miracle mileThe Miracle Mile in Los Angeles has been my favorite neighborhood since I moved here in 2006. The old art deco apartment buildings have such charm. The new modern sleek buildings give it an edge. The streets lined with Spanish Colonial, Tudor, French Normandy, Storybook, Craftsman and Contemporary homes. All the businesses keep the area buzzing with diversity. LACMA feeds my creativity and gives the enclave the arts and culture I wish every neighborhood had. To top it all off, it’s in the middle of L.A.



About The Miracle Mile:

Miracle Mile In the 1920’s, A.W. Ross developed a shopping area designed to accommodate cars by providing wider streets and parking behind retail stores. This strip of Wilshire Boulevard, between Sycamore Avenue to the east and Fairfax Avenue to the west, is strategically placed within Los Angeles.
The Miracle Mile development was initially anchored by the May Company Department Store with its landmark 1939 Streamline Moderne building on the west and the E. Clem Wilson Building on the east, then Los Angeles’s tallest commercial building. The Wilson Building had a dirigible mast on top and was home to a number of businesses and professionals relocating from downtown. The success of the new alternative commercial and shopping district negatively affected downtown real estate values and triggered development of the multiple downtowns which characterize contemporary Los Angeles.
Miracle MileAs wealth and newcomers poured into the fast-growing city, Ross’s parcel became one of Los Angeles’s most desirable areas. Acclaimed as “America’s Champs-Élysées,”this stretch of Wilshire near the La Brea Tar Pits was named “Miracle Mile” for its improbable rise to prominence. Although the preponderance of shopping malls and the development in the 1960s of financial and business districts in downtown and Century City lessened the Miracle Mile’s importance as a retail and business center, the area has retained its vitality thanks to the addition of several museums and commercial high-rises.
Miracle MileAn Art Deco style bank at 5209 Wilshire was built in 1929, and joined a select other Miracle Mile buildings when listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was designed by the architecture firm of Morgan, Walls & Clements, which also designed the Wiltern Theatre, the El Capitan Theatre, and other notable buildings in Los Angeles.

The Homes

Early 1920s Spanish-style homes and duplexes share blocks with Country English and Tudor styles. As the area has grown in popularity, so has the density. On Orange Grove Avenue, for example, some four-plexes have been replaced with seven-unit buildings, adding to the parking congestion. Other apartment buildings have been replaced by large-scale condominium complexes, such as those along the 700 block of Spaulding Avenue.

By the 1980s, about half of the original properties in some parts of Miracle Mile had been demolished. Many older units in the area bounded by Detroit Street on the east, Hauser Boulevard on the west, 3rd Street on the north and Wilshire to the south had been replaced with higher-density units. Clamoring for historic designation, residents have pushed to protect older and architecturally significant properties.

Although designation is still pending in that section, a neighboring portion has been approved by the city of Los Angeles. The Miracle Mile North Historical Preservation Overlay Zone stretches from 3rd to Beverly Boulevard and extends west of La Brea and east of Gardner Street.

Leave a Reply