Angel's Flight

ISSUE 001

Looking down at the tracks from the teriminus at California Plaza.

 


fu·nic·u·lar

noun.

A cable railroad, especially one on a mountainside, in which ascending & descending cars are counterbalanced.

 
 

above

Angel's Flight in the early 20th century,
and Angel's Flight today.

below

 

Angel's Flight stands today as a slight ruin, hoping to one day again climb the tracks of its new home, about a block south of its original location at 3rd & Hill streets.

 
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Once upon a time,

Los Angeles was a town full of Victorians, trees, oil barracks and horse-drawn carriages. As it grew, it needed to move its growing number of residents: 1910, enter Angel's Flight. Its sole purpose is transporting Angelinos from Hill St. to Grand St. without having to climb the steep stairs, or worse, find their way up another way.

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Nowadays,

Angel's Flight sits at the top of California Plaza, a slightly sad early 2000's space that has a Starbucks, a water feature, and is probably full of suits during Corporate America's lunchtime. While you can't ride Sinai and Olivet (the track's two cars) anymore, or at least for the time being, you can get some cardio in and climb the adjacent stairs. Usually filled with tourists and locals alike, you might pass by some youth thinking they're getting away with smoking pot in public. I have a feeling at night that the stairs are a different story.

One of my favorite parts of the climb is the sudden reveal of a lovingly cared-for residential garden, undoubtedly tended to by the elderly residents of the garish apartment complex flanking the funicular. 

Then.

Then.

Now.

Now.

 

351 Hill St, Los Angeles, CA 90013
Public Historical Site, permanently closed & non-functional
https://angelsflight.org/

Checklist:
  1. Angel's Flight has been non-functional for about a year, but take the stairs either up or down. Yes, there will be some weirdos in there, but you'll be fine.
  2. Sign the petition to get Angel's Flight up and running again! 
  3. This expedition is more about observing a relic of the past than riding it. Appreciate how Los Angeles has evolved around the funicular and how it still stands (albeit in a new location) today.