If you’re like me, you’re probably a bit of a history nerd. If so, I highly recommend getting acquainted with the Facebook page L.A. As Subject – a network of libraries, collectors, and research archives dedicated to preserving and promoting the history of the L.A.
And I know, I know, we’ve ALL heard the jokes about L.A. not having any history. I remember scoffing the first time I passed the Formosa Cafe’s Historic Monument sign and saw it was built in 1925 – but there actually are a lot of really fascinating stories in the region. As hikers, we get our own special glimpse into this history – from the turn of the century resort built by the father of American aerial reconnaissance at Echo Mountain to the bandito hideouts that became Star Trek planets and surreal secret Nazi camps nestled among today’s mansions.
L.A. as Subject is an absolute treasure-trove of information, ranging from old photos of downtown’s Victorian past, maps of the city’s secret underground streams, and explanations of why we have so many freeways, why all our skyscrapers are flat-topped, or why the street grid changes orientation at Hoover Street. Seriously, you’ll get sucked down a knowledge hole and come out all-the-wiser.
This Saturday, the group is hosting their seventh annual L.A. Archive Bazaar at USC’s Doheny Memorial Library, and I will most definitely be there. From 9AM to 5PM, the group will open up its archives and offer several educational series and panel discussions. The event is free and open to the public.