Los Angeles the City of Los Angeles and known by its initials L. A. is the most populous city in California, the second most populous city in the United States, after New York City, the third most populous city in North America. With an estimated population of four million, Los Angeles is the cultural and commercial center of Southern California; the city is known for its Mediterranean climate, ethnic diversity and the entertainment industry, its sprawling metropolis. Los Angeles is the largest city on the West Coast of North America. Los Angeles is in a large basin bounded by the Pacific Ocean on one side and by mountains as high as 10,000 feet on the other; the city proper, which covers about 469 square miles, is the seat of Los Angeles County, the most populated county in the country. Los Angeles is the principal city of the Los Angeles metropolitan area, the second largest in the United States after that of New York City, with a population of 13.1 million. It is part of the Los Angeles-Long Beach combined statistical area the nation's second most populous area with a 2015 estimated population of 18.7 million.
Los Angeles is one of the most substantial economic engines within the United States, with a diverse economy in a broad range of professional and cultural fields. Los Angeles is famous as the home of Hollywood, a major center of the world entertainment industry. A global city, it has been ranked 6th in the Global Cities Index and 9th in the Global Economic Power Index; the Los Angeles metropolitan area has a gross metropolitan product of $1.044 trillion, making it the third-largest in the world, after the Tokyo and New York metropolitan areas. Los Angeles hosted the 1932 and 1984 Summer Olympics and will host the event for a third time in 2028; the city hosted the Miss Universe pageant twice, in 1990 and 2006, was one of 9 American cities to host the 1994 FIFA men's soccer World Cup and one of 8 to host the 1999 FIFA women's soccer World Cup, hosting the final match for both tournaments. Home to the Chumash and Tongva, Los Angeles was claimed by Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo for Spain in 1542 along with the rest of what would become Alta California.
The city was founded on September 4, 1781, by Spanish governor Felipe de Neve. It became a part of Mexico in 1821 following the Mexican War of Independence. In 1848, at the end of the Mexican–American War, Los Angeles and the rest of California were purchased as part of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, becoming part of the United States. Los Angeles was incorporated as a municipality on April 4, 1850, five months before California achieved statehood; the discovery of oil in the 1890s brought rapid growth to the city. The completion of the Los Angeles Aqueduct in 1913, delivering water from Eastern California assured the city's continued rapid growth; the Los Angeles coastal area was settled by the Chumash tribes. A Gabrieleño settlement in the area was called iyáangẚ, meaning "poison oak place". Maritime explorer Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo claimed the area of southern California for the Spanish Empire in 1542 while on an official military exploring expedition moving north along the Pacific coast from earlier colonizing bases of New Spain in Central and South America.
Gaspar de Portolà and Franciscan missionary Juan Crespí, reached the present site of Los Angeles on August 2, 1769. In 1771, Franciscan friar Junípero Serra directed the building of the Mission San Gabriel Arcángel, the first mission in the area. On September 4, 1781, a group of forty-four settlers known as "Los Pobladores" founded the pueblo they called El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles,'The Town of Our Lady the Queen of the Angels'; the present-day city has the largest Roman Catholic Archdiocese in the United States. Two-thirds of the Mexican or settlers were mestizo or mulatto, a mixture of African and European ancestry; the settlement remained a small ranch town for decades, but by 1820, the population had increased to about 650 residents. Today, the pueblo is commemorated in the historic district of Los Angeles Pueblo Plaza and Olvera Street, the oldest part of Los Angeles. New Spain achieved its independence from the Spanish Empire in 1821, the pueblo continued as a part of Mexico.
During Mexican rule, Governor Pío Pico made Los Angeles Alta California's regional capital. Mexican rule ended during the Mexican–American War: Americans took control from the Californios after a series of battles, culminating with the signing of the Treaty of Cahuenga on January 13, 1847. Railroads arrived with the completion of the transcontinental Southern Pacific line to Los Angeles in 1876 and the Santa Fe Railroad in 1885. Petroleum was discovered in the city and surrounding area in 1892, by 1923, the discoveries had helped California become the country's largest oil producer, accounting for about one-quarter of the world's petroleum output. By 1900, the population had grown to more than 102,000; the completion of the Los Angeles Aqueduct in 1913, under the supervision of William Mulholland, assured the continued growth of the city. Due to clauses in the city's charter that prevented the City of Los Angeles from selling or providing water from the aqueduct to any area outside its borders, many adjacent city and communities became compelled to annex themselves into Los Angeles.
