Enjoyment Under the Trees: The Chavez Ravine Arboretum in Elysian Park

It looked like every other part of the sprawling Elysian Park, but when I finally looked past the people and up to the trees, I began to appreciate the wide variety of specimens before me.

About the Author

Hadley Meares is a writer, historian, and singer who traded one Southland (her home state of North Carolina) for another. She is a frequent contributor to Curbed and Atlas Obscura, and leads historical tours all around Los Angeles for Obscura Society LA.
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Off the Boulevard of Broken Dreams: The Knickerbocker Hotel's Haunted History

Off the Boulevard of Broken Dreams: The Knickerbocker Hotel's Haunted History

The building itself appears tired and worn out, and its history has been as jammed packed and traumatic as any melodrama made by the city that it calls home.
A Most Novel Attraction: The Camera Obscura of Santa Monica

A Most Novel Attraction: The Camera Obscura of Santa Monica

On a flat circular board in front of me, the goings on of Ocean Avenue played out like a scene from a fuzzy home video shot in the 1980s.
Yamashiro: A Feudal Fortress in the Hollywood Hills

Yamashiro: A Feudal Fortress in the Hollywood Hills

The history of Yamashiro, a fanciful mish-mash of Japanese, Chinese, and other Asian architectural elements built by two German Jewish brothers, is as odd as its atmosphere.
Above the Silent Sleepers: The Lively Lives at Angelus-Rosedale Cemetery

Above the Silent Sleepers: The Lively Lives at Angelus-Rosedale Cemetery

Today, if the cemetery appears run down and a tad hungover, who can blame it? Its first fifty years were some of the liveliest any cemetery has ever known.
The Arches: Development, the Depression, and the Scenic Ruins of Dana Point Inn

The Arches: Development, the Depression, and the Scenic Ruins of Dana Point Inn

Powerful L.A. men descended on Orange County in a race to develop the coast as the "American Riviera" -- but even their wealth couldn't protect them from failure.
A Whimpering Roar: The Old Griffith Park Zoo, Then and Now

A Whimpering Roar: The Old Griffith Park Zoo, Then and Now

Parts of the old zoo at Griffith Park still stand, and they are moving reminders that sometimes humans just don't know best when it comes to animals.
Ranch of the Friends: The Extraordinary Evolution of the L.A. County Poor Farm

Ranch of the Friends: The Extraordinary Evolution of the L.A. County Poor Farm

The place of refuge for the destitute, the infirm, the addicted, and the elderly was a revolutionary concept when it opened in 1888, but since the late 1980s it has been left to be ...
Pan Pacific Auditorium and the Flourishing of L.A.'s Leisure Class

Pan Pacific Auditorium and the Flourishing of L.A.'s Leisure Class

Post-war California experienced a boom in prosperity that few could have imagined in the dark days of 1935. During the 1950s and 1960s, the Pan Pacific Auditorium was bustling with ...
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