Five Things That Most Stood Out to Me
1. The dense housing stood out to me. There were no single-family
houses, but instead lots of high-rise apartment buildings,
specifically mixed-use apartment buildings.
2. LA Live stood out. All of the advertisements and bright colors used
for its signs really set it apart from the rest of the places we saw on
3. The deterioration of once beautiful architecture really stood out. It
was apparent that efforts were being made to create new
architecture and new high-rise buildings, but the once beautiful
architecture of the paste appeared to be dirty and in desperate
need of repair.
4. Santee Alley stood out because of the compactness of its stores.
The alley was filled with numerous smalls stores and vendors.
5. The designs of the new apartments being built also stood out. The
new apartments being built had much larger individual units than
those of the past.
Image of LA City
The ‘image of LA City’ has definitely changed since
Lynch wrote the book. One of the main changes has
been the addition of dense housing. Lynch described
people as knowing the city due to working there, not
living in it. However, today LA is full of numerous
apartments and mixed-use housing. The city also now
has quite a few more memorable buildings such as LA
Live. I think now that the city should be described as
having numerous districts with different features, but an
overall theme of dense housing.
Points of Interest
• The dichotomy of the city walking past grand and olive
street in terms of people
• Additionally the buildings changed as well. New high rise
V. old historical
• The clear property lines of some of the buildings, public
V. private sidewalks
• Many “bum proof” seats etc. similar to Mike Davis
• The use of side walks for vending. Many owners would
have their merchandise out on the sidewalk
Image of the City
• The image of LA has greatly changed since Lynch’s
observations of the city . Pershing square is no longer a
vibrant point of interest. The bunker hill area is now the new
business sector for financial elite. However the image is still
changing. We saw many new condos being built throughout
the city encouraging more people to live there. Also place
such as LA live and the Disney Concert Hall are attracting
more and more people all the time. Yet there are still some
striking similarities such as the existence of skid row, Placita
Olvera and the free ways. I imagine that over the next 50
years Downtown LA will be seen a very different manner. I
believe there will be a revitalization the downtown and it will
no longer be just a place of business and tourism but also a
place of residence.
Private property sign on sidewalk
Pershing Square – Armrests prevent homeless from sleeping on bench
Indoor mall with many cheap items Crosswalk with pattern
Things that stood out to me
1. Many sidewalks have private property division lines.
2. Old buildings have beautiful architecture, but they are run-down.
3. Signs and awnings at ground level of beautiful old buildings make
the whole block unsightly.
4. Homeless people were on almost every block.
5. Pershing square was the only quiet outside place.
Image of LA City
Changes since Lynch’s book
– New Pershing Square design
– More pullution
– Older office buildings have been converted for residential use.
– More high-rise buildings
50 years from now hopefully…
– Better public transit system and almost no cars
– No homeless people because better social care exists
– Less crime and a feeling of safety that will encourage more people to
walk at night
5 Things That Stood Out to Me
• The gold lines between • The use of buildings for
public and private space. advertisements.
• The difference in • The modern buildings
atmosphere between the tended to have more
newer and older windows while the older
downtown. buildings contained more
• The use of space details.
vertically. (ex.stores on
the bottom of condo’s)
Lynch/ 50 Years
• I think that when Lynch wrote his book it was
easier for him to distinguish between landmarks,
nodes, districts, and paths than it is now. When
he wrote his book these points of interest were
much more defined than they are today given
that the downtown has evolved so much. In 50
years I think that we will have developed so
much of downtown that we won’t even recognize
it. I predict that high rise buildings will take over
much of downtown in order to bring things as
close as possible.
NOVEMBER 13, 2009
1) Add 3-4 pictures that you took from the walking
tour to a PowerPoint presentation.
2) Add 5 things that stood out to you during
your tour of downtown LA regarding the
• Camera’s in public areas: “eye’s on the streets.”
• Art structures in the middle of a meeting place.
• Chairs, tables, and benches in sunlight vs. no sunlight.
• Street food in front of business areas.
• Using animals to maintain a property: goats take care of the grass
at a local park.
3) In a few sentences, describe how you think the
'Image of LA City' has changed since Lynch wrote
the book, and how you think it should be described
50 years later. Try not to repeat what others have
• The city of Los Angeles has changed drastically over time. With
the advances in technology, the city life experience has come
into full effect. The city is now filled with high rise buildings,
lights, public transportation, landmarks, and restaurants. I feel as
though, throughout the next 50 years, technology will take over
the world. Downtowns public transportation system will advance
with less use of fossil fuels and become a top priority. It will be
the number one means of transportation--subways, trains, and
railways. Buses and cars will become extinct, or limited. The city
will still carry the same patterns: nodes, landmarks, walls, paths,
etc. with even more hopes to more involvement within the
5 things that stood out
• Sidewalks – as shown (2nd image) - the use of sidewalks for private/public
use (mentioned in readings) protest/labor disputes/demonstration
• On the first image, the notion and ideas of intended use of surveillance.
• 3rd picture – Shopping center at below grade level is something I think most
people are not used seeing often
• The difference in factors relating to diverse places – Certain plazas were
more functional and displayed a more vibrant and attractive environment.
They differed in their relation to the street, amount of sunlight coming in
based on the angles and heights of buildings and the architectural design in
general. Those plazas were in result more crowded and more crowded
• The type of art displayed in various locations stood out as being more of a
coerced requirement to fill a void rather more spontaneous and artistic
emergence of art.
