms are a draw for sightseers and tourists. Guided tours are offered by the Los Angeles Conservancy for a small fee.

South Park

South Park is a growing residential and entertainment neighborhood consisting of the Los Angeles Convention Center
Los Angeles Convention Center
The Los Angeles Convention Center is a convention center in the southwest portion of downtown Los Angeles. The LACC hosts annual events such as the Greater Los Angeles Auto Show and Anime Expo, and is best known to video games fans as host to E3...

, Staples Center
Staples Center
Staples Center is a multi-purpose sports arena in Downtown Los Angeles. Adjacent to the L.A. Live development, it is located next to the Los Angeles Convention Center complex along Figueroa Street. Opening on October 17, 1999, it is one of the major sporting facilities in the Greater Los Angeles...

 and the mixed-use L.A. Live entertainment campus. The area has seen a revival due to an increase in new residential buildings and restaurants. The neighborhood is accessible via the Metro Blue Line Pico/Chick Hearn Station
Pico (LACMTA Station)
Pico Station is an at-grade light rail station in the Los Angeles County Metro Rail system. It is located in the South Park neighborhood of Downtown Los Angeles, on Flower Street just north of Pico Boulevard. The station is served by the Blue Line, & the Silver Line...

.
  • The L.A. Live campus consists of over a dozen restaurants, an ESPN Zone arcade, the 7,100-seat Nokia Theatre, the 2,300-seat Club Nokia performance venue and nightclub, and the Latin-themed Conga Room
    Conga Room
    The Conga Room is a Los Angeles, California, nightclub that focuses on salsa and Latin music.-History:Early on, it broadened its musical repertoire beyond salsa to spotlight popular artists in other genres: rock en Español , world beat The Conga Room is a Los Angeles, California, nightclub that...

     nightclub.

  • The Grammy Museum
    The Grammy Museum
    The GRAMMY Museum, is an interactive, educational museum devoted to the history and winners of the Grammy Awards. The Museum strives to inspires its visitors to learn about musical genres and history through interactive touch-screens, videos, and recording booths...

     at L.A. Live opened in 2008 in conjunction with the 50th Anniversary of the Grammy Awards. The museum features many interactive exhibits, music memorabilia, and educational opportunities.

Central City East/Skid Row

The Central City East district, also known as Skid Row, is a 50-block neighborhood in the center of Downtown Los Angeles, home to an estimated 17,740 residents, 1,797 of whom are considered unsheltered. Homelessness is rampant throughout the district, as many mental health, drug rehabilitation and homeless housing services are concentrated nearby.

The unsheltered population of the district has fallen in recent months as supportive housing projects have opened to provide shelter and on-site services for the homeless or those at risk of homelessness. City and county-sponsored initiatives to increase access to housing has had an effect on the region's homeless population, with the most recent census recording a 38% drop in homelessness across Los Angeles.

Although life is still difficult for homeless persons living in the area, the indicated district has in fact undergone rather radical transformations since the 1970s and 1980s, when conditions there were truly horrendous. Since then, most of the old hotels and tenement like apartments have been torn down and replaced with commercial real estate. In many cases the new buildings are now occupied by thriving businesses. In short, conditions in what is known as "Skid Row", are much better today than they have been in the past.

Other districts

Downtown contains other smaller or lesser known districts:
  • Arts District
  • Fashion District
  • Jewelry District
  • Toy District
  • Warehouse District


As well as, a Seafood District and Produce District.

Local and regional service

Downtown Los Angeles is the center of the region's growing rail transit system, with six commuter lines operated by Metrolink
Metrolink (Southern California)
Metrolink is a commuter rail system serving Los Angeles and the surrounding area of Southern California; it currently consists of six lines and 55 stations using of track....

, and two subway lines, two light rail lines and local and regional bus service operated by Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority
Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority is the California state-chartered regional transportation planning agency and public transportation operating agency for the County of Los Angeles formed in 1993 out of a merger of the Southern California Rapid Transit District and the...

 (Metro).

Major subway and light rail stations in Downtown include Chinatown Station
Chinatown (LACMTA Station)
Chinatown Station is an elevated light rail station in the Los Angeles County Metro Rail system. It is located at the intersection of North Spring Street and College Street, on the edge of Chinatown just north of Downtown Los Angeles...

, Los Angeles Union Station, Civic Center Station
Civic Center (LACMTA Station)
Civic Center Station is a heavy-rail subway station in the Los Angeles County Metro Rail system. It is located on Hill Street between 1st and Temple Streets in the Civic Center area of Downtown Los Angeles. This station is served by the Red Line and the Purple Line. It is also served by the...

, Pershing Square Station
Pershing Square (LACMTA Station)
Pershing Square Station is a heavy-rail subway station in the Los Angeles County Metro Rail system. It is located on Hill Street between 4th and 5th Streets, near Pershing Square in Downtown Los Angeles. This station is served by the Red Line and the Purple Line and various local bus services. ...

