For more than a century, the heart and soul of Downtown Los Angeles has been an old-school, open-air food market in the Homer Laughlin Building at 3rd and Broadway/Hill Streets. Grand Central Market was where generations of bargain hunting Angelenos shopped for spices, flowers, baked goods, specialized cuts of meat, farm-fresh produce and select prepared delicacies, both local and imported.
Here, multicultural Los Angeles simmered in a vibrant and beautiful melting pot, where colorful characters plied their trade and influenced the greater world beyond, through food writing (Jonathan Gold was such a fan he shot part of his documentary in the market, and the Broadway sidewalk outside was posthumously dedicated in his honor), the fine arts (1970s art star Andy Wilf made his name painting animal heads from the butcher counter), and cinema (one of the greatest chase scenes ever choreographed is from “Busting” (1974), a bloody shootout in Grand Central Market).
In the 1980s, visionary developer Ira Yellin bought the market, the adjacent Million Dollar Theatre and the Bradbury Building just across Broadway, convinced that the neglected historic core of Los Angeles could become a vibrant live-work district. His faith and moxie led directly to the adaptive reuse ordinance that transformed empty office towers into residential lofts, and kickstarted Downtown L.A.’s recent revival.
As Downtown boomed in the 2010s, Grand Central Market changed, transitioning away from grocery, deli, fresh meat and produce to concept-driven prepared food stalls, and sparking concern about gentrification’s negative impacts and the loss of legacy vendors. But through it all, Angelenos have come to the market and found good fare, good company and a golden thread to L.A.’s fascinating past.
Join Esotouric, L.A.'s most eclectic sightseeing tour company, for a webinar celebrating the cultural history of Grand Central Market, from 1917-2020, with a preview of what’s next for the beloved landmark.
Your hosts Kim Cooper and Richard Schave each have long relationships with Grand Central Market, through their series of free LAVA Sunday Salons in the basement, their work steering historical artifacts from the market safe to a safer archival home at the Huntington Library, patronage going back to decades—and more personally, Kim’s grandfather Harry delivered Swedish imports to the market in the 1930s, where he developed a taste for exotic treats that Kim is happy to have inherited.
In this webinar, you’ll get to know Grand Central Market intimately through rare vintage photographs, film clips and archival documents. You’ll see the market’s development from 1917, as Los Angeles grew up around it into a metropolis, and the market adapted to changing demographics, tastes and innovations.
You’ll learn about memorable market stalls—some short-lived, others that had the distinction of serving multiple generations as legacy vendors. You’ll get to know visionary developer Ira Yellin, whose love of Downtown inspired him to become Grand Central Market’s second family owner in the 1980s. You’ll see how the market has changed during Downtown’s latest boom cycle, and how tradition, neon signage and some longtime vendors remain essential to the place. You’ll be there as Angelenos celebrate Grand Central Market’s 2017 centennial, and discover how the market helped to save neighboring landmark Angels Flight Railway. And we’ll be joined Adam Daneshgar, the third family owner, to learn what’s in store as the market enters its second century.
This webinar is an illustrated lecture packed with original research, photographs and archival material that will bring Grand Central Market then and now to life on your digital device. And you'll find the look of an Esotouric webinar is a little different than your standard dry Zoom session, with lively interactive graphics courtesy of the mmhmm app.
After the presentation, Kim, Richard and market owner Adam Daneshgar will answer your questions, so get ready to be a part of the show.
Can't join in when the webinar is happening? You'll have access to the full replay for one week.
So, tune in and discover the incredible history of Los Angeles, with the couple whose passion for the city is infectious.
FYI: Immediately upon registering, you will receive a separate, automated email containing the link to join the webinar. The webinar is reliable on all devices, Mac, PC, iOS and Android.
About Esotouric: As undergraduates at UC Santa Cruz, Kim Cooper and Richard Schave inexplicably hated one other on sight. (Perhaps less inexplicably, their academic advisor believed they were soul mates). A chance meeting 18 years later proved much more agreeable. Richard wooed Kim with high level library database access, with which she launched the 1947project true crime blog, highlighting a crime a day from the year of The Black Dahlia and Bugsy Siegel slayings. The popular blog’s readers demanded a tour, and then another. The tour was magical, a hothouse inspiring new ways for the by-then-newlyweds to tell the story of Los Angeles. Esotouric was born in 2007 with a calendar packed with true crime, literary, architecture and rock and roll tours. Ever since, it has provided a platform for promoting historic preservation issues (like the Save the 76 Ball campaign and the landmarking of Charles Bukowski’s bungalow), building a community of urban explorers (including dozens of free talks and tours under the umbrella of LAVA) and digging ever deeper into the secret heart of the city they love.
Rights and permissions: By attending an Esotouric webinar, you acknowledge that the entirety of the presentation is copyrighted, and no portion of the video or text may be reproduced in any fashion.