As iconic as swaying palm trees and golden sand beaches in Southern California, the skyline of Downtown Los Angeles is recognized around the world. Often seen in epic movies and scenic postcards, the tall buildings rise up and glisten in the sunshine with a stunning backdrop of the San Gabriel Mountains and of course that famous Hollywood Sign. The architecture is as diverse as the backgrounds of the original settlers. There is a harmonious mix of historical buildings alongside the modern glass towers of today. Downtown, known for all things cultural and entertainment, has a rich history that can still be seen throughout the city. Let’s take a trip back in time and explore the evolution of Downtown Los Angeles.


A group of 44 settlers traveled across the desert from northern Mexico and landed in Downtown Los Angeles in 1781. The group of settlers with diverse backgrounds, European, African and Native American decided to call the new area “The Town of the Queen of Angels”. Fast forward to 1821, Mexico has declared its independence from Spain, and California was under Mexican control. There was a war between Mexico and America in 1846 and two years later, California was under the control of the United States. 49ers flocked to California in 1848 during the Gold Rush. During this time the food harvested by ranchers and farmers in the Los Angeles area helped to feed the hordes of ‘49ers coming through the area on their way to Sacramento Valley. These original founding years are part of LA’s rich and diverse culture and history.


In 1881 the Southern Pacific Railroad finished the western expansion of the line linking Los Angeles to the rest of the United States and by 1900 the city boomed with business. Downtown entered its Golden Age by the 20th Century. With the invention of the car, more people could easily access downtown and once again the city was growing. The new growth led to the construction of towering elaborate hotels placing Downtown Los Angeles on the map as a global destination. By 1913, neighboring Hollywood attracted filmmakers and movie stars alike making LA the center of the entertainment industry. The city’s population topped 1 million by 1924 and hosted the Summer Olympics in 1932.


After World War II, many businesses began relocating out of the city, and residents starting fleeing. Sadly during this time many of the historic buildings were demolished to create parking lots. In 1955, The Bunker Hill Redevelopment Project brought back corporate investment and residents began to relocate back to the city. DTLA continued to evolve into the modern city it is today.


Much of the city has been restored and renewed. Downtown was built to stand the test of time. Many of the original landmarks have been repurposed. Modern elements have been weaved through the historic city. Progressive residents have come to dwell and enjoy the ease of access to beautiful parks, cultural centers, the arts, entertainment, and an array of food and shopping. DTLA is only on the rise—and rightfully so. Aside from its location in the center of it all, it’s also an incredibly livable place that boasts all of the cornerstones (and extras) that make a great community.

When you live at Metropolis, you’re also in the South Park neighborhood of DTLA. A 50-block area anchored by entertainment and convention venues including STAPLES Center, L.A. LIVE, the Nokia Theatre, and the L.A. Convention Center, South Park is also home to the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM), Grand Hope Park, and endless emerging businesses.

In the neighborhood, is 7th & Fig, The Block, and ACNE Studios. The Row. Gentle Monster. Some of today’s hippest and most cutting-edge fashion labels are calling DTLA home right now.

Whether you want to take home a fresh farmer’s market bounty or dine at one of L.A.’s most anticipated new sushi spots, DTLA is most definitely a culinary and nightlife destination to see and be seen in.

For art, museum, and culture buffs, DTLA could not be sweeter. After all, The Broad Museum, The Museum of Contemporary Art, the Orpheum Theatre and (well) beyond are all right here in the city.

DTLA is within close proximity to top-ranked schools for all ages - from daycare and early education institutions like the International School of Los Angeles and Loyola High School to leading universities including USC, FIDM and SciArc.

When you’re in DTLA, you have the option to walk (check out SoulCycle just steps away), drive (just 20 minutes to Beverly Hills), take the Metro (7th or Pico Station Stop), or bike share to wherever you want to go. Heading out of town? Los Angeles International Airport is also just a quick trip away.