Thursday, May 12, 2016

Explore Historic Downtown Los Angeles this Sat. May 14th & Sun. May 15th 10:30 - 12:30 starting at The Last Bookstore at 5th & Spring.

My Saturday and Sunday Morning tours of Historic Downtown LA from 10:30 to 12:30 every Saturday and Sunday ($15 per person)  are starting at THE LAST BOOKSTORE this Saturday May 14th & Sunday May 15th at 5th & 453 S. Spring in the Spring Arts Tower. And each of these tours can be customized - within reason, of course - to meet the interests of those who reserve ahead of time.

The Last Bookstore  presents  2 hour walking tours  of the The Secret Lives of Historic Downtown Los Angeles -  FEATURED In GQ MAGAZINE and Endorsed By - LOS ANGELES MAGAZINE and AMERICAN COWBMAGAZINE,
 
Among the many things you will learn this weekend is that if a friend of Wyatt Earp's had not built the Alexandria Hotel - it would have been impossible for George Gershwin to have written his iconic Rhapsody in Blue.

And all tours start at THE LAST BOOKSTORE in the Spring Arts Tower at 5th and Spring - enter on the 5th street side - and they are still only $15 per person.

And  besides our regular scheduled tours, we will be offering customized tours on different days and different times and from one to three hours including weekdays - depending on your schedule.  With a minimum of four reservations, we will design a tour of any part of Downtown focusing on any subject matter you choose.  These tours can be after work, during lunch breaks - or??

FOR MORE INFORMATION  - contact Brady Westwater at 213-804-8396 - or bradywestwater@gmail.com
BRADBURY BUILDING
All tours begin at THE LAST BOOKSTORE at 453 S. Spring Street in the Spring Arts Tower and will be led by long time Downtown resident Brady Westwater who, besides being involved with the Downtown LA Neighborhood Council, the Historic Downtown BID, Gallery Row, Art Walk, and the BOXeight and the CONCEPT Fashion Weeks, has brought over 150 businesses, artists and non-profit institutions to Downtown.  All tours are only $15 per person.  
Wyatt Earp

If you are a participant in 'Historic Downtown Los Angeles 101' Tour, you will see the first motion picture theater built,  the place where Babe Ruth signed his contract with the Yankees, the hotel where Charlie Chaplin lived when he made his early films (and the place where he made his Los Angeles vaudeville debut in 1910) - plus the homes and haunts of everyone from actor Nicholas Cage, the Black Dahlia, Rudolph Valentino, LA’s version of Jack the Ripper, President Teddy Roosevelt, the Night Stalker, western outlaw Emmet Dalton,  actor Ryan Gosling and more.  And you will also visit where O. J. Simpson bought his knife.

You’ll explore an intersection where all four buildings were often visited by gunfighter/sheriff Wyatt Earp since they were all built or occupied by friends of his from Tombstone during the shoot-out at the OK Corral.  At this intersection you will also discover what John Wayne, a prime minister of Italy, Houdini, Winston Churchill, boxer Jack Dempsey, Greta Garbo, President Woodrow Wilson and multiple Mexican boxing champions all had in common here.

You will also see where the first new lofts were opened, the places where Gallery Row and the Art Walk began and where Fashion Week returned to Downtown.  You will see many of the new boutiques, designer showrooms and stores that have recently opened in the area along with getting a sneak preview of what will soon be happening in the area.

Tickets for either tour are only $15 per person - free for children under 8 - and reservations can be made by calling Brady Westwater at 213-804-8396 or emailing bradywestwater@gmail.com.  All credit card orders will be processed  at Last Bookstore and cash payments may be made at the start of the tour.   All proceeds will go towards the revitalization and the study of the history of the neighborhood.  
Lastly, future tours will feature specialized areas of interest such as architecture, art of all kinds, shopping and food, single streets, sports (from steer wrestling to luchador wrestlers to a Sumo wrestler), transportation, specific periods of history, the hidden Wild West history of Los Angeles, movie locations, Downtown after hours and many other aspects of the neighborhood. And custom designed can be developed by request  for groups of four or more.
We will also be soon starting weekday and evening tours on what it's like to live in Downtown Los Angeles. You will be introduced to the many of stores, restaurants, bars, and entertainment venues (and often their owners, too) - along with being given previews of one of a kind special events - so you can get a feel for what it is like to live in Downtown Los Angeles.

