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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Downtown with Kids: Bradbury Building & Grand Central Market

Last year I took a group of parents and kids on a tour of downtown Los Angeles.
We started at Olvera Street, and then took the Red Line subway (yes, Los Angeles really does have a subway) a couple of stops to the heart of downtown.

A couple blocks away, on the corner of Third & Broadway, we had a chance to enjoy two of Los Angeles' hidden treasures: The Bradbury Building (above) and the Grand Central Market.

The Bradbury Building, which opened in 1893, is the best example of non-residential Victorian architecture in Los Angeles, perhaps one of the best in the entire world. We took our kids here a few years back (with another group) but they were still amazed as we walked into the building. It is simply an incredible place - yet one that most Angelenos have never even heard of, let alone visited.

The Bradbury Building was built in 1893 and has an amazing
"backstory." The building is in remarkable condition and has been used in numerous movies, television shows, and commericals including most notably the 1982 film Blade Runner.

Heres' a link to a
previous blog post, with some additional historical information on the buidling and some thoughts and perspective. At least in 1893, the Bradbury Building was Los Angeles' Most Futuristic Building.

The Bradbury Building was a huge hit with the kids. They loved stepping into this "time machine," as it were, and this amazing window into the past.

Another shot. While it is a private office building, the lobby and first landing on the stairs is open to the public. Nice.

The 118 year old elevator. Sooo cool.

photo credit:

Perhaps the most remarkable part of the Bradbury is how non-descript the building looks from the exterior. How many thousands of people walk or drive by this corner every day and have no idea what's inside? If you're ever in downtown Los Angeles, put this on your list of things to see.

photo credit:

Across the street from the Bradbury Building is the Grand Central Market, another downtown treasure.

The Grand Central Market is a HUGE open market occupying the length of a city block, with large entrances at Broadway and at Hill Street.

The Grand Central Market opened in 1917 and features some 40 stalls and food stands. Yes - it really is a market and - yes - you really can get something to eat there.

It really reminds me of the kind of place my grandmother (born in Warsaw, Poland) would have felt comfortable with. Definitely "old school" - with a vibe and feel reminscent of New York City or Europe.

I ended up trying a pupusa at the Sorita's Salvadorian Food. Mmm, yummy.

On an related note, next week I'll actually be in El Salvador with a group of students and professors. As a Christian, I like to think that the years my family and I spent living in Los Angeles gave us all a bit of a "heads up" in terms of interacting and working with other people and cultures.

Even with a group of ten kids, we were pretty much able to find something for everyone (sorry, no McDonalds - which was a good thing). There is also an ice cream stand near the Hill Street entrance, which - of course - was a huge hit with everyone.

Looking out to Hill Street (yes, there really is a hill) with the office towers of Bunker Hill clearly visible. If you look carefully, you'll also notice one of the bright orange cars from Angels Flight.

Grand Central Market: my wife and kids and I.

Heading out the Hill Street entrance - next stop on our tour, the world-famous Angels Flight funicular, another downtown treasure. Here's a link to a previous blog post on it.

© 2011


1 comment:

Unknown said...

Wow, that place looks super cool! I want to take my family there!! Happy 50th!!