Tonight’s going to be another reason why we love living in DTLA. Since we moved to the Eastern Columbia Building in May of 2013 we’ve seen the changes on Broadway continue to accelerate and the ride just keeps getting better. Council Member Jose Huizar is the catalyst for this change and I’m actively supporting his re-election and getting involved in my precinct to get everyone registered to vote so they can cast their ballot for him to insure that his initiatives continue to move forward. It’s critical that we have a representative that appreciates the history of Downtown Los Angeles and wants to see it preserved as well as put to good use.
According to the book Downtown in Detail, with captivating architectural photographs of DTLA by Tom Zimmerman and foreword by Linda Dishman, “Los Angeles has the most intact pre-World War II downtown in the United States.”
On the 7th Anniversary of the Broadway initiative here are a few of the reasons the book gives us to appreciate and continue to revive and make use of the architectural treasures we have here in DTLA:
While several buildings on the west side of Downtown were demolished in the 1960s to build the Harbor Freeway, there was no reason to tear down the Historic Core because there was no desire to build anything new there.
in 1979 The Historic Core–Main, Spring, Broadway and Hill–was being drained of tenants as businesses and residents sought space in new, modern buildings, but the area became partially protected in 1979 when the Broadway Theater and Commercial District from Third to Ninth Streets and the Spring Street Financial District from Fourth to Seventh Streets were accepted on the National Register of Historic Places.
From the late 1970s on the Historic Core was intact but largely vacant. At street level, Broadway was the thriving center of Latin American culture and retail, however, the buildings were empty above the second floor.
The south end of Hill Street was rescued by the burgeoning jewelry district that took over buildings and theaters while the buildings on the north end of Hill were abandoned.
The big change came in 1999 when the Los Angeles City Council (note the importance of a City Council with vision!) passed an Adaptive Re-Use Ordinance allowing conversion of former office buildings into living quarters. This was a key stimulus to the current loft revolution and reuse of the ornate architectural buildings constructed from 1908 to 1935 –all of which were still standing to be resurrected as apartments and condos.
So if you want to take a peak into all the old theaters on Broadway, experience the life of the city and celebrate our history as well as our progress, come downtown tonight. See you under the neon lights…on Broadway!
Got paper? Got folding skills? Think you can make it float? Those are the lofty challenges that bring out the best in the friendly competition of the Paper Yacht Challenge that’s coming up on Thursday, June 26th from 5:00-7:30 at City National Plaza Fountain at 5th & Flower Streets in DTLA.
Whether you come to win or to watch, this is one of the best summer afternoons of the season in DTLA! If you’re considering entering, here’s a peak at what your competition was up to last year: It’s not just about a pretty boat–it’s what makes it across the water that matters! For more insight, check out the video from last year.
Along with the race, participants compete in a nautical costume contest, enjoy live entertainment, eat tasty treats from local participating restaurants, and bid on silent auction items.
If you’re a boomer you remember the song that tells the San Francisco-bound to “be sure to wear some flowers in your hair.” That song, released in May 1967 and sung by Scott McKenzie and written by John Phillips of the Mamas and the Papas, was pretty much the only memorable song that McKenzie ever recorded. It had the distinction, however, according to Wikipedia; of being “the unofficial anthem of the counterculture movement of the 1960s.” Having grown up in the Bay Area during those years, the song has a lot of memories and still goes with me on my iTunes today.
Now I just came back from a busy 9-day visit to San Francisco and flowers were the last thing on my mind–my hair was blowing wildly in the cold wind off the Bay and I was frequently freezing as I traversed from the City to the East Bay to Silicon Valley. No matter where I was, there was a chill in the air at night, but in San Francisco it was an all-day thing where the typical summer day looked like this:
Which made me think about these great scarves and shawls I saw at Unique LA at the Late Sunday Afternoon booth. I sure wished I’d had one with me! One of those fabulous shawls would have so easily folded into my briefcase and whenever the fog rolled in, I could have swirled it around my shoulders, my arms, even my head and been warm and cozy with no real added weight in my bag.
There’s also something very retro-San Francisco about Late Sunday Afternoon scarves and shawls- they consider each one they make to be a prayer shawl and they knot and bless each one for the individual who wears it to have Love, Adventure, Happiness and Mystery.
The guys (yes, it’s dudes that design and make these scarves) go beyond just their words–they are also creating a scarf/blanket/ backpack called “The Voyager,” that’s waterproof on the outside, with a pull string on the outer edge turning it into a backpack with straps and fleece on the inside for warmth. They intend to use a portion of their profits to provide homeless/houseless beings their own Voyagers.
So you can do a good thing for yourself and someone else by checking out the Late Sunday Afternoon website–or if you want to meet the guys behind this great Venice, CA-based company, you will find them July 26 & 27 at the free-to-attend Renegade Craft Fair in DTLA’s Grand Park. As long as we live on the coast, we’ll always (thankfully) have cool evenings–so why not look cool and be warm with a little something from Late Sunday Afternoon?