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Architecture Walk

Art & Design

Ditch LA’s driving culture for a day and soak in some city architecture on foot. Well, partially at least—start at the Angel’s Flight, the world’s shortest railway. For 50 cents, you can hop on one of the orange and black cars for the 298-foot ride that, while brief, provides visitors a classic LA experience. The rail was originally built in 1901 in the Bunker Hill neighborhood—a cosmopolitan enclave at the time—before being taken down for some kind of urban restructuring in 1969. Thankfully, Angelenos got their beloved landmark back in the early ‘90s with a complete restoration.

From there, walk over to the famous Bradbury Building, which has to its credit a long list of television and movie appearances—most notably as the site of the legendary rooftop scene in Blade Runner. Built in 1893, the building’s unassuming exterior houses a breathtaking (and likely quite familiar) interior comprising a three-story atrium with intricate, cast-iron railings winding throughout the perimeter, and detailing from top to bottom of glazed brick, Italian marble, and Mexican tile. Tourists may go as high as the first landing.

Continuing down Broadway and up W. 2nd, the trifecta culminates with Frank Gehry’s 10-year-old Walt Disney Concert Hall. Whether you’re looking to take in a performance by the LA Philharmonic, or just take in the architect’s characteristic undulating steel behemoth, it’s a worthwhile stop on any LA tour.