Los Angeles created the first municipal zoning ordinance in the United States. On September 14, 1908, the Los Angeles City Council promulgated residential and industrial land use zones; the new ordinance established three residential zones of a single type, where industrial uses were
Hollywood is a neighborhood in the central region of Los Angeles, notable as the home of the U. S. film industry, including several of its historic studios. Its name has come to be a shorthand reference for the people associated with it. Hollywood was incorporated as a municipality in 1903, it was consolidated with the city of Los Angeles in 1910 and soon thereafter, a prominent film industry emerged becoming the most recognizable film industry in the world. In 1853, one adobe hut stood in Nopalera, named for the Mexican Nopal cactus indigenous to the area. By 1870, an agricultural community flourished; the area was known as the Cahuenga Valley, after the pass in the Santa Monica Mountains to the north. According to the diary of H. J. Whitley known as the "Father of Hollywood", on his honeymoon in 1886 he stood at the top of the hill looking out over the valley. Along came a Chinese man in a wagon carrying wood; the man bowed. The Chinese man was asked what he was doing and replied, "I holly-wood," meaning'hauling wood.'
H. J. Whitley decided to name his new town Hollywood. "Holly" would represent England and "wood" would represent his Scottish heritage. Whitley had started over 100 towns across the western United States. Whitley arranged to buy the 480 acres E. C. Hurd ranch, they shook hands on the deal. Whitley shared his plans for the new town with General Harrison Gray Otis, publisher of the Los Angeles Times, Ivar Weid, a prominent businessman in the area. Daeida Wilcox learned of the name Hollywood from Ivar Weid, her neighbor in Holly Canyon and a prominent investor and friend of Whitley's, she recommended the same name to Harvey. H. Wilcox, who had purchased 120 acres on February 1, 1887, it wasn't until August 1887 Wilcox decided to use that name and filed with the Los Angeles County Recorder's office on a deed and parcel map of the property. The early real-estate boom busted at the end of that year. By 1900, the region had a post office, newspaper and two markets. Los Angeles, with a population of 102,479 lay 10 miles east through the vineyards, barley fields, citrus groves.
A single-track streetcar line ran down the middle of Prospect Avenue from it, but service was infrequent and the trip took two hours. The old citrus fruit-packing house was converted into a livery stable, improving transportation for the inhabitants of Hollywood; the Hollywood Hotel was opened in 1902 by H. J. Whitley, a president of the Los Pacific Boulevard and Development Company. Having acquired the Hurd ranch and subdivided it, Whitley built the hotel to attract land buyers. Flanking the west side of Highland Avenue, the structure fronted on Prospect Avenue, still a dusty, unpaved road, was graded and graveled; the hotel was to become internationally known and was the center of the civic and social life and home of the stars for many years. Whitley's company sold one of the early residential areas, the Ocean View Tract. Whitley did much to promote the area, he paid thousands of dollars for electric lighting, including bringing electricity and building a bank, as well as a road into the Cahuenga Pass.
The lighting ran for several blocks down Prospect Avenue. Whitley's land was centered on Highland Avenue, his 1918 development, Whitley Heights, was named for him. Hollywood was incorporated as a municipality on November 14, 1903, by a vote of 88 for and 77 against. On January 30, 1904, the voters in Hollywood decided, by a vote of 113 to 96, for the banishment of liquor in the city, except when it was being sold for medicinal purposes. Neither hotels nor restaurants were allowed to serve liquor before or after meals. In 1910, the city voted for merger with Los Angeles in order to secure an adequate water supply and to gain access to the L. A. sewer system. With annexation, the name of Prospect Avenue changed to Hollywood Boulevard and all the street numbers were changed. By 1912, major motion-picture companies had set up production in Los Angeles. In the early 1900s, most motion picture patents were held by Thomas Edison's Motion Picture Patents Company in New Jersey, filmmakers were sued to stop their productions.
