Broadway Historical District, Los Angeles

Photographs By Don Saban

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The Historic Downtown is the heart of Los Angeles and the home of an unparalleled collection of early

20th Century commercial architecture. Bordered by 3rd and 9th Streets and Main and Broadway, the

district encompasses 24 blocks of stunning Beaux Arts, Art Deco, and revival-style buildings in a

vibrant urban setting more common to New York City.

Broadway is the backbone of the Historic Downtown. In 1931, Broadway was the West Coast

equivalent of New York's Great White Way. With an unprecedented 12 major theaters, the famed

Broadway district contained the highest concentration of movie palaces in the world. It was the city's

most popular gathering place, home to movie premiers, ticker-tape parades and shopping at the

region's top department stores.

While Broadway boomed as Los Angeles' shopping and entertainment center, Spring Street, just to the

east, grew into the Wall Street of the West. The premier location for the City's banks and brokerage

firms in the early twentieth century, it features the largest collection of Beaux-Arts buildings remaining

in the United States.

Today, both of these remarkable historic environments are listed on the National Register of Historic

Places, giving testament to their integrity and prominence.