, 7th Street/Metro Center Station
7th St/Metro Center (LACMTA Station)
7th Street/Metro Center Station is a subway station in the Los Angeles County Metro Rail system located in the Financial District of Downtown Los Angeles at the intersection of Seventh Street and Flower Street...

, Pico/Chick Hearn Station
Pico (LACMTA Station)
Pico Station is an at-grade light rail station in the Los Angeles County Metro Rail system. It is located in the South Park neighborhood of Downtown Los Angeles, on Flower Street just north of Pico Boulevard. The station is served by the Blue Line, & the Silver Line...

, and Little Tokyo/Arts District Station
Little Tokyo/Arts District (LACMTA station)
Little Tokyo/Arts District Station is an at-grade light rail station in the Los Angeles County Metro Rail system. It is located at the intersection of First and Alameda Streets, on the edge of Little Tokyo and the Arts District in Downtown Los Angeles. The station is served by the Gold Line...

.
  • The first leg of the modern Los Angeles metro rail system
    Los Angeles County Metro Rail
    Metro Rail is the rapid transit rail system consisting of five separate lines serving 70 stations in the Los Angeles County, California area. The new Expo line is due to enter service in early 2012. It connects with the Metro liner bus rapid transit system and also with the Metrolink commuter...

    , the Metro Blue Line light rail, debuted in 1990, followed by the Metro Red Line subway in 1993 the Metro Gold Line light rail in 2003, and the Metro Gold Line Eastside Extension in 2009. The Metro Red Line's branch to Wilshire/Western was renamed the Purple Line in 2006.

  • In late 2009, the Metro Silver Line bus rapid transit project opened, replacing two unconnected bus rapid transit lines with through service at street level through Downtown.

  • Metro operates an extensive bus network, including Metro Local, Metro Express commuter lines, and Metro Rapid buses with signal priority and limited stops.

  • Los Angeles Department of Transportation
    Los Angeles Department of Transportation
    The Los Angeles Department of Transportation, commonly referred to as LADOT, is an agency created by Los Angeles City Ordinance, and is governed by a citizen commission. The LADOT is best known for providing public transportation to the City of Los Angeles. It currently operates the second largest...

     operates seven local DASH shuttle lines in Downtown on weekdays: Lines A, B, C, D, E and F. Weekend service is operated on lines DD (Downtown Discovery), E and F.

Amtrak

Amtrak operates intercity passenger train service on five routes through Los Angeles Union Station: The Coast Starlight
Coast Starlight
The Coast Starlight is a passenger train operated by Amtrak on the West Coast of the United States. It runs from King Street Station in Seattle, Washington, to Union Station in Los Angeles, California. The train's name was formed as a merging of two of Southern Pacific's train names, the Coast...

, Pacific Surfliner
Pacific Surfliner
The Pacific Surfliner is a Amtrak regional passenger train route serving communities on the coast of Southern California between San Diego and San Luis Obispo....

, Southwest Chief
Southwest Chief
The Southwest Chief is a passenger train operated by Amtrak on a 2256-mile BNSF route through the Midwestern and Southwestern United States. It runs from Chicago, Illinois, to Los Angeles, California, passing through Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and California...

, Sunset Limited
Sunset Limited
The Sunset Limited is a passenger train that for most of its history has run between New Orleans, Louisiana and Los Angeles, California, and that from early 1993 through late August 2005 also ran east of New Orleans to Jacksonville, Florida, making it during that time the only true transcontinental...

 and Texas Eagle
Texas Eagle
The Texas Eagle is a 1306-mile passenger train route operated by Amtrak in the central and western United States. Trains run daily between Chicago, Illinois, and San Antonio, Texas, and continue to Los Angeles, California, 2728 miles total, three days a week...

.

Greyhound

Greyhound Lines
Greyhound Lines
Greyhound Lines, Inc., based in Dallas, Texas, is an intercity common carrier of passengers by bus serving over 3,700 destinations in the United States, Canada and Mexico, operating under the well-known logo of a leaping greyhound. It was founded in Hibbing, Minnesota, USA, in 1914 and...

 operates a major bus terminal in Downtown Los Angeles at the intersection of Seventh and Alameda streets. Though this location is adjacent to the residential Arts District directly to the north, its remote siting precludes all but basic bus service to and from the terminal.

Connection with Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)

  • Though there is currently no direct rail connection between Downtown Los Angeles and Los Angeles International Airport
    Los Angeles International Airport
    Los Angeles International Airport is the primary airport serving the Greater Los Angeles Area, the second-most populated metropolitan area in the United States. It is most often referred to by its IATA airport code LAX, with the letters pronounced individually...

     (LAX), Los Angeles World Airports
    Los Angeles World Airports
    Los Angeles World Airports or LAWA is the airport oversight and operations department for the city of Los Angeles, California, United States...

     (LAWA) operates the direct LAX FlyAway shuttle every 30 minutes between Los Angeles Union Station and airport terminals.