To escape this, filmmakers began moving out west to Los Angeles, where attempts to enforce Edison's patents were easier to evade. The weather was ideal and there was quick access to various settings. Los Angeles became the capital of the film industry in the United States; the mountains and low land prices made Hollywood a good place to establish film studios. Director D. W. Griffith was the first to make a motion picture in Hollywood, his 17-minute short film In Old California was filmed for the Biograph Company. Although Hollywood banned movie theaters—of which it had none—before annexation that year, Los Angeles had no such restriction; the first film by a Hollywood studio, Nestor Motion Picture Company, was shot on October 26, 1911. The H. J. Whitley home was used as its set, the unnamed movie was filmed in the middle of their groves at the corner of Whitley Avenue and Hollywood Boulevard; the first studio in Hollywood, the Nestor Company, was established by the New Jersey–based Centaur Company in a roadhouse at 6121 Sunset Boulevard, in October 1911.
Four major film companies – Paramount, Warner Bros. RKO, Columbia – had studios in Hollywood, as did several minor companies and rental studios. In the 1920s, Hollywood was the fifth-largest industry in the nation. By the 1930s, Hollywood studios became vertically integrated, as production and exhibition was controlled by these companies, enabling Hollywood to produce 600 films per year. H
Port of Los Angeles
The Port of Los Angeles called America's Port, is a port complex that occupies 7,500 acres of land and water along 43 miles of waterfront and adjoins the separate Port of Long Beach. The port is located in San Pedro Bay in the San Pedro and Wilmington neighborhoods of Los Angeles 20 miles south of downtown. A department of the City of Los Angeles, the Port of Los Angeles supports employment for 517,000 people throughout the LA County Region and 1.6 million worldwide. The cargo coming into the port represents 20% of all cargo coming into the United States; the Port's Channel Depth is 53 feet. The port has 27 cargo terminals, 86 container cranes, 8 container terminals, 113 miles of on-dock rail; the LA Port imports furniture, electronics, automobile parts, plastics. The Port exports wastepaper and animal feed, scrap metal and soybeans; the port's major trading partners are China, Hong Kong, South Korea and Vietnam. For public safety, the Port of Los Angeles utilizes the Los Angeles Port Police for police service in the port and to its local communities, the Los Angeles Fire Department to provide fire and EMS services to the port and its local communities, the U.
S. Coast Guard for water way security at the port, Homeland Security to protect federal land at the port, the Los Angeles County Lifeguards to provide lifeguard services for open water outside the harbor while Los Angeles City Recreation & Parks Department lifeguards patrol the inner Cabrillo Beach. In 1542, Juan Rodriquez Cabrillo discovered the "Bay of Smokes." The south-facing San Pedro Bay was a shallow mudflat, too soft to support a wharf. Visiting ships had two choices: stay far out at anchor and have their goods and passengers ferried to shore, or beach themselves; that sticky process is described in Two Years Before the Mast by Richard Henry Dana, Jr., a crew member on an 1834 voyage that visited San Pedro Bay. Phineas Banning improved shipping when he dredged the channel to Wilmington in 1871 to a depth of 10 feet; the port handled 50,000 tons of shipping that year. Banning owned a stagecoach line with routes connecting San Pedro to Salt Lake City and Yuma, in 1868 he built a railroad to connect San Pedro Bay to Los Angeles, the first in the area.
After Banning's death in 1885, his sons pursued their interests in promoting the port, which handled 500,000 tons of shipping in that year. The Southern Pacific Railroad and Collis P. Huntington wanted to create Port Los Angeles at Santa Monica and built the Long Wharf there in 1893. However, the Los Angeles Times publisher Harrison Gray Otis and U. S. Senator Stephen White pushed for federal support of the Port of Los Angeles at San Pedro Bay; the Free Harbor Fight was settled when San Pedro was endorsed in 1897 by a commission headed by Rear Admiral John C. Walker. With U. S. government support, breakwater construction began in 1899, the area was annexed to Los Angeles in 1909. The Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners was founded in 1907. In 1912 the Southern Pacific Railroad completed its first major wharf at the port. During the 1920s, the port surpassed San Francisco as the West Coast's busiest seaport. In the early 1930s, a massive expansion of the port was undertaken with the construction of a breakwater three miles out and over two miles in length.
In addition to the construction of this outer breakwater, an inner breakwater was built off Terminal Island with docks for seagoing ships and smaller docks built at Long Beach. It was this improved harbor. During World War II, the port was used for shipbuilding, employing more than 90,000 people. In 1959, Matson Navigation Company's Hawaiian Merchant delivered 20 containers to the port, beginning the port's shift to containerization; the opening of the Vincent Thomas Bridge in 1963 improved access to Terminal Island and allowed increased traffic and further expansion of the port. In 1985, the port handled one million containers in a year for the first time. In 2000, the Pier 400 Dredging and Landfill Program, the largest such project in America, was completed. By 2013, more than half a million containers were moving through the Port every month. Since 2018, the SpaceX BFR, designed for human missions to Mars, is being produced in a factory at the port; the port district is an independent, self-supporting department of the government of the City of Los Angeles.
