The Flâneur & The City: Broadway (TOUR IS FULL)



For the latest installment of urban historian Richard Schave’s site-specific discussion series “The Flâneur & The City,” Richard (Esotouric bus adventuresIn SRO Land) is joined by architectural historian Nathan Marsak (1947project, On Bunker Hill).

On this excursion we’ll be casting our eyes along Broadway, from 2nd to 9th, which roughly corresponds to the National Register designation footprint. Broadway has been a viable and vibrant commercial artery and transit hub of Los Angeles since the 1890s. This tour will be slightly different from others in this series, as almost all the buildings to be discussed still survive. We will focus on giving meaning and context to the complex palimpsest which has built up over the past century.

The tour begins at Hamburger’s Department Store (the People’s Store) (architect: Alfred Rosenheim) at Eighth Street and proceeds up the east side of Broadway to Grand Central Market, where we will have a well deserved snack break. Then we will return via the western side of Broadway, ending up at Seventh Street.

Tour attendees will meet on the 8th floor lounge of the Los Angeles Athletic Club. The snack bar will be open, and those who wish to purchase a sandwich or beverage before the walk are encouraged to arrive 20 minutes early to avoid a bottleneck. We will start with general historic overview of Hill Street in the lounge, and then make our way to Hamburger’s–no doubt following in the path of that store’s founder Moshe Hamburger, who lived at the Athletic Club in the early years of the 20th century.

ABOUT THE TOUR SERIES: “The Flâneur & The City” is an ongoing attempt to explore some of the more important issues revealed by the constantly changing heart of the metropolis. The core notion of the series is of culture and history as commodities that are packaged and sold to a target demographic; meanwhile, it’s the ignored and seemingly worthless scraps of meaning found on the sidewalks and marketplaces where the true remnants of positive public space can be found. All interpretations and nuisances of the word flâneur are examined—from the modern-day aesthete dreaming of Baudelaire while carried along in the human tide past the stalls and shops of Broadway, to its more recent and perhaps relevant use, someone who is loitering. At its heart this series is a celebration of the simple act of getting out of your car, walking through a neighborhood and learning to see it with your own eyes.