Photo by Annie Laskey/L.A. Conservancy

Modern Skyline Walking Tour

Modern Skyline Walking Tour

E.g., 2014-04-24
E.g., 2014-04-24
Saturday, May 3, 2014 - 2:00pm Register
Saturday, May 17, 2014 - 2:00pm Register
Saturday, June 7, 2014 - 2:00pm Register

From architecture to public art to public space, Los Angeles' Central Business District is a microcosm of the growth and development of Los Angeles.

From the 1880s when Victorian mansions crowned Bunker Hill, to today when sleek skyscrapers define the downtown skyline, the built environment of the Bunker Hill area has constantly evolved, reflecting the tastes, aspirations, and economics of the city’s population.

Experience the skyscrapers, plazas, and public art that define the bustling financial district today, and discover how they relate to both the past and the future of Los Angeles, one of the great cities of the world.

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)

Gas Company Tower
Photo by Annie Laskey/L.A. Conservancy

Gas Company Tower

The 1991 Gas Company Tower rises in a series of cliff-like setbacks and inverted corners, with an elliptical top of blue glass symbolizing the trademark blue flame of the building’s primary tenant
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 Michael Locke

Wells Fargo Center

A twist on the Corporate International "glass box" design, the towers, completed in 1983, have parallelogram-shaped bases with sharp angles soaring into the sky while trees, fountains, and rough-hewn granite give the atrium a park-like atmosphere.
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.
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 courtesy Architectural Resources Group

The Standard, Downtown LA

One of the finest examples of the Corporate Moderne style in Los Angeles, this 1955 building now thrives as a hip hotel.
Pegasus Apartments
Photo courtesy Architectural Resources Group

Pegasus Apartments

Representing a significant stage in the evolution of the high-rise office buildings of Los Angeles, the 1949 Mobil Oil/General Petroleum Building was one of Wurdeman and Becket's first major office commissions.
Westin Bonaventure Hotel and Suites
Photo courtesy Architectural Resources Group

Westin Bonaventure Hotel and Suites

One of the best-known buildings in Los Angeles and renowned for its futuristic appearance, the 1976 Bonaventure Hotel is famous as a Postmodern icon, isolated from the larger metropolis and operating by its own strange spatial rules.
Photo by Annie Laskey/Los Angeles Conservancy

City National Plaza

Completed in 1972 for the headquarters of Atlantic Richfield Company, these dark towers flanking a striking plaza typify the corporate architecture of the time.

Union Bank Building

The tallest building in the city when it was completed in 1967, the Union Bank Building's forty-two story tower was an important step forward for the redevelopment of the Bunker Hill area.