  • A free shuttle from the Metro Green Line Aviation/LAX Station
    Aviation (LACMTA Station)
    Aviation/LAX is a Los Angeles County Metro Rail station on the Green Line. It is located on Aviation Boulevard at Imperial Highway, just south of Century Freeway in El Segundo, California. A free shuttle bus connects this station to Los Angeles International Airport...

     to LAX terminals is available. The Green Line connects to the Metro Blue Line with service to Downtown Los Angeles.

Future transit expansion in Downtown Los Angeles

  • The first phase of the Metro Expo Line is currently under construction. The project will connect 7th Street/Metro Center Station
    7th St/Metro Center (LACMTA Station)
    7th Street/Metro Center Station is a subway station in the Los Angeles County Metro Rail system located in the Financial District of Downtown Los Angeles at the intersection of Seventh Street and Flower Street...

     in Downtown with Culver City via the former Pacific Electric Railway
    Pacific Electric Railway
    The Pacific Electric Railway , also known as the Red Car system, was a mass transit system in Southern California using streetcars, light rail, and buses...

     Santa Monica Air Line right-of-way. Revenue service between 7th Street/Metro Center Station and Crenshaw Boulevard is expected by 2011, with service to Culver City following a year later. A second phase will extend the line to Santa Monica by 2015. The Expo Line shares tracks with the Metro Blue Line north of Washington Boulevard, and will share both the Pico Station
    Pico (LACMTA Station)
    Pico Station is an at-grade light rail station in the Los Angeles County Metro Rail system. It is located in the South Park neighborhood of Downtown Los Angeles, on Flower Street just north of Pico Boulevard. The station is served by the Blue Line, & the Silver Line...

     and 7th Street/Metro Center Station
    7th St/Metro Center (LACMTA Station)
    7th Street/Metro Center Station is a subway station in the Los Angeles County Metro Rail system located in the Financial District of Downtown Los Angeles at the intersection of Seventh Street and Flower Street...

    .

  • Los Angeles Union Station is set to be a major stop on the future California High-Speed Rail
    California high-speed rail
    The California High-Speed Rail project is a planned future high-speed rail system in the state of California and headed by the California High-Speed Rail Authority . Initial funding for the project was approved by California voters on November 4, 2008, with the passage of Proposition 1A...

     project, which is expected to begin construction in 2012. The project would connect Northern and Southern California via the San Joaquin Valley
    San Joaquin Valley
    The San Joaquin Valley is the area of the Central Valley of California that lies south of the Sacramento – San Joaquin River Delta in Stockton...

    , with service averaging 220 miles per hour (354.1 km/h).

  • Work is underway to bring streetcar-style trolley service to Downtown Los Angeles via Broadway
    Broadway (Los Angeles)
    Broadway is a major thoroughfare in Los Angeles, California, that runs from Lincoln Heights on the Eastside, through Chinatown, passing through Central Plaza and the Dragon Gate, the Los Angeles Civic Center, passing the Los Angeles Times building at First Street, and Broadway's historic commercial...

    , connecting the L.A. Live development with the Grand Avenue cultural corridor and Bunker Hill
    Bunker Hill, Los Angeles, California
    Bunker Hill, in the downtown area of Los Angeles, California, is a short, developed hill with its peak located roughly around 3rd Street. It is located directly east of the Harbor Freeway...

    . The project is currently projected to be operating by 2014.

  • Metro is currently in the planning phase for the Regional Connector Transit Corridor project. The line would connect the Metro Gold Line light rail, the Metro Blue Line light rail and the future Metro Expo Line light rail via an underground tunnel, increasing capacity at nearby subway stations and allowing for one-seat rides through Downtown Los Angeles. Three new stops would be added: Fourth and Flower streets, Bunker Hill, and Second and Main streets.

Parks and open space

Downtown Los Angeles is home to several public parks, plazas, gardens and other open space:
  • Alpine Park (Chinatown)
  • Angels Knoll Park
  • Biddy Mason Park
  • Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels
    Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels
    The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, also called "COLA" and the Los Angeles Cathedral, is a cathedral of the Roman Catholic Church in Los Angeles, California, United States...

     meditation garden and olive garden (park)
  • Gladys Park (Skid Row)
  • Grand Hope Park
  • La Placita Olvera
    La Iglesia de Nuestra Señora Reina de los Angeles
    La Iglesia de Nuestra Señora la Reina de Los Angeles is a Catholic church founded on August 18, 1814 by Fray Luis Gil y Taboada, who placed the cornerstone of a new church amid the ruins of the former "sub-mission," the Nuestra Señora Reina de los Angeles Asistencia to serve the local...

  • Maguire Gardens
  • Pershing Square
  • Los Angeles Mall (park)
  • Los Angeles City Hall
    Los Angeles City Hall
    Los Angeles City Hall, completed 1928, is the center of the government of the city of Los Angeles, California, and houses the mayor's office and the meeting chambers and offices of the Los Angeles City Council...

