Standard Talks

The Many Lives of Downtown LA

On September 4, 1781, a group of 44 settlers founded El Pueblo de la Reina de Los Angeles ("The Town of the Queen of Angels"), in a small area just north of what is now Downtown LA. The pueblo flourished, fueled by land booms in the late 1800's, and was the center of commerce and wealth in Los Angeles through the 1950's. Downtown LA slowly went into a decline in the 60's and 70's and by the early 90's, was a rundown shadow of its former glory. But in the past 20 years, Downtown LA as started to come alive again. Commerce is back and the neighborhood now boasts some of the best restaurants in the city and some of its most coveted real estate.

This Thursday, January 22nd, at The Standard, Downtown LA #StandardTalks takes a close look at the past, present, and future of Downtown Los Angeles with a Fireside Chat discussion with the "unofficial mayor of Downtown LA", Hal Bastien, and DTLA Rising's Brigham Yen. Here are a few images highlighting the inspiring lifecycle of this amazing neighborhood:

Los Angeles' "Chinese Quarter" in 1892. Notorious for its gambling houses and opium dens, this part of LA was eventually shut down by the city and is now the location of Downtown LA's Union Station.

Third and Hill Streets in 1898, just a few blocks from where The Standard, Downtown LA sits today. Looks like the traffic was pretty light that day.

The Figueroa Tunnel in the 1940's, part of the 110 which has the dubious distinction of being the first freeway in the United States.

A star is born! This photo was taken May 15, 1956 and shows the construction of the Superior Oil Company building which is now The Standard, Downtown LA!

Check out those power suits! The corner of 6th and Flower, circa 1980. The building behind them is now The Standard, Downtown LA, but back then it was masquerading as the Union Bank of California.

Thursday, January 22, 2015 at 5:30pm at The Standard, Downtown LA, #StandardTalks presents a Fireside Chat with Hal Bastien and Brigham Yen discussing the past, present, and future of Downtown LA. The talk is free and open to the public. Please RSVP to to attend.

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