Saturday, December 1, 2018

The Militant's Epic CicLAvia Tour XXVIII!!!



Interactive map! Click on green points for more info. Click here for larger map.

Here we are, at the end of another CicLAvia season! Due to the "Celebrate L.A." mega-CicLAvia at the end of September, the normally-October anniversary "Heart of L.A." open streets extravaganza was moved to December. This 5.8-mile, scorpion-shaped route for the 28th CicLAavia is an altered and slightly-truncated route that was originally introduced at the October 5, 2014 CicLAvia, which stretched from Echo Park all the way to East Los Angeles. This time, it only goes as far east as Evergreen Avenue in Boyle Heights, but The Militant added on a couple nearby East Los points to get a better feel for the real Eastside. And this is the easternmost "Heart of L.A." CicLAvia route yet: The westernmost point is Figueroa Street. Which isn't bad, as you can experience the new My Figueroa bike infrastructure before and after the event, and relax with a drink at the Spire 73 bar at the top of the Wilshire Grand Center, where The Militant may or may not be at the end of the day.

Because the last CicLAvia was so intensive for many reasons (and because this one does not offer a convenient escape route), The Militant will NOT be conducting a live Epic CicLAvia guided tour. But he may or may do it again one day. We'll see. In the meantime, enjoy this one. See you or not see you on the streets on Sunday!
 
1. El Pino
Folsom and Indiana streets, East Los Angeles

Also known as "El Pino Famoso," This 65-foot-tall Bunya Pine tree is a famous local Eastside landmark, demarcating the border between East Los Angeles proper (east of Indiana) and the City of Los Angeles community of Boyle Heights. - part of the original 1850 City of Los Angeles boundary! The tree was popularized by the 1993 film Blood In Blood Out, where it was depicted as a landmark between rival gang territories. The tree, which can be seen from afar, has a uniquely Boyle Heights/Eastside history: Not only does it bear a Spanish name, but it stands on the former property of a Japanese American World War II internee.

2. Mexican American Veterans Memorials
1947
Intersection of Cesar E Chavez Ave, Lorena St and Brooklyn Pl, Boyle Heights

There's something about war memorial monuments that just add something to a city. Right here on the Los Angeles - East Los Angeles border at the "Cinco Puntos" (Five Points) corner are a pair of memorial monuments dedicated to Mexican Americans who gave their lives serving this country. The memorial on the south side of the street was vandalized in the Fall of 2012 when thieves removed and stole some of the plaques, presumably for scrap metal value. But in May 2013, California Assembly Speaker John Perez replaced the missing plaques. These memorials are quite the poignant scenes each May and November during Memorial and Veterans days, respectively.
 
3. Evergreen Cemetery
1877
204 N. Evergreen Ave, Boyle Heights

Over 300,000 Angelenos are laid to rest in this 67-acre cemetery -- one of Los Angeles' oldest. The interred are a microcosm of the city itself: people of all  races are buried here, as are the rich and influential (including former Los Angeles mayors and people named Van Nuys, Lankershim and Hollenbeck) to the impoverished. The cemetery also includes recently-reinterred remains of 19th-century Chinese immigrants that were discovered while construction crews dug the Metro Gold Line tunnels nearby. Due to the current drought and lack of upkeep, the cemetery hasn't lived up to its name lately, but taking a stroll through the grounds here can offer a unique history lesson.
 
4. Manuel’s El Tepeyac Cafe
1955
812 N. Evergreen Ave, Boyle Heights

This institution founded by the late, great Manuel Rojas and certified shrine to the burrito absolutely needs no introduction, other than to remind you that it's but a short 3-minute ride from the CicLAvia route. Hollenbeck, anyone?
5. Candelas Guitars
1948
2724 Cesar E. Chavez Ave, Boyle Heights

Run by three generations of the Delgado Family, this handmade guitar shop has made instruments for musicians such as Andres Segovia, Jose Feliciano, Los Lobos, Charo and Ozomatli. This was the little Eastside handmade guitar shop featured on a 1995 episode of Visiting…with Huell Howser. So if you play classical, flamenco or mariachi guitar, you already know this place is amazing.

6. Original Site of Canter’s Deli
1931-1973
2323 Cesar E. Chavez Ave (Brooklyn Ave), Boyle Heights 

You may or may not be familiar with the local institution on Fairfax Avenue, which boasts “Since 1931.” That’s not entirely true. In 1931 brothers Ben, Max and Harry Canter opened their first delicatessen here on what was then Brooklyn Avenue near Soto Street. Following the post-war migration of Los Angeles’ Jewish community to the Westside, Ben Canter opened a new location on Fairfax Avenue, and in 1953 it moved down the street to the present location. The original Boyle Heights Canter’s closed in 1973.
 
7. Breed Street Shul
1923
247 N. Breed St., Boyle Heights

This Orthodox Jewish synagogue, formally known as Congregation Talmud Torah and originally established in 1915, was the heart of what was once the largest Jewish neighborhood in the Western U.S. The current structure was built in 1923 to accommodate a growing congregation, In 1948, the Israeli flag was raised in Los Angeles for the first time here. Having been vacant and fallen to vandalism and disrepair since the 1980s, it is slowly undergoing a restoration process. It remains one of the most well-known landmarks of Boyle Heights' Jewish community, which left the neighborhood after the late 1940s.

8. Original Site of Mount Sinai Clinic
1941-1955
207 N. Breed St, Boyle Heights

This building on the corner of Breed Street and Michigan Avenue was originally the Mount Sinai Breed Street Outpatient Clinic, meant to serve the neighborhood’s large Jewish population.  In 1955 the clinic moved to a location near Beverly Hills, and in 1961 it merged with Cedars of Lebanon Hospital in East Hollywood to become Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Today, the building is the offices for L.A. Family Housing.

9. Hollenbeck Youth Center
1976
2015 E. First St., Boyle Heights
 
Established as a partnership between local businesses and the LAPD to provide activities and opportunities for local youth as a response to local riots and student protests in the early ‘70s, this youth center has benefited many kids from The Barrio, notably a local boy named Oscar de la Hoya, who first trained at the center’s boxing gym as a youth before winning an Olympic Gold Medal in 1992. 

10. Eastside Luv
2006 (Built 1940)
1835 E. 1st St, Boyle Heights

One of The Militant's favorite hangouts in the Eastside, this bar, started by a bunch of friends who grew up in nearby City Terrace, took over the former Metropolitan bar eight years ago and updated it to a more contemporary Eastside-style flavor. Don't call it gentrification, call it gentefication.