     South Lawn
  • Los Angeles Police Department
    Los Angeles Police Department
    The Los Angeles Police Department is the police department of the city of Los Angeles, California. With just under 10,000 officers and more than 3,000 civilian staff, covering an area of with a population of more than 4.1 million people, it is the third largest local law enforcement agency in...

    's Police Administration Building South Lawn
  • Los Angeles State Historic Park
  • Los Angeles Union Station gardens
  • San Julian Park (Skid Row)
  • Venice/Hope Park
  • Vista Hermosa Natural Park
  • Walt Disney Concert Hall
    Walt Disney Concert Hall
    The Walt Disney Concert Hall at 111 South Grand Avenue in Downtown Los Angeles, California is the fourth hall of the Los Angeles Music Center. Bounded by Hope Street, Grand Avenue, 1st and 2nd Streets, it seats 2,265 people and serves as the home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic orchestra and the...

     Community Park


Additionally, several semi-public open spaces sit on private property. Public access may be restricted at certain times.
  • The Water Court at California Plaza
    One California Plaza
    One California Plaza is a skyscraper located on the Bunker Hill District district of downtown Los Angeles, California. The tower is part of the California Plaza project, consists of two unique skyscrapers, One California Plaza and Two California Plaza...

    , an outdoor performance and dining space with modest water features, fountains, shaded seating areas and an amphitheater.
  • Japanese Garden and plaza at the Little Tokyo Cultural and Community Center Plaza
  • Japanese Garden at the Kyoto Grand Hotel and Gardens
    Kyoto Grand Hotel and Gardens
    The Kyoto Grand Hotel and Garden is a boutique hotel located in Los Angeles, California, USA. Managed by Crestline Hotels & Resorts Inc., the hotel is located in the Little Tokyo area of downtown Los Angeles at at 120 South Los Angeles Street....

  • Garden at Bank of America Plaza
  • Plaza park at 801 Tower


Several future park proposals in Downtown make use of public-private partnerships between developers and the city of Los Angeles, including a public park at the proposed Nikkei Center development in Little Tokyo; a 1 acres (4,046.9 m²) park at the Medallion development in the Historic Core; and a pocket park
Pocket park
A pocket park, parkette or mini-park is a small park accessible to the general public. In some areas they are called miniparks or vest-pocket parks....

 at the Wilshire Grand Hotel replacement project, currently in the planning phase.

Additionally, the city of Los Angeles is in the planning stage on a new park to be located on the 400 block of South Spring Street in the Historic Core
Historic Core, Los Angeles, California
The Historic Core is a neighborhood in Downtown Los Angeles between Hill and Main streets on the west and east, and 3rd and 9th street on the north and south. It overlaps with the Jewelry District on its western end and Skid Row on its eastern end. It was the center of the city before World War II...

 neighborhood.

Skyline

Despite its relative decentralization, Los Angeles has one of the largest skylines in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, and its development has continued in recent years.

The skyline has seen rapid growth due to improvements in seismic design standards, which has made certain building types highly earthquake-resistant. Many of the new skyscrapers contain a housing or hotel component.

Some current and upcoming examples of skyscraper construction include:
  • 1340 Figueroa, a 43-story residential tower designed by architect Daniel Libeskind, would replace a surface parking lot. The project has received plan approvals from the Los Angeles City Planning Commission.
  • 705 Ninth Street, a 35-story residential tower, was completed in 2009, though the project remains mired in bankruptcy.
  • 717 Olympic a 26-story residential tower, was completed in mid-2008.
  • Concerto
    Concerto
    A concerto is a musical work usually composed in three parts or movements, in which one solo instrument is accompanied by an orchestra.The etymology is uncertain, but the word seems to have originated from the conjunction of the two Latin words...

    , a 28-story residential tower, was completed in early 2009. A second phase that would add another residential tower is on hold pending project financing.
  • The Grand Avenue Project
    Grand Avenue Project
    The Grand Avenue Project is a project currently under development designed to revive downtown Los Angeles, like L.A Live. The $3 billion project, which is to be built on Grand Avenue next to the Walt Disney Concert Hall, is designed to give Los Angeles a thriving city center. It has been compared...

    , designed by architect Frank Gehry
    Frank Gehry
    Frank Owen Gehry, is a Canadian American Pritzker Prize-winning architect based in Los Angeles, California.His buildings, including his private residence, have become tourist attractions...

    , is a multi-phase project on four parcels and will include a 48-story iconic hotel tower at the corner of First Street and Grand Avenue and a civic park. The project has been delayed due to funding issues but is now back on track and progressing.
  • L.A. Central, a two-tower residential and hotel project designed by RTKL Associates in the South Park neighborhood of Downtown, currently in the pre-construction phase.
  • L.A. Live, a multi-phased dining, entertainment and hotel development that includes a Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott Hotel hybrid as well as Ritz-Carlton-branded condominiums, was completed in February, 2010.
  • Metropolis, a mixed-use three-tower project (38, 47, and 52 stories) at Francisco and Ninth streets, is currently in the planning phase.
  • South, a three-tower complex called Elleven, Luma, and Evo, spans the block from 11th Street and Grand Avenue to 12th Street and Grand Avenue, and was completed in phases ending in early 2009.
  • Wilshire Grand Hotel redevelopment, a two-tower hotel and office project, is currently in the planning phase.

