Route map: Bing
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (April 2008)|
|Maintained by||California Department of Transportation|
|West end||Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica|
| I‑405 in Los Angeles
|East end||Grand Avenue in Downtown Los Angeles|
Wilshire Boulevard (// WIL-shər) is one of the principal east-west arterial roads in Los Angeles, California. It was named for Henry Gaylord Wilshire (1861–1927), an Ohio native who made and lost fortunes in real estate, farming, and gold mining. Henry Wilshire initiated what was to become Wilshire Boulevard in the 1890s by clearing out an unassuming twelve-hundred foot path in his barley field. The road first appeared on a map under its present name in 1895. A historic apartment building on the corner of Wilshire Blvd. and S. Kenmore Ave., the Gaylord, carries his middle name.
Running 15.83 miles (25.48 km) from Grand Avenue in Downtown Los Angeles to Ocean Avenue in the City of Santa Monica, Wilshire Boulevard is densely developed throughout most of its span, connecting five of Los Angeles's major business districts to each other, as well as Beverly Hills. Many of the post-1956 skyscrapers in Los Angeles are located along Wilshire; for example, "One Wilshire," built in 1966 at the junction of Wilshire on Grand is said to be "...the main hub of the internet for the entire Pacific Rim" due to the large concentration of telecommunications companies renting space there. Aon Center, at one point Los Angeles' largest (and presently second-largest) tower, is at 707 Wilshire Boulevard in downtown Los Angeles.
One particularly famous stretch of the boulevard between Fairfax and Highland Avenues is known as the Miracle Mile. Many of Los Angeles' largest museums are located there. The area just to the east of that, between Highland Avenue and Wilton Place, is referred to as the "Park Mile".
All of the boulevard is at least four lanes in width, and most of the portion between Hoover Street and Robertson Boulevard has a raised center median. The widest portion is in the business district of central Westwood, where mobs of pedestrians crossing Wilshire at Westwood Boulevard must traverse ten lanes (including two left-turn pockets). According to a 1991 study by the Los Angeles Department of Transportation, this and the nearby intersection of Wilshire and Veteran are among the busiest in Los Angeles.
The Wilshire Corridor, located next to Century City, is one of Los Angeles' busiest districts, and contains many high-rise residential towers. The Fox and MGM studios are located in a series of skyscrapers, along with many historic Los Angeles hotels.
Wilshire Blvd is also the principal street of Los Angeles Koreatown, the site of many of Los Angeles' oldest buildings, as well as many skyscrapers. Koreatown and Mid Wilshire are among Los Angeles's densest districts.
The Purple and Red subway lines of the LACMTA run along Wilshire Boulevard from just past the 7th/Figueroa Street station before serving the Westlake/MacArthur Park and Wilshire/Vermont stations, where the Purple Line continues along Wilshire to serve two stations at Normandie Avenue and at Western Avenue in Koreatown, while the Red Line branches off to terminate in North Hollywood. Metro Local line 20, Metro Rapid line 720, and Santa Monica Transit line 2 operate along Wilshire Boulevard. Due to the high ridership of line 720, 60-foot (18 m) NABI articulated buses are used on this route, and bus lanes are in place along some segments of the line.
The future Purple Line Extension Section 1 phase one is currently under construction. The current construction timeline plans would see the project completed to the corner of Wilshire/LaCienega and completed by 2023. The phase two and three of the Purple Line when fully completed will extend to Westwood/VA Center, and will follow Wilshire Blvd for most of its route. Phase four to Santa Monica Beach are still in the planning stages and expected to be completed somewhere between 2022 and 2036, depending on funding.
Traveling on Wilshire Boulevard at any time except late nights and Sundays is difficult, as it passes through the busiest sections of Los Angeles. The Santa Monica and Brentwood portions are relatively tame, but the Westwood and Beverly Hills portions are almost guaranteed to have thick traffic. There are traffic lights on every block in Beverly Hills and the Miracle Mile.
The boulevard's widest portion is in Westwood and Holmby Hills, where it expands to six, and briefly, eight lanes. Several tall glitzy condominium buildings overlook this part of Wilshire, giving it the title of Millionaire's Mile. This section is also known as the Wilshire Corridor and Condo Canyon.
MacArthur Park connection
Wilshire Boulevard formerly ended at the MacArthur Park lake, but in 1934 a berm was built for it to cross and link up with the existing Orange Street (which ran from Figueroa to Alvarado) into downtown Los Angeles. Orange Street was renamed Wilshire and extended east of Figueroa to Grand. This divided the lake into two halves; the northern half was later drained.
