Los Angeles: a great American city rescues its downtown

Anyone who’s seen television’s “DRAGNET” is familiar with the monolithic LOS ANGELES City Hall.  It broods over Downtown L.A. (DTLA) – which only a decade ago was a rundown neighbourhood of urban decay.  That’s rapidly changing.  Los Angeles’ core is reawakening, thanks to business and civic leaders, an influx of young residents, artists, restaurateurs, philanthropists, landscapers, developers and renovators.

The Broadway Streetcar is coming back – http://www.streetcar.la – decades after the city’s vast rail and streetcar network was scrapped.  <PHOTO ABOVE – a Broadway Streetcar in 1956>

Downtown Los Angeles has a vast array of 1920’s, 30’s and 40’s architecture – the largest in North America.  In the last couple of years, a majority of these buildings have undergone renovation, much to the dismay of movie companies.  There’s an Arts District now, at least two new parks (Spring Street and Broadway), reborn monumental theatres, owner-operated coffee bars, trendy restaurants, a fancy wine shop – and even a couple of bike paths.

Combine all this with the Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Dorothy Chandler Music Pavilion, the Bradbury Building, Central Market, Museum of Contemporary Art, the upcoming Broad Museum, Japan Town and a subway – and you’ve got the makings of a vibrant city core.  To quote GERTRUDE STEIN, there’s now a “there there”.

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