Amid the standard skyscrapers and bustling sidewalks of Downtown Los Angeles you’ll find some fascinating and funky creations. From its early days as a Wild West outpost filled with doers and dreamers, downtown was the center of commerce in Los Angeles. It was the place where daring architects like John Parkinson, Rafael Moneo, and John Portman built showplaces for up-and-coming titans of business, hospitality, and entertainment. On every block there is another showy style, from old-world kitsch and Beaux-Arts elegance to stark brutalism and soaring modernism— all of which have made these famous L.A. buildings movie stars in their own right. There is even the most mysterious office building in America; Its towering, light-filled foyer has been used in films from Double Indemnity to Blade Runner and its design is said to have been influenced by the occult.
Art is also everywhere in downtown Los Angeles—there are intricate frescos in the style of Italian masters adorning hotel ballrooms, and an important Depression-era mural by the Mexican muralist David Alfaro Siqueiros, nestled on LA’s oldest street, which depicts the dangers of imperialism. And do not miss the towering, multi-colored, music-playing sculpture by artist Joseph Young. So, take a tour of downtown, and experience the myriad cultural and creative sights that await you.