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Mid-Wilshire Travel Guide

Mid-Wilshire is an ethnically diverse district of Los Angeles that sits along Wilshire Boulevard between Beverly Hills and Downtown. Hollywood pretty much runs parallel to Mid-Wilshire to the north. For whatever reason, Mid-Wilshire is often bypassed by tourists, but it is worth visiting if you are interested in observing 20th century architecture, as most of the recent redevelopment that has transformed much of LA has largely escaped this district. Mid-Wilshire was also the principal route of the city’s first major suburban expansion in the 1920s. The migration of the middle class took a westerly route along the Wilshire Boulevard route, so you can literally witness a chronological tour of LA by driving west from Downtown where you’ll find more Art Deco styles, to Mid-Wilshire and its 20th century structures, to the upscale boutiques, department stores, and modern buildings of the Westside.[1]

Mid-Wilshire is probably one of the most multicultural and diverse corridors of LA, where you’ll find communities of middle-class Asians, working-class African Americans, and old-money whites within miles of each other. Koreatown, in particular, was hit pretty hard during the 1992 riots because of the racial and ethnic tension that exploded. The neighborhood, however, has recovered remarkably. North of Wilshire Boulevard, you’ll find many of the old upscale estates in neighborhoods like Hancock Park, which is still a wealthy neighborhood but not the ultimate one it used to be in the 1920s. Today, Hancock Park has a mix of Whites, Asians, African Americans, and Jews.[2]

Further west along Wilshire is the Miracle Mile, a famous shopping strip that was once dubbed the Champs-Elysees of America. Whereas it was once one of the most desirable areas of town, it has seen a gradual decline over the past couple of decades. The highlight of this strip is its Art Deco architecture. Its western side boasts the Museum Row, a collection of museums cele­brating everything from the city's La Brea Tar Pits fossils, to its worldly art and its preoccupation with cars.[3]

West of Museum Row is Fairfax Avenue, home to the Farmers Market and the heart of LA’s Jewish community. Further west is the Third Street shopping district and the hip and trendy boutiques and bohemian cafes along La Brea Avenue and Melrose Avenue. And dominating the western edge of Mid-Wilshire is the giant Beverly Center looming over its vicinity – a fitting symbol of mass consumerism.[4]

Places to Visit

Fairfax Avenue

Beverly Center
CBS Television City
Farmers Market
Gilmore Adobe

Hancock Park

Getty House
La Brea Avenue
Larchmont Boulevard
Museum of Holocaust
Park Labrea
Rothman House
Sisson House


Korean Cultural Center

Melrose Avenue

Miracle Mile

Dark Room
Desmond’s Department Store
El Rey Theater
Park La Brea
Security Pacific Bank Building
Wilson Building

Museum Row

Craft and Folk Art Museum
George C. Page Museum
La Brea Tar Pits
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Petersen Automotive Museum

Wilshire Boulevard

Ambassador Hotel
Brown Derby
Bullocks Wilshire
Lafayette Park
St. Basil’s Roman Catholic Church
Wilshire Boulevard Temple
Wiltern Theater

Dickey, Jeff. Los Angeles, 3rd Edition. Rough Guides, 2003. ISBN: 1843530589.

[1] Dickey, 74
[2] Id.
[3] Id.
[4] Id.

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