Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.


Video: NHM Explains Just Who We're Walking All Over

Before you
Dear reader, we're asking you to help us keep local news available for all. Your tax-deductible financial support keeps our stories free to read, instead of hidden behind paywalls. We believe when reliable local reporting is widely available, the entire community benefits. Thank you for investing in your neighborhood.

Downtown's Main Street isn't actually the city's historic principal thoroughfare, so how did it come to get its name, and which street actually was? Next, imagine heading to a bar called "7 Charity" instead of 7 Grand, and a time when the name Broadway was a moniker selected to evoke "American-ness."

The Natural History Museum recently launched a six-part video series that explains the origins of many of our street names, starting with this video and the man who first recorded those streets, Edward O.C. Ord. And yes, the man is a street, too, in Chinatown.