Iconic Wilshire Boulevard
June 23, 2013
9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Downtown <—> Miracle Mile

Download Stories about Wilshire Boulevard

The June 23 CicLAvia - Iconic Wilshire Boulevard, is part of Pacific Standard Time Presents: Modern Architecture in L.A. This collaboration, initiated by the Getty, brings together 17 local cultural institutions from April through July for a wide-ranging look at the postwar built environment of the city.

As part of Pacific Standard Time Presents: Modern Architecture in L.A., CicLAvia offers a series of free downloadable podcasts highlighting the unique history of Wilshire Boulevard.

Created by noted architecture and culture writer and critic Edward Lifson, the podcasts present a series of stories that take the listener from Wilshire’s humble beginnings more than a century ago to its distinctive focus on the modern era, and all the way to its present-day state of revival with a new subway line, cutting-edge skyscrapers, LACMA’s radical new campus, and so much more. A diverse group of Angelenos share their dreams, challenges, failures and successes as Lifson examines the forces that have and continue to shape this iconic boulevard.

Wilshire Boulevard Stories

Chapter 1. Essayist D.J. Waldie will terrify you with “Tar Pit Death Trip,” a tale of death, decay, and darkness that awaits us on Wilshire Boulevard. You may not sleep tonight. Click here to download (3:34 minutes)

Chapter 2. Where cables connect and replace office workers – Photographer Dave Bullock takes us inside One Wilshire Boulevard– one of the world’s largest data centers, where almost no humans work. Click here to download (6:16 minutes)

Chapter 3. Urban planner Doug Suisman shows how our pre-eminent grand boulevard came about almost by chance and through a lack of a plan. Now how L.A. is that? Click here to download (7:36 minutes)

Chapter 4. Journalist Lynell George shares a personal and family memoir of hope and disappointment on Wilshire Boulevard. Click here to download (6:59 minutes)

Chapter 5. Historian Cathy Gudis previews her Modernist’s Guide to Iconic Wilshire Boulevard, which is available as a free download here. Click here to download podcast (7:42 minutes)

Chapter 6. Historian Cathy Gudis will surprise you with these once-hidden histories of alternative Wilshire Boulevard. Click here to download (6:00 minutes)

Chapter 7. Historian Cathy Gudis on the up and down patterns of development on Wilshire Boulevard from 1940 to today. Click here to download (4:08 minutes)

Chapter 8. Architect Eui-Sung Yi takes you to Koreatown, to an unknown city within the city, to the surprising new life inside the "carcass" of a shuttered department store. Click here to download (7:01 minutes)

Chapter 9. One of the most striking, odd, and grand places on Wilshire - the Wilshire Colonnade - was originally called the Ahmanson Center, headquarters for the family empire. Designed by renowned architect Edward Durrell Stone, his son Hicks Stone tells you of the famous piazza in Italy that this place is based on, and what's missing. Click here to download (2:59 minutes)

Chapter 10. “Wilshire has no beginning and no end,” says a man who walked its full length - urban anthropologist J. Eric Lynxwiler. Lynxwiler co-wrote (with Kevin Roderick) Wilshire Boulevard: Grand Concourse of Los Angeles. Click here to download (2:55 minutes)

Chapter 11. Urban Anthropologist J. Eric Lynxwiler would like you to meet “The Henry Gaylord Wilshire (1861-1927) you never knew.” Click here to download (3:37 minutes)

Chapter 12. “The Future of Wilshire Boulevard” with urban anthropologist J. Eric Lynxwiler. Click here to download (1:31 minutes)

Chapter 13. “Why I want to be a great neon sign on Wilshire Boulevard” - urban anthropologist J. Eric Lynxwiler. Click here to download (0:54 seconds)

Chapter 14. “Which Film Star Was Famously Shot in a Swimming Pool at Crenshaw and Wilshire?” – If you don’t know, urban anthropologist J. Eric Lynxwiler will tell you. Click here to download (2:01 minutes)

Chapter 15. Urban anthropologist J. Eric Lynxwiler would like you to meet the quite surprising and audacious Mrs. Wilshire -- Mary Wilshire. Click here to download (1:18 minutes)

Chapter 16. L.A. writer Michael Jayme Becerra tells of when MacArthur Park was filled with the optimism of mid-twentieth century America, of a couple who met there, and now, half a century later, he returns to the park with them. Click here to download (7:47 minutes)

Chapter 17.
When is riding a big red rapid public bus down Wilshire Boulevard as fun as surfing? Ride the rapid bus with chronicler extraordinaire D.J. Waldie. Click here to download (3:42 minutes)

