clock menu more-arrow no yes

History

How the Third Street Promenade became too successful for its own good

At the height of car culture, Santa Monica made a radical decision.

LA’s ‘most recognizable and beloved’ building

The Griffith Observatory has enraptured Los Angeles since the day it opened 85 years ago.

LACMA is beloved. Its design never was. 

Even the museum’s glorious 1960s vision had its detractors.

When the plague came to Los Angeles

"Little Mexico," a bustling community near Olvera Street, was leveled in the name of sanitation.

LA’s most beautiful storage building was also a speakeasy

During Prohibition, the ornate tower was more than a place to store old mattresses.

Temples to white supremacy

To cement their social status, wealthy landowners and movie moguls modeled their homes after Southern plantations.

Filed under:

  • Map

Mapping Joan Didion’s Los Angeles

Take a tour of the city as Didion knew it.

Filed under:

13 glamorous apartments from Hollywood’s Golden Age

Live like an oil tycoon or movie starlet.

In the summer of ’63, black students led protests against the South Bay’s white-only neighborhoods

Thousands of demonstrators flooded Torrance—and were confronted by angry white homeowners and American Nazi Party members.

Meet Ernest Batchelder, Southern California’s masterful tile maker

His beautiful tiles adorn many Los Angeles fireplaces.

12 photos shot by Ansel Adams of 1940s Los Angeles

Fortune magazine hired the legendary photographer to shoot photos of LA as it was being transformed by the aviation industry.

The pride of West Adams

Thanks to Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Co., thousands of black Californians—in a time of profound racial discrimination—were able to obtain home loans and build transgenerational wealth.

Meet the LA architect who designed the Grasshopper lamp

For forward-thinking Angelenos in the 1940s and ’50s, Greta Magnusson Grossman’s modern design ethos was gospel.

‘Bungalowland’

Train lines and kit houses made Jefferson Park the textbook streetcar suburb.

How LA neighborhoods got their names

From Frogtown to Palms, the origin stories of nearly two dozen Los Angeles cities and neighborhoods.

Single-family homes cover almost half of Los Angeles

Now state lawmakers could shake up the status quo.

Cranes proliferated in LA. But don’t call it a building boom.

"What we consider to be a boom today is because we got used to nothing."

‘Cinderella homes’ brought storybook whimsy to LA’s postwar suburbs

The recognizable houses, designed by homebuilder Jean Vandruff, are the subject of a new book.

The curse of Santa Monica’s Mooney Mansion

The mansion—built by one of a handful of women landowners in early Los Angeles—mysteriously burned to the ground on New Year’s Day.

These 1920s apartments inspired one of the best noir films ever made

For the set of In a Lonely Place, director Nicholas Ray recreated one of his first Hollywood homes.

Filed under:

  • Map

Raymond Chandler’s Los Angeles

The writer had a dark view of LA but was undoubtedly seduced and enthralled with the City of Angels.

Did a conspiracy really destroy LA’s huge streetcar system?

It’s long been suggested that the city’s old transit network fell victim to a conspiracy by automakers to create more demand for cars.

The gorgeous apartments that became the symbol of LA noir

Raymond Chandler cemented the Bryson Apartment Hotel’s legacy.

The real-life tower that made ‘Die Hard’

Nakatomi Tower is really Fox Plaza in Century City, an example of 1980s power architecture at its finest.

Filed under:

These old photos show the evolution of transportation in LA

The city was once a public transportation wonderland.

When department stores decked the halls

Before next-day shipping, the department store reigned supreme at Christmastime in Los Angeles.

Film history was made at Culver Studios. Now Amazon is moving in.

The arrival of new media giants like Amazon are cementing Culver City as a center of entertainment.

Filed under:

  • Map

LA’s strange history as an oil town

On November 4, 1892, what had been a small agricultural city popular became a boomtown nearly overnight when Edward Doheny discovered oil in modern-day Echo Park.

Filed under:

The sordid and possibly murderous secrets of the Sowden House

Was one LA’s most famous murder victims slain in the basement of the Lloyd Wright-designed fortress?

The spellbinding storybook houses of Los Angeles

How storybook style—drawn from the pages of fairytales and Europe’s cobblestone streets—came to have a bewitching effect on Los Angeles.

The stories behind LA’s famous (and strange) street names

They are named after cult leaders, old Mexican ranchos, and the pets and family members of real estate subdividers.

The story of Smilin’ Jack, LA’s huge pumpkin-shaped oil tank

A Halloween tradition since 1952, the 80,000-barrel storage tank has 18-foot eyes and a 73-foot-long grin.

The surviving beach shacks of Los Angeles

In the era of multimillion-dollar seaside homes, the early days of beachfront housing sound too good to be true.

A vision of what Downtown LA might have been

For years, neighbors tried to revive a coral tree left over from the days when planners starting building out—but never finished—a Jetsonian vision of street life.

Filed under:

The ultimate guide to Dodger Stadium

The Boys in Blue are back for the playoffs.

How LA became the land of strip malls

As car ownership boomed, unremarkable commercial centers became an integral part of the LA landscape.

How Disney made America’s most famous haunted house

Cutting-edge technology and Victorian-era magic tricks created one of Disneyland’s most popular attractions.

A totally incomplete history of trouble at Chateau Marmont

As Harry Cohn once said: "If you must get into trouble, do it at the Chateau Marmont."

The Manson murder house

The home on Cielo Drive stood for more than five decades, but is forever connected to the Manson family’s 1969 killing spree.