Maptastic: Los Angeles in 1891

I have sung the praises of the Big Map Blog in the past, most recently in December when a 1932 map of Los Angeles was added to its extensive cartographical collection. And here I go again, because they just posted another jaw-dropper in the form of H.B. Elliott’s birds-eye viewpoint of our town when the population was only 65,000 back in 1891 — one that looks like the artist drew inspiration for it from an imagined vantage point aloft above what is now Elysian Park.

What makes this document so exquisite is not just the map itself, but the detailed representations of both exteriors and interiors of some of the commercial and civic landmarks of that time, most of which are long gone. Click the above image to biggify it. But better yet, got here on Big Map Blog and click the full size download link and get yourself the 157″ x 111″ version to marvel at available there for free.

3 Replies to “Maptastic: Los Angeles in 1891”

  1. American Memory at the Library of Congress has this and many other panoramic maps in hi-res zoomable JPEG2000 format. The Panoramic Maps 1847-1929 Collection is fabulous. There are 52 maps for California, including 8 or so of LA, plus Pasadena, Santa Monica, San Pedro, San Gabriel, and Pomona.

    They can be viewed online in a (rather primitive) map browser interface, or you can download the whole file to view offline. For offline viewing, if you don’t already have a paint program or photo editor that can handle .jp2 files, there are free viewers and plugins for PC and Mac – see the LOC’s How to View page for some suggestions.

  2. Yes, the architecture and features of the buildings are very detailed. One of my most memorable walks was through the old theater district in Los Angeles. However, I was a little scared at times.

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