• New lo9 and apartment construc=on to bring people into the
city for purposes other than work
• Street Vendors around Santee Alley in the Fashion District
• 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 lo9s.
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 lo9s 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
ci=es. This is s=ll 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 reﬂec=on 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 con=nue to be noted in 50 years and will most likely be more
common of a response when people are asked to describe Los Angeles.
5 Notable Features
• 1. The accuracy and precision of the theories put forth by the ﬁlm we
watched the class before the ﬁnal. The most pronounced func=on I
observed taking place was that people want to be seen by other people.
Consequently, the public spaces near high‐traﬃc corridors, e.g., the street,
were much more vivacious than those areas that were more secluded.
• 2. The idea of public art not necessarily having to be visual, as seen by the
amphitheater we visited. I think there is a lot of poten=al there to create
some really cool visual‐auditory‐sensory public art.
• 3. The goats who “mowed” the grass of the park near California Plaza as a
related form of carbon sequestering.
• 4. The mild lack of walkability of some areas, e.g., a narrow sidewalk
directly abung a major rode without any barrier of trees or something of
• 5. The amount of above‐ or below‐grade public space. The below‐grade
spaces were par=cularly surprising with Los Angeles’s temperate climate.
John Paul Cisneros
Image of the City: Year 2009
• With the excep=on of Angel’s Li9 as a clearly deﬁned
“Lynchian edge” separa=ng two “Lynchian districts,” the space
in downtown Los Angeles proper seemed to be consolidated
space. Par=cularly in many of the business parks we visited,
e.g., California Plaza, there was a uniﬁed movement of space.
There were few unmistakably deﬁned separa=ons of
ownership or uses, channels, and strategic entrance points.
As a result, it strikes me that given the density, physical
diversity, and patchwork of many of America’s urban cores,
Lynch’s ideas of paths, nodes, and landmarks no longer are as
pronounced as they once were central business districts.
However, his ideas of major districts and edges, I do believe
s=ll do hold weight, par=cularly for a ci=es as a whole.
John Paul Cisneros
November 12, 2009
• As we came across Disney Hall, the structure of the
building really stood out to me than the buildings I see
in my everyday life.
• The fountain and benches amused me because in Los
Angeles you don’t usually come across an atmosphere
like that. It reminded me of diﬀerent ci=es in Europe.
It seemed like the man in the picture was having a
very quiet and peaceful lunch.
• As I came across this sculpture, I was stunned to see
how modern and ar=s=c the ar=st had designed it.
What really captured my eye is how unusual it is.
• As we walked up these stairs, it reminded me of
Rodeo Dr. in Beverly Hills. It gave downtown a sense of
class and sophis=cated.
• As we walked into the church the ﬁrst thing I no=ced
were the stained glass window that looked very similar
to the temple I aSended. Even thought the two
religions are conﬂic=ng, they looked very similar to
one another and gave it a very drama=c look.
• When Lynch wrote his book on downtown, Los Angeles image, it was presented very
simple. LA has changed a great deal from what it was decades ago. I believe, the business
district has grown tremendously and will con=nue to grow gradually. Not only has the
business district grown, but many families have moved down to downtown, LA to raise a
family. Downtown is not the safest place to live but some areas of downtown have grown to
be a very aSrac=ve and sophis=cated place.
Downtown, Los Angeles in ﬁ9y years will become a city of dreams and sophis=ca=on.
As of now downtown’s popula=on is increasing rapidly and in about ﬁ9y increase the
popula=on will increase even more. The developers are doing a fantas=c job making
downtown as appealing as it has become. In ﬁ9y years more and more apartment
buildings, schools, parks, museums, hotels, etc. will be built in many areas of downtown.
A9er taking our tour, I realized downtown has grown rapidly and into a beau=ful and very
appealing city. A9er aSending USC for a year and a half, I have never seen the areas we
walked around and visited that day. I can deﬁnitely say that I’ve considered moving to
downtown next semester for my last semester at USC.
• 5 things that stood out on the walking tour
• Buildings and shops close together
• Varying types of architecture
• Many sidewalks had areas that were privately
• There were trees and other types of
vegeta=on although scarce
• Traﬃc is busy during the day
• I believe that the image of LA city has changed by
having more in the city since the 1950’s. There
are more things to do and more points of
interest. The older area of downtown is s=ll intact
but is not the focal point of the area. LA Live and
the Staples Center is more of a focal point. In 50
years I believe LA will be more progressive, a lot
smarter and more livable. LA is progressing and I
believe it will be a much smarter city in 50 years.
5 Things that Stood Out
• Near almost every building or cluster of buildings there was a huge piece of public art that created
an interes=ng visual and aSracted people into the courtyards in between these skyscrapers. They
were usually brightly colored or designed out of an interes=ng material, which caught the eye of
passers‐by at least in our walking tour group. It was a great idea for Los Angeles to require every
development to allocate one percent of its cost to the crea=on of public art, since it adds a lot
visually to the built environment.
• I no=ced that there wasn’t that much green space on the sidewalks, but then as you con=nued
walking, there would be green space in the built courtyards and there was even a huge park that
was next to Angel Flight, which I had never seen before. The park had children running all around it
and it was a liSle haven that shows how unique Los Angeles is, since we can have a commercial
development site right next door to a luscious park with huge trees and gorgeous green grass.
• I never no=ced before how much of Los Angeles is layered and how there seem to be two levels to
almost every street. It was evident by the Biltmore Hotel where there were raised sidewalks to get
the pedestrians oﬀ of the streets. However, I have never walked on those plaiorms but I have
walked on the streets with the cars. Also, nearby there was a small underground shopping mall
that was ﬁlled with restaurants and it did not seem that many people ventured down underground
to have lunch. The entrance to the shopping mall is not easily recognized and most people just
seem to walk right past it, which I have done for years. It also wasn’t a very invi=ng space and
seems a liSle odd to be venturing underground to get food.