The port is under the control of a five-member Board of Harbor Commissioners appointed by the mayor and approved by the city council, is administered by an executive director. The port maintains the highest rating attainable for self-funded ports; the port has about a dozen pilots, including two chiefs. Pilots have specialized knowledge of San Pedro Bay, they meet the ships waiting to enter the harbor and provide advice as the vessel is steered through the congested waterway to the dock. The port's container volume was 9.3 million twenty-foot equivalent units in calendar year 2017, a 5.5% increase over 2016's record-breaking year of 8.8 million TEU. It's the most cargo moved annually by a Western Hemisphere port; the port is the busiest port in the United States by container volume, the 19th-busiest container port in the world, the 10th-busiest worldwide when combined with the neighboring Port of Long Beach. The port is the number-one freight gateway in the United States when ranked by the value of shipments passing through it.
The port's top trading partners in 2016 were: China/Hong Kong Japan Vietnam South Korea Tai
Park La Brea, Los Angeles
Park La Brea is a sprawling apartment community in the Miracle Mile District of Los Angeles, California. With 4,255 units located in eighteen 13-story towers and thirty-one 2-story "garden apartment buildings", it is the largest housing development in the U. S. west of the Mississippi River. It sits on 160 acres of land with numerous lawns. Park La Brea is bounded by 3rd Street on the north, Cochran Avenue on the east, 6th Street on the south, Fairfax Avenue on the west; the complex is notable for its octagonal street layout, with many thoroughfares at a 45° angle of displacement relative to the English street grid. After the arrival of the Spanish in the 1780s and the displacement of the area's indigenous population, most of the area, now Park La Brea became part of the Rancho La Brea land grant, remained devoted to agriculture and petroleum production well into the 20th century; the growth of Hollywood and the Miracle Mile made the adjacent areas desirable centers for residential development in the 1920s, but the mid-rise apartment towers that give the district its current name were built between 1944 and 1948.
Park La Brea represents something of a historical anomaly, having been built at a time when most visions of Los Angeles' development were dominated by low-rise tracts of single-family houses along freeway corridors. As the towers are isolated from the rest of the Miracle Mile — set far back from major thoroughfares in a nod to Le Corbusier, they developed a reputation as "the projects", since they are reminiscent of such notorious housing developments as Chicago's Robert Taylor Homes and New York's Queensbridge; the street layout was created in a masonic pattern as a reference to the masonic heritage of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, which built the complex toward the end of World War II and thereafter. Metropolitan Life Insurance constructed a sister complex, Parkmerced in San Francisco, which features a similar street layout as Park La Brea. At the same time, they built Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village in Manhattan, Parkchester in The Bronx, Parkfairfax in Alexandria, Virginia just outside Washington, DC.
The Park La Brea townhouses were designed by Leonard Schultz & Son with associate architect Earl T. Heitschmidt in 1941; the style of the architecture has been described as Modern Colonial. The Park La Brea Towers were designed by Leonard Schultz Associates with consulting architects Stanton + Kaufmann in 1948. Inspired by the innovative housing of Le Corbusier in Paris, this architectural team set out to create innovative multifamily housing, their plans included square-block sized formations of town houses surrounding shared common green space. The combined shared lawn spaces creates both tree-dappled open space; the Landmark Towers, in a revolutionary "X" structure with a unique placement, became icons of the Los Angeles skyline. The ingeniously designed plan ensured. In the 2000s, Park La Brea had become a desirable rental community with its own community center, health club and pool, beauty parlor, drycleaner in addition to its convenient proximity to local museums, Farmers Market, The Grove at Farmers Market shopping complex.
