Bunker Hill, Los Angeles

Bunker Hill is an area within 1st St. (north), Hill St. (east), 5th St. (south), and Figueroa St. (west). Robert D. Herman, in his Downtown Los Angeles; A Walking Guide (Claremont, CA: City Vista Press, 1997) has a very nice historical overview of Bunker Hill on pages 85-91. Bunker Hill was developed by businessman Prudent Beaudry (who paid $517 for the property), and in the 1870s and 1880s was a tony neighborhood. The explosion of the real estate market in Southern California in the 1880s brought hotels and businesses to Bunker Hill. In the early part of this century, Angels Flight (see link below) further contributed to the transformation of Bunker Hill, bringing apartment houses. After World War II, the federal government embarked on an urban renewal campaign aimed at clearing slums for private development. In the 1960s, Bunker Hill was "shaved smooth. Curving alleys and intricate street arrangements were replaced by an empty, stretched-out street pattern which frightened away pedestrians. There was nothing to see anyway except weeds, dirt, and endless parking lots." (Herman, p.88) Much of subsequent commercial development occured in the 1980s, as the result of which Bunker Hill and the Financial District provide Los Angeles with its skyline. The page below provides information on public art in the Bunker Hill area (including the downtown YMCA, Arco Center, Wells Fargo Center, California Plaza, and Angels Flight), much of which is made available through the auspices of large corporations and the Community Redevelopment Agency (Bunker Hill is CRA's oldest active redevelopment project).

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To Public Art in Figueroa Financial District

Photos taken by Ruth Wallach
Page maintained by Ruth Wallach, USC Libraries

updated 10/2020