Sundog, Lake Marie Oregon 2018

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Urban Hiking in Los Angles

Not all good hikes are in parks or on beaches. 

On Tuesday we decided to take a self-guided walking tour of downtown LA. I had found information thru the Los Angeles Conservancy on the internet before we left.  I was under the impression that we could get an audio app on Craig's phone, but when we got there it turned out the app was only for iPhones, not Android phones.  However we were able to find the Conservancy office, and they were nice enough to print out a couple of PDFs for us.  

A view of downtown LA from the top of city hall

For many years we have been driving thru LA on I-5 as we went down to visit our daughter in San Diego.  We have been to some of the attractions, including Disneyland, the movie studios, the LaBrea tar pits, and the Getty Center, but we have never been to the downtown area.
Looking up
Usually, when in a busy downtown area, I concentrate on the street view: the stores, the people, and the traffic.  On this day we were taking our time and really looking at the buildings. It is amazing what you can see if you look above the store fronts!

Fine Arts Building lobby
Using the walking tour information, we were able to find some truly amazing interiors. The Fine Arts Building  features a two-story Spanish Renaissance "courtyard" lobby with a galleried mezzanine. It felt like a church.

Roosevelt Building elevator

This elaborate elevator door in the Roosevelt building lobby is surrounded by beautiful marble walls. 

St. Vincent Court
Tucked into an alley between towering skyscrapers is a fun little area called St. Vincent Court.  If we hadn't had a bit to eat earlier, we would have stopped for something here.

An architectural detail over an entry way
Some of the beautiful architectural details were not on the Conservancy list we had in hand.  

I have not included our pictures of all the old theatre marquees on Broadway. None of them seem to have been maintained or restored, and they all looked very sad.
Interior of the Bradbury building

Sometimes pictures just cannot do justice to the visual richness of a space.  The wood, skylight, wrought iron railings and open elevators of the Bradbury building were true "eye candy". 
View from City Hall
On the advice from a nice lady on the street that noticed us taking pictures, we went to the top (27th floor) of city hall.  There we had panoramic views of  slightly smoggy city landscape. If any of you were "General Hospital" fans, the hospital seen in the distance of this picture was the building used in the opening.

My pedometer registered a bit over five miles. It started to get a bit hot in the afternoon and I was happy to find this lovely bit of shade to relax in.

Our final stop was at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, but we took so many pictures there that I've decided it deserves a separate post.

With that I leave you with a couple of  signs we noticed on our walk!


  1. I've really enjoyed those gorgeous buildings you found. I don't think of LA downtown as having such beautiful buildings - just concrete and glass. Definitely a wonderful hike.

  2. Did they provide a fire hydrant for the dogs?? :)

  3. Ah, Merikay, how time goes by. I grew up in the San Gabriel Valley when City Hall was the only "skyscraper". We knew we couldn't have any really tall buildings because of the earthquakes. How things have changes. thanks for all the nice photos.

  4. Don't know whether to laugh or cry over the english sign -- eeeks. it's what our country is coming to! Actually, I guess it's been like that since the beginning of immigration ;-) What a great day! How fun! I'd love to do that too.

  5. Well. I have to say that living 200 miles away, we are always hoping LA doesn't "find" us and make US part of LA. Now that I see your pictures, it's nice that there is at least some beauty in that big beasty conglomeration of freeways.


  6. Really great pictures. Beautiful buildings

  7. What a wonderful walk. Your photos are awesome. I especially like the elevator door on the Roosevelt with a hint of marble walls showing and the interior of the Bradbury Building.

    Nice job on your blog.


  8. I forgot to say the architectural detail over an entryway is a gorgeous photo too.

    St. Vincent Court reminds me of a place you might see in Solvang, CA or Victoria, BC.

  9. I like the dog sign, maybe parks should have signs that say do not let your dog urinate on the trees ha ha


Leave a comment, or send an email.