Chapter 18. 
If you want to know more about the huge rock at the western end of CicLAvia - Iconic Wilshire Boulevard at Wilshire and Fairfax, on the grounds of the LA County Museum of Art, LACMA Director Michael Govan explains it all. That and how there's more free art to be seen on this campus that he's trying to make into an indoor-outdoor gathering place in the heart of the city. Click here to download (9:13 minutes)

Chapter 19.
Writer and blogger Alissa Walker rhymes about her recent walk down the entire CicLAvia – Iconic Wilshire Boulevard route! To grab all of her meanings, check out the audio and dozens of photographs she assembled from her walk. Click here to download (4:52 minutes)

The storytellers (in alphabetical order)

Writer Michael Jayme Becerra is a native of El Monte, California. He teaches Creative Writing at UC Riverside; his published works include Look Back and Laugh, The Estrellistas Off Peck Road, and soon, Every Night Is Ladies' Night.

Dave Bullock is the offspring of a photographer and a programmer. He has been sifting through bits on the Internet since he was young and along the way has taught himself programming, UNIX and photography. Dave is faculty at Art Center College of Design and a member of the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Team. When he’s not shooting photos of geeky stuff around Los Angeles, you can usually find him crawling through a cave, out in the desert or rescuing a wayward hiker.

Lynell George is an L.A.-based journalist. A former staff writer for the Los Angeles Times and L.A. Weekly, her work has recently appeared in GoodReads, the Chicago Tribune, The Root, and Ms Magazine. Lynell George is a regular columnist on arts and culture in L.A. for KCET's Artbound.

Michael Govan 
LACMA CEO and Director Michael Govan oversees all activities of the museum, including art programming and the transformation of the twenty acre campus. Mr. Govan orchestrated the commission and installation of Chris Burden’s Urban Light (2008), Barbara Kruger’s Untitled (Shafted) (2008), Robert Irwin’s evolving palm garden and Michael Heizer’s Levitated Mass (2012). He plans to demolish most of the older LACMA gallery buildings and is working with Swiss architect Peter Zumthor on a major new dark and glassy amoeba-shaped building for LACMA. 

Cathy Gudis
is an associate professor of history and director of the public history program at the University of California, Riverside. She wrote the Modernists' Guide to Iconic Wilshire Boulevard for CicLAvia, drawing in part on her experiences and prior work as the director of the Los Angeles Conservancy's 2005 "Curating the City: Wilshire Boulevard," a set of multi-city, multi-media programs and website (www.curatingthecity.org). Last year she was a Scholar at the Getty Research Institute, where she worked on her new book Curating the City: The Framing of Los Angeles, which looks at art, preservation, and the urban environment throughout the Southland after World War II.

J. Eric Lynxwiler grew up in the suburbs of Southern California and studied Urban Anthropology at UCLA. His grade school journeys to the La Brea Tar Pits piqued an interest in Wilshire Boulevard which resulted in years of research, collecting, and one day he walked the length of Wilshire from downtown to the ocean. A graphic designer, Eric leads renowned "Neon Cruises" of Los Angeles by night, is a docent for the Los Angeles Conservancy, and a former board member of the Museum of Neon Art. Lynxwiler co-wrote (with Kevin Roderick) Wilshire Boulevard: Grand Concourse of Los Angeles.

Benjamin Hicks Stone III is a New York-based architect and son of the renowned American Modernist architect Edward Durrell Stone. He wrote a book about his father whose ornamented, decorative works were both celebrated and scorned.  

Doug Suisman
  Suisman Urban Design in Santa Monica works with public agencies, private developers and community groups to shape the built environment. Suisman says he's passionately committed to create more humane, sustainable, beautiful, and vibrant cities - from main streets and squares to parks, boulevards, buildings and transit systems.

D. J. Waldie is the author of Holy Land: A Suburban Memoir and Where We Are Now: Notes from Los Angeles, among other books. His work appears in Los Angeles magazine, the Los Angeles Times and on the KCET website. He lives in Lakewood, where he recently ended a three-decade career in local government.

Alissa Walker
writes about design, architecture, cities, transportation and walking for Dwell, Fast Company, GOOD, Wired, Details, LA Weekly, the Los Angeles Times, and at her own blog. She is an associate producer for the KCRW public radio show DnA: Design and Architecture. She relishes life in L.A. without a car.

Eui-Sung Yi
is Principal of Morphosis Architects and director of the NOW Institute at UCLA. He has co-taught at UCLA with Thom Mayne on urban research projects. He has worked extensively in Asia and the US. He received his Bachelor of Architecture at Cornell University and his Master of Architecture at Harvard University.

Major support for CicLAvia – Iconic Wilshire Boulevard has been provided by the Getty Foundation.