Look Up, Los Angeles! A Walking Tour of The Civic Center
by Doug Gelbert
published by Cruden Bay Books at Smashwords
Copyright 2012 by Cruden Bay Books
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from the Publisher.
America’s second largest city began with 11 Spanish families comprising 44 settlers along the banks of the Los Angeles River in 1781. The regular flooding caused the homesteaders’ pueblo to be moved to higher ground nearby but the settlement was little more than a ranch until Spanish Colonial rule ended in 1820. As part of a newly independent Mexico the pace of building of streets and adobe shelters picked up but even after a generation of American immigration beginning in 1848 Los Angeles remained a sleepy agricultural town with dirt streets and a population less than 10,000.
Then the Southern Pacific Railroad arrived in 1876 and oil was discovered in 1892. The population soared to over 100,000 by 1900, half a million by 1920 and a million by 1930. During that time the government needed to manage that kind of growth began to assemble along a ridge just south of the original Los Angeles Pueblo. The Civic Center became the administrative core of city, state, and federal government offices, buildings, and courthouses. Today more government workers can be found here than anywhere in the United States outside of Washington, DC.