We expect this tour to be popular with not only people considering moving to Downtown and people who work in Downtown and who would like to know what to do after hours in Downtown - but also to recent and even long established Downtown residents who want to know more about their neighborhood.

Friday, May 06, 2016

Could This Be The Park Plan That's Too Good For Los Angeles?


Might This Be the Park Plan That's Too Good for LA?

The biggest problem I have had in trying to first figure out myself – and then to try and explain why this park design by James Corner Field Operations works so well is due to invisible complexity with which the planner has put together different elements which function with – or without each other - in ways that are not immediately apparent. Particularly when what they are doing may not be visible even if you are standing right in front of them. And unless everyone making the decision about how to redesign Pershing Square,next week really understands this plan - we may lose a plan that is far better than even the first three Pershing Squares

To explain, I’ll use the single best park feature ever proposed to be built in any LA park - and that is the terraced hill. It starts by fixing a problem I have thought about for 20 years without a clue as to how to fix; it’s the really ugly sidewalk on the 6th Street side of the park and it is right after the half block that passes the side wall of a bank branch, which is another dreary walk.

And what’s so amazing about the solution is that the designer connects the park and the neighborhood right here – in an awesomely incredible way – that I can’t imagine any other designer ever creating. He solves the connection problem between the sidewalk by pulling back the park even further back from the street and then creating a sidewalk version of the park – a wonderful esplanade with trees and flowers and cafĂ©’s etc. – that will become the single best walking half-block in DTLA – while at the same time having the other corners opening into the park – with no steps or ramps – just a gentle slope - leading our eyes right to the fountain in the middle of the park.

And that’s just the start…

The real brilliance of the hill (which to the uneducated eye may appear to separate the interior part of the park from the city and the neighborhood) is that it has a large flat esplanade at its top with a 360 degree view of all of Pershing Square and all of the Bunker Hill and all the surrounding historic buildings.

And that gives that side of the park not just a street connection with the esplanade but it also gives the park 360 connection with the whole neighborhood – and the sky and the sun – and the moon and the clouds. And if you take a picture of yourself or a friend – right behind you will be all of Pershing Square and half of the buildings of Bunker Hill and Pershing Square – and the big wide sky above.
And in all of DTLA – and there is no other spot where that type of photo can be taken. And with LA based snapchat now having 7 BILLION views a day – this could overnight become one of the most popular places in LA to take a soon to be iconic photo.

But that’s only a few of the ways the hill makes this park design so unique. It also shields traffic noises on that side of the park and the scale of its terraces also makes it a great place for couples and individuals and families to take part of each terrace as a place to be together.

And at night, if there is a movie or a concert – the hillside will be pre-wired to have speakers on each level to provide far better quality sound than is possible now for listeners – instead of the current blast of sound that's so loud it disturbs the whole area as it does now
.
And that’s just a touch of what this plan has to offer the community but which cannot be learned by looking at renderings or reading bullet pint presentations. And that brings me to my biggest fear. That this plan may be too sophisticated to be understood without a lot of careful reading of its details or walking the site with someone who knows how to explain it.

And that's why it may be the plan that's... too good for LA.

Thursday, May 05, 2016

Discover Historic Downtown Los Angeles this Sat. May 7th & Sun. May 8th 10:30 - 12:30 starting at The Last Bookstore at 5th & Spring.

My Saturday and Sunday Morning tours of Historic Downtown LA from 10:30 to 12:30 every Saturday and Sunday ($15 per person)  are starting at THE LAST BOOKSTORE this Saturday May 7th & Sunday May 8th at 5th & 453 S. Spring in the Spring Arts Tower. And each of these tours can be customized - within reason, of course - to meet the interests of those who reserve ahead of time.

The Last Bookstore  presents  2 hour walking tours  of the The Secret Lives of Historic Downtown Los Angeles -  FEATURED In GQ MAGAZINE and Endorsed By - LOS ANGELES MAGAZINE and AMERICAN COWBMAGAZINE,
 
Among the many things you will learn this weekend is that if a friend of Wyatt Earp's had not built the Alexandria Hotel - it would have been impossible for George Gershwin to have written his iconic Rhapsody in Blue.

