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6 National Historic Landmarks in Los Angeles

6 National Historic Landmarks in Los Angeles

The city of angels has infinite sites to explore. Here are six National Historic Landmarks in Los Angeles to check out now.

Palig Dzadourian


5 min read

June 04, 2022

The city of Angels is always filled with excitement and wonder, where exploring new worlds is an everyday guarantee. You never know what you might discover in the city that’s always brimming with life, rich with history and diversity. With such a varied past, it comes as no surprise that this sunny city has so many national historic landmarks, each one bringing its own story that tells us a little more about it. If you are interested in learning about the Los Angeles landmarks, here are a few you should consider checking out.

1. Hollyhock House

The majestic structure of the Hollyhock House, one of the great landmarks of the city of Angels.

This Los Angeles historical landmark is quite the impressive one, as it brought on a wave of change in the architecture of the Golden State. This famous landmark in Los Angeles was legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s first-ever commission, hired by Aline Barnsdall who had envisioned making it into a centerpiece for the artists’ colony.

The name Hollyhock is indeed not based on someone’s last name, it is actually Barnsdall’s favorite flower, from which Wright took inspiration and even made sure to add simple Hollyhock patterns throughout the house. Unfortunately due to intense differences in mindset, the huge project was cut short, and Barnsdall barely occupied the residence even after it was completed in 1921, she instead decided to donate it to the property of the City of Los Angeles in 1927 as an art park.

Hollyhock House is the first to be added to the UNESCO World Heritage Site List as a  Los Angeles landmark, making it the first UNESCO site in the city. Its value is internationally recognized and appraised, and as it is now nearing 100 years old, it requires regular maintenance to preserve said value and cultural heritage.

2. Fugetsu-Do

Fugetsu-Do is a true relic of the past. As the oldest business in Little Tokyo, it holds a lot of cultural significance for the Japanese-American community, as it is both a witness and survivor of the forced incarceration of the community during the Second World War, the 1992, and several other events. Fugetsu-Do is a family-owned business that started operating in 1903, now in its third generation. It specializes in confection Japanese sweets like Manju (sweet bean-filled rice cake) and Mochi (rice cake).

This is one of the historic places in Los Angeles that remind us of the complex past of the United States, the trials immigrant communities faced at the time, and the origins of the now culturally diverse and welcoming community of the Golden State.

3. Bradbury Building

Enter the splendor of the Victorian era at the Bradbury Building, it is simply enchanting.

One of Los Angeles’ iconic architectural monuments, this next national historic landmark is called the Bradbury Building, the oldest commercial building that remains in the central city. Built in 1893, it is a five-story office building from Victorian times that has withstood the test of time, as it is just as magnificent as the day it opened up its doors.

The final architect of the building that eventually became part of the LA landmarks that defined an entire culture and history remains up for debate, who they might be will perhaps be unknown forever. We do however know the main architects of this fabulous office building, one of them being Summer Hunt who was commissioned by Lewis Bradbury and whose work was later taken over by George Wyman.

After a restoration period during the 1990s, it is now open to the public, where you will be able to see the iconic interior of the building, with the skylit atrium, open cage elevators, and ornate iron railings; immerse yourself in the olden times of the Victorian era.

4. The Village Green

The multiple-family housing system is adopted at the Village Green (Los Angeles/Wikimedia Commons).

Formerly known as the Baldwin Hills Village, the Village Green is quite unique among the landmarks in Los Angeles, as it is the only garden apartment complex in California that has been designated the title. It is also the highest level of recognition bestowed by the National Park Service, so it definitely is one of the Los Angeles landmarks that is worth your time.

Completed in 1942, the Village Green is a product of a collaboration of professional designers which include Johnson Lewis E. Wilson Edwin E Merrill, Robert E. Alexander, and a few others; it was made to follow the Garden City Movement principles, to create man-made houses in a way that blends in with the surrounding environment.

The Village Green was an experiment in multiple-family housing systems, and the success of this endeavor is clear as it has been recognized worldwide; even its current residents can agree as they continue to enjoy the spaces of the urban oasis.

5. LA Memorial Coliseum 

This historic structure is part of the landmarks of LA for good reason, it has great significance both worldwide and nationally.

Holding international significance both nationally and internationally, as the centerpiece of the 1932 and 1984 Summer Olympic Games, the LA Memorial Coliseum is yet another piece of history of the city, designated to be among the few but meaningful landmarks in Los Angeles. Located in Exposition Park, it was constructed between 1921 and 1923 as a tribute to the local veterans of World War I.  It has a mix of Egyptian, Spanish, and Mediterranean Revival styles incorporated by California architects John and Donald Parkinson, whose work on the stadium remains to be one of their most influential and significant creations.

This Los Angeles landmark is where the University of Southern California’s (USC) football team had its first game in October 1923, a mere 6 months after the completion of the stadium. The LA Memorial Coliseum has also seen numerous political events unfold inside its premises, such as campaign rallies for Franklin D. Roosevelt, and it is where John F Kennedy accepted the nomination for president in 1960.

6. Rose Bowl

The Rose Bowl has been through a lot, but it has prospered and is now rightfully part of the list of landmarks in LA.

Built in 1922 by famous architect Myron Hunt, the Rose Bowl is the embodiment of the growth of football, as it slowly became a classic American pastime. It incorporates elements of classical Greek and Roman architecture, even contemporary venues found in the United States.

Despite how famous and valued it is today, the Rose Bowl stadium has had many trials to surpass almost a century ago, as it suffered from a lack of modern amenities and maintenance, and fans understandably avoided the stadium for better ones. It only remained standing for its political viability and financial challenge for the City of Pasadena. The city then considered altering the Los Angeles landmark by bringing a National Football League (NFL), which would cost it its National Landmark title, a suggestion that was rejected by Pasadena residents. It was finally upgraded and brought to life with an alternative plan launched in 2007, and transformed into the Rose Bowl stadium we know today.

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