Photo by Annie Laskey/L.A. Conservancy

Historic Downtown Walking Tour

Historic Downtown Walking Tour

E.g., 2014-04-17
E.g., 2014-04-17
Saturday, April 19, 2014 - 10:00am Register
Saturday, April 26, 2014 - 10:00am Register
Saturday, May 3, 2014 - 10:00am Register
Saturday, May 10, 2014 - 10:00am Register
Saturday, May 17, 2014 - 10:00am Register

Covering a wide range of architectural styles, and including anecdotes about the people behind the buildings, this tour is a great way to become acquainted (or re-acquainted) with the unique character of downtown L.A. Historic Downtown, as the area around Pershing Square is known, is the heart of downtown.

Some of the most beloved Los Angeles landmarks are in this area, such as the Central Library, Angels Flight, and the Bradbury Building. The history of the area goes back to the founding of the city in 1781, and its architecture tells the story of the growth of the city from the 1890s to the present, including the current trend of conversions of vintage office buildings into loft-style apartments and condos.

Walk-ins are accepted on this tour. Please have exact change (cash or check, no credit cards) and arrive at least 15 minutes prior to tour time. Groups of 5 or more are strongly encouraged to have advance reservations. Please note that in the unlikely event the tour reaches capacity, patrons with paid reservations have priority.

If you have an informal group, like a Meet Up, and are planning on designating a tour to come to, please alert the Program Manager Annie Laskey at alaskey@laconservancy.org or 213-430-4209, so that we can have enough docents available.

Meeting location: Pershing Square, located at Olive Street and 6th Street in downtown Los Angeles. Tour meets in the center of the park, near the mini-groves of orange trees.

Parking: $5 with validation in the underground Pershing Square Garage, located at Olive Street and 6th Street in downtown Los Angeles.

Metro: Red Line to Pershing Square Station. Follow the signs to Pershing Square exit, then cross the street to the park. For details, visit metro.net.

Important Policies:

  • Tour will run rain or shine
  • No refunds.  You can change your reservation date if you contact us at info@laconservancy.org at least 24 hours before your original reservation date.
  • No pets.
  • This tour not recommended for young children.
  • Strollers not recommended.
  • If a member of your party is in a wheelchair, please let us know in advance by emailing alaskey@laconservancy.org.

Sample Tour Sites (subject to change)

Photo courtesy Rising Realty Partners

PacMutual

Designed by premier L.A. architects, the former headquarters of Pacific Mutual Life Insurance is now teeming with new life as creative office space.
Photo by Annie Laskey/L.A. Conservancy

One Bunker Hill

One of the first all-electrically heated and cooled buildings constructed in the western United States, this fourteen-story, steel-framed 1931 treasure follows a classically inspired Art Deco design.
Photo by Annie Laskey/L.A. Conservancy

U.S. Bank Tower

This 1989 office tower, still one of the tallest office buildings west of Chicago, embodies the variety and vitality of corporate design in the late twentieth century.
Photo by Jessica Hodgdon/L.A. Conservancy

Bunker Hill Steps

The ties between downtown L.A. and its Bunker Hill origins have been tenuous at best. The Bunker Hill Steps, built in 1989, aimed to remedy that.
Metro 417
Photo by Floyd Bariscale

Metro 417

Designed in the Beaux Arts style with Italian Renaissance ornamentation, this 1926 building has dual entrances, one to the offices above, and one to a concourse that served the city's early subway.
Photo by Annie Laskey/L.A. Conservancy

Angels Flight

One of L.A.'s most enduring landmarks and the "shortest railway in the world" opened in 1901, and the funicular still carries passengers between Hill Street, just steps from Metro's Pershing Square Station, and the top of Bunker Hill.
Photo by Douglas Hill/ShootingArchitecture.com

Bradbury Building

Still splendid more than 100 years after its 1893 opening, its magical light-filled Victorian court, open cage elevators, marble stairs, and ornate iron railings make this one of downtown's most photographed icons.
Grand Central Market
Photo by Annie Laskey/L.A. Conservancy

Grand Central Market

In continuous operation as a market since 1917 out of two adjacent buildings built in 1897 and 1905, one of which was the first reinforced concrete building erected in Southern California.