And all tours start at THE LAST BOOKSTORE in the Spring Arts Tower at 5th and Spring - enter on the 5th street side - and they are still only $15 per person.

And  besides our regular scheduled tours, we will be offering customized tours on different days and different times and from one to three hours including weekdays - depending on your schedule.  With a minimum of four reservations, we will design a tour of any part of Downtown focusing on any subject matter you choose.  These tours can be after work, during lunch breaks - or??

FOR MORE INFORMATION  - contact Brady Westwater at 213-804-8396 - or bradywestwater@gmail.com
BRADBURY BUILDING
All tours begin at THE LAST BOOKSTORE at 453 S. Spring Street in the Spring Arts Tower and will be led by long time Downtown resident Brady Westwater who, besides being involved with the Downtown LA Neighborhood Council, the Historic Downtown BID, Gallery Row, Art Walk, and the BOXeight and the CONCEPT Fashion Weeks, has brought over 150 businesses, artists and non-profit institutions to Downtown.  All tours are only $15 per person.  
Wyatt Earp

If you are a participant in 'Historic Downtown Los Angeles 101' Tour, you will see the first motion picture theater built,  the place where Babe Ruth signed his contract with the Yankees, the hotel where Charlie Chaplin lived when he made his early films (and the place where he made his Los Angeles vaudeville debut in 1910) - plus the homes and haunts of everyone from actor Nicholas Cage, the Black Dahlia, Rudolph Valentino, LA’s version of Jack the Ripper, President Teddy Roosevelt, the Night Stalker, western outlaw Emmet Dalton,  actor Ryan Gosling and more.  And you will also visit where O. J. Simpson bought his knife.

You’ll explore an intersection where all four buildings were often visited by gunfighter/sheriff Wyatt Earp since they were all built or occupied by friends of his from Tombstone during the shoot-out at the OK Corral.  At this intersection you will also discover what John Wayne, a prime minister of Italy, Houdini, Winston Churchill, boxer Jack Dempsey, Greta Garbo, President Woodrow Wilson and multiple Mexican boxing champions all had in common here.

You will also see where the first new lofts were opened, the places where Gallery Row and the Art Walk began and where Fashion Week returned to Downtown.  You will see many of the new boutiques, designer showrooms and stores that have recently opened in the area along with getting a sneak preview of what will soon be happening in the area.

Tickets for either tour are only $15 per person - free for children under 8 - and reservations can be made by calling Brady Westwater at 213-804-8396 or emailing bradywestwater@gmail.com.  All credit card orders will be processed  at Last Bookstore and cash payments may be made at the start of the tour.   All proceeds will go towards the revitalization and the study of the history of the neighborhood.  
Lastly, future tours will feature specialized areas of interest such as architecture, art of all kinds, shopping and food, single streets, sports (from steer wrestling to luchador wrestlers to a Sumo wrestler), transportation, specific periods of history, the hidden Wild West history of Los Angeles, movie locations, Downtown after hours and many other aspects of the neighborhood. And custom designed can be developed by request  for groups of four or more.
We will also be soon starting weekday and evening tours on what it's like to live in Downtown Los Angeles. You will be introduced to the many of stores, restaurants, bars, and entertainment venues (and often their owners, too) - along with being given previews of one of a kind special events - so you can get a feel for what it is like to live in Downtown Los Angeles.

We expect this tour to be popular with not only people considering moving to Downtown and people who work in Downtown and who would like to know what to do after hours in Downtown - but also to recent and even long established Downtown residents who want to know more about their neighborhood.

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Who Should Design the Next Pershing Square Park?