Building height limits: 1904-1957

The first height limit ordnance in Los Angeles was enacted following the completion of the 13-story Continental Building
Continental Building
The Continental Building is a 151 ft , 13-storey high-rise residential building at 408 South Spring Street in the Historic Core of Los Angeles, California. When completed in 1903, it was the city's first high-rise building, and remained the tallest for three years...

, located at the southeast corner of 4th and Spring streets. The purpose of the height limit was to limit the density of the city. There was great hostility to skyscrapers in many cities in these years, mainly due to the congestion they could bring to the streets, and height limit ordinances were a common way of dealing with the problem. In 1911, the city passed an updated height limit ordinance, establishing a specific limit of 150 feet (45.7 m). Exceptions were granted for decorative towers such as those later built on the Eastern Columbia Building
Eastern Columbia Building
The Eastern Columbia Building is a thirteen-story building located at 849 S. Broadway in the Broadway Theater District of downtown Los Angeles, and is considered by many to be the most beautiful of Los Angeles' historic buildings, as well as its finest surviving example of Art Deco architecture...

 and United Artists Theatre, as well as the now-demolished Richfield Tower
Richfield Tower
Richfield Tower, also known as the Richfield Oil Company Building, was constructed between 1928 and 1929 and served as the headquarters of Richfield Oil. It was designed by Stiles O. Clements and featured a black and gold Art Deco façade. The unusual color scheme was meant to symbolize the "black...

.

Though it is commonly believed that the height limits were imposed due to the risk of earthquakes, such limits were actually enacted to allow California's natural sunlight to penetrate to sidewalk level, avoiding the "urban canyon" effects of New York and Chicago. It is notable that the first limit was imposed in 1904, two years before the 1906 San Francisco earthquake
1906 San Francisco earthquake
The San Francisco earthquake of 1906 was a major earthquake that struck San Francisco, California, and the coast of Northern California at 5:12 a.m. on Wednesday, April 18, 1906. The most widely accepted estimate for the magnitude of the earthquake is a moment magnitude of 7.9; however, other...

, and that even after that seismic event it was believed that Southern California was not subject to such violent temblors, despite evidence to the contrary.

The 1911 ordinance was repealed in 1957. The first private building to exceed the old limit was the 18-story California Bank Building, located at the southeast corner of 6th and Spring streets.

Government and infrastructure

The Los Angeles County Department of Health Services
Los Angeles County Department of Health Services
Health services to over 10 million residents in the Los Angeles County are provided by the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. Mental health services are provided by the County Department of Mental Health...

 operates the Central Health Center in Downtown Los Angeles.

The Southern California Liaison of the California Department of Education
California Department of Education
The California Department of Education is a California agency that oversees public education. The department oversees funding and testing, and holds local educational agencies accountable for student achievement...

 has its office in the Ronald Reagan State Building in Downtown Los Angeles.

The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Los Angeles Branch
Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Los Angeles Branch
The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Los Angeles Branch is the Southern California branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco located on Grand Avenue and Olympic Blvd. in Los Angeles. Its original building is a historic-cultural monument, built in 1929 on Olympic Boulevard and Olive...

 is located in Downtown Los Angeles.

Economy

Anschutz Entertainment Group
Anschutz Entertainment Group
The Anschutz Entertainment Group is a sporting and music entertainment presenter and a subsidiary of The Anschutz Corporation. It is the world's largest owner of sports teams and sports events, the owner of the world’s most profitable sports and entertainment venues, and under AEG Live the world's...

 has its corporate headquarters in Downtown. Sidley Austin
Sidley Austin
Sidley Austin LLP, formerly known as Sidley Austin Brown & Wood LLP, is one of the oldest law firms in the world. It is the sixth-largest U.S.-based corporate law firm with more than 1,650 lawyers, annual revenues of more than one billion dollars, and offices in 17 cities worldwide, with the most...

 operates its Los Angeles offices in the Gas Company Tower
Gas Company Tower
Gas Company Tower is a class-A office skyscraper in downtown Los Angeles, California. Located on the north side of Fifth Street between Olive Street and Grand Avenue, across from the Biltmore Hotel, the building serves as the headquarters for the Southern California Gas Company, which vacated its...

. At one time ARCO
ARCO
Atlantic Richfield Company is an oil company with operations in the United States as well as in Indonesia, the North Sea, and the South China Sea. It has more than 1,300 gas stations in the western part of the United States. ARCO was originally formed by the merger of East Coast-based Atlantic...

 had its headquarters in the City National Plaza
City National Plaza
City National Plaza is a twin tower high-rise complex located in downtown Los Angeles, California, comprising City National Tower and Paul Hastings Tower...

 complex.

