Join Esotouric for an immersive excursion all around Wilshire and Fairfax, the western terminus of the Miracle Mile. We’re on the trail of a layered history that leads from Columbian mammoths foraging in the last Ice Age to today’s construction cranes, with some fascinating detours along the way. We’ll explore the La Brea Tar Pits as a zone of pre-colonial commerce and Victorian scientific discovery, revealing the fossil hoard’s role in east coast theatrical spiritualism and a deathless romance. Then on to Wilshire Boulevard, where bean fields turned almost overnight to an ultramodern Jazz Age canyon of car culture commerce, including the magnificent Art Deco May Company (and yes, it’s a crime scene). And as the county’s art museum struggles to remake itself with a controversial new building and curatorial vision, we’ll honor the institution that was, and sneaky artists who got their work displayed without curatorial review, all seen through the candid lens of your guides’ advocacy for preserving the 1965 William Pereira campus. Plus, a stroll through the immediate neighborhood on an architectural treasure hunt, including some sweet echoes of the lost LACMA.
This walking tour is illustrated with rare photos you can view on your smartphone. And next time some silly person tries to tell you Los Angeles doesn’t have any history, having taken this tour will give you everything you need to set them straight.
Tour begins at 10:30am sharp, with check-in time 10am at the southeast corner of the La Brea Tar Pits park, at Wilshire and Curson Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90036. Please arrive on time and proceed to the check in table to get signed in and logged in to the smartphone slideshow. Scroll down for tour rules and recommendations.
There is lot parking directly behind the La Brea Tar Pits Page Museum with a $15 flat rate, entry from the western side of Curson Avenue south of Sixth Street. LACMA’s parking is in the Pritzker Parking Garage on Sixth Street just east of Fairfax Ave, with an $18 flat rate. There is also street parking in the neighborhood, on Sixth Street, Orange Street, Crescent Heights Boulevard, Eighth Street, and Hauser Boulevard. If using street parking, please read all signs carefully, as restrictions apply. The nearest Metro station is Wilshire/Vermont. If using public transit, this link can help you plan your trip.
BE PREPARED: This is a walking hour lasting 2½ to 3 hours, over a mix of level ground and occasional hills and stairs moving at a casual pace. Wear comfortable walking shoes, sunscreen and a hat. Bring your smartphone so you can view the tour slide show. We will have a cooler with cold water, and you’re encouraged to bring a full water bottle. A restroom will be available at the start and end of the tour. If you need more information about what to expect, please email us.
COVID SAFETY: At this time, we no longer require that masks be worn on walking tours.
CAMERA POLICY: No video- or audio-taping unless it has been pre-cleared with us, please. Still cameras and sketchbooks are fine.
Emailing is the best way to communicate with us, but after 8am on tour day you can call or text Richard on his mobile phone, 213-915-8687.
If you feel like you’re getting sick, if you test positive for Covid-19, or if you have knowingly been in contact with a positive case of Covid-19 in the last 7 days, please do not attend the tour. Let us know not to expect you. If notified at least 72 hours before tour departure, we can refund or reschedule your booking. If notified at least 24 hours before departure, we can honor the booking on a future date. You may also gift your ticket to someone else—we will need their name, email address and phone number to make this switch.
Click the “+” button for the number of tickets desired, then click “Get Tickets” to check out.