In recent years, additional improvements have been made, such as adding new pools. The complex completed another $8 million renovation in 2010. In 2017, the complex lost a $3.5-million bedbug lawsuit. Residents are zoned to schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District. Three different elementary schools serve portions of this neighborhood: Carthay Center Elementary School Hancock Park Elementary School Wilshire Crest Elementary SchoolAll of the neighborhood is zoned to John Burroughs Middle School and Fairfax High School. Co-op City Cooperative Village Mitchell Lama Parkchester, Bronx Parkfairfax, Virginia Parkmerced, San Francisco Penn South Riverton Houses Rochdale Village, Queens Stuyvesant Town–Peter Cooper Village Official Park La Brea website Apartmentratings.com: Park La Brea rating Yelp.com: Park La Brea ratings
Miracle Mile, Los Angeles
The Miracle Mile is a neighborhood in the city of Los Angeles, California. It contains a stretch of Wilshire Boulevard known as Museum Row, it contains two Historic Preservation Overlay Zones: The Miracle Mile HPOZ and the Miracle Mile North HPOZ. The Miracle Mile's boundaries are 3rd Street on the north, Highland Avenue on the east, San Vicente Boulevard on the south, Fairfax Avenue on the west. Major thoroughfares include Wilshire and Olympic Boulevards, La Brea and Fairfax Avenues, 6th Street. Google Maps identifies an irregularly shaped area labeled “Miracle Mile” that runs from Ogden Drive on the west to Citrus Avenue and La Brea Avenue on the east; the north is bordered by 4th Street and on the south is 12th Street. In the early 1920s, Wilshire Boulevard west of Western Avenue was an unpaved farm road, extending through dairy farms and bean fields. Developer A. W. Ross saw potential for the area and developed Wilshire as a commercial district to rival downtown Los Angeles; the Miracle Mile development was anchored by the May Company Department Store with its landmark 1939 Streamline Moderne building on the west and the E. Clem Wilson Building on the east Los Angeles's tallest commercial building.
The Wilson Building had a dirigible mast on top and was home to a number of businesses and professionals relocating from downtown. The success of the new alternative commercial and shopping district negatively affected downtown real estate values and triggered development of the multiple downtowns which characterize contemporary Los Angeles. Ross's insight was that the form and scale of his Wilshire strip should attract and serve automobile traffic rather than pedestrian shoppers, he applied this design both to the buildings lining it. Ross gave Wilshire various "firsts," including dedicated left-turn lanes and timed traffic lights, the first in the United States, he required merchants to provide automobile parking lots, all to aid traffic flow. Major retailers such as Desmond's, Silverwood's, May Co. Coulter's, Mullen & Bluett, Myer Siegel, Seibu spread down Wilshire Boulevard from Fairfax to La Brea. Ross ordered that all building facades along Wilshire be engineered so as to be best seen through a windshield.
This meant larger, simpler signage and longer buildings in a larger scale. They had to be oriented toward the boulevard and architectural ornamentation and massing must be perceptible at 30 MPH instead of at walking speed; these building forms were driven by practical requirements but contributed to the stylistic language of Art Deco and Streamline Moderne. Ross's moves were unprecedented, a huge commercial success, proved influential. Ross had invented the car-oriented urban form — what Reyner Banham called "the linear downtown" model adopted across the United States; the moves contributed to Los Angeles's reputation as a city dominated by the car. A sculptural bust of Ross stands at 5800 Wilshire, with the inscription, "A. W. Ross and developer of the Miracle Mile. Vision to see, wisdom to know, courage to do." As wealth and newcomers poured into the fast-growing city, Ross's parcel became one of Los Angeles's most desirable areas. Acclaimed as "America's Champs-Élysées," this stretch of Wilshire near the La Brea Tar Pits was named "Miracle Mile" for its improbable rise to prominence.
Although the preponderance of shopping malls and the development in the 1960s of financial and business districts in downtown and Century City lessened the Miracle Mile's importance as a retail and business center, the area has retained its vitality thanks to the addition of several museums and commercial high-rises. An Art Deco style bank at 5209 Wilshire was built in 1929, joined a select other Miracle Mile buildings when listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it was designed by the architecture firm of Morgan, Walls & Clements, which designed the Wiltern Theatre, the El Capitan Theatre, other notable buildings in Los Angeles. Note: According to historian David Leighton, of the Arizona Daily Star newspaper the Miracle Mile in Tucson, Arizona derives its name from Los Angeles' Miracle Mile; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Petersen Automotive Museum, A+D Museum and Folk Art Museum, George C. Page Museum, La Brea Tar Pits pavilions, among others, create "Museum Row" on the Miracle Mile.
