About Los Angeles – The Downtown and Historic Core – Travel Guide

A. Downtown/Historic Core
This is where Los Angeles began. Ever since 1781, when a handful of Spanish settlers founded the city, the central core has remained close to its origins
around El Pueblo de Los Angeles. los Angeles became part of Mexico in 1822, after it won independence from Spain. Twenty-five years later, the Stars and Stripes was raised, and local boosters roamed the nation singing the praises of a promised land. Yankee immigrants slowly began streaming in, sleeping in tents and bathtubs, but in 1887, when two competing railroads briefly dropped the fare to a dollar, the trickle turned into a flood.

The land boom quickly went bust, however, leaving downtown LA with twice as many permanent residents as before. The more affluent relocated to the west of downtown, leaving the center and east of the city to new arrivals. Over the years the influx took its toll, and the area around City Hall became a civic embarrassment. Urban renewal began in the 1930s, with the institution of Olvera Street as a symbol of the original Spanish pueblo. In the late 1940s, the city created the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA), which acquired properties for renovation and renewal, notably in little Tokyo, Chinatown, and El Pueblo de Los Angeles.

Today, ethnic traditions flourish as strongly as ever, and you can enjoy the culture and cuisine of almost every country of Latin America and the Pacific Rim here and in surrounding neighborhoods. Los Angeles is home to 3.9 million Hispanics, making it one of the largest Spanish-speaking cities in the
United States. There are two centers of Latino activity downtown: Olvera Street for tourists, and Broadway for locals.