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The videos that captured LA’s 2016 milestones

And one that’s just beautiful

The Expo Line traveling on Flower Street through Downtown LA. Construction cranes are in the background.
The Expo Line traveling on Flower Street through Downtown LA.
Hunter Kerhart/Curbed LA flickr pool

It was a busy year for Los Angeles: Two rail line extensions opened; a spire was added to the Wilshire Grand in Downtown, making it the tallest skyscraper in the West; and voters across the county voted to tax themselves to improve the area’s transit networks—just to name a few.

Since 2016 is winding down, let’s take a look back at some of the videos that document the year’s milestones.

↑ The passage of Measure M

Nearly 70 percent of Los Angeles County residents voted in November in favor of Measure M, allowing Metro to fund a slew of projects across the county with a permanent half-cent sales tax increase. Measure M will generate $860 million a year for decades to come, paying for projects like the Purple Line extension to Westwood. This video gives a rundown of what the future holds now that the measure’s passed.

↑ The Third Los Angeles

2016 was a big year for the idea of the Third Los Angeles. The phrase comes from Los Angeles Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne, who uses it to describe the post-suburban Los Angeles that we find ourselves in today. Hawthorne facilitated a series of talks on topics such as the Olympics, homelessness, and mobility with Occidental College this year under the umbrella of the Third L.A. (he’d done it in 2015 as well), and the concept was also the subject of an episode of the KCET show Artbound, which appears above. You can watch the full episode here.

↑ The Expo Line to Santa Monica

No doubt the Expo Line has already become a familiar sight to those who live or work on the Westside, but for the first five months of 2016, it was closed to the public. When it opened May 20, crowds at the Santa Monica terminus were huge. Relive the excitement with this “preview” video from just before the line officially opened.

↑ The Gold Line to Azusa

Oh yeah, 2016 was the year that Metro opened two light rail extensions in same year, within about two months of each other. There was the Expo Line and the Gold Line, and shortly after the Gold Line’s extension all the way to Azusa opened, it became clear that—get this—people were actually taking it. A lot of people. This video from right before the line opened in early May shows empty, just completed stations, awaiting the tens of thousands of riders the line now sees in a week.

↑ The Wilshire Grand

This year, the spire went up on the Wilshire Grand, making it the tallest building in the West. This vertigo-inducing video shows the installation from above, showcasing very unusual views of the city. The glassy crown of the structure went up this summer, and construction on the Wilshire Grand is expected to be complete in March of 2017.

↑ The California Incline reopens

Closed since April 2014 for a total overhaul, the California Incline reopened this fall as a more seismically sound bridge more friendly for pedestrians and cyclists. A timelapse video from Caltrans shows work from the last year and a half or so of construction and gives an idea of just how much had to be redone to make sure the 1930s-era Incline lasts for decades into the future.

↑ A beautiful fireworks timelapse

This timelapse captured all the city’s Fourth of July fireworks in one great video and it was awesome and mesmerizing to watch.