Walking "The Wall Street of the West" | NBC Southern California

Walking "The Wall Street of the West"

A special tour takes in LA's financial district and all its stories

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    Hear tales of how downtown's financial district grew and wained when Obscura Society LA and the LA Conservancy join up for a private walking tour. Date? March 30. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

    One of the funny quirks about living on the left side of the Mississippi River? (Left side, of course, if you're looking at a map of the U.S.) It's how a lot of towns were bequeathed with names that originated in the east.

    Look no further than Beverly Hills, a city named after Beverly Farms, Massachusetts. And dozens of others up and down the California coast.

    Even our own downtown was once called "The Wall Street of the West" (oh, that was another common add-on, right? Dot dot dot "of the West.") Spring Street hummed with flashy cash and people wanting to build buildings and build fortunes, all at once.

    Downtown residents know the thoroughfare has gone through its share of fortunes, but the stories thrive. Obscura Society LA and LA Conservancy are pairing up for a private walk around the area, specifically to address Spring Street's financial past and the names that are over the doors (or at least on the original deeds).

    The tour is on Saturday, March 30. Reservations are essential. Tickets are $16.

    Some of the stops mentioned, or at least places that will be referenced along the way, include the Continental Building (formerly Braly Block), El Dorado Hotel (formerly Stowell Hotel), and the Broadway-Spring Arcade Building.

    The day will be a thorough overview of The Wall Street of the West's past. But don't think that western cities aren't now bestowing their names and reputations upon other municipalities. How often do we hear "the San Francisco of the North" or "Hollywood of the Midwest"? Often enough to make a wry note of it.

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