Los Angeles’ Cultural History is Everywhere

Sep 26, 2010 by Lisa Newton

When people think or hear LA, they think Hollywood, celebrities, the Lakers, sprawl, glamor and an array of many other things.

But, quite frankly, what’s not considered is Los Angeles’ rich cultural history.

From its humble origins, beginning around 1781, a group of forty-four settlers known as "Los Pobladores" walked nine miles starting at the San Gabriel Mission, and ended up at Olvera Street, in what is now downtown LA.

The author and historian, Dr. Antonio Ríos-Bustamante, has written that "the original settlers of Los Angeles were racially mixed persons of Indian, African, and European descent. This mixed racial composition was typical of both the settlers of Alta California and of the majority of the population of the northwest coast provinces of Mexico from which they were recruited.

Despite our ever changing urban landscape, places, neighborhoods, ethnic groups, economic development, and our ever changing ethos, Los Angeles is a city steeped in a rich cultural history.

Here is a map of all the National Historic Landmarks in California, which totals 135. Of those 135, 20 are located in the Los Angeles area.

In fact, California is fourth in the number of Landmarks following; New York, 256, Massachusetts, 185, and Pennsylvania with 161. Below, zoom in to see those landmarks here along with their surroundings:

View Larger Map

Although we pass many of these buildings, businesses, and mountains (Yes, I said mountains) every day, the majority of us are not aware of their historical significance.

So listed in not any particular order, are our famous cultural and historical landmarks:

  1. The Angelus Temple
  2. The Village Green (Baldwin Hills Village)
  3. The Hollyhock House
  4. The Bradbury Building
  5. The Eames House
  6. The David B. Gamble House
  7. The Hale Solar Observatory
  8. The Edwin Hubble House
  9. The Lane Victory (Victory Ship)
  10. The Little Tokyo Historic District
  11. Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
  12. The Los Cerritos Ranch House
  13. Fireboat No. 2 and Firehouse No. 112
  14. The Rose Bowl
  15. Santa Monica’s Looff Hippodrome
  16. The Upton Sinclair House
  17. The Space Flight Operations Facility
  18. The Twenty-Five-Foot Space Simulator
  19. The Watts Towers
  20. Well No. 4, t the Pico Canyon Oil Field

Living here it’s easy to think of the new, new thing which holds our attention; Travelin’ Local will be bringing you both, along with stories of the how and why we are the City of Angels that is among the greatest cities in the world.

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