Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Guided Tours of Historic Downtown Los Angeles Start This Saturday & Sunday June 25th and 26th

The Last Bookstore Presents….
The Secret Lives of Downtown

A series of guided walking tours of Historic Downtown Los Angeles’s secret past, its present - and its future.

The first two tours - at only $15 per person - start this Saturday June 25th from 11 AM - 1:30 PM and Sunday, June 26th, from Noon to 2:30 PM.   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 & CONCEPT Fashion Weeks, has brought over 150 businesses, artists and non-profit institutions to Downtown.

The first two “Historic Downtown 101” tours will be a general introduction to our rapidly developing neighborhood and an overview of the multiple histories of the streets of Broadway, Spring and Main. 

If you are a participant, 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 all this are only $15 per person - free for children under 8 - and reservations can be made by calling Brady Westwater at 213-804-8396.  All credit card orders should be processed either at Last Bookstore or after you make reservations.   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.

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