Union Rescue Mission

545 S San Pedro St, Los Angeles, CA 90013

Buy Tickets

Union Rescue Mission Walking Tour: 124 years on Skid Row

This is a free event. Click on the “buy tickets” button above to reserve your spot!


Please join Richard Schave of Esotouric, Prof. Paul Rood of BIOLA and Rev. Andy Bales of the Union Rescue Mission (URM) for a 90-minute walking tour along the historic paths that have delineated Skid Row in downtown Los Angeles. This tour derives from the ongoing 1947project In SRO Land blog series that uses the archives of the URM (founded 1891) as a tool for exploring the social and architectural history of the forgotten people and places of Downtown Los Angeles.

The tour begins with a survey of the early history of the outreach by the URM through its gospel wagon and at two now-lost buildings: the original home at 145 N. Main (now City Hall Lawn) and the long-time location at 226 S. Main (now a parking lot next to the former St. Vibiana’s Cathedral).

The main themes will be the evolution of public policy on Skid Row from the private philanthropy of Lyman Stewart to today’s Continuum of Care, the transformative work of the URM, and the architectural history of the neighborhood.

The route will include Main Street between 2nd and 3rd Streets (for a then/now comparison of the surviving and demolished locations featured in the 1949 URM-financed short film Of Scrap & Steel, which will be screened later in the evening in a free event that requires a separate reservation). At 3rd and San Pedro Streets we will discuss the Azusa Street Revival, a transformative event in the spiritual history of Los Angeles and the West. During the walk back to the current home of the URM, Rev. Andy Bales will talk about issues and challenges facing the neighborhood and the URM today.

The rendezvous point for the tour is the URM‘s headquarters at at 6th and San Pedro Streets. A free shuttle bus will take tour attendees to 2nd and Main Streets, where the walking tour begins. Registration is required, and each attendee must register separately, to ensure sufficient seating on the shuttle bus.

Parking is available at the URM’s underground parking lot for registered attendees. Just tell the attendent you are there for the walking tour. If everyone attending arrives with one other person in their car, there should be enough parking for all. Those arriving latter will have to leave their keys with the parking attendent.

Nearest Metro station is Little Tokyo.

Union Rescue Mission circa 1970

Union Rescue Mission circa 1970