From the Archives: A 1962 aerial photograph shows a growing downtown Los Angeles

Aerial photo of downtown Los Angeles with grading work, left center, begun in 1962 for the Music Center.
(Al Monteverde / Los Angeles Times)
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This image, found recently in the Los Angeles Times print archive, was undated. After some research, I believe this image was taken during the summer or fall of 1962.

The grading work for the Music Center, left center, began in 1962. A story in the March 9, 1962, Los Angeles Times reported:

Nearly $20 million changed hands Thursday in a financial transaction marking the climax of bond sales and the transfer of private contributions for the new Music Center in Los Angeles.


Nine checks totaling $19,740,726.45 were turned over to officers of the Music Center Lease Co. in an hourlong exchange of bonds and funds in the offices of O’Melveny & Myers, attorneys for the private, nonprofit corporation.

Immediately following the transaction, James W. Beebe, the company’s assistant secretary, issued a formal notice to the construction firm of Peter Kiewit & Sons to begin grading operations on the seven-acre site overlooking the Civic Center.

According to the website, construction began on March 12, 1962.

The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion opened its doors Dec. 6, 1964. The Ahmanson Theatre and Mark Taper Forum opened in 1967. In 2003, The Walt Disney Concert Hall opened.

This image is looking east from near where 7th Street crosses the 110 Freeway. In the lower left, 4th Street crosses the 110. In the lower right, the Los Angeles Public Library sits on 5th Street.

See more from the Los Angeles Times archives here