Many people think Olvera Street is nothing but a kitsch-tastic tourist trap--or as Wikipedia rather poetically puts it, a "Disneyland-like center of Mexican romance and tourism." But it,along with the rest of El Pueblo de Los Angeles historic monument, is the "birthplace" of LA. For such a historic spot, it's more modern history has been rather filled with woe: rent battles, legal fights, and lots and lots of debt. But, according to Downtown News, things like the restored América Tropical mural and better budgeting are signaling a turning tide, and now a new strategic plan sets out a few more improvements slated for the coming two years. The plan approved last week will: -- Renovate the Italian Hall to house a new Italian American Museum in 2014 (a project already underway)
-- Upgrade the Merced Theater, the new home of Channel 35 (the one that shows City Council meetings. You're all glued to it, right?)
-- A new exhibit space "to display some of El Pueblo's stored artifacts, among them old documents, furniture and antiques from the city's past"
-- New and upgraded bathrooms to "improve ventilation and the exterior look"
-- Public WiFi
-- Better web presence
-- Downloadable audio tour
· A Future Vision at El Pueblo [DN]