The Grand Concourse of Los Angeles
by Kevin Roderick / Research by J. Eric Lynxwiler
Wilshire Boulevard is the unofficial Main Street of dreams
that flows through Los Angeles history. Like Los Angeles itself,
Wilshire is an accidental phenomenon created out of civic pride and the
yearning of the masses to drive. Its 15-mile route to the sea has been
called the Fifth Avenue of the West and the Champs Elysees of the
Pacific. Wilshire's style, architecture and historic prominence are
recorded in more than 150 photos, so readers understand the fascinating
cultural geography of the first auto-dependent metropolis. Wilshire
Boulevard details the thoroughfare's crucial part in the
Los Angeles as a world city and relates the fascinating story of
Gaylord Wilshire, the turn-of-the-century social gadfly who never
experienced his namesake's enduring fame.
KEVIN RODERICK is an author and journalist in his hometown of Los Angeles. He is a Contributing Writer on the masthead of Los Angeles magazine, a former staff writer and senior editor at the Los Angeles Times, and has written for Smithsonian, the Los Angeles Times Magazine and L.A. Architect. Kevin also is the founder and editor of the websites L.A. Observed and America’s Suburb.com. His first book, The San Fernando Valley: America's Suburb considered the history and lore of the giant basin that is separated from the rest of Los Angeles by a mountain range and cultural differences.
J. ERIC LYNXWILER grew up in the suburbs of Southern California and stayed close to home while attending UCLA. Although he didn’t realize it at the time, his grade school journeys to the La Brea Tar Pits piqued an interest in Wilshire Boulevard which resulted in years of research, collecting, and a one-day hike from downtown to the ocean. Although he’s a graphic designer by trade, he interprets his degree in Urban Anthropology through his renowned Neon Cruises of nighttime Los Angeles and is also a docent for the Los Angeles Conservancy, an active member of the Commercial Board of the Modern Committee preservation group, and a former board member of the Museum of Neon Art.
Graphic artist AMY INOUYE designs books, makes funny art projects and is “mom” to Chicken Boy, a twenty-two-foot fiberglass man/boy with a chicken’s head (aka the Statue of Liberty of Los Angeles). A graduate of Art Center College of Design, she lives with a vast collection of chicken memorabilia on Historic Route 66 in Los Angeles.
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