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history of Downtown L.A.

The History of Downtown Los Angeles

Nothing says Los Angeles quite like the beautiful skyline of Downtown LA. But do you know about the history of Downtown L.A.? From historic Olvera Street history to the location of the first sky rises, there is plenty of history to learn about when it comes to DTLA. 


The area of Downtown LA began in 1781 when a group of 44 settlers founded The Town of the Queen of Angels and by the 1840s, Los Angeles had become the largest town in all of California. In the center of this growing city was an area we now call El Pueblo located in the present Downtown and by Olvera street. By the turn of the century, large buildings begin to erect such as the current Grand Central Market, built in 1897 and the famous Bradbury Building built in 1893. 


The 20s was not only a time of growth in America, but also in Los Angeles and is known as the Golden Age of downtown. The areas saw immense commercial growth thanks to land developers as well as the invention of the car, as this became the new vehicle of choice, which allowed people to more easily access downtown. Downtown, specifically Spring Street, became known as the Financial District and the area was even referred to as the “Wall Street of the West”. Commercial growth led to the construction of grand and elaborate hotels, which then boosted along the addition of nightlife in the area. At the time Broadway was the favored street in Downtown for a night on the town, with shopping options as over a dozen movie palaces to choose from that were all built before 1932. Today, you can still visit some of these locations including the Millennium Biltmore Hotel, built in 1923, the Million Dollar Theatre, built in 1918, the Los Angeles Central Library, built in 1926 and the Los Angeles Theatre built in 1931. During your visit in LA, take some time to explore historic Downtown. 

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