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Incline L.A.: Angels Flight and Its Lost Sibling, Court Flight (Episode 1)

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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

Experts Featured in Episode One: Downtown

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In 1916, the proposed establishment of the Sierra Madre National Park laid in the hands of conservationist Stephen Mather. But an underfunded national park system and the area's lack of "nationally significant" monumental scenery meant a swift end to the plan.
A view of the iconic landmark, the Bradbury Building, showing dark, ornamental grilling and brickwork and layers of stairs.

The Savvy Mexican Businesswoman Behind the Iconic Bradbury Building

While the building’s namesake Lewis Bradbury is often referenced in historical accounts, his wife Simona is rarely mentioned alongside him even though she oversaw his business affairs after his death, including the completion of the iconic Bradbury Building.