Downtown L.A.

Public Access 101: Downtown L.A.


Bunker Hill Expedition
L.A. River Ramble
Critical Campout
(Engagement Party series, MOCA)

Vista Trail Hike
(California Biennial, Orange County Museum of Art)

Hike the Downtown L.A. trails, and explore the ecology of public spaces in the elusive civic heart of our favorite megalopolis. You can ascend the peaks of the Bunker Hill financial district, and enjoy the high-altitude public easements on all the corporate meadows. Would you like to explore the interplay between art, habitation, and gentrification in the ecotone between the temples of culture on Grand Avenue and the streets of Skid Row? Or get a backcountry permit to access the concrete L.A. River, which is America’s most famous forgotten waterway!


Los Angeles Urban Rangers: Therese Kelly, Nicholas Bauch, Sara Daleiden, Ron Milam and Jenny Price.
Hikers begin ascent of the Bonaventure Hotel, using this landmark as an orientation device for a bird’s eye view of the city.
Ranger Jenny Price discusses air rights in Banker Canyon, adjacent to the Los Angeles Central Library.
Hikers trail-blaze a rarely traversed corporate meadow.
Ranger Ron Milam discusses skyscraper corridors with hikers, perched atop a pedestrian bridge.
Ranger Sara Daleiden holds scenic view markers, pointing out a nearby high-speed trail and historic downtown.
Hikers cluster on a pedestrian bridge to discuss the city’s redevelopment plans, which shaped the surrounding habitat.
Hikers explore the historically layered and geometrically dominated open space of Pershing Square.
Rangers Jenny Price and Nicholas Bauch introduce an exercise on observing public-private spatial behavior at Maguire Gardens.
Hikers walk the perimeter of Maguire Gardens to explore private-public sidewalks.
Bird’s-eye view from Bonaventure Hotel elevator, looking down on modernist corporate meadow and the 110 high-speed trail.
On the River Ramble, hikers directly access the river under the 6th Street bridge.
Ranger Therese directs hikers to the LA River and provides Backcountry Permits to access the river.

Downtown Adventures and Hikes

Vista Trail Hike, Bunker Hill Expedition, River Ramble

MOCA Engagement Party Poster Front
MOCA Engagement Party Poster Back

MOCA Engagement Party Poster

We will offer three public programs as party of our residency at the MOCA Engagement Party from July to September 2011.

The topographic model of Downtown L.A. oriented hikers to the expedition trails.
Hiker logs the number of security cameras, corporate meadows, public artworks, and more in the Downtown LA. field notebook.
Hikers perform Maguire Gardens Usage Tracking exercise to identify public-private spatial behavior.
A hiker's log of Downtown Sightings and Observations of activity in two vastly different Corporate Meadows
At the Riverside Ranger Station, participants could write, draw, and speak their ideas about connecting the River to Downtown.
Tasting notes from the Water Bar, sampling L.A.'s local and imported tap waters.
With the official L.A. Urban Rangers Backcountry Permit, participants acknowledge the River as a major public space.
Hikers use the Bonaventure Hotel as a compass for viewing Downtown L.A. within its broader urban context.
Results of the Bonaventure Adventure scavenger hunt in the navigationally challenging Bonaventure Hotel.

Field Notes and Activities


L.A. River Ramble MOCA Video

Meet the Rangers (2011 )

Bunker Hill Expedition (2011)


(Critical Landscapes: Art, Space, Politics)
(MOCA Engagement Party)
(American Studies, Ecocriticism, and Citizenship: Thinking and Acting in the Local and Global Commons)
(Los Angeles Downtown News)
(Prestel | Orange County Museum of Art)

Did you know?

Los Angeles is not located in a desert as is commonly believed. In fact, LA has a Mediterranean climate.