Cities and communities (east to west)
- Downtown Los Angeles
- Koreatown (also known as Wilshire Center)
- Country Club Park
- Wilshire Park
- Hancock Park
- Miracle Mile
- Beverly Hills
- Holmby Hills
- West Los Angeles
- Santa Monica
Landmarks (west to east)
- Third Street Promenade (Santa Monica)
- UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica
- Wadsworth Theatre
- VA Hospital (Veterans Affairs Medical Center West Los Angeles, in Sawtelle)
- Los Angeles National Cemetery
- Wilshire Federal Building
- University of California, Los Angeles (nearby)
- Hammer Museum
- Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery
- Sephardic Temple Tifereth Israel
- Sinai Temple
- Los Angeles Country Club
- El Rodeo School
- Beverly Hilton Hotel
- The Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel
- Rodeo Drive
- Sterling Plaza
- Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
- Larry Flynt Publications
- Saban Theatre (formerly Fox Wilshire Theater)
- Consulate-General of Israel
- Johnie's Coffee Shop
- Petersen Automotive Museum
- Academy Museum of Motion Pictures (to be constructed)
- Hancock Park
- Los Angeles County Museum of Art
- La Brea Tar Pits
- George C. Page Museum
- El Rey Theatre
- E. Clem Wilson Building
- Ebell of Los Angeles
- Los Altos Apartments
- Pellissier Building and Wiltern Theatre
- Wilshire Boulevard Temple
- St. Basil Catholic Church
- Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools (former site of the Ambassador Hotel)
- Southwestern University School of Law (in the former Bullocks Wilshire department store complex)
- The Town House
- Lafayette Park
- Bryson Apartment Hotel
- Park Plaza Hotel
- MacArthur Park (formerly Westlake Park)
- Good Samaritan Hospital
The entire route is in Los Angeles County.
|Santa Monica||Ocean Avenue|
|West Los Angeles||I‑405 (San Diego Freeway) – Sacramento, Long Beach||Interchange; former SR 7|
|Beverly Glen Boulevard|
|Beverly Hills||SR 2 (Santa Monica Boulevard)|
|La Cienega Boulevard|
|Los Angeles||Fairfax Avenue|
|La Brea Avenue|
|I‑110 / SR 110 – San Pedro, Pasadena||Interchange|
|Figueroa Street||Former US 6|
In popular culture
- Ernest L. Webster, Los Angeles City Council member, 1927–31, helped introduce traffic-signal system
- Harold A. Henry, Los Angeles City Council president active in beautifying the boulevard
- Hawthorne, Christopher (23 March 2013). "Wilshire Boulevard, a Main Street that stands apart". LA Times. Accessed 21 September 2013.
- Roderick (2005), 16
- Roderick (2005), 10
- "History". The Historic Gaylord Apartments. Accessed 21 September 2013.
- Bullock, Dave (03 March 2008). "A Lesson in Internet Anatomy: The World's Densest Meet-Me Room". Wired. Accessed 21 September 2013.
- "One Wilshire: Telco Hotel Central". Center for Land Use Interpretation. Accessed 21 September 2013.
- Ottens, Cale (22 August 2013). "Life at the top: In L.A.'s skyscrapers, diverse firms, great views". LA Times. Accessed 21 September 2013.
- "The top houses from the movies". Daily Telegraph.
- Masters, Nathan (11 April 2012). "How the Miracle Mile Got Its Name: A Brief History of L.A.'s Unlikely Retail District". KCET.com. Accessed 21 September 2013.
- Roderick (2005), 105
- Hill-Holtzman, Nancy (06 January 1991). "Westside Has L.A.'s Busiest Intersections : Traffic: A city survey attributes the rush of cars to population growth and the area's attractions." LA Times. Accessed 21 September 2013.
- Steven Leigh Morris, "L.A. Metro Buses Hammered By Potholes on Aging Wilshire Boulevard," LA Weekly, 5 September 2008.
- "Lana Del Rey – Honeymoon". Genius.
- "Lana Del Rey releases eerie new track, 'Honeymoon'". Entertainment Weekly's EW.com.
- Roderick, Kevin; J. Eric Lynxwiler (2005). Wilshire Boulevard: The Grand Concourse of Los Angeles. Los Angeles, CA: Angel City Press. ISBN 1-883318-55-6.
- Rosen, Louis (2011). Henry Gaylord Wilshire: The Millionaire Socialist. Los Angeles, CA: School Justice Institute. ISBN 9780615521244
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Wilshire Boulevard.|
- Wilshire Wonders (kcet.org)
- Curating the City: Wilshire Blvd
- An excerpt from "Wilshire Boulevard: Grand Concourse of Los Angeles", by Kevin Roderick