Inside LA

The Los Angeles Lowdown

LA History

Current affairs inspired articles on Los Angeles’ fascinating history.

The Barclay Hotel

Crime Seen: The Barclay Hotel

November 13, 2022

The Barclay Hotel is, more or less, right in the navel area of the dark underbelly of downtown Los Angeles.The Hotel Cecil has become famous in the last few years, reaching a peak in 2021 with the Netflix mini-series The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel. However the Barclay has just as dark a history as the Cecil,…

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Crime Seen: The Hotel Cecil

July 17, 2022

Amongst Los Angeles hotels the Hotel Cecil holds a unique place. It’s a marquee name that not only a lot of Angelenos know, but also many visitors too. It’s been the subject of numerous documentaries, articles and, even, a TV horror series, yet you can’t actually rent a room there (at time of publication). In…

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The Los Angeles River: Past & Future

June 15, 2022

By the 2000′s the Los Angeles River had become little more than a joke in the city to which it gave its name. used only as a post-apocalyptic location for action movies and as a punchline for late-night chat show hosts. Despite the fact that many of Los Angeles’ inhabitants probably still don’t even know of…

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poster for Bobby Kennedy at the Ambassador Hotel

The Ambassador Hotel’s Date With Destiny

June 14, 2022

The Ambassador Hotel is one of Los Angeles’ most famous hotels, which is no mean feat in a city which boasts the Beverly Wilshire, the Biltmore, the Chateau Marmont and countless other famous – and infamous – establishments. The Ambassador’s fame principally comes from its reputation as a place of entertainment and glamor from it’s opening…

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Los Angeles Union Station

Los Angeles Union Station

April 20, 2022

Los Angeles Union Station is to LA what Grand Central Station is to New York. It’s our major rail terminus, designed and built to reflect the history and feel of the city back at us as we pass through. It opened in May 1939 with much fanfare, ironically just as the US was falling out of…

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Los Angeles streetcar

What Happened To Los Angeles Streetcars?

April 4, 2022

Did Los Angeles have streetcars guests often ask us on tours, whenever the subject comes up. Many visitors, and even a few Angelenos, don’t even know that we have a Metro rail system, they assume that “everyone drives in LA”. So it comes as a shock to them to learn that in the 1920’s we…

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Toypurina: LA Freedom Fighter

March 15, 2022

For Women’s History Month I want to look at someone from the earliest years of Los Angeles, Toypurina. In many cultures and countries around the world there are legendary historical women, leaders who rallied their people to fight foreign invaders. Examples include Joan of Arc in fifteenth century France, who emerged from a humble background…

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Gamblers & Rum-Runners: Prohibition in LA

March 5, 2022

America is almost unique among developed countries for its ban on alcohol during the 1920’s, known as ‘Prohibition’. Although it’s now synonymous with the corruption and organized crime that it spawned, at the time it was intended to address the harm inflicted on society by excessive consumption of alcohol. This is of particular interest at…

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Commercial Exchange Building

The Commercial Exchange Building

February 20, 2022

The South Park neighborhood of downtown Los Angeles is undergoing enormous change at the moment, as new apartment and condominium blocks sprout upwards and older buildings (such as the beautiful Herald Examiner Building and the Commercial Exchange Building) are renovated and repurposed, often as lofts or ‘creative’ offices. The Arena and the many restaurants,…

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Chinatown poster

The Old Los Angeles Chinatown

February 15, 2022

With this month marking the date of the Lunar New Year (as celebrated in China and much of Asia) we wanted to take a look at the birth of Chinese-American culture in Los Angeles and, specifically, the history of LA’s Chinatown. The oldest surviving Chinese building in Los Angeles is the Garnier Building (not to…

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