Through our Lens:

Los Angeles, California


Hollywood glam is inescapable in this southern Californian city that thrives on big screen dreams and motivation to achieve. Los Angeles is the second largest city in the United States and it is the dominant home base for television and movie productions in the US. But not everything has to do with a walk of fame. The city is a quick ride to pristine beaches, and forest preserves, and local residents can opt for a walk to the top of the hill that displays the famous Hollywood sign that shines brightly over the city of stars.

This library features an historic rotunda painted with intricate murals and a zodiac chandelier with 48 lights - the number of states at the time of construction.

Upon entering the historic Central Library in Downtown Los Angeles, one might consider they have entered a spiritual place of worship due to its style of murals and architecture.  Constructed in 1926 and designed by architect Bertram Goodhue, the complex is the third largest public library in the United States in terms of book and periodical holdings.

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630 W 5th St, Los Angeles, CA 90071

Getty Villa

Inspired by the Villa dei Papiri, a luxurious roman villa in the ancient Italian town Herculaneum, which was destroyed beneath volcanic ash following the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. Villa dei Papiri was rediscovered in the 1750s, revealing thousands of papyrus scrolls, numerous bronze and marble sculptures, colorful stone pavements, and wall paintings. The Villa’s floor plan is an exact mirror of the original Villa dei Papiri, offering a glimpse into first century A.D. architecture.

17985 Pacific Coast Hwy, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272

This turn of the century landmark rail line in Los Angeles runs just two cars, named Sinai and Olivet.

Built in 1901, the Angels Flight railway was originally christened as the “Los Angeles Incline Railway”, starting at the west corner of Hill Street and running for two blocks uphill to its Olive Street terminus. This railway would be operated by six different companies throughout its history.

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350 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90071

Camera Obscura

Derivative of the Latin phrase “camera obscuratio,” meaning “dark room”, the sight of upside down structures and people was startling for the first obscura viewers and becoming a popular seaside attraction.  Originally sitting along the side of the Santa Monica boardwalk for 10-cent admission, the Camera Obscura now resides in a City-run art lab, still offering a quiet, secretive, and slightly distorted view of the coast.

1450 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401

William Andrews Clark Memorial Library

Upon the current buildings’ completion in 1926, William Andrews Clark Jr. announced that come his death he would be donating his collection of 13,000 books and a $1.5 million endowment to UCLA, making it the University’s first major bequest and remains one of the largest in their history.  Particular strengths in the collection lie in fine printing of English literature and history books and manuscripts between 1641-1800, including original works by Oscar Wilde.

2520 Cimarron St, Los Angeles, CA 90018

This 13-story, LA-based theater built to showcase films from the United Artists studio also once held the largest private collection of Bibles.

The United Artists Theater located in the Downtown district of Los Angeles was designed by the architect C. Howard Crane for the United Artists film studio. The studio was founded by Hollywood giants D. W. Griffith, Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, and Mary Pickford.

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929 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90015

One of the best examples of art deco architecture in LA, this tower was granted special height exemptions for its clock.

The Eastern Columbia Building, also known as the Eastern Columbia Lofts, is a thirteen-story Art Deco building located in the Broadway Theater District of Downtown Los Angeles.

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849 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90014

The Original Farmers Market

The Market includes eateries, grocers, and tourist shops that attract customers daily with its’ blend of both local ethnic and American cuisines. The LA Farmers’ Market differs from most farmers’ markets in that it is open seven days a week as a permanent installation.

6333 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90036

This athletic and social club, the first of its kind in Los Angeles, provided the training for 97 total Olympic medalists, and 47 gold medal winners.

The Los Angeles Athletic Club (LAAC) is a privately owned athletic and social club in Los Angeles, California. Established in 1880, it was the first private club in the city, founded when the town only had 11,000 residents and the preferred mode of travel was the stagecoach.

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431 W 7th St, Los Angeles, CA 90014

Los Angeles City Hall

Completed in 1928, the 32-floor concrete building is made up of sand from each of California’s 58 counties and water from its 21 historical missions.  Standing at 138 meters high, Los Angeles City Hall is the tallest base-isolated structure in the world.  It has a public observation deck and was designated a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument in 1976.

200 N Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Catering to Los Angeles high society, this hotel was among the first skyscrapers to call Ocean Avenue home.

Built in 1933, the Georgian Hotel was designed to be an intimate hideaway, catering to Los Angeles high society. At the time of its development, it was nestled in a heavily-wooded shoreline of the little-known seaside community of Santa Monica. The vision of Attorney and Judge, Harry J. Borde, the hotel showcased the Romanesque Revival and Art Deco architecture, and was among the first skyscrapers to call Ocean Avenue home.

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1415 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401

Annenberg Beach House

Constructed in 1929 and known originally as the “Ocean House,” the 110-room mansion and 5 acre estate was built for American film actress Marion Davies, who hosted lavish parties with her domestic partner William Randolph Hearst. In 1947 the estate was sold to Joseph Drown, who operated it as a membership beach club and luxury hotel. In 2005, the Annenberg Foundation began a preservation of the site for public use, finally opening to the public on April 25th, 2009.

415 Pacific Coast Hwy, Santa Monica, CA 90402

This observatory's commitment to free public education has made it the most visited observatory in the world.

Griffith’s objective was to make astronomy accessible to the public, as opposed to the prevailing idea that observatories should be located on remote mountaintops and restricted to scientists. This informal approach to widespread education has directly contributed to the Observatory’s success.

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2800 E Observatory Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90027

Santa Monica Pier

In 1909, the Santa Monica pier originally opened in order to carry sewer pipes beyond the breakers. However, by 1916, the pier was attracting tourists and locals alike who sought out the views and optimal fishing locations that the pier provided. As the years passed, carousels and wooden roller coasters began to appear on the pier, thriving throughout the 1920s. With substantial upkeep and non-profit management, the pier remains today featuring newer amusement facilities and unparalleled sunset views.

200 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, CA 90401

Opened with great fanfare in 1939, this train station in Los Angeles remains one of the busiest in the western U.S.

Built in 1939, Los Angeles Union Station is the largest railroad passenger terminal in the Western United States and is widely regarded as “the last of the great train stations.” The station’s signature Mission Moderne style makes it one of L.A.’s architectural gems.

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800 N Alameda St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

The Gaylord Apartments & HMS Bounty

The Gaylord Apartments quickly became known as one of the most glamorous and coveted buildings in all of Los Angeles, often filled with high-profile stars and artists. The Nautical themed HMS Bounty Restaurant on the ground floor opened in 1962 in a space formerly occupied by The Gay Room and later The Secret Harbor as an outpost of Wilshire’s leading restaurant family of the 1940s and ’50s, brothers Seymour and Harold Dimsdale. After The Secret Harbor, the space served a brief stint as the Golden Anchor before becoming the HMS Bounty.

3357 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90010

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