Taking a critical look at public space in Los Angeles

Google: Then and Now; looking at changes in Google Maps

Ah! Google street view has to be the cheapest way to travel. I always find myself using street view to visit other cities and familiarize myself with the landscape. Even with Los Angeles, I’m always using street view. It got me thinking, according to the data, most of the images from street view are from 2011 or 2012. Not too old, but the changes from the Google images to what is going on now in Los Angeles is pretty remarkable.

In this post, I’ll be showing some Google shots and compare them to the same location today (October 2013). Some of my shots will soon be outdated themselves so I’ve also attached some renderings for what the future will bring us. Well on to the photos. Enjoy.

1. Grand Avenue on Google

broad and tower

Here we see the Broad Museum (far right) and the tower being built right now

broad and tower now

And the final product expected next year

broad tower 2014 Broad_Museum 2014

2. Grand Park. The park is separated into three parts.

grand park on grand grand park on grand now

grand park on hill grand park on hill now

grand park on broadway grand park on broadway now

3. Gentrification? Here is a good example of what has been occurring and will only increase as the years progress. The google image on the left shows the previous tenant – a music store that catered to a lower socioeconomic group if my memory serves me. Not too long ago, as seen in the picture on the right, a Starbucks moved in.

starbucks on spring starbucks on spring now

4. Spring St. Park

This is one of the more dramatic changes. As you can see in the google pictures, this space – in the middle of the historic core – served as a dreaded parking lot. Fast forward to today and we see that it has transformed into a nice little park.

spring st park 2 spring st park 1

spring st park 2 now spring st park 1 now

5. Beautification

This mural was just finished about a month ago. Great to see some visual beautification like this. This area is considered the historic core and some of the street art in this area really gives it character.

mural on sb tower Mural on sb tower now

6. More activation. This one might be too hard to see, especially since the recent picture was taken before the place opened. But anyways you can see that ground floor is much more activated now, especially with the restaurant (unami) having outdoor seating. The two smaller retail spots next to it will opening soon, making my picture irrelevant within a matter of months.

9th and broadway 9th and broadway now

7. Bring back the beauty

This is just an example of the amount of potential DTLA has. It has a great stock of older buildings that need to be renovated and brought back to their glory. Rundown looking building easily becomes a handsome building.

911 hill st 911 hill st now

8. More development


hill st parking lot


hill st parking lot now


hill st parking 2015


9th and olive

9th and olive now

9th and olive 2015


8th and hope

8th and hope now

8th and hope 2015

11. And the most exciting of them all. LA’s soon to be second super tall! This one will be great to watch as it rises and rises and rises..

Google                                                                                         Now

wilshire and grand wilshire and grand now


wilshire and grand 2017 wilshire and grand future wilshire_grand_07



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