11. Mariachi Plaza
1889
1st St and Boyle Ave, Boyle Heights

This is the new town square for Boyle Heights, anchored by the historic 1889 Boyle Hotel on the historic Cummings Block, where Mariachi musicians have been hanging out to get picked up for since the 1930s. The Kiosko, or bandstand, that sits in the plaza is actually not that historic. It was given as a gift from the Mexican state of Jalisco, who literally shipped it over in 1998 where it was assembled in place. But it only gets used once a year for the Santa Cecilia Festival around every November 21. The plaza is also home of the Metro Gold Line station of the same name, which opened in 2009. The unique lending library Libros Schmibros relocated here in 2011. This place could warrant a Militant blog post in itself -- no, an entire week of posts! Don't miss the Farmers Market events there every Friday and Sunday!

12. Simon Gless Farmhouse
1887
131 S. Boyle Ave., Boyle Heights

Back in the totally radical '80s...That's the 1880s, Boyle Heights was an open, rural area and French Basque immigrant Simon Francois Gless built a Queen Anne style house on his sheepherding farm at this location. Today, the house is a City Historic Cultural Monument and is a home that's rented out to -- Mariachi musicians! Just a few blocks west of here is Gless Street, and you might have heard of Simon's great-granddaughter -- actress Sharon Gless, who starred in the series Cagney and Lacey, which aired a century after her arrière-grand-père first settled in Boyle Heights.

13. Keiro Retirement Home/Jewish Home For The Aging
1974/1916
325 S. Boyle Ave, Boyle Heights

With Boyle Heights being a historically Jewish and Japanese community, how's this for an ultimate Boyle Heights institution? This property was originally built in 1916 as the Jewish Home for the Aging (now operating in Reseda), and in 1974, the Keiro Senior Health Care organization, basically their Japanese American counterpart. With the Hollenbeck Palms retirement home just down the street (and site of the John Edward Hollenbeck Estate, remember?) Boyle is a popular corridor for Senior Livin.'

14. Neighborhood Music School
1947 (Built 1890s)
358 S. Boyle Ave, Boyle Heights

The Neighborhood Music School is exactly what it is. But it's also a Boyle Heights institution. Originally founded over 100 years ago when it was located on Mozart Street (orchestral rimshot), the school moved to this Victorian home in 1947 where it still offers music lessons to local youth and the public can drop by on weekends to attend free recital concerts.

15. Metro Division 20 Subway Car Yard & Site of Old Santa Fe LaGrande Station
1992 / 1893
320 S. Santa Fe Ave (visible from the 4th Street Viaduct), Arts District

Take a break from riding/walking/skateboarding/pogo-sticking/etc. and take a glance off the north side of the bridge from the west bank of the River. This facility is where the 104 Italian-built subway cars of the Metro Red and Purple line cars are stored, repaired, serviced and cleaned. This was also the temporary storage and repair site of the Angels Flight railway cars after the fateful 2001 accident. The Militant actually visited this facility back in May 1992.

The subway cars are also serviced on the site of the old Santa Fe Railway La Grande Station (hence the name of the street) that was on Santa Fe and 2nd. Built in 1893, it was precisely where midwestern transplants arrived in Los Angeles after paying their $1 train ticket from Chicago. In 1933, the landmark dome was damaged by the Long Beach Earthquake and subsequently removed. In 1939, it was rendered obsolete by the opening of the new Los Angeles Union Passenger Terminal a few blocks north.

16. Metro 1st St /Central Station Site
2021
1st Street and Central Avenue, Little Tokyo

Prior to 2014, this lot was home to the popular Señor Fish taco joint (formerly the site of '70s-'80s punk venue Atomic Cafe) and Weiland Brewery Restaurant (which opened replacement locations in Echo Park and Uptown Long Beach, respectively). Both buildings were demolished in  to make room for this new Metro subway station for the  Regional Connector project, a new subway under Downtown Los Angeles that will re-align three light rail lines into two and provide continuous, transfer-free service from Azusa to Long Beach and East Los Angeles to Santa Monica. Although Little Tokyo already has a Gold Line station just yards away, that will be demolished and the station replaced with a new underground facility where the current construction activity exists. It's rather fascinating, and it's one way Little Tokyo will more resemble Big Tokyo.  The businesses around the station have been impacted by construction, so make sure you support them, not only during CicLAvia but after!
17. Site of Quaker Dairy, Original Little Tokyo Restaurant
1890
304 E. 1st St., Little Tokyo
On the southeast corner of 1st and San Pedro streets once stood the Quaker Dairy, a restaurant started on this site in 1890 by Sanshichi Akita, an immigrant from Japan. Though preceded five years earlier by another restaurant on First St (location unknown), this is the oldest traceable location of a Little Tokyo business. By the end of the 19th century, there were over 16 Japanese-owned restaurants in this stretch of 1st Street, creating what we know as Little Tokyo.
18. Los Angeles Sister Cities Monument
1987
1st and Main streets, Downtown

On the northeast corner of 1st and Main streets stands a pole bearing signs (in the "Blue Blade" style, no less) for every one of Los Angeles' 25 Sister Cities, each pointing towards their location. The signs range from Lusaka, Zambia (the farthest sister city, 10,017 miles) to Vancouver, Canada (the nearest, 1,081 miles) and everywhere in between. Nagoya, Japan is Los Angeles' oldest sister city (1959); Yerevan, Armenia is the newest (2007). Los Angeles, an Olympic host city (1932, 1984) also has that in common with sister cities Athens (1896, 2004), Berlin (1936), Mexico City (1968) and Vancouver (2010). Okay, the Militant is just filling up this paragraph with mindless trivia.

19. U.S. Federal Courthouse
2016
145 S. Broadway, Downtown
This big glass cube that is responsible for blocking your view of the Downtown Los Angeles skyline from Grand Park used to be a hole in the ground was once the site of the Junipero Serra State Office Building, which was damaged in the 1994 Northridge Earthquake and abandoned and demolished in 1998. This 10-story, 400-foot-tall U.S. Federal Courthouse building (don't we already have a few of those?), designed by Skidmore Owings and Merrill, opened in 2016. Do check out the embossed bald eagle situated over the main entrance on 1st Street.

NAVIGATIONAL NOTE: 
• If heading north to Chinatown, skip to #27.

20. Bradbury Building
1893
304 S. Broadway, Downtown

A building that's famously meh on the outside, but OMG from the inside, this building has been featured in movies from Chinatown to Blade Runner to 500 Days of Summer. Designed by Sumner Hunt and modified by George Wyman, this 5-story structure was designed to look like the 21st century from 19th century eyes. Despite the ahead-of-its-time design, this building has nothing to do with sci-fi author Ray Bradbury, but was named after developer and 1800s rich dude Lewis Bradbury.

