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Lost LA

Reshaping L.A.

It is often said that Los Angeles has buried much of its history. It has suppressed inconvenient reports, recast the plight of Mission Indians as a Spanish Romance, written entire cultures and communities out of its official historical narratives. But some of lost L.A. literally lies buried beneath our feet, hidden long ago when the city, finding the shape and character of its land wanting, opted to mold it to its needs. In this episode, "Lost LA" examines how the modern metropolis has reshaped its own topography. The program explores downtown L.A.'s lost hills and tunnels, as well as the vanished canals of Venice Beach.

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Full Episodes
Season
bombay beach
Episode
26:40
Lost LA

Desert Fantasy

California’s deserts have sparked imaginations around the world. This episode explores the creation of the Salton Sea; the effort to preserve Joshua Tree National Park; and how commercial interests created desert utopias like Palm Springs.
Explorers in Yosemite National Park | Public Domain
Episode
26:40
Lost LA

Yosemite

This episode explores how Yosemite has changed over time: from a land maintained by indigenous peoples; to its emergence as a tourist attraction; to the site of conflict over humanity’s relationship with nature.
descanso gardens
Episode
28:44
Lost LA

Special: Descanso Gardens

"Lost L.A.: Descanso Gardens" explores the history of one of southern California's most-beloved public gardens.
pacific rim
Episode
26:50
Lost LA

Pacific Rim

Americans have long looked at the California shore and seen the end of the continent. Instead, this episode interprets that sandy edge as the beginning of a Pacific world.
coded geographies
Episode
25:06
Lost LA

Coded Geographies

See how the many restrictions many Angelenos had to navigate, exposing Los Angeles as a place of coded segregation and resistance.
press image for lost la season 2
Episode
23:50
Lost LA

Dream Factory

Los Angeles is often identified with Hollywood, but there's more to the entertainment industry than its facade of movie stars and blockbuster films.
Steel frame of building being erected
Episode
25:32
Lost LA

Building the Metropolis

Wood, iron, steel, concrete -- these are the materials that gave form to Los Angeles and shaped its identity in the national imagination. This episode also questions the cultural legacy and environmental costs of the city's relentless growth.
Calle de los Negros, Los Angeles, 1871
Episode
26:12
Lost LA

Wild West

Long before Hollywood imagined the Wild West, Los Angeles was a real frontier town of gunslingers, lynch mobs, and smoke-belching locomotives.
Pio Pico
Episode
26:50
Lost LA

Borderlands

American history has long been told as a triumphant march westward from the Atlantic coast, but in southern California, our history stretches back further in time.
Before the Dodgers
Episode
20:58
Lost LA

Before The Dodgers

In this episode, "Lost LA" explores the various ways Southern California's inhabitants have used the hills around Dodger Stadium.
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