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Wilshire Boulevard: Grand Concourse of Los Angeles Hardcover – August 1, 2005

4.7 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

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. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Angel City Press; 1St Edition edition (August 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1883318556
  • ISBN-13: 978-1883318550
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 9.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #840,082 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I was lucky enough to attend a signing for this book, and I was incredibly impressed and inspired by the two authors' enthusiasm for, knowledge of and devotion to Los Angeles, and to Wilshire Boulevard in particular. This is an absolutely gorgeous book - the photos alone could keep me engrossed all day. What a treat to see the City of Angels in all of its past glory, and to be able to celebrate with the authors the architectural gems that remain along Wilshire. I will definitely be buying this as a gift for fellow Angelenos with an interest in their city's history.
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Format: Hardcover
Kevin Roderick carries the torch for the City of the Angels in this magnificently written, illustrated, and produced paean to Los Angeles, and he comes to the finish line a complete winner. Whether you live in Los Angeles and long for a meaningful history of the city, or you live elsewhere and just wonder what all the glamour of the West is about, this book is one of the finest in publication.

Roderick, with the skilled help from researcher J. Eric Lynxwiler, puts forth the premise that the history of Wilshire Boulevard IS the history of the essence of LA. He approaches his history chronologically from the initial grand idea of a path of dignity and wealth simply hinted at by the trail through a barley field to a gradual expansion from downtown to the west all the way to the Pacific Ocean. With entertaining writing and a vast collection of photographs we are allowed to observe the transformation of a dream into the reality of the boulevard that became the Miracle Mile, boasted eclectic architectural icons such as the Ambassador Hotel with its infamous Coconut Grove, the Brown Derby and Perinos, the exclusive shops and buildings catering to the wealthy, the sumptuous neighborhoods of Hancock Park, MacArthur Park (yes, once it was elegant before it melted in the rain!), to Holmby Hills and the glories of living with a Pacific Ocean view.

Roderick sees the process of development of Wilshire Boulevard as the matrix for the growth of Los Angeles as an important cosmopolitan presence. With writing of this fine caliber and nostalgic photographs such as these he crosses the final line with a winner of a book. Highly recommended for a very broad audience. Grady Harp, December 05
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Format: Hardcover
The authors have produced a grand tale about one of the great streets of Los Angeles. Replete with numerous photographs that capture its storied history. The narrative is comprehensive. Famous personages liberally walk across the pages. Gaylord Wilshire himself, of course and firstly. Then we later see General Otis, Tallulah Bankhead, Earle C Anthony, Hancock, Ansel Adams, Ralph Parsons, Morgan Hunt, Upton Sinclair, and many more.

You get a feel for how Los Angeles grew to a world class city. With Wilshire Blvd at its core. Ah, reading the book might inspire you to see the street for yourself. One easy way when you are in LA is to take the bus 20 (or the express bus 720) from downtown. It travels along much of Wilshire. Avoiding only a few blocks in downtown. Riding the bus will give you time to savour much of the architecture described in the book. Without having to worry about the driving, which can be pretty hectic. The street is often rather congested.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a lover of all things Los Angeles, I scooped this book up because I love the drive along Wilshire Blvd from Miracle Mile all the way down to the beach.

This is a great book full of great pictures of the past and all the history that goes along with the concepts and building constructions and the changes along the boulevard itself. The only reason I took off a star, is because there isn't one single solitary picture of any stretch of Wilshire Blvd as it stands today. Considering all the changes it's gone through, it would have been a great idea to include at least one photo of the magnificent blvd today. Other than that, for history buffs or fans of the city etc, this is an interesting book with a lot of history and background information about the heart of the beautiful city of Los Angeles.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Before I bought it, I did not expect this book to be worth the money. But this is SIMPLY one of the BEST LA history books I've EVER read! I read the 200 pages cover to cover in no time! The authors put tremendous effort in covering the history of all parts of the Boulevard. The book tells histories of the people behind the real estate deals and the landmark buildings built. This is a mountain of research well presented! And the excellent photos can't be beat!
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Format: Hardcover
While public and institutional collectors should already have placed this book on their shelves, local history enthusiasts may be excused for waiting until now to get their own copy. Here is a work expertly prepared and beautifully crafted that positively adds to the robustness developing around the study of Los Angeles in recent years. Wilshire Boulevard will interest a wide-ranging audience through its wonderful imagery and engaging text, yet it also ought to be on the required reading lists of those seriously studying topics such as the development of modern metropolises. With only about 200 pages--a length likely limited by trade and industry concerns-- to present this broad story, Roderick and Lynxwiler may have only scratched the surface of this attractive avenue to historical appreciation.
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