21. Biddy Mason Park
1991
331 S. Spring St (entrance on Broadway), Downtown

Born as a slave in Georgia 200 years ago, Bridget "Biddy" Mason was a renaissance woman of her time. Having followed Mormon settlers west, she gained her freedom when California became a slavery-free Union state. As a nurse, she founded the first child care center in Los Angeles and later became a lucrative property owner and philanthropist, having founded the First AME Church, now a major institution in Los Angeles' African American community. She died in 1891 and was buried at ...Evergreen Cemetery (which you might have also seen earlier...see how things all tie together?). A century after her passing, this mini-park in DTLA, on the site of her house, was built and dedicated.

22. Broadway-Spring Arcade Building
1924
541 S. Spring St, Downtown

This unique building is actually three, opened in 1924 on the site of Mercantile Place, a 40-foot street cut between 5th and 6th streets connecting Broadway and Spring. Mercantile Place was a popular shopping and gathering locale in the early 1900s. Having fallen into decay by the 1970s, it was recently renovated and is now famous for, of all things, vendors selling rock band t-shirts. It also becomes an artistic venue during the DTLA ArtWalk. And The Militant probably doesn't need to mention that this building is home to the DTLA Guisado's.

23. St. Vincent Court
1868
St. Vincent Ct and 7th Street, Downtown

You'd hardly knew it was there, but this alley nestled between Broadway and Hill (blink and you'll miss it!), with its decorative brick pavement and European decor, seemingly belongs to another world. Originally the site of a Catholic college that was the predecessor of today's Loyola Marymount University, today it's a unique food court featuring Armenian and Middle Eastern eateries. The Militant calls it, "Littler Armenia." Check out this Militant Angeleno post on St. Vincent Court from 2008 for more info!

24. Diamonds Theatre (Warner Theatre & Original Pantages Theatre)
1920
401 W. 7th Street, Downtown
This jewelry retail mart is actually a re-purposed theatre that was the original Pantages Theatre (remember from the last CicLAvia?) opened in 1920 by Greek American entertainment magnate Alexander Pantages for Vaudeville productions. Designed by B. Marcus Priteca (who also designed today's Pantages Theatre in Hollywood), it was sold in 1929 and eventually became the Warner Theatre, screening motion pictures from the WB during the days when the movie studios ran their own theatres. The theatre closed down in 1975 and became a jewelry mart in 1978.

25. The Bloc (Formerly Broadway Plaza/Macy's Plaza)
1973
7th Street between Flower and Hope streets, Downtown

A poster child for change in Downtown, this shopping center, originally built in 1973 and designed by Charles Luckman & Associates as the first suburban-style mall in DTLA combined an indoor (though massively truncated) indoor galleria, a hotel and a 32-story office building. Initially known as Broadway Plaza, named after the old upscale Southern California department store anchor tenant, its name was changed to Macy's Plaza in 1996 after The Broadway merged with the NYC-based equivalent Macy's. Its blocky, street-unfriendly design was derided by many, especially in an era where the outdoor mall format pioneered by Santa Monica's Third Street Promenade, and Rick Caruso's faux-urban monstrosities (and more recently, the newly-opened The Village at Westfield Topanga),  so in 2013 it was re-conceptualized as "The Bloc" and currently stands as a work-in-progress, (which also features a direct entrance to the 7th Street/Metro Center subway station).
26. Wilshire Grand Center
2017
900 Wilshire Blvd, Downtown

On this site rises the new Wilshire Grand Center, Los Angeles' (and the West's -- suck on it, Transbay Tower SF!) tallest building at 73 stories and 1,100 feet (kinda sorta, there's a spire, you see...). Opened on June 23, it is the city's only modern skyscraper without a flat roof, the only Los Angeles building since Hollywood's Capitol Records tower in 1956 to feature a spire, the first skyscraper anywhere to sport a mohawk, and it also has its own irreverent Twitter account. ;) Owned by Korean Air (hence the red and blue taeguk LED logo), the tower houses the 900-room Hotel Intercontinentalwith its 70th-floor Sky Lobby and the unique Spire 73 skybar, with wonderful views of the south and west (the sunset vista from here is not to be missed). The building's construction site was the location of "The Big Pour" - which lasted from February 15 -16, 2014, where 21,200 cubic yards (81 million pounds) of concrete for the tower's foundation were continuously poured - earning it a Guinness World Record for that feat. Before the skyscaper, the site was home of the Wilshire Grand Hotel, formerly (in reverse chronological order) the Omni Hotel, Los Angeles Hilton, Statler Hilton and Statler Hotel.

• North Spur to Chinatown:

27. Site of 1910 Los Angeles Times Bombing
1910
Northeast corner of Broadway and 1st Street, Downtown

This longtime empty lot, previously identified in this CicLAvia tour as the foundation of a state office building condemned after the 1971 Sylmar Earthquake has some additional history. It was recently dissevered to be the location of the 1910 bombing of the (then) Los Angeles Times building, which happened 104 years ago this week. The dynamite bombing was discovered to have been the work of Ortie McManigal and brothers John and James McNamara, all affiliated with the Iron Workers Union,  in what was meant to protest the newspaper's staunchly anti-union practices. 21 people died when the 16 sticks of dynamite exploded just outside the building at 1:07 a.m. on October 1, 1910, the explosion was exacerbated by natural gas lines which blew up a large section of the building. The Times since built a new building in its place, and later relocated across 1st Street to its current location. Today, the lot is being readied for an expansion of Grand Park.

28. Site of Court Flight
1904 (demolished 1943)
Broadway between Temple and Hill streets, Downtown

With Angels Flight fiiiiiiiiiinally up and running again (fingers crossed), it's time to pay tribute to the city's other funicular, its cousin to the northeast, Court Flight. Built in 1904, it went up the northern end of Bunker Hill and was next to a former road called Court Street, hence its name. Even shorter than its more famous cousin at 200 feet, it ran steeper at a height of 200 feet. It was burned by a fire in 1943 and never reconstructed. The hill was eventually chipped away. The north side of the stairways going up to the Court of Flags (wonder if that was intentional there) in today's Grand Park is the precise location of ol' Courty.
29. Hall Of Justice
1926
Temple Street and Broadway, Downtown

No, you won't find Superman or any of the Super Friends here.  But this building, the oldest surviving government building in the Los Angeles Civic Center, was built in the mid-1920s as the original Los Angeles County Courthouse and Central Jail (which once housed the likes of Busy Siegel, Sirhan Sirhan and Charles Manson), as well as the headquarters for the Sheriff's Office, the District Attorney and the County Coroner. This Beaux Arts-style building was designed by Allied Architects Association, an all-star team of local architects put together to design publicly-funded buildings. The building is currently undergoing a major renovation project to modernize the facilities and repair damage from the 1994 Northridge Earthquake. It re-opened in 2015 as a LEED Gold Certified building (gotta be sustainable, y'all) with the return of the Sheriff's and District Attorney's offices.

