In 1996, in order to help create a vital, bustling downtown in Los Angeles we founded a 501 (c) (3) non-profit public benefit corporation, Angels Walk LA, that would bring attention to Los Angeles’ history, architecture and public art, and would encourage the use of public transit. To that end, Angels Walk LA set about to develop its first historic urban walking trail: Bunker Hill/Historic Core District.
We sought and gained both public and private sector support, working with the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, various City Council offices, the Mayor’s Office, the Community Redevelopment Agency, private developers, the Bureau of Street Services, the City Architect, the Board of Public Works, the Los Angeles Department of Transportation and the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs.
To determine the route of the Walk we met with the MTA’s representative, City Council Members for the district and with stakeholders in the area to get their input. We then put ourselves in the footsteps of the pedestrian to see how the Walk could be both entertaining and educational while linking all the important destinations along the Walk together with public transit.
After obtaining funding, our first task was to create a pedestrian map of the Bunker Hill/Historic Core District in Downtown. We took it a step further and with the help of a talented and dedicated group of people, created and published a detailed guidebook which told the story of the area’s history, culture and architecture.
While we were working on the guidebook, we had an idea that there should also be a series of on-street historic markers along the Walk. Once again, obtaining both approval and funding for this phase of the project, we worked with the City Council and City departments and architects, designers, artists, photographers and writers to create the series of Angels Walk stanchions that now grace the streets in downtown Los Angeles.
After that first Walk was completed various Councilmembers, Community Groups and Business Improvement Districts requested that we develop an Angels Walk in their neighborhood. To date, we have developed seven Walks and are currently preparing to work on three more: Angels Walk North Hollywood, Angels Walk Highland Park, and Angels Walk Crenshaw. We hope you visit them all.
These Angels Walks are designed to showcase and celebrate the people and places that have helped to make Los Angeles one of the most exciting cities in the world.