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.

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Three Views of Manzanar: Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange and Toyo Miyatake

Despite the trauma of their incarceration during World War II, Japanese Americans built new lives while detained at concentration camps like Manzanar. They played baseball, planted gardens and made the honor roll. Three renowned photographers captured these scenes: outsiders Dorothea Lange and Ansel Adams and incarceree Tōyō Miyatake who boldly smuggled in a camera lens to document life from within the camp. All three trained their lenses on small yet profound moments of dignity and domesticity, documenting resilience in the face of civil injustice.

  • 2019-10-22T13:30:20-07:00
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  • 2019-10-22T17:30:01-07:00
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  • 2019-10-23T04:30:00-07:00
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  • 2019-10-23T22:30:00-07:00
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  • 2019-10-24T05:30:00-07:00
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  • 2019-10-24T13:30:00-07:00
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  • 2019-10-26T07:30:00-07:00
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Bootlegger Tunnels: A Journey Through LA’s Prohibition Lore

Prohibition may have outlawed liquor, but that didn’t mean the booze stopped flowing. Explore the myths of subterranean Los Angeles, crawl through prohibition-era tunnels, and visit some of the city’s oldest speakeasies.

  • 2019-10-29T13:30:00-07:00
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  • 2019-10-29T17:30:00-07:00
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  • 2019-10-30T04:30:00-07:00
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  • 2019-10-30T22:30:00-07:00
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  • 2019-10-31T05:30:00-07:00
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  • 2019-10-31T13:30:00-07:00
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  • 2019-11-02T07:30:00-07:00
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Paul Revere Williams: An African-American Architect in Jet-Age L.A.

Although best known for designing the homes of celebrities like Lucille Ball and Frank Sinatra, the pioneering African-American architect Paul Revere Williams also contributed to some of the city’ s most recognizable civic structures—all while confronting racial barriers. Visit LAX’s iconic Theme Building, a Williams-designed church, and the Pueblo del Rio public housing project

  • 2019-11-05T12:30:00-08:00
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  • 2019-11-05T16:30:00-08:00
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  • 2019-11-06T03:30:00-08:00
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  • 2019-11-06T21:30:00-08:00
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  • 2019-11-07T12:30:00-08:00
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  • 2019-11-09T06:30:00-08:00
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  • 2019-11-09T11:30:00-08:00
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Discovering the Universe: Exploring the Cosmos Atop Mount Wilson

As recently as a century ago, scientists doubted whether the universe extended beyond our own Milky Way — until astronomer Edwin Hubble, working with the world’s most powerful telescope in the mountains high above Los Angeles, discovered just how vast the universe truly is. Visit the underground vault of the Carnegie Observatories, where paradigm-shifting discoveries are annotated by hand on glass photographic slides; and the historic Mount Wilson observatory.

  • 2019-11-12T12:30:00-08:00
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  • 2019-11-12T16:30:00-08:00
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  • 2019-11-13T03:30:00-08:00
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  • 2019-11-13T21:30:00-08:00
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  • 2019-11-14T12:30:00-08:00
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  • 2019-11-16T06:30:00-08:00
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  • 2019-11-16T11:30:00-08:00
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Shindana Toy Company: Changing the American Doll Industry

Explore the lasting impact of the Shindana Toy Company, created out of the need for community empowerment following the 1965 Watts uprising, whose ethnically correct black dolls forever changed the American doll industry. Visit a doll collector, meet with former organizers, and hear about the enduring legacy of Operation Bootstrap from a family of women who once made clothing for Shindana dolls

  • 2019-11-19T12:30:00-08:00
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  • 2019-11-19T16:30:00-08:00
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  • 2019-11-20T03:30:00-08:00
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