5 Things That Stood Out
• Skyline reveals few architecturally distinct
• Lack of green space throughout
• Many new mixed-use buildings
• Many public art displays
• Built environment mix of very old and very
• LA is much more people friendly than it
was during the time Lynch described it.
No longer just a place to drive into for
work, Los Angeles in 50 years will be a
walkable, vibrant, visually pleasing city
with restaurants, cafes, shops, and movie
theaters. It will be a dense community
dominated by pedestrian traffic and public
5 Things That Stood Out
• Art sculptures: I thought it was interesting that the developments had to spend
1% of their budget on public art. Knowing this, all the art sculptures in front of the
buildings stood out a lot more to me.
• Spanish steps: This stood out to me because it is a nice walking space available
to the entire public. It was a good example of an area that is not clearly public or
• The Underground mall: The mall was interesting because it was generally
hidden from the public view. It appeared as if it was more “private” compared to
sidewalk shops since you had to be “in the know” to even realize that there were
shops down there.
• Bonaventure Hotel: The walkway around the hotel stood out to me because it
appears to be a segregated walkway for the hotel guests while the workers in
Downtown LA use the normal sidewalk by the street. This walkway also does
not make the hotel to appear very appealing from the street-level.
• Park next to Angels Flight: This park stood out the most because it provided
green space in the middle of high rise buildings. This area had families with
children relaxing and enjoying the sunlight.
Changes in LA…
• I think that the core of Downtown LA has
moved Westward towards the Bunker Hill
area. This new district has the tall
buildings that serve as landmarks for
Downtown LA that can be seen from miles
around. These districts appear to be more
integrated social classes than they did
during the time when Kevin Lynch studied
Image of the city
• Lynch studies pertained in many cased exclusively to the downtown area of
Los Angeles, which has undergone major structural changes (after the 80’s)
since Lynch conducted his research with his book being published in the
60’s. Many landmarks have been maintained and inhibit today s stronger
sense of place, together with an effort to improve the distinctive detailing of
the boulevards and streets However, the “Lynchian districts” are today more
visible than ever with its edges noting a strong distinction/segregation
between the new corporate downtown, vs. the public sector and the
Hispanic communities in the various areas of downtown. In terms of identity
and structure, I believe the city is making a positive development to exhibit a
greater sense of place with art, landmarks, developing districts and paths.
However, although it is interesting to enter a world with different
characteristics, the effort should be to put together the various components
of downtown to create the whole. I think that the city being fueled by
American ideal of a downtown, will continue to sustain and re-promote it self
and become more imageable as a result with its inhabitants and tourists
finding it more enjoyable and natural to take a tour in Los Angeles
It was pointed out that the structure
of the Bonaventure functions as a
fortress, with huge cement walls
isolating it from the street, keeping
everyone else out.
I noticed that the steps leading up to
the US Bank building function both as a
path (taking people up and down) and
a public space of their own. (The
curving shape of the stairs ensures that
one can sit on them without interrupting
the main flow of people who take the
fastest, direct route up and down, and
the flow of water adds something
interesting and aesthetically pleasing.)
The pedestrian plaza at the top of Angel's flight features restaurants,
water, sound and stage equipment, everything needed for a
successful public space. It manages to maintain an active
relationship with the street, while at the same time repelling many of
the street's negative aspects (noise, transients, etc.).
The Disney Concert Hall, it was pointed out, was built partly by the
money left in honor of Mr. Disney, and partly by a donation from a
USC alumnus. Frank Ghery designed it when one of his assistants
wrapped a previous design in foil and he liked the result. A new
cultural building is going in across the street soon.
The Cathedral is a stunning piece
of work. Its proximity and view of
the freeway make it the most
striking, visible landmark in north
downtown. It represents an
architectural, religious, and cultural
center of Los Angeles.
How has the city’s image changed?
Since Lynch wrote his book, the center of
Los Angeles has shifted from the historic
part of downtown to the northwest. The new
skyscrapers have become LA's center. Also,
the city has continued to spread itself. So I
think that the new image of Los Angeles is
bigger, since people are more familiar now
with a larger area, and since important and
heavily-used areas have sprung up all
around the city, and that the new image is
centered more in bunker hill than in the
• New loft and apartment construction to bring people into
the city for purposes other than work
• Street Vendors around Santee Alley in the Fashion
• How wide Broadway is and all of the shops on the first
floor with renovated apartments above
• The numerous theaters along Broadway
• The recycling of old buildings into apartments and lofts.
Image of LA City
• Lynch had noted that people were familiar with Downtown Los Angeles, not
because of residence, but because of their work. This is beginning to
change as many old buildings are being converted into apartments and lofts
as well as new buildings being constructed so more people can live
downtown. Also Lynch talked about how there is the central downtown, but
there are also several basic cores or cities. This is still true, but these
"basic cores" are becoming connected as the Los Angeles region grows
and infill becomes more prominent. In 50 years the image of Los Angeles
will be more focused on density and infill and the reflection by many as Los
Angeles being spread out or spacious will not be as common. 50 years ago
when Lynch wrote the book, Pershing Square was much more prominent as
a landmark, however today as the center of downtown has moved west
Pershing Square is not as recognizable of a district or landmark as it once
was. The smog and air quality will continue to be noted in 50 years and will
most likely be more common of a response when people are asked to
describe Los Angeles.
A particular slide catching your eye?
Clipping is a handy way to collect important slides you want to go back to later.