Designs for LA’s Pershing Square: ‘Different’, ‘Overwhelming’ but, Look Out for the Well Worn ‘X’


WESTWATER’S DOWNDOWN--A few years ago, four finalists were telling Downtown LA & Boyle Heights residents why they were qualified to design and build the replacement for the fabled 6th Bridge that had long connected the two communities.
Half-way into one very long presentation, my Facebook page suddenly seemed … a lot more compelling. And as the next presenter approached the mike, a slide suddenly appeared that reminded me of the early 20th Century 6th Street Bridge - and yet equally felt as if it could have come from a future that didn’t quite yet exist.
In other words – it was the type of exciting architecture that used to be built in LA, but which is now only built in other places.
And I was suddenly excited that something that … different … might be built in Downtown LA.   But then, I realized it had been a long time since the City of LA had built anything this different … just as I knew that upcoming politicians would shy away from anything that was … different.
But I was wrong. And at the next meeting of the two communities, Councilman Jose Huizar announced that this was the bridge the City was going to build.
Now let’s fast forward to early this year. First, there was the day the bridge that I thought could never be built, broke ground, and then there was the day I belatedly found out Huizar had recently announced the final four candidates for the redesign of Pershing Square. And after they finished their proposals, I found myself again watching another set of presentations.
But this time I had been able to see parts of each plan on-line and, even though one of the plans seemed the best, it was hard to tell from the small renderings what was really happening – or how they all fit together. But once I saw the blown up slides and other materials on a big screen – and each of the designers explained what they were actually doing – the one I had thought I liked, began to come together until it began to resemble a chess board of pieces – all working together towards a common goal.
And, I was … overwhelmed,
By the next morning, my subconscious had been given a real work out. I was finally realizing how deeply connected every part of it was. All the details of it.
As I grew comfortable with that, it began to feel as if it might actually be that long sought after, uncommon - common space; the elusive Holy Grail of urbanism. A space which makes those who enter it feel comfortable and a space where anyone can walk in and sense there might be some part of that space that will welcome them.
And for three days I walked and walked the park, the streets and the neighborhood– until it all finally made sense to me.
And more on that tomrrow in CityWatch.
So here, in this initial post I will begin with the first of the second-best plans and why, while each of them were very good in many ways, they were less successful in other ways and a touch less daring than the Corner plan. First up is ‘Agence Ter and Team’ which is visually very attractive but which has a few problems – one of which may be insurmountable. If you look at the below diagram, you can see their plan removes all diagonal paths across the park. And that they have placed the huge lawn area – at grade – covering most of the square. That means everyone who walks through the park – will need to break their own trail - so to speak – until a very well-worn ‘X’ is dug into the middle of the grass lawn.

And that is the exact plan which USC had recently tried to implement on a huge grass area between its two main libraries; a grass area which instantly became a muddy grassless wasteland because absolutely everyone walked across the lawn exactly where the diagonal paths should have been until USC finally gave up and realized that overly optimistic planning could not defeat human nature or common sense - and dig up and replaced everything – and then reinstalled the diagonal paths.
This projects second problem is that if they put a concrete ‘X’ in the middle of this plan, that would destroy everything that works. And that is what is called being between a rock and a hard place. A possible third issue is that the entire park has been lowered to the height of the surrounding sidewalks (which is in itself, a very big ticket item) into one huge undifferentiated space.
That means that any place you are in the park, you will be able to see every single car on Olive, Fifth and Sixth Streets as they drive by the park. And the cars will be whizzing by all three sides of the park with just a short curb separating the cars, their noise and their car exhaust from the park.
 And if a car does jump that curb – there will be little to stop it.
 And that is the type of close examination every one of the projects will need to have. And I’ll finish looking at the plans in the next issue of CityWatch.
(Brady Westwater is a writer and a longtime  contributor to CityWatch. He is president of Westwater Films and Media.)
-cw

