When talking about the British capital, the 18th Century British essayist and biographer Samuel Johnson is reported to have once said,”Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.”

With apologies to London, the same words could be applied to one of L.A.’s most famous streets, Broadway in downtown Los Angeles. The street, which cuts through the heard of downtown, is block for block,  maybe the most interesting and historic thoroughfares in the city, a street where generations of Angelenos have gathered and where so much of L.A.’s civic history has played out.

Currently, Broadway is in the midst of a commercial and demographic shift as new stores open and people move in.

Broadway is one of the oldest streets in Los Angeles, dating back, according to some accounts, to a city plan laid out in 1849. The historic core of Broadway, stretching from 1st Street to Olympic Boulevard, was long L.A.'s main commercial street, home to glittering department stores and movie palaces. Many of Broadway's buildings, like the Bradbury Building, are on the National Register of Historic Places. (Photo: Saul Gonzalez)

Broadway is one of the oldest streets in Los Angeles, dating back, according to some accounts, to a city plan laid out in 1849. The historic core of Broadway, stretching from 1st Street to Olympic Boulevard, was long L.A.’s main commercial street, home to glittering department stores and movie palaces. Many of Broadway’s buildings, like the Bradbury Building, are on the National Register of Historic Places. (Photo: Saul Gonzalez)

The turquoise colored Eastern Columbia building at 849 South Broadway is considered one of L.A.'s best examples of Art Deco architecture. Built in 1930, it was the corporate offices for the Eastern Outfitting Company and the Columbia Outfitting Company. It's now a swanky residential tower with a high-end Swedish clothing store soon to open on the ground floor. (Photo: Saul Gonzalez)

The turquoise colored Eastern Columbia building at 849 South Broadway is considered one of L.A.’s best examples of Art Deco architecture. Built in 1930, it was the corporate offices for the Eastern Outfitting Company and the Columbia Outfitting Company. It’s now a swanky residential tower with a high-end Swedish clothing store soon to open on the ground floor. (Photo: Saul Gonzalez)

In the post-war years, Broadway's demographics changed. The street became a favorite shopping destination for L.A.'s growing Latino population. On weekends, the sidewalks are packed with families shopping for clothing, electronics or jewelry. (Photo: Saul Gonzalez)

In the post-war years, Broadway’s demographics changed. The street became a favorite shopping destination for L.A.’s growing Latino population. On weekends, the sidewalks are packed with families shopping for clothing, electronics or jewelry. (Photo: Saul Gonzalez)

As Broadway's commercial landscape changes so to do its demographics. Like with the rest of downtown L.A., more young people are coming to the street to live or work. (Photo: Saul Gonzalez)

As Broadway’s commercial landscape changes so to do its demographics. Like with the rest of downtown L.A., more young people are coming to the street to live or work. (Photo: Saul Gonzalez)

Broadway is now in the midst of a commercial boom, with hip national chains like Urban Outfitters, opening. The Philadelphia-based company has opened its Broadway store in the old Rialto Theater. The building dates back to 1917 when opened as a nickelodeon theater. Broadway is home to the highest concentration of movie palaces in the world.  (Photo: Saul Gonzalez)

Broadway is now in the midst of a commercial boom, with hip national chains like Urban Outfitters, opening. The Philadelphia-based company has opened its Broadway store in the old Rialto Theater. The building dates back to 1917 when opened as a nickelodeon theater. Broadway is home to the highest concentration of movie palaces in the world. (Photo: Saul Gonzalez)

Changes along Broadway also include Grand Central Market located on the street's north side. The market, with it's massive floor space and distinctive neon signs, has long been an affordable culinary crossroads of Los Angeles. But like the street in front of it, Grand Central Market is going upscale with trendier eateries opening up. (Photo: Saul Gonzalez)

Changes along Broadway also include Grand Central Market located on the street’s north side. The market, with it’s massive floor space and distinctive neon signs, has long been an affordable culinary crossroads of Los Angeles. But like the street in front of it, Grand Central Market is going upscale with trendier eateries opening up. (Photo: Saul Gonzalez)

Despite Broadway's current commercial renaissance, sometimes changes don't extend beyond the ground floor. According to the organization Bringing Back Broadway, there's a million square feet of vacant commercial space along Broadway, mostly on upper floors of buildings. New commercial reuse guidelines have been announced to get tenants into all that vacant office space. What's empty today could be tech companies, boutiques and yoga studios in the years to come. (Photo: Saul Gonzalez)

Despite Broadway’s current commercial renaissance, sometimes changes don’t extend beyond the ground floor. According to the organization Bringing Back Broadway, there’s a million square feet of vacant commercial space along Broadway, mostly on upper floors of buildings. New commercial reuse guidelines have been announced to get tenants into all that vacant office space. What’s empty today could be tech companies, boutiques and yoga studios in the years to come. (Photo: Saul Gonzalez)

KCRW Radio App TuneIn Stitcher SoundCloud iTunes
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
  • Nancy B

    I listened and there was NO MENTION of how this is effecting the residents rather than the merchants. Your attempt on FB to evoke real dialogue on this topic was futile, misleading and quite disappointing. Which way LA…..should have called this episode "you have no voice" psssh.

  • dansy

    Broadway is now in the midst of a commercial boom, with hip national chains like Urban Outfitters, opening. <a href="http://www.rebelmouse.com/microcapmillionairesreview” target=”_blank”>www.rebelmouse.com/microcapmillionairesreview Microcap millionaires

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KlGQcCR6kH4 London Properties

    East London is where regeneration is . http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KlGQcCR6kH4 Royal Wharf by Singapore Developer Oxley and Ballymore.

  • http://whatmob.com Online Fashion

    Thanks for more info.

  • http://www.paxtoncove.com/ Daily Boutique Deals

    Useful information shared..I am very happy to read this article..Thanks for giving us nice info. Fantastic walk-through. I appreciate this post.keep on posting good luck

  • http://www.jadefinejewelry.com chinese jade

    Thankyou regarding supplying this glorious substantially much better information. When i desires to discuss something put together with all of our friends in conjunction with social websites. It is best to certainly always be modernize utilizing your web page, i will be day-to-day customer associated with the internet web page. provide appreciate it once again.

  • http://jojojade.com/ jade shop

    Thankyou with regards to giving this type of remarkable info. We might take pleasure in producing him or her with the buddys acquiring sociable web sites. You need to absolutely quite possibly end up being modernize using your web site, we are day-to-day buyer in the exact location. provide cheers once more.

BROUGHT TO YOU BY