Education

Primary and secondary schools

Downtown is served by the Los Angeles Unified School District
Los Angeles Unified School District
Los Angeles Unified School District is the largest public school system in California. It is the 2nd largest public school district in the United States. Only the New York City Department of Education has a larger student population...

.
  • Belmont High School
  • Edward R. Roybal Learning Center
    Belmont Learning Center
    Edward R. Roybal Learning Center, formerly known as Belmont Learning Center, the Vista Hermosa Learning Center, Central Los Angeles High School 11, or the City West project is a secondary school and park located at 1200 Colton Street in the Westlake area of Los Angeles, California, United...

  • Miguel Contreras Learning Complex
    Miguel Contreras Learning Complex
    Miguel Contreras Learning Complex is a high school in Downtown Los Angeles, California, United States.The school, which serves grades 9 through 12, is a part of the Los Angeles Unified School District. The school is located at 322 South Lucas Avenue, just down Third Street from the LAUSD Board of...

  • High School for the Visual and Performing Arts
    High School for the Visual and Performing Arts
    Ramon C. Cortines School Of Visual And Performing Arts is a $232 million high school in the Los Angeles Unified School District. It is located on the site of the old Fort Moore at the corner of Grand Avenue and Cesar E...

  • Santee Education Complex
    Santee Education Complex
    Santee Education Complex is a secondary school located at 1921 South Maple Avenue in Los Angeles, California, United States.Santee, which serves grades 9 through 12, is a part of the Los Angeles Unified School District, and is located in the South Los Angeles area...

  • Downtown Magnets High School
    Downtown Magnets High School
    Downtown Magnets High School is an alternative magnet high school located in the downtown area of the Los Angeles Unified School District ....

  • Loyola High School
    Loyola High School (Los Angeles)
    Loyola High School of Los Angeles is a Jesuit preparatory school for young men. It is the oldest high school in Southern California, and one of the oldest in California...


Colleges and universities

  • The Colburn School
    Colburn School
    The Colburn School is a music, dance, and drama school located in downtown Los Angeles adjacent to the Museum of Contemporary Art and across the street from the Walt Disney Concert Hall...

     of Performing Arts
  • Los Angeles Trade-Tech College
    Los Angeles Trade-Technical College
    Los Angeles Trade-Technical College is a public community college in Los Angeles, California. It offers academic courses towards 4-year colleges and numerous vocational training programs including associate degree and certificate programs in Fashion Design, Fashion Merchandising, Culinary Arts,...

  • Southern California Institute of Architecture
    Southern California Institute of Architecture
    The Southern California Institute of Architecture in Los Angeles , California, is an independent, nonprofit school offering undergraduate and graduate degrees in architecture. It offers community design and outreach programs, and free public access to frequent exhibitions and lectures by leading...

     (SCI-Arc)
  • University of Southern California
    University of Southern California
    The University of Southern California is a private, not-for-profit, nonsectarian, research university located in Los Angeles, California, United States. USC was founded in 1880, making it California's oldest private research university...

  • Loyola Law School
    Loyola Law School
    Loyola Law School is the law school of Loyola Marymount University, a private Catholic university in the Jesuit and Marymount traditions, in Los Angeles, California. Loyola was established in 1920. Like Loyola University Chicago School of Law and Loyola University New Orleans College of Law , it...

  • Mount St. Mary's College
    Mount St. Mary's College
    Mount St. Mary's College is a private, independent, Catholic liberal arts college, primarily for women, in Los Angeles, California. The college was founded in 1925 by the Sisters of St...

  • The Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising
    Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising
    FIDM, Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, is a specialized for-profit private college located in California dedicated to educating students for the Fashion, Entertainment, Beauty, Interior Design, and Graphic Design industries....

  • The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
    The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
    The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, known as "The Chicago School," is a graduate university specializing in psychology. With nearly 3,000 students and 1,500 graduates, it is the nation’s largest not-for-profit graduate school dedicated to psychology and behavioral sciences...

    , Los Angeles Campus

Pop culture

Downtown Los Angeles is naturally one of the most popular film locations in the world. Because it looks like a typical North American city, for audiences across the globe it is both instantly recognizable and somewhat generic. Movie makers have been able to make downtown L.A. look like just about any other city in any historical era. For example, on streets with older buildings developed in the early part of the 20th Century, downtown is often a stand-in for old New York. On other streets with modern developments, downtown has been the backdrop for stories taking place in the future. It is also a very popular location for filming television commercials, especially for cars.
  • The 1971
    1971 in film
    The year 1971 in film involved some significant events.-Events:*February 8 - Bob Dylan's hour long documentary film, Eat the Document, premieres at New York's Academy of Music...

     film, The Omega Man
    The Omega Man
    The Omega Man is a 1971 American science fiction film directed by Boris Sagal and starring Charlton Heston. It is based on the novel I Am Legend by American writer Richard Matheson...