Sunday, May 01, 2016

The Two Second Pershing Square Designs & A Rendering of the Best Design


The Best Project - Corner/Fisher
THE TWO SECOND BEST PERSHING SQUARE DESIGNS
When I woke up this morning, I knew my subconscious had been working all night when I instantly visualized all four plans without even trying. And then, when I got to my desk in my office - and relooked at everything - it quickly became ever clearer that the Corner/Fisher design is far and away the best plan for the local community. And that it would also work the best for casual visitors and, with a few changes and additions, it might also be the best design for tourists coming to DTLA.
It is also the only plan which – with some tweaks - might approach becoming that long thought mythical type of uncommon - common space - which everyone has long been seeking as the Holy Grail of urbanism. And when I walked the area early this morning, I was able to confirm what I had only suspected last night. Their plan also addresses the adjoining streets, sidewalks and buildings in ways none of the other designs attempt – and in provocative ways I had never before – even remotely – ever thought of.
And – amazing, it also appears to have the best financial plan of the projects.
In fact this plan is so good – I am – almost – tempted to not bring two baskets of really over-ripe tomatoes to hurl at the face of James Corner every time he deliberately mispronounces the name of our city.
And, yes – I did say – almost; because I’m not even remotely near there yet.
And before I move on from here, unless you were at the event last night – and had seen the additional slides and renderings beyond what has been up on-line, I know it will be difficult for anyone to understand some of the better qualities of their project – as well as harder to understand some of the issues in the other projects. So I will see what I can do about putting up some updated photos regarding that plan - which I will go over in detail in my third and final post today on Pershing Square.
But first, in this initial post I will address the two second best plans and why, while they were very good in many ways, they were less successful and a touch less daring than the Corner/Fisher plan. First up is ‘Agence Ter and Team’ and I first need to admit – with one big exception, there is very little that doesn’t work in this plan – except for maybe the open edible garden….
And the plan’s sole major problem was the removal of the diagonal paths across the park and the placement of the huge lawn area – at grade – right in the middle of square. And that is the exact plan USC tried to implement on the huge grass area between its two main libraries; a grass area which instantly became a muddy grassless wasteland because - absolutely everyone – had walked across the lawn where the diagonal paths should have been until USC - finally - realized that bad planning could not defeat human nature or common sense - and reinstalled the diagonals..
But even though that can be easily fixed in the plan – my real problem was that there wasn’t enough there – there. Nothing that grabbed my attention as something new, something that might make a real difference. But there were a number of details I would like to know more – such as the liquid sky and certain aspects of the pavilions. There might be a pace for them somewhere in DTLA – such as the Grand Park. Particularly if they can be easily uprooted and moved.
Considerably better in the interesting ideas category was the plan by wHY + CIVITAS. Again, there is not much wrong with it except that too many of the green spaces were small islands surrounded by pavement – or they were consumed by the conceit that they were standing in for the lost urban foothills of Los Angeles; a concept that didn’t do anything for me.
Those ‘foothills’ also wasted too much unusable land that’s too up in the air as opposed to the Corner/Fisher project with its one very impressive hillside and its very different second raised area. And the wHY + CIVITAS design also has areas covered with decomposed granite; a product Satan himself (unless women want to claim him now)had to have designed since it always leaves dust, dirt or mud on your shoes. And if there is one restriction the City of LA should insist upon – it’s that no decomposed granite shall be used in any part of Pershing Square or any urban park in DTLA.
And as for wHY + CIVITAS’s proposal’s many good qualities – they are quite similar to what I like about Corner/Fisher project. But I prefer how Corner/Fisher executed those ideas. But, in the other hand, it’s also a plan which has details I can’t quite see or yet know enough about to have an opinion on; so I am looking forward to seeing if their more detailed plans might shed some more light on them.

Friday, April 29, 2016

The Two Second Best Pershing Square Designs

When I woke up this morning, I knew my subconscious had been working all night when I instantly visualized all four plans without even trying.   And then, when I got to my desk in my office - and relooked at everything - it quickly became ever clearer that the Corner/Fisher design (see photo above) is far and away the best plan for the local community.  And that it would also work the best for casual visitors and, with a few changes and additions, it might also be the best design for tourists coming to DTLA.
It is also the only plan which – with some tweaks - might approach becoming that long thought mythical type of uncommon - common space - which everyone has long been seeking as the Holy Grail of urbanism.  And when I walked the area early this morning, I was able to confirm what I had only suspected last night.  Their plan also addresses the adjoining streets, sidewalks and buildings in ways none of the other designs attempt – and in provocative ways I had never before – even remotely – ever thought of.  
 And – amazing, it also appears to have the best financial plan of the projects.
In fact this plan is so good – I am – almost – tempted to not bring two baskets of really over-ripe tomatoes to hurl at the face of James Corner every time he deliberately mispronounces the name of our city. 
And, yes – I did say – almost; because I’m not even remotely near there yet.
And before I move on from here, unless you were at the event last night – and had seen the additional slides and renderings beyond what has been up on-line, I know it will be difficult for anyone to understand some of the better qualities of their project – as well as harder to understand some of the issues in the other projects.  So I will see what I can do about putting up some updated photos regarding that plan - which I will go over in detail in my third and final post today on Pershing Square.

