Downtown Los Angeles has seen many drastic changes in its history, from its golden age in the 1920s, when it became the center of commerce and banking, to its divestment after WWII, to the current reconstruction and revitalization that have brought new life and vibrancy back to this historic area. An adaptive reuse ordinance, passed by the LA City Council, has made it easier for developers to convert outmoded vacant office and commercial buildings into renovated lofts, luxury apartments and condo complexes. The towering offices that comprised “The Wall Street of the West” are becoming swank once again, and new properties along the Figueroa Corridor are furthering the progressive revitalization of downtown, attracting businesses, tourists and new residents. With the addition of many skyscrapers for both commercial and residential use, Downtown LA is shaping a skyline to rival any in the world.
The variety of neighborhoods and living spaces are attracting hip, young, upwardly mobile professionals seeking the ultimate in urban living. Each neighborhood has a distinct personality, from chic and modern to quaint and bohemian. The Arts District, full of colorful street art and graffiti amidst old warehouses and train stations, has been converted to cutting-edge commercial and living spaces. The Civic Center is renowned for large performance venues like Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, the Mark Taper Forum and the Ahmnason Theater. Bunker Hill, home to the most recognized skyscrapers of the Financial District (including Library Tower, designed by I.M. Pei), is also the site of the beautifully restored LA Public Library at the bottom of the Bunker Hill steps, inspired by the Spanish Steps in Rome. Little Tokyo, Chinatown, Olvera Street and The Fashion District all offer their own
blends of attractions, dining and entertainment.
The famed Gallery Row, where art walks are held every second Thursday of the month, draws tourist and residents from all over LA to stroll through small galleries or the city’s Museum of Contemporary Art. Staples Center, home to the Lakers, the Clippers and the L.A. Kings, is both a sports mecca and the premier venue in Southern California for world tour concerts.