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CurbedWire: Building a Better Valley, Downtown Design Contest

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VALLEY BOULEVARD: What exact neighborhood is this? We do know that it is Valley Boulevard at Eastern Avenue. Per Flicker chatter (the best kind), it looks like they are building an overpass for Valley across the railroad tracks. Writes Flickr user Jeremy! on his page: "They leveled a warehouse and this part is the approach ramp." [Flickr]

DOWNTOWN: There's a call for artists to submit work that could end up on the Hippodrome, that custom vintage school bus that goes through the downtown Art Walk. Full press release after the jump. [Curbed InBox]

Open call for historic Downtown LA designs for the Hippodrome Art Walk Shuttle

WHAT: The Hippodrome Transformed, an art competition inspired by the lures of old Main Street and Downtown LA
WHEN: Artists' designs accepted through 9/26; newly painted Hippodrome debuts 10/9 during downtown LA Art Walk
BASICS: Entries judged by historic LA bloggers of; Two winning artists each paint a side of the Hippodrome bus; Honorarium includes Esotouric bus tour tickets and gift certificates from popular downtown bars and restaurants
INFO:, 323-223-2767

LOS ANGELES- The Downtown L.A. Art Walk, held every second Thursday year round, is one of the great success stories of the neighborhood's revival. Launched in 2004 by a small group of independent gallery owners in what was then the western edge of Skid Row, the event now draws upwards of 4000 people, and includes live music, a thriving bar and restaurant scene, book signings, and of course art exhibits.

No Art Walk would be complete without making a circuit on Esotouric's curated salon and shuttle bus, The Hippodrome, a custom vintage school bus transformed into a unique free entertainment venue starring magicians, musicians, fortune tellers, freak show performers and poets. But this fall, the Hippodrome will be transformed anew when two artists win the Hippodrome Transformed competition, each earning the right to paint one side of the bus with their own images inspired by Downtown LA's astonishing history.

For the first half of the Twentieth Century, Downtown LA teemed with the most exciting and bizarre entertainment imaginable. Silent movie stars filmed chase scenes, burlesque babes shimmied, vaudeville acts got big laughs, B-Girls hustled drinks and cash, anarchists preached revolution, and great writers like Raymond Chandler and Charles Bukowski sought inspiration among the rabble. It's scenes like these which will illustrate the sides of the Hippodrome shuttle when the winning designs are unveiled at the October 9 Art Walk.

Entries will be accepted until September 26 and judged by the writers of (formerly, the alternative history website that explores the incredible lost neighborhood of Bunker Hill. Two winners will be announced on September 30, and will immediately begin painting the Hippodrome for its transformed debut on the October 9 Art Walk.

The honorarium for the winning artists includes: four seats on upcoming Esotouric bus adventures, a post-Art Walk party aboard the Hippodrome to any place in Los Angeles they desire, and $50 gift certificates from Cafe Metropol, Daily Grill, one of Cedd Moses' many downtown watering holes, and Takami Sushi & Robata Restaurant, with more sponsors and prizes to be announced.

For a full call for entries, please see

For historic resources about old Los Angeles, please see

Link for general Hippodrome info, including August 14 performer schedule: