Unique LA Historic-Cultural Monuments to Explore

iconic buildings in Los Angeles

There’s no doubt that Los Angeles is a city of contrasts. From Hollywood’s glamour and bright lights to the vastness of the desert, there’s something for everyone in L.A. But if you’re looking for an off-the-beaten-path experience, you’ll want to check out some of L.A.’s historic-cultural monuments. These unique sites offer a fascinating look into L.A.’s past and present. So if you’re ready for a unique adventure, read on for some of our favorite historic-cultural monuments in L.A.!

L.A. historic-cultural monuments you must see

  • Los Angeles City Hall – Built in 1928, this building is one of the most recognizable landmarks in Downtown LA. It was designated as a Historic-Cultural Monument in 1976.
  • Grand Central Market – This downtown landmark has been operating since 1917. It was designated as a Historic-Cultural Monument in 1983.
  • Bradbury Building – Built in 1893, this Victorian-style office building is one of the oldest commercial buildings in Downtown LA. It was designated as a Historic-Cultural Monument in 1977.
  • Angels Flight Railway – This funicular railway has been transporting passengers up and down Bunker Hill since 1901. It was designated as a Historic-Cultural Monument in 1962.

historical landmarks and sights

  • Chinatown Firehouse – This fire station, built in 1908, is one of the few remaining examples of Classical Revival architecture in Chinatown. It was designated as a Historic-Cultural Monument in 1977.
  • Hollywood Sign – One of the most iconic symbols of Los Angeles, the Hollywood Sign was originally erected in 1923. It was designated as a Historic-Cultural Monument in 1973.
  • Watts Towers – These unique structures, built by Italian immigrant Simon Rodia between 1921 and 1954, are one of the most significant works of folk art in the country. They were designated as a Historic-Cultural Monument in 1990.
  • Los Angeles Theatre – This movie palace, built in 1931, is one of the city’s finest examples of Art Deco architecture. It was designated as a Historic-Cultural Monument in 1979.

A tour of Los Angeles’ historical landmarks and sights

  • Union Station – A classic example of Mission Revival architecture, Union Station was completed in 1939 as a replacement for the original L.A. Union Station was destroyed in a fire. The new station was designed to accommodate passengers and freight, quickly becoming one of the country’s busiest rail hubs. Union Station is still an active transportation hub, serving both Amtrak trains and Metro Rail lines. It’s also home to several restaurants and shops, making it a popular destination for locals and visitors.
  • Olvera Street – Located in downtown Los Angeles, Olvera Street is a historic Mexican marketplace dating back to the 1930s. Visitors can browse through dozens of shops selling traditional Mexican arts and crafts, sample authentic Mexican cuisine, and listen to live mariachi music. Olvera Street is also home to the Avila Adobe, the oldest standing structure in L.A.
  • Hollywood Boulevard – One of the most famous streets in the world, Hollywood Boulevard is synonymous with the glitz and glamour of Tinseltown. The street is lined with iconic landmarks like the TCL Chinese Theatre and the Hollywood Walk of Fame, where you can see the stars of your favorite celebrities. Hollywood Boulevard is also home to the Dolby Theatre, the annual Academy Awards ceremony site.
  • Sunset Boulevard – Another one of L.A.’s most famous streets, Sunset Boulevard stretches from downtown to the Pacific Coast Highway. You’ll find some of the city’s best-known landmarks, including the Hollywood Sign and the Chateau Marmont hotel. Sunset Boulevard is also home to Rodeo Drive, one of the most prestigious shopping districts in the world.

  • Griffith Observatory – One of L.A.’s most popular tourist attractions, the Griffith Observatory offers stunning views of the city and its surrounding mountains. The observatory is also home to a planetarium and an extensive telescope collection. Visitors can also learn about the history of astronomy and see live demonstrations of astronomical phenomena.
  • Walt Disney Concert Hall – Designed by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry, the Walt Disney Concert Hall is one of the most iconic buildings in Los Angeles. The concert hall is home to the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and it hosts various musical performances throughout the year. In addition, the building’s unique design has made it a popular destination for architectural tours.
  • Santa Monica Pier – A popular spot for locals and visitors alike, the Santa Monica Pier is home to an amusement park, an aquarium, and a Ferris wheel. The pier also offers stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Monica Mountains. Visitors can also enjoy a variety of restaurants and shops along the pier.
  • Venice Beach – One of L.A.’s most popular tourist destinations, Venice Beach is known for its canals, its Muscle Beach workout area, and its colorful Boardwalk. The Boardwalk is lined with various shops and eateries, and it’s a great place to people-watch. Venice Beach is also home to the Venice Skate Park, one of the most famous skate parks in the world.
  • Hollywood Bowl – One of the largest natural amphitheaters in the world, the Hollywood Bowl is a popular venue for concerts and other live performances. The bowl is surrounded by hillsides that offer stunning views of Los Angeles. Visitors can also enjoy picnic areas and hiking trails in the Hollywood Hills.
  • Dodger Stadium – Home to the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team, Dodger Stadium is one of the most iconic sports venues in the world. The stadium has hosted a number of historic baseball moments, including perfect games by Sandy Koufax and Clayton Kershaw. Visitors can also tour the stadium to see behind-the-scenes areas like the clubhouse and the dugout.