30. Fort Moore Pioneer Memorial
1957
451 N. Hill St, Downtown

Way, way, waaaaay back before we had tall building and freeways, Downtown Los Angeles (well Los Angeles, period back then) had a bunch of hills, Bunker Hill being the most famed one. There was also Fort Hill, the site of a Mexican-American War encampment. On July 4, 1847 the facility was called Fort Moore (and the hill Fort Moore Hill), after Captain Benjamin D. Moore of the U.S. 1st Dragoons regiment, who was killed six months earlier in a battle near San Diego. The 1st Dragoons and the Mormon Batallion established the new fort and raised the U.S. flag during the first-ever observed Independence Day in Los Angeles. This event was immortalized in a bas-relief stone monument made in the 1950s. Speaking of forts, the very street you're riding (or walking, or skating, or scootering, or stand-up-paddling, or pogo-sticking) was once called "Fort Street," which inevitably led to directional problems some six blocks south of here. The monument also includes a fountain, which was shut off in 1977...due to the drought at the time.

So where's the actual hill, you ask? It was bulldozed away in the late 1940s to make room for the 101 Freeway (is this a recurring theme for this CicLAvia or what?!)

31. Chinatown Gateway Monument
2001
Broadway and Cesar E. Chavez. Avenue, Chinatown

Designed to be the symbolic entrance to Los Angeles' Chinatown District, The Chinatown Gateway Monument, a.k.a. the Twin Dragon Towers Gateway, depicts two dragons grabbing at a central pearl, which symbolizes luck, prosperity, and longevity. The 25-foot-tall structure was put up in 2001 and occasionally emanates steam coming from the dragons' mouths. Unlike Anglo dragons, the creatures in Chinese folklore are the good guys, meant to scare away evil spirits.

32.  Buu Dien
c. 1990s
642 N. Broadway (Facing New High St, south of Ord), Chinatown

If you're ever in some TV trivia contest on your way to being a millionaire and the host asks you, "What is the Militant Angeleno's favorite Vietnamese banh mi place West Of The Los Angeles River (WOTLAR)?" you won't need to call a lifeline, because the answer is Buu Dien. When the Militant has only $4 in his pocket and wants to get a meal in Downtown, this is his go-to joint. A literal hole in the wall in every regard, this place serves bomb-ass (do people still use that phrase) Viet sammiches for less than $3 a pop. And the bread is awesome. And nice and warm. Plus they also serve up spring rolls, desserts, pastries, Vietnamese coffee and pho (never had it here yet, but The Militant's favorite pho WOTLAR is Pho 79 just up the street). People complain about parking in his micro-mini mall, but this is CicLAvia!

33. Capitol Milling Co.
1883
1231 N. Spring St, Chinatown

One of the last visible vestiges of Los Angeles' agricultural industry, this family-owned flour mill operated from 1831 to 1997, before moving its operation to a much larger facility in Colton. The facility that still stands today was built in 1883. The mill supplied flour to clients such as Ralphs, Foix French Bakery and La Brea Bakery. In 1999, the family-owned operation was purchased by industry giant Con-Agra Co.
The historic building, built even before the railroads arrived in Los Angeles, still has a horse-tethering ring, back to the days when grain was hauled by horse carriage from farms in the San Fernando Valley. The property is currently being adaptively reused into retail and creative office space.

34. Old (New?) Chinatown Central Plaza
1937
Gin Ling Way between Broadway and Hill, Chintown

The new northern terminus of CicLAvia is no stranger to public events; it was made for them. In the Summer it hosted three very popular Chinatown Summer Nights events. But don't let the "Old Chinatown" neon sign fool you -- This is actually Los Angeles' new Chinatown, which dates back to the 1930s. The real Old Chinatown was several blocks south, where a thriving community of Cantonese-speaking immigrants lived near the river, north of Aliso Street. Of course, they were kicked out in the early '30s to make room for Union Station. So they moved a few blocks north, in the former Little Italy, and they've been there ever since. Well, not really, since some of them moved east to the San Gabriel Valley and were supplemented with Mandarin-speaking immigrants from Taiwan and Mainland China. But you get the idea.

Happy CicLAvia, Los Angeles! Enjoy and STAY MILITANT!

Saturday, September 29, 2018

The Militant's Epic CicLAvia Tour Live! - What You Need To Know!


The day is finally coming! In case you didn't know, The Militant Angeleno and Ted Rogers (of Biking in LA will be leading a live guided tour of Sunday's "Celebrate L.A.!" CicLAvia route! We are excited and totally stoked to be bringing this to y'allz for the very first time, and it will be a truly fun day.

We encouraged people to RSVP by Friday, but we expect people will just join in regardless, or just join in the tour because it's a tour. That's cool and all, and everyone is welcome. But there are some things you need to know first:

1. We will be meeting at 12:00 noon Pacific Daylight Time at the Walt Disney Concert Hall outdoor stairway near the northwest corner of Grand Avenue and 2nd Street. It looks like this:


2. The ride will leave no more than 15 minutes later, so 12:15 basically. We expect a total tour time of about ~2 hours. Maybe a little more. Hopefully everything will be done before 3 p.m.

3. We will not be stopping at all 42 points of interest (that would take us all day), but we will be making between 8-12 stops along the way and pointing out the upcoming points to look for before we make the next stop.

4. Ted Rogers of Biking in L.A. will be leading the ride, so you will be following him. The Militant will be at the back end of the pack and will make announcements on his Militant Megaphone. We will be going at a leisurely pace. No rush, yo!

5. There will be two detours from the CicLAvia route along Melrose Avenue. One will be a very short one off Melrose and the other will be within a 4-block radius of Melrose & Vine before re-joining the CicLAvia route.

6. You can leave and/or rejoin the tour at any time. Just don't do it all together. Please?

7. Please respect The Militant's anonymity. Do not attempt to unmask The Militant. Also, if you think you know who he is, don't go, "Hey, you're [real name]!" because that sucks right there for all parties involved. Also, do not follow/stalk him at the end of the tour. He has a group of undercover operatives following him at any time in the vicinity who are trained to attack if any such attempt is made. You will be sorry. Very sorry.