The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, designed by Renzo Piano, will be located in the former May Company Department Store on the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue. A new contemporary structure for the museum's theaters will be located behind the building. Miracle Mile contains two Historic Preservation Overlay Zones; the Miracle Mile HPOZ comprises 1,347 properties. Its boundaries are Wilshire Boulevard to the north, San Vicente Boulevard to the south, La Brea Avenue to the east, Orange Grove Avenue to the west, it is located in the Mid-Wilshire community. The Miracle Mile North HPOZ consists of single-family residences which are uniform in scale and setbacks, the majority of which were built from 1924 to 1941, its boundaries are Detroit Streets, between Beverly Boulevard and Third Street. It is located in the Beverly-Fairfax community; the Miracle Mile District is one of the city's more densely populated areas. To alleviate problems and provide an alternative to automobiles for commuters, Los Angeles Metro's Purple Line subway is being extended along Wilshire Boulevard to the Veterans Affairs Hospital, from its current terminus at Western Avenue in Koreatown.
However, a federal ban on tunneling operations in the area was passed at the behest of the district's Congressional representative Henry Waxman af
Santa Monica Boulevard
Santa Monica Boulevard is a major west-east thoroughfare in Los Angeles County. It runs from Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica near the Pacific Ocean to Sunset Boulevard at Sunset Junction in Los Angeles, it passes through West Hollywood. A portion of it is designated as California State Route 2; the western terminus of Santa Monica Boulevard is at Ocean Avenue near the Pacific Ocean. From there until the San Diego Freeway, Santa Monica Boulevard is a densely urban commercial street, it assumes the designation California State Route 2 between Centinela Avenue at the Santa Monica–Los Angeles border, the Hollywood Freeway. The portion between Centinela Avenue and Lincoln Boulevard in Santa Monica was originally part of California State Route 2. From Centinela Avenue, Santa Monica Boulevard heads northeast through the wealthy areas of West Los Angeles, Century City, Beverly Hills before entering the decidedly urban West Hollywood. Santa Monica Boulevard, being a major street, is for most of its length at least four lanes wide.
Most of the Westside car dealerships are located on Santa Monica Boulevard. After Sepulveda Boulevard, Santa Monica Boulevard passes by Century City and its shopping center, intersects with Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills. After intersecting with Wilshire in Beverly Hills, Santa Monica Boulevard continues northeast towards West Hollywood, spanning Beverly Boulevard and Melrose Avenue. At Holloway Drive, in the middle of West Hollywood, Santa Monica, now north of Melrose Avenue turns to run east. In West Hollywood, between Doheny Drive and Fairfax Avenue along Santa Monica Boulevard, bronze name plaques are embedded in the sidewalks as part of the West Hollywood Memorial Walk; the original southern end of California State Route 170 was at the intersection with Highland Avenue. Santa Monica Boulevard merges on its eastern end with Sunset Boulevard in the Sunset Junction neighborhood of Silver Lake; the south roadway of Santa Monica Boulevard called Little Santa Monica Boulevard in Beverly Hills, runs parallel to the state highway roadway of Santa Monica Boulevard from the city's west limit to Rexford Drive.
After Rexford Drive, Little Santa Monica turns east. Burton Way merges into San Vicente Boulevard at its intersection with La Cienega Boulevard, it is noted that the south roadway of Santa Monica Boulevard in Beverly Hills is a city street while the north roadway of Santa Monica Boulevard is a California state highway, each roadway handling bi-directional traffic. Due to the length of its name, Santa Monica Boulevard is abbreviated to "Sta Mon Blvd." for mailing purposes by the United States Postal Service. Metro Local line 4, Metro Rapid line 704 and Santa Monica Transit Line 1 operate on Santa Monica Boulevard; the Metro Red Line serves an underground station on Santa Monica Boulevard at its intersection with Vermont Avenue
Wilshire Boulevard is one of the principal east-west arterial roads in the Los Angeles area of Southern California, extending 15.83 miles from Ocean Avenue in the city of Santa Monica east to Grand Avenue in the Financial District of downtown Los Angeles. It is one of the major city streets though the city of Beverly Hills. Wilshire Boulevard runs parallel with Santa Monica Boulevard from Santa Monica to the Miracle Mile district, after which it runs a block south of Sixth Street to its terminus. Wilshire Boulevard is densely developed throughout most of its span, connecting Beverly Hills with five of Los Angeles's major business districts to each other. Many of the post-1956 skyscrapers in Los Angeles are located along Wilshire. Aon Center, at one point Los Angeles' largest tower, is at 707 Wilshire Boulevard in downtown Los Angeles. One famous stretch of the boulevard between Fairfax and Highland Avenues is known as the Miracle Mile. Many of Los Angeles' largest museums are located there; the area just to the east of that, between Highland Avenue and Wilton Place, is referred to as the "Park Mile".
