Downtown LA Walking Tour

THE GOODS:  Learn something about your own city if you live here while getting a hands-on tour of some of the most beautiful parts of Downtown LA on foot.

On Sunday, I enjoyed an educational and sight-filled walk around some of the oldest parts of downtown LA, with Neel from Downtown LA Walking Tours.

Neel runs a number of tours in areas focused around downtown LA, including a historical rundown of LA’s beginnings around Olvera St., a tour of the Historic Core district, and an architectural features-focused tour. For each one, Neel takes the groups on foot around the key highlights of the area, peppering the walk with interesting historical anecdotes or details about the feature being viewed. Even as a longtime LA resident, I learned a number of new things!

The tour we took, LA’s Beginnings, took about 2 hours, and we got in about 1.5 miles of walking while being educated and enjoying the sights.

From Union Station we walked to Olvera St. and this old Roman Catholic church, catty-corner to the Pico House below.

The Pico House, constructed in 1870.

The Hall of Justice, the oldest government building in LA. Did you know the top floor used to be the jail cells?


The Ft Moore Memorial, along the west edge of Hill St.


Inside the Cathedral of our Lady of the Angels. The 3rd-largest cathedral in the world.


View of the fountain at Grand Park, looking east towards LA City Hall. Neel told us Grand Park was not paid for by taxpayer money!


Frank Gehry’s Disney Concert Hall, as seen from the northeast corner of Grand & 1st. It was originally shiny stainless steel; but due to complaints from residents & drivers, the finish had to be sanded down.


Off the sidewalk approximately in line with the LA Times Building beyond the construction in this picture, find this “secret” stairway at Disney Concert Hall, which leads you to…


…this amazing hidden park in the middle of the structure!


Lilian Disney, who provided funding for the Disney Concert Hall’s construction, did not want to be identified as the main funder. This rose sculpture tucked away in the park in the Hall is Frank Gehry’s tribute to her, “A Rose for Lilly.”


After Disney Hall, we walked to California Plaza, where Grand Performances free summer concert series are held. I did not know there was a back way to the top of Angel’s Flight from Cal Plaza!


Final pic at the bottom of Angels Flight with Elena, Neel, and me.

From the bottom of Angels Flight you can continue with Neel to his next tour, or go into Grand Central Market and enjoy some lunch! Thanks Neel for a great tour.


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