8. Photos/selfies of or with The Militant are perfectly fine on Sunday. But please do ask first. Also, Ted Rogers deserves the same amount of courtesy, even though he will not be masked.

9. If you're sharing your experiences on social media, please use the hashtag "#EpicCicLAviaTour."

10. MANDATORY LEGAL STUFF (nothing personal, don't feel intimidated): By joining this tour, you are joining at your own risk. You agree to accept all responsibility for any loss or injury incurred. Both The Militant Angeleno and Ted Rogers/Biking in L.A. are not held liable for any unfortunate circumstances. But most likely everything will turn out fine. We just want to cover our asses.

11. The Militant appreciates any and all constructive feedback! Feel free to reply to this email or DM The Militant on Twitter after the tour and let him know what you think! He'd like to do this again at future CicLAvias, and hopes the next guided tour can be even better!

12: STAY MILITANT!

The Militant will try to live-tweet to let everyone know where we will be in case you want to tag along or join in. 

See you (for reals now!) on Sunday!

Thursday, September 27, 2018

The Militant's Epic Militant CicLAvia Tour XXVII!! (Limited Version)


Click here for bigger version of this map!


The route of this 27th iteration of CicLAvia, "Celebrate LA," which happens to be an extension of the current "Iconic Wilshire Boulevard" route (truncated lately due to Metro Purple Line subway construction) will offer something different for the 8 year-old open streets tradition: An 8-mile street celebration centered around music to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. In keeping with the theme, this Epic CicLAvia Tour guide will not only feature some music-related points of interest along the route, but will also feature all four of the LAPhil's indoor home concert venues (all of them located on or just around the corner from Grand Avenue, BTW).

The Militant will also be doing something different: He is conducting an Epic CicLAvia Tour in person for the very first time. Collaborating with Ted Rogers of the cycling advocacy site Biking in L.A., The Militant will come out of the shadows and be your personal tour guide for the CicLAvia route! Ya really!

Needless to say, The Militant is totally stoked (and admittedly a little nervous, but hey...) about appearing in person for ya'llz!

This is also the largest Epic CicLAvia Tour guide to date! Why? Why not! It's just that epic!

Also, you will notice that some of the points of interest on this particular Epic CicLAvia Tour are missing some numbers. That is actually intentional - there are 10 points of interest on the route that have been left off of this published version. But they will be covered on the Epic CicLAvia Tour Live! guided bike tour on Sunday. Which means, if you want the whole Epic CicLAvia Tour experience, you'll just have to join us (An updated version of this tour guide with the 10 missing points of interest will be published next week)!

Remember, to join the tour, and get full details on where exactly we will meet (it will be somewhere near Grand Avenue and 2nd Street and we will meet at 12:00 noon on Sunday), RSVP by shooting an email to militantangeleno [at] gmail [dot] com!

So here goes, see you or not see you on the streets on Sunday!

[Note: This blog post may or may not contain some formatting errors. This is out of The Militant's control and is the fault of Blogspot.com's sorry-assed user interface. So deal with it!]

1. Dorothy Chandler Pavilion (LAPhil's 3rd Home)
1964
135 N. Grand Ave, Downtown

The third home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra from 1964 to 2002, it was originally the primary component of The Music Center, Los Angeles County's complex of arts  venues, also including the Ahmanson Theatre and the Mark Taper Forum. Named after its primary donor, the wife of Los Angeles Times publisher Norman Chandler, who was also the daughter of the founder of the Buffums' department store chain (in existence from 1904 to 1991), Mrs. Chandler (1901-1997) was a major supporter of the arts in Los Angeles. The venue, designed by Welton Becket, lives on as the exclusive home of the Los Angeles Opera.

2. Walt Disney Concert Hall
(LAPhil's 4th Home)
2003
111 S. Grand Ave, Downtown

The fourth and current home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra opened in October, 2003. The iconic stainless steel structure was designed by Frank Gehry (like duh, you didn't already know that already). The project began in 1987 when Lilian Disney, widow of Walt Disney, donated $50 million for the construction of a new concert hall addition to the Music Center.

4. Site of Philharmonic Auditorium
(LAPhil's 2nd Home)
1906-1985
427 W. 5th St, Downtown

Built in 1906 as the Temple Auditorium, it was a mixed-use theatre/Baptist church designed by Charles F. Whittlesey, at the time the largest theatre building west of Chicago. It was also known as Clune's Theatre. In 1920 the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra moved in for its second season (thereby renaming the building "Philharmonic Auditorium"), where it remained until the opening of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in 1964. It was demolished in 1985 where it became a surface parking lot until recently, where it is currently being developed as the Park Fifth mixed-use project.

5. One Wilshire Building/Wilshire Bookend Palm Trees
1966
624 S. Grand Ave, Downtown

Built during the first wave of modern skyscrapers following the repeal of Los Angeles' building height limit laws, this building, designed by architectural rockstars Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (who also went on to craft Chicago's Sears Tower, among many others) stood for most of its life as the address of legal and financial institutions. After a renovation in 1992, this building is now the location of CoreSite, a major data colocation center, which carries the primary Internet connections for Los Angeles (without this building, you can't read this!)

Take note of the row of palm trees, planted here in the 1970s: They are meant to evoke the end of Wilshire Boulevard, as on the opposite end, at Santa Monica's Ocean Avenue, 16 miles from here, you will also find a row of palm trees.

6. Trinity Auditorium (LAPhil's 1st Home)
1914
855 S Grand Ave, Downtown Los Angeles

This nine-story Beaux-Arts building designed by Harry C. Deckbar was the first home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra during its debut  season in 1919. The building originally functioned as a mixed-use Methodist Episcopal church and hotel complex and was once owned by USC during the 1980s-1990s. It is currently being renovated into a hotel again.


7. L.A. Prime Matter Sculpture
1991
Wilshire and Figueroa (NW corner), Downtown

Wilshire is full of awesome-looking public art. Here's one relatively-recent sculpture, recently renovated, right at the northwest corner of Wilshire and Figueroa. Designed by the late Venice-based artist Eric Orr, who had a penchant for utilizing elemental themes in his art, L.A. Prime Matter features twin 32-foot bronze columns that feature water sliding down its faces, and during random moments, FIRE emanates from the middle channels of the columns every hour on the hour! The effect is total bad-ass, and its bad-assnes is magnified at night.


