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There's A New Website That Maps L.A.'s Historic Places

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A new website aims to be a a database for historic and culturally significant Los Angeles landmarks. HistoricPlacesLA.org just launched, and it's a treasure trove of history. There's info on numerous locations, plus interactive maps to find spots near you. There are buildings, bridges, parks, gardens and other distinct locations. The info comes from SurveyLA, a collaboration between the City of Los Angeles and Getty Conservation Institute. It will be updated with more information as time goes on.

"This system unlocks Los Angeles' rich cultural history and puts it in the palm of anyone's hand," Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a statement, City News Service reports. "HistoricPlacesLA will enrich and enlighten visitors and Angelenos alike and will encourage people to truly explore our streets and be conscious of the history around us.''

The site will not only please local history lovers, but will also serve as a tool for developers to see potential obstacles and help them plan accordingly, the L.A. Times reports.

We did a little poking around to see what we could find.

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The site has several featured sections you can peruse, including examples of Modernism, sites that appear on the National Register of Historic Places or notable locations related to the entertainment industry. You can also type in an address and see what's nearby. Some of the entires may not have much info yet, but it's fun to browse. I randomly clicked through the map to an entry on Hillside House, a home in West Hollywood built by architect Carl Maston.

If you click on search, you can look by location or time. I picked the year 1987 and got a few buildings, including Corvallis High School (the first Catholic high school in the San Fernando Valley), which closed in 1987. Each location should show you a map, and some have old photos, too.

The site can be a little unwieldy as there are just so many places, so I decided to try a specific interest. I love motels, so I searched for hotels and motels and got several returns: the Hacienda Motel notorious for being the place where Sam Cooke was murdered; the Flamingo Motel on Lankershim, notable for looking like, well, a roadside motel; and Palm Court, which you may know better nowadays as the Alexandria downtown.

While the site is a huge, still growing project, it looks like it'll shape up to be a fun way to learn about your neighborhood as well as an excellent resource for history and architecture buffs.