The Lady of La Brea: Madame Ida Hancock Ross, Los Angeles' Forgotten Matriarch

She was the first to open the La Brea tar pits to scientific excavation, and was once known as the wealthiest woman in L.A. But history has largely forgotten Ida Hancock Ross, an important figure in early L.A.


  • Confluence

    News and stories related to the revitalization of the Los Angeles River and surrounding communities.

  • Open Classroom

    Exploring the possibilities of the multimedia environment in schools and the community.

  • Bike Culture

    Exploring how bicycle riders are racing towards the forefront of the city's plans for the future.

  • Transpacific Routes

    Tracking the waves and currents of Southern California's Asian/Pacific Islander communities.

  • Cakewalk

    Politics, culture, and identity with an eye toward L.A.'s black communities.

  • Where We Are

    About the place we call L.A. and the often avoided conversation Angeleños have about its past and its conflicted present.

  • LA Letters

    Mike Sonksen -- aka Mike the Poet -- celebrates spoken and written Los Angeles.

  • East of East

    Original essays about people, things, and places in South El Monte and El Monte.

  • Intersections

    Dissecting pop culture, history, and Southern California

  • Block by Block

    Exploring the various neighborhoods of L.A. on foot, bus, or train.

  • Lost Landmarks

    Stories of often overlooked places, exposing their fascinating, sometimes surprising, history.

  • Engaging Spaces

    Examining the engagement of space and place in Los Angeles.

  • Green Justice

    Civil rights attorney Robert Garcia on the fight for (and the joy of) green public space.

  • Writing on the Wall

    Murals, street art, and public art and their roles in shaping neighborhoods.

  • Laws That Shaped LA

    Jeremy Rosenberg looks at regulations that have played a role in L.A.'s development.

  • Arrival Stories

    Every week, how one L.A. resident became an Angeleno.

  • A Los Angeles Primer

    Thoughts on the many Los Angeleses of the 21st century.

River Notes

Some pictures capture the essence of a location while others invite the viewer to experience the place in a deeper more emotional way that allows us to understand it's importance to the student photographer.