8. Wilshire Grand Center
2017
900 Wilshire Blvd, Downtown

On this site rises the new Wilshire Grand Center, Los Angeles' (and the West's -- suck on it, Transbay Tower SF!) tallest building at 73 stories and 1,100 feet (kinda sorta, there's a spire, you see...). Opened on June 23, it is the city's only modern skyscraper without a flat roof, the only Los Angeles building since Hollywood's Capitol Records tower in 1956 to feature a spire, the first skyscraper anywhere to sport a mohawk, and it also has its own irreverent Twitter account. ;)

Owned by Korean Air (hence the red and blue taeguk LED logo), the tower houses the 900-room Hotel Intercontinentalwith its 70th-floor Sky Lobby and the unique Spire 73 skybar, with wonderful views of the south and west (the sunset vista from here is not to be missed).

The building's construction site was the location of "The Big Pour" - which lasted from February 15 -16, 2014, where 21,200 cubic yards (81 million pounds) of concrete for the tower's foundation were continuously poured - earning it a Guinness World Record for that feat.

Before the skyscaper, the site was home of the Wilshire Grand Hotel, formerly (in reverse chronological order) the Omni Hotel, Los Angeles Hilton, Statler Hilton and Statler Hotel.

9. Site of George Shatto Residence/Good Samaritan Hospital
1891
Wilshire Blvd and Lucas Ave, Downtown

Before it was named Wilshire Boulevard, it was once called Orange Street, and on the corner of Orange and Lucas was a Queen Anne-style mansion belonging to George Shatto, a real estate developer who first developed Catalina Island and the city of Avalon. If you read the Epic CicLAvia Tour 4.0 post, his name is brought up as one of the famous Angelenos buried (in a rather ornate pyramid) at Angelus Rosedale Cemetery.

But check this out! Take a look at the picture above, and pay close attention to the masonry wall going uphill that fronts Lucas Avenue. Now, on CicLAvia Sunday, look at the exact same spot, on the northwest corner of the intersection. The house is gone, but the original wall still remains!

Good Samaritan Hospital, which was founded in 1885 and moved to the current site in 1911, is also the birthplace of many native Angelenos, including mayor Eric Garcetti.

10. S. Charles Lee Office and Residence
1903/1935
1648 Wilshire Blvd, Westlake.

Architect S. Charles Lee was famous for designing some of Los Angeles' ornate theaters along Broadway, including the Los Angeles Theatre and the Tower Theatre (a.k.a. The Apple Mac Tower Pro Theatre). He moved his family to a two-story Victorian house on Wilshire and in 1935 built his Regency Moderne-style office right in front of it, a unique live-work space arrangement of its time.

11. Los Angeles Teachers (a.k.a. 'Stand And Deliver') Mural
1997
Wilshire and Alvarado, Westlake

Art imitates life imitating art imitating life in this mural by popular Salvadoreño American muralist Hector Ponce depicting actor Edward James Olmos, who portrayed Garfield High School math teacher Jaime Escalante in the 1988 movie Stand and Deliverstanding next to the real-life Escalante, and delivering a mural that's part-Hollywood, part-Los Angeles, part-Latino pride, part Eastside pride and if the Internet were as accessible back in 1988 as it is today, would make one epic photo meme. And it's painted behind the 1926 Westlake Theatre, which is slated for renovation into a community-based performance arts venue sometime soon.

12. Gen. Harrison Gray Otis Statue
1920
Wilshire Blvd and Park View Ave, Westlake

Gen. Otis is perhaps the most visible statue at the park, which predates MacArthur's WWII service. This general served in the Spanish-American and Philippine-American wars, and also fought as a Union soldier in the Civil War. But in Los Angeles, he is most known for being the founder, owner and publisher of the Los Angeles Times. So why is he here? His Wilshire Blvd mansion, called The Bivouac, was located across the street, was later donated to Los Angeles County and became the original campus of Otis Art Institute. It's thought that his statue is pointing to the site of the Elks Lodge, but he's probably just pointing to his old house. BTW, Gen. Otis was the grandfather of Dorothy Chandler's husband, Norman.

13. Bryson Apartment Building
1913
2701 Wilshire Blvd, Westlake

This 10-story Beaux Arts apartment building, built 100 years ago, was the 20th century precursor to today's fancy modern 21-century high-rise residential developments. Built by developer Hugh W. Bryson and designed by Noonan & Kysor, it was built in a part of Los Angeles that was known at the time as "the west side" (let's not open that can of worms right now, okay?). It was one of Los Angeles' most luxurious apartment buildings, and had a large neon sign at the roof (characteristic of these kinds of developments back then). Several Raymond Chandler books reference The Bryson. The 110,000 square-foot building is also part of the National Register of Historic Places and a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument.

14. Lafayette Park
1899
Wilshire Blvd and LaFayette Park Place, Westlake

Clara Shatto, the widow of 19th-century real estate developer George Shatto donated 35 acres of her land to the City of Los Angeles in 1899, which was once oil wells and tar pits. Her late husband wanted it turned into a city park, and so it became Sunset Park, which existed for 19 years before the locals wanted it renamed to honor the 18th-century Frenchman who was a hero in both the American and French revolutions. Gotta give LaFayette park some props for living so long in the shadow of its more famous neighbor, MacArthur (Westlake) Park.

15. Bullocks Wilshire/Southwestern Law School
1929
3050 Wilshire Blvd

Perhaps one of the most iconic examples of Art-Deco architecture in Los Angeles, this former Bullocks Department Store was designed with a tower to resemble a New York-style skyscraper in then-unabashedly low-rise Los Angeles. It was the epitome of shopping in style in its heyday, with its own rear parking lot and other auto-centric amenities. It ultimately fell victim to the 1992 Los Angeles Riots and was closed down the next year. In 1994, the nearby Southwestern School of Law bought the building and incorporated it into its campus, restoring much of the Roaring 1920s Art Deco aesthetics.

16. Consulate Row
Various locations along Wilshire Blvd between Vermont and Crenshaw

Some 62 countries have consular offices in the Los Angeles area and 41 of them have addresses on Wilshire Boulevard. Proximity to various foreign financial institutions on Wilshire, as well as nearby Hancock Park, where many consul-generals have traditionally resided, are the main reasons for such a high concentration of consulates on this stretch of Wilshire. The consulate offices for Bangladesh, Bolivia, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Honduras, Indonesia, South Korea, Nicaragua, Peru, The Philippines, Sri Lanka and Taiwan are all located on Wilshire between Vermont and Crenshaw. Many of them display their national flags in front of their respective office buildings. How many can you spot during CicLAvia?

