LAistory: Chutes Park
Downtown Los Angeles has been going through a massive period of renewal and development over the last several years in what can be thought of as an attempt to revive what was once the true core of our city. From high rise high-end condos and lofts to the entertainment "campus" of LA Live, there are more reasons now than in recent memory to live or visit Downtown.
However, if we flip through the pages of history, we'll notice that Downtown was designed as not only a place to live, but also as a place to visit. Once upon a time, one of the biggest draws to the area was actually a 35-acre amusement park right in the heart of what was soon to become one of the most important cities on the West Coast.
Chutes Park (and later called Luna Park) occupied the area bounded by Grand Avenue and Main Street to the west and east, and Washington Boulevard and 21st Street to the north and south. From 1899 to 1914, rides, animals, theaters, and a ballpark, brought people together right in the middle of Los Angeles.