But first, in this initial post I will address the two second best plans and why, while they were very good in many ways, they were less successful and a touch less daring than the Corner/Fisher plan.  First up is  ‘Agence Ter and Team’ and I first need to admit  – with one big exception, there is very little that doesn’t work in this plan – except for maybe the open edible garden….
And the plan’s sole major problem was the removal of the diagonal paths across the park and the placement of the huge lawn area – at grade – right in the middle of square.  And that is the exact plan USC tried to implement on the huge grass area between its two main libraries; a grass area which instantly became a muddy grassless wasteland because - absolutely everyone – had walked across the lawn where the diagonal paths should have been until USC - finally - realized that bad planning could not defeat human nature or common sense - and reinstalled the diagonals..  
But even though that can be easily fixed in the plan – my real problem was that there wasn’t enough there – there.  Nothing that grabbed my attention as something new, something that might make a real difference. But there were a number of details I would like to know more – such as the liquid sky and certain aspects of the pavilions.  There might be a pace for them somewhere in DTLA – such as the Grand Park.  Particularly if they can be easily uprooted and moved.
Considerably better in the interesting ideas category was the plan by wHY + CIVITAS.  Again, there is not much wrong with it except that too many of the green spaces were  small islands surrounded by pavement –  or they were consumed by the conceit that they were standing in for the lost urban foothills of Los Angeles; a concept that didn’t do anything for me. 
Those ‘foothills’ also wasted too much unusable land that’s too up in the air as opposed to the Corner/Fisher project with its one very impressive hillside and its very different second raised area.  And the wHY + CIVITAS design also has areas covered with decomposed granite; a product Satan himself (unless women want to claim him now)had to have designed since it always leaves dust, dirt or mud on your shoes.   And if there is one restriction the City of LA should insist upon – it’s that no decomposed granite shall be used in any part of Pershing Square or any urban park in DTLA.  
And as for wHY + CIVITAS’s proposal’s many good qualities – they are quite similar to what I like about Corner/Fisher project.  But I prefer how Corner/Fisher executed those ideas.  But, in the other hand,  it’s also a plan which has details I can’t quite see or yet know enough about to have an opinion on; so I am looking forward to seeing if their more detailed plans might shed some more light on them.
Next up, in a few hours, I will be posting why a modified SWA/MORPHOSIS project - which I really, really I hated when saw it last night   - actually might work quite well as an urban experiment in sustainability.   But not – in any way shape or form – will it work in Pershing Square. Because it is what it is – and trying to make it into a concept for a major urban public space that needs to appeal to everyone – is simply not what it is.  
And just as I was typing that last line…. – it suddenly all came to me.  The way to build and test thisconcept – in a real world situation – in the type of place it fits.  And then it further came to me – exactly where it needs to be built. 
Because, if it did work there –  and its chances of success would be far greater there than in Pershing Square - then another one could be built -  right next door – giving it more of an economy of scale.  And if that too worked, then it could then be replicated – again and again – dozens or even hundreds of times more.  
OK – it now may take me just a bit longer to write and type that…








Thursday, April 28, 2016

Visions of Pershing Square - One Winner, Two Runner-Ups and a Foul Ball

I just got back from the Palace Theater  in Downtown Los Angeles and the presentations by four groups of designers on the Re-Imaging of Pershing Square - one of Councilman Jose Huizar's many projects for Downtown Los Angeles.

And the good news is that there is a clear winner!  James Corner Field Operations (who for some reason went out of his way to - repeatedly - mispronounce the name of our city throughout his presentation) with Frederick Fisher and Partners - totally out-classed (other than in manners. of course) two of the other projects (Agence and Team, & wHY + Civitas) while SWA/Morphosis had a really... bizarre.... concept of making Pershing Square into an urban farm (among other things) with a massive metal building totally walling off 5th Street from the park.

Much more tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Discover Historic Downtown Los Angeles this Sat. April 30th & Sun. May 1st 10:30 - 12:30 starting at The Last Bookstore at 5th & Spring.