    is set in Downtown Los Angeles after a biological war leaves a sole human survivor. Figueroa Blvd., Wilshire Blvd., Third Street, Broadway and Eighth Street are prominently shown, along with several prominent towers under construction, notably the ARCO Towers, AON Tower, and the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Courts building.
  • In the film Collateral
    Collateral (film)
    Collateral is a 2004 crime thriller film starring Tom Cruise and Jamie Foxx. It was directed by Michael Mann and written by Stuart Beattie. It was Mann's first feature film to be shot mostly with high-definition cameras. Mann had previously used the format for portions of Ali and for his CBS drama...

    downtown is the main setting for the film with a climactic car crash that happens on Figueroa street.
  • In the film The Day After Tomorrow
    The Day After Tomorrow
    The Day After Tomorrow is a 2004 American science-fiction disaster film that depicts the catastrophic effects of global warming in a series of extreme weather events that usher in global cooling which leads to a new ice age. The film did well at the box office, grossing $542,771,772 internationally...

    downtown is destroyed by an F-6
    Fujita scale
    The Fujita scale , or Fujita-Pearson scale, is a scale for rating tornado intensity, based primarily on the damage tornadoes inflict on human-built structures and vegetation...

     tornado
    Tornado
    A tornado is a violent, dangerous, rotating column of air that is in contact with both the surface of the earth and a cumulonimbus cloud or, in rare cases, the base of a cumulus cloud. They are often referred to as a twister or a cyclone, although the word cyclone is used in meteorology in a wider...

     while other tornadoes destroyed the rest of the city. Also one of Downtown's buildings, the 611 Place, is seen in the New York Skyline later in the movie.
  • In the film Independence Day
    Independence Day (film)
    Independence Day is a 1996 science fiction film about an alien invasion of Earth, focusing on a disparate group of individuals and families as they converge in the Nevada desert and, along with the rest of the human population, participate in a last-chance counterattack on July 4 – the same...

    the U.S. Bank Tower is destroyed, along with the rest of downtown Los Angeles by an Alien invasion.
  • In Power Rangers: Wild Force
    Power Rangers: Wild Force
    Power Rangers Wild Force is the tenth anniversary of the Power Rangers franchise, based on the Super Sentai series Hyakujuu Sentai Gaoranger, which itself was the 25th anniversary of Super Sentai.Power Rangers Wild Force takes place in 2002...

    , Animarium is setting by downtown Los Angeles.
  • In the video game Midnight Club: Los Angeles
    Midnight Club: Los Angeles
    Midnight Club: Los Angeles is the fourth video game in the Midnight Club series of racing video games, not including Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition Remix. It was officially announced for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on January 11, 2008 by Rockstar Games. The game was developed by Rockstar San Diego...

     you can drive around anywhere you want all around Downtown Los Angeles, which is used along with other areas of Los Angeles for the overall map in the game of Los Angeles.
  • For the filming of Daredevil
    Daredevil (film)
    Daredevil is a 2003 American superhero film written and directed by Mark Steven Johnson. Based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name, the film stars Ben Affleck as Matt Murdock, a blind lawyer who fights for justice in the courtroom and out of the courtroom as the masked vigilante Daredevil...

    (2003), 20th Century Fox
    20th Century Fox
    Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation — also known as 20th Century Fox, or simply 20th or Fox — is one of the six major American film studios...

     intended to go to Canada
    Canada
    Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

     in order to save money. This plan was contended by director Mark Steven Johnson
    Mark Steven Johnson
    Mark Steven Johnson is an American film director and writer.Johnson was born in Hastings, Minnesota and attended California State University, Long Beach. He has directed and co-written the two comic book based films Daredevil and Ghost Rider. His early writing credits are for the film Grumpy Old...

    , and the film's cinematographer
    Cinematographer
    A cinematographer is one photographing with a motion picture camera . The title is generally equivalent to director of photography , used to designate a chief over the camera and lighting crews working on a film, responsible for achieving artistic and technical decisions related to the image...

    , Ericson Core, after they found a preferred area for shooting around downtown Los Angeles' Arcade Building. Core noted that the appeal came from the "beautiful, old brick buildings and great rooftops," which they felt was perfect for a depiction of Daredevil's character setting in Hell's Kitchen, Manhattan
    Hell's Kitchen, Manhattan
    Hell's Kitchen, also known as Clinton and Midtown West, is a neighborhood of Manhattan in New York City between 34th Street and 59th Street, from 8th Avenue to the Hudson River....

    , in comparison to the studio's choice where the filming would be done in Montreal
    Montreal
    Montreal is a city in Canada. It is the largest city in the province of Quebec, the second-largest city in Canada and the seventh largest in North America...

     or Vancouver
    Vancouver
    Vancouver is a coastal seaport city on the mainland of British Columbia, Canada. It is the hub of Greater Vancouver, which, with over 2.3 million residents, is the third most populous metropolitan area in the country,...

