The Miracle Mile
In our last few blogs, we have introduced, or re-introduced, you to some awesome museums and family fun places to visit in Los Angeles, including the LA County Museum of Art and the La Brea Tar Pits. What we didn’t talk much about, though, is the location of both of these great places – and as they say in real estate, location is everything! And, of course, we are talking about “The Miracle Mile”, which is home to many museums, restaurants and a myriad of art deco structures.
Originally a dirt road with barley fields and oil wells on either side, the Mile was purchased by developer A.W. Ross, who wanted to develop the land into retail shopping and called it Wilshire Boulevard Center. Given that this was 1921, cars were not the usual mode of transportation and the trains didn’t go as far as this area so many of Ross’ usual investors and friends laughed at him and would not give him any money to develop the area. Ross had vision, though, and he believed that the personal motorcar, which was gaining popularity, would change how and where people shopped… and he was right. In fact, he was so excited about his vision, that a friend told him that the area sounded more like a miracle mile than anything else. Thus, a name was born.
Soon, many retailers moved into the area, the first being Desmond’s in the Wilshire Tower in 1929. Not only was there an entrance in the front on the street, there was a back entrance as well because that is where the parking lot was and people who had cars could park and enter from the same area. A novel concept. Eventually, Silverwoods, Coulters and May Company followed suit and the Miracle Mile became what Ross had always envisioned.
As with most things, development all over the city and the creation of shopping malls soon had all of the retailers moving out of the Miracle Mile and it unfortunately fell on hard times. But with the opening of the LA County Museum of Art and the opening of many office buildings, people started to flock to the Miracle Mile again, which was truly a miracle given the makeover it needed. Now also known as LA’s “Museum Row” , you can find some fun and interesting museums such as The Page Museum and the La Brea Tar Pits, The Peterson Automotive Museum and the Craft and Folk Art Museum along what used to be a dirt path in Los Angeles.
Next time you are in LA, come tour with us and discover all of the great little miracles LA has to offer!