Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thursday Evening at the Central Library ALOUD Program

Arriving at my old stomping grounds at the Central Library downtown, I sat on the patio from the library food court with my half a sandwich and Earl Grey.  Facing the library's west lawn, I watched the outdoor diners at Cafe Pinot and kept company with a few magnificent skyscrapers as their lights began to glimmer at the dusk hour.

The Union Bank building is there.  Its exterior really has not changed much.  Where as many buildings have undergone name changes, like the neighboring Atlantic Richfield buildings and the Library Tower, the Union Bank building is very similar to its photos in 1967 as the one lone high-rise juxtaposed to the last remaining grand old houses of Bunker Hill during the redevelopment era.  Search the LAPL Photo Database for Union Bank photos.

Finished with my sandwich, I walked through the library and ended up at the Fifth Street entrance.  The Bunker Hill Steps are directly across the street.  Next to the Steps is the U.S. Bank Tower, once the footprint of the Engstrum Hotel Apartments.

The Bunker Hill Steps and to its right was the former site of the Engstrum Hotel Apartments.

I made my way back inside and headed to the Mark Taper Auditorium where Map Librarian (and historian) Glen Creason and D.J. Waldie, author and cultural critic, were gearing up for a conversation about Creason's book Los Angeles in Maps.

The one-hour program coming to a close.
Glen Creason and D.J. Waldie were engaging as they immersed the full-capacity audience in the history of L.A. through its maps.  The elegant auditorium was built in line with Fifth Street, and from the side windows you can see the westward flow of traffic on Fifth as well as the cars coming down the steep Bunker Hill terrain at Grand Avenue.

I got my copy of the book signed, and it was time to head home to Whittier.

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