17. Gaylord Apartments
1924
3355 Wilshire Blvd

Though the building's prominent neon sign has been source of many a snicker by immature junior high school kids, this building represents some serious history. It was named after Wilshire Boulevard's namesake, Henry Gaylord Wilshire, who was known as a wealthy real estate developer and outspoken socialist (Does that make sense?), who donated a 35-acre strip of barley fields to the City of Los Angeles on the condition that it would be free from railroads or trucking. The building itself is a 13-story Italian Renaissance-style apartment building that actor John Barrymore (a.k.a. Drew's grandpa) and then-presidential candidate Richard Nixon once called home.

18. Wilshire Brown Derby Site
1926
3427 and 3377 Wilshire Blvd

The now-defunct "The Brown Derby" local chain of restaurants were synonymous with Hollywood glitz and glamour. The Wilshire Boulevard location was the first of four (the others were in Hollywood, Beverly Hills and Los Feliz). In close proximity to The Ambassador Hotel and its  Cocoanut Grove swing/jazz club, this was the original hipster joint back in the day, only back then the hipsters were actually cool and looked good. In 1937 the building was moved across the street and closed in 1975. In 1980, a shopping center was built on the site and the iconic dome structure was incorporated into the shopping center that exists today. It's situated on the third floor, above The Boiling Crab seafood restaurant. It's something to ponder on while you wait 90 minutes for your table.

Note that the pictures for #17 and #18 connect vertically - that's the Gaylord Apartments behind the Brown Derby!

19. Robert F. Kennedy Inspiration Park/Ambassador Hotel Site
2010
Wilshire Blvd between Catalina Street and Mariposa Avenue

The Militant wrote a post in 2010 about this unique public space dedicated to Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, who was assassinated just yards away at the Ambassador Hotel, which was demolished in 2005 and where the LAUSD's sprawling and costly  RFK Community Schools campus now stands. There's Kennedy quotes on public art installations and benches for you to chill on. There's also speakers playing recordings of some of the jazz music that was performed at the hotel's famed Cocoanut Grove swing and jazz club.

20. Wiltern Theatre/Pellissier Building
1931
Wilshire Blvd and Western Avenue (duh...), Koreatown

The 12-story structure, designed by Stiles O. Clements, is Los Angeles' emerald-green temple to all that is Art Deco. Originally operating as the "Warner Theatre" (Specifically the Western Avenue location of Warner Bros. chain of movie theaters; The Warner Theatre in San Pedro is another example), The Wiltern (named so since 1935) has seen many cycles of decay and rebirth, most recently in the 1980s, when preservationists renovated the theatre to a performing arts venue. The contemporary Wiltern Theatre has been operating since 1985.

21. MaDang Courtyard Mall
2010
621 S. Western Ave, Koreatown

The heart of K-town is essentially the revived district once known as Wilshire Center,  a mid-rise commercial district which emerged in the mid-1960s, filling in the commercial real estate gap between Downtown and Miracle Mile. By the late 1980s, the district had fallen into disarray, with many businesses closing down or moving out, culminating around the time of the 1992 Riots (the iconic Bullocks Wilshire closed down in 1993). With the old guard having moved out, it allowed opportunities for the then-scattered Korean business community, fueled by an abundant supply of investment money from South Korea, to move into the vacant retail and office spaces and expand Koreatown into the large district that exists today. Enter MaDang Courtyard, which opened in 2010. This dense, triple-story urban mall represents not only the modern Koreatown, but a more of a visual semblance of Seoul, as opposed to the re-purposed commercial spaces of the old Wilshire Center. Anchored by the CGV Cinemasmultiplex, which screens current Hollywood features, Korean films and Korean-subtitled versions of mainstream blockbusters, you can't get more K-town than that (for a non-food establishment). But speaking of food establishment, there's also a Hansol Noodle location here, a Paris Baguette (despite the francophone name, it's a South Korean bakery cafe chain), a Lemon Tree kids' play cafe and Japanese imports Daiso (picture a Nippon version of the 99 Cents Only store) and pastry chain Beard Papa's. It's like a trip across the Pacific (minus the jet-lag).


AND NOW, A BREAK AT THE HALFWAY MARK...

The CicLAvia route visits Western Avenue for the very first time. But this isn't the first car-free, open street event that's popular with cyclists. In fact, they've been doing it 122 years ago...
 This photo, taken in 1896, shows a group bicycle ride up an unpaved Western Avenue (back then called County Road), back in the agricultural days. What comes around, goes around!

22. Selig Building
1931
269 S. Western Ave, Koreatown

This single-story black and gold terra cotta Art Deco storefront building (like total LAFC style, yo!) designed by Arthur Harvey was originally the Alvin C. Selig men's formalware store when it opened in the 1930s and later became a Crocker National Bank branch and video store. Today, the newly-renovated building is subdivided into separate retail spaces, which includes The Dolly Llama Waffle Master restaurant.

24. US Post Office - Nat King Cole Station
1987 (Dedicated 2002)
265 S. Western Ave, Koreatown.

Formerly the United States Postal Service's Oakwood Station, it was dedicated to singer Nat King Cole in 2002, who lived nearby on Murfield Rd. and 4th Street in Hancock Park from 1948 to his death in 1965. The facility is slated to move to a new location nearby as the current building will be demolished for redevelopment.

25. Original Home of See's Candies
1921
135 N. Western Ave., Koreatown

Canadian immigrant Charles See, along with his wife Florence, their children and his mother Mary, moved to Los Angeles where they opened a candy shop at this location in November, 1921 using Mary's recipes from when she helped run her late husband's hotel in southern Ontario. The operation soon blossomed into multiple stores, even booming during the Great Depression, and can be found in 17 states. The candies are made here in California, at its factories on La Cienega Blvd and in South San Francisco. The original See's Candies location is currently a Tom N Tom's (a.k.a. Korean Starbucks) coffee shop.

28. Hollywood Melrose Hotel
1927
5162 Melrose Ave, Hollywood.

This three-story building was designed by S. Charles Lee (remember him?) and opened in 1927 as the Hollywood Melrose Hotel. It later became rental units known as the Melrose Arms and Monte Cristo Island Apartments. In 1992 it made the National Register of Historic Places and was returned to an inn in 2010, re-branded as the Hollywood Historic Hotel which is now run by the Armenian family that owns the Edmon’s Unique Furniture and Stone Gallery business on the ground floor.

