In the heart of downtown Los Angeles, a historic funicular railway known as Angels Flight has captivated the city with its rich history and charm. This iconic attraction, built in 1901 by Colonel J.W. Eddy, has witnessed the transformation of Los Angeles over the years, becoming a beloved landmark that holds a cherished place in the hearts of both locals and tourists. Let us embark on a journey through time and explore the fascinating story of Angels Flight.
Over a century ago, Colonel J.W. Eddy had a vision to connect the residents of Bunker Hill with the bustling business district of Los Angeles. With this goal in mind, he constructed Angels Flight, a remarkable funicular railway that effortlessly transported people up and down the steep incline. This architectural marvel quickly gained popularity and became an integral part of the city's landscape. Its charming Victorian-inspired design and convenient transportation made it a favorite among locals and visitors alike. Angels Flight soon found itself featured in movies, immortalizing its image in the collective memory of Los Angeles.
In 1969, as urban redevelopment reshaped the city, Angels Flight faced a significant change. The railway was relocated to California Plaza, a move that aimed to accommodate the evolving needs of the growing metropolis. However, despite this relocation, Angels Flight experienced a period of closure in 2001 following a tragic accident. This unfortunate event halted the operations of the beloved funicular, leaving a void in the hearts of those who had come to cherish this historic landmark.
But hope was not lost for Angels Flight. The closure sparked a passionate outcry from the public, who recognized the railway's cultural significance and longed for its revival. Their voices were heard, and extensive renovations took place to restore Angels Flight to its former glory. After a decade of anticipation, the beloved funicular triumphantly reopened in 2010, much to the delight of Angelenos and visitors. The restoration efforts carefully preserved the original charm and nostalgic character of Angels Flight, ensuring that future generations could experience a glimpse of the past while stepping into the present.
Angels Flight stands as a symbol of Los Angeles' resilience and commitment to preserving its cultural heritage. Despite facing challenges and temporary closures, this historic landmark perseveres, embodying the city's indomitable spirit. It serves as a reminder of the enduring legacy that the past holds and the importance of maintaining connections to our roots amidst a rapidly evolving world.
As the years pass and Los Angeles continues to evolve, Angels Flight remains an enduring and beloved landmark. Nestled among the modern surroundings, it offers a captivating journey through time, providing a tangible link to the city's past. The rich history and vibrant spirit of Los Angeles come alive as visitors step onto the charming carriages of Angels Flight, ascending or descending the hill while being transported both physically and emotionally. Angels Flight is not merely a means of transportation; it is a testament to the city's remarkable history, resilience, and commitment to preserving its cultural treasures. In the heart of Los Angeles, Angels Flight stands tall as a reminder of the power of heritage and the timeless beauty of the human spirit.
Pics 1-5 were taken in 1968 and are from the Herald Examiner Collection at the LAPL.
Pics 6-9 are from early 1969 and by Roy Hankey.
Pic 10 is from after all but the tracks were removed - June 1969. Photo by Palmer Conner.