Angels Flight: a downtown Los Angeles landmark. Its orange, beaux-arts archways and simple, Edwardian technology stand in contrast to the modern skyscrapers of the financial district. This cherished historical monument is a remnant of an earlier age. In the early decades of the twentieth century, from downtown L.A. to Mt. Washington, and from Catalina Island to the San Gabriel Mountains, incline railways climbed hillsides and conquered steep grades across Southern California.
A few blocks north of Angels Flight, another incline railway once also scaled the face of Bunker Hill. Named Court Flight, the railway linked the courthouses and public administration buildings of the civic center to the otherwise inaccessible residential neighborhood perched above.
With the exception of Angels Flight, these incline railways -- also known as funiculars -- are now lost to history, their remains rusting on hillsides or long ago sold for scrap, their memory preserved only in the photographs, films, and maps of the region's archives. Now, discover the stories of these forgotten funiculars through "Incline L.A.," a new video series showcasing L.A. as Subject member collections and the archivists, historians, and experts who care for them.
Collections Featured in Episode One: Downtown
- Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection
- Transportation Library & Archives - Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority
- USC Libraries - California Historical Society Collection
- USC Libraries - Dick Whittington Photography Collection
- USC Libraries - Los Angeles Examiner Collection
Experts Featured in Episode One: Downtown