Iron Sprawl

Iron Sprawl: How Trolleys Made L.A. a Horizontal City

Although local supplies were scarce, once imported from elsewhere, iron and steel would transform Los Angeles’ urban form. Like many cities, Los Angeles at first used the metals metals to grow vertically. In 1883, Baker Iron Works built the city's first elevator inside the Nadeau Hotel, a machine that freed architects to build high above the reach of stairs. In 1904, the city celebrated the completion of its first "skyscraper" – the 12-story Braly Block at Spring and Fourth, made possible by elevators and steel-frame construction. But ultimately Los Angeles used iron to grow out, not up. The steel rails of trolley lines spawned countless suburbs across Southern California’s coastal plain, encouraging the decentralized sprawl that later became a defining feature of the automobile metropolis.

LA as SubjectA collaboration between the USC Libraries and KCETLink, Lost LA features the member collections of L.A. as Subject, a research alliance dedicated to preserving and telling the sometimes-hidden stories and histories of the Los Angeles region.

Full Episodes

Upcoming Airdates

Fantasyland

Los Angeles has long been the place where you can imagine something — a time period, a location, ordinary or exotic, real or fantasy — and build it. It’s a tradition that dates back to the 1910s and 1920s, when early filmmakers built huge, elaborately themed sets that often remained standing for months or years, inviting visitors to explore and to imagine being a part of the action. It found its fullest expression in nearby Anaheim, where Walt Disney’s Imagineers created the intricately themed, immersive experience that is Disneyland.

  • 2019-02-19T12:30:00-08:00
    KCET-HD
  • 2019-02-19T17:30:00-08:00
    KCET-HD
  • 2019-02-20T03:30:00-08:00
    KCETLINK
  • 2019-02-20T21:30:00-08:00
    KCET-HD
  • 2019-02-21T04:30:00-08:00
    KCET-HD
  • 2019-02-23T06:30:00-08:00
    KCETLINK
  • 2019-02-23T10:30:00-08:00
    KCET-HD
  • 2019-02-24T11:30:00-08:00
    KCET-HD

Descanso Gardens

"Lost L.A.: Descanso Gardens" explores the history of one of southern California's most-beloved public gardens. From its pre-colonial origins as an oak woodland to its contemporary role as a living museum, the film examines how the Descanso Gardens reflects the social, political and cultural evolution of Los Angeles.

  • 2019-02-21T06:00:00-08:00
    KCET-HD
  • 2019-03-07T20:00:00-08:00
    KCETLINK

Yosemite

Californians have long fought over what Yosemite means and how to manage it. Since its birth as a park and preserve in 1864, Yosemite has become a postcard for the natural beauty of California. Each year, millions visit from around the globe to see the cliffs, waterfalls and meadows that inspire wonder and reverence of the American West. This episode explores how Yosemite has changed over time: from a land maintained by indigenous peoples to its emergence as a tourist attraction and national park to the site of conflict over humanity’s relationship with nature.

  • 2019-02-26T12:30:00-08:00
    KCET-HD
  • 2019-02-26T17:30:00-08:00
    KCET-HD
  • 2019-02-27T03:30:00-08:00
    KCETLINK
  • 2019-02-27T21:30:00-08:00
    KCET-HD
  • 2019-02-28T04:30:00-08:00
    KCET-HD
  • 2019-03-02T06:30:00-08:00
    KCETLINK
  • 2019-03-02T10:30:00-08:00
    KCET-HD
  • 2019-03-03T11:30:00-08:00
    KCET-HD

Desert Fantasy

California’s deserts have sparked the imaginations of millions of people around the world. From the famously alien landscape of Joshua Tree to the wide expanses of seemingly empty land, the desert has been seen as a place of reinvention, a blank slate on which the visitor creates his or her own dream. This episode explores the man-made natural disaster that created the Salton Sea, the efforts to preserve Joshua Tree National Park, and how commercial interests and real estate developers created a desert utopia like Palm Springs.

  • 2019-03-05T12:30:00-08:00
    KCET-HD
  • 2019-03-05T17:30:00-08:00
    KCET-HD
  • 2019-03-06T03:30:00-08:00
    KCETLINK
  • 2019-03-06T21:30:00-08:00
    KCET-HD
  • 2019-03-07T04:30:00-08:00
    KCET-HD
  • 2019-03-09T06:30:00-08:00
    KCETLINK

Beach Culture

One of Southern California’s great international exports has been its beach culture. This episode explores how surfers, bodybuilders and acrobats taught Californians how to have fun and stay young at the beach — and how the 1966 documentary “The Endless Summer” shared the Southern California idea of the beach with the rest of the world.

  • 2019-03-12T18:30:00-07:00
    KCET-HD
  • 2019-03-13T04:30:00-07:00
    KCETLINK
  • 2019-03-13T22:30:00-07:00
    KCET-HD
  • 2019-03-14T05:30:00-07:00
    KCET-HD
  • 2019-03-16T07:30:00-07:00
    KCETLINK
  • 2019-03-16T11:30:00-07:00
    KCET-HD
  • 2019-03-17T12:30:00-07:00
    KCET-HD