Great Wall of LA – Los Angeles, California - Atlas Obscura
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Los Angeles, California

Great Wall of LA

The world's longest mural depicts Los Angeles' history of diversity as interpreted by children and scholars. 

While it is not visible from space, California’s Great Wall of Los Angeles is no less a staggering work of community effort and cultural remembrance.

The Great Wall of Los Angeles is a half-mile long mural painted along the inside of the Tujunga Flood Control Channel depicting the intercultural history of Los Angeles and California. Spearheaded by the group SPARC (Social and Public Art Resource Center), the epic painting took over five years to complete using more than 600 gallons of paint and over 400 youth volunteers working with historians, ethnologists, and anthropologists.

The collaboration of at-risk-youth and academic advisors produced a vibrant history of the region’s multi-cultural influence. The mural shows a series of vignettes ranging from the prehistoric natives of California gathering their crops to the Chinese builders of the transcontinental railroad laboring away to the brutality of the Mexican-American Zoot Suit Riots of the 1940’s. The mural runs in roughly chronological order so that passersby can walk an artful journey through time. 

At 2,754 feet long, the Great Wall of Los Angeles is the longest single mural in the world and one of the city’s most beloved landmarks. Restoration efforts are regularly undertaken during the region’s dry season (as the work is located in a flood control channel), with volunteers cleaning the wall and restoring the aging art to its original brilliance. Thanks to this impressive community mural, LA’s rich cultural history is not likely to be simply washed away by the flood of time. 

Know Before You Go

The mural starts on the south end at Burbank Blvd and Coldwater Canyon Ave and ends a half mile to the north at Oxnard St and Coldwater Canyon.

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