Photo: Samuel L (Flickr)

The Renaissance of Downtown Los Angeles

Transformation has been occurring in the Downtown Los Angeles area for over the last 15 years. The old office buildings have been refurbished and given new life as apartment buildings, albeit a pricey new life. Restaurants and bars line the streets and bring nightlife back to the area.

The Bringing Back Broadway initiative is revitalizing the Broadway Theatre District. Located on South Broadway, historic theaters line the street which include the Los Angeles Theatre (circa 1931). Night on Broadway (video) is their annual event held at the end of January. It showcases several theaters and has drawn 75,000 people. (Event currently on hold as of 2020.)

The Staples Center, opened in 1999, draws sports fans to the arena to see the Lakers and Clippers basketball teams. The Los Angeles Kings hockey team also call the Staples Center home. Up to 19,000 music lovers can pack the arena for concerts as well.

New lines opening on the metro are allowing for more convenient, car-free ways to get around the city. Beginning in May 2016, the Expo line is whisking people from Downtown L.A. to Santa Monica for the first time since they dismantled the Pacific Electric streetcars in 1963.

Historically speaking, Los Angeles was born from a pueblo (town) in 1781. Originally started by eleven families, it has grown to the metropolis that we know today. Olvera Street is a main tourist destination across the street from Union Station – the main railway station.

Chinatown is just a few blocks away. Its archways depicting the traditions of the Chinese immigrants in the Downtown Los Angeles area.

Not so long ago Downtown L.A. would not have been considered a place to visit in Los Angeles. The development and repurposing of buildings has changed all that.