30. Raleigh Studios
1914
5300 Melrose Ave, Hollywood

Standing in the shadow of its much more famous neighbor across the street, this independent motion picture facility was founded in 1914 as the Fiction Players company studios, and later on as Clune Studios (Yes, the same William H. Clune that owned what later became Philharmonic Auditorium) in 1915. This studio facility was later associated with stars like Douglas Fairbanks and Charlie Chaplin. It was the filming location of classic TV shows like "The Adventures of Superman" and "Gunsmoke" (1950s); "Dallas," and Madonna's "Like A Prayer" music video (1980s) and Nirvana's "Heart-Shaped Box" video (1990s).

34. Site of Gold Star Recording Studios
1950-1984
6252 Santa Monica Blvd, Hollywood

Since this CicLAvia is focused on music with various musical performances along the route, this site was home of Gold Star Recording Studios, which lasted from the 1950s to the early 1980s. In the 1960s, it was most associated with (pre-murderer era) producer Phil Spector, who recorded The Beach Boys' hit "Good Vibrations" here, as well as parts of their legendary Pet Sounds album.  The studio was used by countless artists such as Ritchie Valens, Herb Alpert, Sonny and Cher, The Monkees, The Go-Gos, The Chipmunks, John Lennon, The Who and Jimi Hendrix. The Militant covered this spot back in 2008.

35. Wild Card Boxing Gym
1995
1123 N. Vine St, Hollywood

Founded and still operated by legendary boxing trainer Freddie Roach, this facility has been the choice training spot for amateur and professional boxers for the past two decades. Boxers such as Mike Tyson, Oscar De La Hoya, Manny Pacquiao, Miguel Cotto and Julio Cesar Chavez, among many, have trained in this 2nd-floor gym perched above a nondescript minimall. And oh yeah, this places smells like nasty-ass humid BO. The Militant was here back in 2007.

37. Pickford Center/Mutual-Don Lee Studios
1948
1313 N. Vine St, Hollywood

Functioning today as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science's Pickford Center for Motion Picture Study, this is the oldest building in Hollywood built for television production. It opened in
1948 as the headquarters of the old Mutual-Don Lee (that's Lee as in Mt. Lee, home of the Hollywood Sign) broadcast network, which birthed an early TV station, KTSL (for Thomas S. Lee, Don's son). In 1950, CBS took over the operation and years later it was the home of KHJ (now KCAL) Channel 9. In 1964, public TV station KCET began broadcasting here until it moved 3 1/2 miles east to Los Feliz in 1970. ABC took over the facility until the 1990s, when AIDS Project L.A. located its offices at the former studio. The Academy has used the old Don Lee studios since 2002.

38. Site of NBC Studios
1938-1962
1500 N. Vine St, Hollywood

Before The Peacock Network was associated with "Beautiful Downtown Burbank," it called the northeast corner of Sunset Boulevard and Vine Street its (West Coast) home. It began life as Radio City West (after NYC's Radio City), and the broadcast facility became influential in the industry, prompting rivals ABC and CBS to locate their western headquarters in close proximity. Local affiliate KNBC channel 4 was born here in 1949 (then known as KNBH, later becoming KRCA in 1954). It took on the KNBC call sign when the operation moved out to The 'Burb[ank] in 1962. The iconic Streamline Moderne studio building was torn down and replaced with a Home Savings and Loan bank branch (now operating today as  Chase Bank). The Sunset & Vine retail/residential complex across the street gave an architectural nod to the NBC building with Streamline Moderne touches).

39. Hollywood Brown Derby Site/Metro Bike Hub
1929-1985/2017
1628 N. Vine St, Hollywood

Did you know that Metro's Hollywood Bike Hub facility, which opened last year, stands on the very site of the Hollywood Brown Derby restaurant? This was the second location of the legendary local restaurant chain.(See Point #18) Back in the Hollywood Heyday of the first half of the 20th century, it was like the lunch and dining hotspot for famous film stars and industry moguls. But perhaps the biggest star associated with the Hollywood Brown Derby was the Cobb Salad, invented here circa 1937. Named after Brown Derby co-owner Robert Cobb, it was an improvised mish-mash of leftover salad ingredients, either made for theater mogul Sid Graumann or by Cobb himself as a late-night meal (depending on which version of the legend). The restaurant closed down in 1985 and the iconic Mediterranean-style structure was burned in a fire two years later. It was finally demolished in the mid-1990s after the Northridge Earthquake.

41. Hollywood and Vine
1887
Hollywood Blvd and Vine St (duh), Hollywood

Originally part of Hollywood pioneers Horace and Ida Wilcox's ranch (Ida was the one who dubbed the former Cahuenga Valley (named after the Tongva village known as Cahug-na) the name "Hollywood"), two dirt roads were cut through it: the east-west Prospect Avenue and Weyse Avenue running north-south. In 1903, a Methodist church was built on the southeast corner, soon followed by a number of businesses. When Hollywood was annexed to Los Angeles in 1910, Prospect and Weyse went all showbiz by changing its name to Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street and a decade later, the corner became world famous due to being a hub of radio and movie-related businesses. The Pacific Electric Railway's Western and Franlin Ave. Line even terminated here during that period from 1908 to 1940. Today it is arguably the World's Most Famous Intersection (seriously, try to name a more famous corner), and in July of 2018, a diagonal "scramble" pedestrian intersection was installed by the City.

42. Capitol Records Building/Hollywood Jazz Mural
1956/1990
1750 N. Vine St, Hollywood

You may or may not already know that the Capitol Records building is: a) The world's first circular office building (designed by Louis Naidorf of Welton Becket associates -- the same architectural firm that designed the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion (Point #1), at the opposite end of the CicLAvia tour (How's that for full circle [pumps fist]?)); b) Designed like a stack of records; and c) The FAA warning light atop its spire spells "HOLLYWOOD" in Morse Code. What you probably didn't know was that Capitol Records, founded in 1942, was the first major record label headquartered in the West Coast, and that the building was largely financed by the profits made from its premier artist at the time, Nat King Cole (See Point #24). Also, to make yet another connection to another point on this CicLAvia tour, this is one of two skyscrapers in Los Angeles with a spire, the second being the Wilshire Grand Center (Point #8). Dude, is everything like interconnected or what?! And speaking of Nat King Cole, Capitol's classic crooner is depicted front and center in the 88 foot-wide mural facing the building's south parking lot, "Hollywood Jazz, 1948-1972" by African American muralist (and Lynwood native) Richard Wyatt, Jr. painted in 1990 and restored in 2011.

So there it is! Stay Militant and Happy CicLAvia on Sunday! See ya!