Back to giving a tour downtown!

Its’ been way too long, and boy have I missed giving tours. After my visit a few weeks ago with a friend, I signed up to give a tour again and it was glorious!!!

People signing in. One can no longer just walk up and join a tour, you have to sign up in advance, who knows, maybe that too will change. Luckily most people took their masks off outside, this couple who were on my tour did. They live locally and they thoroughly enjoyed the tour – they felt like they learned so much about their own city. I love that, it is fun sharing with tourists, there is something so special about the locals learning and appreciating where we live.

I don’t take pictures during my own tour, many times I want to. The interesting people are back downtown, but as the tour guide, I can sometimes point them out, but can’t really stop to take a picture myself. On my walk back to my car I noticed this building which is now apartments. THE JUDSON?? As in Judson glass??? I know that their first workshop was in downtown, and then they moved to Garvanza – Highland Park. I need to ask the question on their FB page.

I crossed the street to get a full picture. This is a Bueax Arts building. Juding from the top, I do think that the ground floor and mezzanine level were updated in the 70s’. It is too plain, and the windows are too big. the canopy looks very modern and it is interesting that they used an Art Deco font for the name. Another thing, Mike Needleman is the owner and is leasing right now, according to the sign. My husband grew up with him. His family invested in downtown many years ago. They own the Orpheum theater.

I did stop to take pictures in Pershing square. I never talk about the statues here, we simply don’t have time. At the end of WWI the park was named after General Pershing who led the American forces in the war. He really didn’t have any ties to Los Angeles, but it must have been very popular to name things for him at the time.

He did have ties to Omaha Nebraska, so it is interesting that this group payed for a plaque to be placed here in LA. I don’t know where they were originally placed, today, they have large orange balls on top of the pedestals. Go figure.

The oldest item in the park is this cannon from “old Ironsides” the famous battle ship from the Revolutionary war. This cannon saw battle two years before Los Angeles was established in 1781.

It was donated to the city in 1953, and I for one am grateful that it is here.

This is apparently the oldest work of public art in Los Angeles. A memorial to those from California who fought in the Spanish American War.

The plaque is from the 30s’ and isn’t very clear anymore. It saves Private Herman W. Hils Co. I don’t know if he was from LA, I’m guessing he was.

There is a list of war casualties from CA with a notation that these men fell in the Spanish American War in 1890. Btw, Pershing took part in that war, as he did in many other battles and wars.

A statue honoring the soldiers who fought in WWI. Notice the palm tree – the symbol of SoCal. I heard and interesting podcast about how in the late 19th c. a couple from the midwest started using the palm tree as our symbol. Even took them to the Chicago world Fair, after that, they were planted everywhere. Not natives of course, but then few people are native here.

There was a time when patriotism meant fighting for your country and being willing to celebrate those who did. Not destroying statues because you are hurt about something and think they by being destructive you are erasing history.

Here we have Beethoven, notice the orange ball behind him, one of the two atop the plaques for Pershing. This used to be in the north-west corner of the park, facing what was the Auditorium that was the first home of the LA Philharmonic Orchestra. That building is long gone, but he is still here.

I will be giving tours again. I love it, and I love that downtown is back and full of life.

Leah

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