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This is a tour about Downtown's invisible neighborhoods and great public spaces which managed to escape the wrecking ball. This is a tour about how gentrification sprung up on the city's meanest streets, with all the conflicts that go along with a major socio-economic shift in a small community. This is a tour about the real Los Angeles, the city even natives don't know. Get on the bus for the real Lowdown on Downtown, as no one but Esotouric's Richard Schave can reveal it.
Our tour begins in the corporate public spaces of Bunker Hill and Pershing Square, each the result of deliberate social engineering (the razing of old Bunker Hill which displaced 9,000 residents; the elimination of positive public space in Pershing Square to thwart public address and gatherings). We segue to the underappreciated yet extremely successful public spaces of the Historic Core and then to the emerging live/work community of The Old Bank District, where developer Tom Gilmore’s gentrification and the popular monthly Art Walk are bringing life to spaces which have been dead for decades. The tour concludes in the DIY loft spaces of the Arts District for a reception at an artist's gallery.
Having studied under architecture critic Reyner Banham in the mid-1980s, tour host Richard Schave has taken it upon himself to correct his teacher’s gross oversight of downtown Los Angeles, relegated to a dismissive coda in his seminal Los Angeles guidebook Los Angeles: A Study of Four Ecologies
. Richard and his wife Kim Cooper work extensively with the history and lost cultures of downtown in their bus tours, in their work
for Art Walk, on blogs including On Bunker Hill
, and through public lectures on the subject
Locations on the tour include
Grand Central Market
Mercantile Arcade Building
An underground arts space
Please note: This tour has a significant walking component, down the stairs along Angels Flight, around Pershing Square, through several other pedestrian locations. It is broken up, but please be advised to be ready to stretch your legs. We walk more on this tour than any other, but if it's pouring rain the tour will be altered so we can stay comfortably on the bus, with just quick hops off. Bring an umbrella and coat in case of rain for our short walks off the bus, and a hat in case of heat.
The Daily Dose
1820 Industrial Street
Los Angeles, CA 90021
DEPARTURE TIME: We will start the tour promptly at 11:00AM and there are no refunds for passengers who miss the bus. Check-in is at 10:30AM. There are no paper tickets: your name will be on a list at the bus door. You are advised to be at the meeting location and board no later than 10:30am. Call 213-915-8687 if you get lost. The tour lasts until 3:00PM.
PARKING/BREAKFAST SUGGESTIONS: There is ample free street parking around The Daily Dose. The Daily Dose is a great place for breakfast, but we recommend that you arrive about a half an hour before check in, so that neither you nor the cafe is rushed
MORE INFO: We will make a snack stop at St. Vincent's Court mid-tour. Food and drink are permitted and suggested; no audio or video-taping without permission. We regret that there are no refunds for passengers who miss the bus.