Welcome to Downtown Los Angeles

Downtown L.A. Skyline

When people refer to Los Angeles, they are typically referring to Los Angeles County or even nearby Orange County (home of Anaheim’s Disneyland). The city of Los Angeles is the largest city in the state of California. Downtown Los Angeles is the central business district for Los Angeles, California.  Downtown is actually a diverse collection of neighborhoods.  In addition, downtown offers big-city excitement with restaurants, cultural attractions, and major league sports.

Exploring Downtown

Cultural LA Districts:
  • Chinatown
  • Little Tokyo
  • Olvera Street

All the best entertainment including concerts, sports, and theaters.

Spectacular Architecture:
  • LA Union Station (1976)
  • LA City Hall (1928)
  • Central Library (1926)
  • Westin Bonaventure (1939)

Get a bite to eat!


In the area that is now known as Downtown Los Angeles, the earliest known settlements was by the Tongva, a Native American people. Later European settlement arrived after Father Juan Crespí, a Spanish missionary charged with exploring sites for Catholic missions in California, noted in 1769 that the region had "all the requisites for a large settlement." On September 4, 1781, the city was founded by a group of settlers who trekked north from present-day Mexico.
Land speculation increased in the 1880s, which saw the population of the city explode from 11,000 in 1880 to nearly 100,000 by 1896. Infrastructure enhancements and the laying of a street grid eventually brought development south of the original settlement into what is today the Civic Center and Historic Core neighborhoods.

The Continental Building, formerly Braly Block,is a 151 ft, 13-story designed by John Parkinson and was named for John Hyde Braly, who was president of the local business syndicate that constructed the building.  When completed in 1903, it was the city's first high-rise building.  The building was completed shortly before the city established its building highest limitations, which went into effect in early 1905.  This allowed the Braly Block the tallest commercial building for fifty-three years.  City Hall was taller because it was exempt from the limit by public vote.  In the 1950s, this hieght restrictions was lifted.

The Braly Block is a wonderful example of the Beaux-Arts style. This particular style was during the late Neo-classical Period in American architecture. It reflects Greek and Roman artistic styles. This is clearly seen on the façade of the Braly Building. It’s rusticated and raised first story, hierarchy of spaces, columns, arches, pedimented entablatures on top of its windows and its symmetry all show characteristics of the style. The architectural details also contain decorative cartouches and sculptural ornaments.
Continental Building
Over the years this building housed several banks, but now has loft-style apartments.

By 1920, the city's private and municipal rail lines were the most far-flung and most comprehensive in the world in mileage, even better than New York City. At this time, the city had a aggressive land developers had transformed the city into a large metropolitan area as well as a steady growth of residents. Rail lines connected four counties with over 1,100 miles of track.

Downtown Los Angeles Skyline at night


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Welcome to Downtown Los Angeles