Mid-Wilshire is alive with culture and ancient history

Mid-Wilshire is alive with culture and ancient history


In 1921, developer A.W. Ross hatched a bold plan that would set the course for the way Angelenos would shop and live in the 20th century: He would buy up land on Wilshire Boulevard between La Brea and Fairfax avenues and build the retail hub of the future, one centered around the automobile.


What became known as the Miracle Mile was, by the late 1920s, a smash hit with upscale shoppers — no matter that it lay in the shadow of a vast and active oil field and that tar seeped up between the cracks in the sidewalks.

The Miracle Mile changed people’s mindset about where and how they could live. If you could shop outside of the city center, you could certainly live there,

In the years after World War II, the district welcomed a new round of signature landmarks, when mid-rise office complexes like the Prudential Building began to appear on the boulevard, the massive apartment complex at Park La Brea was completed, and LACMA moved into new digs at the western end of the district.

Today the Mid-Wilshire district is a cultural center, with the Petersen Automotive Museum, the El Rey Theatre, the George C. Page Museum and LACMA soon to be joined by the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. And, of course, the endless stream of tour buses that line up outside its wrought-iron fence every day is testament to the undying fascination of the La Brea Tar Pits.

When woolly mammoths roamed the earth: Where else can you watch as paleontology grad students dig ice age fossils out of tar with toothpicks? If you take the kids, prepare to answer awkward questions about the fate of the mama mammoth statue, which is perpetually sinking in the tar in front of her horrified offspring.

Neil Shekhter is the CEO of NMS Properties Inc.  Neil Shekhter has helped design, develop and manage several luxury Los Angeles apartment buildings in Santa Monica, Westwood Village, West Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley. More information regarding Neil Shekhter can be had by visiting nmsproperties.com