Historical Downtown L.A.
If you have part of a day to spend in Los Angeles and you don’t know what you want to check out, then we suggest Downtown LA. The city that boasts largest government center outside of Washington D.C. has a plethora of things to do in the heart of downtown. From a variety of food at Grand Central Marketplace to Pershing Square (you might recognize it from the movie “Speed”) where you can ice skate in the winter time. And don’t get us started on the awesome shopping. There are a ton of hidden gems there as well, many telling the history of the Los Angeles. You know how much we love looking at the nooks and crannies of this great city so here are a few places downtown that will bring out the history buff in you.
Biddy Mason Park
Biddy Mason’s life is an incredible story of courage and determination. Born a slave in 1818, she was eventually freed upon moving to California in the 1850’s. Once she was freed, she became a nurse, midwife and philanthropist in Los Angeles and left such a deep impact on the city that there is a an 82-foot concrete wall with embedded objects downtown (near where Mason lived) that tells the story of Mason’s life. Created by artist Sheila Levrant de Bretteville, this piece of history is a fantastic time piece that everyone can appreciate.
In 1932, Mexican artist David Alfaro Siqueiros finished a 80×18 foot mural that caused so much controversy that it was painted over. The mural depicts a Mexican Indian crucified on a cross beneath an American eagle, with two sharpshooters aiming at the eagle from nearby. Still in its original location on Olvera Street, it is the only US public mural by this artist. It was restored a few years ago by the Getty Conservation Institute. The mural not only depicts the work of a great artist, it also shows just how far we have come from the censorship that plagued Los Angeles during the time it was painted. You can learn about the mural and much more by visiting the America Tropical Cultural Center on Olvera Street.
El Pueblo De Los Angeles National Monument
A historic district located in the oldest part of Los Angeles, El Pueblo De Los Angeles was founded in 1781 by families who came from the Gulf of California and established a pueblo that eventually became the city of Los Angeles. Who knew that this early community of 44 people would become a city of of over 3 million people over 200 years later? Now the original pueblo is a historic park of abut 44 acres. This park includes the city’s oldest structures as well as Avila Adobe which is Los Angeles’ oldest surviving residence. Popular sites of this area are the plaza, La Placita Church, Olvera Street, the old Plaza firehouse as well as many other historic sites. You can get lost in the history of Los Angeles here.
Check out Downtown and so much more by touring with us!