My Saturday and Sunday Morning tours of Historic Downtown LA from 10:30 to 12:30 every Saturday and Sunday ($15 per person)  are starting at THE LAST BOOKSTORE this Saturday April 30th & Sunday May 1st at 5th & Spring in the Spring Arts Tower. And each of these tours can be customized - within reason, of course - to meet the interests of those who reserve ahead of time.

The Last Bookstore  presents  2 hour walking tours  of the The Secret Lives of Historic Downtown Los Angeles -  FEATURED In GQ MAGAZINE and Endorsed By - LOS ANGELES MAGAZINE and AMERICAN COWBMAGAZINE,
 
Among the many things you will learn this weekend is that if a friend of Wyatt Earp's had not built the Alexandria Hotel - it would have been impossible for George Gershwin to have written his iconic Rhapsody in Blue.

And all tours start at THE LAST BOOKSTORE in the Spring Arts Tower at 5th and Spring - enter on the 5th street side - and they are still only $15 per person.

And  besides our regular scheduled tours, we will be offering customized tours on different days and different times and from one to three hours including weekdays - depending on your schedule.  With a minimum of four reservations, we will design a tour of any part of Downtown focusing on any subject matter you choose.  These tours can be after work, during lunch breaks - or??

FOR MORE INFORMATION  - contact Brady Westwater at 213-804-8396 - or bradywestwater@gmail.com
BRADBURY BUILDING
All tours begin at THE LAST BOOKSTORE at 453 S. Spring Street in the Spring Arts Tower and will be led by long time Downtown resident Brady Westwater who, besides being involved with the Downtown LA Neighborhood Council, the Historic Downtown BID, Gallery Row, Art Walk, and the BOXeight and the CONCEPT Fashion Weeks, has brought over 150 businesses, artists and non-profit institutions to Downtown.  All tours are only $15 per person.  
Wyatt Earp

If you are a participant in 'Historic Downtown Los Angeles 101' Tour, you will see the first motion picture theater built,  the place where Babe Ruth signed his contract with the Yankees, the hotel where Charlie Chaplin lived when he made his early films (and the place where he made his Los Angeles vaudeville debut in 1910) - plus the homes and haunts of everyone from actor Nicholas Cage, the Black Dahlia, Rudolph Valentino, LA’s version of Jack the Ripper, President Teddy Roosevelt, the Night Stalker, western outlaw Emmet Dalton,  actor Ryan Gosling and more.  And you will also visit where O. J. Simpson bought his knife.

You’ll explore an intersection where all four buildings were often visited by gunfighter/sheriff Wyatt Earp since they were all built or occupied by friends of his from Tombstone during the shoot-out at the OK Corral.  At this intersection you will also discover what John Wayne, a prime minister of Italy, Houdini, Winston Churchill, boxer Jack Dempsey, Greta Garbo, President Woodrow Wilson and multiple Mexican boxing champions all had in common here.

You will also see where the first new lofts were opened, the places where Gallery Row and the Art Walk began and where Fashion Week returned to Downtown.  You will see many of the new boutiques, designer showrooms and stores that have recently opened in the area along with getting a sneak preview of what will soon be happening in the area.

Tickets for either tour are only $15 per person - free for children under 8 - and reservations can be made by calling Brady Westwater at 213-804-8396 or emailing bradywestwater@gmail.com.  All credit card orders will be processed  at Last Bookstore and cash payments may be made at the start of the tour.   All proceeds will go towards the revitalization and the study of the history of the neighborhood.  
Lastly, future tours will feature specialized areas of interest such as architecture, art of all kinds, shopping and food, single streets, sports (from steer wrestling to luchador wrestlers to a Sumo wrestler), transportation, specific periods of history, the hidden Wild West history of Los Angeles, movie locations, Downtown after hours and many other aspects of the neighborhood. And custom designed can be developed by request  for groups of four or more.
We will also be soon starting weekday and evening tours on what it's like to live in Downtown Los Angeles. You will be introduced to the many of stores, restaurants, bars, and entertainment venues (and often their owners, too) - along with being given previews of one of a kind special events - so you can get a feel for what it is like to live in Downtown Los Angeles.

We expect this tour to be popular with not only people considering moving to Downtown and people who work in Downtown and who would like to know what to do after hours in Downtown - but also to recent and even long established Downtown residents who want to know more about their neighborhood.