Welcome to Downtown Los Angeles, one of the liveliest and most business-savvy neighborhoods in the Greater Los Angeles area. As one might imagine, Downtown lies at the heart of Los Angeles and is bordered by the Los Angeles River on the east, East Washington Boulevard on the south, 110 Freeway on the west, and Cesar Chavez Avenue on the north. Founded in 1781 by settlers traveling north from present-day Mexico, Los Angeles slowly grew outwards in a grid-like street pattern starting at El Pueblo de Los Angeles, which faced this city’s first church. Americans gained control of Los Angeles in 1847, and by 1896, the population in this once small, remote village had grown to nearly 100,000. Downtown expanded south as infrastructure improved and streets grids grew. Bigger buildings were built along Broadway to accommodate the need for office space. The construction of comprehensive and far-reaching rail lines pushed Los Angeles, with Downtown at its core, to the forefront of metropolises in the United States. Over 1,000 miles of track connected four California counties, beating New York City’s rail system at that time. Major financial institutions opened corporate headquarters Downtown, earning it the title Wall Street of the West. Grand hotels and department stores seemingly shot up overnight in the early part of the 20th century. However, following World War II, Downtown experienced a decline in commercial activity as residential buildings and mansions were bulldozed to make room for parking lots and more office buildings. The loss of residents Downtown led to an overall loss of pedestrian-oriented business. Downtown came roaring back to life in the early 2000s, as people flocked here for its cheap rent and variety of nightlife options.
The central business district of Los Angeles, Downtown is a sprawling urban environment comprised of 15 smaller diverse districts, such as Chinatown, Little Tokyo, and the highly trafficked Arts District, where you can find some of the city’s best art museums and upscale dining options. The Fashion District is a predominantly commercial neighborhood, where you can find high-end retail shops and boutiques. While much of the Victorian-era architecture that could once be seen in the Bunker Hill district is gone, many historic, pre-war office buildings remain intact and are being repurposed into apartments and mixed-use retail space. With one of the largest skylines in the United States, Downtown boasts housing options that range from affordable single-story bungalows to high-rise luxury condos. As of 2019, nearly 8,000 residential units were under construction. The second-most diverse neighborhood in Los Angeles, Downtown offers a variety of cuisines that are sure to please even the most complex of palates. Downtown is an easily accessible area with six commuter rail lines and five rapid transit lines. There are also numerous local and regional bus routes.