The History of LA Street Names Tells the History of LA

At the risk of sounding like a PSA, did you know that the streets south of Pico were named after our presidents, in order of succession?  Or that there was a mixup involved in the naming of Los Angeles Street and Main Street?   Ah, yes, well, now you do.  On this lazy Sunday afternooon (for some us, anyway), you can learn more: the Natural History Museum has a pretty nifty YouTube series on the history of Los Angeles, as told through the origins of Los Angeles street names.  I just got through the one below – it’s just a tad dry, but overall, pretty fascinating.  Streets names covered in the series include La Cienega Boulevard, Los Feliz Boulevard, Ord Street, Figueora Street, and Aliso Street.


4 thoughts on “The History of LA Street Names Tells the History of LA”

  1. Love this stuff. I’ve delved into the history of the Silver Lake street we live on and found that up until 1906 (the year our house was built) Occidental Boulevard was originally named Ensign Avenue. Way back then Occidental only existed for a couple stately blocks in what was known as the Oil Well District (after Occidental Petroleum, maybe?) between Wilshire and 1st (now Beverly). But at some point after the turn of the century it was decided to extend Occidental all the way up the totally non-boulevardy Ensign to Sunset and then north beyond Sunset over a quaint street originally called Fawn Avenue.

    Despite the addition’s new heavyweight moniker, Occidental Boulevard wouldn’t be paved or sidewalked for another 19 years, not until after the completion of the previously nonexistent Silver Lake Boulevard including the Sunset Boulevard bridge over it.

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