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Artbound

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Hadley Meares

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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.  Her debut novel, "Absolutely," is now available on Amazon.

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Produced for the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association by Festival Productions. This gala concert celebrating Ella Fitzgerald benefitted the Hollywood Bowl Fund. | Los Angeles Philharmonic Archives
Article
In Concert at the Hollywood Bowl

The People’s Pleasure: Angelenos’ Love Affair with the Hollywood Bowl

For Los Angeles residents, the Hollywood Bowl has become a part of their collective memory, highlighting the importance of public performance spaces.
Exterior of Venice West, a beat generation coffee house | Austin Anton from the Lawrence Lipton papers, USC Libraries
Article
Lost LA

Lawrence Lipton and Venice, California’s Claim to Beat Fame

Lawrence Lipton's book “The Holy Barbarians” was a celebration and canonization of the “Venice West” scene. It also became the biggest hit of his career, around which he revolved on for much of his life.
Left to right: John Platonia, Jim Kepner (moustache), Howard Fox (standing), June Herrle, Jim-Ed Thompson, Ralph Schaeffer, Morris Kight, Don Kilhefner (far right) and another person at the Gay Community Services Center, 1971. | Pat Rocco/USC Libraries
Article
Lost LA

Calm and Comfort: ‘Liberation Houses’ of the 1970s Gave Homeless LGBTQ in L.A. Refuge

From the outside, it's not much to look at, but this small home in East Hollywood was a warm home for an unusual family — a place of refuge for dozens of young, displaced members of the LBGTQ community.
Still from the silent short pirate adventure film, “The Empress of Floreana” showing the Empress Eloise Bosquet de Wagner Wehrborn), left, and her admirer (Robert Philippson), right, 1934 January 29. | Allan Hancock Foundation Collection, USC Libraries
Article
Lost LA

Early California Research Vessel Ensnared in a Galapagos Murder Mystery

Though Captain Hancock would make many trips to the Galapagos on his ocean research vessel, Velero III. This trip was special in that it was not to study the remote island chains’ unique flora and fauna, but to solve a gripping mystery. 
Velero III personnel, 2nd expedition, 1932-1933 | Allan Hancock Foundation Collection, USC Libraries
Article
Lost LA

How Velero III Heralded the Romantic Age of Early California Ocean Research

The Velero III was no regular pleasure cruiser. It was a floating lab for scientists, funded by millionaire Angeleno George Allan Hancock. Its adventures benefited knowledge in the early days of ocean research.
Rosalind Wyman checks home base and the general view at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in preparation to receive the Dodgers for Opening Day. | Los Angeles Examiner/USC Libraries/Corbis via Getty Images
Article
Dodgers Stories: 6 Decades in LA

The Strong Women Who Shaped Roz Wyman, an L.A. Legend

Nancy Pelosi, Dianne Feinstein and Helen Gahagan Douglas, are only some of the strong female forces who have formed the circle of influence surrounding Rosalind Wyman, the woman responsible for bringing the Dodgers to L.A. in the 1950s.
Griffith J. Griffith | Courtesy of UCLA, Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library
Article
Lost LA

The Complex Life of Griffith J. Griffith

Perhaps best known for the large tract of park space that now bears his name, Griffith J. Griffith was a complicated man whose wealth and bombastic nature gave the city one of its most unforgettable characters.
From left to right: Rudolph Schott, Apollo Milton Olin Smith, Frank Malina, Ed Forman and Jack Parsons at First Rocket Motor Firing at JPL in 1936. | Flickr/NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory/Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Article
Blue Sky Metropolis

How the Bad Boys of Space Exploration Created the Jet Propulsion Lab

Discover the mysterious beginnings of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and its "rocket boys."
William J. Powell | Still from Blue Sky Metropolis "Wings: Aviation Takes Flight in Early Los Angeles"
Article
Blue Sky Metropolis

Dare to Dream: William J. Powell, Booster of Black Flight

Ever since his first flight, William J. Powell became infatuated with aviation. He saw it as a way for African American men and women to soar far above a racist world.
Mr. Muscle Beach, 1951 | Los Angeles Examiner Negatives Collection, 1950-1961/University of Southern California. Libraries
Article
Lost LA

How Muscle Beach Started in Santa Monica — But Ended Up in Venice

Muscle Beach started near the Santa Monica Pier as a haven for Southern California fitness advocates, frequented by some of the most well-known names in fitness today. In spite of a wildly popular reception, politics drove it to relocate to Venice.
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