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The Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles
Image by dog97209
Foyer behind Main Desk
Los Angeles Mall
Image by LA Wad
This is not just a mall in Los Angeles … it’s name is actually Los Angeles Mall.
It is a sunken open-air shopping center at the foot of Los Angeles City Hall.
A whole dissertation can be written just on this one mall and how it is one of the great failures of urban planning.
This mall has never been very useful except for the workers in City Hall and nearby government buildings who need a quick lunch.
The mall is sunken, so it is only visible to pedestrians. Also, because it is so close to City Hall, commercial signage might seem gauche. So the selection of stores are not readily apparent.
The mall was completed during the heart of the modernist (or is it post-modernist) ideal that all land use be regimented and purpose-oriented, and that the public space had been rendered technologically obsolete. The Los Angeles Mall’s purpose is strictly to shop, and it has no connection with City Hall or the built environment.
Even the height of anti-urban urbanism, this mall had never been attractive. Now that downtown Los Angeles has a culture of taking back the public sphere, it is a vestige of planning’s dark ages.