5 Things that Stood Out
• One of my favorite places that we saw on the tour was the part of the California Plaza that
stretched between the Omni Hotel and the Bank of the West Building, which has a gorgeous
fountain and courtyard. The fountain wraps down into a spiral walkway and creates a gorgeous
ea=ng venue. The courtyard not only had a gorgeous aesthe=c, but also made a great public space
that was completely packed with people sing and talking even though it was past lunch=me. It
seemed that almost every courtyard or public area with chairs was mostly vacant was we walked
through them besides the California Plaza, which had a nice loca=on that was easy to get to and
created a nice environment to sit and chat or eat in.
• The Bunker Hill Steps were built by Lawrence Halprin and were designed to look like the Spanish
Steps in Rome. However, these steps in Los Angeles are only used to go up and down on and in
Rome these steps would usually have tons of people sing on them people watching, ea=ng or
talking with friends. The Spanish Steps in Rome are used as a gathering place instead of a
connec=ve path from one place to another like in the Bunker Hill Steps in Los Angeles.
Image of Los Angeles Today
• The ‘Image of LA City’ has changed a lot because of the new developments in the downtown area,
but most of the historical landmarks have stayed the same and are just being refurbished.
Therefore, I feel that most of the landmarks have not changed, but that new dis=nct landmarks
have been added, which help people to beSer get around Los Angeles. However, I do believe that
Los Angeles is con=nuing to change and is in the process of redesigning its built environment and
making the districts ﬂow more into each other and more accessible to pedestrians, instead of being
dominated by cars. I felt like when Lynch went on walking tours with people, the people he studied
felt disoriented because they had not really walked on the sidewalks and that the cars mostly
dominated the streets like today. However, I feel that there is a change happening where
sustainability is becoming popular and that communi=es are being redeveloped to be pedestrian
orientated, so there is an increase in pedestrian traﬃc. However, there needs to be more
accessible places for the pedestrians and make connec=ve paths for them to enter and exit these
landmarks and districts. I feel that the districts used to have dis=nct ridged edges, but today these
edges are beginning to fade and become grey area, since Los Angeles can no longer build outward
and therefore is redeveloping the current build environment with inﬁll development. Therefore,
the edges are becoming blurred and the paths are being redeveloped to account for pedestrians as
well as more landmarks are being built to aSract more people and make the built environment
more aSrac=ve to people. The districts will always be prominent and dis=nct; however, they may
begin to blend into each other on the edges, but this will just help to connect all of the diﬀerent
areas to each other to make Los Angeles more of a whole instead of individual centers.
Features that Stood Out to Me
• The contrast between the old buildings and classic ambiance versus
the new environment of the more modern downtown. !
• The number of open lots that were dedicated to surface level parking,
it seemed unusually high for a downtown. !
• Santee Alley -- a makeshift built environment that reﬂected the
vendors and the items being sold.!
• The high number of vendors at street level, on the ground ﬂoor of
high ofﬁce buildings.!
• The scale of the neighborhood. Wide streets, tall buildings, long
avenues … downtown has an unmistakable grandiosity. !
By Peter Koehler!
The Image of Los Angeles. Past, Present, Future
Since Kevin Lynch wrote about the Image of Los Angeles in 1960, a few things
have changed, although not all that much in the scheme of things. Lynch
describes downtown as being a business center that people knew not through
residence but by traveling to for work or shopping. Although that is still
largely true today, it has been revitalized as a viable place to live with the
expansion of high end condominium and apartment buildings in the
neighborhood. Lynch also noted that Pershing square was the most strongest
element of all, and that does not seem to be the case today. I ﬁgure it would
likely be L.A. Live area or perhaps the Disney Hall area. !
“When asked to describe or symbolize the city as a whole, the subjects used
certain words: ‘spread out.’ ‘spacious,’ ‘formless,’ ‘without centers.’”
Descriptions of the subjects commutes became less vivid as they approached
downtown -- it think that may be different today, as downtown has added a
lot of interesting looking buildings and landmarks.
By Peter Koehler!
5 Things That Stood Out To Me
1. Picture 1: The two women ea=ng lunch on steps outside stood out
to me because it is not seen o9en in LA and it is very European. I
like the idea of ea=ng lunch this way.
2. Picture 2: Disney Hall stood out to me because of the structure of
the building and how it was build. Very unusual and modern.
3. Picture 3: The cable car that is no longer opera=ng: I just could
not believe that two people died from the cable car crash.
4. Picture 4: LA Times Building: It looked like very old architecture.
5. Picture 5: Art: There was art everywhere we went. From a man
playing the saxophone, to what is shown in picture 5.
Image of the City
• In the book, Lunch studied downtown LA, and ever since he wrote
the book about 50 years ago, it is more than evident that
downtown has undergone a lot of change, and I am sure that this
change will con=nue happening in the next few decades. The new
developments of Downtown have made Downtown a more
aSrac=ve place to be, with the Jewelery, Fashion, and Business
districts. The districts are clearly separated by atmosphere and
even by signs posted. The districts are very dis=nc=ve from one
another, not only from how clean or dirty the area is, but from the
people that are spending their =me in those areas. IN 50 YEARS: I
think that the more reconstruc=on and development there is, the
more people will want to visit and even live in Downtown LA. I
think it has and slowly will even more begin to resemble New York
City‐ an area where a car is not always needed, where walking to
and from a des=na=on is possible.