Downtown In Detail

Close-up on the Historic Buildings of Downtown Los Angeles

by Tom Zimmerman

Until the late 1970s, Downtown Los Angeles was simply a relic to treasure, a symbol of suburban progress by its own demise. As businesses moved out of what was once the heart of the city, many Downtown buildings suffered the swing of the wrecking ball. 

But suddenly, up stepped the conservators of history, the people who cared that their city had a vivid past -- and magnificent buildings were saved. Now, through the lens of master photographer/historian Tom Zimmerman we see scores of reasons why. We see the stories the buildings tell, up close, and, yes, very personally. 

In Downtown in Detail, Zimmerman finds the unique vantage points from which to capture architectural details that are the highlights of buildings, the ones that are often undiscovered. He finds the sculptures, tiles, clock towers, gargoyles and bas-relief panels that historic architects used to define an era. 

Zimmerman goes inside and finds long-forgotten penthouses, windows that provide more than light, and stairways that really might lead to heaven. These same details have been hidden by progress, by the advent of skyscrapers that locked us in elevators, and by the pace of life that drew our eyes down to the cold reality of cracks in the sidewalk instead of up, up and away to the dreams of those master designers. Zimmerman takes us back to those dreams with photos as dreamy as they come. 

In the words of Linda Dishman, executive director of the Los Angeles Conservancy -- a woman who spends her every day saving the historic sites of Los Angeles -- "This book is much more than a window into the past. The vast majority of buildings pictured are still here, right now. I hope you'll take these photos as inspiration to go Downtown and see them firsthand . . . in Tom Zimmerman's remarkable photographs, we see the details that are there, waiting for each of us to rediscover, enjoy, and preserve for future generations."



  • 112 pages
  • 7x10"
  • softcover:ISBN-13 978-1-883318-91-8; $16.95


(Currently, Angel City Press has no available stock of this product.)