Great Maps of LA exhibit at the Central Library in downtown

13 Jan

I’m always amazed at the sprawling, extensive size of the City of Los Angeles. This city I love está toda spread out, es enorme, llena de tráfico y luces, y freeways y mini-malls. What’s not to love?

So it was such a nice surprise to run into a very interesting exhibit of old Los Angeles maps at the Central Library in Downtown LA called “As The City Grew.” These maps are from the 184o’s to more recent ones from the last century. They all are amazing to look at just for the fact that they portray the gradual growth and initial distribution of el pueblo de Los Angeles.

This is one of the texts from the exhibit:

“The historical maps here trace Los Angeles’ challenges and illustrate its evolution into the metropolis we know today. The maps tell a story about a Spanish pueblo settled by eleven families that, in just 130 years, was to become the second largest city in America. From a Wild West frontier town that lived mostly outside the law, the city grew more sophisticated, surviving periodic cycles of “boom and bust” and doubling its population every decade, from a meager 5,000 at statehood to over a million by 1930.”

I’m always intrigued by the transformation of a place, of how things used to be and how people used to live before.  Did they ride horses? Can you imagine LA without freeways? How did people get to Santa Monica? What was life like here? These maps give you an idea of how LA transitioned into the place we live today.

So it’s worth a visit, and you may also want to check out some books at the library too! Everything is GRATIS, as you know, so take a trip soon if you can.

DTLA Central Library at 5th and Figueroa hours are Monday, Wed, Friday and Saturday from 10am to 5:30 pm; Tuesday and Thursday from 10 am to 8 pm. It is closed  Sundays and will be closed next Monday due to Martin Luther King’s Day.

LA Maps exhibit at Central Library hallway, 1st floor.

Map of the City of Los Angeles, 1884, by Henry J Stevenson.

Birds Eye View of Los Angeles in 1909. Shows LA growing fast and becoming one of the nation's major cities. Population is 300,000.

This was one of the more elaborate maps, very colorful and showing different ethnicities.

The Old Spanish and Mexican Ranchos of Los Angeles County, 1937. Shows LA in the years 1784 to 1849. "The Ranchos as they were called were sometiems as large as 48,000 acres."

Yes people, WE were here first. Se les olvida quien formó esta ciudad.

Hollywood star maps, version 1937. But I doubt they had any paparazzi then.

Hey, with this map you could go look for Cary Grant, Marion Davies and Gary Cooper. Their head drawing was used as the pin point for their house!

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3 Responses to “Great Maps of LA exhibit at the Central Library in downtown”

  1. Dariela (@darielacruz) January 13, 2012 at 11:54 #

    Pretty cool! I would love to see it. Probably take my mom cause she loves the Central Library ;)

  2. microrrelatososhortstories January 13, 2012 at 13:03 #

    I remember a loooong time ago when I visited San Juan Capistrano and was happily suprised by the lovely spanish art perfectly preserved…maybe part of the charm in Old LA is just that, how it shows us the real LATIN roots of southern california, making us feel a bit less extranjeras…xo

  3. In A World With Others January 17, 2012 at 10:40 #

    You are notorious for finding the most interesting sites to visit :)

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