Between Westwood and Holmby Hills, several tall glitzy condominium buildings overlook this part of Wilshire, giving it the title of Millionaire's Mile. This section is known as the Wilshire Corridor and Condo Canyon; the Wilshire Corridor, located next to Century City, is one of Los Angeles' busiest districts, contains many high-rise residential towers. The Fox and MGM studios are located in a series of skyscrapers, along with many historic Los Angeles hotels. Wilshire Boulevard is the principal street of Koreatown, the site of many of Los Angeles' oldest buildings, as well as skyscrapers. Koreatown and Mid-Wilshire are among Los Angeles' most densely populated districts. Much of the length of Wilshire Boulevard can be traced back to the indigenous Tongva people who used it to bring back tar from the La Brea pits in today's Miracle Mile section of Wilshire Blvd, back to their settlement on the coast; this road was used by Spanish explorers and settlers, calling it El Camino Viejo. The route that became Wilshire crossed the original pueblo of Los Angeles and five of the original Spanish land grants, or ranchos.
Wilshire was pieced together from various streets over several decades. It began in the 1870s as Nevada Avenue in Santa Monica, in the 1880s as Orange Street between Westlake Park and downtown. Nevada and Orange were renamed as parts of Wilshire; the boulevard was named for Henry Gaylord Wilshire, an Ohio native who made and lost fortunes in real estate and gold mining. In 1895 he began developing 35 acres of a barley field, stretching westward from Westlake Park for an elite residential subdivision, donated to the city a strip of land 120 feet wide by 1,200 feet long for a boulevard, on the conditions that it would be named for him and that railroad lines and commercial or industrial trucking would be banned; the road first appeared on a map under its present name in 1895. A historic apartment building on the corner of Wilshire Blvd. and S. Kenmore Ave. the Gaylord, carries his middle name. The Wilshire Boulevard home of J. Paul Getty was used as the filmset for the 1950 film Sunset Boulevard: it was demolished in 1957.
The Purple and Red subway lines of the Los Angeles Metro run along Wilshire Boulevard from just past the 7th/Figueroa Street station before serving the Westlake/MacArthur Park and Wilshire/Vermont stations, where the Purple Line continues along Wilshire to serve two stations at Normandie Avenue and at Western Avenue in Koreatown, while the Red Line branches off to terminate in North Hollywood. The construction of the future Purple Line extension along Wilshire Boulevard commenced in November 2014; the construction timeline would see the project from the existing Wilshire/Western station to the planned Wilshire/La Cienega station on the corner of Wilshire and La Cienega Boulevard, to be completed by 2023. The second phase got under way on February 23, 2018 from Wilshire/La Cienega to Century City Station. Phase three of the Purple Line extension, when completed, will extend to UCLA and Westwood/VA Hospital, will follow Wilshire Boulevard for most of its route. Phase four to downtown Santa Monica has no funding.
Metro Local Line 20, Metro Rapid Line 720, Santa Monica Transit Line 2 operate along Wilshire Boulevard. Due to the high ridership of line 720, 60-foot NABI articulated buses are used on this route, bus lanes are in place along some segments of the line. All of the boulevard is at least four lanes in width, most of the portion between Hoover Street and Robertson Boulevard has a raised center median; the widest portion is in the business district of central Westwood, where mobs of pedestrians crossing Wilshire at Westwood Boulevard must traverse ten lanes. According to a 1991 study by the Los Angeles Department of Transportation and the nearby intersection of Wilshire and Veteran are among the busiest in Los Angeles; the boulevard's widest portion is in Westwood and Holmby Hills, where it expands to six, eight lanes. The sections of Wilshire Boulevard in the city of Los Angeles are notorious for their giant potholes. Wilshire Boulevard ended at the MacArthur Park lake, but in 1934 a berm was built for it to cross and link up with the existing Orange Street into downtown Los Angeles.