    . Due to their insistence, coupled with Ben Affleck's disinterest in filming in Canada (after having filmed there for his previous film, The Sum of All Fears
    The Sum of All Fears (film)
    The Sum of All Fears is a 2002 American action film/political thriller directed by Phil Alden Robinson and based on the novel The Sum of All Fears by Tom Clancy...

    (2002)) they were able to overturn the studio's mind.
  • In the film Transformers a climactic battle is waged between the Autobots and the Decepticons in a fictional city mostly portrayed by recognizable Los Angeles streets and buildings, with some scenes shot in Detroit.
  • In the film Dragon Wars
    Dragon Wars
    Dragon Wars is a fantasy computer role-playing game developed by Interplay Entertainment in 1989, and distributed by Activision.-Story:The story from the back of the original box:-Development:...

    , Dragons destroy downtown Los Angeles, and one dragon hangs onto the US Bank Tower.
  • In the video game Grand Theft Auto San Andreas an area of the city Los Santos is based on Downtown Los Angeles.
  • In the music video "A Thousand Miles
    A Thousand Miles
    "A Thousand Miles", originally titled "Interlude", is a pop song written by American singer Vanessa Carlton and recorded for her 2002 debut album Be Not Nobody. It was co-produced and co-arranged by Carlton and Ron Fair, and was released as the album's first single in 2002. Her signature song, it...

    " by Vanessa Carlton
    Vanessa Carlton
    Vanessa Lee Carlton is an American singer-songwriter and musician. Upon completion of her education at the School of American Ballet, Carlton chose to pursue singing instead, performing in New York bars and clubs while attending university. Three months after recording a demo with producer Peter...

    , she is seen performing on her piano through the streets of Downtown Los Angeles in the latter part of the video. In a preceeding shot, she is seen performing on a segment of the Sixth Street Viaduct
    Sixth Street Viaduct
    The Sixth Street Viaduct is a viaduct bridge that connects the downtown and Boyle Heights areas of Los Angeles, California. It spans the Los Angeles River, the Santa Ana Freeway , and the Golden State Freeway , as well as Metrolink and Union Pacific railroad tracks and several local streets...

     with a view of the downtown skyline in the distance.
  • The film Blade Runner
    Blade Runner
    Blade Runner is a 1982 American science fiction film directed by Ridley Scott and starring Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, and Sean Young. The screenplay, written by Hampton Fancher and David Peoples, is loosely based on the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K...

    is set entirely in and around Downtown Los Angeles, although its futuristic vision bears almost no resemblance to the modern Los Angeles.
  • The video game Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines
    Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines
    Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines, abbreviated as Bloodlines or VTMB, is a computer role-playing game for Windows developed by Troika Games in 2004...

    uses Downtown Los Angeles as a setting.
  • The Terminator movies take place in Los Angeles, with several scenes filmed in downtown locations, such as the Second Street Tunnel.
  • The TV miniseries 10.5 shows the skyline collapse during the big 10.5 earthquake.
  • In 2012
    2012 (film)
    2012 is a 2009 American disaster film directed by Roland Emmerich. It stars John Cusack, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Amanda Peet, Oliver Platt, Thandie Newton, Danny Glover, and Woody Harrelson. It was produced by Emmerich's production company, Centropolis Entertainment and was distributed by Columbia Pictures...

    , the skyline including the U.S. Bank Tower collapses due to disastrous earthquakes and crust displacement.
  • In the music video "Never Too Busy" by Kenny Lattimore
    Kenny Lattimore
    Kenny Lattimore is an American R&B singer. Among his most popular hits were "Never Too Busy" and "For You".- Early career :...

    , he is seen singing and performing in front of a panoramic picture view of the Downtown Los Angeles skyline, as well as in busy street view scenes.
  • In the 2002 film Phone Booth
    Phone Booth (film)
    Phone Booth is a 2002 American suspense-thriller film about a man who is held hostage in a telephone booth by a sniper. It stars Colin Farrell, Kiefer Sutherland, Forest Whitaker, Katie Holmes, and Radha Mitchell. The film was directed by Joel Schumacher, with music composed by Harry Gregson-Williams...

    with Colin Ferrel, most of the film was shot in downtown Los Angeles. The titular phone booth was placed on Fifth Street just west of Spring Street, and Keifer Sutherland's sniper character was located in the Alexandria Hotel on that corner.

Hospitals

The California Catholic Health Medical Center is located on the south area of downtown. St Vincent Hospital is located north of downtown and is a Level 1 Trauma Center.

Fire services

The Los Angeles Fire Department
Los Angeles Fire Department
The Los Angeles Fire Department is the agency that provides fire protection and emergency medical services for the city of Los Angeles....

 operates the following fire stations in Downtown Los Angeles:

Police services

The Los Angeles Police Department
Los Angeles Police Department
The Los Angeles Police Department is the police department of the city of Los Angeles, California. With just under 10,000 officers and more than 3,000 civilian staff, covering an area of with a population of more than 4.1 million people, it is the third largest local law enforcement agency in...

operates the Central Area Community Police Station in Downtown Los Angeles.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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